The PlayStation 3 had some of the best games ever released in a generation. Titles like The Last of Us, Uncharted, Demon's Souls, and even the Yakuza series helped cement the PS3's legacy as one of the most successful consoles of all time.
The console had a bit of a slow start when it was first released, but it was the quality of the system's games that eventually put its sales on par with that of the Xbox 360. Despite having to play catch up with its online services in the form of the PlayStation Network, it provided a free online multiplayer service as opposed to Microsoft's premium. Sony's machine also provided many of the same obscure downloadable titles that were found on Xbox Live but at discounted prices for PlayStation Plus subscribers.
However, despite all the console's success and ever-improving online service, the PlayStation has been a home for some of the worst games ever released. Many of these titles were from the third-party developers, but some of the worst were also exclusives to Sony's machine too. So let's take a look at 25 of the worst games ever released on the PlayStation 3.
25 The Fight: Lights Out
The Fight: Lights Out was meant to showcase how well a fighting game works with the PlayStation Camera and the Move controllers. The game featured a pretty sub-par and totally pointless character creation system with an unintentionally funny tutorial mode hosted by actor Danny Trejo. You’re also forced to recalibrate the controllers before every fight, adding to the already lengthy loading screens making each and every fight far more laborious and frustrating than it already is.
The Move controllers were designed so well that they were used again with the PlayStation VR on the PS4, but the PS3 camera’s limited light sensitivity wasn’t capable of tracking fast movements, making ducking, bobbing, and weaving an almost impossible task. On the plus side, you’ll get a decent cardio workout from flapping your arms around aimlessly, at least until you give yourself a tennis elbow or a shoulder injury while your hits completely miss the mark.
Bodycount promised to “rip apart the first person shooter genre in balletic orgy of bullets and destruction.” Although the game's destructive elements were quite impressive, everything else about Bodycount was as generic and bland as you could possibly imagine. Your character is called “Jackson,” and his mission is to hunt down “Targets” for the imaginatively named “Network.”
In an FPS named Bodycount it is fair to assume that very few were expecting a masterpiece in the narrative department, but the gameplay should have excelled it beyond its throwaway story. Unfortunately, what players got was a visually dull and mechanically awful game with a hopeless cover system, and a short campaign with zero replay value.
23 Top Gun
Top Gun was released on the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live as means to try capitalize on the nostalgia of the iconic 1980s Tom Cruise film of the same name. The game pretty much followed the plot of the original film and was expected to be an enjoyable and exciting arcade style flight sim.
The game didn't live up to expectations and instead became another wasted license. What gamers got were boring gameplay and visuals that looked every bit as low budget as you might expect. In addition, one of the console's best action-based flight-sims was released less than a month prior in Birds of Prey, which served to show just how glaringly obvious Top Gun's flaws were.
22 Eat Lead: The Return Of Matt Hazard
Eat Lead: The Return Of Matt Hazard is an over the shoulder third-person action shooter that put gamers in the role of a satirical video game character called Matt Hazard. The game’s story is a parody of action-gaming clichés chronicling Hazard’s “comeback” as mainstream action gaming icon.
The developers clearly put a lot of effort into the game's narrative and probably had a lot of fun writing it, but unfortunately, it seems all the developmental creativity wasn’t wasn’t injected into the gameplay. The game offered nothing more than walking into a room, taking cover, killing generic enemies, until it's time to walk through a door to repeat the process — ironically becoming the butt of their own joke.
21 X-Men: Destiny
X-Men: Destiny was an action role-playing super hero game that placed the emphasis on a players’ freedom of choice controlling their chosen character’s ultimate destiny. The concept and idea was really promising and had a lot of gamers excited at the prospect of role playing as a new and original X-Men character.
Sadly, for both the fans and its creators, a troubled development cycle resulted in a seemingly unfinished game, leading to X-Men: Destiny being one of the worst games of a generation. The game's only notable mark on the gaming industry was it was the final nail in the coffin for the once promising studio and Eternal Darkness developer Silicon Knights.
