The Worst Video Games of All Time

Trust us, you don't want to play these bad video games!
Britt Britt (157)

The video game industry has made great strides since it began. Once known for minimal pixels, high-quality graphics or storylines are basically required for a game to succeed with today’s gamers.

Everyone has a game they’d consider the worst game they ever played; and there have been plenty throughout history that have flopped upon their release, most having never recovered from their failure.

While there are plenty of bad games released every year, the following list focuses on those that are notorious and well-known for their terribleness. To create this list, we’ve scoured the internet for the worst games from popular and well-known sources.

Please enjoy, and hopefully, for your sake, you haven’t played any of these!

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mass effect andromeda deluxe edition
Electronic Arts

Release: 2017- PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Developer: BioWare

Publisher: Electronic Arts

Mass Effect: Andromeda is set after a 600-year journey to the Andromeda Galaxy, as the crew begins searching for a new home for humanity. Instead of the expected paradise, worlds are viewed as wastelands or filled with enemies. Included is an online-multiplayer mode where players must work together to take down enemy forces.

The feeling most get when playing Mass Effect: Andromeda is emptiness. In a plotline and universe that has so much potential, BioWare failed to create a story, set of characters, and open-world that made the player feel important. In previous games, the protagonist was shaped by the player in both initial customization and throughout dialogue choices. However, in Andromeda, players are forced into a pre-determined personality. Missions, both main and side, pretended to be important. At their core, there was little difference they made the overall story and were merely, “go to this place, do this thing, then repeat.” And that’s if you could even complete them with technical glitches. Enemies and NPCs phase in and out due to their failed pathfinding, and lines of dialogue would sometimes overlap one another or get cut off.

My dislike for Mass Effect: Andromeda, is not to be confused with Mass Effect 2 which is a great game!

conan the barbarian mysteries of time nes
Moby Games

Release: 1991- NES

Developer/Publisher: Mindscape

Conan embarks on another quest to gain the throne of Aquilonia. To do so, he must find and return the Four Urns of the Early Kings. This is an action-adventure video game that lasts six levels, but is also a puzzle game, as the player must find the hidden locations of special weapons to defeat bosses.

The biggest complaints about Conan have to do with the control scheme. In most NES games at the time, each button had a different purpose. In the case of this game, however, the character can jump using five different buttons or button combinations. The control scheme isn’t intuitive and requires the player to either memorize the manual or give up. Other issues include low reaction time between the player hitting the button and the character following through, as well as lackluster immersive settings.

deadly premonition pc directors cut
Ignition Entertainment

Release: 2010- Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, Nintendo Switch

Developer: Access Games

Publisher: Ignition Entertainment, Marvelous Entertainment, Rising Star Games, Toybox Games

Deadly Premonition is an open-world survival horror video game set in the fictional, rural American town of Greenvale, Washington. The plot follows FBI Special Agent Francis York Morgan as he investigates the murder of an eighteen-year-old woman, which bears similarities to a series of murders across the country.

We’ll preface this by saying that Deadly Premonition is a polarizing game. While it received many negative reviews with its first release, the re-release Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut became loved for how terrible it was. While it has a cult following, the issues can't be overlooked. Most complaints include Resident Evil-like clunky controls, being unable to move when using a weapon or reloading, repetitive fights, and bad music that tends to be played louder than a cut scene’s dialogue.

If you fail a mission, you can’t restart it, merely replay it and be forced back to the main screen after. You can also only have one save file. Overall, the ambitions of this game were above the skill set and budget of the development team. Still, I can’t let go of how humorously bad this game is. Watching a car drive in circles and then fade into the road itself will do that to you.

marvels avengers pc ps4
Square Enix

Release: 2020- PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia

Developer: Crystal Dynamics

Publisher: Square Enix

Marvel’s Avengers is a third-person, action-adventure game that combines an original, cinematic story with single-player and cooperative gameplay. Players assemble a team of up to four players online, customize a roster of Heroes, and defend the Earth from threats.

The single-player campaign isn’t where players and critics felt the game failed. The failure came from the multiplayer aspect and post-campaign missions. The first patch of the game included fixes for over 1,000 bugs. But that didn’t help much with a player base that is bored with battling in the same places, with the same enemies, and mechanics over and over. The game didn’t live up to the title, and the single-player campaign was the most playable and enjoyable piece of Marvel’s Avengers.

star wars battlefront 2 ea

Release: 2017- PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Developer: EA DICE

Publisher: Electronic Arts

Star Wars Battlefront II is an action shooter video game based on the Star Wars franchise. In a single-player campaign, players experience the story of an Imperial elite special forces soldier. In the multiplayer mode, players battle and pilot a First Order TIE fighter through intense space, and play as ground troopers or iconic heroes and villains. The single-player campaign takes place in the 30 years between the destruction of Death Star II and through the rise of the First Order, introducing Iden Versio, the leader of Inferno Squad, an elite special forces unit of the Galactic Empire. In addition to Iden, players also encounter and play as other iconic Star Wars heroes and villains like Luke Skywalker and Kylo Ren during the campaign.

