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



9. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (NES)

TMNT-water-levelWhenever people talk about the classic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series, everyone likes to pretend that the first game doesn’t exist. All the other games are multiplayer brawlers, but this one is a single-player platformer. Also, it has the worst graphics of the entire series.

Hardly anybody managed to beat this game. Why? It’s a mixture of too hard and not well organized. If you don’t die in the poorly-explained and out-of-place underwater level, you’ll die in the overly-long maze of a third level. Even using a Game Genie doesn’t help you get through this game, because the best Game Genie code is “don’t take most damage”. Most damage? Who thought that would be a good cheat code, and who thought this would be a good game?

Michael Gray


8. Bible Adventures (NES)

bibleadventuresBeing of Jewish heritage, I probably shouldn’t have too much of a problem playing as the Old Testament’s greatest heroes. But from what I’ve read of the good ol’ five books, I don’t remember Noah lifting sheep over his head and tossing them at bears. Also, wasn’t it two of every animal, not 100 of about five different animals? You know you have a winner on your hands when the cartridge is blue rather than the typical NES gray. That’s because Bible Adventures is not officially licensed by Nintendo. While that Seal of Quality may not mean that much to you, its absence here speaks volumes.

—Mark Freedman

On the Other Hand…

I’m sorry. Any game where you can make Noah carry around livestock on his head and chuck baby Moses into a river, complete the stage, and receive the message, “GOOD WORK, BUT YOU FORGOT BABY MOSES” deserves an award.

Also, I’m a horrible person.

Nathaniel Hoover


7. Conan the Barbarian (NES)

conanAs a kid, I made it a point to beat every single one of my NES games. Hell, I even beat Milon’s Secret Castle. But this one? I couldn’t even get past Level 3. Combine a super fragile Conan (‘cuz that makes sense) with controls that lag by about five seconds, and you have a pretty damn near impossible gaming experience. We all know that NES games had a tendency to be…frustrating…but for the most part they were manageable. Conan the Barbarian basically tells you straight up that there is no way you’re going to win this thing.

Michael Ridgaway

https://youtube.com/watch?v=fbztuOiBCBg


6. Friday the 13th (NES)

fridaythe13thYou know what, maybe this ISN’T a terrible game. Maybe, in an effort to truly capture the feel of Friday the 13th, the creators intentionally made it repetitive and impossible to win. Maybe the constant deaths at the hand of Jason Voorhees reinforce the feelings of dread and hopelessness that the designers were hoping to evoke, while the ghost(?) of Jason’s mother represents repressed maternal longings in each of the protagonists, instead of just some additional random challenge. Maybe the fact that it’s not scary at all is meta-commentary on the nature of the distance we grant ourselves in watching horror movies so that we can be scared while not being in any actual danger.

Or maybe Friday the 13th is just a terrible game.

Michael Ridgaway


5. Batman Forever (SNES)

batmanforeverUgh. It figures I’d get assigned to talk about this game and its obvious spiritual cousin, Timecop. What can I say about Batman Forever that hasn’t already been said in the following sentences? It’s an SNES game with loading times between every screen—screens that you can’t see much of, I might add, because the backgrounds are darker than a Sylvia Plath poem. The game tries to pass off rhythmic screeching as legitimate music (it’s not). Batman moves around like he’s in tryouts for Mortal Kombat. And, the controls are atrocious. Or so I hear. I haven’t played it.

About the only redeeming quality seems to be the fact that every thug gets a dorky name that appears alongside his health bar. Those aren’t just any clown goons you’re beating up. They are Tango and Chacha. Now you can associate names with faces when the nightmares begin of you slaughtering all those countless people—nightmares you would be having, at least, if you could ever get close enough to pull off a punch without getting killed yourself.

Nathaniel Hoover


4. Ethnic Cleansing (PC)

ethniccleansingConsidering how many laughs I get out of playing games like the Atari rooftop masturbation sim Beat ‘Em and Eat ‘Em, or creepy Japanese rapist simulator Biko 3, the moral high road isn’t really a path I’m used to walking. Ethnic Cleansing, however, is an exception to my rule. Sorry to bring the room down, but EC is a legitimately racist and anti-Semitic game made by a neo-Nazi record label where you play as a murderous KKKlansman or skinhead. I’ve known about it for years, but I’ve avoided mentioning it on GameCola simply because the idea of even indirectly promoting this game and possibly giving the company a single sale makes my stomach turn, and I only break my silence on this game now because I’m reasonably certain they don’t sell it anymore. To give you an idea of how morally reprehensible this game is, consider the fact that the box advertises “realistic negro sounds”, and in-game when you shoot black people, it makes chimpanzee sounds. It’s as clever as it is classy.

However, it isn’t on this list based on its objectionable content; it’s here because it is an incredibly bad game regardless of the demented, xenophobic worldview attached to it. It’s horribly designed and glitchy, completely disgusting looking, has a draw distance of about two centimeters, and it sounds terrible. It’s not worth trying even as a morbid curiosity, but if you must, please, please at least pirate it. Do not ever legitimately buy this game.

Christian Porter


3. Where’s Waldo? (NES)

whereswaldoHow does a game this shockingly bad even get made? At what stage did someone say, “Let’s develop a game that requires such delicate precision but make it ultimately impossible to see what you’re doing”?

Where’s Waldo? for the NES is the embodiment of failure from all practical levels—bad controls, bad visuals, and an idea far beyond what could’ve realistically been done on the console.

Matt Jonas


2. E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (Atari)

ETOh, man! There’s so much I could say about this crappy game, but I’ll just stick to the basics. The game is weird, there’s no sign of progression whatsoever, and practically no one understood what the hell they were supposed to do in order to beat it. You take control of E.T. in this “adventure”, and you have to browse through a few static scenarios while avoiding falling into pits or being taken away by some FBI agents and scientists.

Back then I thought there was no possible way to die, since every time I did, Elliot walked in and revived E.T.—which made me even angrier. Thanks to the Internet, now I know that there is a three-life limit; two more lives than the one I had when I died out of boredom.

Daniel Castro


1. Superman 64 (N64)

superman64_1

Up in the sky! It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s…wow, I’m still flying through the air. What are these things, rings? Why the hell is Superman flying through rings? And why can’t I see more than one city block ahead of me? Oh, “kryptonite fog”, right. Aaaaaaaaannd still flying, still flying, still flying…all right, an actual level. Wait, what do you mean I was just killed by a random mook. I’M FREAKING SUPERMAN.

Phew, that was tough. I can do this, though. OK, what’s next? MORE RINGS? ARRRRRRRRGGGGHHHH!

Michael Ridgaway


There you have it, the worst games ever made.

 

Did you ever buy any of these for yourself? Seek therapy.
Did you ever receive any of these games as a gift? Get revenge.
Did you ever buy any of these for somebody else? Watch your ass.

Were we spot on, totally off base, or did we perhaps miss something? Let us know in the comments.


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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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