Please tell me you're not actually that naive. Neither of those games got bad scores on Metacritic, just average ones(60 and 63 to be precise, with the PS2/Wii versions of Unleashed having higher scores then the PS3/360 versions), so their clearly far from "terrible" like you say they are.
Uh, anything under a 70 on metacritic means bad. Where have you been the past ten years?
Do you need the 4 point scale explained to you?
Uh no it dosen't, green means good, yellow means average, red means bad. Where have YOU been for the last ten years?
For movies, not for games. See, the metacritic color system was designed around movies because metacritic was originally created for movies, which typically score through the entire 10 point scale. Games on the other hand use the 4 point scale:
Also known as school grading. 60-70 is a D. <60 is an F. So those games are straight Ds - terrible.
The thing is, fans have been one upping Nintendo at there own game for years, through romhacking, though fangames, even though entirely new games based on similar ideas. That doesn't make Super Mario Maker pointless or anything, there will always be an advantage to creating a big tool kit and distribution system for levels that makes it easy for the masses to play with. But it does mean the "Can this game be done in Super Mario Maker?" question is a bit silly. What about questions like "Can this game be done with a romhack?", "Can this game be done in one of the many fangames with level editors available to them?" or "Can this game be done by a simple indie game?" that fans have been asking for years?
They aren't really fair questions to ask are they? Fun is fun regardless of how it's made or what it's production values are. The question of "Is this game actually any fun?" is the most important. That said, people probably are probably not going to pay 60 dollars for a game off the same over all quality that they could get for free (or cheap for indies) elsewhere. But that's kind of true with all media isn't it? Why read novels penned by professional writers when people are producing good quality fanfiction or original stories on the net for free (and some are)? Why pay for movies/cable/netflix when people are producing interesting content on youtube for free (and some are)?
Well there are answers to that. It's brand recognition. A brand ideally means a guarantee that what they sell has a particular level of quality, or that you know what kind of product it will be. A brand means it's highly visible and easy to find. The names "Mario" and "Nintendo" mean something, and people who know of them (which is just about everyone) know what to expect from them. You don't need to wade though the crap to get to the good stuff.
Still, I do wonder if old media and traditional publishing and development can keep the trust of the consumer. If people can't trust Nintendo, or any game publisher, or even any media publisher, to sell them what they want, and/or as tools come around that make searching though fan stuff easier and easier, will the entertainment industry as it currently exists slowly shrivel and vanish? Part of me kinda hopes so, because the entertainment industry is kinda filled with jerks. :P Still, I don't really think Nintendo or Mario are going away unless they really really mess up... like Konami.
It's probably the end of the "New Super Mario" era and 2D Mario games but it's not like they ran out of assets to milk. I mean we still have super mario 3D land/world and all the 3D Mario games
Now if they had a 3D Mario maker