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"When I did a Video Game Vault on this game, I mentioned it made little kids cry. Upon further review, I was wrong: it makes grown men weep like babies."

Hopefully, someone in the quality-assurance divisions of several game companies got fired over letting these titles slip through the cracks. These probably wouldn't pass muster as coasters or clay pigeons.

Gaming humorists, take note — if you want to make a statement about how bad a game is, just say "I'd rather play [insert name of nearly any game from this list here]" for cheap, yet instant, laughs.

For good games that are best played with frequent use of the Mute Button, see So Bad It's Horrible/Voice Acting. See Porting Disaster for good games that embrace the crappiness as they change platform, though one can be in here if it's a horrible game on its own.

For more information, be sure to visit The Other Wiki.

Important Note: Merely being offensive in its subject matter is not sufficient. Hard as it is to imagine at times, there is a market for all types of deviancy, no matter how small a niche it is. It has to fail to appeal even to that niche to qualify as this.

Second Important Note: A game isn't horrible just because The Angry Video Game Nerd, Spoony, Yahtzee, or any other Caustic Critic reviewed it. There needs to be independent evidence, such as actual, professional reviews, to list it. (Though once it is listed, they can provide the detailed review(s).)

Examples (more-or-less in order by generation, then name):


Second Generation (1977-84)

  • Karate for the Atari 2600 was a near-unplayable Fighting Game with extremely unresponsive controls and with almost no chance to win. There's only so much you can do with a digital joystick and one button. (Let us note that Atari's first-party joysticks were fragile, so unresponsive controls will lead to shredded controllers.) Some even consider it the worst Atari 2600 game.
  • Voyage Into The Unknown on the ZX Spectrum. In the same year (1984) that Mike Singleton released the seminal The Lords Of Midnight, Ultimate Play the Game put out three classic arcade adventures (Saber Wulf, Knight Lore and Underwurlde) and Matthew Smith unleashed the epic Jet Set Willy showcasing just what the Spectrum was capable of, budget label Mastertronic crapped out this unbelievable turd of a game. Programmed in BASIC of all things, with risible graphics, worse sound, nonsensical references to "time warp chuck out"s and "buke"s and ludicrously hard space combat sequences that took place on about 10% of the screen. To add insult to injury, the game gave no clue as to how to even start playing, unless you guessed the correct sequence of keys ('E'ngine, 'P'ower, 'I'gnition) to take off you couldn't even start the game proper (such as it was). Contemporary magazines slammed the game, Crash giving it an overall score of 9% with 2% for playability.


Third Generation (1985-89)

  • Many unlicensed NES games. The irony here is that, when the courts ruled Nintendo could no longer hinder unlicensed games (they had previously threatened to blacklist toy and video game stores that carried them, which was a serious threat to the stores' bottom line at the time), the ruling was hailed as freeing developers to deliver the good games that Nintendo had obviously been blocking. Then the quality of those games was seen. Once "unlicensed" became a byword for "crap game", the execs at Nintendo probably had a good laugh at how worried they'd been.
  • The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends for the NES. It has annoying music and the graphics are primitively designed, even for its era. Most enemies are Demonic Spiders and are capable of depleting your entire energy bar thanks to a lack of Mercy Invincibility. You'll spend more time fighting the unresponsive controls and navigating the terribly-designed levels (a good example of this is Level 4, where you have to cross a pond with the game's awful jump precision). Beat the game, and "YOU WIN!" is your only reward.
  • ALF for the Sega Master System takes The Problem with Licensed Games beyond the norm, and into levels only games like Superman 64 would know about. What would otherwise be a short, twenty minute adventure game is drawn out by Fake Difficulty by means of convoluted controls, bad programming, and Goddamned Bats which become Demonic Spiders due to Alf being able to take only one hit. The writing of the game is just as atrocious: Alf knows about things ahead of time before he should (like the bats in the cave before ever going in there), all the while making terrible jokes that aren't even So Unfunny It's Funny. As a sadistic joke by SEGA, one of the items (Alf's Book) gives the player an Info Dump — which would have been better suited at the intro of the game — before sending the player back to the titles screen; the game gives no warning of this. Here's a review by a former Alf fan who lists even more faults with this game.
  • Dian Shi Ma Li (aka Mario Lottery) is a Chinese bootleg game for the NES starring a Mario ripoff (nicknamed Fortran because of the "F" on his cap) with vague slot machine-ish gameplay. The aim of the game is to get as many credits as possible, but credits are a currency that can only be used for gambling, and the only way to end the game naturally is to run out of them. The minigames don't make any sense, which is unsurprising because the main game doesn't make much sense. The only reason to play it is to PUSH START TO RICH.
  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde for the NES has slow, plodding gameplay and controls; Everything Trying to Kill You to a ludicrous extent; a completely ineffective weapon as Jekyll and useful-if-you-could-hit-anything weapons as Hyde; and a gimmick whereby you can lose within seconds of turning into Hyde without a chance to save yourself[1] — these all make for a game that no person can play without feeling like less of a person thereafter. The Angry Video Game Nerd considers it probably the worst game he's ever played, and the seriousness of his videos on the matter confirms it.
  • The only thing good about the NES version (not so much a port as a completely different game) of the Laserdisc classic Dragon's Lair is the impressive fluidity of the graphics. The play control is unresponsive — there's a delay between the button press and Dirk's action (B jumps in this game). Dirk is rather large, which makes simple jumps difficult. There's also an elevator shaft that's intended to make winding through the castle seem like one, but it merely makes the game even harder than it needs to be. Adding to the already insane artificial difficulty are Death Traps everywhere, so extra precautions are necessary for basically the whole game. Add to that an insane final boss fight and a meager "Congratulations" ending, and you have the NES equivalent of a game rage-fueled nightmare. It was also reviewed by the AVGN.
  • One of the worst video game RPGs made, according to Japanese fans, is Hoshi wo Miru Hito, which can be translated as Stargazer. The background graphics make no attempt to blend the tiles and when combined with the dark, dull palette choice ends up looking abysmal. The battle system is clunky, slow, and unforgiving. Select the wrong battle option? Too bad, there's no button to back up. In addition, a lot of the locations and items on the map are invisible. You can't even see the first village you're supposed to go to, and you have no introduction or instruction on what to do first. It's so bad, Japanese fans have given it the title of "Densetsu no Kusoge"...or "Legendary Shit Game".
  • Human Killing Machine for the Atari ST was a rip-off of the first Street Fighter game made by Tiertex, the same company who did the Atari ST version of the original Street Fighter (itself a Porting Disaster), and the 8-bit porting disasters of Strider. The game lacks special moves, two-player mode (bad in a Fighting Game, a genre that thrives on one-on-one competition), and scrolling. There are miscellaneous god-awful ethnic stereotypes all around and occasional cruelty to animals. Also, if you start off badly, the game makes it harder for you to win the next fight. Furthermore, the developers made it so all of a given character's frames of animation could be shoehorned into a single screen's worth of space, which has the unfortunate consequence of the Final Boss having only six frames of animation (two walking, two falling, one punching, one kicking).
  • The adventure game Hydlide was a huge hit in Japan. It debuted on a microcomputer in 1984, was released on multiple systems there, and eventually landed on the Famicom/NES in 1989. Unfortunately, regardless of whether the game was any good on the earlier systems, it was borderline unplayable on the NES, complete with hints of Porting Disaster. The graphics were bland, and the music was an annoying loop that sounded like a dumbed-down Indiana Jones theme. The battle mechanics were practically non-existent—they amounted to just running into monsters while holding the "Attack" button. There were no clues anywhere of what to do or where to go, and the in-game save feature was useless because the cartridge didn't have a battery.[2] The Angry Video Game Nerd ripped apart Hydlide here.
  • Ikari III: The Rescue was a nigh-unplayable mess in its original arcade form, as SNK de-emphasized the run-and-gun nature of the first two Ikari Warriors games (essentially turning the third game into a beat-em-up) but kept the rotary controls, making it extremely hard for attacks to connect. Oddly enough, the NES version of Ikari III was better than the NES Porting Disasters of the first two games, as it was a somewhat-decent game on its own. It helps that the NES port didn't bother to simulate the arcade games' rotary controls.
  • Scramble Eggs for the MSX is a cheap knockoff of Scramble where you can't move horizontally or drop bombs and the enemies and terrain are boringly designed. The graphics look primitive, but the sound and music are worse.
  • After Sonic the Hedgehog proved to be a big hit, some hacker tried porting it to the NES as Sonic 3D Blast 5. It was a broken and nearly unplayable port, and possibly the worst case of unbuilding a game ever. It doesn't help that the game is actually a hack of Hummer Team's bootleg crossover Somari.
  • Super Monkey Daibouken is an RPG based on Journey to the West in which Son Goku and his party make an agonizingly slow journey from China to India through a confusingly designed overworld with blotchy graphics and invisible exits. It has side-scrolling combat sequences like Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, but worse in practically every way.
  • Super Pitfall was an attempt to update Activision's classic hit Pitfall for the NES... but they didn't update the right things. The gameplay was sluggish and unenjoyable because of unforgiving amounts of Fake Difficulty stemming from terrible stage design, Trial and Error Gameplay that gives zero clue as to what to do, and logic-defying ways of getting to a different place (for example, at one point you must jump into a bird enemy that looks no different than any other bird mook in the game). Your character (who looks a bit too much like Mario) remains a One-Hit-Point Wonder and, while he does have a gun, it's near useless until the final level because most of the enemies are waist-high in height and you can't shoot while you duck! The graphics were awful, full of sickening strobing, slowdown, flickering, and bland sprites (waterfalls look like avalanches of blue garbage). The music is the same annoying loop played over and over again until the final level. The company that anonymously developed the game, Micronics, was also responsible for the NES Porting Disasters of Athena and Ikari Warriors. The game was a failure when it was released and is considered among the worst games available for the NES. (The obscure PC 88 version of Super Pitfall was not so bad; it included a life bar, the ability to shoot while ducking, and Dungeon Shops that made gold useful besides for Scoring Points.) If you're still not convinced, check out Aqualung's full walkthrough of the game or The Angry Video Game Nerd's review.
  • Transformers: Convoy no Nazo ("Mystery of Optimus Prime," or, as the label calls him, "Comvoy") for the Famicom has Ultra Magnus as a One-Hit-Point Wonder, palette-swapped bosses (including three instances of the Decepticon logo), Trypticon as a Giant Space Flea From Nowhere, and an ending that is nothing but text. You had to collect letters that spelled out Rodimus and then beat the game to play as Rodimus Prime (also a OHPW); if you beat the game with him, then you got "Congratulation!" and your high score. On top of that, the logo of the company who made the game has some guy in blackface.[3] It is yet another horrible video game that The Angry Video Game Nerd reviewed on his show.
  • Where's Waldo? for the NES. The appalling graphics are inexcusable because the point of the game is to see where Waldo is. To add insult to injury, the real Waldo is sometimes wearing different colors. The levels that don't consist of finding Waldo are just as terrible, especially the subway level. In it, you had to reach Waldo by entering through tunnels. The board is randomly generated, meaning that sometimes, the whole level becomes Unwinnable By Mistake.


Fourth Generation (1990-94)

