Atomic Heart May Not be Perfect, But It's Just Right for Game Pass
Image Source: Mundfish

Top 10 Most Disappointing Games of 2023 So Far

The crispiest of critters...

Like godrays emanating from the heavens, we’ve often placed a video game we really, really want atop a pedestal and waited patiently for it to release… only to be kicked in the crown jewels like the foolish suckers we truly are. Yes, there’s nothing worse than having your hopes dashed by promise and potential. I mean, we’ve all been there, right?

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So, as we cross over into the latter half of 2023, we thought that now would be an ideal time to round up the top ten most disappointing titles of the year so far. In some ways, these are worse than straight-up terrible games as they at least had a shot at being great…

10. Minecraft Legends

Minecraft Legends Split Screen
Image Source: Mojang Studios/ Blackbird Interactive

Despite Minecraft Legends‘ entertaining cocktail of real-time strategy and tactical action, it unfortunately falls foul to one major thing: it’s criminally and overwhelmingly fine. Really, compared to the creative phenomenon of its blocky mega-hit origins, it plays more akin to 2020’s middle-of-the-road spin-off, Dungeons, in that it feels like it was created in a sterile boardroom following months and months of rigorous focus testing.

Sure, it may not be offensively bad by any means, and if you have a few friends to play with, then there’s definitely something meaningful here to engage with. But, if you’re going in solo and you’re expecting a mind-blowing experience, we’d suggest recalibrating your expectations.

9. Forspoken

Forspoken’s Story Was Completely Rebooted According to Writer: “The Version We Did Was Nothing Like That”
Image Source: Luminous Productions

Few titles have received the cold shoulder from gamers quite like Square Enix’s action-RPG, Forspoken. Pummelled into the mud for its cringey dialogue, empty open-world and excruciatingly slow exposition-heavy story, the brand new IP was the final game from Japanese studio, Luminous Productions, which was shuttered a month following the launch of the beleaguered parkour ’em up.

While there’s some fun to be mined from its fluid moment-to-moment action, the generic “fish out of water” narrative and the eye-rollingly cheesy to-and-fro between the protagonist Frey and her talking Cuff can get pretty darn aggravating for all the wrong reasons. Only the most patient and stoic need apply.

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8. Crash Team Rumble

Crash Team Rumble, most disappointing games of 2023
Image Source: Toys for Bob

At best, this is some decent throwaway entertainment wrapped up in that familiar Crash Bandicoot aesthetic. At worst, however, this is a low-hanging fruit cash grab that fails to capitalize on what makes the iconic series so appealing and special.

Indeed, this 4v4 competitive multiplayer action title does boast some decent maps and anarchic fun, especially if you have some friends in tow. Thing is, players would’ve likely been a lot happier to stomach the paltry amount of content, lack of local couch co-op, unbalanced roster and egregious monetization tactics if the game was free-to-play. Unfortunately, it’s not. Instead, you’ll have to cough up $30 for the privilege of getting in on the fun and frolics, which is a big poke in the eyeballs if you ask us.

7. Layers of Fear (2023)

Layers of Fear remake, which graphics mode is best? Quality or Performance?
Image Source: Bloober Team

Talking about games that can get pretty darn aggravating, Bloober Team’s modernized remake of its first-person Victorian horror series wants to extend its gangly arms and creepy fingers to shake hands. Indeed, despite a fairly positive halo surrounding the first Layers of Fear title, this retooled package is all glitzy window dressing sans any true, long-lasting terror.

Even though some of the disturbing imagery and the occasional jump scares will get your blood pumping, the overarching experience feels far too rote and routine to truly stand tall with the other greats in the horror genre. Yes, it may be a far cry from truly awful, but it’s hardly a memorable outing from 2023.

6. Everybody 1-2-Switch

Top most disappointing games of 2023, Everybody 1-2-Switch
Image Source: Nintendo EPD

Some call it The Killer of Joy. Others call it The Party Buster. I simply call it… Armageddon: The Game.

Admittedly, I was one of the only people in the entire world who actually gleaned some fun from the original 1-2-Switch. But by contrast, its follow-up is about as enjoyable as watching grass grow and paint dry, while pouring molecular acid on your junk.

The good thing? If you have any friends that you really want to carve out of your life, you can always use this game to do your bidding. Seriously, any sane person would turn heel and run for the hills if they saw this booting up on a Switch near them. I guess that’s something sort of positive, right?

