Note: [All opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect that of GamerXChange]
Game consoles have always been defined by their library of games, usually by the exclusives it has had. PlayStation especially has been defined by their exclusives. On PSone it was Crash Bandicoot, Tomb Raider, and Final Fantasy; PS2 it was Metal Gear Solid, Kingdom Hearts, Gran Turismo, and Grand Theft Auto; and PS3 its been Uncharted, LittleBigPlanet, and inFAMOUS. A very noticeable trend is the lack of major 3rd party exclusives, and while many made a smart decision to move to multiplatform, others made the wrong decision and have suffered for it.
Five Games That Should Have Stayed Exclusive
Final Fantasy – While it did not start as a Playstation exclusive franchise, during the PSone and PS2 era Final Fantasy was Playstation console exclusive. And without doubt, the most beloved entries in the long running franchise were PlayStation exclusive. Now that doesn’t mean Square Enix should have kept the series exclusive but the drop off in quality certainly does. Final Fantasy 13 and 13-2 are extremely controversial but generally hated by many long time fans of the series. There are also rumors that the game was downsized to be able to run on XBox 360. Lastly what audience are you looking for on XBox? While Final Fantasy is more well-known than other J-RPGs in America, a large majority of its audience is on Playstation.
Tekken – Tekken is an interesting case because I can’t find any reason why this is on XBox. At first I thought it might be for competitive gaming, but most fighting games are on PS3 anyway for that. Also Tekken doesn’t have the American presence that Street Fighter does. Heichachi was in Playstation All-Stars so Namco and Sony are still on good terms. And once again the XBox 360 is nearly non-existent in Japan so why port this extremely popular-in-Japan game to 360?
Persona 4 – Yes I’m only talking about Persona 4 because each Persona game is kind of like a mini-series. Persona 4 Arena had no place being on XBox 360, Persona is an extremely popular series in Japan with a niche following in America and the XBox’s struggles in Japan are well documented. And Persona 4 Arena is a sequel to Persona 4 and Persona 3, which were both exclusive to PS2/PSP. Overall I’m guessing this was a failed experiment by Atlus and I doubt we will ever see Persona anywhere other than Playstation going forward.
Crash Bandicoot – Crash Bandicoot was the icon of Playstation One and Sony’s only “classic” video game character but after some IP rights were shuffled around Activision ended up with the rights. And Activision being Activision of course went for maximum profits by going multiplatform with the series. Well that didn’t go well as now the series is long dead and Crash didn’t even appear in Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale.
Naruto – The Naruto fighting game series is one of the few anime series that can stand on its own as a good fighting game. Also it has actually improved this generation, unlike DBZ, and each entry is better than the last. During the PS2 era the Naruto games were PS2 exclusive for the most part but they went multiplatform. Now Naruto is one of the few anime that is popular in America so you can justify putting it on XBox but ultimately it’s not worth it. You know the game will sell significantly better on PS3 and the costs of developing/porting it to XBox could have instead been used to make an even more kick ass game.
Five Series That Were Smart To Leave
Kingdom Hearts – Kingdom Hearts is often considered one of the best PS2 games and is extremely beloved by a generation of gamers. But coming into this generation the series found a home on Nintendo’s handhelds(but will soon be returning to PS3 in HD). And frankly Kingdom Hearts is a perfect fit for the 3DS, much more than the PS3 or Vita.
Metal Gear Solid – Metal Gear is one of the most popular gaming franchises to date, and Metal Gear Solid 4:Guns of Patriots is one of the games credited with saving the PS3. But with the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, the series went multiplatform. Now unlike the Final Fantasy the series hasn’t seen a drop in quality and actually has an audience on XBox. Plus Konami understands and respects the fact that this is still mainly a Playstation game. Metal Gear was featured in the series of videos leading up to Sony’s PS4 conference, Metal Gear Revengence had exclusive DLC for PS3, and the game was generally promoted as a Playstation game.
Guitar Hero – Another series(and genre!) that Activision most likely killed, used to be a Playstation exclusive. In fact the first Guitar Hero was never re-released on any other platforms, but this series definitely had a place on Wii and XBox. Wii especially is a more casual console and Guitar Hero was a force in America for a long time and XBox is much more popular in America.
Grand Theft Auto – Some of my fondest PS2 memories were playing GTA:Vice City with my cousins. Not only was Vice City a PS2 exclusive but also GTA: San Andreas and two PSP exclusive GTA games that were later ported to PS2. While this made sense last generation because everyone had a PS2 it was natural that GTA stop having these exclusive games. Grand Theft Auto is simply too big a series to be exclusive to any one platform, especially since there has only been one GTA game released this generation.
Okami – Okami, the last big PS2 hit, and a game often used as an example of video games as art. It was later ported to Wii and had a sequel exclusive to the Nintendo DS. The stylus was a perfect fit for the game and is in the same boat as Kingdom Hearts where it just made more sense to be a Nintendo game.