Ever since people decided that Pong was a video game. there have been countless games created on countless systems. Whether at an arcade, on your PC or on your console, we’ve all had some truly incredible gaming experiences. The only problem is, like with any other form of art, as often as there is a work of art, there is also the other side of the coin. For every good Mario game, there’s a Mario’s Time Machine. For every Grand Theft Auto, there’s a weird copycat version featuring 50 Cent. The point is that in our search for the best games, there are some huge potholes along the way. Not every experience will be as memorable as The Legend of Zelda, as breathtaking as Uncharted or as addictive as most Call of Duty games.
I would warn you about spoilers for some of these games, but not many people have been dumb enough to actually finish them, so it’s impossible to know how they end. Also, we’re going to avoid games with ideas that were destined to fail, like Self-Defense Training Camp (Xbox 360) or Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing (PC). No one cared about these games and it’s likely very few people played them. We’re looking at titles that dragged players in with characters we love or premises that seemed intriguing.
10. Pac-Man (Atari 2600)
Let’s begin our journey into sadness back in the 1980s with our old buddy Pac-Man. Now, let’s be clear here, we’re not discussing Pac-Man in general, because it’s an awesome game, but only this particular version on the Atari 2600. The game was ported from its arcade version to the Atari, but the Atari wasn’t powerful enough to give buyers a true Pac-Man experience. Only one ghost would show up on screen at a time due to frame rate issues and the game had reduced graphics (is that even possible for an Atari game?). Though the game sold exceptionally well, it’s always regarded as one of the laziest ports of all time.
9. Call of Duty: Black Ops: Declassified (PS Vita)
When we were shown the PS Vita, we thought we were being shown the future of handheld gaming with console quality graphics and games on the go. Well, it’s pretty much been a huge disappointment in that regard. The Vita has a ton of awesome indie games, but has very few quality AAA titles in its library. While the Uncharted and Killzone releases were pretty good, Activision’s attempt at Call of Duty on the Vita was horrific. It currently sports a Metacritic rating of 33/100, which is downright shameful. It had a short campaign, weird touch controls that no one wants in a shooter and an awkward multiplayer mode. All in all, a Call of Duty to forget.
8. Aquaman: Battle for Atlantis (GameCube, Xbox)
Yes, they made an Aquaman game and yes, it was horrible. As cool as an actual Aquaman game might be, this was the polar opposite. To put it into perspective, reviewers on Metacritic gave it a 27/100 on GameCube and a 26/100 on Xbox. Reviewers said that the game looked cheap, the combos were confusing and the story was extremely poor. Needless to say, if you’re craving a superhero adventure, you should look elsewhere. Literally, look anywhere else than this massive waste of time.
7. Catfight (PC)
By looking at the box, you must be wondering how this game isn’t on the top 10 best video games of all time list, right? The selling point, apparently, is that this is the ultimate female fighting game, which seems like the most ridiculous premise in gaming history. It’s an extremely sexist idea and is widely regarded as one of the worst PC games ever made. Next Generation put it best when it comes to this game by saying “in fact, it’s tempting to believe Catfight was designed as a sneaky feminist ploy, since it serves as perfect punishment for sexist males who might buy it.” If you see this game in a discount bin somewhere, please buy it and then smash it.
6. Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
Before we dive into this terrible game, it’s worth noting that several other terrible Sonic games have been made and we could’ve selected any number of those to make the list. There have been several terrible ports to other systems and games with ridiculous concepts (Sonic as a Werehog… whatever that is). However, this game absolutely takes the cake. Rushed to market to take advantage of dumb buyers during the Christmas season, this is THE worst Sonic game of all time. Reviewers lamented its annoying glitches, terrible graphics, annoying load times and weird camera movements. I can continue listing its problems, but then we wouldn’t have time for any other games. If you want to play a new Sonic game, opt for Sonic Generations, not this heaping pile of you know what.
5. The Crow: City of Angels (PC, PlayStation, Sega Saturn)
As a rule of thumb, always avoid video games based on movies. Very few have been average and even fewer have actually been good games. Mark this one as one of the worst of all time. The game loosely follows the plot of the film, and is a 3d beat-’em-up that makes you want to beat yourself up for purchasing it. Its score at GameRankings is a sad 23.5/100 and most reviewers state to avoid this game like the plague. IGN was the hardest on this game, giving it a 1/10 while saying the gameplay was slow and the load times were even slower. Luckily, I’ve never played this game, but it somehow still haunts my nightmares…
4. Batman: Dark Tomorrow (GameCube, Xbox)
This is the game that made me skeptical of the Arkham series. Luckily I got over that and played the best superhero games ever made, but still it was tough to trust DC again after this and another entry on this list. The reviews for this game were so harsh that the PlayStation 2 version was cancelled before it could be released. Metacritic has it at a 29/100 for GameCube and 25/100 for Xbox. This terrible superhero game had weird camera movements, repetitive tasks and horrible gameplay. The only redeeming quality it had was the story, but a story alone couldn’t save this piece of garbage.
3. The War Z (PC)
This game makes the list for teasing us with an incredible idea for a game and then yanking it from under our nose. The idea was for an open world, multiplayer survival zombie game. We’ve always wanted it and now we had it… except that this one stunk. Firstly, they promised gamers a lot and have been accused of having falsely advertised many elements of the game. If you looked at the game on Steam, there were promises of a variety of awesome things, but once you purchased and opened the game, it looked like a shell of what they advertised. On top of that, the game was generally awful. There were hackers everywhere, the gameplay was poor and microtransactions were required to get anywhere in the game. A huge disappointment and a huge waste of time.
2. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (Atari 2600)
The game that nearly killed the video game industry and the one that killed Atari. Young people may not remember Atari, but there was a time where they were as powerful in the gaming industry as Sony and Microsoft are now. Apparently the game was created in 5 weeks and rushed to market for Christmas. They expected to sell 5 million units, but only sold 1.5 million and most of those were returned anyway. All the unsold and returned games were buried in a landfill in New Mexico and were recently dug up. They will be used as a torture device for terrorists. The graphics were terrible, the gameplay was horrific and the user was never sure of what they needed to do in the game. It’s commonly found on the list of worst games ever and is usually only found behind the next game on our list.
1. Superman (Nintendo 64)
I’ll never forget my first experience with this game. It was my buddy’s birthday and he kept bragging that his uncle was gonna give him this game as a present. Needless to say, I was pretty jealous. He unwrapped the gift, got what he expected and we scurried downstairs to finally play a game as Superman. 30 minutes later, we were crushed. I still don’t trust anything that has Superman on the cover.
The game was based on the critically acclaimed animated series, but it is the polar opposite of that show in terms of quality. Commonly found on lists of the worst video games ever (and it typically tops the list), this game brings absolutely nothing to the table. The gameplay was poor, the missions were repetitive, the controls were stiff and the graphics were awful. Reviewers absolutely tore into this game and with good reason as they broke mine and many others’ hearts on that day. For shame, Titus (the game’s developer). For shame.
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