Undertale Is Tearing GameFAQs Apart

Undertale Is Tearing GameFAQs Apart

For the last few months, video game website GameFAQs has been hosting a huge poll called “Best. Game. Ever.” It has the sort of games you’d expect in a debate like that. Classics like Super Mario World, Pokemon, and Final Fantasy. And then there’s Undertale.

Altogether, the Best. Game. Ever poll has 128 video game entrants. Every day, GameFAQs posts up to four different polls pitting two different games against each other in 1-on-1 battles. The more votes a game gets, the more battles it can win, and the further along the showdown it can go.

Here’s GameFAQs, on how the entire thing will go down:

The games have been seeded by a combination of user nominations, popularity on GameFAQs, and critical and user game ratings, but don’t forget: This is not a contest to see which game is your favourite, or even which one is the best rated. It’s all a big popularity contest, and visitors who have never visited GameFAQs before will be sure to stop in and vote.

Basically, the website is pretty upfront about how unscientific and for funsies the entire thing is. But, this being the internet, we all know just how heated people can get.

Since its release, Undertale has been kicking a lot of arse — you can regularly spot the humble little RPG on Steam’s “Top Seller” list. More anecdotally, I’ve never seen a game this young command so many dedicated fans: there is Undertale love, particularly Undertale fanart, everywhere. It’s really heartening, given how young the game is.

Fascinatingly, Undertale hasn’t just been performing well in the GameFAQs polls. It’s demolishing the competition, even when it comes to games that are considered sacred by the hardcore gaming community:

Undertale Is Tearing GameFAQs Apart
Undertale Is Tearing GameFAQs Apart

Undertale Is Tearing GameFAQs Apart
Undertale Is Tearing GameFAQs Apart
Undertale Is Tearing GameFAQs Apart

This, in turn, has made some people furious. Among dissenting voters, there’s this belief that there must be something fishy going on here. That there’s no way Undertale deserves the highly prestigious distinction of winning a GameFAQs poll.

If you go to the Undertale forums on GameFAQs right now, you can read threads like these:

Undertale Is Tearing GameFAQs Apart
Undertale Is Tearing GameFAQs Apart

That’s just from today. These arguments have been going on for weeks now, and they have gotten bad enough that the Undertale subreddit has had to shut down discussion of the polls. Fandoms for all sorts of different games, many of which aren’t even in the same genre, have been arguing endlessly because of how well Undertale is performing on an internet poll.

People have even turned to bizarro conspiracy theories, blaming the game’s popularity on ‘social justice warriors’ or ‘furries’ who are banding together to steal the thunder from games that actually ‘deserve’ it. I asked our resident Undertale expert, Nathan Grayson, on why people consider Undertale an ‘SJW’ game in the first place, and he pointed out the following:

  • The game has an androgynous protagonist.
  • There are multiple gay relationships.
  • A lot of the game focuses on feelings (and you can beat the game without combat).
  • Many of the characters are ostracised.
  • It’s a game where characters of many different backgrounds come together.

This of course just makes things confusing, because it essentially means that people hate the game because it tries to be nice….? Uh, sure.

The mischievous part of me kind of wants Undertale to win the whole thing, just to see what would happen. The other part of me remembers that this is a dang GameFAQs poll we’re talking about. Regardless, this situation demonstrates that Undertale’s success hasn’t just gained it a ton of adoring fans; the game now has a lot of haters, too. Truly, Undertale has arrived.


  • Regardless of the seriousness of the whole thing, who’s to say what ‘real’ games are? The best thing about gaming is the sheer diversity of the content games bring, for someone to claim that a certain game doesn’t meet the ‘real’ games category is absurd.

  • I’ve been tracking this recently and initially I have to say I was really pissed off that Undertale was winning all these polls against absolute classics. Then I realised I’m an idiot for feeling like that cause it’s a f’ing GameFAQs poll and I scolded myself for being upset over something so trivial.

  • The guy dissecting what ‘real’ games are makes me want to punch my younger self in the nuts. For years, I wanted people to accept gaming, and that it wasn’t just for kids.
    I get what I want and start rallying against “casual” games that I see as destroying my favourite medium, while ignoring that it actually cultivated the attitude toward gaming I wanted.
    Deciding that Undertale is not a “true” game is like saying Metal is the only “real” music. Idiotic and very narrow in the possibilities those mediums offer.
    For the record, I am not an Undertale fan. At all. The art style grates on me, but I respect some of the ideas it has and the way it flips around RPG tropes.