The ball was dropped in Battlefront II with the story of Iden, as it was less a typical storyline and more like disconnected missions slapped together quickly. Instead of developing the Imperial soldier’s character, the focus is more on being able to witness well-known Star Wars characters. Consider the campaign to be more of a tour through space history rather than an actual plotline.

In fact, the players were harsher than the critics in the reviews. Microtransactions make the game more of a pay-to-win cash grab and riddled with game-crashing bugs. Since release things have improved in terms of the glitches and technical issues, however, players still struggle to avoid having to pay to get improvements to their equipment or progression.

no mans sky hello games
Hello Games

Release: 2016- PlayStation 4, PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S

Developer/Publisher: Hello Games

No Man's Sky is a survival game built around exploration, survival, combat, and trading. Players are free to roam through the entirety of a procedurally generated open world universe, which includes over 18 quintillion planets.

Planets have their own ecosystems with unique forms of flora and fauna, and various alien species may engage the player in combat or trade within planetary systems. Players advance in the game by mining and trading while following the game's plot by uncovering the mystery around the Atlas, an entity at the center of the galaxy.

“Procedural generation is two big words for one simple thing: the creation of data by computers. Procedural generation is usually used to create content for video games or animated movies, such as landscapes, 3D objects, character designs, animations, or non-player character dialogue.” - Jessica Van Brummelen and Bryan Chen, MIT

Even though the worlds were randomly generated by a computer, players found that after exploring a few planets, everything seemed uniform. The controls are unintuitive no matter if it's played on PC or console. The tasks are repetitive and frustrate players when dealing with their NPC counterparts. For a game that’s meant to be unique, it’s incredibly boring and often found to be quite safe, despite the dangers that developers promised.

anthem bioware
Electronic Arts

Release: 2019- PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Developer: BioWare

Publisher: Electronic Arts

Anthem is an online multiplayer action role-playing video game set on an unnamed planet. Players assume the role of Freelancers, heroic adventurers who wear powerful exosuits to defend humanity from the threats beyond their cities' walls.

Let it be known that even though developer BioWare stated they’d planned to overhaul the game, as of February 2021, all development has ceased. The first few minutes of Anthem gameplay are incredibly deceiving, as players soon realize how unfinished the game is. The NPCs found in the home base are interesting, however, they don’t do anything other than tell you what you need to do. With excessively long load times, Anthem players are frustrated with the time they waste traveling versus actual combat time.

nether resurrected
Nether Productions, LLC

Release: 2014- PC

Developer/Publisher: Nether Productions, LLC

Nether is a first-person, multiplayer, survival game, where the player must survive in a landscape based loosely on Chicago. Players must scavenge the world for supplies and fight off the evil monsters that are hunting for them, known as the Nether. There are various NPCs around to trade money for supplies, and other players in the server whom they can choose to trust or not.

The most common remark about Nether is that it has potential but feels unfinished. Players suffer from being vastly under-equipped in an unforgiving world. They commend the graphics and look of the open world, however, it’s difficult to enjoy when all they have to fight off a Nether monster is a weak knife. That knife might not even be hitting the target when they are trying to fight due to terrible hit detection. One of the bigger complaints, however, is the dependence on microtransactions for loot that would help the player survive longer.

cyberpunk 2077 cd projekt red
CD Projekt

Release: 2020- PC, PlayStation 4, Stadia, Xbox One

Developer: CD Projekt Red

Publisher: CD Projekt

Cyberpunk 2077 is an open-world, action-adventure story set in Night City, a megalopolis obsessed with power, glamour, and body modification. Assume the role of V, a mercenary outlaw going after a one-of-a-kind implant that is the key to immortality. Players can customize their character’s cyberware, skill set, and play style, and make choices that can shape the story and world.

Aside from typical release-day bugs, Cyberpunk 2077 is known for how many promised features that weren’t delivered (and weren’t disclosed as being scrapped in development). AI that directed enemies, citizens, and NPCs, a wanted system, immersive police activity that changed based on the player’s crime choices, and smooth gameplay are just a few of the features that went undelivered.

elite dangerous odyssey dlc
Frontier Development

Release: 2021- PC, Playstation 4, Xbox One

Developer/Publisher: Frontier Developments

Elite Dangerous is a space flight simulation game where the player takes the role of a spaceship pilot, and explores a realistic 1:1 scale open-world representation of the Milky Way galaxy. Odyssey is a paid DLC that allows players to explore worlds on foot, undertake ground missions, find work, assistance, and shops in social hubs and meet fellow pilots in person rather than peering at them through the cockpit window.

