Top 10 Bad Video Games That Were Successful

Credits: Dan Paradis Dave Thibault
Script Written by Fred Humphries Wow, how did that make any money? Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Bad Video Games That Were Successful. For this list, we take a look at video games that have received mixed or worse reviews from critics and gamers, yet have still managed to sell incredibly well and make money for their respective developer. We are ruling out titles that sold fewer than one million units while also not including games like Destiny that failed to meet high expectations, rather than being an outright bad game. Special thanks to our user veniethegreek for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script Written by Fred Humphries

Top 10 Bad Video Games That Were Successful


Wow, how did that make any money? Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 Bad Video Games That Were Successful.

For this list, we take a look at video games that have received mixed or worse reviews from critics and gamers, yet have still managed to sell incredibly well and make money for their respective developer.
We are ruling out titles that sold fewer than one million units while also not including games like Destiny that failed to meet high expectations, rather than being an outright bad game.

#10: “Homefront” (2011)


The premise of this first-person shooter was an intriguing one: in the not too distant future a unified Korea have taken their chance to invade a weakened US. Gamers subsequently began to anticipate a game thatcould rise above others in an overcrowded genre. That initial lure was all the game offered for many players who believed the campaign lazily fell into the clichés and tired gameplay that so many other titles had done before. The single-player could be finished in five hours and so we imagine a large chunk of the 2.5 million copies sold were returned to the store pretty quickly.

#9: “Game of War: Fire Age” (2013)


Rather than actually being a quality game for Strategy fans to enjoy, this mobile title has one purpose: get as much money from you as possible. Your progress through this boring title is totally dependent on the amount of money you are able to sink into developing your armies and strongholds. When you inevitably need to reinforce, the gorgeous Kate Upton is always on hand to trick you into bypassing the inordinately long waits to build or enhance your empire. Despite being one of the highest grossing apps ever, it does nothing to improve the strategy genre but sure is a masterpiece of aggressive marketing.

#8: “Kinect Adventures!” (2010)


Unbelievably, this sports game has sold more copies for the Xbox 360 than incredible titles like GTA V and Minecraft. Granted, it did cheat a little by coming packaged with the Kinect motion camera but such a repetitive experience shouldn’t be the best selling game ever for the console. Unlike other Kinect-enabled games the motion controls are pretty solid but after a very short period you’ll grow tired of the limited mini-games. Would it have shipped 24 million copies if it didn’t come with the Kinect? Absolutely not.

#7: “A Bug’s Life” (1998)


Surely we can just ignore the unrefined gameplay and clunky controls as it’s a children’s 3D platformer, right? Sadly not as this movie tie-in offers little for anyone, let alone kids. The graphics do look relatively similar to the film universe that it’s based upon but the gameplay is far too mundane to suck you into Flik’s adventure. The movie’s profile was great enough to make over three million customers shell out $40 for a dated title with a camera that made playing the game a chore for both parents and their offspring.

#6: “Aliens: Colonial Marines” (2013)


It’s pretty well known that games shown off at E3 do not represent the final product but this FPS was so far away from the demo that it has become the subject of a controversial lawsuit. These proceedings however won’t work out who is mostly responsible for a disastrous production cycle that repeatedly changed creative direction. Whole levels and missions were removed or altered as too many cooks added their flavor to an increasingly jumbled recipe. Evidently, it was the misleading demo that made nearly 1.5 million people buy this buggy game that was almost unplayable on release.

#5: “Sonic the Hedgehog” (2006)


Even the most devoted Sonic fan boys can’t defend this glitchy mess that barely has a redeeming feature. Many have said the introduction of human characters to the story bordered on bestiality and even if you removed the game breaking bugs, it would barely be passable as a platformer due to it’s terrible controls. Over two million unfortunate customers endured the extortionate load times to find that the numerous glitcheswere the only source of entertainment in yet another Sonic failure.

#4: “50 Cent: Bulletproof” (2005)


We can see why this third-person shooter sold nearly 2.3 million copies: seeing Fiddy during the height of his career as a bona fide action hero taking on organizations far larger than his own set of gangsters is incredibly appealing. For anyone who has little interest in the rapper or his comrades however, there are few morsels to get your teeth into. The controls are at best tricky and the linear layout of the game leaves you little to do other than run head first into yet another group of vanilla henchmen.

#3: “Wii Play” (2007)


There’s nothing glaringly wrong with this set of mini-games that introduce you to the functionality of the Wii, it’s just so limited that it shouldn’t really be a game at all, let alone the 5th best selling game for the console. The 9 mini-games can be breezed through in under an hour and are not engaging enough to warrant another play through. Another flawed Nintendo title, Wii Music, similarly sold far more copies than it should have done but it’s 3.2 million units moved are still miniscule compared to the 28 million copies of Wii Play that wereshifted. Our theory? It sold so well because it came with an extra Wii remote.

#2: “Enter the Matrix” (2003)


Had this dull action-adventure title been released after The Matrix Revolutions let down audiences, it probably wouldn’t have sold as well as it did. Five million copies flew off the shelf as fans expected an experience that would allow you to recreate the gorgeously choreographed action of the film series. Instead you are left mashing the buttons at random in the hope that the game won’t glitch out before you execute an underwhelming flying kick. We’ll tell you exactly what you need to hear: don’t go anywhere near this dingy entry to the franchise.

Before we reveal our top pick, let’s take a look at some dishonorable mentions.

“Hey You, Pikachu!” (2000)

“Lost Planet: Extreme Conditions” (2007)

“Resident Evil 6” (2012)

#1: “Pac-Man”- Atari 2600 version (1982)


Not only is this port of the classic arcade-maze game an abysmal assault on the senses in it’s own right, it also managed to tarnish the status of one of the first legendary video game characters. The gameplay was, at best, broken yet the smaller capacity of the Atari 2600 meant the ghosts, pellets and map were reimagined as flat, colorless versions of their originals. Also the ghosts would teleport all over the place for no reason, and the maze didn’t resemble anything like the arcade version that inspired it. Despite failing to live up to the original in every imaginable way, it still sold seven million copies and became the best selling game for the console. It's no wonder the industry crashed the following year.

Do you agree with our list? Which big-selling game do you think doesn’t deserve such commercial success? For more top 10s that deserve to be successful, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.

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