Folks, not all games can be winners. For every Witcher 3 or Red Dead Redemption, there’s a boatload of embarrassingly bad games to counteract them.
To be fair, certain factors can determine if a game ends up being received poorly or not. Sometimes money runs out, the AI is bad, or a game is simply overhyped for too long.
But then there are some seriously bad games out there. So bad that it’s sacrilegious to even utter their names. Games so painfully and disgustingly bad that they have become infamous for how terrible they are.
What are they? Dare I tell you? Are you sure? Well, okay, but don’t say I didn’t warn you. Here is a list of 40 worst video games of all time.
Aliens Colonial Marines (2013)
I am a huge fan of the Alien franchise. That’s why when I heard that they were making an FPS based off of the series, I couldn’t be more excited. I’m not a huge preorder guy, so I wanted to see what the critics had to say when it finally released.
I was hoping that I’d be in for some good old-fashioned Alien blood & gore. Turns out, sometimes it pays to not preorder. I dodged the proverbial bullet here.
Released on Xbox 360, PS3, and PC in 2013, Aliens Colonial Marines turned out to be such a disappointment that Alien fans everywhere were so incensed, so monumentally pissed, that they slapped the creators with a lawsuit.
They claimed that Gearbox and SEGA participated in false advertising of the game. They were promised a badass authorized sequel to 1986’s Aliens. Instead, they got one of the buggiest major releases of a game in history.
Poor communication with the publisher, not meeting deadlines, and more stopped Colonial Marines from being the Alien game we all wanted.
It irks and disturbs me to even give this game lines of text. In the 2015 PC shooter game Hatred, the player takes on the role of a disgruntled, nihilistic spree killer who has had it with society.
The game’s dreary black and white color scheme get old quick, and the bloody, relentless violence, while somewhat flashy, can get old extremely fast. A game with that much endless cringy edginess has no business being this one-note.
It was announced in 2014 for a 2015 release on Steam. However, it was removed from the platform for its dark tone and graphic violence. Unfortunately for the gaming public, it was put back on Steam shortly thereafter.
I think it would have been better if it were canceled. If I wanted to hear such lame, edgy one-liners, I can just wander into my nearest mall’s Hot Topic.
BMX XXX (2002)
With the success of Tony Hawk’s Skateboarding franchise, BMX fans were sorely underrepresented in gaming. Sure, you had a few miscellaneous items, but nothing matched what skateboarding was in terms of quality.
I’m sorry to say, but it didn’t get better. Enter BMX XXX, the X-rated BMX video game. Yes, you read correctly. What does every BMX fans want in a game? Did you answer ‘great visuals’? What about ‘solid game physics’?
Sorry, if you didn’t answer ‘boobs’, then you lose! The developers thought that adding raunchy humor and nudity would help sales of the sports game.
This was a poor attempt at cashing in on BMX, and the unofficial BMX ‘ambassador’, Dave Mirra, actually made himself scarce when Acclaim told him the ‘creative’ direction they were taking the game.
What do you do then? You make it for multiple platforms, of course! It was released in 2002 for Xbox, PS2, and Gamecube. BMX XXX is an insult to BMX fans and gamers alike.
Duke Nukem Forever (2011)
As a big Duke Nukem 3D fan, this one hurts. As a kid, I remember blasting aliens in the silly world of Duke Nukem, a great parody of an action movie star.
This game was actually announced not long after Duke Nukem 3D, in 1997. it was delayed for so long that it became somewhat of a meme in gaming culture.
It was finally released in 2011 for Xbox 360, PS3 Windows. Gone was the funny satire on video game action heroes; instead we got a dumb, weak effort of a game that would make a bargain bin at a Gamestop recoil in disgust.
It had subpar shooting, lines that made you embarrassed for everyone involved, and really showed how dated the concept of Duke Nukem was. From 1997 to 2011, the world was free of this first-person shooter.
I look back on that innocent time with happiness.
Rogue Warrior (2009)
In 2009, we were all still reeling from the success of Modern Warfare 2.
So, what would be better than a cool military 3rd person stealth game? Rogue Warrior is not that game.
Released for Windows, PS3, and Xbox 360, Rogue Warrior follows the unlikeable real-life Richard Marcinko in his fictional mission to North Korea to avenge fallen comrades and stop missiles or something along those lines.
Sounds fine, but the game’s controls are broken, the script is lame and laced with unnecessary profanity, and it involves an extremely phoned-in performance by actor Mickey Rourke in the role of Marcinko. It was universally panned, with IGN giving it a 1.4/10.
Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust (2009)
The Leisure Suit Larry series of games is an adventure game franchise involving the titular Larry, a horny loser who is always trying to get lucky with women.
This game will make you audibly groan and go ‘yuck!’ at your screen. This poor attempt at adult humor plagues this game, along with some other important issues. Most of all, the game is buggy.
The gameplay isn’t solid and many of things gamers take for granted in a normal game simply aren’t up type par in Leisure Suit Larry.
It was released for Xbox 360, PS3, and Windows.
Vampire Rain (2007)
A modern-day vampire-slaying adventure sounds cool, right? Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines was a big hit for PC, so what could go wrong?
Vampire Rain can go wrong. This is a poor man’s Metal Gear Solid except with hyper speed ugly vampires. It might be redeemable is the controls worked, or if it was appealing in the gameplay department.
However, it isn’t. Hopefully the new Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 will deliver some great vampire action that this game failed in delivering. It was released for Xbox 360 and PS3.
50 Cent: Bulletproof (2005)
Yes, you the player gets to control the legendary wordsmith 50 Cent in this game. With lyrical swagger rivaling that of Shakespeare, 50 Cent partakes in something old Willy never did: extremely dull and formulaic gunplay.
I can’t help but thinking that Bulletproof was inspired by titles like Max Payne and other actiony gun titles like Dead to Rights. If they had just tweaked the gameplay to be halfway decent, it wouldn’t even see this list.
Unfortunately for those who bought it on Xbox, PS2, no such luck.
Perfect Dark Zero (2005)
This hurts me deeply, as I like many others, was a big fan of the first Perfect Dark way back in the N64’s heyday.
What could be better than a return of Joanna Dark on a brand-new Xbox 360 console? Well, anything but this apparently. I booted up Perfect Dark Zero and I was really confused.
This was nowhere near the same vibe as Perfect Dark. The controls were wonky, graphics cartoony and silly, the AI was dumb as a rock, and the game is just plain boring.
Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)
Don’t worry, this isn’t the original Sonic I’m bashing here. This iteration of Sonic was released in 2006 for PS3 and Xbox 360, and it wasn’t exactly a breath of fresh air for the series.
Sonic’s first foray into the seventh generation of gaming consoles was met with negative reviews. Mostly because of glitches, bland graphics, and terrible camera.
This is supposed to be Sonic, SEGA’s flagship franchise of the 1990s. Unfortunately, the Sonic team took a lot of hits that SEGA wasn’t used to hearing.
Alone in the Dark (2008)
A modern entry for the celebrated survival horror series was going to be a cool, welcome entry into the seventh generation’s game libraries. I myself was looking forward to this title, and eagerly awaiting its release date.
Thankfully, I caught reviews early and didn’t fork over $60. Alone in the Dark has you fighting nightmare monsters in the heart of New York City.
Sounds pretty cool, right? Wrong.
The terrible gameplay mechanics, namely the driving, and the fact that you had to manually blink to keep your vision clear. An interesting concept, but during gameplay, this was just super annoying.
It was released on PS2, Wii, and Xbox 360.
Night Trap (1992)
Night Trap was a live-action movie/video game for the Sega CD, 3DO, and MS-DOS, and used FMV (full motion video) sequences to tell the game’s story. You take on the role of a special agent protecting a young girls’ sleepover from home invaders.
You have to utilize traps and other methods to thwart the villains.
The corny FMV sequences, while a gimmick of its time, were very corny. The game garnered controversy and became a bargaining chip in United States Congress in the long battle against video games and violence.
Although the point was to prevent bad things from happening to the women, people didn’t see it that way, and it was the game that inspired the notorious ESRB rating system in games. Thanks a lot, Night Trap!
Plumbers Don’t Wear Ties (1993)
Another FMV game, Plumbers Don’t Wear Ties was more in the realm of erotic dating sim than an actual game with gameplay. It was billed as ‘An Interactive Romantic Comedy!’.
Unfortunately, the only comedic aspect of the game is how bad it is. The point of the story is to try and hook up the two main characters by the end of the game.
Sounds fine, right? The ‘FMV’ sequences turned out to be slideshows, terrible music, bland ‘gameplay’, and some say it brought about the downfall of the 3DO gaming system.
Trespasser is an FPS game for Windows-based on The Lost World, the sequel to Jurassic Park. Sounds pretty sweet already. Except this ‘tie-in’ really doesn’t really have the same vibe as the movies.