  • 3D Ballz for the SNES and Genesis. The setting of the game is pure gibberish with nonsensical phrases and weird photos, but what clinches this game is the controls — it's so unplayable that you'll have no idea how to control your fighter. The AI, however, has no problem controlling its fighters and will wipe the floor with you. The music and sounds are strange, almost erotic, with girls moaning and guys grunting.
  • The NES version of American Gladiators may have been So Bad It's Good (amusing Stock Scream when Gladiators fall), but the SNES and Genesis versions were utterly-broken, nearly-unplayable abominations. Thanks, GameTek (now defunct), for pissing all over this franchise.
  • Batman Forever, a tie-in to the film of that name, for the SNES from Acclaim Entertainment. The game has frequent loading screens despite being on a 16-bit cartridge. The graphics are so-so, and the music is terribly bland. Worst of all, this game was made with the Mortal Kombat engine even though it isn't a fighting game, and so the controls are completely counter-intuitive.[4] The Angry Video Game Nerd reviews it here, along with other Batman games both good and bad.
  • Bebe's Kids, a tie-in to an already subpar film, is notorious amongst the SNES crowd for terrible music, bland gameplay, and a confusing haunted house that acts like a maze.
  • Bill Laimbeer's Combat Basketball is an early SNES title with an interesting concept, but is undermined by sub-par AI, slow characters, and god-awful controls. You're more likely to spend time trying to figure out how to shoot rather than actually trying to win.
  • Color a Dinosaur is an example of a "game" unlikely to have much appeal for its stated target audience of 3-to-6-year-olds. All it has is 16 static pictures of dinosaurs which can be colored with up to 3 colors. There's not even a save feature. Though the NES is not really a good platform for a virtual coloring book, comparing Color a Dinosaur to Kid Pix shows how little effort was put into the former.
  • The ports of Dark Castle for the Sega Genesis and the Philips CD-i by Electronic Arts. You could beat the Sega Genesis version in under a minute, while the CD-i version would consider you lucky that you even survived beyond a minute! There are two or three useless rooms, and the useless rooms could be three-fourths of the game. There's inexplicable jumping from a hero who can't step over a tiny ledge. The items that you can get aren't needed to beat the pathetic final boss, nor would you really want to use them with how the hero apparently has a stiff throwing arm. Also, did you know that a Saddam was here in the Genesis game? You can see how much of a failure the game is in this UrinatingTree review, as well as an AVGN review for both versions right here.
  • Divine Sealing is an unlicensed hentai shmup for the Genesis that's notable for being extremely ugly, generic, and easy. Heck, even its main gimmick (anime chicks stripping themselves for no reason after you beat each levels) is too limited to be actually arousing. If you're not prone to motion sickness, check out this Longplay (NSFW).
  • Dragon Bowl, a sprite hack of the arcade Ninja Gaiden allegedly based on Dragon Ball. It is notable for atrocious music, sound effects stolen from various sources (most notably Street Fighter II), graphics that look like they were drawn by retarded children, game breaking bugs that weren't in the original game and broken hit detection. It is pathetic when put up against the game it rips off, never mind other brawlers released the same year.
  • Fight Fever (aka Wang Jung Wang) is a Korean-made Street Fighter II ripoff for the Neo Geo with ugly graphics, special moves that are impossible to pull off, and several assets stolen from the first Fatal Fury and Art of Fighting games. (The sounds were mostly stolen from Art of Fighting, and the continue counter noise and end-of-round score screen graphics were stolen from Fatal Fury.)
  • Fighting Masters promised "65 Devastating Attacks" on its back cover, but the game reserved one of the Sega Genesis controller's three buttons for jumping, so each character ended up with three attacks, two of which would likely be nearly identical. In addition, the collision detection was pathetic, and basic punches and kicks were nearly useless, leaving grapple attacks as the only viable method of dealing damage. The character sprites had too few frames of animation, and the generic stage backgrounds made it impossible to appreciate their supposedly gigantic size.
  • Heavy Nova, a futuristic Fighting Game for the Sega Genesis. The single-player campaign consists of some of the worst platforming ever committed to a 2D console, broken up by boss fights. Unfortunately, the platforming levels use the same game engine and controls as the fighting sections. All of the on-screen enemies are a fraction the size of your character and are nearly impossible to hit because your moves are designed to strike enemies your own height. This means that you have one move that can strike anything in the single-player campaign - an awkward kick that requires you to be within pixels of whatever you're trying to strike as they rain Beam Spam down on you from all sides.
    • The game's one-on-one fighting sections were no better - when you jump, all attacks pass through you, meaning you can make yourself completely invincible at will. This has implications for the multiplayer mode and some of the boss battles, with matches consisting of players...jumping. A lot. Even without this stupid oversight, the different characters you can choose to fight with are completely imbalanced. Some have so few moves that they have unmapped buttons (on a Sega Genesis controller), while others can spam distance attacks and have full suites of super moves. To top it all off, the game is hideous; the graphics would have been a disappointment on the Sega Master System.
  • Isle of the Dead is a strong contender for the worst FPS of all time. Coming out the same year as Doom, its engine is more on the level of Wolfenstein 3D. Right from the start, the game offers enemies which can tear you to pieces in seconds and respawn right after you leave the room. The graphics and sound are horrible—with nothing to tell parts of the map apart, navigation becomes far too difficult. There are some static screens where you interact (similar to adventure games), but in these you are often clueless about what you are supposed to do, and can easily miss crucial items. To top it all off, quitting the game is referred to as "the coward's way out," and is greeted with a graphic depiction of a shotgun suicide.
  • While Last Action Hero, While flawed, was at least decent enough to keep it of f this page, the same can’t be said for the game that was based off it for the SNES. It has terrible controls (in other words, fake difficulty to the extreme), bad graphics (which would be alright, if it were a NES game), horrible music and generally bad gameplay overall. One reviewer on GameFAQs went as far as to call it the worst SNES game ever.
  • Legend of Success Joe, a horrible excuse of a boxing game based on the manga/anime Ashita no Joe. The gameplay alternates between very primitive Beat'Em Up segments in which Joe fights a few wimpy enemies that die in one punch before fighting a very long boss, and boxing matches based on famous battles of the series. The controls are clunky and unresponsive, and the music sounds like something out of an early NES game even though this game was produced for one of the most powerful systems of the early 1990s. The graphics are not much better — an ugly, overly-bright color palette, non-existent animation, and hunchbacked character sprites. It was one of the few early Neo Geo titles that stayed in Japan, for good reason.
  • Lord of the Rings: Book 1, Interplay's attempt at Fellowship of the Ring on the SNES, quickly and flagrantly broke all the rules established in the books. You Shall Not Pass? Well, not if the player decides to beat the Big Bad elsewhere first...if the player managed to make it that far, since glitches would often cause the mere act of walking to the next area to be fatal. You could finish the game as two unnamed Hobbit children and Bill the pony. Before the advent of Game FAQs, if you lost the manual, then you were boned - it had all the layouts of the dungeons (which were at least fifty screens long) printed within.
    • It doesn't end there. Cutscenes, even ones that are supposed to take place in castles, are composed of Walls of Text between people standing in some field. Sprites are poorly made — only cloak color differentiates the hobbits from each other, and no one but Gimli and Gandalf looks any different from the generic NPCs. The cities look like any other part of the world, except they have lazily-designed houses in them. And at the end? You fight the Balrog, using the horrendous control scheme which causes you to either control every member of your party at once or let them wander around and die — not that it matters, as the fight is more or less Unwinnable anyway. There are noticeable loading times between areas despite this game being on the SNES. The game's sole redeeming point is its beautiful music...but it only has three tracks, and one of them is reserved for the title screen.
  • The Make My Video series on the Sega CD. All four games involved "editing" three videos with filters and silly stock clips. That's the entire game. Even for the time, it was ridiculously limited. Since the Sega CD had limited video capabilities, the resulting videos were grainy, had a limited color palette, and were displayed on a very small portion of the screen (especially bad since all three videos are played at the same time). The "Kris Kross" release is often cited as the single worst Sega CD game which, considering the amount of crap in the U.S. library for the Sega CD, is saying something.
  • The Mario franchise was unfortunately prey to a bevy of educational games, many of which were mediocre at best. The absolute nadir, however, would be Mario's Early Years: Preschool Fun. It's ridiculously simplistic, beyond the point of enjoyability, with all the gameplay built around preschool-level teachings...It's clear every word of the voice acting is an individual clip, as each word is emphasized and separated by a brief pause, to unsettling effect. Framerate issues occasionally cause the music to randomly change tempo, and the graphics make everyone look ...off.[5]
  • The DOS Mega Man and Mega Man 3 (there was never a Mega Man 2 for DOS for some reason) had horrible controls and graphics (just look at the Robot Master/stage-select screen from the first game), non-existent music (to go with the frequently non-existent sound cards), and terrible level design (the introduction level in the first game is a flat line where you fight the same Goddamned Wolf over and over). In Mega Man 3, the Robot Masters are obvious edits of the bosses of the NES Mega Man 2 and 3. It makes you wonder why Capcom outsourced their mascot to an unknown shovelware studio.
    • If you played it on a fast-for-the-time PC, then the first DOS Mega Man would run at uncontrollably-fast speeds. Yes, many DOS games were programmed to use the PC's processor clock cycles as an internal timer without an upper limit; the faster the processor ran, the faster the game ran. Games like this that were programmed for an 80286 processor are unplayably-fast on modern computers (which are 500 times faster than a baseline 286). But still, that's really not supposed to happen while the game is still on the shelves.
  • Whereas the first Mega Man Game Boy game was well received, Capcom outsourced Mega Man II to a different company than the one that made the previous game (according to series creator Keiji Inafune). This resulted in sloppy stage design, pathetically low difficulty (save for the insanely hard final boss), and Music that includes notes that will make your ears bleed. Capcom wisely decided to not hire that company again for the next Game Boy installments of Mega Man.
  • Mortal Kombat 3 for the original Game Boy was a cheap bastardization of its console game counterparts, rendered nearly unplayable due to the limitations of the Game Boy, and had poor graphics even by that system's standards (especially when compared to the GB version of Mortal Kombat 2). Also, the developers screwed up some of the fatalities - notable offenders are Sindel, whose scream somehow sets the opponent on fire, and Smoke, whose Fatality made absolutely no sense.
  • Rise of the Robots promised a soundtrack by Brian May of Queen... which consisted of a short title tune; the rest of the music was written in-house at Mirage because May didn't get his music in by the deadline. (To be fair, it was an impressive techno soundtrack by Richard Joseph — it just wasn't what was advertised.) The graphics looked utterly astounding, but because the animations were so detailed that they were practically Full Motion Video there was little wiggle room for gameplay and only a few moves possible per character. Worse, you could plow through literally the entire game by spamming the same attack over and over again, completely eliminating the need for any strategy or even learning much beyond the basic controls. One of the first games, and one of the few from the 2D era, that got excellent reviews on its graphics but poor ratings on everything else.
  • Shaq Fu, released for SNES, Genesis, Game Gear, Game Boy, and (in Europe) Amiga. With Godawful controls and eccentric hit detection, on top of a nonsensical plot, it is likely one of the worst Fighting Games of all time. Shaqfu.com is a site dedicated to the pursuit of finding copies of the game and destroying them. (There's also a site dedicated to preserving as many copies as possible. Oh you, internet.) Even the ending is basically the game giving you the finger. You can watch it played here.
  • The SNES version of Space Ace meant to translate every single level from the Laserdisc original into a platformer, and succeeded...somewhat. The controls are sluggish and unresponsive; combined with poorly-placed hit boxes and fast-scrolling screens, that makes for a frustrating time. It is almost impossible to land your jumps, and missing jumps kills you in most levels. If you want to shoot someone, good luck — there are two buttons to draw your gun, one for each direction. Then there's the Space Maze, painful Padding sandwiched between every level; in these sections, you have to steer your impossibly-fast ship through a bunch of narrow alleys while shooting obstacles. The graphics are ugly at times - the developers did include a few of the FMVs, but they're so grainy and disjointed that you have to wonder why they bothered. The result is a long, frustrating, poorly-designed game.
  • The Sega Genesis version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Tournament Fighters. The SNES version was a great game, but its Genesis counterpart had glaringly inferior graphics and half as many playable characters; the ones they did have include Sisyphus, a weird mutant cicada who never appeared anywhere else in the franchise, and an In Name Only version of April O'Neil that looked like some random fighting game chick (she wore a headband, sports bra, and miniskirt). It was not very playable: the damage of various moves was severely unbalanced, and the AI was too good even on easy difficulty unless you were playing as Ray Fillet and did his strong ducking kick over and over again. If you did that, then the AI would walk into you and die (even boss characters Triceraton, Krang, and Karai would fall for this trick repeatedly).

Fifth Generation (1995-2000)