Considering the Odyssey DLC spent over a month in alpha, you’d think most of the bugs would be handled before release. Many of the issues with the DLC revolve around bugs rather than the content or controls. Bugs include being unable to invite friends because the game doesn’t register they’re online, players not able to see each other due to being on different “instances” of the game, and servers kicking players off for no apparent reason.

crucible amazon cancelled
Amazon Game Studios

Release: 2020- PC

Developer: Relentless Studios

Publisher: Amazon Game Studios

Crucible was a free-to-play multiplayer third-person shooter developed and published by Relentless Studios, a subsidiary of Amazon Game Studios. Teammates need to work together to take down alien creatures, capture objectives, and pursue opponents in pursuit of victory. As of October 2020, development has discontinued.

The execution of Crucible seemed to lack focus. It wanted it to be like Overwatch or Team Fortress 2, but it failed to be a completed system that players could enjoy. It lacked important features of any multiplayer game; such as team chat, voice chat, and a vote-kicking system. Those are all necessary for the players who were lucky enough to even be placed in a match.

friday the 13th nes
Moby Games

Release: 1989- NES

Developer: Atlus

Publisher: LJN

Players take the role of any one of six camp counselors, switching between them as needed, while exploring the Camp Crystal Lake area and being attacked by Jason. The player must avoid the deaths of all counselors or the children they’re taking care of. To win the game, the player must survive for three days, depleting Jason’s life bar each time to move onto the next day.

Considered one of the most difficult horror games, it’s the mechanics of the gameplay that cause the most issues. Between unavoidable hits, unhelpful weapons, and baffling enemies, you also have to worry about Jason randomly appearing and killing you. The battles with enemies and Jason are viewed as repetitive and downright boring. The ending is underwhelming too. After you’ve managed to defeat Jason multiple times, the screen merely says “The End” with no closure for the counselors or children.

mario is missing os nes
The Software Toolworks

Release: 1993- MS-DOS, NES, SNES

Developer: The Software Toolworks, Radical Entertainment

Publisher: The Software Toolworks, Mindscape

Mario Is Missing! is an educational game. The player controls Luigi, who must travel around the world to find and return stolen treasures as part of a quest to find his brother, Mario, who has been captured by Bowser. The computer version is a point-and-click adventure, while the NES and SNES have platform game elements. In the game, Bowser has relocated from the Mushroom Kingdom to the real world, where he has set up his headquarters in an Antarctic castle. Bowser’s plan is to steal the Earth's treasures with the use of the Passcode-Operated Remote Transportation and Larceny System (PORTALS), which allows his Koopas to teleport anywhere in the world. Bowser plans to sell the treasures to buy enough hairdryers so that he can melt the ice of Antarctica.

Because Mario is Missing! was an educational game, reviews were mixed upon its first release. The locations were nearly identical-looking and the gameplay repetitive. The age group for this game is very specific. If you’re older than seven or eight years old, then it’s a very easy game to play. If you’re much younger than that, then gameplay becomes quite difficult. Not to mention that the use of hairdryers as a plot device to melt Antarctica is just random.

tomb raider angel of darkness lara croft pc
Eidos Interactive

Release: 2003- PC, Playstation 2

Developer: Core Design, Beenox

Publisher: Eidos Interactive

A series of grisly murders brings Lara into conflict with a sinister Alchemist from the past and a secret alliance of powerful individuals. At the center of these mysteries are the Obscura Paintings - five 14th century pieces of art that the Alchemist is desperate to repossess. Accused of the murder of her one-time mentor, Werner Von Croy, Lara is pursued by the police while trying to go up against the Alchemist.

The developer’s hope for The Angel of Darkness to bring a new era of Lara Croft failed. Not because it attempted to add more storyline to the action-adventure series, but because the gameplay was so terrible that, in some cases, players couldn’t finish the game. Controls were difficult and unresponsive at times, and the camera was unruly as it panned around without the player’s consent. The game was so poorly received that the developers were never given a Tomb Raider project again and shut down in 2010.

fallout 76 pc bethesda
Bethesda Softworks

Release: 2018- PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Developer: Bethesda Game Studios

Publisher: Bethesda Softworks

Fallout 76 is an online action role-playing game set in 2102, twenty-five years after a nuclear war that devastated the Earth. The player character is a resident of Vault 76, a fallout shelter that was built in West Virginia to house America's best and brightest minds.

