When it comes to video games the best source of information in regards to reviews can be found at Metacritic. Since it first started operating in 2001 the online review site has gathered hundreds of reviews for not only games but films, television shows, and music releases. Critics reviews are collected together and given a single Metascore, which is basically an average score out of 100 based upon all the reviews taken from a large range of online and print publications. Think Rotten Tomatoes for the wider entertainment world. Fans can also add their two cents, writing their own review that's collected as part of the User Score that rates the various forms of entertainment out of 10.
One of the most interesting things about Metacritic is reading the critics reviews. There's a short sample from each review that gives you the gist of why the game scored well or badly, with the ability to click on each review to read a more in-depth criticism. You often get some hilarious quotes from writers about why a game is bad and you generally find the fans user rating on par with what the writers think.
Over 15,000 games have been reviewed on Metacritic and I've waded through the list to bring you 15 of the lamest console games of all time according to the site. We're talking the absolute worst, scrape the barrel, how did they even get made type games, including the often referenced biker game Ride To Hell: Retribution and horrible 2014 Rambo adaptation. To make sure you don't get too depressed reading the list I've also included 15 of the best games with the highest ever scores so you don't lose faith in the video game industry.
30 Lamest: Family Party: 30 Great Games Obstacle Arcade (11/100)
When you think of bad console games this one probably doesn't immediately come to mind, but Family Party: 30 Great Games Obstacle Arcade is an abomination that should never have made it past the production stage. Although this Wii U effort offers 30 mini-games to get around, everything about it makes you feel sick while playing.
The graphics are just bad, the sound unbearable, the controls all over the shop, and the general gameplay very poor. Game Revolution dislikes the game so much they gave it 0/5 and said "Not only is this bad, it's borderline unplayable." In other words, stay as far away as possible.
29 Near Perfect: The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time (99/100)
As far as the critics are concerned The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time is as close to a perfect console game as you can get. The action adventure game was first released on the Nintendo 64 way back in 1998 and was the fifth game in the series and the first to use 3D graphics.
The game looks beautiful and plays like a dream as you take Link on a sprawling journey across the fantasy land of Hyrule in a quest to stop the evil King Ganondorf. The plot is well written and the action non-stop, making Zelda worthy of it's ridiculous 99 Metacritic score.
28 Lamest: Ride To Hell: Retribution (13/100)
Released at the tail end of Sons Of Anarchy mania, Ride To Hell: Retribution is one putrid video game. Trying to capture the biker culture of the west, this game has no redeeming features. Not only does it look and play poorly but the game's portrayal of women is offensive, with many of the gratuitous moments in the game not needed.
The fact the game was originally announced for a 2008 release before being scraped and finally put out in 2013 is enough to warn off most gamers.
27 Near Perfect: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 (98/100)
It's hard to imagine a game based on skateboarding could be just as fun as the real-life experience, but that's exactly what Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 delivers. While each version of the game scored highly it's the original PlayStation game that Metacritic rates as the best.
Scoring 98/100 Tony Hawk's 2 is regarded by not only critics but also fans as the best skateboarding game of all time.
From the realistic 3D environments and various in-game modes to the easy to master controls and customization options, this game has everything you could ever want in a skater game. And let's not forget the awesome soundtrack featuring Rage Against The Machine's "Guerrilla Radio" and Millencolin's "No Cigar."
26 Lamest: Yaris (17/100)
For some reason, Toyota thought it would be great to get in on the video game world and offered their license for a game featuring one of their cars. The result is this strange futuristic set combat racer where players choose between three different models of Toyota's Yaris. Why they chose the Yaris is anyone's guess (it's not a great car) but that's what the game offered.
There's a similarity to Sonic The Hedgehog as you drive through U-shaped tube tracks collecting coins and taking out enemies, just without the fun or snappy graphics. Having played this game it's easy to see why it was a free release.
25 Near Perfect: Grand Theft Auto IV (98/100)
There really hasn't been a bad game in the Grand Theft Auto series. Even the earliest top-down view releases are fantastic. The series really kicked into gear in 2008 with the release of Grand Theft Auto IV. Set in the fictional Liberty City (based on New York) it contains a huge open world across three islands and some of the best missions in the entire franchise.
