10 Video Game Franchises With the Absolute Worst Fan Base

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In the video game world, some games are so engaging that players don’t just play the game; they become immersed in it. As a result, addiction and obsession come into play, which turns casual players into diehard gamers who quickly become toxic – whether it’s for supporting the game or being outspoken against it.

Recently, gamers converged in an online discussion revolving around this topic. The result was the unveiling of ten video games that are known to have a toxic fan base!

1. Call of Duty

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Hands down, the Call of Duty series has the most toxic fan base in 2023. Play one multiplayer game, and your headset will be bombarded by unlikeable and immature gamers who consistently push past the boundaries of acceptable behavior by saying some truly awful things.

For example, it’s common to hear dozens of racial slurs uttered by teammates and enemies alike. You’ll never get used to young kids using words that would get them banned from social media. It’s a wholly Call of Duty problem, and it’s not improving. My advice? Turn off voice chat, and your heart will thank you for it.

2. Minecraft

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Although the open-world building game Minecraft is one of the most popular games ever, its online community has a reputation for, well, just wanting to see the user-created world burn to the ground.

However, one person puts everything in perspective. “I have never been able to enjoy myself on any multiplayer server, EVER, because there’s always a group of jerks who enjoy killing everything that just so happens to exist, take everything they own, and destroy everything they do have,” he reveals. “It’s extremely unenjoyable, and this alone is why I never want to play Minecraft multiplayer ever again.”

3. Madden NFL Football

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Each new release of Madden sadly follows the same format: players lament that nothing changes, everybody gets addicted to the in-game microtransactions, then these players get angry that they’ve spent so much real-life money playing the game. Unfortunately, this cycle repeats every year.

Add in an online multiplayer format that breeds toxicity thanks to players running the same plays over and over and rewarding teams that play no defense —  and you’ve got a football game that has created an entire community of gamers who hate the game they’ve become addicted to. 

4. Final Fantasy

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When a video game series has been around as long as Final Fantasy has – the initial Japanese entry was released in 1987 before coming to the U.S. in 1990 – current fans are bound to be divided with every new release. “Final Fantasy fans hate more than half of the FF games,” reveals one gamer. “Every time a new game comes out, it’s always ‘this is not a real Final Fantasy game,’ and this cycle has been repeating for decades at this point.”

5. Super Smash Bros.

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
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For a game with its roots in local multiplayer action, it’s no surprise that Super Smash Bros.’ competitive online community has generally turned many people off to the series.

Unfortunately, video games are about having fun, and the often-toxic fan base surrounding competitive Super Smash Bros. tournaments is the opposite of enjoying playing a video game. Players worldwide are known to exploit hacks and bugs to gain a competitive edge, eliminating the casual “pick up and play” mechanic the game perfected when it was first released.

6. The Last of Us

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Some games have such a fervent and rabid following that all constructive criticism is viewed as a personal attack on the fans. The Last of Us precisely fits this bill, as countless gamers recall stories of being personally attacked online just because they dared speak out about certain aspects of the game. That’s a sign of a toxic community, and sadly, it’s not exclusive to The Last of Us. 

7. Escape From Tarkov

“Like some people defend the game so hard and are so toxic about it while refusing to acknowledge its flaws, then scream it’s still in beta,” one person confesses. “It has been in beta for seven years!” When it takes developers over seven years to fix core gameplay elements, I must be honest: your game is permanently broken.

8. Destiny

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Add Destiny to the list of video games with legions of players constantly playing it – despite also actively hating it. Sadly, this is a byproduct of being obsessed and addicted to anything, including video games.

After all, they’re designed to get players hooked and keep them hooked! “The Destiny fandom is full of players with Stockholm syndrome that will continue supporting the game despite hating the content, and if you say anything negative about it, you’ll face the community’s wrath,” says one gamer. Yeah, that doesn’t sound like a ringing endorsement for Destiny‘s fan base.

9. Pokemon

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Many gamers have their tale of engaging with a lifelong Pokemon player, which ends the same way. The Pokemon fanatic will immediately take an elitist and condescending attitude towards the other player and ask questions seemingly designed to prove that nobody else loves the game as much as they do.

Unfortunately, this toxicity is a roadblock for newer players to immerse themselves in the game. This exclusionary attitude should be considered obsessive at best – and bullying at worst. 

10. Legend of Zelda

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As one of the only Nintendo titles on this list, it may be surprising that many gamers call out the Legend of Zelda series as having a toxic fan base – but it’s true. According to countless people, the fan base of the Legend of Zelda series is frequently described as elitist, arrogant, and downright unwelcoming.

So, if you find yourself getting into the Zelda games for the first time, I suggest you stay far away from the online communities Zelda fans are known to frequent since it will likely take a toll on your mental health!

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Written by Chris Phelan

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