VIDEO GAMES ARE A BIG BUSINESS, with dozens of game producers vying for our gaming dollars. Sometimes they might the mark and make a game that will spawn sequels, a series, maybe even a movie. Other times, they miss the mark, drop the ball, strike out, and if they’re truly unlucky, they create one of the worst games ever.
1. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (NES)
Side-scrolling at its worst! This is one of those games that really tests the patience of its players. All it consists of moving left while avoiding the same enemies over and over and over again. There’s the dog, the guy with the bomb, the bird that shits on you, and then there they are again, and again, and again. This is one of those games that most people never figure out how to play (seriously what’s the point?) and since it never seems like it could be fun even if you did, they quit trying to figure it out and quit playing altogether.
Now I’m no game developer but I’m pretty sure that the goal should never to be to make players quit playing your game.
2. Irratating Stick (PS2)
The name pretty much says it all. I mean you bought this monstrosity and you’re playing it and you’re annoyed, well congrats, you got what you paid for: there is a stick and it’s sure as hell irritating. This game is based on a fairly awesome Japanese game show where contestants run an electrified maze with a big metal stick. Unfortunately the game captures none of the fun or excitement of the game show and basically just sucks. And it looks awful, like so bad it’s hard to believe it was made in 1998, you’d swear it was 10 years older.
3. Custer’s Revenge (Atari 2600)
What is the worst premise for a game you can think of? How about an ‘adult’ game where the goal is to rape a bound Aboriginal woman? That’s right, raping is the end game in Custer’s Revenge. Seriously. You’re a naked Custer and you have to dodge falling arrows to reach the naked Aboriginal woman tied to a post and rape her. Not only is the concept contemptible (arguably the most racist and/or misogynistic game ever made); but the game play sucks too. When it first hit the market it was sold in a locked leather case so you could both hide your shame and ensure the kids wouldn’t play. Because if you’re going to make a raping game, you have to protect children from it—that’s just common sense!
4. Super Columbine Massacre RPG (PC)
And taking the award for the most morally reprehensible video game: Super Columbine Massacre RPG. I know, you didn’t think anything could be worse that Custer’s Revenge, but then you didn’t think someone would make a roll-playing game based on the most notorious school shooting in US history. You were wrong of course, someone did. Not surprisingly this game garnered a ton of controversy and anger immediately upon its release. Somehow people missed the wry social commentary the game designer intended, focusing more on the glorification of and cashing-in-upon the bloody murder of 13 innocent people. Who have thunk it, huh?
5. E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial (Atari 2600)
Because no list of worst video games ever would be complete without E.T. the Extra Terrestrial for the Atari 2600. This is the game that almost single-handedly caused the great video game crash of the early 80s, the one that almost killed the home console, that one that 1000s of unsold copies of were buried in a New Mexico landfill.
To be fair, E.T. looks and plays like exactly what it is, a game made in 5 weeks in order to make the Christmas season and cash in on the summer’s biggest movie. At least one of them made money.