Sure, it includes input and performances by some of the actors from the Jurassic Park franchise, but aside from dinosaurs, I’d have no clue it was related.
You play as Anne, who has to survive the onslaught on dinosaurs. Something interesting that I will give it credit for is the lack of HUD, having players keep track of bullets and health by other means.
The awkward, stilted controls, ugly visuals, and just plain squandering of an insanely great series of films make this a terrible game.
Kabuki Warriors (2001)
Rated ‘the worst game of 2001′ by GameSpot, Kabuki Warriors is a fighting game in which you take on the role of a Japanese Kabuki warrior.
The lack of options for fighters, the awkward animation and poor implementation of the skill sets made this game a chore to play, as well as ugly to look at. It was released for Xbox.
Drake of the 99 Dragons (2003)
This Xbox and PC title always stood out on game store shelves and beckoned to me. It looked interesting; it had a very cool Batman: The Animated Series kind of look.
But thankfully, I resisted the evil temptation of Drake. You control Drake, an undead assassin, on his quest to avenge his clan against evil forces.
Sounds like it has promise. However, this interesting concept was thrown completely in the trash by terrible game mechanics, bad graphics, and terrible voice acting.
The game company wanted Drake to be the first in many games, comics, and films involving the character and the world they created. Unfortunately, Drake was panned by critics and the rest is history.
Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing (2003)
This racing game is notorious in the gaming world. Any gameplay video could tell you why. Its graphics being poor are the least of its problems.
Its gameplay is so inconsistent, throwing the player all over the game map, and is obviously unfinished in many respects. It was universally condemned by nearly everyone. It was released for PC.
Bomberman: Act Zero (2006)
The beloved Bomberman franchise received a gritty reboot for seventh-generation consoles in the form of Bomberman: Act Zero. Except, did we need a gritty reboot of the cartoonish, chaotic game?
This game gives a resounding: No! It puts you like a gritty version of your favorite bomb-wielding wacky character, except without any of likeability, and none of the good, addictive gameplay. It was released for Xbox 360.
Ninja Breadman (2005)
This title looks innocent enough. However, upon closer inspection, the ‘cutesy’ visuals and somewhat interesting, but ultimately tired concept, are deceptive.
It’s rendered basically unplayable by its countless bugs. Not only that, but its levels are unimpressive, and the game is laughably short. It was released for the PS2, Windows, and Wii.
Kane & Lynch: Dead Men (2007)
I’m a huge Hitman fan. So, when the team behind Agent 47, IO Interactive was developing a gritty crime game, I was all in. However, when you start Kane and Lynch, you realize that it’s nearly unplayable.
It’s so unbelievably buggy, and the gameplay proves to be repetitive and bland. Needless to say, I was surprised that the team at Eidos and IO Interactive could allow this to pass their quality control. It was released for Windows, PS3, and Xbox 360.
Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days (2010)
Okay, so the first game wasn’t exactly a slam dunk. What better way to prove the detractors and haters wrong then by coming back with a bang?
Unfortunately, Kane & Lynch 2 was ultimately more of the same. The setting was actually a breath of fresh air. The crazy nighttime feels of Shanghai, and the interesting soundtrack should be recognized.
However, the gameplay is some of the most repetitive shooting mechanics I’ve ever played. I couldn’t be more excited to finish a game out of sheer boredom. It was released for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC
Conflict: Denied Ops (2008)
Released for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC, Denied Ops is a first-person shooter pitting you against a Venezuelan despot. You play as CIA nobodies Lincoln Graves and Reggie Lang.
The game proved to be pretty generic, and most important of all, it involved a coop that didn’t work. When you have a game based on coop gameplay like Army of Two, how do you mess that up?!
Postal III (2011)
The third entry in the very controversial PC series, Postal III is the sequel to the popular second entry. However, since it was developed by a different studio, it’s readily apparent that they didn’t capture the essence of the series.
To be fair, the series is a lot of potty humor and dark concepts. However, this game seems to bring that down, unbelievably.
It has programming and design issues and seems to throw any sort of crass humor at the wall and see if it sticks, to no avail.
The War Z (2012)
Who doesn’t want to go online and inhabit a world infested with zombies? If that’s what you’re looking for, steer clear.
This game was received so negatively when it was first released, it was renamed Infestation: Survivor Stories.
Okay, to be fair, it was due to its similarity to World War Z but let me have a dream!
