The Manifesto's contributors recently offered their picks for the greatest games that never got sequels or saw their series ended prematurely.
But that got us thinking: Which series should die?
None of us are bold enough to say that legends like Mario have outlived their appeal, but there are some surprising picks for which popular game titles should be shelved.
After all, no one wants to wear out their welcome.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Lexington Herald-Leader
'Call of Duty: Modern Warfare'
Activision now has two lines of Call of Duty, and that's too many. When Call of Duty abandoned the historical battles of World War II in favor of the Black Ops fictional Vietnam War-era story line, it really merged the series with Modern Warfare anyway. So why not put a fork in one of them?
Modern Warfare 3 took place during a 2016 worldwide super-conflict that saw major cities including New York, Washington, London and Paris all left in rubble. The story line feels done. A main character was killed off, and the rest should be thinking about retirement.
Let's stick with some Black Ops sequels for a while, and take a look at the '80s with all our fun little covert wars in Central America. We also could visit Afghanistan when the Russians were the infidels. Who knows? Maybe there are some stories that could make Cuba a setting for some secret missions. I know the soundtrack would be awesome.
Did you ever see the TV show Firefly? It was one of the best shows on TV when it aired in the early 2000s, and its premature cancellation is a sore point for faithful fans the world over.
I am one of those fans, but I'm perfectly happy that the show was canceled. That's because shows that start out good often lose their charm as the seasons go on. Even the best show usually ends with a disappointing whimper.
The same holds true for video games. Now that games have evolved into epic storytelling devices rather than point-collecting time-wasters, you're just as likely to see lackluster writing in a game sequel as in the second or third season of a popular show.
That's why I am begging developer Naughty Dog to cancel my favorite video game series, Uncharted.
So far, Naughty Dog has beaten the odds. It has released three games in the same series, and all of them are excellent titles that tell intriguing stories. But Uncharted 3 had a slight but noticeable dip in quality over its predecessor, the first hint of a trend that is likely to continue.
I'm sure I'm in the minority of Uncharted fans, but forgive me for wanting to remember my favorite series for the three amazing titles that already exist, and not the uninspired cash-in that Uncharted 5 or 6 will undoubtedly be.
It's time to put a bullet in the Saints Row franchise before a fourth game. In fact, it's too late. Saints Row 4 reportedly is in the planning stages, and developers promise that it will be "wilder" than Saints Row: The Third.
I couldn't think of anything more tragic.
Saints Row: The Third, which was released in November, took the ridiculousness that made the Saints Row series such a hit and made it even more ridiculous.
The crime series embraces the same open-world gaming formula made popular by Grand Theft Auto but set itself apart with unparalleled customization. Gamers could alter just about every aspect of their character's appearance — their clothes, hair, voice and tattoos, their vehicles and the members of their crew.
The third skated on thin ice as it was. There's a bevy of strange costumes for your character and a variety of character voices to choose from, including that of a zombie. Why? There are plenty of customizable weapons and vehicles, including anime squid cannon and hover bikes. Again, why?
There is a mission in which you must drive a car with a tiger in the passenger seat, batting at you. There's another where you travel through the city in a hover jet. You're in a dogfight with other hover jets, and you must take out tanks with your heat ray. Do I even need to ask?
I shouldn't, and before this goes any further, we should end it where it is. It's a solid franchise with a third title that's even more obnoxious, but lots of fun. Why take it any further?
I remember the first time I saw people playing Mortal Kombat as a kid in the Hills department store in Lexington's North Park shopping center in the early 1990s. There was a line longer than I had ever seen at arcades to play the demo Sega Genesis. It was easily explained, though. After all, this was the game that was taking it right to the Street Fighter juggernaut by adding blood and guts.
I was never much a fan of the gore, but I've always been fascinated by Mortal Kombat because of the widespread following it garnered and its short-lived success in Hollywood.
Today, though, its vaunted dragon symbol should stand for overkill more than the common killing in the game. Nearly every year since its debut, we've seen yet another main or side entry in the series. If anything can use a break, it's this series.
Let the vast library of characters show up as cameos in other games to keep the name alive, but finish off Mortal Kombat for at least a decade. By then, maybe Warner Bros. Interactive can come up with something as innovative as the original blood.
Maybe it's because I spent an incredible amount of time perfecting my game in Halo 2. Maybe it's because the original Halo singlehandedly changed console first-person shooters for the better. Or maybe it's a dozen smaller, but no less significant, reasons that I can't stand what the Halo franchise has become.
Halo 3, released in late 2007, was the last iteration worthy of the franchise. Halo Wars, Halo 3: ODST, and Halo: Reach should never have existed. What once was the pinnacle of console shooters has been relegated to the dollar bin at GameStop and replaced by far better series that are innovating more.
The only game in the franchise worth being released recently is the anniversary remake of the first game, and that's not even a primary title. It's a remake!
To see greed and dollar signs completely take over and dominate such a good series is beyond maddening. They had such a great idea, concept, execution and delivery. And then they squandered it all, releasing games they knew would never cut it. But because they had Halo on the disc sleeve, they knew they would sell millions.
Because Halo 4 is being developed by 343 Industries instead of originator Bungie, I'm not sure I can hold out hope for it.
What the Halo series needs is a long slumber followed by a short and quick awakening. Put the series to rest for a decade and then release a killer title that would once again wow the gamers.
Will Wood Jr.