As with all GTA games, this title is at times over the top and extremely gratuitous but this is offset by the game's superior graphics, amazing soundtrack, inventive storyline, and involving open world.
24 Lamest: Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Or Bust (17/100)
Funny in the 80s, there isn't really an audience for the type of humor found in the Leisure Suit Larry series these days. Unfortunately, nobody relayed this information to developer Team17 and publisher Codemasters who decided to bring back Larry for one final adventure. Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Or Bust is another game on this list full of flaws with few highlights.
This game is so bad that after the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions got roasted by critics, the Wii version was scrapped.
There's really nothing enjoyable about this one, with the game topping many worst games of the year lists at the end of 2009.
23 Near Perfect: The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild (98/100)
The second Zelda game to make this list, The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild is another fantastic addition to the series. Set in a massive open world, players have the ability to follow the story or go off on their own and explore the highly detailed world.
Many consider it one of the best games of the past decade, with the introduction of high-definition visuals and quality voicing acting contributing to the game's greatness. Having sold over 10.8 million copies worldwide, Breath Of The Wild remains the bestselling Zelda game of all time.
22 Lamest: Vroom In The Night Sky (17/100)
Nintendo's Switch has been well received by the gaming public with the majority of games released for the system exceptional, but there's always a few that don't make the grade, with Vroom In The Night Sky the perfect example.
It's a weird action game about a girl with a flying scooter who's attempting to open some kind of portal. The graphics are surprisingly poor and the control system is horrible. Many critics point to the rush release of the game as being the cause of its many problems, with Vroom In The Night universally panned.
21 Near Perfect: SoulCalibur (98/100)
SEGA's Dreamcast had a very short life span but did provide some quality gaming experiences, with SoulCalibur one of the console's best titles. This exclusive release for the Dreamcast built on the original weapon-based fighting game by adding a unique control system, 10 new characters to play as, the addition of more weapons, and graphics as impressive as the arcade version.
SoulCalibur remains one of the greatest fighting games of all time, with its 98/100 rating hard to argue with.
20 Lamest: Double Dragon II: Wander Of The Dragons (17/100)
For some reason, Korean video game studio GRAVITY decided it would be a great idea to remake the 1988 beat 'em up classic Double Dragon II: The Revenge. Released over two decades later, Double Dragon II: Wander Of The Dragons is a stain on the franchise, with the game being trashed by critics and currently holding the lowest score by any Xbox 360 title on Metacritic.
The game is extremely difficult and full of glitches, with the lack of an online co-op option taking away from the arcade feel of the original. Give this one a miss.
19 Near Perfect: Super Mario Galaxy 1 & 2 (97/100)
Considering both these titles are currently rated 97/100 on Metacritic it only makes sense to combine them both for this list. Super Mario Galaxy 1 & 2 are fantastic platform adventure games that take the Mario franchise into the world of 3D.
The games are set in outer space and provide entirely new worlds for Mario to explore, with the sequel enabling you to ride Yoshi. Both games remain favorites amongst Wii owners and are responsible for a new generation of kids experiencing the joys of Mario.
18 Lamest: SPOGS Racing (18/100)
If Mario Galaxy is everything right with the Wii than SPOGS Racing is the total opposite. This abysmal racing game involves players racing around 12 different tracks in circular vehicles known as SPOGS (Sports Player Object Gyros).
It's another one of those games where there isn't much to write home about. Visually it's a mess, the sound is lame, and the gameplay horrible. It's another game that feels like it was rushed, with a number of glitches and bugs having an impact on the playability of SPOGS.
It's the lowest rated Wii game on Metacritic and certainly deserves a place on the lamest games list.
17 Near Perfect: Perfect Dark (97/100)
I had so much fun playing my Nintendo 64 as a kid and one of the reasons was thanks to this game. Perfect Dark is a first-person shooter about an alien conspiracy featuring a wonderfully written storyline, incredible graphics (for the time), and a tremendous multiplayer mode.
Using an upgraded version of the GoldenEye 007 engine, Perfect Dark is similar to the Bond game but with greater attention to detail, with the level designs and overall gameplay much better. The multiplayer mode is also fantastic and adds many features not seen before in first person shooters.