  • Bloodwings: Pumpkinhead's Revenge. The music is monotonous, and the graphics are heavily pixellated despite being Full Motion Video. The steps to move forward in the game seem completely random, and the game doesn't give you any clues on how to progress. Even the directions do no more than explain a few basics. Then there's the ending — some outtakes from filming the monster Pumpkinhead and footage of the guy in the suit dancing around with asinine doo-wop playing over it. The game was never meant to be "won"; if it is won, then it thumbs its nose at you. If you get the good ending, that is; if you don't beat the game the way you're "supposed" to, the ending video is Pumpkinhead literally giving you the finger.
  • An attempt at reinvigorating the ill-fated Bubsy the Bobcat franchise, Bubsy 3D for the Sony Play Station is considered one of the worst games ever made. The primitive graphics, ranging from jittery models to patchwork surroundings (most of which were made of flat polygonal surfaces with a single shade), were pathetic even by the standards of the day. The gameplay was abominable: it was difficult to move Bubsy in any direction other than straight forward, and jumping on platforms was a chore because of the bad camera angles. To add insult to injury, Bubsy was given one of the most grating voices known to man and shrieked dialogue every five seconds to explain every nook and cranny of the game. Bubsy's 2D games are often considered a Love It or Hate It affair and have their fans, but Bubsy 3D effectively put the bobcat out of his misery. Its failure was compounded by the release of Super Mario 64 mere months before.
  • Carmageddon 64 by Titus Software had horrible graphics and was unfairly Nintendo Hard.
  • Catfight's sole redeeming quality was featuring an all-female cast in a Fighting Game, actually the first of its kind. Never mind that the controls didn't work, the game (for the PC only) ran at a framerate measurable in the single digits, and the AI didn't know how to do anything but block.
  • Chronicles Of The Sword was a two-disc Play Station game that wasn't worth the $5 you probably paid for it. It had a horrible to non-existent plot about a nameless Arthurian knight who's trying to earn his armor (or something like that). It's a standard Pixel Hunting Adventure Game that was mostly "find a large number of useless items and trade them repeatedly", but it was impossible to know their purpose, as your inventory only showed a large 3D-rendered video of the object with no description. (A particularly bad example: the character at one point obtains a broken clay pot which has to be given to a perfume-making monk. Why? Because the pot has ambergris in it. But there's no way to know that without randomly attempting to give the thing to the monk.) Then there was the battle system, which consisted of Full Motion Video battles. Unfortunately, whoever programmed it made the timing of the battle independent of the load time on the disc. By the time you could tell you were being attacked, you were dead. (Thankfully, there was an "Easy" option which turned the videos into cutscenes, making it the game's single redeeming feature.) Oh, and inspecting certain items in your inventory would crash the Playstation.
  • Club Drive for the Atari Jaguar. For most of your missions in this game, you have to go in an RC car and pick up glowing balls of string, which is something that is truly spectacular. The graphics are shoddy and the physics are so eccentric to the point where it borders on Artificial Stupidity. In some instances, your car can levitate into the air and fly briefly. There's even an instance of Fake Difficulty to be found. In his review, where he names it the second worst game of all time (behind only the E.T. game), Seanbaby speculates that the programmers of Club Drive "might have stole their programming code from Dolphin Adventures in Tuna Nets".
  • Cosmic Race for the Play Station is an awful "racing" "game" with ugly graphics (some were ripped straight from devkits), stupid characters (a caveman who pilots a flying bus/pineapple hybrid?!), forgettable music, random collision detection, an unnecessarily-convoluted control scheme (R1 is to accelerate, and you need to push the D-Pad and the corresponding face button just to turn), and long, boring levels. It's no wonder Game Players Magazine gave it a 0% and named that rating after this game; to put this into perspective, 1-9% is known as "Shoot Me".
  • Daikatana is known in Spanish as "Daikagadatana" ("Daicraptana"), and for good reason. Your sidekicks are so stupid they not only can't find their way through an open door but also often got killed by collision damage on the sides of doors. And when they died, you died. The titular sword filled a diagonal third of the screen and, when you killed things with it, "leveled up" and gained sparkling and lightning effects that filled even more of the screen. Since the game is an FPS, this is a bad thing... the Daikatana swung wildly, missing whatever you were swinging at (which included walls) as often as hitting; and it would always stop when the beastie had one hit's worth of life left to allow it to hit you one more time. When you acquire the sword, you are "treated" to a view of the Big Bad in horribly-rendered mustard yellow and ketchup red "Samurai" armor and told that you can't attack him because the sword he has is the same one from a different time, and so it would destroy the universe...even though you're carrying around tons of other weapons and have two similarly-armed (if woefully-inaccurate) sidekicks who are likely to kill you and themselves more than anything else.
  • Dragon Ball GT: Final Bout for the Play Station is one of a group of infamous Dragon Ball-themed games. The characters look and move like glaciers, attacks come slowly, and the one effective melee attack is easily spammable. The US version of this game was once available for over $200 on eBay because only a few thousand were made. The funniest part? You'd think it would've been a rushed effort to cash in on the series, but nope — the powers that be dragged out GT to keep interest in Dragon Ball high enough to justify purchasing the game!
    • The opening (Possibly the only good thing about this shlock-fest) just magnifies this, you think you're going to play a badass fighting game. But upon playing the damn thing, it becomes hell.
  • Dragonball Z: Ultimate Battle 22 was released as a Play Station 1 game in 2003(?!) after spending eight years stuck in Japan (though for once, it should've stayed there). This "game" featured an atrocious blend of SNES sprites with ugly, rudimentary 3D backgrounds, no storyline, and shoddy AI. Honestly, that wasn't a good way to exploit the DBZ hype that hit the American shores 15 years too late.
  • Dual Heroes was a terrible Fighting Game for the Nintendo 64 which featured characters who were all Power Rangers ripoffs. The story was bizarrely convoluted and made little sense — why are they fighting each other when they're all after the same guy? The endings for all the characters contained bland text exclaiming "The Battle Is Not Yet Over!" The entire game could be won, from start to finish, by Button Mashing the B button. Even on the hardest difficulty, it was a joke, and you ran out of stuff to do fast, as there is little to do but fight the samey characters over and over, which gets old faster than you'd think. This was a rushed, terrible cash-in to satisfy the need for fighting games on the N64. (Read the scathing but hilarious review on IGN here.)
  • Extreme Paintbrawl for the PC. Among many other mistakes, it has one of the worst examples of The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard that one could ever find. What's funny about this is that it was originally shipped without any AI at all! If you wanted to play against any bots that would do anything more than run into a wall, then you had to download the patch when it came out a month later.
    • According to a letter to the editors of PC Gamer (which gave it 6%, the worst score up to that time), the game itself was produced in two weeks on a rushed schedule.
    • As for the music, one YouTube commenter described it roughly as power metal for people with Attention Deficit Disorder.
  • Atari tried to ride the 3D Fighting wave by hiring a programmer who worked with Sega AM2 on Virtua Fighter to produce Fight For Life for the Jaguar. He programmed the game alone (which says a lot about the company's available budget); it took him 19 months, and the result was inferior to its inspirations in every possible way. It was the final nail on the Jaguar's coffin, literally — it's the last game released for the system, and a fitting title to go out on. There is a persistent rumor that the programmer deliberatly gave Atari an inferior early version once finished just to personally spite them.
  • Fighting Force 2 shows what happens when you hand a sequel to a focus test group, and it may be the game that marked Core Design's decline. Hawk Mason, the only returning character from the original game, moves and controls like a tank. While watching Hawk punch the often brain-dead enemies into submission and making inanimate objects explode with just his fists can be amusing at times, it quickly becomes tedious due to camera-clipping problems, extremely-long levels, lack of save points (you can only save after completing a level), and repetitive Copy and Paste Environments.
  • Fuck Quest, designed by one Richard Eter, is one of the saddest cases of self insertion this side of Sonichu, sadder still for being one of the most blatant Parody Retcons. Your goal is to get your character, also named Richard, laid, and that's pretty much it. Where do we start... It was made in 1998, but resembles the text-and-graphic based games of the 1980s—and it fails at being one of those, too. The monophonic score, ripped entirely from DOS Sierra games, is the least of its issues; It's unbelievably crass in its execution—more than half of the 11(!) overworld maps feature references to sex and/or naughty bits, all of them Fetish Retardant due to either the tremendously outdated graphics or Eter's horrid drawing skills. The text is crude at best and obscene at worst. The art? Well... What few things weren't taken directly from Leisure Suit Larry would barely (if ever) pass in middle-school art class—many things were clearly done with whatever Paint function Eter had on hand, and what isn't a simple shape or executed using the "fill" function is very sloppily drawn and/or scribbled in an even sloppier fashion.
    • In order to end the game, you have to control a floating penis after being asked how you want to do it, and penetrate her with it. That could take a while, but once you reach 69 points, the dick cums on your computer screen and it says you got laid. It doesn't really help that there's a sequel to this game that was released in Dec. 2004. It's called Fuck Quest 2: Romancing The Bone, and while the title screen looks a little bit better here, the actual drawings somehow ended up being worse!
  • Juggernaut: The New Story For Quake II, an unofficial expansion pack for Quake II, adds little more than a few monsters, most of them lazy reskins of enemies from the real Quake II, and eye-searing reskins of some weapons. What little new content there was turned out to be terrible. The level-design is half-assed; the challenge came mainly from there being tons of enemies thrown in each room without any thoughtful design. Despite reusing many enemies and environments from Quake II, the story has nothing to do with it.
  • Kasumi Ninja for the Jaguar was a shameless Mortal Kombat clone with horrible gameplay (and that bad controller didn't help), some frankly ridiculous characters (including the infamous Angus and his fireball-spouting crotch), and a 3D selection screen that was cool in concept but clunky and annoying in practice.
  • LEGO Racers for the Game Boy Color. The PC and console versions are very well-liked, but the GBC version suffers from extremely monotonous and repetitive gameplay. There was no skill involved with winning other than to stay on the track, as it was nearly a complete chance if you were going to get a power-up, unless you knew their locations. It was also impossible to tell if there was an incoming cannonball, and it causes a ton of time loss due to how long it takes to accelerate up to full speed again. The music, which was very well-loved on the console and PC versions, was practically destroyed when remixed into 8-bit, making it near impossible to remotely enjoy any of the songs.
  • Mortal Kombat 4 for the Game Boy Color was a disastrous attempt at a stripped-down port of MK4. Even with the transition to color, the graphics still manage to be worse than the Game Boy version of MK3 in some ways, with some characters looking downright unrecognizable. Worse were the Fatalities, which were a laughably bad attempt to emulate the arcade game(!), and they all basically amounted to either "loser explodes into a pile of blood" or "all the loser's blood goes out of a wound at once."
  • Perfect Weapon, a Beat'Em Up title released early in the Play Station's life. It has a terrible, unfitting control scheme—imagine Resident Evil-style Tank Controls for a Beat'Em Up; camera angles that change completely if you move as much as two steps; a main character who constantly shouts "No way" every three seconds; and constant slowdown despite unimpressive graphics. It somehow managed to sneak onto the U.S. Playstation Store where it is among the worst-rated "PS One Classics" games.
  • Planet Joker, one of the many shmups on the Saturn and tied with the aforementioned Divine Sealing and Galactic Crusaders as one of the worst games in the genre. It is notable for spectacularly-horrible graphics even after taking the Saturn's handicap with 3D graphics into account, a strange isometric view that makes dodging bullets harder than it should be, bad collision detection, unresponsive controls, being ridiculously easy at even the harder difficulties, the huge size of the player characters, and several unskippable cutscenes involving babbling heads (especially bad in a shmup).
  • Plumbers Don't Wear Ties on the 3DO was a rare Western example of a Visual Novel, but it had nothing but still images run through bad Photoshop filters with annoying narration. The only way the player could affect the game's outcome was by selecting an option in a menu screen; thus, the game was no more interactive than a standard DVD menu. The game railroads the player through a single specific sequence of choices. Most of those choices in the sequence cause the narrator to scold the player, even though they're the right ones. All other branches are cut off immediately with Game Over clips; thus, it's a failure even as an interactive story. Despite this, the game had control issues — you couldn't select another menu option until the narration had stopped. More puzzling is why the game used badly-edited images when its intro used Full Motion Video. The founder of Game FAQs called it the worst game he's ever played, and The Angry Video Game Nerd had a similar opinion. The whole "interaction" can be, and has been, easily replicated with video annotations on YouTube!
  • Robocop for the PC, by Titus Games, suffers from broken controls, crappy AI, and horrid voice actors.
  • Ronde is infamous for killing off the Majin Tensei branch of the Megami Tensei franchise, as its preview demo alone caused such a negative reaction that thousands of Japanese gamers cancelled their preorders for the game on a scale that was virtually unprecedented in Japanese game industry history up to that point. It would take another 12 years for Mega Ten fans to see a Strategy RPG in the franchise with the release of Devil Survivor. Hardcore Gaming 101 said that the game has some of the ugliest graphics of the 32-bit era. A video of the first mission can be seen here.
  • Rugrats: Time Travelers for the Game Boy Color is a good demonstration of why knowing your audience is mandatory. Despite having a surprisingly good presentation (the graphics and mood stays true to the actual cartoon, while many little details ensure it stays above the level of shovelware), the Nintendo Hard aestheic scares away its target crowd (younger players) while frustraing even older players, including this IGN reviewer. First of all, the babies can't attack, leaving them defenseless against enemies such as mice, birds, and Little Red Riding Hood. Many of these enemies are too big to jump over. The game gives no indication of how to progress, leaving players to go through Trial and Error Gameplay before they get the idea (having to collect a certain number of bottles along with a golden token). Even then, the sprawling labyrinths of levels require more memorization and patience than a younger player can stand...and there's a time limit ticking away. Even fans of the cartoon aren't likely going to enjoy this experience, and it definitely isn't able to get past the Nostalgia Filter.
  • Shadow: War of Succession (aka Shadow Warriors) on the 3DO, yet another Fighting Game with digitized characters, may be the worst game for the ill-fated console and also the worst game in its genre. Horribly drab backgrounds, horrendous character design (one of the characters is supposed to be a woman but looks like a man), silly characters whose animation frames are in the single digits, the screen shaking every time a fighter lands after jumping, awful opening Full Motion Video, laughable voice clips, controls based on just two buttons, and nonexistent collision detection are just a sampling of the long list of Shadow Warriors' flaws. Watch it in all its glory here.
  • The Spice World video game (not to be confused with the So Bad It's Good movie of the same name) is exactly what you'd imagine a game starring the Spice Girls to be like — thoughtless rushed-out-of-the-door tripe padded with archive footage from interviews with the group. The ultimate goal is to set up a Spice Girls concert (or something), and you guide your hideous Super-Deformed polygonal Spice Girl of choice (despite having left the group by the time the game came out, Geri Halliwell is playable) through mixing your own version of a Spice Girls song from a pathetically small library of samples which don't even cover the entire song, learning your dance moves through an asinine rhythm-based minigame with a blatantly-racist black stereotype for a dance instructor and awkward timing for the button presses, and planning your choreography—which is exactly as exciting as copy-pasting the same moveset four times sounds. In the end, you will get to see the girls dance for you...and that's it. The whole game can be finished in ten minutes. The only gaming media outlet to have given this game a positive review was Gaming in The Clinton Years — and they couldn't even pass Stage 2.
  • Sniper: Path of Vengeance is a cheap, shoddy game made by City Interactive - the same company who later released the much better, but still underwhelming Sniper: Ghost Warrior. What's so special about Path of Vengeance? Let's see: its engine (Lithtech Jupiter, cutting-edge for the time) is horribly optimized, causing the game to stutter in medium details on a computer that could run No One Lives Forever 2 (better-looking game on the same engine) on high details without any problems, the graphics look monstrously outdated, despite the title there aren't many opportunities to actually use a sniper rifle, the gameplay is atrocious, the acting and script are downright horrible, and Booze-Based Buff seems to be inserted only in a juvenile attempt at making the game "cool and mature".
  • Spirit of Speed 1937, or at least its Dreamcast version. Meant to simulate 30's roadsters race, the game was routinely trashed for its atrocious loading times, bad controls, lack of multiplayer mode (bad in a racing game), mediocre production values and boring, drawn out tracks. Quite fittingly, Acclaim briefly ressurected the much-reviled LJN label for this game only.
  • Star Trek: New Worlds, an RTS game for the PC (a Dreamcast port was planned but cancelled). The game's tutorial is very unhelpful, and does little to explain how to utilize the confusing resources system. Mission objectives themselves are generic and basic, and you're not allowed to pause or save and pick them up later. This, coupled with bad AI, little differentiation between units, and battlefields so large that they take forever to traverse, makes for a very boring Trek game. Arguably the only exciting aspect was setting all your buildings to self destruct, which would blow up and collapse in an over-the-top and drawn out manner.
  • Superman (aka "that cartoon tie-in game for the Nintendo 64") is considered a trainwreck in every conceivable way. It had such poor graphics that the game had to "excuse" the huge amount of fog as "Kryptonite Fog" in a simulation, made half the missions flying through rings with awkward controls, and failed to be entertaining. Described by Seanbaby here:

 "It would have been more fun if they made a game about Superman window shopping with Aquaman."

