9. L.A. Noire
L.A. Noire starts out with an engagingly simple premise, placing you in the role of Cole Phelps at the beginning of his career in law enforcement. As Cole successfully solves more crimes, he continually gets promoted until he becomes a full fledged homicide investigator, where he is forced to face the darker aspects of humanity. Its classic noire storytelling, and this is where L.A. Noire excels the most.
At some point though the story takes a significant turn into a grand conspiracy involving real estate for veterans, which dips further into Coles past during World War II. Gone are the dark alleyways and shadowy murders, replaced with something much bigger but less compelling. The game keeps going in this direction, and the longer it goes on, the more repetitive the investigation gameplay becomes.
L.A. Noire even resorts to changing character perspectives partway through in order to add more hours to the story, which ruins the pacing and detaches you from what you care about. Had L.A. Noire kept its feet firmly planted in the more straightforward and evocative story beats of its early sections while focusing more on the personal life of Cole, it would have made the ending more efficient and satisfactory. Instead, the game starts out strong but drags out until it ends with a whimper.