The 10 Most Disappointing Games of 2011

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10 Most Disappointing Games of 2011

Most Disappointing Games Of 2011 Though 2011 might go down as delivering some of the best video games the industry has seen yet, it wasn’t without its blemishes. Amidst titles like Skyrim, Portal 2, and Batman were some games that left gamers with broken controllers and tarnished expectations. Overall, it may have been a winner, but 2011 still had its fair share of stinkers. And it is here that will look back on some of those vessels of suck that seemed worthwhile in concept, but fell flat on their face in execution. There were sequels to games that were actually pretty great and adaptations of film properties that were box office successes, but none could capture lightning in a bottle like they had hoped. So without further ado, let’s start with the first disappointing game of 2011.


Thor Most Disappointing 2011 Thor is not the only movie adaptation to make the list, but it sure is the more egregious of the two. Featuring some extremely lackluster combat given that its protagonist is a god who wields an awesome hammer is no doubt the most confounding part about this game, but there are areas beyond just that where Thor struggles. Its enemies are dull, its boss battles even duller, and the story, which was meant to be its own entity, made us pine for Natalie Portman. Thor is the reason that Marvel movie-to-video-game adaptations have a stigma attached to them -- they feel rushed and they lack any of the joy that comes with watching their big screen counterpart. Thor might be able to wield lightning, but he struck out with this one.


SOCOM 4 Most Disappointing 2011 SOCOM 4 was supposed to be a return to form for the series, a chance for Zipper Interactive to give fans the same experience they remember from SOCOM 2. As someone who spent upwards of 100 hours in the first and second games’ online matches, I have to say that SOCOM 4 is the most disappointing game of the year personally. This entry, whose new focus is on a Ghost Recon-esque single player campaign, just couldn’t find a balance between updating the old and keeping things fresh. The multiplayer is passable, but it’s still ultimately plagued by the conventions of today’s shooters, and, in the end, suffers. Our sights were set on loving this game, but we couldn’t hold our breath long enough to take the shot.

Call of Juarez: The Cartel

Call of Juarez The Cartel Most Disappointing of 2011 Nothing about this game sounded like a good idea, except for the fact that it was going to deliver another Call of Juarez. Achieving marginal status because of its unique genre and clever storytelling techniques, any Call of Juarez title wasn’t going to be much more than a passable shooter set within the Western genre anyways. So what did developer Techland decide to do? They decided to take the game out of that Western setting, and put it into the “new Old West,” the gang wars of the Mexican border. No sequel misunderstood its audience more than Call of Juarez: The Cartel, and the game was pretty broken to make matters worse. It was high noon, and nobody showed up for this shootout.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Transformers Dark of the Moon Most Disappointing 2011 The other contender for worst movie adaptation of the year, Transformers: Dark of the Moon repeated Thor’s sins by trying to step outside of the film’s story to try to escape the negative connotation. Instead, developer High Moon Studios — who do know how to make a pretty good Transformers game — dumbed down their own mechanics and reduced the game to lackluster action sequences. It’s almost like High Moon, in order to make a War for Cybertron sequel, had to first survive the trial by fire that was this game. It’s not all bad since the WFC formula is there in some form, but it is no way a worthy follow-up. Who would have thought that the one to rise would be a Michael Bay movie, and the one to fall would be a High Moon Transformers game?

Spider-Man: Edge of Time

Spider Man Edge of Time Most Disappointing 2011 Another repeat offender, this one of the Activision rushing a super hero game variety, Spider-Man: Edge of Time was Beenox forced to streamline their formula in order to meet a one-year deadline. The story had promise, and was meant to make up for the lack of Spider-Men, but even that was a chore that facilitated reusing the same locations several times. Boss fights lost their magic, and even switching between Spider-Man 2099 and contemporary Spider-Man brought less of a variety. It was too much forced on a developer too quickly. Just like High Moon, Beenox is getting another chance to get it right, but unlike Fall of Cybertron we fear Spider-Man is doomed for the near future. He may be amazing, but Spider-Man can’t escape a tangled web when it’s his own.