In the words of a GameSpot review, Fallout 76 is “a soulless husk of an experience.” Because there are so few interactive NPCs in the world, players feel alone and bored quite easily in the open world. Even with other players on the server, it’s a massive map that the only places players will happen upon each other is at quest locations. Most voices heard are from recordings from dead NPCs, robots, and AIs who are merely there to give information. The Fallout games are known for their moral triggering decision-making, but there’s none of that in Fallout 76. Frame rate lags, freezing frames, and even game crashes make up most of the players’ experiences in the game too. There were even quests that players couldn’t complete. Overall, critics and players felt let down by the hype and promise created by the developers.

evil inside jandusoft silent hill

Release: 2021- PC, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X

Developer/Publisher: JanduSoft

Evil Inside is a first-person psychological horror game. After the death of his mother and the arrest of his father, Mark decides to contact her using an Ouija board. Mark will have to face his greatest fears to discover the truth.

Evil Inside is harshly criticized for being a terrible ripoff of P.T., an interactive teaser for the Silent Hill game franchise. Not only does it have a similar premise, but the mechanic of a looping hallway is nearly identical (including furniture placement and decorations). The only trope of scary games that frightens players are the jump scares. Rather than well-placed sounds or atmosphere, Evil Inside is riddled with sudden loud screams or ghostly apparitions appearing on the screen. The acting is just as poorly executed as the storyline, which thankfully only lasts for an hour’s worth of gameplay.

pacman atari
Moby Games

Release: 1982- Atari 2600

Developer/Publisher: Atari, Inc.

Pac-Man is a maze video game developed and published for the Atari 2600 as an adaptation of the 1980 hit arcade game of the same name. The player controls the title character and attempts to consume wafers while avoiding four ghosts that pursue him.

While the game itself had a commercial success, it’s the prime example that revenue isn’t everything. Even though it had 7.2 million copies sold in its first year, Pac-Man is still heavily criticized even today for its poor graphics that barely resembled the original. Take one look at the original arcade game versus the later video game, and you’ll see the quality of graphics differ. However, it should be noted that the Atari 2600 was released in 1977 causing this Pac-Man video game to have different, and slightly outdated, technological abilities.

dying reborn
Oasis Games

Release: 2017- PC, iOS, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One

Developer: NEKCOM Entertainment

Publisher: Coconut Island Games, Oasis Games

DYING: Reborn is a dark, horror-themed puzzle game that creates a first-person room escape experience. Players will encounter a mysterious fish-head nemesis, a grudge, and a series of never-ending trials.

The point of horror games is that there’s a sense of urgency and fear of consequences. DYING: Reborn is missing both. For one, the player can’t die, merely get stuck on a puzzle. Most players didn’t feel any connection or need to keep going due to lackluster characters and plot. Plus, if the player had the VR game, they only get to play half the game as the developers cut out most of the content.

hotel mario cdi
Moby Games

Release: 1994- Philips CD-i

Developer: Philips Fantasy Factory

Publisher: Philips Interactive Media

Just like with the CD-i Zelda games, there originally were plans for multiple Mario games on the platform, however only Hotel Mario was released. Players control Mario, who must find Princess Toadstool by going through seven hotels in the Mushroom Kingdom. Like most Mario games, each hotel is divided into stages and the objective is to close all doors in each stage. Each hotel ends in a boss fight with one of Bowser's Koopalings, leading up to a battle with Bowser himself.

While Hotel Mario was viewed as better than the CD-i Zelda games (listed below), it wasn’t viewed completely positively. It was enjoyed up until the player started feeling bored from the repetitive levels. Not to mention that the whole goal of the stages were to close doors, which wasn’t all that enticing for players to keep playing. The cutscenes were filled with acting that just doesn’t fit with the rest of the playful Mario series. And if you thought the animation of them looked similar, that’s because they’re created by the same company as the Zelda games.

sonic boom rise of lyric big red button

Release: 2014- Wii U

Developer: Big Red Button

Publisher: Sega

Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric is an action-adventure game where the Sonic franchise characters must work together as they face the deadly snake-like ancient villain, Lyric, and his army of robots. Sonic and his team will travel around the world through ancient ruins, the depths of the ocean, and even back in time to save the world from Lyric’s evil plan.

To put it into perspective, on the first day of release, players discovered a glitch that allowed them to infinitely go higher while using Knuckles’ jump. This is another title trying to be multiple games at once, and it fails at all of them. Most battles are the same, but what makes them unbearable are the times when you’re forced to fight an unbalanced grouping of robots.

Controls are called sloppy due to them being either unresponsive or as if the characters had too much to drink. The biggest aspect and skill of Sonic is his speed, but when the player uses it (either forced by the level design or choosing to) the frame rate suffers. Not only do sound effects not load, but even whole sections of the world will be missing if the player doesn’t do a precise movement. Rise of Lyric is so bugged that it would even cause Wii U systems to fully crash, causing the player to hard reset their system.

soda drinker pro
Snowrunner Games

Release: 2016- PC, Xbox One

Developer/Publisher: Snowrunner Games

Soda Drinker Pro is a video game that simulates the act of drinking soda. That’s it. That’s the game.

