GameCola’s Top 50 Worst Games Ever Made (Part 2)

The top 25 worst games of all time. May we learn from these failures, as gamers, as developers, and as people sharing this planet we call home.

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This article contains some sensitive subjects and some strong language


17. Athena (NES)

athenaAthena is an overly difficult NES game. The first of its many problems is the game’s enemies. Most games will only have one or two enemies attack your character at once, but in this game, enemies flood the screen constantly, attacking you with their weapons and sprite flicker. The enemies are almost impossible to dodge, due to the game’s flawed jumping system which requires you to double-jump in order to jump over an enemy. What usually happens is that one enemy hits you, and you get bounced backwards, right into another enemy. Then you get bounced back and forth between the enemies like a ping pong ball until you die.

The other major flaw of this game is the equipment system, which doesn’t work because Athena automatically equips every weapon and piece of armor she finds. Say you got lucky, and you managed to find the best armor in the game. Two seconds later, Athena will throw it away and put on the piece of low-level armor that an enemy just dropped. And say you manage to find one of the two weapons in the game which actually do damage. She’ll throw it away without a second thought, and you’ll never be able to recover it. It’s almost like the game is actively trying to make your character as weak as possible, but the thing that’s really weak around here is the level of enjoyment that comes from playing Athena.

Michael Gray


16. Home Alone 2 (NES)

home alone 2THQ, though now a slightly more respected publisher, was once a distributor of crap and nothing but. One of the prime examples of this was Home Alone 2, a game better left floating in the men’s room toilet at the Sizzler. Getting past the first stage is a chore in itself—you have to dodge hopping luggage, flying grandmothers, and a hotel concierge who wants to choke you right from the get-go. And you barely have any weapons to defend yourself, aside from sliding on your knees and giving yourself rug burn. Lousy controls, nonsensical enemies, and piss-poor eye/ear candy made Home Alone 2 make you wish you had skipped Christmas that year. I’d rather watch Home Alone 4 than play this. That’s how awful it is.

Jeff Day


15. Sneak King (Xbox)

sneak kingSneak King works really hard to redefine how bad a game can be before it starts riots. Seriously, there is absolutely nothing to laud about this game, and even though it only cost four dollars, I still feel ripped off. I’ve lost more money than this and still felt better about how that money was used.

You play as the old, terrifying Burger King mascot, and it is your duty to sneak around the neighborhood, surprising people with fast food and diarrhea. Your victims…er, customers…walk around in set paths and won’t eat the food if they see you coming. I know this was meant as a promotional tool for Burger King, but it says something about the quality of their food if the only way you can get people to eat it is if you pop out of a garbage can and force them to. Even if we ignore the fact that the basic premise behind this game is awful and the overall gameplay is terrible, Sneak King doesn’t even do the little things correctly. The camera is horrible, and always wants to focus behind the King. Enter a house to hide in, or some pile of garbage, and the camera jams and you can’t see where your unsuspecting victims are.

Purchase this game for the novelty value, or so you have something to counter with when somebody brings up the worst game they’ve ever played, but do not buy this game with the intention of enjoying it. I’d recommend staying clear of the game entirely, because something this bad must have some sort of negative effect to your physical well being.

Nikola Suprak


14. Taboo: The Sixth Sense (NES)

tabooProtip: Tarot cards don’t work. They don’t tell you about your inner self or give any kind of insight into what the future holds. Hell, you can’t even play any cool games with them. Historically they’ve always just been a tool wielded by swindlers to take money away from gullible people. Taboo is no different. The entire game is just typing in a question and watching a handful of cards pop up. The game gives you a brief, incredibly vague idea of what each card represents, and it’s up to you to figure out what it means. After which you get to use a random-number generator to determine your lucky lotto numbers, most of which are no longer valid with most states’ lotteries. Beginning to end the game is about four minutes long. Considering this game cost about the same as most other games at the time, trying to pretend it’s peer to Kirby’s Adventure or Rygar seems to be as big a swindle as any.