16 Lamest: Afro Samurai 2: Revenge Of Kuma Volume 1 (21/100)
The first Afro Samurai game is a decent platformer based on the popular manga title, unlike the sequel that's a disappointing and franchise-ending release. First appearing on the PlayStation Network, you take control of Kuma as he seeks revenge against Afro Samurai.
While RZA's soundtrack is great, the graphics are sub-par and the gameplay broken.
The game was such a disaster when released the planned second and third installments were scraped and the Xbox One version was thrown out. Not long after it's release Revenge Of Kuma was taken down from PSN and Steam due to the game's failure, never to be seen again.
15 Near Perfect: Metroid Prime (97/100)
There are multiple Metroid Prime games available on different systems but it's the humble GameCube who received the best version. This 2002 addition to the Metroid franchise is the first to feature 3D graphics and is more akin to a first-person adventure game than a first-person shooter.
What makes Metroid Prime stand out is the amazing graphics and 3D world created by Retro Studios and Nintendo along with the fast-paced action of the gameplay. The game manages to pay homage to the original games while creating its own niche in the franchise and is a favorite amongst fans.
14 Lamest: Drake Of The 99 Dragons (22/100)
Drake Of The 99 Dragons problems started in the development stages when Idol FX was given just six months to finish the game. The short space of time meant they dished up an absolute turd.
Horrible graphics, annoying voice acting, a hard to master control system, and tedious camera viewpoints are just some of the problems with this awful console release.
GameSpot declared, "As far as third-person action games go, they don't get a whole lot worse than Drake Of The 99 Dragons," and I couldn't agree more. Another disappointing mess for the Xbox.
13 Near Perfect: Grand Theft Auto III (97/100)
After the success of the first two Grand Theft Auto titles, Rockstar Games changed things up dramatically with the third release. Abandoning the top-down perspective for a fully immersible 3D open world set in the fictional Liberty City (based on New York), Grand Theft Auto III is an engaging and intense game that blew gamers away when it first hit the shelves in 2001.
The storyline is well written and finds you completing various missions involving the Mafia, Yakuza, and other criminal gangs. Everything about GTA III is awesome, from the detailed environments and animated cutscenes to plot twists and the incredible voice acting cast. An absolute belter of a game I still play today.
12 Lamest: Fast & Furious: Showdown (22/100)
It makes sense that there would be a game released about the Fast & Furious franchise due to its continued popularity, but I don't think anyone realized it would be as bad as 2013's Fast & Furious: Showdown.
Set between the events of Fast Five and Fast & Furious 6 this racing game explains what happened between the two films. You get to play as many of the main cast (besides Vin Diesel's bald-headed Dominic Toretto) as you complete various car racing missions.
It sounds great but the end result is a half complete game that's best left for dedicated Fast fans.
11 Near Perfect: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 (97/100)
Somehow developer Neversoft managed to build upon the already legendary Tony Hawk's series with their 2001 game, the imaginatively titled Tony Hawk's Pro Staker 3. While the gameplay is similar to the previous game and the graphics on par, it's the massive open world levels that make this such a fantastic skating simulation.
This is also the first Tony Hawk's game to feature online capabilities, only adding to the game's longevity. It remains the highest rated PlayStation 2 game on Metacritic and is a halfpipe dream for skating fans.
10 Lamest: Rambo: The Video Game (23/100)
There are a number of video games based upon Sylvester Stallone's iconic Rambo character, and I'm sad to say 2014s Rambo: The Video Game is the worst of the bunch.
In what sounds like an intense action game, players get to play out certain films from the original trilogy of films. The bad news is it's much more fun watching the films than playing this one, with the game featuring out-dated graphics, horrible A.I., and poor dialogue cut and pasted from the film.
The use of rail-shooter gameplay is also a disappointment as you're forced to follow only one path.
9 Near Perfect: Halo: Combat Evolved (97/100)
I'm a fan of the majority of Halo games, but like all fans, Halo: Combat Evolved has a special place in my heart. The game that kicked off the long-running franchise is an action-packed first-person shooter epic with a fantastic storyline, inspirational graphics, and great combat mechanism.
The immersive science fiction world introduced in the game helps it stand out from the pack while the combat is fun and exciting.
While all the sequels and spin-offs are great fun to play none come close to capturing the joy of the original.