NeverDead puts you in the role of cursed immortal Demon Hunter Bryce Boltzmann. Despite Byrce’s immortality coming at a cost, he uses the ability to remove and reattach his limbs to his own advantage. However, the game’s protagonist is an obnoxious and completely unlikeable lead that uses painfully stupid puns and quips.
Although praise should be given to NeverDead’s attempt at original idea and narrative, its lead character and core gameplay are too much to endure. NeverDead is an action game that suffers from collision, a glitchy and an out of control camera, and its environmental destruction is disproportionate to Bryce’s movements and interactions. Originality doesn’t always provide quality and NeverDead is evidence of this. Even if you see this game in the bargain do yourselves a favor and “never play.”
X-Blades looked like it may have been a decent hack and slash fantasy game that played like the Devil May Cry series. It focused on a female lead and two endings depending on player choices and interactions throughout the game. Although the game looked like it may have had some promising ideas, it fell apart through its shallow and repetitive combat, glitchy camera, and frustrating targeting system – pretty much failing at everything that’s needed for a hack and slash game to succeed.
It’s a shame, because putting aside that its lead protagonist Ayumi isn’t exactly dressed for battle, she’s a clearly a lovingly designed anime-style character, unfortunately, she just didn’t have the personality to match her looks. Ayumi’s character had all the depth of a puddle — and even less of the charm.
18 Tony Hawk Ride
After cornering the market of peripheral-based video games like the Guitar Hero and DJ Hero series Activision would seek to continue this trend by trying to make the Tony Hawk series even more appealing to the casual gaming market, while capitalizing on the already popular skateboarding series.
The problem with the game trying to appeal to both fans and casual gamers was that the game forced the player to use a plastic skateboard, and its difficulty managed to alienate both audiences. Tony Hawk: Rides’ “casual mode” did all the difficult moves for you, essentially playing itself. In the higher difficulties, the learning curve was far too steep even for those familiar with the series.
Tony Hawk: Ride just wasn’t that fun, and the truth is, those looking for a realistic skateboarding experience didn’t need to spend a fortune on a fake board, they could buy a real one for less than half the price.
17 Fantastic Four Rise Of The Silver Surfer
The video game tie-in for the Fantastic Four Rise Of The Silver Surfer movie is yet another terrible waste of license that should transfer easily into the video game format. The gameplay tried to borrow elements of the X-Men Legends series, but the result is a far more clunky and glitchy experience.
The Fantastic Four comic book series has always been about highlighting teamwork and overcoming the odds against much more powerful adversaries. There’s nothing that remotely resembles that in this game. The gameplay is monotonous and repetitive, environments are sterile looking and bland, and worse still, the characters have very little about them that feels unique.
16 Star Trek: The Game
Star Trek: The Video Game not only has the prestigious "honor" of being TheGamer’s worst Star Trek game of all time it is also one of the most critically panned games of all time, and for very good reason. The controls were so bad that not even Kirk and Spock would have been able to overcome the never ending battle just to get them to work properly.
Marketing for the game made a lot of effort showing off the game's cover mechanics which is strange because they simply don't work properly. The shoe-horned stealth mechanics are pointless because the second you initiate a "stealth takedown," Spock will start attacking the surrounding enemies anyway negating the point of stealth even being present in this game. Suffice to say: Star Trek: The Video Game is atrocious.
15 The Punisher: No Mercy
The Punisher video game that was released in 2005 wasn’t a perfect game by any means, but its Max Payne-like shooting combined with one of the most gruesome torture mechanics ever seen in video games. Although the game was derivative, it stayed true to the source material and gave The Punisher fans something they could get their teeth into. The Punisher: No Mercy is nothing like that game.
The story is half-baked, confusing, and is only told through still comic strips. Players not familiar with The Punisher really won’t have a clue what’s going on. The focus was on the game’s rather dull and laggy multiplayer, and as a result, the bland single player campaign is made up of shooting your way through a linear path of bots in less than an hour. The only ones truly getting “punished” here were the gamers who were unfortunate enough to have played it.
14 Resident Evil: Operation Racoon City
Resident Evil: Operation Racoon City was developed by the now closed Studio, Slant Six Games. These are the same developers who created the tactical action series known as SOCOM. The game’s story was set around the same time as the events of Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3, and it focused on a group of elite paramilitary mercenaries working for the Umbrella Corporation.
