Looking at the best video games in history is a very interesting experience, and is certainly a good way to get more familiar with the benchmark productions of the industry. But it can be equally as interesting to take a good look at the worst an industry has to offer. After all, you can’t truly appreciate what is good if you don’t get an idea of what’s going on at the opposing end of the spectrum.
To that end, it helps to remember some of the worst games that have ever got full releases, and inspect exactly what made them so awful. So let’s take a good hard look at the worst of the worst in the world of video games.
ET – 1982
ET is often reported as one of the worst games in video game history, and is even blamed for the video game crash of the 80s. But just how bad is this game, now so old that most haven’t even played it?
The truth is that ET was not so bad as is reported, especially in comparison to some of the other games coming out at the time. What made the game so bad was that it was based on a staggering upfront payment of $20 million, paid to Dreamworks for the rights to use the beloved alien in a video game. To this end, the game should have been much more than it was, well beyond a slightly below average game.
The worst part of the equation is that the game was hyped up well beyond what it deserved, raising expectations to astronomical levels. When people finally got their hands on the game, what they got was something truly undermining. It was a recipe for disaster.
But as the ET video game was not as truly bad as has been made out, Superman 64 is a game that is truly deserving of the negativity that has been heaped upon it. Using the extremely popular Superman license, the Superman 64 game was an epic failure of profound proportions. If online betting sites had taken bets on it, those who had wagered it would flop would be big winners.
It involved mostly having players fly through rings, with clunky controls, unforgiving time limits, and little to nothing in the way of actual action, as one might expect in a game about Superman. The design of the game was dismal on every level, so much so that players were truly dedicated to stomach the game even for a few minutes.
The Sonic the Hedgehog franchise has gone through major ups and downs, with one of the lowest points being Sonic 2006. A heavily hyped game, the end result was less than impressive. The developers were rushed in order to meet a deadline, and the final game showed signs of being unfinished, unpolished, and downright broken on every level.
Among the worst sins of the game were how awkward Sonic was to control, how clearly unfinished the graphics were, and how some areas of the game were awkward to the point of being comical. The infamous snowboarding area of the game had no relation to real snowboarding physics, allowing Sonic to stand upright, on a snowboard, on vertical planes. The wrongs of the game were compounded by the cringe worthy romance Sonic exhibited with a human female. The game is now notorious for being a video game disaster.