There are many well known, well-trodden disappointments in the realm of video games. Whether it be the whole rigmarole around the ridiculously outdated Duke Nukem Forever, the perhaps overblown outrage surrounding Star Fox Adventures, or the mind-numbingly lengthy wait for the equally mind-numbingly atrocious Aliens: Colonial Marines.
The debates surrounding these games have been raging for years, with some being able to see past their flaws, and others still bitter about them to this day. With that being said, there is a selection of disappointing pieces of interactive media that seem to be lost in the shuffle.
10 Driv3r (2004)
Of all the games on this list, the third entry in the Driver series is perhaps the most infamous. A game that had been hyped up for a long period only to be rushed out the door without being complete, Driv3r was just a complete pig’s ear of a game.
What made this event truly infamous was an event that was covered up for a long time until Watchmojo’s favorite YouTuber, Larry Bundy Jr, unearthed the controversy in a video. Driv3r’s publisher, Atari, paid off a couple of magazines with early copies of the game in order to guarantee positive reviews, which is completely inexcusable.
9 Castlevania 64 (1999)
The Castlevania series has been on a bit of a rough ride in recent memory, though given that the series is published by Konami, that shouldn’t be much of a surprise. However, the series’ first entry into the third-dimension is perhaps its most dispiriting.
Awkward controls and bad camera angles were not uncommon during the era the game came out, but most developers had ironed out those kinks by 1999. Castlevania 64 felt a tad outdated, not helped by how it was outclassed by the phenomenon that was its Playstation 1 cousin, Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night.
8 Tomorrow Never Dies (1999)
When the announcement that a game based on Pierce Brosnan’s second outing as the famous spy James Bond came to the ears of gamers, they rejoiced, as the glory that was Goldeneye 64 was still fresh in their minds. Then the not yet loathed publisher Electronic Arts and jobber developer Black Ops Entertainment released Tomorrow Never Dies for the PS1.
Not only was the third person perspective a punch to the gut for fans, but the flawed mechanics and lack of multiplayer were seen as heresy by fans of 007’s Nintendo based adventure. While EA would attempt to correct the course with it’s later James Bond games, the damage was done, as Tomorrow Never Dies was just not what fans wanted.
7 Clock Tower: Ghost Head (1998)
The Clock Tower series has recently been gaining some attention in the west despite the groundbreaking first entry for the Super Famicom being Japan-exclusive until fans created English translations. However, after finally putting the terrifying Scissorman to bed in 1997’s sequel, the developers, Human Entertainment, tried something new with its third game.
Titled Clock Tower II: The Struggle Within in North America, the fruit of Human’s labor proved to be an inferior successor to the previous two Clock Tower games. Though it had a somewhat interesting story and gimmick, the lackluster controls, non-existent scares, lack of atmosphere and mind-boggling game mechanics let those positive aspects down.
6 Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath Of Cortex (2001/2002)
With the series having entered the PlayStation 1 into The Console Wars, once Crash Bandicoot’s OG developer Naughty Dog abandoned the loveable idiot, it perhaps put him into the crosshairs of The Sword of Damocles. Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath Of Cortex, the series’ first venture into the sixth generation of consoles, is a good example of this.
On its own, the game is not the worst game you will ever play, but compared to the preceding titles in the franchise (disregarding the less than stellar party game Crash Bash,) it’s a huge letdown. Not to mention that Wrath Of Cortex recycles the original games’ mechanics rather than updates them, which does a lot to overshadow what the game brings to the table.
5 Mortal Kombat 4 (1997)
There are a lot of disappointing Mortal Kombat games that were eligible for this list, including Mortal Kombat 1 on the SNES, Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, and Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe. However, one that isn’t discussed as often is Mortal Kombat 4, which may be the most saddening example.
When Midway started marketing MK’s first venture into 3D, long-dead controversy surrounding the series’ violence was resurrected, only to be put down once again as soon as people got a good look at it. Not only is MK4 the tamest of the first four games, but its graphics are also ugly, its voice acting is reprehensible, and its Game Boy Color port is best left forgotten.
4 Super Mario Bros 2 (1988)
Originally developed as Doki Doki Panic, a non-Mario platformer for The Famicom, the game was ultimately retooled into the game we all know and…tolerate to this day. Unlike the games previously mentioned, Super Mario Bros 2 is a pretty good game but easily manages to get lost in the shadow of the first game, as well as the third.
While the game is more warmly received in recent times, the unique uprooting mechanic left many fans baffled back in the day. Also, the game’s ending revealing that it was all a dream is widely considered not only a copout but one of the worst video game endings of all time.
3 Advent Rising (2005)
When your game nearly puts your publisher out of business, you’ve probably done something wrong. Advent Rising’s publisher Majesco promised more than they could deliver with this game, with a script written by Ender’s Game’s Orson Scott Card and a whole trilogy planned, it seemed like Advent Rising would be a name that would be remembered for years to come.
Alas, that wasn’t how it panned out. While reception to the game wasn’t necessarily negative, it was very buggy with a questionable visual design. After the failure of the game, Majesco ended up restructuring their business, a major shift to avoid another Advent Rising.
2 Batman: Dark Tomorrow (2003)
Unlike Superman, Batman has a pretty half-decent track record with video games, but one game is seen as on par with those The Man Of Steel has been subjected to. Batman: Dark Tomorrow had initially been announced as a GameCube exclusive open-world game, but it was scaled down, which ultimately cemented its doom.
The game controls like Resident Evil in a generation where that style was starting to fall by the wayside, not to mention that Batman: Dark Tomorrow’s mechanics are nowhere near as polished as Capcom’s magnum opus. Batman: Dark Tomorrow is the gaming equivalent to the reviled movie Batman & Robin and is one of the worst games ever made.
1 Earthworm Jim 3D (1999/2000)
After the series was abandoned by its developer, Shiny Interactive, the acclaimed Earthworm Jim series landed in the lap of the little known Vis Interactive. The result was Earthworm Jim 3D, a subpar entry in a fantastic series that disappointed many upon its tumultuous release.
While you could argue that Batman: Dark Tomorrow is a worse game, it feels like more people talk about it. What makes Earthworm Jim 3D come out ahead of its caped counterpart is that not only do fewer people discuss its failure, but it’s also far more insulting given the pedigree of the previous two games.
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