Sometimes, no matter how good a game is, it’s not commercially viable. We’ve seen this on countless occasions in the past, particularly with games that blaze a new trail. Sure, they might receive critical praise and cult followings, but when it comes to sales, they crumble.
However, the opposite can also happen, where even really bad games somehow sell like hotcakes. It’s certainly frustrating to see a title like Kinect Star Wars rake in a ton of money, while truly revolutionary games like the mind-bending platformer Psychonauts practically bomb commercially.
Of course, this goes for any entertainment medium (one look at today’s music charts proves this theory), but there’s something even more frustrating when it happens with games. You’ve paid your money, you’ve put in the time, and you’re rewarded with an awful game that only makes you wish you had of taken a quick look on Metacritic (or this great site for that matter) to get a general consensus of what’s worthy of purchase and what isn’t.
Well, we’re doing our bit with this list of garbage Xbox games to help you steer clear of the company’s worst titles. Somehow, despite being terrible, these games still managed to make a ton of money on either the Xbox, Xbox 360, or Xbox One. Did you add to the sales of any of these awful video games?
20 A Low Point For A Good Series
The super popular survival-horror series Resident Evil began to flounder somewhat after the fantastic fourth instalment–tepidly followed up by the rather bland Resident Evil 5. However, it really feel apart for 2012’s Resident Evil 6–a game which just lacks any scares whatsoever.
After making the decision to scrap the classic horror elements of old, developers Capcom doubled down on their action-orientated gameplay. Sadly, though, Resi 6 just doesn’t establish its own unique character, but rather, comes across as just your run-of-the-mill third-person shooter.
Incredibly, the game sold a bucketload–shipping over nine million copies worldwide. Thankfully, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard has returned us to the scary set-pieces that made the series so initially enticing.
19 Quantity Is Not Quality
First released for the Xbox in 2001, Fuzion Frenzy is the sort of game you’d see in a bargain bin. However, as it was one of the console’s first launch titles, the flimsy title ended up selling like hotcakes.
The game features 45 mini-games for you and three other friends to battle it out on, with rolling balls, hoppers, fireworks, and more peppering most of these mini-games. However, the fun wears off quickly once you begin to see how one-dimensional most of them are.
And with just a Tournament mode and a Mini-Game Frenzy to take part in, there’s really not much by the way of longevity either. Despite this, Fuzion Frenzy managed to make its way into over a million households globally.
18 Taking It To The Streets
The Need for Speed series usually gets it really right or really wrong. Unfortunately, they achieved the latter in 2007 with the tame effort Need for Speed: ProStreet. Graphically, gameplay-wise, and from a depth standpoint–ProStreet doesn’t possess many of the satisfying components synonymous with a good racer.
If you’re going to have a game based solely around driving, you better make sure they’re reliable. Sadly, ProStreet fails to jump this vital hurdle, instead having cars that feel like they’re floating at times. If that doesn’t greatly irritate you, then the blatant product placement certainly will.
However, this cross-platform title still performed extremely well–shifting over two million copies of the Xbox 360 version alone. If you’ve got a need for speed, stick with the DiRT series instead.
17 A Game Shouldn't Feel Like Work
Transitioning onto higher spec hardware is something which can catch many video game developers out. 2K were no different. The sports game juggernaut struggled to adapt well to current-gen consoles, and sadly, it showed on WWE 2K15.
Renowned for their enthralling single-player experiences, 2K dropped the ball big time with the wrestling sim’s career mode–one which is more laborious than a real career. If that wasn’t bad enough, the customization that fans have come to know and love about WWE games was gutted for this release.
Add in the terrible chain wrestling mechanics, the unevolved move-sets, and the godawful commentary, and you’ve got a wrestling title that won’t be competing for any championship belts anytime soon. Well, aside from the fantastic sales that is…
16 A Misguided Sequel
Serving as a sequel to Aliens versus Predator 2, 2010’s Aliens vs. Predator (think they got the order mixed up) fails to capture its predecessor’s scares. Well, unless you think it’s just scarily bad.
The game is split into three campaigns; The Predators, The Aliens, and The Colonial Marines. However, you’ll be doing well to see it through just one of these poorly executed campaigns. They’re loaded with poor set-pieces, dull storytelling, and a barebones combat system–particularly when it comes to melee.
With such a popular movie tie-in, though, comes droves of fans who will buy anything to do with the franchise. Over one million Xbox 360 copies were shipped to unlucky purchasers, and in the process, destroying our faith in humanity that tiny bit more.
15 Why Not Just Play The Real Thing?
2K weren’t the only ones to struggle with the step up to the next generation of consoles, as Konami also did the same thing when they tried their hand at it with their soccer sim Pro Evolution Soccer 2008.
Sadly, the results were pretty shoddy. Gone was the fluidity that made previous games in the series so satisfying, along with the technical prowess that the franchise used to pride itself on. The graphics are quite frankly horrible, the A.I. is troublesome, and the referees are far too quick to go to their pockets to book players.