Duke Nukem Forever

Duke Nukem Forever Most Disappointing 2011 What is there to say about Duke Nukem Forever that hasn’t already been said? Surviving longer than some endangered species, Duke defied all the odds and released this year, only to be critically panned for being dated and juvenile. All the right pieces to the Duke formula were there, but it seemed like gamers’ tastes had evolved, and were looking for something that wasn’t just poop jokes. One has to imagine that Gearbox Software isn’t done with Duke, releasing this game was probably a stipulation for acquiring the property, but it’s hard to escape not associating the word disappointment with Duke for the near future. Forever never seemed so long, until you slap Duke Nukem to the front of it.


Homefront Most Disappointing 2011 Perhaps the new IP with the biggest promise, Homefront was a compelling idea that just couldn’t make good on all of its promises. Instead of topping Call of Duty, the game ended up repeating its competition’s sins, only with less pizzazz. Yes, many military shooters feel on rails, but this was one where one could see those tracks travelling beneath them. Multiplayer did provide enough variety to be unique, but when Black Ops or Battlefield are lying around, it’s hard to make a worthwhile argument. Homefront was meant to be poignant and emotional, but instead it was vapid and brief. If this is what a domestic invasion looks like, I’m moving overseas.

X-Men: Destiny

X Men Destiny Most Disappointing 2011 Oh X-Men: Destiny, you are all that is wrong with making a superhero game. You made an action RPG version of the X-Men, and didn’t let us play as any one of them. Yes, that allows us to craft our own story, but Batman: Arkham City proved that you could have your cake and eat it too. Combat was boring, the story was boring, and it was only when someone like Gambit showed up that our attention was even moderately piqued. In a year where X-Men movies were able to redeem themselves, X-Men video games moved in the opposite direction. Destiny might be written in stone, but this Destiny was written in something else.


Brink Most Disappointing 2011 On paper, Brink seemed like a great idea, an online objective-based shooter where players work together rather than simply shoot each other in the face. There’s still all of that and more, including a pretty exciting free running mechanic, but online problems galore just shut this game down from the get go. It was fun if you could get into it, but there were very few that were willing to dig as deep as developer Splash Damage required. And with a single player variant that showed just how inept the AI was, Brink further began to show its cracks. We were taken to the Brink, and just jumped off lest we be forced to play more.

Dragon Age 2

Dragon Age 2 Most Disappointing Game 2011   There are a ton of sequels contained within our Most Disappointing list, but Dragon Age 2 was the one that may have stung the hardest. BioWare’s trademark second game streamlining struck again, and left fans of the hardcore RPG elements reeling from another blind side like Mass Effect 2. An overreliance on reusing environments, and a story that just couldn’t live up to its predecessors, left Dragon Age 2 feeling like a step backwards. Yes, we know that there are going to be plenty of gamers who will love this game -- our Trung Bui actually gave it a favorable review -- it’s still nonetheless disappointing to see BioWare once again bring out the neutering shears. It was the second age of dragons, where déjà vu really became a thing.


Most Disappointing Games Of 2011 There you have it, Game Rant’s most disappointing games of 2011. There was a surprising amount of symmetry between a few of the entries — rushed by Activision, bad sequel to a good game — which makes us wonder when publishers will ever learn. Make no mistake; this is not a list of the worst games of 2011. Each of the games are absolutely playable, but are simply those that failed to meet our expectations for one reason or another. Some of these games might have even been some of your favorites from 2011, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It was a great year for video games even if a few dark spots showed popped up here and there. Were there any games that failed to make our list but that would have been high on yours?

TAGS: Brink, Call of Juarez: The Cartel, Dragon Age 2, Duke Nukem Forever, Homefront, SOCOM 4, Spider-Man: Edge of Time, Thor, Transformers Dark of the Moon, X-Men: Destiny


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  1. The Cartel was disappointing because they took it out of the Western setting? What about the fact that it was one of the most racist, offensive games made in recent memory??

    • That is also a pretty disappointing part of the game. Unfortunately, I wanted to keep each blurb concise, but there are plenty more reasons why each game fell short.

    • Not to mention horribly misinformed, about the very real (and terrible) events it is portraying.

  2. MW3 was the most disappointing game of 2011… it’s the best hyped and worst Call of Duty of all time, Single player was too short and was more like Modern warfare 2.5 and the multiplayer was so 1 dimensional that without survival mode i would’ve traded the game in months ago, as it happens i traded it 2 weeks ago out of sheer frustration, something i’ve never done with a COD, back to Blops and MW3 it is for me!!

    • For you maybe, but I’m sure there are a lot of people out there who are playing the multiplayer right now and not feeling one bit of disappointment. And we have to keep those people in mind. It may not be for all, but it does work for a lot of gamers.

