2017 has seen some fantastic titles drop in just the first four months of the year. As soon as the year kicked off, we got a possible game of the year candidate with Yakuza 0. Soon after that, we got some even greater titles with games like Breath of the Wild, Persona 5, and Nier: Automata. Add in some solid titles in between those releases and 2017 is already looking like one of the best years for games in a while. 2016 on the other hand, was not. Last year saw a slew of terrible games hit shelves, and both players and critics took notice.
You’re going to get bad games every year – that much is inevitable. But hopefully, there are some good games in the mix to balance out that equation. 2016 was abnormal in how disappointing its releases were. If 2017 is one of gaming’s best years in recent memory, then the year prior was undoubtedly one of the worst. You might’ve heard of some of these titles as they were pretty well marketed coming out. But others flew under the radar, and that’s a good thing for all the poor souls that might have otherwise spent their money on these terrible products. Let’s take a look at 15 games so bad you forgot they were released in 2016.
A post-apocalyptic action-adventure game featuring a robot sidekick? Sign us up, right? Well while the concept seems interesting, ReCore’s fatal flaw lies in its execution of those concepts. The game was split between three developers and right off the bat, that’s not a good sign. A good game takes unity among those working on it. It’s tough to be on the same page when you’re splitting the work between three different groups of people. One of the studios involved –Comcept– also worked on the Mighty No. 9 debacle (more on that later). As for ReCore, the game suffered from terribly long loading times, boring enemies and a bunch of technical problems. The game also features one of the most frustratingly uncalled for difficulty spikes in modern gaming.
14 Metroid Prime: Federation Force
The Metroid series has been around for a very long time and has given us some fantastic games since first hitting the market three decades ago. Like most game series that have been around that long, the quality from game to game is going to vary heavily. Having some bad games at that point is inevitability part of the process. Federation Force is one of those bad games. The game features an entirely new cast, rather than series icon Samus Aran. The only good thing the game does is its local four player co-op, which admittedly has its moments. But that’s about it, as playing solo proves to be a challenge while communicating online is somewhat impossible.
13 Super Dungeon Bros
Aside from the obvious allusion to Super Mario Bros. Super Dungeon Bros does little to stand out on its own. The writing was on the wall from the get-go for this title, but it flew so far under the radar that no one really realized how bad it was till it came out. To start off, it experienced several delays throughout its development cycle. This is typically never a good sign, especially from a smaller project like this. Failing to meet deadlines means something’s wrong – and that often leads to a weak product. The game was supposed to draw players in with its multiplayer but that was so laggy it was pretty much unplayable. The single-player was pretty bland in terms of level design and had some pretty random difficulty spikes. The game was not well received, by both critics and fans and will probably go down as one of the larger indie busts in recent memory.
12 Far Cry Primal
Here we come upon one of the bigger name games on this list, and undoubtedly one of the bigger surprises. Ubisoft churns out a number of AAA titles on a regular basis. While that’s good for their wallets, it doesn’t do much for quality. Though they’re one of the biggest developers in gaming right now, Ubisoft hasn’t reflected that in the quality of some of their recent games. Case and point: Far Cry Primal. Primal was heavily anticipated due to its unique prehistoric setting. The Far Cry series has always taken players to some pretty exotic locations, but Primal went one step more and completely threw them out of their comfort zones altogether. It would’ve been great if the game wasn’t basically Far Cry 3 with different skins. A downgraded version at that. So while the game is familiar to most, it isn’t exactly great.
11 Mighty No. 9
Of all the games on this list, this is one that received some of the most hype. Considered to be a spiritual successor to Mega Man, Mighty No. 9 never lived up to its lofty expectations. Three years in the making, with a $4 million price tag and multiple frustrating delays are some of the key factors that go into why this game was the disappointment it was. Legendary Mega Man producer and designer Keiji Inafune was involved with the project, only adding to the hype and eventual disappointment. The game seemed to try its best at being a classic Mega Man game while implementing its own nuances. But the level design was poor, and the controls and gameplay were either too ambiguous or too complicated. In the end, the game just could deliver on its promises, angering and disappointing a ton of people.
10 Star Fox Zero
A problem many newer entries in longstanding series have is trying to appeal to a new audience, while keeping in what made fans love the original games. This is a struggle that games like Pokémon and Mario have handled well over the years in managing to continuously stay relevant to all audiences. But not all franchises can manage that kind of success. Star Fox is a critically acclaimed series that holds a special place in many gaming fan's hearts. Last year’s Star Fox Zero, however, felt somewhat out of place. After all the anticipation and hype, the game just didn’t feel like it belonged in this decade. It so heavily resembled Star Fox 64 that it probably would’ve fared better as an N64 or GameCube title. Instead, fans got a modern day iteration of a game that from development was stuck in the past.
9 Super Mario Maker 3DS
Here we have a case of a really good game getting a terrible port. Super Mario Maker stands as one of the most innovative games to come out in the last decade. The game provided players with the tools and ability to create their own Mario levels and created an active online community and some of the most challenging and creative maps ever seen in a Mario game. Its 3DS port was a mixed bag. In this day and age, you’d expect a competent port – especially from a behemoth like Nintendo. But Mario Maker 3DS had online issues, mainly the inability to share courses online and searching for courses manually. In a game that prides itself on its interactivity between multiple players, this is a huge deal breaker.
