There can’t be a winner without a loser. It’s thanks to truly awful games that we can establish a baseline against which to measure the good games – too bad the bar has been set so low. In order to get some sort of consensus on which games are considered the worst of the worst, MyGaming plumbed the depths of Metacritic. Going from bad to slightly worse, below is a list of some of the most despicable examples of PC gaming entertainment ever to curse hard drives.
10. Utopia City – 23%
This FPS released in 2006 wasn’t shy about ripping its story directly from the Matrix. In some sort of alternate future, a virtual ‘Utopia’ has been created. People connect to the Utopia system and have all their dreams of paradise fulfilled. The whole thing became so popular that soon there weren’t enough people doing useful things in the real world, and society began to crumble. The ‘government’ decided to establish a task force to enter Utopia and reverse its effects by destroying it from within.
The game features incredibly bland and fuzzy textures, tragic level design, poor voice acting, mismatched sound effects, and incomprehensible text. Next time you are complaining about the resource mining in Mass Effect 2, pause and remember how bad things could really be.
9. Dragon’s Lair III – 23%
Nothing more than a shameless rip-off of the original arcade classic. Dragon’s Lair III, released in 2004, took footage from Dragon’s Lair 3D, and imposed the 2D arcade control system over it. As a result, players didn’t directly control Dirk the Daring, but rather ‘guided’ his actions and then watched as he had all the fun. Not even Disney quality animation could save this title from being declared a heap of ash.
[insert Dragon’s Lair]
8. Beauty Factory – 22%
What possibly started out as a management sim idea with some potential, wound up being one of 2008’s steamiest turds. “Become the CEO of a beauty products company” they said. Who knew that being the CEO of a company required only repetitive left-clicking actions. None of the promised complexity was present, and it’s debatable whether a dull and tedious click fest really qualifies as a game in the first place.
7. Hooters Road Trip – 22%
“Hey guys, let’s go to Hooters!” cried a development lead sometime in 2002. Whilst there the discussion no doubt turned to how awesome the drive over was and, coupled with the fact that the dev team were now surrounded by large breasted women wearing tight T-shirts, how great a game based on driving to Hooters would be. Too bad this racing title actually offered little substance. A tedious race to Hooters which is rewarded by a short video clip of a voluptuous woman.
6. Miami Vice – 21%
Ah, pastel colours, fluffy hair, a shot of an overly tanned woman’s behind, a tie-in with an 80’s television series – how can a game with these key elements be anything but a smashing success? Cue 2004’s Miami Vice – a generic third-person shooter following an unremarkable plot lifted from one of the TV episodes. This game didn’t even have the 2006 movie remake to try help it along. Perhaps the only redeeming feature was the soundtrack, but 80’s pop nostalgia can only carry you so far…
5. Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust – 20%
At least this game ironically lived up to its name. Larry was once the hero of smut-minded adventure gamers in the 80’s and 90’s but in 2009 he’s been reduced to a cartoonish buffoon. Instead of the usual interesting plot, witty dialogue, and challenging adventure game style problem solving, Larry has to contend with mediocre sandbox platforming. The humour synonymous with the series is absent and there isn’t even any nudity (BOO!). Despite a large budget, copious amounts of blue language and voice acting from C-list celebrities, this game was rightfully panned.
4. Gods and Generals – 19%
Have you even heard of this game? An FPS set in the underused American Civil War era, wrapped with a movie tie-in, it almost develops, markets and sells itself. But hang on, it was released in 2003 by Activision Value. That rather explains things. This rush-job boasted laughable AI, unrealistic weapons, shoddy controls, outdated graphics, horrible sound effects and only nine dysentery inducing levels.
3. Navy SEALs: Weapons of Mass Destruction – 18%
As a Navy SEAL you can “wage a silent, deadly war on terrorism.” Released in 2003, terrorism was obviously a hot topic and perhaps the developers were relying on this to shift units of their abysmal FPS game.
This title is noted for its unbelievable levels of suck and blow – the promised realism never appears, the aiming controls probably weren’t even coded into the “finished” product, and the enemy AI makes one believe that the terrorists got the memo wrong, and were trained to deal with Navy white rhino’s – they stand completely still and hope that the Navy SEALs don’t notice them.
2. NRA Varmint Hunter – 16%
If you’ve ever fallen victim to varmints, but just can’t get around those pesky gun ownership laws, then NRA Varmint Hunter is for you. Marvel at the astounding realism as you stand motionless, unable to move, and look down your scope at any number of poorly rendered varmints. Feel the power of God course through your veins as you realistically snuff the life from said varmint with a mere click of your mouse. Then, do it all over again. You can also click the multiplayer button on the main menu. It doesn’t do anything, but you can click it.
1. Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing – 8%
Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing has actually earned itself quite a reputation for being the worst game ever offered on sale, yet it hardly deserves the distinction of being a game at all. There are simply no gameplay mechanics present. With the objective supposedly being to race against other trucks and deliver your illegal cargo whilst avoiding the cops, it’s rather perplexing to discover that there are no cops coded into the game.
There is also no competing AI to speak of – enemy truck drivers never leave the starting line. There are no physics systems at all – one can drive right through obstacles, fall through bridges, and scale 90 degree surfaces without a second thought.
One of the five ‘racing’ courses is so broken that it crashes the game when selected. In an attempt to cheer up anyone who actually paid money for this garbage, upon crossing the finish line and winning the un-losable ‘game,’ the player is presented with the now iconic end-game screen pictured below.
What’s the worst game you have ever played? Let is know in the forums.