    • I agree mw3 should be on this list its a huge disapointment sold it two weeks after buying it on midnight worst call of duty i have played. im back on good old blops

  3. *BF3 i mean.

  4. Can someone write the list in comments, I can’t read the list because of new format! My net connection is really slow that’s why it won’t get to next page! Had to wait for 10 minutes to see second page.

    • I moved on from the horrible world of dialup just last year. Hope you don’t have to stay there much longer. Here’s the list:

      SOCOM 4
      Call of Juarez: The Cartel
      Transformers: Dark of the Moon
      Spider-Man: Edge of Time
      Duke Nukem Forever
      X-Men: Destiny
      Dragon Age II

  5. Were people actually expecting the Thor and Transformers games to be good? Isn’t it conventional wisdom that games based on movies suck?

    • Yeah, I think those entries were a misuse of the word “disappointing.” I guess 5’s too few and 10’s too many.

    • As is said in the post Dark of the Moon is from High Moon who knocked it out of the park with War for Cybertron. To see a developer who nailed Transformers stumble because they were forced to make a rushed movie tie-in is disappointing.

      And for Thor it was a case of “that movie turned out to be pretty good, but boy did that game fail to capture any of that.”

      • You neeever get your hopes up for a movie tie-in, regardless of the developer. Even if the movie’s good (Thor), and especially if it’s not (Transformers).

        While we’re on this subject, have there ever been, like, studies done that show that movie tie-ins are a viable enterprise? I mean, I can’t really imagine ever having the thought that, “That movie was awesome, I wanna play a videogame of it!” And that seems to me to be the only reason that rushing a videogame to release alongside a movie would be a good idea. Or is it more about gaming-ignorant parents wanting to buy games for their kids, and taking any context they can get in order to pick a game?

  6. Dragon Age 2 would not have been such a bad game if it was published under a different name. However the fact that for some unknown reason bioware decided to just ignore the millions of questions left after Dragon Age 1 and publish a completely irrelevant game about your DA1 characters cousin is byond my comprehension. It dissapointed me right from the 1st minute. I still played the game but i didn’t get that epic feeling i got from the first one or the same attachment to the characters :/

    • I felt attached to the characters well enough, but yeah, in scope it was just too small. But even then, enjoyed the story much more than the generic DA:O story.

      • Don’t get me wrong i still enjoyed the game but it was by no way Dragon Age 2. It was “Something related to Dragon Age 1″ And i’m not talking about origins i’m talking about the main game… I don’t think i’ve ever been standing wanting for more info on the story so much than the way the original game ended. Especially about morrigan…

        • Yeah, Morrigan was a missed opportunity, too bad they left it like that. Let’s hope she returns in DA 3 :D

  7. i agree with dragon age 2 being repetative! there were so many momments that had me saying, “again?”

  8. I really like socom, with the move…

  9. These puns at the end of each entry are simply unacceptable. If someone ingested the cheese flowing from those puns, they’d die of constipation.

  10. DNF was a fun game.
    I don’t care what anyone says.

  11. Dead Island should be on this list.

  12. For me the biggest disappointment has to be BF3. Not for sucking but for not kicking MW3’s ass. BF3 had a huge ad campaign and tried to crush MW3’s ad campaign by saying such phrases like “above the call” and show how awesome the game is with fantastic trailers. But in the end gave a crappy console beta and did’t even sell a quarter of what MW3 did.

    • I play only single player campaigns, and yeah, BF3 was a huuuge disappointment after Bad Company 2’s fun campaign. The engine sucked big time too, never really felt any weight while shooting enemies, the story was too serious and boring. MW3’s campaign was the same old again, but much more fun than BF3’s campaign..

  13. I guess I don’t understand because I never played Brink, but the game sounds awesome. I heard someone compare Gotham City Impostors to Brink…and I love that game. Solomon Grundy no understand >:|

  14. Of course those games sucked they were movie video games (mostly)

  15. My biggest disappintment was Star Wars force unleashed 2… the story was odd to begin with, and left you hanging at the end. Also correct me if I’m worng but lucas arts states that they are not making any more, which is fine, but still no real ending to the story.

  16. the most dissapointing that i play is need for speed the run. You can just finish the game in just 2hours.the most worst racing game i ever played.EA u suck.

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