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Top 10 Disappointing Games of All Time

VO: Daniel Paradis WRITTEN BY: Caitlin Johnson
Script Written by Caitlin Johnson They could have been so much more! These games didn't just fall short, they completely dropped the ball and hurt the reputation of their developers, publishers, and franchises. From controversial games like "No Man's Sky" to infamously bad titles like Sonic 06, we count down the absolute biggest disappointments that gaming has to offer. To have your ideas turned into a WatchMojo or MojoPlays video, head over to http://WatchMojo.comsuggest and get to it!
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Top 10 Disappointing Games of ALL TIME

The higher your expectations, the worse your disappointment. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 disappointing games of all time.

For this list, we’re not looking at any particular decade, genre or era, but the most disappointing games across gaming history as a whole. What makes them disappointing isn’t always that they’re bad games – though they sometimes are – but that they were overhyped compared with the final product, repeatedly delayed, or even just not as good as their predecessors.

#10: “Spore” (2008)



People had big hopes when Maxis promised to condense all of evolutionary theory into one, huge game, but unfortunately even a game with so much variety couldn’t help but get samey and dull after barely an hour of initial gameplay. Spore sees players create their own creatures, tribes, cities and eventually travel into space, but all of these interesting ideas ended up being what felt like a series of mini-games, with only the final space stage feeling unique and exciting. Unfortunately, lots of players gave up with its repetitive gameplay long before they reached that point; after eight years in development hell, it was just too little too late.

#9: “Sonic the Hedgehog” (2006)



When it comes to Sonic, he has as many bad games as he has outstanding ones, but none are quite as infamous as Sonic ’06. The time travel story is convoluted and nonsensical, ending with a retcon of everything you’d accomplished in the game, and that’s if you actually manage to get through its terrible gameplay. The main reason for its problems is that the developers didn’t actually finish it, instead rushing to release an untested beta riddled with glitches and over-sensitive controls. But the worst thing about this game was its broken camera, which would randomly rotate and cause you to not see where you’re going.

#8: “Star Wars Battlefront” (EA Series) (2015-17)



You’d be forgiven for thinking that after the flop MMO that was Star Wars Galaxies in 2003, game developers would have learnt not to cross Star Wars fans, but unfortunately EA failed to heed this warning, not once but twice. Their first Battlefront game launched with barely any content and a hefty $50 Season Pass, not to mention that there was no single-player campaign – which even John Boyega ended up complaining about. Then in 2017 for what was suppose to be an apology for these issues, EA implemented such a predatory progression system relying on lootboxes, that it sparked calls from government officials to regulate microtransactions in gaming. Way to go EA.

#7: “Deus Ex: Invisible War” (2003)



The original Deus Ex released in 2000 and is regarded as one of the greatest and most influential video games out there, which is why its sequel three years later was such a disappointment. While on its own Invisible War isn’t necessarily a bad game, it’s let down by comparisons to the other entries into this ground-breaking series, as well as the hardware of the original Xbox. With small map sizes and a bland environment, combined with a story that’s just trying too hard to bring the series to new and innovative heights, this entry falls short of what it could have been.

#6: “Final Fantasy XIII” (2010-4)



Any series that runs as long as Final Fantasy will have lots of highs and lots of lows, but the thirteenth instalment is pretty much as low as you can go. Long-running fans pretty much agree that XIII fell short of expectations; for a start most of its core characters were dull and hard to care about, the combat system was overhauled and modified for the worse, while the biggest criticisms were aimed at its linear structure. Taking a tried-and-true more open-world RPG formula and turning it into a linear experience with way less exploration, way less towns and way less side missions was just a bad move from Square Enix.

#5: “No Man’s Sky” (2016)



They promised densely-populated alien planets, a quest to reach the center of the universe, intergalactic dogfights and infinitely-generating galaxies, but upon its release No Man’s Sky didn’t reach any of these expectations. While it may include some 18 quintillion planets, the possibility of finding anything interesting on them was slim to none, and it’s widely considered to have had one of the most misleading and disastrous marketing campaigns in gaming. The small team at indie studio Hello Games just didn’t have the manpower to make the game everything it promised to be, much to the disappointment of gamers everywhere.


#4: “Aliens: Colonial Marines” (2013)



At E3 2012 an impressive demo was shown for Colonial Marines, one so flashy it disguised all the development issues that had been plaguing it for years. Developed by Gearbox software, rumors began that the developer had been focusing it’s efforts instead on it’s popular Borderlands series among others. What was eventually released was a game with a bad story, bad graphics and bad gameplay, which didn’t live up to the name of this giant sci-fi franchise.

#3: “Daikatana” (2000)



Announced in 1997, it was promised to revolutionize the FPS genre. A game which crosses into four different time periods with more weapons and enemies than anyone had ever seen before, it’s not surprising that gamers had high hopes for Daikatana. Unfortunately, the game fell victim to the egos of its top developers, who ran an infamous ad which only read “John Romero’s about to make you his bitch.” Trying to force it out as quickly as possible led to numerous delays, and by release it had fallen behind its competitors technologically and had glitchy gameplay, annoying AI, and a terrible story.

#2: Everything by Rare After Microsoft Buyout (2002-)



For more than twenty years, Rare was one of the leading developers in gaming, responsible for such hits like Donkey Kong Country, GoldenEye 007, Perfect Dark and Banjo-Kazooie just to name a few. But in 2002 Rare was purchased by Microsoft for $375 billion and it all went downhill from there. Their last game with Nintendo "Star Fox Adventures" had noticeable cut corners, Perfect Dark Zero was released in an unfinished state, and Banjo-Kazooie Nuts & Bolts was such a radical departure from it's beloved predecessors. Now with the recent release of Sea of Thieves, a game that spent years in development only to have next-to-no actual content. And Rare’s fate has been all but sealed.


“Donkey Kong Country” (1994)

“Perfect Dark” (2000)

“Banjo-Kazooie” (1998)

“GoldenEye 007” (1997)

“Sea of Thieves” (2018)


Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few Honorable Mentions:

“Castlevania 64” (1999)

“Metroid: Other M” (2010)

“SimCity” (2013)


#1: “Duke Nukem Forever” (2011)



Fifteen Years. ... Fifteen years of combined hype and development for the highly anticipated sequel to one of the greatest FPS's of the 90's. It's no wonder Duke's legacy came crashing down with such a thud. Having switched through multiple engines, multiple developers, and multiple publishers throughout it's disastrous development period, what finally emerged from this rollercoaster was a game that was stuck with it's outdated gameplay mechanics, and even more outdated jokes. So unless Half Life 3 ends up suffering a similar fate; Duke Nukem will forever go down as the most disappointing video game of all time.

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