  • Didn’t know this existed, but I am now going to go to bat for Undertale. Hell yes I’m voting for it. It is truly an amazing game and derserves its fan base.

  • im mad that my nostalgia isnt being scratched! i blame modern gamers, its literally all their fault, they are why we have micro transactions. they wouldnt know a good game if it stole the coins out of their hands and hit them with the cabinet door!
    why cant we go back to when gamers were social losers and there wasnt a massive public acceptance of gaming as an art form!

  • I think a lot of it has to do more with fandom hate than anything else.
    Undertale has a very… vocal, and sometimes obnoxious fanbase. People get sick of hearing about them and can often lash out any way they can.

    It was the same with Bronies, Whovians, Brown Jackets, Steven Universe fans, Homestuck, Welcome to Nightvale.

    History is just repeating itself.

  • Haha it doesn’t matter, it’s an online poll, you’d find a good deal of voters would be young and hence not have played a lot of the classics? I haven’t played it but it sounds really good, but it has to stand the test of time first to be goat right ?

  • I have yet to finish Undertale and have only just passed Undyne. But even from what I’ve played so far I can absolutely understand the popularity the game has mustered. It is a fantastic game with such an amazing combat system and so much tongue-in-cheek moments that it is actually up there as one of my favourite games of this year.
    It is no surprise to me that a game gaining this much fame would encounter a vocal group that derides it. It’s no different from the Pokemon craze that had people calling the game stupid. But when I see that group stating phrases like “not a real game” that it really pisses me off. I remember when I grew up there were good games and bad games. There were never “not” games.
    I think the main reason people seem to get upset over things like this is they don’t want to see their most beloved game get beaten, and will hence put said game on a pedestal and reject any critique. As I grew up I held Zelda: Ocarina of Time to the highest regard and didn’t think anything could top its brilliance. But today with me being older and wiser I can admit to playing better games. Portal, The Last of Us, Bloodborne, Red Dead Redemption… Heck, even Zelda: Majora’s Mask has beaten it’s predecessor on my list of better games. Does that take away from how good of a game OoT was and the impact it had on the industry? Of course not. It just isn’t the greatest game ever.

    • That’s cause to get drunk and flip some police cars right there. People can have their opinions but that is like saying the sky is green. Chrono Trigger 4 life!!

  • To be honest what the snippet of post is right but he is also wrong at the same time. It is not that Undertale is the everything wrong in the industry, games undergo changes depending on the generation that it caters to. Undertale is precisely the game for this generation which people argue that the worst generation for games due to various reasons.

    As a game of year 2015, it is excellent, if this was released 10-20 years ago, this game will probably the worst game in the history due to the content of the game mainly cater for the majority of the vocal community’s complaints, thus making it the “best game ever” because it was the first to do it.

    I would say they have successfully done that and what truly defines a game is the impact they did for the generation and they nailed it.

  • Undertale might be the best RPG of 2015 for sure, but of all time? Nope sorry. 90% of the list mentioned in the complaint snippet is far superior and more worthy of an “all time” title. It’s possible that, like with a lot of these types of polls, it’s heavily influenced by what is popular now by people who might not have played older titles.

    I think the whole “SJW” theory is just stupid, just as stupid as it being brought up in this article and referencing the feud that all not die.

  • I find it extremely funny that the guy crying about Undertale not being a “real” game has Earthbound in his list of examples of “real” games given that Undertale is so heavily inspired by Earthbound that it may as well be an Earthbound fangame.

  • A lot of the game focuses on feelings

    My take away from this article is that hardcore gamers aren’t about stupid girl things like feelings.

    Which is kinda ironic considering the immense amount of butthurt over star wars or girl ghostbusters or a game with androgyny, feelings and friendship. There seems to be a lot of hurt feelings over the broadening demographic base of a range of “geek” hobbies and interests.

    Cry me a river, you morons. I would have called myself a hardcore gamer for close to 30 years. I remember pixels as big as your fist. Typing in games from magazines. I was pumping petrol to afford some computer half you kids would have never heard of. I wrote games on a TRS-80. I poked characters into screen memory on a C64. I exploded my enemies like blood sausages.

    Never have I been as ashamed of the hardcore than now. Gaming finally gets cultural acceptance (for good and bad) and is critiqued as a genuine art form and they close ranks and decide these people aren’t true gamers. Well f*** you guys. And while I am at it, start treating women like human beings, you dumb jerks.

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