8 Umbrella Corps
The Resident Evil series has had some major duds in the past. Capcom has screwed the pooch with a number of games in the series, and some diehard fans will say that there hasn’t been a decent RE game in years. Though not a mainline entry in the series, Umbrella Corps follows that line of though and stands as one of the worst received games in the franchise. When you think of Resident Evil, you tend to imagine tense atmosphere’s, limited ammunition and a considerable level of difficulty. But Umbrella Corps plays more like a poor Call of Duty knock off than a Resident Evil game. It strays very far from the original series –some would say too far– and ultimately comes up short in all aspects.
7 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants In Manhattan
What’s been going on with the Ninja Turtles franchise recently? It feels like we can’t get a break with mediocre product rolling out one after another. As if those terrible Michael Bay movies weren’t enough to turn you off, the news on the game front hasn’t been all that positive either. Mutants in Manhattan is the latest in some recent disappointments, and for a simple hack and slash adventure, this game does a whole lot wrong. On the other hand, the game has some pretty decent humor and looks pretty cool on the surface. But the combat gets repetitive quick, as do the stages. What’s worse is that it offers no local multiplayer, making playing with friends a hassle unless you all have the game. This one probably flew under the radar for most out ther,e and it’s a good thing it did.
6 Quantum Break
As gaming has progressed in recent years, we’ve seen a ton of different genres of games come into prominence, from simulators to visual novels – it’s all caused a huge debate within the community as to what a video game is. One of these genres is the interactive adventure genre. Think games like: Until Dawn and Heavy Rain. These games are mostly cinematic and rely heavily on a strong story and smooth mechanics. Quantum Break is a shooter that adopts a lot of these ideas though it doesn’t necessarily do anything particularly well. The game was supposed to be a console seller, but at 720p, it seemed like it was marketing the wrong generation. Ultimately, Quantum Break is an ambitious title that plays out like a mediocre shooter, not leaving much of an impact in terms of gameplay and story.
5 Homefront: The Revolution
A reboot of the original Homefront set in an alternate timeline, The Revolution does little to impress fans of its predecessor and comes off as mediocre in every way possible. First-person shooters are generally hit or miss no matter which game you’re talking about. That’s because so many of them rely on recycling the same old tropes and mechanics that plenty of others have to offer. The real successful ones are those that can add their own twist to the genre, while keeping the gameplay enjoyable. The Revolution, however, does neither of these things. Its generic story does little to keep the player involved in the plot, while bugs and repetitive objectives really make the game stale and less of an enjoyable experience.
4 Alekhine's Gun
The third entry in the Death to Spies series, Alekhine's Gun is nothing short of a pathetically bad game. Stealth games aren’t for everybody, especially those used to the high-octane action offered in your average shooter. They’re slow progressing games that require a good deal of patience from the player's end. So in that regard, Alekhine's Gun is a good stealth game, because you’ll need a ton of patience just to get through the first 15 minutes of this one. The AI is just awful and clunky as can be, while the controls are awkward and clumsy making the stealth segments of the game an annoyance. To top it off, the game’s incredibly buggy and will most likely frustrate players soon after they start running the game.
First-person shooters are a dime a dozen type games. Most of them are just copy paste mechanics of older, highly acclaimed titles. The real strength in these games lies in how they do multiplayer. Good multiplayer for a first-person shooter is like quests in RPG’s; the better it’s done, the more people you’re going to draw in. Battleborn is an insultingly mediocre shooter that offers little in terms of real enjoyment for players. The campaign is just plain bad, and while it isn’t the most important aspect of an FPS, it certainly helps the overall product. The game was quickly usurped by a similar, superior product in Overwatch. While it started off strong, people quickly got tired of the game, and it’s regressed heavily since.
2 No Man’s Sky
Leading up to 2016, No Man’s Sky would’ve easily topped most gamers most anticipated list. It promised a massive open world space adventure that would bring players to places they never imagined, and set them free to see and explore planets in a revolutionary way. It sounded incredible and seemed as though it would change the gaming landscape. Surprise surprise, it was a dud. The game was big alright, but it was full of the same old things. The randomly generated worlds and life forms – that were done so that a player never saw the same thing twice – were just color swapped iterations of each other. It never offered the level of variety it promised and left players wandering a massively empty galaxy aimless and disappointed.
What is it with this franchise recently? From the terrible film reboot to this hot mess of a game, the Ghostbusters name has taken some major hits in recent years. 2016’s Ghostbusters was released to universal disapproval by critics and fans alike. One of the biggest complaints being the insulting price tag attached to it. At $50+ dollars, the game was a huge waste of cash from the get go. The game just recycles enemies and levels, resembling a low budget online exclusive rather than a full price game. It’s laughably easy and does little different, adding nothing new throughout the whole game. Fun fact; developer FireForge Games actually went bankrupt three days after the game dropped and are currently $12 million in debt.