    • The rings, in which Lex Luthor tasks you to "Solve My Maze",[6] became a Running Gag in N64 Magazine and got promoted to a regular feature when it became NGC magazine.
  • Virtuoso was a hilariously bad shooter...or something. It's hard to figure out what kind of game it was, mainly since the combination of shitty graphics and the terrifyingly-bad camera made seeing the game something of a Bragging Rights Reward. Maybe that was a good thing, since the game was terrible on its face. Apparently, you play a "famous rock and roll music star" in the future who "escapes from the rigors of stardom" by logging onto the future version of a VR MMORPG, which is one meta level too many. The enemies were also terrifyingly generic. You fight spiders, bats, giant spiders, more bats, and the boss (are you sitting down?) is another spider. But bigger this time! Yay.
  • WCW Nitro and WCW/nWo Thunder for the PS 1 are probably the worst wrestling games ever made. The presentation's decent — the intro's kick-ass, and the taunt option (where a FMV of the wrestler plays to urge you to pick him) is a neat idea...but everything else sucks:
    • The point of the game is to whittle your opponent's life bar down until you can pin them. Each wrestler only has about 3-4 moves; most are easy to spam. This was pre-Smackdown vs. Raw, so pressing X-X-X pretty much won you the match. Wrestlers with top rope moves are useless because you can't pin them when you're off the ground (no small cradles, no roll ups), and wrestlers with submission moves instantly win the match. There aren't any match options beside toggling weapons on and off, and the game is basically a cake walk if you use weapons. The controls are horribly stiff and don't let you attack while running—you can't pull off any clotheslines or dropkicks. Striking and grappling are slow and pointless processes that simply don't work. Multiplayer is a joke.
    • The music sounds like a lame garage band, all the wrestlers sound the same (even the women sound like men), and the crowd noise sounds like a slaughterhouse. To top it all off, the game is ugly. The character models are blocky with a low-polygon count, the crowd is a three-looping-frames-per-second cardboard cutout, and there is little detail in general. The framerate slows to a crawl any time more than two wrestlers are present.
    • Nitro was released in 1996 and Thunder was released in 1998, but they share the exact same engine. They are boring, simplistic, and unenjoyable.
    • To make it even worse, at the exact same time, the SAME FUCKING COMPANY was putting out the mind-blowingly good World Tour series on the Nintendo 64, which later switched licenses and became the nexus for all post-1999 WWE games.
  • Zusar Vasar is a racing game with a stupidly awesome premise — a racing competition where floating chariots are carried by giant animal-shaped Humongous Mecha. Unfortunately, the game itself is terrible. The graphics are horrendously pixelated and full of clipping, looking worse than many comparable 32-bit games...even though this thing ran on the Sega Dreamcast. The controls are bad because of ridiculous inertia and a complete inability to stop (your vehicle is always moving) or slow down. The single-player mode features one of the most blatant and ridiculous cases of Fake Difficulty ever devised: the racetracks have laser turrets which are expressly designed to fire on you and only you for no adequately-explained reason. It's not hard to see why it didn't leave Japan.


Sixth Generation (2001-05)

  • Aquaman: Battle for Atlantis, for the Game Cube and X Box, is generally considered to be one of the worst games of all time, inspiring the "Golden Mullet Awards", X-Play's ranking of the worst games of each year. The graphics are very reminiscent to the Nintendo 64 as the city of Atlantis has mostly bland grey buildings and everyone looks somewhat lifeless. Only Aquaman's hair has any graphical effort. The missions have little variation, as you either beat up enemies (easily done by Button Mashing) or pilot an underwater ship to blow up other ships. A boring experience from beginning to end.
  • Bad Boys: Miami Takedown, which was released to coincide with Bad Boys II for the Game Cube, Play Station 2, Xbox, and PC. It has two untalented expies of Martin Lawrence and Will Smith that manage to be worse, spouting horrible dialogue. The controls on this game are broken, and when you shoot, you are expected to have humiliating aiming. GameTrailers named this #4 in its "Worst Movie Games of All Time".
  • American McGee's Bad Day L.A. manages to combine everything people dislike about video games with inappropriate Toilet Humor disguised as "social commentary". It's hard to believe that it came from the same mind that made the creepy-but-cool Alice a decade earlier, but it somehow did and some game company decided to release it.
  • The Catwoman game, based on an already subpar movie, released for the Game Cube, Play Station 2, and Xbox. A shaky camera angle and confusing controls do not make this a good game where you have to look for bling fragments. The only apparently good thing about this game is a visual animation that shows every detail of Halle Berry's character as seen in the poster.
  • Charlie's Angels, released to tie in with Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, for the Game Cube and Play Station 2. The camera angles and controls are busted on this game, and players must spend minutes moving their characters up ladders. Not to mention the graphics are terrible, with the women looking more like living blow-up dolls than the characters they represent. It beat the E.T. game to be #1 on GameTrailers' list of the "Top 10 Worst Movie Games". Really. They describe Charlie's Angels as being "degrading, not to women, not even to video games, but to humanity itself". It was named a "horrific display of ineptitude" by GameSpot and is the lowest rated video game reviewed on GameRankings with more than 20 featured reviews, having a score of 24.57%.
  • Crazy Bus, a South American homebrew game for the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive made in 2004 in which you drive a bus across the screen. Impossible to lose or win, barely even a game, extremely boring, and music so bad it sounds like someone trying to eat a Game Boy while it's still on. The sound effects sound like they were taken from an Atari 2600 game, and the graphics look no better than an Atari 7800 game.
  • Dangerous Vaults was a pornographic rip-off of the Tomb Raider games. It somehow had worse graphics than the original Tomb Raider despite being released around the time Angel of Darkness hit the stores. Its play mechanics were beyond broken, and the sexual content tended to be laughable rather than erotic.
  • Dragonball Z: Legacy of Goku for the Game Boy Advance. The two games that came after it were decent beat-em-ups, but the first one was terrible. You could only move in four directions at an incredibly-slow speed, the melee attack was completely useless and only had a single animation, and the story would've been completely indecipherable to anyone not familiar with the anime. Its one saving grace was that it wasn't very long. It's a real shame that Atari and Webfoot Technologies didn't make a game of the first two arcs in the style of Legacy of Goku 2 and Buu's Fury.
  • Dragon Ball Z Sagas for the Gamecube tried to recapture the beat-em-up charm of last two Legacy of Goku titles and add a co-op mode. Didn't work, thanks to depressingly-linear levels, ridiculously-high difficulty, and no checkpoints.
  • Drake of the 99 Dragons for the XBox. Its attempt at creating a comic book-style action shooter is undermined rather quickly by horrid collision detection, an auto-targeting system that forces Drake to flail his arms about like a drowning swimmer, and controls that showed nothing but scorn and contempt at the player's desire to move in a given direction. The game supposedly adapts a "comic book" feel complete with SFX bubbles whenever a gun is fired or a character jumps, but this has the unintended effect of making the graphics look even worse — it highlights the similarities the graphics have to a Rob Liefeld comic. Jumping is useless, as are any platforming elements, unless one could will collision detection into being from thin air, assuming one gets past the enemies by way of precognition first. There's no hints of what to do at any point, and only by pure chance can one figure out how to clear the levels. To simply call the game "bad" would be a gross understatement (although Gamespot and X-Play have tried).
  • Endgame is perhaps the worst Time Crisis knockoff ever conceived. No double gun mode despite what it says on the box, Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy accuracy even from the Elite Mooks, easily-replenished lives and a Life Meter, dull and predictable gameplay, terrible voice acting (everyone has American Accents, but the game is set in Europe), and a wretched hive of bugs.
  • Godai Elemental Force, a 3D Beat'Em Up made by 3DO for the Play Station 2, is a complete technical disaster. Despite featuring muddy textures, small environements and few models displayed at any given time, the game chugs at a pathetically low framerate that can't even stay consistent. The game design isn't much better - while the main character has an handful of projectile attacks and moves, his main form of offense is a short Button Mashing combo that can't be changed or mixed up in any way, and while weapons can be collected throughout the levels, most of them simply hit harder and do not change his fighting style. The fixed camera angles are screwed up, enemy variety is low and the main character's gliding ability allows one to skip large chunks of the game with impunity. The game was eviscerated by players and critics alike and 3DO went bankrupt within one year of releasing it. With games like this, it's not hard to see why.
  • Inspector Gadget: Mad Robots Invasion for the PS2 is a simple side-scrolling platformer, but executed terribly. The graphics probably wouldn't pass muster on the Nintendo 64 - the opening cutscene is horrible, with extremely limited animation, and capped off with a voice actor for Dr. Claw who sounds nothing like him (there is one funny thing about the graphics, though - the bizarrely disturbing faces Gadget makes whenever he dies). The music is just the same annoying loop repeating over and over again, and the sound effects are weird (Gadget makes an extremely annoying "boing" sound when he jumps, they sometimes use the wrong sound effects for the scene, and Gadget says "By my gadgets!" whenever he picks up a health powerup). But what really kills it is the gameplay. The game is both extremely easy and extremely hard - easy because extra lives and health powerups respawn when you die, the enemies are very easy to kill (despite occasionally spawning out of nowhere), and there are almost no tricky jumps. However, it's still difficult, because of the awkward jumping and slippery control. On top of all this, the plot makes no sense. OK, so Dr. Claw makes a bomb that neutralizes all of Gadget's gadgets... but he still has two (a hammer used for attacking, and a tennis racket which reflects projectiles), and can get more for a limited time through "gadget batteries" conveniently found throughout the levels. This game was obviously intended for small children, but there's no excuse for giving them a shoddy product like this.
  • I Spy Challenger for Game Boy Advance. As if the music wasn't bad enough, the graphics were downright atrocious. The game attempted to use real-life images on a system which didn't really have great resolution with images like that, making gameplay amazingly difficult. The goal is to find things, but everything's blurry. The other parts of the game have to deal with matching and categorizing; since it's hard to see any particular object, unless it's asking for colors to be matched, it's annoying trying to figure out what's supposed to get matched with what. The concept would have worked had more effort been put into the game.
  • The Xbox 3D fighting game Kabuki Warriors was described by Gamespot as "... one of the worst games to be released this year or any year, on the Xbox or any other platform." Characters that are only differentiated by palette swaps of identical graphics, stages that differ only by backgrounds, terrible character animation, and a "fighting" system that is just as effective as closing one's eyes and mashing buttons make it one of the worst 3D fighters ever. It holds the dubious honor of being the first game Edge magazine — infamous for its refusal to adhere to the Four Point Scale and stinginess with giving a 10/10 rating — has given a 1/10 to, and remained the only game with that rating until Flat Out 3 10 years later.
  • The Game Boy Advance adaptation of Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring came out after the movies but (to keep Electronic Arts off the developer's back) was touted as being based on the books. If a player wasn't careful, then by the midpoint of the game items essential to progress would simply vanish. There were glitches that rendered the game impossible unless one knew how to get around them. There's even a spot where you need to save during a transition between scenes to keep the game from becoming Unwinnable.
  • Lunar: Dragon Song recycled many characters and plot elements from the original game, and wrapped them up in a ridiculously awful battle system, where running on the world map hurts you and you can't select your targets. The beginning enemies are way overpowered, or seem so because you only have 20 hit points and weak attacks to start with. You can choose to receive experience or Vendor Trash for the battles you win, but not both. Enemies attacking you can randomly break your equipment, and God help you if you don't have a spare. Your main healer's lost early on, and in her place comes the Level 1 replacement healer in a location that makes it near impossible to train her without a ridiculous amount of luck. The only redeeming features about the game are the music and the R button, which lets you speed up battle animations. It's not a stretch to say that it almost killed the franchise for good. Thank the good lord for Lunar: Silver Star Harmony.
  • Master of Orion 3 is probably one of the worst strategy sequels of all time, and reviews of the game have compared it to doing one's taxes. At release, the AI would only build troop ships, yet still fails to put up any kind of a fight even when fully patched. It doesn't help that Infogrames (the current Atari) fired the developers of the previous two games and hired some neophytes on the cheap. This game fails in every way — horrible music, ugly UI, dated graphics, and incomplete gameplay. The previous game is better in every way than this one, despite being released five years and one console generation earlier.
  • McFarlane's Evil Prophecy, a game based on a toy line by Spawn creator Todd McFarlane, seems to have very little actual work put into it aside from getting Todd's name on the cover. The audio barely exists, the AI and controls seem to conspire against you despite the mindlessness of combat, and the muddy and bloody environments make for an experience just as horrifying as the monsters themselves.
  • Mortal Kombat Advance is quite possibly the worst adaptation of a Mortal Kombat game on a handheld system known to man — it's a cheap bastardization of Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3. As the two ports of Deadly Alliance proved, Mortal Kombat can work on the Game Boy Advance. But Mortal Kombat Advance fails — tinny music, primitive-looking sprites, AI that's either too easy or too diabolical depending on the opponent (which sometimes resulted in getting That One Boss as your first opponent)...you get the drill. Watch AllieRX87's hilarious review of it here.
  • Operation: Matriarchy may very well be one of the worst FPS ever made. Nevermind the nonsensical and vaguely misogynistic premise (dealing with a virus that turns all women on some space colony into an hive mind of men-enslaving monsters), the game is atrocious: enemies are dumb as bricks, ridiculously resistant and gang up on the player mercilessly - all that made much worse by the extremely cramped level design and the puny armament given to the player early in the game. The sound effects are unfitting and annoying, and there's no music. The graphic engine is actually surprisingly good for such a small release, but its relative competence in turn highlights the horrible art direction and poor animation.
  • Simpsons Skateboarding has Andrew Reiner of Game Informer question whether the developers were deliberately attempting for a game to get the Worst Game Of The Year edition. It had terrible graphics, poor controls, bad music, and a lack of skateboard tricks. IGN gave it a 2.5, and Kevin Murphy of GameSpy stated that Simpsons Skateboarding should be a case study in bad game design. Thankfully, the Simpsons has actually had GOOD video games since then, such as The Simpsons Game, which is exactly what it says on the tin.
  • The Sniper 2, widely considered the worst PS2 game ever developed. Originally a Japanese budget title, this game features the usual suspects: bad voice acting, worse gameplay, an idiotic storyline, and graphics that somehow go from PS2 quality to PS1 quality after the first cutscene!
    • It's so bad, that the offical description of the game on PSN points out how horrible it is.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis for GBA is one of the most infamous Porting Disasters in modern gaming history. The screen was cropped to the point where you could only see ten feet per direction, bits of terrain would flash on and off-screen at random, the soundtrack consisted of cheap MIDI versions of the synthesized original game songs, the sounds are all off, and the physics engine was replaced with one that posed many problems.[7] The game was bugged to failure, with an extreme case of Fake Difficulty, and sparse, pointless bonus features: "Anniversary Mode," which gave Sonic his Spin Dash ability from Sonic 2, but couldn't be charged; a save function that was either a must or made the game impossible; a level select screen that was rendered pointless since the game could only be won by starting from Green Hill Zone; and a sound test mode you had to clear the game to unlock. All of this was made worse by the game's jerking, dragging framerate and the celebration - Sonic's 15th anniversary - it was clearly rushed to commemorate. The game would eventually be outdone by a bootleg with a one-man staff.
  • Strike Fighters: Project One was a lesson on why releasing unfinished games is a bad idea. Clicking on the briefing screen caused the game to freeze. Not that there was much to do — enemy planes would fly into the ground when they weren't shooting each other down. Adding insult to injury were the featureless barren landscapes. The magazine Computer Games (formerly known as Computer Games Strategy Plus) gave it a rare zero star out of five review; in contrast, it gave Daikatana (see above) 1.5 stars.
    • Even worse, you can't play this game in a LCD or high-res monitor. You're forced to play the game with a CRT monitor, and good luck trying to find one nowadays.
  • Win Back 2: Project Poseidon. Nice job killing this franchise, Koei, with this shovelware sequel. None of the original survivors are present, the general gameplay is uninspired and unfun, and they added that half-assed character-switching system where you play the same mission from two different characters' points of view, like a poor man's version of Resident Evil 2's zapping system.
  • Winx Club: Quest For The Codex for Game Boy Advance is mostly a Shoot'Em Up which follows the Season 2 plot very loosely, with some minigames thrown in. The Shoot'Em Up sections are boring, repetitive (there are only a small sample of enemies and no boss battles), and hard to control. Of the five minigames, only one is worth playing at all; the other four are either too easy or too annoying. The icing on the cake? The game forces you to play all the minigames multiple times during the story mode, regardless of relevance to the plot. Yes, helping Stella to choose a skirt that matches her shirt is going to be helpful in a fight against Darkar...and we don't even know why. Fortunately, the creators did learn from this train wreck, because its sequel Mission Enchantix for Nintendo DS is pretty good.


