Nobody wants to make a bad game. The intention of every video game developer is to go out there and make the best game possible that everyone is going to love, but making games is hard and sometimes that noble goal falls short. What leads to a game being bad can vary from getting stuck in the development process, a budget disappearing, or the inability to pick a single direction for the game itself.
However, intention or not, bad video games still get made. Usually, when this happens there’s frustration and/or disappointment in the moment. As time goes on though that frustration or disappointment becomes a curiosity from the rest of us who haven’t played it. What exactly made this game so bad? Like sitting down to watch a bad movie, there’s a certain kind of enjoyment to playing a bad video game and experiencing it. Of course, also like a bad movie, the game still has to be semi-enjoyable to play. Nobody wants to play a boring or frustrating game, but instead one where there’s a light of what could have been. For those of you that want to experience that and have them sitting around in your backlog, we think these are worth giving a second chance.
Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) – Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
An infamously terrible attempt to reboot the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise, the famous SEGA mascot easily hit his lowest point in 2006 when his jump to the next-gen featured what many consider his worst game. However, there’s a certain kind of fun with how bad the game is. It’s a buggy mess and therefore it can be both frustrating and a great time. Watch and be amazed as Sonic walks up this loop! Grow increasingly frustrated as a boss fight leaves the player in a soft lock loop. This is a game that is fun to show other people because finding glitches isn’t even challenging. They’re just a part of the experience.
Deadly Premonition – Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 Nintendo Switch
Deadly Premonition is a game that everyone who plays it will either fall in love with or consider destroying its disc in a fit of rage. This is either one of the worst games ever made or a masterpiece in how to leave the player deeply uncomfortable the entire time. The audio mixing is terrible, the driving feels like it’s on ice, and combat is boring at best. Yet, all of it feels intentional and earnest. It constantly feels like this is not a result of incompetence but instead deliberate decisions by the developers to make the gameplay like this. The Twin Peaks inspired setting only adds to the feeling that every decision in this game was deliberate because it really does feel like a season of the show. It is also helped by a fun story with some delightful quirky characters. Anyone interested in experiencing this should give the Nintendo Switch version a try, but be ready to have a strong opinion because there is not a single person alive that played Deadly Premonition and came out feeling indifferent.
WWE 2K20 – PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Do not buy WWE 2K20. It is that terrible and not worth any price point. What you should do instead is, go find a friend who did not heed that warning, fire up a match, and experience one of the buggiest games in existence. When WWE 2K20 came out it didn’t take long for videos to start showing up of players falling through the ring, heads moving around erratically, and inconsistent physics. All of these things were not good for a wrestling game but were incredibly funny to watch taking place on screen. The laughs won’t last forever, unfortunately, but this can be a fun game night experience with friends.
Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing – PC
Most people know about Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing by now, but here’s a summary for those of you that need a refresher. It was supposed to be a truck racing game that featured cops and deliveries, but when it was released there were no cops, races, deliveries, or collision physics. When a race begins the player can go off in any direction they choose and the rest of the racers will not move an inch. Walls do not stop the player so they can really just go on a fun truckin’ adventure across the very boring and empty world. Want to know a trick? The true way to go fast in this game is to go backward, because when the player drives in reverse the game’s physics do not ever reach a max speed, and eventually, the truck can move around so quickly that it leaves the plane of existence. Try it out once, laugh for 15 minutes, then never play it again.
Resident Evil 6 – PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
For fans of Resident Evil, the sixth mainline game in the franchise was easily the low point. The developers at Capcom had abandoned their horror routes and were going for a full-on action movie at this point and most fans did not approve. A nonsensical story, bad characters, and longtime favorites becoming the worst versions of themselves made this a game hated by fans everywhere. It doesn’t help that the game isn’t particularly fun to play by yourself either. However, what makes Resident Evil 6 terrible is also what makes it perfect with a friend. The co-op in the game is pretty competent and as a result, the dumb parts of Resident Evil 6 become hysterically funny as you and a friend play through it together. Anyone that is looking for a fun co-op experience should play this, not because the game is good, but because it will create memories that last forever.