Once a video game displays franchise potential, it makes sense from a business standpoint to toss out as many follow-ups as possible. Of course, certain entries will always stand out. Resident Evil 4, Symphony of the Night, and Far Cry 3 unmistakably tower above their respective series.
Because of this, some instalments never got the attention they deserved. If a franchise title was poorly marketed, released at a bad time, or came out late on a system's life cycle, gamers won't give it a chance, regardless of its quality. Spin-offs are often dismissed, even if they're just as good, if not better than the property they spawned from.
Ironically, some sequels, prequels, and reboots go unappreciated because they're overshadowed by titles from the same IP. Metal Gear Solid set the bar to an all-time, taking attention away from other entries. There've been so many great Assassin Creed games, one or two of them have fallen through the cracks. Final Fantasy VI and VII are held in such high regard, it's easy to forget the others are amazing. (Except XIII.)
These sleeper hits may not be masterpieces, but they should've received a lot more love.
10. Assassin's Creed: Syndicate
It's disheartening when a video game is discarded, purely because of the failure of a separate instalment. Such was the fate of Assassin's Creed: Syndicate.
After the bafflingly awful Assassin's Creed: Unity, Ubisoft's biggest IP was tainted. When Syndicate was released the following year, even the most devoted fans gave it a pass, erroneously believing it contained the same flaws as the previous title. This attributed to Syndicate suffering insultingly low sales, further cementing its reputation as a failure.
And yet, Syndicate has plenty to offer. Setting the story in London during the Industrial Revolution was a welcome departure for the series. There is a lot of entertaining banter with historical figures, including Karl Marx, Charles Darwin, and Queen Victoria.
Syndicate was also the first entry with dual protagonists, both with their own skills and styles, which diversifies the gameplay. The missions are far less frustrating, since auto-fail stipulations have been restricted. The Batman-styled rope launcher makes it easier than ever to reach higher platforms, perform aerial tasks, and escape from enemies.
While breaking down all these positive factors, it's hard to believe Syndicate was dismissed so harshly. It's not perfect, but its infamy is completely unwarranted.