A good video game strikes to the very core of our beings with gameplay that floods our brains with fun, stories that excite and amaze us, and characters we can't forget. On the other end of the spectrum are the very worst games; horrible, unloved things cobbled together in the hopes of making a quick buck. Though more than a few bad games have ended up being profitable, there are those that received their comeuppance for being so damned terrible, whether it's through bad sales, bad reviews, or both.
Today we're sludging through the muck to find the worst of the worst- the worst rated games of this century- and, with the combined help of Metacritic and GameRankings' aggregated scores, we've found them. Put on your waders, folks, because we're about to push through some of the biggest, stinkiest, worst-reviewed piles of crap this century's ever seen. These are the Worst Reviewed Games of the 21st Century.
Enjoy Your Massage!
Metacritic/GameRanking score: 20
Choice Review Quote: "This is one of the most limited, shortest and least-worth-your-cash offerings yet in the Wii Shop." - IGN
Do you like terribly-drawn women and slapped-together games with virtually no production value or gameplay? Then you're in luck, because Enjoy Your Massage! on the Wii has all this and more! This memory game disguised as a sexy massage game may be the first, and therefore best-reviewed, title on this list of the Ten Worst Reviewed Games of This Century, but don't let that fool you— it's still total crap.
Metacritic/GameRanking score: 18.5
Choice Review Quote: "One of the worst games you could ever have the misfortune of playing." — Cheat Code Central
Repetitive gameplay. Immovable camera. A complete and total lack of story. These are but a few of the problems plaguing Ninjabread Man, a Wii game with motion controls so dreadfully unresponsive you'd be better off trying to eat your wiimote than play this awful game with it.
Metacritic/GameRanking score: 18.2
Choice Review Quote: "You really have to see it to believe it. That said, don't see it." - Games Master UK
SPOGS Racing certainly doesn't deliver the "downloadable racing insanity" it promises in the trailer. What it does deliver, however, is a bizarre mismashed racer with its mind on its money and its money on its mind. If you were alive and conscious in the mid-to-late '90s, you probably remember Pogs, those collectible discs kids used to argue about on the playground. Well, the makers of Pogs thought that the best way to reinvigorate their forgotten brand was with a terrible racing game featuring what looks like tires driving around in circles. They were wrong.
Metacritic/GameRanking score: 17
Choice Review Quote: "Avoid this at all costs. Simply put, it's just a hair shy of being completely broken. Yaris may be free but somehow, I still feel ripped off." - Talk Xbox
To help promote their new car, the makers of Yaris shelled out a few bucks to have some poor bastard programmers slap together a racing game with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Sure, this game may be free, but it's so terrible the real issue here isn't how much money it costs you, it's how much time it costs you. In the amount of time it takes to download and play Yaris, you could do scores of more useful things, like:
-Brush your teeth
-Pick your nose and eat whatever comes out
-Blow your nose with a tissue, like a human being with dignity and self-respect
-Sit very still and breathe.
NRA Varmint Hunter
Metacritic/GameRanking score: 16.8
Choice Review Quote: "Throwing rocks at cars would be a more fun than shooting rats in NRA Varmint Hunter. Playing this game made me feel like a hobo at a garbage dump with a metal detector." - Cheat Code Central
Another accurate title for this might have been "Shooting Rats in a Nintendo 64 Game: I Love Guns Edition," since you spend all of your time shooting gophers or prairie dogs or whatever the hell those little dudes are. There's no risk and virtually no skill involved. It's less of a game and more of a series of flashing lights.
Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust
Metacritic/GameRanking score: 16.5
Choice Review Quote: "Possibly the worst game of this generation." - Play UK
What was supposed to be the triumphant return of the lecherous point-and-click adventure game hero instead became his death knell. Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust offers no sort of reward for the player. It's humor? Stupid and juvenile. It's gameplay? Ploddingly-paced and unstimulating. It's titillation? Quite un-titillating.
101-in-1 Explosive Megamix
Metacritic/GameRanking score: 16.2
Choice Review Quote: "Keep your cash held back from this 'value' option. It's a waste of money no matter how the math works out." - IGN
Noticing a pattern, here? Many of the games on this list hail from the Wii, and that's because of the platform's propensity towards "shovelware," hastily made games that are really just collections of minigames so bad you're better off shoveling them into a hole and burying them. 101-in-1 Explosive Megamix might be the most infamous of all these minigame collections, as many of the games either don't work at all, or are exactly the same.
Double Dragon II: Wander of the Dragons
Metacritic/GameRanking score: 16
Choice Review Quote: "There are absolutely no redeeming qualities to Double Dragon II." - Game Informer
Not to be confused with the excellent Double Dragon Neon, this remake of the classic brawler beckons players into oblivion by asking one very simple question: just how half-assed can one game be? It tries to take the traditional side-scrolling brawler formula to the next level by allowing players to fight in eight, rather than two-ish, directions, but what that really means is that when the piles and piles of generic, stupid, boring enemies come barreling down on you in each of Double Dragon II's terribly rendered stages, they can punch you in the kidneys from every direction.
Ride to Hell: Retribution
Metacritic/GameRanking score: 14
Choice Review Quote: " The most imaginative thing that happened to me in my time playing this game is that a noiseless combine harvester came towards me and I had to run away from it." - Eurogamer
Ride to Hell: Retribution manages to take every sin of modern gaming and cram them all into one terrible place. Boring quick-time-events, unimaginative gunplay, and a complete lack of freedom or creativity. It took nearly five years of development time for this awful thing to see the light of day, and, by the look of it, everyone involved should consider that five years wasted.
Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing
Metacritic/GameRanking score: 6
Choice Review Quote: "So astoundingly bad that it manages to transcend nearly every boundary put forth by some of gaming's absolute worst of the worst and easily makes it into that dubiously extraordinary category of being one of the most atrocious games ever published." - Gamespot
This is it, folks. The King Kong of bad games; the worst of them all. Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing— the game so bad review show X-Play refused to score it because their "scoring system doesn't go down to zero." It's a racing game without sound where you clip through everything in the world- bridges, buildings and more- and the enemy racers stop just shy of the finish line to make sure you always win. Your reward? A picture of a trophy with the message "You're winner!" Even the title is a pathetic joke; it's called Big Rigs: Over-the-Road Racing, as if one races anywhere but over the road... except in this case, where you're often clipping through the road. There are many bad games out there, but, as you can see by the nearly ten point difference between Big Rigs and the second-place game on this list, there's only one worst game of all time, and this is it.
Next: Worst Sequels in Gaming