Christian Porter


13. My Health Coach: Stop Smoking with Allen Carr (DS)

stopsmokingThe title of this “game” (and I use that term loosely) gives you some idea of the level of fun you will have whilst playing it. Basically, your character is an angry cigarette butt who leads you through a series of minigames which are so agonizingly awful, I needed to smoke 40 cigarettes just to get through them. I persevered, however, and after being a full-on smoker for fifteen years, I am happy to say that playing this game has single-handedly resulted in me being smoke-free for the last two years. But this is a list of the 50 Worst Games, not a list of Things That Help You Avoid Lung Cancer (that’s next month’s topic), and as a game I’m afraid it is entirely shit. Also, last month, whilst on holiday I had one cigarette when drunk, so it has ultimately failed. Sad face.

Jillian Dingwall


12. Pong Toss: Frat Party Games (WiiWare)

pongtossI’ve never understood drinking games like beer pong. A roomful of people who very much enjoy binge drinking come up with a stupid game in which two teams of people have to throw balls into cups, and the loser gets to drink all the winner’s beer. This seems like awarding an Olympic gold medal to a 100-meter dash runner who, at the sound of the starter pistol, tripped over his own feet and somehow managed to fall into a crocodile pit. Pong Toss: Frat Party Games finds the perfect way to wring out what little fun this party game had to offer. First, get rid of the beer. Then get rid of the friends. Also, remove the party atmosphere. Now murder physics so brutally even Richard Feynman couldn’t identify the body. Now remove all sense of distance from the table. Congratulations, you are now alone in a room waving around a white stick failing at pretending to throw a ball into a disposable cup.

Party.

Christian Porter


11. Metroid: Other M (Wii)

metroidothermI will be honest: you have been cheated out of Bubsy 3D. Metroid: Other M, as a standalone game, does not belong here. It’s too pretty. It’s actually playable. But, like so many teenagers out there, we are mad at M:OM for destroying our collection of stories where the girl takes her clothes off at the end.

By portraying Samus Aran as a broken little girl who panics whenever there’s not a man around to tell her what to do, this one game throws a quarter-century of character development into the incinerator. Where is the strong, introspective, independent woman who argued vehemently with the B.S.L. computer AI about the fate of the galaxy, departed from the grateful Luminoth with a dismissive wave goodbye over her shoulder, and who’s faced down Ridley time and again without flinching?

Obviously she’s in one of the Metroid games without apparent continuity contradictions, clunky first-person aiming, obtuse hidden object puzzles, “we only got one take” voice acting, “we only made it to the second draft” scriptwriting, and an overall “we’re not sure what makes Metroid fun, but it’s probably lava levels and lots of talking” mentality.

Nathaniel Hoover


10. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (NES)

jekyllhydeDr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde is a story about a man split into a good side and a bad side after a strange experiment goes wrong. The experiment, of course, was creating this game. Unfortunately, it failed miserably and turned Dr. Jekyll insane. Actually, I can’t confirm that entirely. Nothing to see here, people. Move along!

Mark Freedman

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6 votes, average: 8.17 out of 106 votes, average: 8.17 out of 106 votes, average: 8.17 out of 106 votes, average: 8.17 out of 106 votes, average: 8.17 out of 106 votes, average: 8.17 out of 106 votes, average: 8.17 out of 106 votes, average: 8.17 out of 106 votes, average: 8.17 out of 106 votes, average: 8.17 out of 10 (You need to be a registered member to rate this post.)
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34 Comments

  1. Fun Facts:
    -Quest 64 was nominated (I think I nominated it in your honor, Paul) but nobody ended up voting for or against its inclusion on the list.
    -The top 3 games that were nominated that the most people voted AGAINST being included were Legend of Zelda: Windwaker, Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island and Super Mario Sunshine.
    -Games that were juuuust barely edged out for #50 and were bumped off the list were Mighty Bomb Jack and Mega Man Xtreme 2

  2. It figures that the two games at the bottom of my list would juuuust barely get edged out. But hey, this was fun. And I’m so glad Michael pointed out the “Don’t take most damage” code for TMNT–that always baffled the heck out of me.

  3. I hate exaggerating all the time because people tend to think that I’m joking about DOAX2 or Samurai Shodown Sen.

    They really, REALLY are as bad as I say they are. Sure, they look fun. But they’re not. Just. Plain. NOT.

  4. I can vouch for Matt. I bought the game for $8 new because, hell, $8 game, it’s gotta have something worth that price.
    It doesn’t. The volleyball sucks, the casino games suck, the mini games suck and if I want porn I have internet access so I have a veritable pornucopia at my fingertips and don’t need a boobie-zoom cam in my videogames.

