Have you ever been excited for an upcoming game, only to buy it on release and realize that it doesn’t meet your expectations, like, at all? Well, you’re not alone. So many games these days get hyped up only to flop and disappoint fans, and today, we’re going to talk about some of the more notable ones.
From awful games that redeemed themselves in later updates, to complete disasters that were abandoned by their development teams, there are lots of interesting titles to cover today, so let’s jump straight in.
Final Fantasy XIV
Final Fantasy XIV is an MMORPG that was initially released back in 2010, and at the time, it was famously regarded as one of the worst games to come out in the Final Fantasy series. Mechanics were clunky and confusing, the gameplay was too grindy to be fun, and it just didn’t feel worthy of being part of one of the most prestigious video games series around.
Fans were upset, and in 2012, the developers of the game decided to take the game offline and rebuild it from scratch.
When it returned a year later as Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, everything that was wrong was set right, and long-time Final Fantasy fans around the world rejoiced at how great the new experience was. New content in the form of DLCs has been added every few years since, and the fact that the game won Best Community Support at The Game Awards 2021 just goes to show how far it has come since its failed launch. It's a true redemption story if we've ever seen one.
Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric
The Sonic the Hedgehog game series has struggled to deliver high-quality games over the years, and it's crazy to think that they're still being made despite so many of them flopping. Of those flops, the worst one is Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric for Wii U, which has a Metacritic rating of 32, and it's worse than you may think.
From the terrible visuals to the poorly designed levels, it’s difficult to say anything positive about this game because of how low quality it is. The soundtrack is pretty good, so that’s something at least, but overall, it’s just not a game most people would enjoy playing.
In our eyes, it’s a 3/10 at most, and that’s being generous.
Regarded by many as "hot garbage", Fallout 76 was a massive disappointment for fans of the Bethesda series when it was released back in 2018. The quests were bland, players were encountering bugs everywhere they looked, and the online-only nature of the game took away from the immersive experience that previous installments had. The graphics weren't even that great either, with the game only looking good in certain parts.
All in all, there wasn’t much fun to be had, and the fact that this broken mess of a game was still charging ridiculous prices for mediocre cosmetics was just the cherry on top.
These days, Fallout 76 is better than it was at release, but the damage has been done and it’s rare to find anyone that still plays it.
Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival
Animal Crossing is one of Nintendo’s most successful franchises, and in 2015, the company decided to branch off from the main series with a party game. Cool, right? Well, it would be if the game was any good.
It’s an adorable game, don’t get me wrong, but that alone can’t make up for the fact that the gameplay lacks variety and is super repetitive. You’d think that with a successful party game series like Mario Party, Nintendo would be able to create a solid Animal Crossing entry into the genre, but nope. Something clearly went wrong.
Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival is a big disappointment to say the least, and arguably one of the worst games to come out on the Wii U console, but hey, at least we got some cute amiibo figures out of it.
No Man’s Sky
No Man’s Sky is a game with an amazing concept that was unfortunately poorly executed, at least at launch. It was supposed to be an intricate game about space travel and exploring uncharted planets, but what ended up coming out was a barebones experience that lacked a lot of the features that were initially promised.
Sure, the No Man’s Sky was beautiful and still is, but the lack of a solid gameplay experience to underpin the visuals let a lot of people down.
However, as with Final Fantasy XIV, there’s a bit of a redemption story to tell here.
Hello Games, the developers of No Man's Sky, realized they messed up shortly after the reviews for the game started pouring in, and over the next few years post-launch they committed to fixing everything that was wrong. Most of the initially promised features got added over time, as well as a bunch of new ones, and the game is now in a great place with a dedicated community that loves it wholeheartedly.
Lastly, let’s take a trip down memory lane and talk about an infamous licensed Nintendo CD-i game that came out for the Philips CD-i in the mid-90s.
It’s widely regarded as the worst Mario game out there, as well as one of the worst games of all time, which is saying a lot. From bland, repetitive gameplay to just straight-up bad controls and horribly animated cutscenes, Hotel Mario is an absolute train wreck of a game that maybe deserves a 2/10 at most.
The game wasn't actually made by Nintendo, as is evident from the lack of respect for any Mario source material, but it still reflected poorly on the Japanese company, so it's no surprise that Nintendo is reluctant to license their characters for use by external developers anymore.
With tight deadlines and limited resources across the industry for developers, it’s an unfortunate reality that many unpolished games get released out into the world, but the good news is that times are changing. More often than ever, game studios are pushing deadlines back and taking the time they need to finish their games properly, and it’s 100% for the better.It’s frustrating for us as consumers not getting games sooner, sure, but it’s worth the wait if it means the games are made to the standard they should be.