Spend one minute watching a gameplay video of Soda Drinker Pro and you can understand why this game is so polarizing between critics and players. The drawn graphics and sound effects make you think the game was made in a day...and you’d be correct. Sound levels need to be lowered once you start the game because of how obnoxious the music and sound effects are. What confuses even me is whether this game was a complete parody of simulation games or not. Either way, critics rate this game as a fail because of how boring and basic the levels are.

Fun Fact: Creator Will Brierly has recently created an AI named Merrill Grambell that’s the first show completely hosted by artificial intelligence as it interacts with guests.

aquaman battle for atlantis
Moby Games

Release: 2003- GameCube, Xbox

Developer: Lucky Chicken Games

Publisher: TK Mediactive

After a long absence and being presumed dead, Aquaman's mortal enemy Black Manta has returned. Manta intends to terrorize and ultimately destroy Aquaman's kingdom of Atlantis. Little does Aquaman know that there is an even greater enemy waiting, who will attempt to take the Throne of Atlantis right out from under him. Duh, duh, duh!

The biggest complaints revolve around how basic and bland the game is as a whole. The enemies are the same, the battles are the same, and the environment is just as boring. Aquaman: Battle for Atlantis seems more like an underwater wasteland with a lack of neutral beings, aquatic life, animated backgrounds, or ground objects. Cutscenes consist of comic-like slides instead of animated scenes and there’s no voice-over, let alone a variety of sound effects.

mad dog mccree
Moby Games

Release: 1990-2013- Arcade, 3DO, DVDiOS, PC, Nintendo 3DS, Philips CD-i, PlayStation Network, Sega CD, Wii

Developer: American Laser Games, CapDisc, Digital Leisure, Engine Software

Publisher: American Laser Games, Atari Games, Capcom, Philips Media, Digital Leisure, Majesco Entertainment

Note: For the sake of this review, we’ll focus on the 3DS version since it’s the most recent version that hasn’t been altered greatly from the original game released in 1990 for the Arcade.

The player must stop the ruthless outlaw Mad Dog McCree along with his group of fugitives. Mad Dog McCree and his band of cutthroats has ridden into town, kidnapped the Mayor and his daughter, and taken them to his hideout. It’s up to the player to save the town and the day.

Gameplay is very limited as Mad Dog McCree is more of an interactive movie than an actual video game. The storyline is poorly acted and meant only as the reasoning behind equally poorly made gunfights. On the 3DS, there’s little correlation between where you place the stylus and where the bullet fires upon. When the player finally figures out the controls, thankfully it’ll only take about 15 minutes to complete the game. There are plenty of other issues, including sound quality, that are consistent throughout its many releases on various platforms.

survivor interactive game

Release: 2001- PC

Developer: Magic Lantern

Publisher: Infogrames

Based on the American version of the TV series Survivor, this PC game was published by Infogrames (now known as Atari SA). It allows players to play as any of the original Borneo or Australian Outback cast members, the first and second seasons of the show, respectively. The game also included a character creation system for making custom characters.

If you’ve ever wanted a game that has exactly the same challenges every time, then this one’s perfect for you. While critics didn’t mind seeing live-action scenes from the actual show, the animations that make up most of the game are horrendous. There’s a severe lack of variety in the challenges through the game’s “season” and the only voice actor in the game is the host. To sum it up, PC Gamer wrote in their February 2002 issue, “Getting voted off THIS island makes you a winner, not a loser.”

tenkai knights brave battle
Bandai Namco

Release: 2014- Nintendo 3DS

Developer: Delta Arts

Publisher: Bandai Namco Games

Fight evil robots as the heroes of the anime series in Tenkai Knights: Brave Battle. The game involves the group Guren, Ceylan, Toxsa and Chooki, who accidentally fall through an inter-dimensional portal. They find themselves in another world and have assumed the roles of Bravenwolf, Tributon, Valorn and Lydendor; otherwise known as the legendary Tenkai Knights who protect the dimensions.

This game struggles with deciding what it wants to do. In cutscenes between characters, some will have voice lines while others just have text the player has to read. There’s a lack of logical progression in the level stages. You could spend an hour easily defeating enemies and missions, then suddenly end up restarting the same level multiple times because of how difficult it suddenly becomes.

amy vectorcell
Lexis Numérique

Release: 2012- Xbox 360/PlayStation 3

Developer: VectorCell

Publisher: Lexis Numérique

AMY is a survival horror game where players must protect and escort Amy, an eight-year-old autistic girl with unknown powers, as they try to get her out of a city overrun with wild creatures and enemies. The story follows Amy and the player character, Lana, as they work together to fight or flee in the hope of saving not only each other, but also the future of humanity itself.