However, it did wow in the sales department–shooting its way into over one million Xbox 360 consoles alone. Thankfully, the series is back to winning ways these days, but this blip in its admirable history still sticks out like a sore thumb.
14 We Hate This Game As Much Anakin Hates Sand
Want another example of a terrible Star Wars game? Look no further than Star Wars: Episode III–Revenge of the Sith. Playable on Xbox, the game fails in various departments of its deeply flawed design.
It lacks any real depth, choosing simply to follow the story of the movie it’s based on. That wouldn’t be a problem either if the rest of the game was actually up to scratch. Because while it does have quite a number of moves in its arsenal, the mission structures are so dull and repetitive, that you’ll more than likely just be content to hammer out the same combos over and over again rather than take the time to learn its intricacies.
You’d probably be surprised then to learn that the title sold like it was going out of fashion–nabbing well over a million sales despite its pretty poor quality. The force isn’t with this one, but seemingly, nobody told that to the buyers of this cheap cash grab.
13 Sometimes New Isn't Good
In an attempt to freshen the series up, Advanced Warfare marked a new direction in the Call of Duty franchise. However, new doesn’t necessarily equate to better, as this failed experiment can attest to.
Critics hailed the new futuristic template, but ask any fan of the first-person shooter series, and they’ll tell you that this title is one of the worst Call of Duty’s around. Unlike what the game would want you to believe, this iteration is really not advanced in the slightest. It attempts to implement sci-fi elements, but most fans don’t want to use an exo suit in a series that used to be about the raw and gritty aspects of war.
This game made a ton of money, shifting millions of copies for both the Xbox 360 and Xbox One. Don’t be fooled though. There’s a reason why the developers have retreated back to the trenches of World War 2 recently–and a lot of that is down to this poor man’s Titanfall.
12 This Should Have Never Been Unleashed
If this is what Sonic is like when he’s unleashed, then we’d rather have him in shackles. Released in 2008 for the Xbox 360, Sonic Unleashed is a far cry from what the spiky little fellow used to be.
It’s really a game of two halves; one that takes place in the daytime, and one that occurs at night-time. Sadly, one half is passable, while the other half is simply dreadful. While in his normal form, Sonic speeds around levels like a bullet in the glow of the sun. When he’s in Werehog form though, that speed is reduced to a snail’s pace, while the dead of night does nothing to appeal to your eyes.
It’s very patchy, it’s poorly paced, and it’s got some horrible controls too. It did sell well however, shifting just under one million copies.
11 This Was Extreme-ly Bad...
Remember how good Capcom’s games were in the ‘90s and early ‘00s? Resident Evil, Dino Crisis, Onimusha, Devil May Cry, Okami–you get the point. However, the same can’t be said for their late noughties projects.
One of them was the overhyped third-person shooter Lost Planet: Extreme Condition. Released in 2006 for the Xbox 360, the game had horrible controls, terrible framerate problems, and some of the worst voiceover work you’re ever likely to hear in a video game.
Clearly though, the game didn’t falter commercially. No, it almost sold 1.5 million for just Xbox 360 alone. The sequels? They didn’t sell nearly as well–proving that players had realized how shallow the series really was by that point. Shame they didn’t realize it earlier…
10 GoldenEye It Ain't
The 2008 James Bond flick Quantum of Solace was pretty atrocious, and its video game adaptation followed suit. Yes, 007: Quantum of Solace lacks the charm, the sophistication, and the humour that exemplifies the man himself.
It’s basically your bog standard first-person shooter fare, with some nods to the movies thrown in along the way. The campaign mode is way too easy, the length of it is way too short, and the game itself is way off base with some of its attempts at recreating the almost godlike GoldenEye 007 for the N64.
Predictably, this one sold very well–if only for the James Bond factor that it provided. It got scooped up by almost 1.5 million players, who sadly, probably didn’t get their money’s worth.
9 Don't Subject Your Kids To This
Thought that James Bond movie tie-in was bad? It’s got nothing on the downright terrible Finding Nemo game. While the movie still remains one of Pixar’s best creations to date, the game doesn’t even come close to replicating its triumphs.
The only thing it really has going for it are some neat underwater visuals, but aside from that, this one is a dead fish. The objectives are as basic as they come, the design is as linear as it gets, and the longevity is practically non-existent. I get that I’m not the target audience here, but even kids of the movie will find it hard to stay interested in its dull framework.
Of course, this didn’t stop giddy kids everywhere from making their parents purchase it for them–notching up millions of sales with all of its versions combined.
8 This One Should've Been Sniped
Okay, this one is just mind-numbingly bad. Yes, it’s Sniper: Ghost Warrior–a game that proves that even first-person shooters can get the most basic gaming mechanics wrong.
Admittedly, it has some pretty graphical qualities, but there’s not much beyond that. The level design is offensively linear, the A.I. is so broken that it’s almost funny, and the difficulty scales from super easy to super hard on a whim. Sure, you might dig the lush jungles, but when the gameplay is this poorly implemented, eye candy just doesn’t cut it anymore.
