We all have our favorite franchises and one-and-done games, be it classics like Super Mario Bros., Final Fantasy, Tetris, or more modern series like The Last of Us, Halo, or Uncharted Others we happily play, but they don’t become go-to favorites. And then there are those games that we’re just so definitely, clearly, absolutely sure are not for us that we can go on at length as to why.
So, Kotaku readers, what game or franchise just isn’t for you? Maybe you’ve given Grand Theft Auto more than a fair share of your attention and have decided it doesn’t click. Maybe a certain franchise is in your favorite genre, but it fails to hit all the right notes for you? Maybe there’s another that you haven’t played, but upon first glance at even a trailer you know deep down that you won’t be touching that, yet everyone else seems to just lap it up.
For me, I think I have to settle on the Dark Souls games—of which I have absolute respect for and can understand why people dig ‘em, but I just can’t get into. And I don’t mean the soulslike/soulsborne genre. For me it’s most specifically the Dark Souls trilogy.
There’s just something about its use of dark medieval fantasy and punishing gameplay that, while I know I can gain some mastery over, requires too much work to maintain. And I do like hard games. But that punishing, grim, atmosphere combined is too much for me to find appealing.
I’ve enjoyed other games in the genre (even others by From Software like Elden Ring). I also loved Deck 13’s sci-fi soulslike The Surge, which though dark and punishing, was much more relatable as its sci-fi premise concerned environmental destruction at the hands of an unshackled tech elite. I also don’t mind a challenge. The NES platformer Metal Storm kicked my butt pretty handedly last year, but I persisted and saw it to completion eventually. And god damn do I love survival horror games with tank controls and arguably clunky mechanics.
Dark Souls though? It just doesn’t work for me.
What popular games just don’t do it for you? Are there certain games that you’ve just tried playing but can’t appreciate? Does your distaste of popular games make you a pariah in your social circles? Are you at a loss for why some franchises amass such popularity while others barely register as a blip on most people’s radar? Let us know in the comments below!