Having to handle the child Amy and not have her run off into a hoard of zombies when you leave her for a few seconds isn’t the worst part of this game. Instead, it's a combination of bad controls, repetitive and boring puzzles, and frustrating gameplay. Lana can’t engage in unarmed combat, but the game doesn’t add in easy-to-find weapons for her to use. There are limited checkpoints and no auto-save, causing many players to rage-quit before finishing the game. The game seems to have been released for an outdated console and not the Playstation 3 or Xbox 360. In fact, the game was meant to release for PC but was canceled due to such a negative response.

charlies angels
Gamers' Temple

Release: 2003- GameCube/PlayStation 2

Developer: Neko Entertainment

Publisher: Ubisoft

Charlie's Angels is based on the first and second film in the series. It continues the plot line of private investigators Alex Munday, Dylan Sanders, and Natalie Cook as they attempt to solve the mystery of a series of missing national monuments. While the heroines don’t use firearms, but they can attack with blunt weapons and certain environmental objects.

Much like other movies made into a video game, this one disappoints. The character models are blocky and movement is clunky. Navigating around the world frustrates players because suddenly walls or obstacles will appear in the way. There’s also an on-screen arrow that guides the player to the next objective, though it has a nasty habit of leading players into barriers or stairways that seem insurmountable. With minimal variety in both enemies and fight moves, the character models glitch around the screen. Even the player’s chosen character will start randomly moving without the player’s instruction.

fighters uncaged ubisoft
Gamers' Temple

Release: 2010- Xbox 360

Developer: AMA Studios

Publisher: Ubisoft

Utilizing Microsoft’s Kinect technology, Fighters Uncaged is a single-player fighting game. The player controls the protagonist of the game, Simon, through his attempts to win an illegal fighting tournament to help get his father out of trouble with a crime lord. Simon can do a range of different actions, and the player can execute special moves by shouting in the direction of the Kinect.

The biggest issue of Fighters Uncaged was the controls. Not only were they unintuitive, but they were barely recognized by the Kinect. With unflattering graphics, the players were forced to repeat the same fights to even progress in the game. In the summary above, it’s assumed there’s a storyline to the game. There isn’t. In fact, the information about Simon’s father is only mentioned in the instruction manual. As IGN put it, “It looks and plays like it was rushed.”

zelda link cdi wand of gamelon faces of evil
Moby Games

Release: 1993-1994- Philips CD-i

Developer: Animation Magic, Viridis Corporation

Publisher: Philips Interactive Media

This is a trilogy of action-adventure games produced by Philips for their CD-i format as part of Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda video game series. The first two games were released simultaneously and were side-scrolling, while Zelda’s Adventure, was released 8 months later and was top-down and included live-action scenes. Link: The Faces of Evil puts the player in control of Link, who goes on a quest to defeat Ganon and rescue Princess Zelda. Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon changes the roles and has the player control the princess, who goes out to save Link and defend her kingdom from Ganon. Both must travel to a new world to thwart Ganon's plans. Zelda’s Adventure follows the non-traditional Zelda-saves-Link storyline, in which Link has been captured by Ganon. She must collect the seven celestial signs scattered all throughout Tolemac in order to rescue him.

While positively viewed at first release, decades later many have harshly criticized the trilogy for its early '90s graphics. The Faces of Evil and Wand of Gamelon were highly anticipated and originally praised for its unique animated cutscenes. Even in modern reviews critics have complimented level backgrounds taking the poor hardware design of the CD-i into account. The acting is meant to be taken seriously, but it's laughable to hear (or watch in the case of the third game). In fact, Zelda’s Adventure couldn’t play sound effects or music at the same time. The controls are the biggest complaint from players and critics, especially for the third game, Zelda’s Adventure. Take all that, add in long loading times when walking from one screen to the other, and be ready for an infuriating gaming session.

fast and furious showdown activision
Moby Games

Release: 2013- Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, PC

Developer: Firebrand Games

Publisher: Activision

Fast & Furious: Showdown takes some of the franchise’s iconic characters (everyone except Dominic Toretto) on a “high-stakes” adventure around the globe. Players can switch roles with their AI partners or team up with a friend for a two-person local co-op. The story begins with a cut scene featuring Monica Fuentes finding Riley Hicks digging around through files in her office. Riley introduces herself and states she is going to meet Luke Hobbs in 24 hours, and needs to know everything Hobbs has been up to. The missions are the events told by Monica to explain what Hobbs had been dealing with. Through this, various events from the movies, like the safe dragging scene from Fast Five, or the hijacking scene from Fast & Furious are presented.