Seventh Generation (2006-Present)

  • 1968 Tunnel Rats. Yes, a Uwe Boll movie was given a tie-in video game. The film is one of the best things Boll has directed so far, but the game "makes up for it" by being simply bad. Gamespot, whose reviewers usually have at least one good thing to say about some of the worst games, couldn't even find a good point to fill in the summary.
  • Alien Disco Safari is a shooter where you shoot aliens for... coming to Earth because they like disco. There's no disco-related content in the game at all aside from the backstory, so you're just shooting aliens for existing on their own ship. You have unlimited ammo in your main weapon, and that weapon kills most enemies in one hit and is perfectly accurate. The levels are the same six bland levels played again and again in order without getting harder.
  • Survival Horror game AMY, released very early in 2012, boasts a novel premise (an Escort Mission game in which the player needs the NPC to survive), but has too much wrong with it to even bother. Controls are difficult (if even possible) to correctly use, the AI is very stupid, clipping and Hitbox Dissonance are far too common, and the checkpoint system is unfairly sparse. This results in repetitive Trial and Error Gameplay with a very high degree of Fake Difficulty. On top of that, the writing's clichéd, the voice-acting's terrible, and the puzzles and scares seem shoehorned in. Come, kick back and watch Yahtzee tear it a new one.
  • The Backyard Sports games from Backyard Baseball 2007 onward. With their blocky graphics, stoic voice acting (except in some cases), and awful controls, these games have been hated by every major video game review website.
  • Bomberman: Act Zero is considered one of the dumbest series reboots in recent memory. Title and a threadbare resemblance to gameplay are all that ties this game to the franchise; the kid-friendly, cartoony atmosphere was ditched in lieu of a grimdark post-apocalyptic mood. Its graphics are barely on par with the original X Box, let alone Xbox Live Arcade. There's no offline multiplayer, one of the series' biggest selling points. The only challenge in any of the 99 sluggish, repetitive levels (all of which are set on the same FPS beta reject of a map with little variation) is Fake Difficulty - you have to play through all 99 levels in one sitting, and you only get one life and no save points. Everything else is just generic - the forgettable music, the characters (of which there are only two), the barely-present voice acting, even the story. Add to this a fistful of bugs and some downright audience-insulting moments, and you've got a game that all parties involved still crack jokes about to this day.
  • Damnation shows that basing a commercial release on a popular mod is not alway a good idea. Though everyone agreed the premise (involving a Alternate History where steampunk weaponery severely extended the length of the American Civil War) and the concept of an "acrobatic" third person shooter could have been cool in a better game, it was bashed for its insanely idiotic friendly and enemy AI, inconsistent game design (for example, being killed by gunfire boots you back to a checkpoint but falling to your death respawn you immediatly on the spot for some reason), laggy aiming, boring weapons and an insane number of bugs. Developer Blue Omega Entertainement went bust immediately after releasing the game.
  • Elf Bowling 1 & 2 for the Nintendo DS. To begin with, you're spending $20 on two games you can already get as freeware on your PC, and the DS version has even been slightly downgraded from the PC versions by removing some animations and sounds and the coin toss from the beginning of Elf Bowling 2, which is unacceptable since the games were so minimalist in the first place, so the game has already commited the crime of shamelessly ripping you off! But even then, everything about it is awful—the graphics are pathetic and don't remotely take advantage of the DS's capabilities, the music is all but non-existent, the occasional quips from the elves are embarrassingly juvenile ("Those all the balls you got, Santa?") and the gameplay is as bare-bones as you can get with a bowling game.
  • European Street Racing, one in a series of budget racing titles by Dutch developer Team 6, fails in many ways - blocky-looking cars that neither drive nor sound like high-powered vehicles, laughably stupid computer driver AI, and a physics engine that causes cars and other objects to bounce off walls like pinballs. Someone went so far as to explain the "ESR" acronym as Extremely Shitty Racing.
  • G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra was rushed to come out with the new film to make a fast buck. Its controls are retarded, the graphics (if you can call them that) look like they were programmed 15 years ago, and the sound and music are annoying. (German computer games magazine CBS said it was "[...]the first game which is better WITHOUT sound.") If you try to aim at anything, the weapon will most probably fire at the enemy...then the bullet rethinks this and flies straight to any random object but the enemy. Oh, and if you die (which happens easily), then you land right at the beginning because no save points exist. This is an unwelcome throwback.
    • By the way, you get to play as Cobra in it for one mission...fighting other Cobra troops as they say "GI Joe is HERE!" (thud)
  • Guitar Superstar, a horrid ripoff of a certain popular rhythm game franchise. You have to see it to believe it.
  • Hour of Victory was a bizarre and terrible mishmash of the Call of Duty and Wolfenstein games, starting out as another historical World War II shooting game, but then taking a jump off the deep end and turning into a game about the Nazis developing nuclear weaponry. As if that weren't bad enough, the graphics were barely even of Play Station 2 standard (despite the game proudly boasting on the box that it was the first World War II shooter to use the Unreal Engine 3), the gameplay mechanics were screwed up beyond belief, the heavily-promoted destructible scenery and vehicular combat barely even featured, and the multiplayer mode somehow managed to have fewer options than games released ten years previously. It was perhaps the worst-reviewed Xbox 360 game to have been released until that point, and arguably even a Genre Killer for the World War II shooter, with only Call of Duty: World at War having met with any real success since Hour of Victory's release.
  • Jumper: Griffin's Story is an Obvious Beta if there ever was one, with too many Game Breaking Bugs to count. It hurts all the more because of how promising it was—Jamie Bell voiced the cutscenes quite well, and the teleporting mechanic came within hairs-breadth of being fun. Being rushed to market to meet the movie's opening date ruined it.
  • Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust has a terrible, offensive sense of humor. The gameplay mostly consists of fetch quests and awkward jumping puzzles, and it has multiple Game Breaking Bugs. Following the franchise tradition and having some eye-candy shots of attractive girls in it would maybe at least make it a Guilty Pleasure, but it even fails at this, as many of the female characters look butt-ugly. The game currently holds the single-lowest composite score of any game on Metacritic, with 17 whole points to its name, and reviews of it can be found from Bennett the Sage, Gamespot, and even Al Lowe, the series' original creator (who had no input on BOB or its prequel, and is all the happier for it).
  • Limbo of the Lost was an irredeemably-bad Adventure Game thrown together in thirteen years by a group of three middle-aged Brits with no experience in coding, graphic design, or writing. The results show all too well - the game is chock-full of Combinatorial Explosions, Pixel Hunts, Guide Dang It moments, nonsensical puzzles, and resources stolen from more famous games, piled together using a freeware adventure game engine with code almost entirely written by wide-eyed forumgoers who have yet to receive a single mention of gratitude for their effort and aren't listed in the game credits. Tying it all together is a dreadful generic fantasy story played out through terribly-modeled pre-rendered characters whose dialogue was practically phoned in from across the globe (almost all voiced by the same guy). Fortunately, the game was pulled off the shelves by its distributors after they learned that the devs used stolen assets, for the greater good of mankind and the survival of the distributors. To top it all off, check out the ending...or experience it in all its traumatizing "glory" in Wields-Rulebook-Heavily's screenshot-and-comment Let's Play.
    • How bad is the writing? Half the characters are an offensive stereotype of some sort, and the rest are just vilely disgusting and superfluous to the so-called plot. The plot is barely even a generic fantasy story, but mostly consists of the main character wandering from one scene to the next and generally either acting like a dick for no reason, or getting forced to do something. One chapter has you collect 50 items, but you only use about four of them before a troll comes up and removes your items (no lie; a random troll barges in at the end of the chapter and shakes the guy down).
    • Polish video game magazine CD-Action gave Limbo of the Lost -1 out of ten possible points (giving the game a negative score for plagiarism alone) for the first time in their history.
  • M&Ms Kart Racing is a textbook example of how even a concept as simple as "Make a Mario Kart knockoff with mascot stars" can be completely botched, and examplifies just about everything that can go wrong with a licensed video game. Everything about it is rushed and uninspired: the core racing has no substance, challenge or strategy—there are no weapons, no shortcuts, and no techniques to exploit. They don't even try to instill a sense of speed beyond having a voice periodically shout "Approaching sound barrier!" The race tracks are so poorly designed that they often trap or bottleneck players—the fact that the vehicles have little to no grip just makes it worse. The unlockables that do exist are nowhere near worth it. The graphics are bland, owe more to older consoles, and have a very obvious draw distance. The sounds are obnoxious, and the soundtrack, levels, and bonus characters are all completely generic. On top of that, it still takes as many as ten seconds to load a single screen. See it here and here, the latter to give a sample of how awful the tracks are.
    • This Gamespot review says it best in a screenshot caption: "If you think this looks bad, just wait until you see the game moving."
  • The latter half of the Painkiller series was already notorious for basing Overdose on a fan-made game mod. Painkiller: Resurrection does the same thing, but not as well. Everything but a single monster (which looks like an orc made of raw hamburger and has three different sizes) and a single weapon (a re-skinned "Battle Out Of Hell" weapon) are taken pixel-for-pixel from earlier installments. The levels are the largest the franchise has ever seen, but are usually either too cramped to comfortably accomodate the sort of monsters found in them or so huge that the player must backtrack constantly to find a new monster spawn point. The clumsy storyline is shoehorned into the game with comic-style cutscenes à la Max Payne and mood-killing voice acting à la Resident Evil (case in point). It's loaded with bugs that no patch effort has successfully deterred — it crashes to desktop frequently, the weather effects slow the dated engine to a crawl, enemy AI tends to get hung up on the scenery, online co-op (a major selling point) was inaccessible at launch, the game crashed if a certain weapon was fired in multiplayer, and glitching out the final checkpoint was common and made hour-long levels Unwinnable By Mistake. If that won't make you quit playing Painkiller, put on "Painkiller", and down some painkillers, then nothing will. For added pain, be sure to check out the homepage of the (now-defunct) developer.
  • Power Gig Rise of the Six String is considered not only one of the worst Guitar Hero clones ever made, but also one of the worst rhythm games in recent memory. Its mission statement was ambitious: get players to "rock for real" by replacing the standard guitar controllers, with their coloured buttons and strum bars, with a proper six-string guitar that works both in and out of the game. They went so far as to make Take Thats for this reason. Now, one of their competitors did this -- Rock Band 3 can be played with a real six-string—but the real guitar for this game barely works in the game and sounds like you'd expect a $150 guitar to sound in Real Life. Worse, this game barely encourages players to learn to play real guitar. Aside from the "power chords," which can be turned off, the gameplay is identical to the game's chief competitors, only there are only six-string guitar charts—no bass guitars. The notes you play in the game aren't even close to how you would play the song in real life, eliminating the reason to have a real six-string as a controller. The track list does have some decent songs in it (including artists who have never appeared in any previous music game, such as Eric Clapton and Dave Matthews), but very few songs are available from the get-go. Players will have to slog through the game's story mode, which has an idiotic plotline centered around collecting "mojo" from different bands to defeat the evil Headliner who has outlawed playing music in public.
    • Speaking of outlawing playing in public, this game's drum controller seems designed for it. It is four pads sitting on the floor, and you have to air drum over them. It is quieter, but it misses the point of playing drums. You also have to be absurdly precise to know which pad you're "hitting"; you get no touch feedback from air drumming, and keeping an eye on the screen and another on the ground won't let you watch your hands to be sure where they are.
  • Rogue Warrior is a FPS/stealth action hybrid title based on the exploits and autobiography of real-life Navy SEAL Dick Marcinko (voiced by Mickey Rourke), with a multiplayer mode that was supposed to revolutionize online play with its randomized maps. This was supposed to be Bethesda's big game for the 2009 holiday season. Instead, it was roundly trashed for its completely broken enemy AI, hit detection, and stealth mechanics; a single-player campaign runtime of under two hours; and a script so foul-mouthed that it was more annoying than hardcore. The only redeeming factor was the So Bad It's Good rapping that Mickey Rourke does over the credits. Here's Giant Bomb having their fun with it.
  • Stalin VS Martians aimed for the So Bad It's Good camp...and missed by a country mile. It's supposed to be a real-time strategy game, but instead is a buggy, unplayable mess of bad design decisions — bad AI, bad enemy placement, bad mission structure, and bad attempts at humor. Fortunately, a series of music videos were produced for the game, and they remain firmly in the So Bad It's Good category. The best part? They're all available online, meaning you don't have to play the game!
  • Thor: God of Thunder is a towering symbol of every problem with licensed games. The last-gen graphics and phoned-in voice acting should be warning signs, but if you soldier on, you will find yourself confronted by a combat system that can't even get button-mashing right due to laggy controls and broken hit detection. Throw on tedious, mind-numbingly repetitive combat and more Fake Difficulty than you can shake an LJN Toys cartridge at, and you've got Exhibit A for why not every game should cost $60. Now prepare to be convinced to buy it anyway...
  • Following a drop in sales and review scores, not to mention competitor EA's Skate series, Activision attempted to bring back the Tony Hawk Pro Skater Franchise Zombie with Tony Hawk: Ride — a game built around a board peripheral that, in theory, would accurately simulate skateboarding. Said peripheral barely worked as it was overly sensitive,[8] lagged, couldn't distinguish between movements, and its curved bottom (perhaps intended to help simulate turns) made it damn near impossible to stay atop. The gameplay proper was far too linear (even steering for you on Easy difficulty), and it was built around the same combo-score system most fans had grown tired of seeing from previous installments. Worst of all, the skateboard was the only way to play as it had no controller support. All of this ran for more than the price of an average skateboard.
    • Despite Ride being a commercial failure, Activision pressed on with Tony Hawk: Shred, including a sturdier peripheral and a snowboarding mode. Despite this, most of the same problems that plagued the original peripheral are still there. The gameplay itself hasn't changed for the better, as jumping over gaps and doing correct tricks are still difficult to perform. Shred managed to sell even less than Ride and almost killed off the franchise.
  • Vampire Rain is a piss-poor stealth-action survival horror game that features among other things: a thinly-written plot with wooden voice acting, dreadful dialogue, lousy gameplay that shamelessly rips off both Splinter Cell and Metal Gear (and doesn't deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence as either), laughable enemy A.I. and wildly inconsistent difficulty. You know a game is terrible when the most innovative thing about it is that your knife (a melee weapon) actually requires ammo to use! (they do justify it by making the knife explode inside the victim, but this doesn't make things less frustrating).
  • Windy X Windam has been derided by fighting game enthusiasts for its choppy animation, bland music and repetitive sound effects, a small roster of characters (half of whom are Guilty Gear knockoffs), and a bug-riddled fighting engine coupled with extreme Artificial Stupidity that discourages any strategy beyond Button Mashing. The threadbare plot is done no favors by U.S. publisher Graffiti Entertainment's weak translation (misspellings and dropped commas and periods are commonplace), and even the game's main draw - the chance to play as Izuna and Shino from Izuna Legend of the Unemployed Ninja - is short-lived, as they can only be unlocked for play by finishing the game on the higher difficulty levels.
  • Yaris, an advergame on XBLA which, despite being free, somehow managed to make the customers feel ripped off. It received a score of 17 from Metacritic, citing bad gameplay, painful audio and no replay value. It was pulled from the service after a while due to bad reception, and thank God for that.
  • You Are Empty, a Russian game released by 1C Games in 2006. The plot reads like a mishmash of The Butterfly Effect, The Red Star and Command and Conquer: Red Alert, the game is bugged to death, and it uses flat textures. That's right, folks — in 2006, someone released a game with no lighting effects whatsoever. Gamespot's reviewer apologized for wasting the reader's time with the review. One of the game's greatest moments is when a monster jumps out at you from a higher level...and dies on impact with the floor.
  • Dimension Witches - is a free game (at one point was for sale at a ridiculous price apparently)that plays off the Touhou Project style of playing but fails horribly with terrible looking gameplay and even worse,and cliche looking, designs and art style to the playable characters as well as NPC and enemies. It was taken down from the Indie City site and would have been forgotten had Mike Nnemonic not played it one a livestream as well as post a video on his youtube channel [1] (somewhat NSFW)


