Sonic the Hedgehog 2006
When this game was in production, Sega and Sonic Team planned for it to be the new modern classic for the series in celebration of its 15th anniversary, hence why it was simply called Sonic the Hedgehog. Die hard fans around the world, as well as new generations of gamers, were hyped up, excited, and desperate to get their hands on a copy and experience what promised to be an action-packed, 3D adventure as it was rushed out in time for Christmas.
All that followed, however, was bitter disappointment. With a storyline that caused complaints and accusations of promoting beastiality – yes, Sonic and the HUMAN, Princess Elise’s relationship was outlandishly inappropriate – and loading screens that were probably longer and more frequent than the gameplay itself, it wasn’t a good start. On top of that, there are so many glitches in the map and level structure that it’s easy to get stuck in walls and surroundings, as well as losing control of the characters. Sonic the Hedgehog 2006 has been dubbed as one of the worst video games ever made, and we can certainly see why.
Pac-Man – Atari 2600
When we think of Pac-Man, we think of one of the greatest, most famous arcade games ever made with catchy music, simple gameplay, and just the right amount of difficulty. So it’s not surprising that when Atari made a port of the game it became the best-selling title on the 2600, selling around seven million units. However, rather than the quirky and bright waka-waka Pac-Man that we were used to playing at the arcade, we got a map that looked stretched and out of proportion, ghosts that flickered on screen, and graphics so poor that they caused eye strain. Word soon got around that Pac-Man on Atari was terrible and there ended up being around five million unsold copies, as well as many units that were returned by disappointed gamers.
Call of Duty: Black Ops: Declassified
You’re probably wondering why a game from the hugely successful Black Ops series is on this list. Unless you’ve played it, in which case you’ll probably understand straight away. Declassified was a game for the PS Vita and for those who owned the console, this game looked set to be a huge hit. Oh, how wrong we were. If you blink, you’ll miss the entire campaign. Seriously, you could easily complete the story mode in less than a day – massively disappointing when you’ve just shelled out for what you probably expected to be an amazing new game in the series. Not only is the campaign short (and definitely not sweet), but the multiplayer map is so small that when you respawn, you often find yourself already in the face of the enemy. It was actually the second largest release on the Vita in 2012 behind Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation, however it received negative reviews pretty much straight away.
When a successful game series from the 2D era ventures into 3D territory, it either goes extremely well, or becomes a fatal disaster that can actually destroy a whole franchise. For Bubsy, that is pretty much what happened. Previous games were well-received with humorous and entertaining gameplay but our favorite bobcat just wasn’t ready to venture into the third dimension.
Graphics weren’t just bad, they were nonexistent, comprising of simply bright zig-zags and spikes that – despite being loosely based on alien life – bared no resemblance to any kind of location or scenery and were clearly rushed. The controls were impossible and illogical and felt very much like an amateur fan-made game rather than a professionally developed one. Even simple controls such as moving Bubsy around were ruined by poor camera design, meaning you would often have to realign the direction every time you wanted to walk around. The game is widely renowned as one of the worst games of the 1990s and, with a weak storyline and highly irritating quips from Bubsy himself throughout, we can see why.
Whether you are into retro gaming or not, you’ve probably heard about the catastrophe that was E.T. on the Atari 2600. Rumors began that it was so bad, Atari dumped thousands of cartridges into the desert. This actually turned out to be true as copies of the game as well as others (including Pac-Man) were found in a landfill site in Alamogordo, New Mexico. So, why was it so bad?
Well, in a bid for a peak release, the game was made from scratch in literally weeks – so it never really had a chance from the start. With it being an Atari game, graphics can’t really be complained about (despite them being extremely weak with E.T. himself almost unrecognizable). The aim of the game was to collect random pieces of things (best explanation we can give) so that E.T. can go back home. But realizing that this is the mission when you turn this game on takes a long time, as it’s extremely unclear. All you actually do is fall into endless pits of green, green, and more green, until a cop takes you away or you manage to complete the game. Now, whether this is an 80s game on the 2600, or a 2015 game on the PS4 – the plot isn’t exactly riveting, is it? It’s been said that this is the worst game of all time, however, you can successfully play it – we just really don’t want to.
Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing
There are so many things to be said about this game and none of them are positive. Firstly, Big Rigs teases us with an exciting mission: to race your truck and get away from the cops! However, when you actually get into the gameplay, you’ll find that is a total lie. You can’t ‘race’ when, for one, your truck only goes one speed whether going uphill, downhill, or through a wall – yes, through a wall – but also, there are no cops. In fact, there are hardly any other vehicles whatsoever. It’s just you, your Big Rig, and a terribly designed and flawed map.
When you win in the original release (it’s pretty much impossible to lose), you’re rewarded with a trophy symbol and a message that says, “You’re Winner!” Let this wonderful grammar set the standard for the rest of the game. Needless to say, Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing is an embarrassment to the industry and it’s no surprise that so many people regard it as the worst video game ever.
Technically, this could be listed all on its own as part of “the 104 worst video games ever.” Action 52 was an unlicensed game created originally for the NES and later for the Sega Genesis back in the 90s. The concept was great: 52 games for the price of one! However, that one game set you back a whole $199.99. Advertised at being around $4 per game, it was still good value for money. At least, that would be the case if the games were fun, original, or even just at all playable.
Sadly, the majority were badly developed side-scrolling shooters or Space Invader rip-offs, with any other genres crashing altogether after a couple of levels or being so hard to control that you can’t play them at all. Some even had such poor level design that it was impossible to complete them and others didn’t even start. The Genesis version was slightly improved for a 16-bit performance, however, the games were still weak and very glitchy. Action 52’s flagship game was Cheetahmen – an action side-scroller with characters very much like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or Battletoads. However, with grammatical and spelling errors throughout the introduction, careless glitches, and inconsistent health bars, it flopped straight away and poor reviews ceased it from becoming the worldwide sensation the developers expected it to be. Even on the slightly improved Genesis version, the game is painfully difficult ranging from one-hit kills, to lazy level construction.
Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric
It can’t be denied that none of Sonic’s Nintendo games were very impressive (with perhaps the exception of Sonic Colors) and it almost feels like Sega is still trying to get revenge on Nintendo by releasing poor titles. Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric, however, really takes the biscuit. There were reports that the demo alone at E3 2014 was so bad that people wouldn’t even try it.
Yes, it’s glitchy. Yes, it’s the same green jungle-style levels and the same poor controls. It feels like Sonic hasn’t made any progression over the years as the gameplay is almost identical to previous titles with very delayed combat and, quite frankly, boring level designs. The confrontations between Dr. Eggman and Sonic aren’t intimidating or threatening like they used to be. Instead, they come across as a poor attempt at comedy (when it’s just not funny) with patronizing and childish dialogue.
Capcom released this futuristic combat game in 2009 with hopes that it would become a massive success. Truth be told, it’s playable and it’s fun for the first ten minutes or so but quickly becomes another pretty boring action game with mediocre controls. Word of mouth spread like wildfire that it wasn’t exactly exhilarating and as a result, sales stalled. It ended up selling just 27,000 copies in its first month, compared to others games with even worse reviews that sold almost double that. It was very quick to drop its price just to get the game off the shelves and many gamers lost trust in that. One of its terrible qualities that makes it one of the worst games ever made is its storyline. It begins with a lot of promise and continues to stay engaging until… well, without provoking spoilers, let’s just say there’s a big plot twist that we weren’t very, well… armed… for.
With a new and improved Kinect 2.0 and a next generation console at the wheel, you would expect the interactive Fighter Within to be the high action combat game we’ve all been waiting for. Sadly, this is not the case. Although the initial game setup feels full of promise, as soon as you start, the controls fail you. Power-up movements rarely respond, detailed positions often don’t get the attacks you intended, and it feels pretty much like a virtual reality equivalent of ‘button-mashing’ as you flail your arms about and hope that it creates an attack.
Aside from controls, as with most of these dreadful games, the graphics constantly stutter and combat can cause your character to sometimes fall through your opponent. The storyline is basic, but you can tell they weren’t going for an Oscar-winning screenplay. It seemed like they wanted all the focus to be on the Kinect interactivity and unfortunately, even that failed.
Which games do you think shouldn’t have been made? Do you agree with us? Let us know in the comments!
This post was originally written by Claire Pulpher.