5. Blood Bowl 3

Blood Bowl 3
Image Source: Cyanide Studio

Blood Bowl 3 is one of those ill-conceived sequels that’ll leave you scratching your head wondering what on earth the developer actually did that warrants calling it a sequel. Not only is it incredibly buggy, riddled with microtransactions, and cursed with awful AI, but it also looks really rough to boot.

That’s right, this grisly turn-based sports title — which is the video game adaptation of the classic Games Workshop tabletop boardgame — is the absolute pits thanks to recycled assets, constant online disconnects and a general lack of polish. Want our advice? Steer clear of this dodgy cash grab and pick up its far superior 2015 predecessor for a fraction of the price. Seriously, you’ll thank us later.

4. The Last of Us Part 1 (PC)

The Last of Us Part 1 (PC), Most disappointing games of 2023 so far
Image Source: Naughty Dog

It pains me to include one of my favorite games of all-time on a list like this, but what’s a boy to do when Sony and Naughty Dog release a PC port so buggy, broken and terribly optimised that it quickly becomes the butt of the joke for waves of memes and gifs across the globe.

From Joel and Ellie sweating profusely for absolutely no reason at all to hair and facial textures so awful it’ll make your eyes melt, the PC port of The Last of Us: Part 1 was an unmitigated disaster that still haunts my waking hours. Thankfully, many of the bugs have been fixed via post-launch support. Nevertheless, it still deserves a spot on this list for how botched the PC version turned out to be.

3. Redfall

Redfall
Image Source: Arkane Austin

On paper, Redfall sounds like it could’ve been something truly special: An open-world class-based first-person shooter where you and up to four friends take on throngs of vampires in a dark action-packed thriller. Where do we sign up? Unfortunately, Arkane Austin’s execution was far from perfect.

Instead, what we recieved was a half-baked looter-shooter plagued with technical problems, repetitive missions, sub-par visuals, an incredibly boring plot, and a lifeless world. Much like an ancient blood-sucking Count hidden in the mountains of Transylvania, there’s the bones of something decent here if you look really, really hard. It’s just a damn shame that it’s bogged down with so many technical, narrative and gameplay issues that overshadow the entire experience like a crucifix to ol’ Drac’s mug.

2. Atomic Heart

Atomic Heart
Image Source: Mundfish

Speaking of games that showed a lot of promise and potential, Mundfish’s Atomic Heart is undoubtedly one that hurt us the most. Not only is its alternate history setting genuinely compelling, but its horrifying robotic uprising narrative actually led us to believe that we may have a “Soviet BioShock” on our hands. Then we played it and listened to some of its show-stopping dialogue. And our ears began to bleed… profusely.

In fact, we’d wager that this game’s dialogue is the worst of 2023, and that’s including a year which saw the release of the aforementioned Forspoken. Like, we legit wanted to gouge our eyes out every time our macho protagonist uttered the words: “Crispy freakin’ critters!” And, oh boy, did he say it a lot. But on top of all this, we also had to endure a cavalcade of bugs, tedious looting, a lifeless open-world, and some annoying first-person platforming. Talk about missed opportunities, huh?

1. The Lord of the Rings: Gollum

The Lord of the Rings: Gollum
Image Source: Daedalic Entertainment

It’s incredibly rare for a game to launch only for the developer to quickly issue a statement apologising for the state it’s in. But Daedalic Entertainment’s The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is an entirely different kettle of fish compared to other indie titles of its ilk.

Despite a semi-interesting premise centered around everyone’s favorite ring-obsessed troglodyte, Gollum was cursed from the outset with a full-priced $60 price tag, abysmal technical problems, game-breaking bugs, a boring plot, and iffy controls. The game’s poor reception and the inevitable fan backlash likely contributed to the studio’s closure. Though, one thing is for sure: this is hands down the worst ever Lord of the Rings title ever conceived. Period.


And those are our picks for the most disappointing games of 2023 so far. But, how about you? Tell us, did we miss anything? And what are your picks? Sound off in the usual place down below to let us know!

Featured Image Credit: Mundfish


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Author
Image of Dylan Chaundy
Dylan Chaundy
Dylan is a Senior Writer at Twinfinite and has been with the site for over two years, and in the games media industry for over a decade. He typically covers horror, RPGs, shooters, Roblox, indie titles and movies, and loves reading, pizza and skateboarding; ideally, at the same time. He has a degree in English Literature from Aberystwyth University, Wales. He thinks FTL may be the most perfect game ever created.