The premise of the game was that it was supposed to be a tactical shooter, which used the streets of Racoon City as its battleground. Unfortunately, the game is a bare bones, glitchy, and flawed mess. Adding insult to injury, it has an undercooked campaign mode that isn’t deserving of the franchise name.
13 NFL Tour
NFL Tour was EA’s attempt at making an arcade-style American Football game that simplified the game for players who aren’t interested in stats and team management. It was meant to be a soft reboot for the NFL Street series, but all the entertainment value of the Street series was lost on a game with almost no features, unbalanced gameplay, and ugly presentation.
It is possible that NFL Tour was developed specifically for the arcade, which would explain the lack of character progression, features and replay value, but the game’s dull presentation and overall complete lack of depth make this particular fumble from EA one to avoid.
12 Duke Nukem Forever
Duke Nukem: Forever was the long awaited follow up the beloved Duke Nukem 3D released in 1996. The game had a troubled development cycle that was started by 3D Realms and finished by Gearbox Software and Piranha Games.
The game attempted to replicate the humor and vulgarity of its predecessors, which it did, but resultantly, the game seemed more out of date than ever. In its attempt to raise laughs amongst its primary audience, Duke Nukem: Forever instead managed to be corny and cringe-worthy on every level. In addition, the gameplay is flat and lacking any creative flair whatsoever, and the multiplayer didn’t feature anything to make it stand out amongst the already crowded arena of good FPS shooters.
11 Terminator Salvation
The Terminator Salvation movie was meant to relaunch the Terminator franchise with Christian Bale leading the way as John Connor. Although the film bombed at the box office, it did feature some solid performances from the lead actors and enjoyable set pieces which should have transferred well into the game. However, the video game adaptation doesn’t feature Christian Bale, and while it some interesting gameplay elements, the presentation was awful, made more obvious by its poor cutscenes and terrible stand-in voice actors.
At just four hours long with no replay value at all, it was ridiculous for its publishers (Evolved Games) to even consider charging the full price for Terminator Salvation, but that’s exactly what they did.
10 Quantum Theory
Quantum Theory was the Japanese publishers Tecmo’s attempt at making a Western-style third-person shooter in the vein of the Gears of War franchise. What gamers got was a terrible rip-off of the Gears series that failed to properly implement the strategic cover system that made that series so great.
The story is quite simply awful, you can forgive the game for lacking the western trappings usually found in space-marine-esque storylines, but what can’t be forgiven is the complete lack of what charm or style usually found in Japanese games too. In Tecmo-Koei’s attempt to pander too much to Western audiences, Quantum Theory lost any kind of identity of its own.
9 Call Of Juarez: The Cartel
Despite the original Call of Juarez standing out among the crowd with its Western cowboy themes and interesting stories, the more recent entry from developers Techland brought the series to the modern day with Call of Juarez: The Cartel.
Instead of memorable characters and a great setting, The Cartel featured an unlikeable cast, an awful storyline, and worse still, unpolished and repetitive gameplay. The cloned environments and boring driving sections further add to the repetition, as does the generic slow-motion action sequences triggered by a seemingly endless amount of doors to kick in.
8 Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z
The Ninja Gaiden series was beloved by fans for its brutally tough but fair gameplay that required a gamers patience and skill overcome even the weakest of the game’s enemies. Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z aimed to be more of an arcade-style spin-off that was more inviting to players new to the franchise, featuring a rather stunning cell-shaded art style, yet maintaining the game's fluidity and skillful encounters. However, Yaiba’s unbalanced and rage-inducing difficulty provided players with the complete opposite of the tough-yet-fair system the series was so synonymous with.
The player is completely at the mercy of the Yaiba’s terrible design flaws, making some of the challenges and tasks so difficult that most gamers will throw in the towel long before they get to the end of the game. Thankfully, the developers have long since redeemed themselves with the Dark Souls inspired Nioh.
7 Golden Axe: Beast Rider
The Golden Axe series was one of the pioneers of the hack and slash genre in the late 80s and early to mid-90s in both the arcades and on SEGA’s home consoles. It developed a huge following during the era. As a result, fans of the series had high hopes for Golden Axe: Beast Rider which promised to rekindle the old glory of the series.