  5. Never played any of these, thank god. Don’t think you missed any though, I’ve never had the misfortune to start playing a game, then put it down and say, “this is crap.” oh, except for once…
    Worst game I’ve played is probably Santa Claus 3 for the Gameboy advance…you know, like the Tim Allen movies? I don’t think I ever beat it…then again, I was like 8. I had a short attention span.

  6. Wind Waker and Mario Sunshine aren’t bad games and neither is Metroid other M, they’re just dissapointments compared to the others in the series. There was no way Wind Waker could top the masterpiece that is Ocarina of time, the best thing it could do is appear to be a step down from it. Thing is most fans think it’s a step too many.

  7. Windwaker was, in my opinion a masterpiece. And the cartoony graphics, as disappointing as they were at the time, have aged extremely well, keeping the re “sail” value high. The abortions you listed here guys all should be on here. However I will say that bible adventures isnt all that bad. It’s really funny actually and plays ok. Buy designer shoes cheap. I’m kidding guys.

  8. @Frank I agree about Windwaker. I was totally not on board with the art style at first but I played it and it won me over and, as you said, that style has aged pretty well. And, outside of the frequent boat trips, it was a really fun installment in the Zelda series, from what I remember.

  9. I love me some Windwaker. I feel bad for not voting for (against?) Ethnic Cleansing now, but I had never even heard of it.

  10. THANK YOU! Wow, not only did you answer my question in the podcast you later made an entire colum out of it. This really means a lot, thanks guys!

  11. @Christian: Who nominated Yoshi’s Island?! That was on my short list for the BEST games list!

    Also, I’m a little surprised that Apollo Justice didn’t make the list out of spite.

  12. Again, Apollo Justice was bad compared to the other games in the series. I got it for Xmas and I already beat it. It’s super easy, and the story is a little lacking, but it has it’s moments! Like during case 1 when Phoenix objected and the music from the first game started playing, that made my day! The graphics and gameplay is awesome, the ending is satisfying as hell, and the new puzzles are actually fun to do! I just wish Ema would just shut up and let me work. Other than that, it’s an awesome game!

  13. I don’t know who made what nominations, for the most part. All nominees were brainstormed and entered onto a google document more or less anonymously.

    Apollo Justice and Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth were both nominated, but they were voted out of the list. As was your favorite indie gem, Try Not To Fart.

  14. I know which games I nominated, because they were all back-to-back on the nominees list. My friends came up with about half of my nominees.

    72. Metroid: Other M (Wii)
    73. Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker (GCN)
    74. Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney (DS)
    75. Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth (DS)
    76. Escape from Monkey Island (PS2)
    77. Santa Claus Saves the World (GBA)
    78. Super Mario Sunshine (GCN)
    79. Athena (NES)
    80. Final Fantasy IX (PS)
    81. Final Fantasy XI (PS2)
    82. Final Fantasy XII (PS2)
    83. Final Fantasy XIII (Xbox 360)
    84. Mega Man: Powered Up (PSP)
    85. Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town for Girls (GBA)
    86. Donkey Konga (GCN)
    87. Wii Music (Wii)
    88. Lego Indiana Jones 2 (Wii)
    89. Lego Batman (Wii)
    90. The Urbz: Sims in the City (PS2, GCN, Xbox)
    91. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (PS3)
    92. Rocky and Bullwinkle Adventures (NES)
    100. Try Not to Fart (Xbox Live)
    101. Halo 3 (Xbox 360)
    102. Nancy Drew: Message in a Haunted Mansion (GBA)

    The games that I voted for were different ones, though.

  15. Those two were all Kerriann’s ideas, not mine! I don’t even own a PlayStation. I just asked her what modern Final Fantasy games are bad, and she came back with nearly all of them.

  16. @Michael: YOU nominated Ace Attorney Investigations?! Don’t listen to those musical people; it’s not that bad!

    Escape from Monkey Island is an undeniably solid choice, though.

    1. Although Shaq-Fu was nominated its inclusion was eventually voted against and nobody else cared enough to waste one of their votes to vote it back in. I’d say Angry Birds isn’t amazing, but it’s more overrated than out-and-out bad.

  17. Got Taboo: The 6th Sense from a friend, including a letter telling me to destroy it. Drilling holes in it and smashing it with a hammer was the most fun I had with that mess of a game.

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