It's always disheartening when a video game franchise starts out stunning, but owing to commercial concerns, greed, or simple creative bankruptcy, begins to founder, somewhat ruining the fond memories you might have of the stellar earlier instalments. Still, some of these franchises aren't past redemption if the developers pull their socks up, and we'll keep our fingers crossed, as many of them have new instalments emerging in the current months.
10. The Sims
The Sims series has been chugging along for 12 years now, and though many might object to its placement in this list - as they will argue that the series never found its way in the first place - the three interstitial Sims games are great fun, if ostensibly better-pitched towards casual and non-gamers. The problem comes with the maddening, countless number of spin-offs that EA continues to release, usually without much publicity, because they're aware of their dedicated fanbase, who will throw down cash for the latest expansion no matter what the content (recently moving on to peculiar gimmick packs like "Medieval" to keep ardent fans interested). Is a new Sims game every 3 or 4 years not enough for EA? Apparently not; but what began as a novel concept has been well and truly run into the ground, such that while we still enjoyed The Sims 3, we're not the least bit fussed about a fourth game, unless EA and Maxis somehow rejuvenate the formula significantly, rather than just enhancing the graphics a bit.