Instead of bringing back the fans of old and reigniting interest in the aging franchise, Golden Axe: Beast Rider buried it once for all. The game not only lacked the choice of three characters and co-op gameplay that the series made famous, but it also lacked everything required to make a good hack and slash game. It had a lack of distinctive combos, unresponsive parries, sluggish controls, and drab environments.
6 Turning Point: Fall Of Liberty
Turning Point Fall Of Liberty is an alternate history World War 2 game that focused on what would have happened had Winston Churchill died years earlier, and if America had decided to take an anti-war stance and not get involved overseas, resulting in a German invasion of New York City.
Fall of Liberty was an ambitious title completely let down by a shallow first-person shooting experience. Despite the game’s interesting plot device, the narrative is dull and boring. It’s visually lacking any imagination, and the enemy A.I is a laughably bad. If you want a good alternate history shooter, you’re better off sticking with Wolfenstein: The New Order which was released on the PS3 and PS4.
5 Iron Man 2
The first Iron Man game (based on the movie franchise) ended up being one of the worst superhero adaptations in gaming history. Instead of trying to improve on what came before, Iron Man 2’s only notable success was it actually succeeded in being even worse than the original.
The first game’s only redeeming feature was the flawed flight mechanics for the Iron Man suit, yet somehow in this sequel, the control scheme seems slightly more awkward, and flying around the lifelessly dull environments is an absolute chore. Yet the fact the flight is still the best part of the game should tell you just how bad Iron Man 2 really is.
4 G.I Joe: Rise Of Cobra
G.I Joe: Rise Of Cobra is a third-person action game based on the film (and action figures) of the same name, and unsurprisingly (being featured on this list) it is an awful game, with terrible graphics, repetitive gameplay, and a bewilderingly uneven difficulty.
The game’s unfair difficulty is made more surprising in that it is clearly aimed at a more casual audience. There are no real checkpoints in the game despite there being occasions when the “checkpoint reached” text flashes up on the screen, because every time your character dies, you’ll have to restart the game from the beginning of the level. The so-called checkpoints are just markers for next load screen. So not only is a bad game it’s a stupidly difficult one with a fake checkpoint system.
3 Thor: God Of Thunder
The fact that there are so many licensed titles on this list should tell you just how either lazily developed they usually are, or that how much pressure developers come under to meet their release dates. Obviously, in either case, this results in a rushed mess of a game. Thor: God of Thunder is such a bad game that it is impossible to tell which category it falls under other than simply being the worst superhero game released on the PS3.
The controls are unresponsive, and Thor's animations are stiff and robotic looking, he has none of the agility and speed you'd expect from the character, therefore avoiding enemy projectiles is an extremely frustrating experience. His flying abilities are totally limited to specific sequences, and fighting generic monster enemies over and over again really does become a test of one's patience — rather than a test of skill.
Damnation is a third-person action shooter set during an alternate history Civil War, where steampunk-like weapons are being sold to both sides of the war. Despite the interesting theme and premise, Damnation is nothing more than a disaster of a game. In fact, the only interesting thing about this game is at what point did the developers ever think it was passable enough to publish what is quite possibly the worst shooter of a generation.
The game has zero presentation, lifeless voice acting and glitchy sound issues pervade every scene. The shooting (which is the game's bread and butter) is inaccurate, and the game's levels are as monotonous as they come. The jagged textures are bad, and screen tearing is rife throughout. Damnation has no redeeming features at all.
Amy is a survival-horror game that was meant to be a PlayStation exclusive that bridged the gap between big budget AAA titles and high quality affordable downloadable only games. However, the complete opposite turned out to be true.
It would be impossible go through everything that Amy did wrong as a game without this entry descending into a never ending rant about bad game design, non-existent collision detection, stupidly bad story, terrible controls, and its infuriating checkpoint system.
There are even more issues that this abomination suffers from, but let's just settle on the fact that this is a game that needs to avoided at all costs. Amy isn't just the worst PlayStation 3 game ever released, but it's a contender for one of the worst games in any generation.