A game for a big movie franchise always has more expectations, and Fast & Furious: Showdown doesn’t meet them. Many comment that the game felt as if they took a prototype of another and added in the Fast & Furious elements. Aside from its terrible graphics, the game is incredibly quick to finish compared to other games in its price point at the time. In only 2.5 hours, players finish a game filled with bugs, sometimes impassable, and missions that end for no reason at all.

night trap sega
Moby Games

Release: 1992- Sega CD

Developer: Digital Pictures

Publisher: Sega

In Night Trap, the player takes the role of a special agent tasked to watch over teenage girls having a sleepover. Unknown to the girls, the house is full of danger. The player watches live surveillance footage of the house and triggers traps to capture anyone seen endangering the girls. The player can freely switch their view between different cameras to keep watch over the girls and eavesdrop on conversations to follow the story and listen for clues.

While it was praised for its smooth video animation and humor, it was heavily controversial for its shallow gameplay. In 1993, the US Senate held hearings on the violence of video games, which claimed Night Trap promoted aggression towards women and had gratuitous violence. The game was even removed from store shelves in Toys "R" Us and Kay-Bee Toys, after both received numerous complaints. Still, the game was released on multiple consoles (most recently the Nintendo Switch) even though many continued to dislike the game. We can’t forget to mention that the game is so fast-paced that you can barely keep up, let alone enjoy the game. To sum up how people feel about this game, here’s what Next Generation magazine had to say in a 1995 issue, “Just forget it. Leave it alone. Let it die.”

ninjabread man
Moby Games

Release: 2005- Playstation 2, PC, Wii

Developer: Data Design Interactive

Publisher: Metro3D Europe, Data Design Interactive, Conspiracy Entertainment

Ninjabread Man is an action-adventure platformer with a total of three levels in the game. In order to proceed to the next level, players must collect eight power rods to activate a teleporter. The Ninjabread Man can attack enemies with a samurai sword or throw shurikens.

Perhaps, if this game was published a decade earlier, its rudimentary gameplay could be excusable. The enemies are barely aggressive, the controls barely responsive, and excitement barely existent. One reviewer wrote they’d rather play E.T. (discussed later) than play this short-lived game. If you want to try the same game but with a different theme, then try out Anubis II, Myth Makers: Trixie in Toyland, or Rock ‘n’ Roll Adventures since they’re all exactly the same!

leisure suit larry box office bust team17 codemasters

Release: 2009- PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3

Developer: Team17

Publisher: Codemasters

Box Office Bust features Larry Lovage, the main character of Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude, whose uncle Larry Laffer, asks for his assistance at his movie studio. Throughout the game, he does odd jobs while trying to uncover a mole from a rival studio that is attempting to sabotage Laffer Studios.

In most games, it’s not a negative thing for there to be an open, sandbox world. In the case of Box Office Bust, however, it is. Players are forced to find golf carts from around the setting if they want to avoid long walking times to get to their goal. If a player fails in a side job, they are then forced to restart the whole mission and not from a checkpoint. Also, if you end up attracting the attention of the studio security, you don’t get to evade them or bribe them off, you instead have to restart the whole mission. Other issues include hard controls, a camera that gets wonky, and mediocre writing.

infestation survivor stories war z
OP Productions

Release: 2012- PC

Developer: Hammerpoint Interactive

Publisher: OP Productions

(Formerly known as "The War Z") It has been 5 years since the outbreak, giving rise to a post-apocalyptic nightmare with 95% of the human race wiped out. To survive, the player will require food, weapons, and other supplies which can be scavenged throughout the world or from other players. All the while, they must encounter and battle both zombies and players.

Firstly, let’s address the name change. Originally called The War Z, the United States Patent and Trademark Office suspended the request to trademark the name, most likely due to the upcoming World War Z movie. Executive Producer Sergey Titov refuted the claim, even though the USPTO website confirmed the suspension. This is one of many unprofessional remarks and actions in the history of the Infestation: Survivor Stories game from the OP Productions team. In fact, the day after release, the developers tried to implement unreasonable wait times which could be ignored for in-game currency (aka microtransactions).

Bad business practices aside, the promised gameplay in the alpha and press release was missing upon full release. With a high spawn rate for weapons and fear of hackers, players felt punished rather than enjoyment in the challenge of a PVP game. There were plenty of missing features that are standard to video games, such as skill points and missions. In April 2013, just five months after release, the game and its forums were taken offline.

et extra terrestrial atari
Moby Games

Release: 1982- Atari 2600

Developer/Publisher: Atari, Inc.

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is an adventure video game based on the film of the same name. The main objective is to get the character through various screens to collect three pieces of an interplanetary telephone that will allow him to contact his home planet.

E.T. is another game famous for a great release until people started actually playing the game. It was rushed to be retail ready for the 1982 Christmas season, which meant only 5 weeks of production was possible. The main complaint about the game is the world itself. Howard Scott Warshaw, the creator of the game, wanted a unique world from the movie. So he created a wraparound world that returns the player to the same screen without any explanation.