They abuse microtransactions, and the developers were openly verbally abusing and banning anyone who had a negative word to say about their game.
Not only that, but the developers were accused of false advertising for not including basic stuff they promised.
No, not THAT SimCity. This is the train wreck release by EA in 2013 for PC. It was released with an emphasis on online features. Sounds good, right?
However, it had no offline mode. That means you couldn’t play while not online. On top of that, the servers become overcrowded, so people who had purchased the game couldn’t even play it casually.
The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct (2013)
Avoid this one, Walking Dead fans. This is no storyline epic like the Telltale game series. You play as Daryl, the gruff badass from TV’s The Walking Dead.
However, with a concept that cool, this game just completely bombs. You certainly don’t feel like Daryl.
The gameplay is broken, the graphics are ugly, and it’s strange that The Walking Dead shares its name with this garbage. It was released for Xbox 360, PS3, Wii U, and PC.
Dungeon Keeper (2014)
This is, unfortunately, a case of the publisher screwing over fans. Based on the 1990s and 2000s PC hits, Dungeon Keeper was released for iOS and Android.
Due to the monetization of basic features, like microtransactions, many gamers found it to be frustrating and unplayable. Some games can get away with microtransactions if they aren’t vital and don’t throw them in the gamer’s face.
However, Dungeon Keeper holds the player hostage.
British Advertising Standards Authority actually investigated and held EA’s feet to the fire. EA relented, basically half-heartedly apologizing for them not understanding the game market.
No Man’s Sky (2016)
The tragic story of our time, No Man’s Sky was promised to revolutionize gameplay, adding a whole new level of exploration and imagination to games.
You were able to fly a spaceship to different worlds and galaxies, exploring the wildly different biomes and ecosystems. You could also do this with friends.
However, upon release, it became readily apparent that No Man’s Sky was not the game everyone was expecting.
Exploring planets was boring, the graphics were underwhelming compared to what was advertised, and no matter how hard some people tried, they couldn’t find their friends in the game.
People have said that the game has gotten better since its extensive updates and developer tweaks, but No Man’s Sky has become notorious for false advertising in games.
Lula 3D (2005)
In the same vein as Leisure Suit Larry, Lula 3D is an ‘erotic’ adventure game. You take on the role of Lula, a buxom blonde pornographic actor, who must rescue her kidnapped costars.
If you’re somehow still interested, maybe the mediocre gameplay and puzzles will change your mind.
It feels like its humor is aimed at middle schoolers, and it’s super cringy. It was released for Windows.
Charlie’s Angels (2003)
This was a tie-in game to the movie, Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle. It even highlighted vocal talents of the movie’s stars. Unfortunately, like many movie games, this one fell flat.
Boring gameplay, bad design, and repetitive fighting techniques married this from becoming a decent movie tie-ins.
The CD-I Legend of Zelda titles (1993-1994)
These games have accumulated somewhat of a notorious reputation on the internet. At some time or another, I’m sure you’ve seen a terrible animation and heard the unbearable voice acting from these titles.
These were side-scrolling games with passable gameplay, but nowhere near the standard of an actual Zelda title.
Gone is the voiceless Link: now we have an incredibly annoying, silly protagonist who whines and makes weird noises throughout. Peer Schneider of IGN summed it up perfectly when talking about them: They’re entertaining for all the wrong reasons.
Hotel Mario (1994)
Yet another Philips CD-I release, Hotel Mario does what the CD-I Legend of Zelda titles did but made it somehow even worse. You need to solve puzzles in this game, however, they’re dreadfully boring, and the entire game tarnishes the legacy of Mario.
Like with Zelda, the cutscenes were ridiculous animations that have had more life being the butt of internet jokes than they ever had been played.
Friday the 13th (1989)
Just another case of movie tie-in games not delivering, Friday the 13th as a game has so much promise. But not this one. This is truly a baffling one.
The bugs, as well as the unfair overpowered Jason, makes this game aggravating beyond belief. You kill enemies and make your way along Camp Crystal Lake, until the big bad, Jason, arrives.
Good luck getting past him, because he’s nigh on invincible and will have you tearing your hair out. When you get a game over, you get the classic words ‘YOU AND YOUR FRIENDS ARE DEAD‘.
The Guy Game (2004)
This is a strange one because it’s not really a conventional game as we know it. This ‘game’ is something that a weird, misogynist uncle might come up with.