For reasons unknown, this title sold a ton. On just the Xbox 360 version, Sniper: Ghost Warrior hit a whopping 1.16 million sales globally. To those who bought it: what were you thinking?!
7 The Force Is Not With This One
We’re not done with bashing some of the worst Star Wars games in existence, because this is arguably the worst of the lot: Star Wars: Obi Wan. Released in 2001 for the Xbox, this game fails in so many areas that it’s almost mind-boggling.
It’s just so shallow that it’s almost offensive, featuring a barebones combat system, pretty ugly graphics, and some of the dullest levels you’ll find in any game of any genre. It might please the die-hard fans of the movies, but to everyone else concerned, avoid it at all costs.
Clearly I’m in the minority because plenty of people spent their hard-earned money on it. However, although it may have made a good wallop of cash, it can’t claim to be one of the best Star Wars games ever–quite the opposite in fact.
6 Worse Than Fighting An Actual War
Another day, another awful first-person shooter. Remember the days when the Medal of Honor games were actually good? Yeah, well those days were certainly gone by the time Medal of Honor: Warfighter came out.
We’ve come to expect a certain quality in the graphics department in recent years, but don’t go expecting to see it in this game–it’s downright ugly. Besides the puke-inducing textures, it also has a ridiculously convoluted plot, dreadful A.I. problems, and some eye-rolling glitches to contend with.
The series may not have been portrayed in a positive light with this title, but that didn’t stop it from selling bucket loads of copies: 1.17 million Xbox 360 copies to be exact. Wow…
5 An Embarrassment To The Series
The Matrix is one of my favourite movies of all time, so imagine my disappointment upon booting up this turkey of a game. Entitled Enter the Matrix, this sorry excuse for a gaming adaptation of the blockbuster movie is enough to detract from the film itself.
This one was rushed and it shows. The controls are insanely clunky, the camera angle is stupid, and the graphics are very sub-standard. But the ultimate cardinal sin was also committed–the game forces you to play as Ghost and Niobe, not Neo. What?!
But you guessed it–Enter the Matrix was a commercial success, shipping to over one million homes globally. Seriously, I’d be surprised if any of those homes still had this game–it’s that poor.
4 Dancin' With The Droids
The Star Wars games are typically pretty hit and miss–as a movie franchise as big as this one has had no shortage of gaming adaptations over the years. However, the series hit an ultimate bum note in 2012 with the unfocused Xbox 360 title Kinect Star Wars.
The game left many players and fans feeling cold with its disjointed design. Instead of the epic scope we’ve come to associate with games from the awesome sci-fi franchise, we got several mini-games stitched together. Throw in some wonky controls, sub-par graphics, and a lack of replay value, and you’ve got a game that doesn’t belong in your collection.
However, its poor critical reception didn’t hinder its sales. Not only was it the first Kinect title to land the top spot on the UK charts, but it managed to shift over one million copies in North America alone.
3 Good Idea, Bad Implementation
In an attempt to show off the Xbox 360’s Kinect motion camera, Kinect Adventures! was released in 2010. This one became a chart topper to end all other chart toppers, but sadly, it really sucks.
Yes, with a scant selection of just five mini-games to choose from, Kinect Adventures! Might show off the device’s capabilities, but it fails where it matters the most: gameplay. Isn’t this game supposed to be fun? It feels more like a chore as you slog your way to the finish line, repeating the same tedious mini-games over and over again – bearing in mind as well that only one of them is actually fun.
Remarkably however, this game sold (wait for it) 21.95 million copies. Now that is seriously impressive, becoming the bestselling game ever for the Xbox 360. Shame then that its rubbish.
2 We're Raging
Anything connected with The Simpsons is going to sell well, but it’s a pity that they aren’t always as good as the show which they’re based on. In that regard, The Simpsons: Road Rage remains one of the worst video games to come from the successful brand’s loins.
Think of Crazy Taxi only not good, and you’re pretty close to how this game plays. It tasks you with (you’ve guessed it) transporting passengers from A to B, but who could’ve predicted how boring that would turn out to be? An awful collision detection system, poor vehicle handling, and a hollow control scheme are just some of the problems you’ll encounter here.
But none of that clearly mattered to over a million people, as they all rushed out to pick this one up. Moral of the story: even dreadful games can make a dent commercially.
1 Just Let This Hedgehog Go
Boy, has there been some awful Sonic games in recent years. Thought Sonic Unleashed was bad? You ain’t seen nothing yet. Taking our top spot for garbage Xbox games that made a ton of money is this utterly atrocious 2006 attempt.
Where do we even begin here? Everything is rubbish in this title. Whether it’s the horrible camera angle, the poor level designs, or the painstakingly long load times – Sonic the Hedgehog is just one fault after another. Okay, onto the positives: the graphics are passable. That’s it!
Bewilderingly, Sonic the Hedgehog sold very well, despite being the worst game that the zippy animal has been featured in. Seriously, don’t add any more cash to the kitty for this one–it doesn’t deserve it, and neither do fans of the much-loved gaming franchise.