To put this in context, this is a list of games that have either been overrated by the media, or by people I know. It would not be fun to make an actual “worst” list, because no one would care about that. Sure, I could go on about how bad Donkey Kong for Intellivision is, but who is that really going to effect?
So, without further ado, I present to you the 10 “worst” video games:
10. The Legend of Zelda, Ocarina of Time
The transition to 3D is not always kind to video games. Ever since the original release of Zelda for the NES I have been a huge fan of the series. I can still vividly remember playing through the original Zelda, and A Link to the Past in one sitting. I had all the gameboy versions as well. Naturally, I was excited to get my hands on Ocarina of Time for the N64. I was not the first on my block to get it, and everyone was talking it up like it was the best one yet. One of my friends boasted it was the first one that he had ever beaten without cheating (game genie or walk through, etc…). I did not know how to take that since I had not had a problem with any of the other ones.
When I finally got the coin together to pick up a N64, I bought OoT. It was a crushing disappointment. After having played many other games on the PSX, and the such that had a similar look, I had gotten used to jumping. Sadly, OoT only allows you to “jump” when you have to. The whole game is a cobbled together patch work of automated sequences from which you wonder from point to point. I have to admit that this, and the sequel Majora’s Mask are the only two Zelda games that I have never played to completion.
Some of you might be asking yourself, if he hated those games so much, why did he beat Wind Waker? Well, that was accomplished thanks to Pro Action Replay. That’s right, I cheated, and I am damn proud of it. Basically, there is a “jump” code that you can enter that allows Link to jump. I cannot express in mere words how much better these games are with that ability. I do not understand why they left it out. Granted, I know that similar codes exist for OoT and the like, but I am still to disgusted to revisit them.
9. Grand Theft Auto III
Shortly after the release of this title I saw it in a PS2 kiosk at a store. I wondered around for a bit but did not really accomplish anything. I thought the title looked sub-par at best, and the graphics were marginal. Later on one of my friends rented it, and he could not stop pouring over it. He talked about all the “cool” things he had done and so forth. So, I sat down for a good two hours and tried to like the game. Unfortunately, only boredom ensued. The graphics were still just as bad, the missions were just “ok,” and the controls were just awful. I actually had more fun trying to jump the bridges to get to the other areas before you were supposed to.
Give me pong any day over GTA3.
I never did play GTA: Vice City, as it appeared to be more of the same. However, I did end up playing GTA: San Andreas. The only reason I got into SA at all was because my brother kind of was, and we took turns working through the missions. Obviously the controls were pretty bad, but better than they were in the past. Hell, if it were for flying around in the planes I am not sure I would have even played it.
8. Tomb Raider
This should be pretty self explanatory. There are really no redeeming qualities in this game, or any game in the series for that matter. The graphics have always been below average, and the controls fair behind other games. But, I guess we need games with sluggish controls to help us appreciate the games with good controls.
Honestly, did anyone play this game for any reason other than the fact that the leading character was a voluptuous female? I can understand if you wanted to make some kind of horrid female empowerment game, but seriously, this goes the other way. I originally picked it up, because I thought it would be an Indiana Jones like adventure game. Which, it sort of was, but the gameplay was so horrid that it was unplayable.
I could drone on about this game for hours, but I think everyone got the keys points by now. If you feel I missed a point about it feel free to reflect on that in your own time.
7. Metroid Prime
Control. In the age of Halo and modern console FPS’s, bad control is inexcusable. Granted most of my problem with this game stems from the fact that I am left handed. As a result the rigid and uncustomizable controls of Prime are the bane of my existence.
The thing that I don’t understand is that the GameCube controller has two analog sticks. So, why not make one move and one look. That is infinitely more natural than the “hold x while shifting such and such” bullshit that you have to endure.
Metroid Prime is unplayable.
In the immortal words of Stan Lee, ” ‘nough said.”
Modern Dance – when two or more people rub up against each other in a sexual manner
Manufacturing Process – use of friction to smooth a material
Food Preparation – the act of reducing flour or other materials into a powder
MMORPG – the process of engaging in repetitive and boring tasks in game
EverQuest opened the fload gates for this generation of MMORPGs. And for that there was a special circle in hell created just for the purpose of housing the creators of this game. It is my understanding that there was some talk about just putting them in the circle created for people that talk in movies, but that was determined to be too harsh. I guess that is why I am not in charge of things of this nature.
I could go into the affect of EverQuest in regard to the destruction of marriages, and lives and such. But, I don’t believe in that. If people are self destructive because of problems in their life they will find some medium to do so, for some people it just happens to be a video game.
My problem is the mundane nature of these titles. You almost always know where to go and what to do when you get there. The problem? Well, you either have to walk which is a time consuming endeavor, or you have to spend endless hours leveling your character up to accomplish a relatively mundane task. The entire system is a time waster. That is why there are monthly fees. It takes months to accomplish the same kind of things you can in a regular RPG in 10 hours.
What a scam.
5. The Sims
This game is wildly popular, and worth more money than it should be? Those of you that have actually played this game probably ask yourself why. Well, basically, chicks buy games, guys don’t. That may seem a little off but let me explain. The extremely popular games among real gamers such as Half-Life 2, Quake 4, etc… are quite often pirated. Thus, the actual sales of these games do not accurately represent the true user base. Pirates are a victim of their own success in that right I guess. Granted the emergence of online play, and the copy protection accompanying it, is causing this trend to lightening up a little.