Companies

  • Active Enterprises is mostly infamous for creating Action 52, a compilation of 52 different "games" — but only if you use a loose definition of the word. These games have a lot of bugs, sloppy controls, bad level designs, etc. You couldn't tell that to the guys at Active; not only did they expect to make $200 a pop off of this garbage, but they also had plans to make one of the games (Cheetahmen, perhaps the most mind-wrenchingly terrible side-scrolling Beat'Em Up ever burned to an EEPROM) into a merchandising empire rivaling the likes of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, including a line of action figures and a Saturday-morning cartoon. Well, they weren't "plans" so much as "pie-in-the-sky dreaming with absolutely no grounding in what we call reality" but, much like the legless boy who dreams of being an Olympic sprinter, it's somewhat endearing in a way to see somebody hoping to make so much out of such a crappy game. (Note that the former has almost been accomplished.)
    • In the game's defense, it did bring us hillbilly ninjas in Ninja Assault, and the so-weird-it's-hilarious Non Human. The Cheetahmen background music has been well received, achieving a cult status amongst gamers and the Japanese. It's played in clubs. Seriously. Unfortunately, Action 52 is the worst possible place to try to listen to that background music because the game can't play the music and the sound effects at the same time.
    • Can you believe they actually made an advert for the package? Guru Larry uploaded it to his YouTube channel. It has poor voice acting with stereotypical English and Hispanic accents, hints that the "games" might not be that good, but the animation was decent, and the sad thing is, they still clearly put more effort into the advert than the actual "games".
    • Cheetahmen 2, the planned-but-unreleased sequel, was programmed into cartridges while still unfinished (presumably they were prototypes). It had the same clunky Action 52 jumping, waves of nigh-undodgeable Goddamned Bats and Demonic Spiders, the inability to crouch or shoot while jumping, and a game-breaking glitch which makes Level 4 unbeatable. Even if you use a Game Genie or hacked ROM to skip to the last two levels, there's No Ending programmed.
    • The Genesis version of Action 52 was only published by Active, as actual development was done by Farsight Technologies (developers of the Game Party mini-game compilation series and various pinball collections). Their version of Action 52 is still an overall failure, but still not as bad as the trainwreck the NES version turned out to be.
  • Color Dreams. Many of their beat-em-up games share the same gameplay, with unresponsive controls, near-zero attack range, etc. They eventually changed their name to Bunch Games because of the poor reputation of their video games, and later on became a Christian company known as Wisdom Tree. However, it should be noted that while they had some of their best-selling games as Wisdom Tree and was the only company to have an unlicensed SNES game that works (but in a weird manner), they no longer sell video games in their current market and are no longer associated with Color Dreams. A FITTING PUNISHMENT!!
    • Wisdom Tree put some of their NES games up on the site as playable Java games. If you want to take a dive in their infamy, help yourself.[9]
  • Data Design Interactive is an infamous shovelware developer whose games were released on the Wii in North America, with very few differences between them. All of their games started as PS2 games from low-budget European companies that Sony Computer Entertainment America prevented from crossing overseas. Due to the Wii's nature, Nintendo decided to be more lax with third-parties...which backfired, as the gate was now open for shovelers to dump their crap upon America, much like the pirated NES multi-game cartridges and the flood of cloned Atari games that sparked the video game crash in the U.S. Some examples of DDI's "handiwork" include:
    • Action Girlz Racing, one of DDI's countless made-in-five-seconds racing games, became only the third game in IGN's history to get a rating of less than 1.0 (it got a 0.8) and was called the worst game of 2008.
    • Two of the most infamous examples (listed together because they're the exact same game minus a main character model swap) are Ninjabread Man and Anubis II. Horrible controls, a bad camera that you can't control, and a near-useless (and difficult to activate) melee attack. The games also contain only four levels, one of which is a "training" stage.
  • Delta 4 Interactive (D4i) and On-Line Entertainment made some particularly terrible games that were only available for the short-lived Commodore Amiga CDTV.
    • The first one we'll be looking at is The Town With No Name, which has been gaining some attention due to a Retsupurae involving this game. You could actually go ahead and get back on the train without doing anything, and you'll still "win" with the odd ending that it gives you. Of course, if you do want to "play" this game fairly, just prepared to be weirded out by some things that could be considered So Bad It's Good and this sort of odd ending that happens if you do manage to find Evil Eb, the last boss. Even then, those weird scenes won't be worth your time spent playing this.
      • The "bonus" materials give the impression that the people responsible for this abomination were actively trolling the players: the "Making Of" feature is just a bunch of goofy photos of the crew with terrible jokes and the "hidden features" are a bunch of trailers for future games (many of which were thankfully never made, like the sequel to the game below) in which two outtakes of the announcer are left in (one has the announcer coughing and then repeating his line, and in another, you can hear him turn the pages of the script). You can watch how messed up it is right here.
    • Our second game from these two is considered worse than the game above. Psycho Killer is a point-and-click horror adventure game where you "move" by clicking on three arrow keys on the bottom left side of the screen. While The Town With No Name had comedy to lessen the horrible effect, this takes itself seriously with a boring and annoying British monologuer, terrible sounds, and filtered pictures and scenes (which, admittedly, isn't as insane as Plumbers Don't Wear Ties) that don't even take up the entire disk memory! Sure, there might not have been enough memory needed in 1992 for some companies to truly take advantage of CD technology, but other companies at least knew that they had to try to fill it up by at least 100 MB. Like The Town With No Name, Psycho Killer has also be Retsupuraed here.
  • Dragon Co. were a Chinese developer who mostly developed games for the Famicom and Mega Drive, and most of their games fit this trope quite well.
    • Starting with their Famicom titles, their Felix the Cat game was essentially a Porting Disaster of the Hudson Soft game of the same name, which was released on the same console 6 years before. The physics are shoddily programmed, the controls are poor and choppy, the story makes no sense and the music is a beepy mess. It's also worth noting that all of their Famicom games use the same engine.
    • One of their games is based off the Russian cartoon Nu, Pogodi! but features Bugs Bunny on the title screen for no discernible reason. The levels are badly designed (the second one is nearly impossible without save states) and the game over screen features the main character getting eaten by the wolf.
    • Continuing with their licensed games which aren't actually licensed, Tom & Jerry 3 is yet another awful platformer based off a cartoon. The only notable feature about this one is that it features Tom smoking weed on the title screen.
    • They made two games based off The Lion King; marketed as the third and fifth instalments in the series. While the former is standard Dragon Co. rubbish, the latter is notable for having a soundtrack that qualifies for So Cool Its Awesome, while at the same time having the main character commit suicide on the game over screen. I'm not making this up.
    • As stated above, they also made games for the Mega Drive. One of them is Iraq War 2003, which is a really boring lightgun shooter without the lightgun. One of the sound effects is stolen from Microsoft Powerpoint, and there's no way to avoid enemy fire.
  • Langdell, Tim.' The be-all, end-all of sleazy game company tactics. He started by running Softek, which hired dev teams on a contract: stating they'd get pay if the game was complete before deadline—then ask for more and more changes, stalling the devs until the deadline had passed. As if it wasn't bad enough, he would later form Edge Games (of which he is the only member confirmed to exist) selling only unauthorized distributions of games made and published by companies outside the US that never got an official US release. They would list projects as "pending" and never go through with them, sometimes using cover art stolen from deviantART. One was a sequel to a game he never had the rights to, Bobby Bearing.[10] The company was pretty much an excuse for Langdell to make sure nobody else got to use the word "Edge"—the most notable instance being Namco's Soul Edge (released as Soul Blade on the Play Station and the other games in the series are titled Soul Calibur) and Mobigame's EDGE, which was pulled outright despite offers to rename it EDGY. This backfired on him when he tried to mess with Electronic Arts, ordering the iPhone version of Mirrors Edge pulled on the grounds that it risked confusion with his "upcoming" title Mirrors (fun fact: its logo ripped off Mirror's Edges). EA, encouraged by the exposure of all his perfidy by the indie game community, attacked him, wielding proof that Langdell had no actual case and was doctoring his evidence. He wound up forced to settle out of court and give up nearly all his trademarks.
  • Ludia is a Canadian company whose goal is to make video games on the Wii based on every popular American game show (except Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, both which have their games made by parent company Sony). They distribute through Ubisoft, which also ports the games to other consoles and iOS devices. One problem: they don't know anything about the game shows they're trying to emulate. Also, these games use their own proprietary avatar system, not Miis; had they taken advantage of the existing infrastructure, maybe the rest of the games would've been better. They also have a serious case of bad timing, releasing their Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? game (with the Clock format) the week before the show's current Shuffle format was introduced. Partially owned by Fremantle Media.
    • The $1,000,000 Pyramid uses the classic (1982–91) logo, but the game itself is based directly on the Donny Osmond-hosted 2002-04 series. The opponent AI is almost nonexistent, maybe scoring more than one point per subject. Gameplay is slow, which is bad since on-air Pyramid is traditionally very fast-paced. The Winner's Circle has no shots of the big pyramid while you're playing, and gives you $1,000,000 every time you clear it. Riffed on by Giant Bomb; however, since most of the video is spent playing the tacked-on two-player mode, it's not reliable in the single-player department.
    • Hollywood Squares was another victim of the Ludia/Ubisoft unholy alliance. There are only four actual celebrities in the grid (Martin Mull, Kathy Griffin, Brad Garrett and Jeffrey Tambor), and they all take center square; you only play with one at a time. This leaves the rest of the squares filled with generic people, which removes half the point of the original game show. But most of the magic of the original show was in the celebrities giving joke answers, aka "zingers", and then responding with their actual answer. In the video game, you're only given straight answers — no zingers at all. With neither celebs nor zingers, you're simply crossing trivia with Tic-tac-toe! Here's a Quick Look.
    • Press Your Luck 2010. The avatars all look like they have some form of mental retardation; the Big Board cycles between three static formats, one of which has no Whammies; there's no prizes but a generic "trip" that Big Bucks will direct to in Round 1 and massively breaks Move One Space; the AI routinely answers questions wrong, which is Fake Balance; and both the music and sound effects are inaccurate. What makes this game truly belong here is that a Ludia representative asked the fans for input and "Dismantle" (as some call it) forced C&D orders on superior fan games. Giant Bomb takes a look at it here.
    • The Price Is Right (2008 and 2010, for every console) has a simple Game Breaker — a limited prize pool, about fifty Showcases, and a bad randomizer, along with a rather poor Showcase Showdown wheel. It turns the game show game into "Memory"; just play the game for three hours, write down every prize's price, and memorize the list (or Google for said list) and remember when that prize or Showcase comes up in any game. Other TPIR games at least randomize prizes so they don't appear in one sole game every time with some digit randomization to throw off memorizers. The games can't even be arsed to use the then-current set, with the first game giving the overwhelming impression of having been delayed for two years. GB, unsurprisingly, has a Quick Look of the 2010 version.
      • The Price Is Right Decades was an attempt to apologize for 2010's transgressions, but still had some major failings. From the The Problem with Licensed Games entry of Ludia: "Pricing games are still played for cash, the Carey-era theme is used in all years, Hurdles is completely botched (rather than the three hurdles being sets of two products where you must guess which is lower than the Hurdler's price, it's a higher/lower game), and the Showcase Showdown is even worse (you have to beat a preset "leader", and are forced to go again if you tie on the first spin)." Plus, the graphics stink to high heaven no matter which console you use. Yet another Quick Look.
    • Family Feud 2012. The fictional host, "Sparky Whitmore," makes Louie Anderson look good, the on-screen keyboard practically gives you the correct answers with its predictive text (if it doesn't show up in the choices after two letters it's not going to be correct), there's long gaps between every action, the avatar animations look wooden, and the parser is stupider than the broken one in the SNES version! (it somehow interprets "Bike" as "Horseback")! Once again, Giant Bomb riffs on it.
  • Media Service 2000. Among its transgressions are The Moscow Apocalypse, a Cliché Storm with corny visuals, cornier artwork, even cornier gameplay, no jumping, and various other issues.
  • Micro Genius. They have three known games under their belts:
    • Aladdin II, which is worse than the official NES port of Aladdin, which is bad. The Game Over screen makes this game look even worse.
    • Super Contra X, an abysmal bootleg of Contra.
    • Thunder Warrior. Repetitive level design, low enemy variety, clunky controls, and a difficult-to-aim projectile attack doesn't help with the large amount of Goddamned Bats and Demonic Spiders you face. It seems to pirate some of its content from other games, such as the map screen from Castlevania and the HUD from Super Mario Bros.. 3. Catchy music, though.
  • Mystique, a company specializing in pornographic video games for the Atari 2600. Only three games were made by the company, which were all horribly exploitative, and have all been hugely controversial. Mystique went bankrupt following The Great Video Game Crash of 1983.
    • Beat 'Em & Eat 'Em, a game where you control two nude women who move back and forth across the bottom of a building on screen, catching semen from a masturbating man who is hiding on top for points. Every time you get 69 points, you will get an extra life.
      • Mystique also released Philly Flasher, which is Beat 'Em & Eat 'Em WITH GENDERS REVERSED! The only thing different about it is that besides playing two nude men moving across the building, instead of catching semen, the player will catch breast milk from a witch. Once the breast milk is caught, the two men will then engage in masturbation.
    • The plot of Custer's Revenge is as follows — General George Armstrong Custer, depicted as a man wearing nothing but a cavalry hat, boots, and a bandanna while sporting a visible erection, must dodge falling arrows and randomly appearing cacti in order to reach the other side of the screen, where he intends to rape a naked, well-endowed Native American woman named "Revenge", who is bound to a post. The only "noteworthy" part of the game (its early use of nudity) is done in by its extremely-low resolution and color depth, and the publishers picked this game to use the real graphics on the packaging. Arguably, the poor graphics are the only thing that keep it palatable — high-def would reveal it as the Snuff Film foreplay scene it is.
      • Ignoring the Unfortunate Implications of General Custer raping a Native American woman, or that you shouldn't bother with graphics this blocky for this purpose, for a second...note that she's tied to a cactus. Her ass is rubbing against a cactus! As Seanbaby put it:

 Custer: Gentlemen, you are the bravest squadron of men it has ever been this Southerner's privilege to serve with. And you will need that bravery today, as your orders are to remove my pants and underpants. I will then attempt to force sex on an Indian girl under heavy enemy fire. Are there any questions?

Custer's Military Adviser: Yes, general. Several.

  • Mythicon, an English company that dealt in budget-priced Atari 2600 games. While most other publishers set price points of $40–50 per cart, Mythicon's games only sold for $10...and the results show all too well. Their catalog consists of only three games, all of them horrible — Star Fox (not the famous one), Sorcerer, and Fire Fly. All three share the same problems — sparse and ugly graphics, jerky animation, monotonous music, and repetitive gameplay. Star Fox is generally seen as the worst of the lot.
    • What's particularly sad about Star Fox is that Mythicon's copyright hold on that title lasted long enough to force Nintendo's UK branch to change their titles to Starwing and Lylat Wars (for the SNES and N64 titles, respectively). Which means that in Britain, for a time, the title Star Fox was associated more with the crappy 2600 game than the better Nintendo games!
  • Taiwanese company NTDEC, short for the NinTenDo Electronic Company. (No, seriously. The lawsuit came quite fast.)
    • One of their works was Fighting Hero, a horrible knockoff of the already dubious Street Fighter. The game has some of the worst controls in any fighting game, as they're incredibly unresponsive and button mashing is rendered useless because the player will constantly interrupt his attacks while doing so. The computer opponents are also ridiculously hard as they'll block most of your attacks.
    • They also ended up making the games on the Caltron 6 in 1 (Caltron being an alias for NTDEC) and while the games on it aren't awful, they're mostly just mediocre clones of other games.
  • Phoenix Games. Go look them up on YouTube and witness the...well, "horror" is far too light a term. You gotta love that they aren't even pretending they aren't copying the Disney character designs...and since when is Thumper the size of a horse?
  • While we wish to remain neutral concerning its beliefs and musical output, there's no denying that white supremacist/neo-Nazi record label Resistance Records cannot make a game to save its life. Its entire output (all FPS games) has been compared unfavorably to Daikatana. None of its games seem to have ever passed the beta phase:
    • Ethnic Cleansing. All politics aside, the game's untextured graphics look worse than Quake (on a game released in 2002), its setup was discredited when Half Life came out, and its draw distance is shorter than thirty feet. The collision detection is very off, the AI is only slightly above shooting-gallery level, and there's only one weapon. The game crashes often, several functions (including the save system and the control options) do nothing, the sound is very poorly coded, and one level (of two) works more or less at the game's mercy.
    • They then made a couple of spiritual successors: White Law and the two-part ZOG's Nightmare. They're not much better than the original — some basic touch-ups (more weapons, graphics that take less squinting to deem passable) in exchange for a load time of nearly two minutes (sometimes more) between levels, unbelievably pitiful framerates, and various game breakers.
  • Would you believe a pinball company was once asked to make a Fighting Game? Stern Pinball, then a division of Data East, were commissioned to make Tattoo Assassins, despite the fact that nobody involved had any skill in making video games. It was thus nearly unplayable, with poor moves, Artificial Stupidity, and an annoying parrot. The pointlessly hyped story (what with its loose connection to Bob Gale) fell flat. It never went past the beta phase because they couldn't find testers who could bear to play it. If you really want to, you can find more information about this game right here.
  • The Taiwanese company Thin Chen Enterprises (aka Sachen, Joy Van, and Commin, but mostly known as Sachen nevertheless) was one of the biggest unlicensed Shovelware developers of the time. They also made many bootleg Porting Disasters of arcade and 16-bit console games, and even created their own NES hardware clone, the Q-Boy (considered by some to be much better than their games). Several of their games were published in America by Color Dreams, Bunch Games, or occasionally American Video Entertainment. Their works include:
  • Speaking of pirate game companies, Yong Yong is probably the least competent of the lot. Their games library consists entirely of horribly made adaptations of popular franchises for the Game Boy/Game Boy Color, including Mario, Sonic and Pokémon. All of their games suffer from poor controls, music and glitches galore.


Fan Games

Touhou

  • Periphery of Power - The firing patterns, a major selling point of Touhou games, go from mediocre to absurd. The final boss' attacks consist entirely of blue bullets and lasers. The bonus spellcard turns the entire screen white; you die without knowing why. The bosses consist of Self Insert versions of the makers. While the official website says the game hasn't actually been released yet, somebody still made a Let's Play of it.
  • Resurrection of Heaven's Liquor - The character artwork is even worse than in the originals,[11] the music is painful,[12] and enemy fire is an afterthought at best; note that Touhou in general is famous for its kickass score and elaborate firing patterns. The characters are broken, and Aya is the final boss. Its lone saving grace is the inclusion of the Extra Bosses from the original games as player characters and Mima as the Extra Boss. Watch a member of Maidens of the Kaleidoscope get VERY close to killing himself.


Web Games

  • Game Maker's official website has a buttload of crappy games.
    • "Dodge the Viruses". The game only consists of the main character jumping around while dodging the viruses bouncing around. The creator believes that all criticism is "horrible comments".
    • "Smiley 2__Save the World". The game has absolutely no challenge whatsoever. It has a smiley face going back and forth, and another one controlled by the player. If the player hits the space. The game displays "Smiley save the world".
    • Sturgeon's Law is taken over the top on the YoYo Games archive. Going by the length of the "featured games" list, less than 1% of games are considered So Cool Its Awesome by the Game Maker staff — or at least awesome enough that drawing attention to them is a good thing. Anything considered So Bad It's Horrible against this backdrop is...well, you get the idea.
      • Just to give you an idea of the scale involved, YoYo Games has ~400 featured games, taken from a library of 116,000 games.


Game Mods

Doom

With over 15,000 Doom mods on the /idgames archives, there are many horrible ones to go around:

  • The infamous Giulio "Glassyman" Galassi created a series of infamously-bad maps that were widely reviled, leading him to lash out at his critics by creating childish, mean-spirited, homophobic, and incredibly-unfunny "joke wads" mocking his critics. Galassi has been banned from every notable Doom community on the internet, and the mention of his name creates Internet Backdraft. Here's a review of one of them.
  • "Doom: Rampage Edition". Eagerly anticipated, but ultimately failed to live up to its promise. 60 megsof stolen music that did nothing other than bloat the filesize to 80 Megs, bad graphics, boring and repetitive gameplay... It won the award for Worst Wad in the 2004 Cacowards.
    • It was so bad someone claimed they could pull a better wad out of their ass. A week later, Deathbringer made a mod titled such — "A Better Wad Pulled Out Of My Ass".
  • "Nazi Auferstehung: A DukenDoom Adventure". Won the Worst Wad award at the 2006 Cacowards for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to badly-textured levels created with a random level generator, badly-imported resources from other games, a truckload of copyrighted MP3s that don't play as music in-game, and its inclusion of multiple copies of the copyrighted Doom II resource file. But this didn't become as infamous as it is until the author hilariously attempted to defend his creation by claiming to be autistic, which didn't fit his behavior at all; if anything, he was "anti-autistic".
  • "UAC Military Nightmare", by someone under the name of Terry. The story of the mod is a bunch of John Romero heads trying to "rape" the player with BFG rays. The gameplay is dumb, the story and scripting is Refuge in Vulgarity featuring overt references to anal rape... So bad, it won Worst Wad of The Year at the 2008 Cacowards. See Darknation's rather vitriolic rant about it here.
  • There's also D!Zone, a series of CDs sold containing hundreds of .wads collected from the internet. It was quite helpful among some players who didn't have the resources to check out .wads online at the time. Too bad a large chunk of the .wads were horrible, most of them unfinished, and some that wouldn't even load correctly at all. Several Youtube users started a series called The D!Zone Experience to showcase some of the weirder ones included.
  • "Wow" (more popularly known by its filename, wow.wad) is a 1999 Doom level consisting of a square room with a hanging body, a BFG 9000 with ammo, a Cyberdemon in a deep pit...and nothing else. Oh, and the walls of the pit have no textures, resulting in graphical glitches. It's certainly one of the most pointless levels for any game, but making it one of the Top 10 Infamous Wads is the author's passing it off as a mission to hunt and kill a wounded Cyberdemon trapped in an "illusio-pit". That's Painting the Fourth Wall an ugly color. Can be viewed here.
    • The word "illusio-pit" comes from the use of untextured pits having fake floors drawn over them, which makes them useful for illusions simulating deep water (an area of water surrounding an illusio-pit will make the water seem to stretch over the pit, making things look like they are submerged in the water) or monsters rising up out of the ground. Of course, wow.wad's use of the "illusio-pit" seems more a consequence of the author not knowing how to apply upper and lower textures.
  • "Doomguy's Warzone is not to be confused with something with the same name that came out years earlier. It is essentially a gameplay mod with far too many unnecessary difficulty modes, too many overpowered custom weapons, too many ungodly annoying or lethally-aggravating custom enemies amongst the randomly-generated roster, and almost AL Lof the resources are pretty much plagiarised...not to mention, there are a ton of custom items that either make things too easy or are utterly useless. On top of all this, the author, Doomguy 2000, continues to pimp the hell out of his disasterpiece; even being repeatedly told to cease and desist said pimping, by seemingly the whole Doom Community, didn't hinder him any. You may Face Palm at Doomguy 2000 for his unwavering stupidity now.

Little Big Planet

  • Christian Weston Chandler (better known for the creation of Sonichu; see the So Bad It's Horrible/Webcomics section for details) is infamous for his Little Big Planet mods. They are, barring perhaps the "First Date Level," quite bugged, poorly assembled, and full of Fake Difficulty. One of the mods, despite having been up for three years, has had fewer than 20 people clear it. This carried on to the game's sequel:
    • "Autism Tutorial". It's a cutscene with no gameplay proper, but the content's the real problem — it starts out as the basics about Autism, taken from That Other Wiki. Not halfway through, it's a schizophrenic, self-important, rambling Author Tract that has nothing to do with Autism, yet somehow exhibits every negative stereotype associated with it, culminating in a "satirical" talk show segment where the host beats up Hans Asperger for no other reason than that he made Chris feel less special. Here it is, in just seven parts.