8 Lamest: Charlie's Angels (23/100)
Very similar to the film it takes its name from Charlie's Angles is a terrible video game that should never have been made. It's a simple fighting game with the leads from the film horribly rendered and looking nothing like the actual actors.
The gameplay is almost non-existent with the sloppy controls and headache-inducing camera angles all part of what makes this release so poor. The game is also extremely easy to complete and can be finished off in a couple of hours, with no reason to replay the game once you've knocked it off.
7 Near Perfect: NFL 2K1 (97/100)
The Dreamcast got a raw deal during its short life span but it's home to some of the best games of all time, including sport game NFL 2K1. An updated version of NFL 2K first released on the Dreamcast in 1999, NFL 2K1 builds on its predecessor by including a great roster of players, improved visuals, better in-game mechanics, and multi-season franchise mode.
The game has also been applauded for it's smart and proactive A.I. along with online play that lets you compete against people from all over the world.
Despite receiving mixed reviews from Metacritic users, NFL 2K1 is one of the highest rated sports game on the site with an impressive score of 97/100.
6 Lamest: Fighter Within (23/100)
You'd think it would be easy to get a fighting game right but Fighter Within proves it's a much harder task. Released for the Xbox One and to be used in conjunction with the Kinect, Fighter Within is not a good game — with hard to master controls, an abysmal storyline, and wack graphics.
Trying to perform moves using the Kinect is often impossible and it can take multiple tries before the console registers your moves. Even navigating the menus screens is difficult! I'll leave the last word on Fighter Within to Games Radar, who said, "Boring fighters, advanced attacks that are horribly imprecise to pull off, and a paper-thin solo campaign add up to a disappointing slog that feels like a punishment - both physically and mentally."
5 Near Perfect: Grand Theft Auto V (96/100)
The third Grand Theft Auto game to make this list, Grand Theft Auto V is my personal favorite in the franchise. Containing the biggest open world of the series and the ability to alternate between three different characters, it expands on the previous games in ways never thought possible.
The addition of an online multiplayer mode and the number of hidden locations and mystery's to solve once you've completed the main missions means you'll never get bored playing GTA V. Put simply, this is one of the best games ever released and should be in every true gamers collection.
4 Lamest: Pulse Racer (24/100)
Pulse Racer is an old Xbox racing game envisioned as a futuristic Mario Kart that's actually more like a Wipeout rip-off without any of the good bits. The so-called futuristic cars look terrible and handle about as well as my Uncle's tractor while the gameplay is limited to racing around boring looking tracks and taking out your opponents if they get in front.
The majority of reviews on Metacritic call Pulse Racer one of the worst racing games of all time, and having been unlucky enough to play this game, I can testify to their comments.
3 Near Perfect: Batman: Arkham City (96/100)
If Batman: Arkham Asylum revitalized the caped crusader in video game form then Batman: Arkham City positioned the series as the best comic book to game adaptation of all time.
Featuring another well-written plot concerning Batman going up against a colorful assortment of villains, Arkham City captures the darkness of the Christopher Nolan films while implementing ideas from the comic books. The vast open-world is incredibly detailed and the voice acting (Mark Hamill is back as The Joker) outstanding.
This is the ultimate Batman game and helped shape the future of comic book adaptations going forward.
2 Lamest: NBA Unrivaled 24/100
As an NBA fan, it pains me to mention this game but NBA Unrivaled is deserving of a spot as one of the lamest console games of all time according to Metacritic. Released on the PlayStation Network and through Xbox Live this basketball simulation is a realistic NBA game masquerading as an old-school arcade game with bad results.
There are often glitches in the animation due to lagging while the actual graphics aren't the greatest.
It's pretty much NBA Jam without the fun and another lame game lacking in all areas.
1 Near Perfect: GoldenEye 007 96/100
Hands down one of the greatest console games ever created, GoldenEye 007 helped designers and publishers understand realistic first-person shooters could find a market on home consoles.
Based on the Pierce Brosnan Bond flick, GoldenEye 007 is divided into levels based on parts of the film, with players able to freely roam the areas as they take out bad guys and complete tasks. The environments are wonderfully rendered, the old school Bond references fantastic, and the gameplay unmatched. But of course, the best part about GoldenEye 007 is the multiplayer mode where you can take on three friends and pretend you're really 007.