People love to debate the worst video games of all time. Some arguments really come down to personal tastes, but which games are almost universally reviled as being flat-out awful in every possible way? Which titles are to video games what Ed Wood movies are to film?
There are plenty of games bad enough to make you question the sanity behind playing them, but let’s narrow the list down to the 3 worst video games of all time .
The Worst Of The Worst
Ask around, and you won’t find too many people who disagree with you that the following titles are easy contenders for the three worst games every made:
- E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (Atari 2600) (1982): Atari thought they had a sure thing with this video game adaptation of Steven Spielberg’s hugely popular film. They couldn’t have been more wrong. E.T. features graphics that were dismal even for 1982, bizarre, pointless gameplay, and enough glitches to render the game completely unplayable. Atari was so certain that this game would be a hit that they reportedly created 5 million copies of the game. The title made a strong showing by selling 1.5 million, but that figure was still well below expectations. This is now considered to be one of the contributing factors to the video game market crashing in the early 1980’s. Legend has it the unsold copies were buried in a landfill in the New Mexico desert.
- Superman (Nintendo 64) (1999): Considered by many to be one of the worst games of all time. It won’t take you very long to understand why. Superman was destroyed by critics for sub-par graphics, a ridiculous level of repetition, unnecessary, infuriating difficulty, dozens of glitches that seriously affected gameplay, and confusing objectives. This game didn’t join E.T. in a New Mexico landfill, but a lot of critics and players believe to this day that it should have.
- Sonic the Hedgehog (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360) (2006): This game actually has a number of supporters, but a decidedly larger margin of critics and fans would prefer to forget Sega ever tried to reboot their legendary franchise for the PS3/Xbox 360 generation. A number of complaints were leveled against annoying camera work, poor controls, a lame story, an annoying supporting cast, and just a general sense that came across while playing that everything about Sonic the Hedgehog was very rushed, which indeed turned out to be the case.
Play At Your Own Peril
Bad games are a lot like bad movies, in the sense that people will still be curious to check them out for the curiosity factor. There’s nothing wrong with trying any of these games, or playing any of the other titles roundly considered as the worst games of all time, but do so with the understanding that the novelty is probably going to wear off very quickly. Trying to play any of these games as a serious player is a task that should only be taken on by the very patient.
My name is Johan . For over 30 years I have been involved in most aspects of audio enginering – live FOH mixing, studio and location recording, mixing and CD mastering.