The pits that players had to avoid were sometimes impossible when going from one screen to the next. Overall, players found the game to be boring and instructions confusing. While marketed as a game for kids, players had to memorize different power zones and what E.T.’s powers were in those specific zones (and they were all randomized for each game). While many ridicule the graphics of the game, they weren’t much different from other Atari games at the time.

vroom in the night sky nintendo switch

Release: 2017- Nintendo Switch

Developer/Publisher: Poisoft

Vroom in the night sky is a magical bike action game where the player controls a magical girl who rides on a flying scooter. She collects items called "Stardusts" while shooting missiles at giant circles to open a portal.

This game is the perfect example of how Nintendo is slacking to gatekeep the Switch’s eShop. Ignoring the poor translation from Japanese to English, the game lacks in magical graphics to match the magical girl players control. With no storyline, the game is incredibly easy to get through. The most amusement players get is from the random dialogue between the main character and a random flying companion that’s poorly translated.

superman 64
Moby Games

Release: 1999- Nintendo 64

Developer/Publisher: Titus Interactive

In Superman: The New Superman Aventures (yes, that is how it’s spelled on the box), Lex Luthor has trapped Jimmy Olsen, Lois Lane, and Professor Hamilton in a virtual reality version of Metropolis, created with the help of Brainiac. It’s up to Superman to save them and break apart the virtual world. The game switches between outdoor levels where the player flies through rings while saving civilians, and indoor levels where the player looks for access cards, activates computers, and fights well-known Superman franchise villains such as Brainiac and Parasite.

Overall the game, also known as Superman 64, was ridiculed for its repetitiveness, difficult and confusing objectives, poor controls, numerous glitches that interfere with gameplay, and poor graphics. The game also has an introductory ring maze sequence that is notorious for frustrating and surprising new players and leaves nearly no room for error. The game’s developers, Titus Interactive, was harshly criticized for the poor quality of the game even though they kept pushing it as a financial success. Titus also stated that they had bigger plans for the game and blames Warner Bros as the two were having creative differences throughout the game’s development.

plumbers dont wear ties
Moby Games

Release: 1993- PC

Developer: United Pixtures

Publisher: United Pixtures, Kirin Entertainment

Plumbers Don't Wear Ties is a romantic comedy visual novel/dating sim. The player makes storyline choices in a DVD menu-style manner. The game stars Edward J. Foster and Jeanne Basone as John and Jane; two people who are being pressured by their respective parents to go out and find a spouse. The goal is to get John and Jane together.

Many initial negative reviews were due to original advertising showing the game as a full-motion video game (FMV) but actual gameplay was presented as a slideshow using mostly still images instead of full-motion graphics as well as random, out-of-place color filters. The game is noted for its unbelievable storyline and poor acting. As written in the July 1994 issue of PC Gamer, this game has, “the wit and charm of an elephant’s arse.”

family party worst video game wii u
D3 Publisher

Release: 2012- Wii U

Developer: Art Co., Ltd.

Publisher: D3 Publisher

Family Party is a party game with two modes of playing the mini-games available: Challenge Mode and Freeplay Mode. Despite the name, there are 35 mini-games in total which are spread across five different worlds, with each world having five Wii Remote games and two games that use the Wii U Gamepad.

Criticisms target every aspect of this game, even its long-winded title. Graphics appear outdated compared to other titles released on the Wii U, the voice acting was obnoxiously loud and repetitive, and the game barely utilized the Wii U Gamepad features. Metacritic reviewer Jrwchil said it best, “If you think of this disc as a coaster to put your coffee on it's a great game, it comes with a free box to wedge your door open on a hot summers night too.”

big rigs over road racing worst video game
Moby Games

Release: 2003- PC

Developer: Stellar Stone

Publisher: GameMill Publishing

Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing is a racing video game where the player controls a semi-trailer truck (aka big rig) and races an opponent through checkpoints on US truck routes. The player chooses from four playable semi-trailer trucks and five truck routes, and the player navigates their truck through checkpoints using the arrow keys.

Although the game states the objective was to race, deliver cargo, and avoid the police, neither cargo nor police were featured in the game. Selecting the fourth route in the menu will cause the game to crash, and there is no collision between the player’s truck and the opponent. In fact, before a patch, the opponent didn’t even move. Now, the opponent will stop before reaching the finish line, meaning guaranteed wins for the player. There also is no time limit to complete a race, so if you wanted to drive off the road and view the poorly textured landscape, you could.

That's it for our worst video games of all time list! If you'd like to cleanse your video game industry palette, check out the below links that focus on the best video games!

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Britt Britt (157)

Every February, stores are stocked up on chocolates, flowers, and any type of other red item they can sell people.