Uncharted might have a balls story but a bad story doesn't make a good game bad.
The Uncharted series gameplay still has numerous issues. I like video games being unrealistic, but there's a point when enough is enough. We see the 3 following situations dozens of times by Uncharted 3, and each time presented either in a coy manner or as if it is brand new:
-Nathan Drake is going to hang onto a mountain/something while it collapses and he barely escapes it.
-Nathan Drake will sneak up and take out enemies and then get ambushed.
-Nathan Drake will need to just gun down about 20 people who are firing on him all while looking for an escape route.
The weapons often lack utility options, the gameplay challenges past "enemies do more damage," and after playing 4 of them, it is repetitive. Not in a good sense like fighting games, but in a bad sense that makes me think "I've played this game before, and it is losing its' luster" that hurts replay value.
Okay, here's another unpopular opinion of mine: People really, really need to stop acting like story is everything in video games. It's terrible that in today's gaming culture the phrases "good gameplay mechanics" and "stellar missions and segments" still amount to a 'mediocre' game because of a lame narrative. Which can be circumvented by pressing the start button during cut scenes.
It was the right situation to express my biggest discontent with Uncharted (since the 2 previous posts already documented most gameplay issues and praise), and that was the story-gameplay relationship. I do think since story is a bigger part of Uncharted than it is in other action-adventure series like Tomb Raider or Zelda, that criticizing Uncharted more than such series makes more sense.
My main criticism of Uncharted isn't even the plot is bad, but that it goes against the gameplay, and the gameplay goes against the story. If the story and characterization were bad but flowed with the gameplay, it would be so much more enjoyable.
I will say I agree with your point though... mostly. There are a number of exceptions past this.
Zelda is a fantastic exception. Zelda game have stories are often lackluster, but the story parts are few and far between. Additionally the characterizations are rarely bad and sometimes even great, and that usually plays heavily into the story, along with Zelda's solid lore. That makes the story not feel boring, but rather necessary and like a nice resting point for pacing purposes. In this instance, Zelda's story, characterization, world and gameplay all mesh together incredibly well even when all of those aspects are mediocre. The game becomes greater than the sum of its' parts.
This is why even when I found Skyward Sword a subpar game on all levels (sans music, controls and lore), I still enjoyed it. Everything flowed easily even though it was far too easy of a game, the gameplay was overly simplistic, the enemy design was terrible, and it was essentially a walking simulator. When you see games mesh like this, often even with lacking gameplay, they can still be enjoyable.
Creating an atmosphere that is either fun or makes you think is in many ways another way video games can pique and maintain your attention past gameplay. Video games are more than just gameplay, even though gameplay is a feature in the arts exclusive to video games, that does not mean video games can only be enjoyable via gameplay (decision making and influencing a game and its' world is a hugely underrated aspect!).
Games are games, not books, not movies. A fun game with a bad story is still good, and a boring game with a good story is still bad.
That's not necessarily true. Walking simulators (The Stanley Parable, Gone Home), graphic adventures (The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us) and visual novels (Steins;Gate, Phoenix Wright) don't have much enjoyable gameplay, but the plot can be amazing, and make for a fantastic video game experience. Certain games can be very plot heavy with minimal gameplay that isn't enjoyable and still be fun.
The Ace Attorney series has limited (but solid) gameplay mechanics with a fantastic story and characterization. Despite the lacking and limited gameplay, it is one of the most well-received video game series ever. I played through the first game for the first time this year, and I didn't even notice there was barely any gameplay. I was too busy enjoying the entirety of the game!
Some game parts also have "bad" or incredibly limited gameplay but are engaging for other reasons. Metal Gear Solid 1 has a torture scene where you must press a button rapidly to resist the torture. It is a one-off part of the game, and it is a part of the story and it even influences the story. That part is a not only a nice change of pace, but makes the story and the rest of the gameplay feel like it carries more weight. It enriches the rest of the game. That's good game design on all levels.
While with most games you are right, there are many genres and games and situations where this isn't true.
I do think more games should just abandon story altogether from the game than have a bad story. The Elder Scrolls games benefit by having very little story, and instead huge focus on a grand adventure story. Call of Duty would meanwhile massively benefit from ditching a story in favor of single-player challenges. Overwatch, by keeping the story separate from the gameplay and via PvE events, is slowly creating a massive lust for a story mode, and has kept fans interested in the story and the gameplay, even though the story is limited to CGI Pixar-esk videos at the moment.
Multiplayer games like DOTA, League of Legends, Counter-Strike and Team Fortress have all but abandoned story for gameplay (and lore). That model needs to be looked at more than just excusing terrible stories and single-player campaigns.
Obviously you like Uncharted, otherwise you wouldn't have written such a passionate post about it. While I'll gladly say the first game hasn't aged well, I'll still put out there that the Uncharted series is very good and damn well worth your time if you want a fun third person shooter. Sure, its overrated but overrated should never be equated to bad or mediocre.
I liked it, but I didn't love it. I am disappointed more than anything in the series and its' failure to capitalize on so many aspects (I feel similarly about Zelda come to think of it). Uncharted 2-4 were fun, enjoyable games, but they should have been so much more. That's my penultimate frustration. It sucks seeing good games that could be definitive video game masterpieces not even come close to that. It happens to most single-player games sadly.
I will say there was one part of the series I have nothing but praise for: the dungeon solving (and the buildup and resolution of these segments). In these segments, we got great story buildup, fun characterization, enjoyable and varied dialogue, engaging character building, all while you do an awesome and enjoyable and interactive puzzle.
The puzzle design was consistently impressive and diverse in Uncharted, and the group of people who made the puzzles should make a puzzle-orientated (indie-ish) story game. I would buy it in a heartbeat. I want more of this sort of design in video games please.