MUGEN

  • Kong's characters are known to be extremely glitchy and broken. Mentioning Kong is calling a flame war upon yourself. Here's one reason.
    • Omega Red beat Rare Akuma, a character purposefully designed to be broken by a skilled MUGEN character maker, on hard AI mode.
    • In more general terms, the Infinity Mugen Team template for Marvel Vs Capcom-style characters is said to be so bad that it would be easier to make an accurate MvC character based on Kung Fu Man than on the template, or to take the sprites that Kong ripped and code it yourself.
  • "Raruto Full Game", a game based on a Naruto parody (which is WAY better than the game) whose whole roster comprises poorly-coded Kung Fu Man edits. The stages available in-game are all stolen. Here's a peek at said horrid characters getting beaten up. By far, funnier than the "full game" itself.
  • There are some characters referred in the MUGEN community as "Retarded Characters", all considered such because of horrible controls, badly-coded features, or deplorable spritework. In some cases, the spritework may be good but the characters are blatant ripoffs of existing characters, also known as "Spriteswaps". For example, Warner's Vampire Burns (a spriteswap of an already-horrible Jedah by Kong) and the extremely-infamous Peter Griffin by Actarus (no words needed).
  • Spriteswaps in general tend to be pretty awful. Given the fact that the underlying code is meant for a different character, hilarity is bound to ensue even if no modifications are made. Of course, some creators have even done sprite swaps of their own characters.
  • For more examples of Retarded Characters, just look at what YouTube drops on results on retarded character beatdowns.
  • One particularly awful character creator is GooGoo64. He combines the horrible-to-the-point-of-gamebreaking coding of Kong or Ainotenshi with the spriting styles of some of RyouWin's earlier Marvel vs. Capcom 2 characters (essentially, using a capture card to get footage and then manipulating it into sprites for the character). His characters have unblockable moves, moves that render the character invincible while using them, one-hit kills, and various other problems. But one that stands out even among this crowd of miserable failure is his version of Gold Lightan from Tatsunokovs Capcom, which turns out to be a spriteswap of an MvC-style Ryu; to make it worse, while the character is open-source, he didn't appear to have given credit to the original creator, or even changed the file names.
    • The_None, author of several very much better quality Joke Characters made an extended video beatdown series where he showcases each of Googoo64 aberrations' broken moves, explaining additional bugs and subsequently beating them legitly (if possible at all). You can start from here.

Super Mario World

  • Mario's in Terror. Probably a troll game to be honest, it's a glitched, near unplayable mess that plagiarises Brutal Mario (first and fifth level), Kaizo Mario (second level) and the original game (one of the others).
  • SMB Crossover (Not to Be Confused With the popular and well-done Flash game). It's entirely level remakes based on better games, and horrendously done, massively cut off and glitched remakes to boot (the Yoshi's Island level has to be seen to be believed).
  • Mario Super Star. No video to show it, but it's a terrible game with many... unusual problems. Namely, a level with entirely glitched graphics to the point of unplayableness, levels without any enemies, flat levels, levels which are nearly the exact same as the originals (except you're invisible), massive slow down, cut off, and an unwinnable final boss with no weaknesses or attacks. The biggest problem? Unlike most games listed here, which are usually only a few levels long, this game lasts for nine worlds.. You will lose the will to live if you try to play the entire thing.
    • Its sequel of kinds, SMW 3 New Levels and Retro Levels is a bit better, but not much. The first five or so levels have zero challenge whatsoever and often no enemies or sprites in them, but it really, really starts to fall apart in 'level' 8. That level is literally just the SMW Bowser fight. Then the next one is just the first level in Super Mario World, except you're permanently invincible, the next is another unedited SMW Bowser fight, except you're forced to be small, and while one final level is sort of new, the final real one is a completely unedited SMW level. It's just so lazy all round, and it's the author's fourth game in a row which could be classified as at least So Bad It's Good. It can be found here


Hardware

  • The existence of the Atari Jaguar CD is puzzling, given the Jaguar's low sales. The toilet bowl-shaped design was the least of its troubles — few copies even worked, and were nigh irreparable to boot. Only 15 games were made for it, none of which could outperform Dire Straits' "Money For Nothing" music video in terms of graphics. Dr. Insano, one of the few who could get one to work, says:

 [N]ot only is it prone to hardware failures, it's prone to about five different ways it can fail. It can fail if [it] isn't perfectly placed on the [Jaguar]. It can fail if the contacts aren't clean. It can fail if the Memory Track cartridge isn't perfectly set, and it can easily fail because the laser itself or the motor mechanism are defective, and they often are, and in [Spoony's] case, it would often fail because the lid is so poorly designed that, when closed, it actually closes too tightly and mashes the CD against the inside of the drive, preventing it from spinning, and that could easily cause additional internal damage[...E]ven when I did get it to work [it] still froze all the time, and I do mean all the damn time!

    • Spoony himself later remarked "After spending three days getting the thing to work [...] the motor [...] completely crapped out."
    • It took James Rolfe (in tandem with Richard Daluz, his repairman) three tries to get a salvageable, let alone working, unit.[13]
  • The Game.com (the dot isn't pronounced) by Tiger Electronics. It introduced the touch screen, Internet browsing, and online multiplayer a full seven years before the big names. Unfortunately, it just wasn't possible to do that well with 1997 technology. The device had to be tethered to a bulky modem and two expensive add-on cartridges if you wanted to use the Internet. Its Game Boy-grade CPU was crippled (by multiple culprits, one being the OS-mandated processing overhead) to the point of barely surpassing the Game and Watch. The touch screen didn't have a full percent of modern touch-screens' sensitivity, and suffered arguably more ghosting and smearing than any other handheld console in history. Add a library of under 20 games, and you have an example of great idea, lousy execution. Here it is in action, specifically on a port of Sonic Jam.
    • For some reason, there was a Game.com port of Mortal Kombat Trilogy, a sluggish and stripped-down version of the game that only included 13 of the characters of the console versions, and a limited pool of special attacks and finishers for each.
  • The Gizmondo, quite possibly the reigning king of mismanaged portables this side of the Virtual Boy. Released by Tiger Telematics [14] in 2004, the system came in two variants — one for the low price of $400, and a cheaper model for $230. The difference between the two? The cheaper model forces you to wait through on-screen commercials before playing. Couple that with a cell-phone sized screen, a pathetic battery life of 90 minutes, and a library consisting entirely of eight unremarkable games, not to mention the lousy marketing, and you have a recipe for disaster. To top it off, it sold a truly abysmal 25,000 units (making it the single worst-selling video game device of all time), bankrupted its parent corporation, and brought CEO Stefan Erikson's Mafia ties to light, resulting in his arrest.
  • The Sega Nomad, possibly Sega's worst attempt at making a console, was essentially a handheld Genesis released around the time of the Saturn. While this sounds like a good idea on paper, it's absolutely terrible in execution as it burned through six batteries in 90 minutes, though you could buy a rechargeable battery... which cost $80 and ran out even faster. It was also incredibly sensitive to motion, so you could barely move it lest it freeze, shut down, or break. It took #1 on Cracked's 6 Most Retarded Gaming Consoles Ever Released.
    • Even more, because of its design, a lot of games either couldn't be played or couldn't be beaten! Playing games from the 32X, Sega CD, and the Master System-enabling Power Base Converter forced you to mod it or use third-party devices... and the first X-Men game for the Genesis is unwinnable because there's no reset button! [15]
  • The Pippin, released in 1996 as a partnership between Apple (yes, that one) and Bandai, was an unusual cross between a computer and a console, created with the intent of having a cheaper computer play on your TV screen. Instead, the sticker price was $599 USD at the time of launch, the very same price the PlayStation 3 had at launch a decade later, and had substandard hardware below even those of computers of its day, including a 14.4k modem, an anemic RAM supply of 6 MB, and practically no hard drive storage, other than a floppy dock drive capable of handling four disks. Even its controller, the Apple Jack,[16] was apparently not of much use for connecting the Pippin to a standard Apple Macintosh computer. As the only legitimate game console Apple Computer released (this was before the iPhone and iPad), the library of games on the Pippin was small, with four times more games released in Japan than in the U.S.; most of them were from Bandai. Not surprisingly, the Pippin was an enormous failure, selling only 42,000 units and being released at a time when Apple was then on the verge of bankruptcy.
  • The notoriously bad Shoddy Knockoff systems continue to be churned out by an unnamed company affectionately dubbed as simply "Popstation". Why are they so bad? They're glorified Game And Watches masquerading as high-end electronics. The only good thing out of them have been the reviews by Dr. Stuart Ashen.
  • Mattel and PAX's Power Glove, a Nintendo Entertainment System accessory made famous by its appearance in The Wizard, would theoretically allow the player to the control the game using one hand. It was meant to be a Revenue-Enhancing Device, but ended up a barely-functional Promotional Powerless Piece of Garbage. It cost more than an NES console, and was nearly unusable. There were only two games released with programming specifically for the Power Glove, although three others were planned — the infamous Bad Street Brawler and Super Glove Ball. There was a method intended to make the Power Glove work with other games—but even then, it controlled at best like a drunk on a unicycle. To make matters worse, the only way these other games could be played was by punching in codes using a keypad to enter in the combination.
  • At a time when LCD Games were being phased out and the Game Boy Color was just about to be released, behold the abomination called the Pro 200; made by some unknown company under the name ProTech. A cheap alternative to all the other systems out on the market; the "system" (to say the least) was marketed as to having 200 games, being a full-function calculator and having "state-of-the-art" computer chip technology. The system actually had only fifteen games (the marketers got the 200 figure by counting each difficulty level as an individual game), most of which were Tetris rip-offs. Those which weren't Tetris rip-offs were just as bad thanks to the ridiculously-small screen.
    • The commercial advertising this is worse, going as so far to toss out an SNES Super Street Fighter II cartridge at the halfway point. Ironically, the AVGN himself had it in his favorites on his YouTube account at one point.
    • As of August 2011, this product is still being sold through newspaper ads...with the same ad they made in 1998.
  • The RCA Studio II was a poorly designed console even for its day. Released in early 1977 before the Atari 2600 and shortly after the Fairchild Channel F, not to mention faring even worse than some of the best quality Pong consoles, the RCA Studio II had some major flaws. Despite having five built-in games, the console could only play games in black and white; it had internal speakers whose only sounds you could here were repetitive beeps; the numeric keypad controllers were built directly into the console, forcing you to huddle up close to the screen just to use them; and the RF switchbox was of a faulty design that supplied the signal to your TV set which, at the same time, gave you both video and DC power to the system. Only 15 games were released on the RCA Studio II, the five built-in games plus 10 cartridge-based games, despite that it was one of the first systems to use interchangable cartridges. Watch this and this review.
  • Tiger Electronics' R-Zone, which manages the impressive feat of being a Shoddy Knockoff Product of the Virtual Boy. The one thing it did have over the Virtual Boy was that you could wear it on your head rather than having to use a stand. When you did put it on however, you were treated to graphics worse than a Game and Watch (mostly due to the eye-searing "red on slightly-darker red" color scheme) rendered about three inches in front of your right eye. Needless to say, this didn't produce anything even vaguely resembling virtual reality. Making this whole system even more ridiculous, there were no less than three different versions; the standard "headgear" version, a much larger tabletop variant, and a traditional handheld version, all of which crashed and burned equally. Stuart Ashen gives his take on the latter version here.
    • The ads were horrible in their own way, since they showed footage from the arcade versions of the R-Zone titles rather than the crude, monochromatic blobs that passed for the system's graphics.
  • The Virtual Boy console was one of Nintendo's most publicized failures. Originally intended as a ground-breaking 3D game system, the project was spearheaded by Gunpei Yokoi, creator of the Game Boy, who was forced to get the system out as fast as he could, and it shows: The system couldn't handle color, so it stuck to a monochromatic, headache-inducing red-and-black display, which could even cause permanent eye damage if played too long. The system was bulky and had to be propped up on a table for you to play it, and only the player could see the games being played, meaning multiplayer on the same system was impossible (while the system had a port for a link cable, the system was discontinued before the cable could even be released). Only 22 games were ever released for the system, without any standout titles that took advantage of the 3D effect in a significant way, such as first-person shooters. While some of the games might not have been half-bad, such as Wario Land, there was no reason for them to be on Virtual Boy to begin with, and putting an incredibly addictive game like Tetris (two separate versions of it, no less) on a system that can cause permanent eye damage in long sessions is just puzzling. Nintendo themselves don't like to speak about this system, to the point where they even edited out a reference to it in the English version of Super Smash Bros Melee.
    • For something that's somehow even worse, try the VictorMax Virtual Reality Stuntmaster. It has a design that's somewhat better with an output that's at least better than the Virtual Boy, but getting it to work is simply cryptic! The box says that it works for the SNES & the Sega Genesis, but it doesn't hold any real cable for the thing to work for the SNES at all (At least to the current knowledge shown so far.), and it can only work in the oldest version of the Sega Genesis. It doesn't contain any instructions, but it does have an odd joke resume (its hero includes The Four Horsemen of The Apocalypse) and parts of the Stuntmaster that doesn't make sense at all! Connecting it to the Sega Genesis creates a mess of wires (when it already holds a mess of wires to begin with). While it does have more colors then the Virtual Boy, playing it is barely any better than doing it with the Sega Game Gear! James Rolfe & his friend Mike Matei take a look at it, and James thinks that the Virtual Boy is like God when compared to what VictorMax did.

Notes

  1. Hyde only gets overkilled instantly if he appears in the same tile/area/spot that Jekyll appears in prior to becoming Hyde (Never the Selves Shall Meet). More or less, Hyde gets killed by a Temporal Paradox... Good luck finding anyone who knows that kind of detail to warn you, Guide Dang It!
  2. Choosing the Save option only saves the player's most recent password, which is wiped from the cartridge's memory once the game is turned off
  3. This was Takara's, presently TakaraTomy, who distributed the toyline and its predecessors Diaclone and Microman in Japan.
  4. (for instance, using Batman's Grappling Hook Pistol requires you to tap Select quickly before pressing Up on the D-Pad, and jumping down between floors entails tapping R just before pressing Down)
  5. Yoshi, for one, seems to have the width of a two-by-four.
  6. of linear ring formations, mind you
  7. The big two? Sonic didn't stop when he hit things and bounced with under half his usual force, making boss rounds quite easy and the already badly-coded special stages a near-impossible feat.
  8. (lowering your arm, tilting too far, or objects moving near the board would register an attempted grab)
  9. The Zelda-clone Spiritual Warfare is actually not half bad, if you don't want to waste time clicking.
  10. Softek made a port of it.
  11. at least, the ones released before Undefined Fantastic Object
  12. The Stage 1 song gets played in multiple levels...and it's probably the worst of the bunch
  13. The third was presented as a DVD extra.
  14. (and before anyone asks, no, they aren't related to Tiger Electronics)
  15. One Guide Dang It puzzle at the end requires you to reset the game in order to reach the final level.
  16. (Not to be confused with the Kellogg's cereal Apple Jacks, or the pony from My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic.)


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