It was a trivia game in which girls would answer said trivia games and would eventually undress. That’s truly the whole deal. The entire crux of the game is boobs.
If only it ended there, we might be able to forgive. However, one girl featured in the game was underage. This ended in the girl’s family sued the game company. This game evokes a similar vibe given off by a title later on the list…
When gaming icon John Romero, responsible for classics like Doom and Wolfenstein 3D set out on his own to make his own game, the hype was at an all-time high. We were going to get a badass game that would be like Doom but more insane.
Could you imagine? Things started getting weird however when the tagline came out in an ad: ‘John Romero Will Make You His Bitch’. Um, okay?
Whatever, I’m sure the game will still be cool. Romero was like a rock star. However, the disappointment was immense upon release.
After a troubled development, the finished product was more like the shell of a game rather than a final, polished product. Saying the AI is terrible would be doing the AI a favor.
You would be better off alone with how much your teammates wander off, don’t respond, or get killed all by themselves due to bad scripting errors.
It was released for N64 and PC, with another strange release on Gameboy Color. I feel bad for John Romero’s legacy being tarnished by this turd of a game. And to be fair, Romero has since stated that the strange tagline wasn’t his idea and was actually quite opposed to it.
Shaq Fu (1994)
I’ll give you three guesses as to what this game pertains to. Okay, fine: it is literally the legendary basketball player Shaquille O’Neal’s fantasy fighting game. Yes, those are words I said, and I stand by them. Imagine being at that pitch meeting.
Shaq Fu has the player control Shaq as he travels to another world before the ‘big game’. He needs to get back, but he needs to beat these opponents using fighting styles that I’m assuming most basketball greats don’t have.
To be fair, this game isn’t known for its realism. It is considered one of the worst games EA ever made. I can’t be mad at Shaq though, he’s too funny and loveable.
Unbelievably, a sequel was Kickstarted and released in 2018. Unlike the first game, you’re actually able to play this one. However, users say that the joke is getting old and that it just doesn’t break any new barriers. Repetitive combat, much like the first, is a huge problem.
Ride to Hell: Retribution (2013)
Who wouldn’t want a game with an attitude, one that evoked imagery from the 1969 motorcycle drama Easy Rider? Well, look again, because this game is a motorcycle wreck.
Nearly everything in the game is broken. The combat and AI are laughably bad, it’s riddled with bugs and glitches, the voice acting is bad by even the lowest standards, and it really seems like the developer just gave up halfway through.
It was released for Xbox 360, PC, and PS3.
Superman 64 (1999)
I remember riding home from the game store as a 9-year-old, ready to play this cool new superhero game based off of the animated TV Superman.
It even had the same art style, which was pretty cool. I also couldn’t wait to fly around. Unluckily for me, however, was that the flying in the game was trash.
Come to think of it, the rest was trash too. I was stuck on the first level the entire time. It may sound embarrassing but hear me out.
It puts you in the role of Superman as he stupidly weaves his way through hoops while Lex Luthor laughs like an idiot. Your time limit to this so is unforgivingly short, and the flying mechanics are, of course, terrible.
All of this while flying around one of the worst city environments ever created. It was empty, lifeless, and ugly.
ET: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
However, due to a crazy short time limit to program the game, it was nowhere near playable by standards of both today and the 1980s.
There’s even that story that the rest of the copies of this game were buried in the desert of New Mexico.
We’re talking tens of thousands of Atari cartridges. I rank this as one of the worst due to the fact that the game tarnished Atari’s credibility, as well as video games in general.
Worst Game: Custer’s Revenge (1982)
We take our first real-time travel trip back to the early ‘80s and the Atari 2600 with this game.
Custer’s Revenge has you take on the role of General George Armstrong Custer, known for dying in ‘Custer’s Last Stand’, but this time instead of dying, you get your ‘revenge’ by engaging in the raping of Native women.
Yes, it really doesn’t hold up in any way whatsoever and is extremely crude and tasteless. As Custer, you walk from the left side of the screen to the right, with an, ahem, enlarged accessory, to terrorize a native American woman.
I don’t know if the developer was trying to be edgy or something, but it falls flat, both in tone and gameplay. All you can do in the instance of this truly terrible piece of ‘art’ is be awed by its wretched existence.
There you have it, the 40 worst games of all time. I hope you enjoyed the cringy aspects as much as I did. We can only hope that these developers have either learned from their mistakes or gone out of business.
To be honest, I’m secretly hoping it’s the latter. Cringe away, gamers!
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