Video games are, in a word, great. Casual, arcade-style style titles help us to whittle away the idle hours, and fantasy epics with immersive, expertly written plots can easily rival or surpass those found in film and literature. Experimental indie games can have the same obscure, cerebral appeal of a modern art installation. Heck, sometimes we really just want to boot up Call of Duty and blow stuff up. But just like receiving a bad dish at a restaurant or buying a ticket to an overhyped movie, sometimes a game will entirely miss the mark we wanted it to hit.
And like any stable and well adjusted person would do in those situations, we like to hit to the internet and yell about it in order to cope with our immense disappointment, taking some comfort in standing shoulder to shoulder with critics that were just as put off by the experience as we were. The following games not only provoked such a reaction, but have the dubious distinction of being the ten absolute worst games to have ever come out, according to review aggregator Metacritic.
10 Infestation: Survivor Stories (PC) (20/100)
Originally entitled The War Z, Infestation: Survivor Stories was a terrible Day Z clone that hit during the height of the zombie-survival craze in 2012. Though it had looked somewhat promising in alpha, critics were absolutely merciless concerning this unpolished cash grab when it released in full.
It wasn't long before the game was forced to swap titles from The War Z to Infestation: Survivor Stories due to a patent issue, and things just kept going downhill from there. It was poorly designed, riddled with microtransactions, and altogether disappointing when compared to its many alternatives.
9 Deal or No Deal (DS) (20/100)
Facing facts, the only thing that might keep someone interested in an episode of Deal or No Deal is the fact that there's an awful lot of real, actual money on the line for the contestants. When you remove it from the context of reality, the show really lacks any sort of draw to keep people interested, unless you're the most diehard Howie Mandel fan to ever walk the earth.
This incredibly ill-advised attempt really serves to illustrate that point beautifully. Beyond the poor fit of the concept itself, the game itself was a total dumpster fire. The graphics extend way too far into uncanny valley territory, and the audio had may as well have been recorded on a smartphone.
8 Alone in the Dark: Illumination (PC) (19/100)
The Alone in the Dark series had been in a slump for quite some time preceding this title, despite its roots as one of the original survival-horror masterpieces. The 2001 title The New Nightmare had met with lukewarm reception, and the 2008 reboot was critically loathed. Illumination would unfortunately continue the downwards trend.
Developers Pure FPS don't quite seem to know how to make a survival horror game, to put it simply. Envisioned as a four player cooperative experience, Illumination plays more like a weird hybrid between Gears of War and Left 4 Dead, with its extremely action-forward, guns-blazing gameplay clashing hard with its halfhearted survival-horror aesthetics.
7 SPOGS Racing (Wii) (18/100)
The conceptually bizarre SPOGS Racing casts players as what is essentially an anthropomorphized POG (you remember those, right?) that found their way into a racing kart. Which is weird, sure, but not unforgivable. After all, no one's expecting realism or plot out of a casual kart racer. But unfortunately for SPOGS, they do expect a remotely playable experience.
There is a plentiful litany of complaints to be leveled here, but the most common critical gripes tend to revolve around two core issue. The first is the absurdly terrible visual quality, even for a downloadable Wii title. The second is the completely artificial difficulty of AI opponents, whom possess an uncanny ability to steal the win out of nowhere at the last second.
6 Double Dragon II: Wander of the Dragons (Xbox 360) (17/100)
You might take a look at the conceptual basis for a Double Dragon title and think that it's impossible for any developer, no matter how inept, to totally muck it up. It's a story-light, side-scrolling beat 'em up with a strong legacy, after all. But you'd be woefully mistaken there, and that's putting it lightly.
Wander of the Dragons manages to fumble the ball in every way that it possibly can, some of which we didn't even know were possible. The controls, despite being necessarily simple, are awkward when they aren't completely dysfunctional. The graphics are strangely terrible, and despite their low fidelity, the game's performance is choppy and uncomfortable at best.
5 Vroom in the Night Sky (Switch) (17/100)
At a glance, Vroom in the Night Sky might seem like a quirky, but fun high-speed bike riding adventure that wouldn't be out of place as a launch title for the Nintendo Switch. Then you have the misfortune of playing it, and the creeping sensation of regret begins to take hold.
Saying that this title was "rushed," or "left unpolished" for the Switch's launch date would be an outstanding understatement. Even the airy controls and wild handling could've been charming if the game wasn't so thoroughly lacking in content. Pair that with the plainly unfinished visuals and textures, and it's not hard to see why this title was so thoroughly panned.
4 Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust (PS3) (17/100)
When you see the Leisure Suit Larry branding associated with a title, your expectations immediately scale to a minimum. You brace yourself for dated, raunchy humor, an almost impossibly threadbare plot, and gameplay that was never meant to impress anyone. And yet still, by some miracle, Box Office Bust manages to lower the bar even further.
It did manage to shy away from Leisure Suit Larry's signature brand of nudity and "more involved" sexual content, which is something. Though instead of managing to broaden its appeal, all this move really seemed to accomplish was underscoring how little the series truly has to offer without it.
3 Yaris (Xbox 360) (17/100)
This is a game about driving your Toyota Yaris around and defeating possessed MP3 players until you've collected enough coins to equip your 4-Door Sedan with a sawblade or gatling laser. No, you are not having a stroke. Yes, you read that sentence correctly.
So, it's essentially Twisted Metal, but with a lot more product placement, a lot less Rob Zombie, and practically no gameplay value. Granted, it was a free title and essentially a playable advertisement, but this one definitely dips into "so hilariously terrible that it's actually good" territory.
2 Ride to Hell: Retribution (PC) (16/100)
This is basically the holy grail of terrible video games. Starring knuckle-dragging murder biker Jake Conway, players are expected guide him through bouts of poorly animated violence, have zero fun driving a motorcycle, and face the greatest challenge any video game has ever presented: do the nasty while remaining fully clothed. Because ratings.
Everything about Ride to Hell is laughable, from the hilariously ape-like design of human character models to the downright abysmal gameplay. The writing really tries to pass itself off this gritty, testosterone fueled crime drama, but the edge factor winds up somewhere in the realm of a dollar-store razor you found underneath your sink after being MIA for a few years. Which is to say that you'll probably get tetanus.
1 Family Party: 30 Great Games Obstacle Arcade (Wii U) (11/100)
When a game really has to be up front with you about the fact that it's "great," you're probably going to be in for a pretty bad time. It's essentially Mario Party on an incredibly thin, sweat-inducing budget, but without all of the fun Mario aesthetics. And also without any of the actual fun.
Family Party is what you wound up with if you were a kid relying on your parents to snag you some games for your sweet new Wii U console at Christmas. They get an 'A' for effort, they're your parents, after all. But if they had any idea of the trauma they were putting you through with this, they would've sprung for a decent therapist.