The Sims is pretty much a wash. You poke around a few virtual people in their shallow lives. It lacks the depth of games like Sim City. But, this does make it more appealing to a broad audience, aka children and girls. I suppose games should be made for this group, but should they really be getting all the good press?
I don’t think so. Generally they lack the substance and longevity of “real” games, and I think they should be rated accordingly, not on a sliding scale.
4. Metal Gear Solid 3
This game is easily the worst in the series. The camera angles are always just about the worst possible in every situation. The clipping is off, and the game is full of invisible walls. That annoyed me a lot. There is no way to aim weapons short of putting a dot on the center of your screen. First person was clunky, the controls were clunky.
The story is this game is also completely pointless. It is overly convoluted, and the characters’ motivations make absolutely no sense. Little if anything was gained by having this game exist.
There are two systems in this game that are utterly horrible, and fundamental contradictory to their purpose in the game. The first is the stamina system. In order to attempt to add more realism into this title, they now force Snake to eat out in the wild in order to maintain a high level of stamina in order to function. Furthermore it does not make sense as to how you can instantly replenish stamina by eating food. And, it doesn’t matter when you eat, it could be in the middle of a battle, or alone in the quiet rain. It does the same thing either way.
The second system is the first aid curing one. In this “heal Snake the annoying way” mini-game you must apply various medical acts to snakes wound in order to allow him to heal to full health. The biggest problem with this is that it completely lacks realism. In the middle of a boss battle you can just hit pause, and take half an hour to tend to your wounds. How realistic is that?
The point of all this is not that games should be perfectly realistic, it is that you shouldn’t promise more than you can deliver.
3. Super Mario 64
Perhaps one of the most overrated games ever. This was a launch title of the N64. Much like the Zelda series, I was a fan of the Super Mario Brothers series as well. I guess I just could not adapt to the change. Part of my problem was the controller for the N64, I found it quite difficult to navigate the platforms and walk in straight lines. Granted for the time the camera was not too bad, but it wasn’t pleasant either.
If you had to you could reduce this game, it would be a combination of Pokemon syndrome with draconian penalties for falling. This is another title that I really tried to like, but it was just too far removed from what I had come to expect from the series. Everything that I had come to love and enjoy over the years had been brutally removed and replaced with something “different.”
2. Final Fantasy III (VI)
I hate this game.
If you ask someone, “what is the best SNES game?” they almost exclusively answer “Final Fantasy III.” I could not disagree more. Hell, it isn’t even the best RPG for the SNES (Chrono Trigger).
It is a decent enough RPG, and it has some basic interesting story elements but it is far from great. It was basically just more of the same from an aging series. Perhaps one of my problems was that I was a late adopter of the title. I had not played it until after Lunar, Chrono Trigger, and other RPGs that I found infinitely more gratifying. But, that is just speculation.
Saving was always and issue for me. You could only save wherever you wanted in overworld. What was up with that? If you are playing one of the bosses, say the final one, and you did not level up enough and got yourself killed…well guess what? You get to play the last tower ALL OVER. Fun right? Not at all. Sure there are some save points salted around areas, but they do not grant you the freedom I would like.
This also marked the introduction of the summoning system to the game. I know this is pretty popular to people but I NEVER liked it. This is probably another situation where I am basing my hatred on a title for an aspect that it spawned (like EverQuest).
Feel free to rip me apart for my disdain for this title. I have taken plenty of crap for it in “the day.”
1. Madden (any)
Annually, you can rely on EA spurning out more crap. Ever since the creation of Madden I have hated it. It has in no way been representative of football. I remember in Madden 94 that you could do an onside kick and recover it every single time. Yup, that is realistic. I know that many people purport that the new games are “better” because they introduce trash features like the “QB vision” which is just a waste of time. I know that NFL players are always saying that they like it, but they don’t really have a choice. EA holds the exclusively rights to produce NFL games for the next several years, despite the fact that their games are the worst.
My personal favorite football franchise was Tecmo Superbowl. Now, I will accept that the PSX version was perhaps not the strongest title available on the platform, but I still feel loyal to the NES version. The NES version of Tecmo Superbowl is probably the best football game ever created. It was far ahead of its time, and many games today still do not aspire to such a level.
More recently however, I have taken a shining to the now dead Xbox sports line. NFL Fever had the most enjoyable controls of all the modern systems. The graphics also seemed to be tighter, as the other games were watered down to perform equally well across platforms. It was a sad thing to let go. However, this last year my pain was eased by the introduction of Sega’s ESPN NFL 2K5. Basically, everything about this game is great. The only thing that I liked about previous version better wast the branding (I hate ESPN branding). Perhaps the biggest boon of all was the price, a mere $20 USD. Simply unbeatable. Apparently this pissed the hell out of EA, because it took a chunk out of their monopoly of the football market. But, that’s not an issue anymore.
What does this mean for the future of NFL gaming for the next five years? Well, let’s first take a look at what EA has to offer with the Madden series. The worst graphic available. The worst defense available. The least intuitive controls. The most annoying, repetitive announcer. Worst menu and play selection interface. The worst online competition available. Graphics optimized for the PS2. The most sluggish controls. Worst collision detection. Worst skins. Unrealistic sounds. Unrealistic stadiums. Overly powerful offense. Broken, or “golden” plays that cannot be stopped when used in random order. Tied for highest price.
What a time to be football fan.
Hopefully, I have angered at least a couple people by calling out their favorite games. But, what would a “worst ever” list be without hurting anyones feelings? 😉
Tony Hawk – do to popular demand.