Top 21 Worst Nintendo Games of Each Year (2000 - 2020)



Top 21 Worst Nintendo Games of Each Year (2000 - 2020)

VOICE OVER: Riccardo Tucci WRITTEN BY: Ty Richardson
Even a company as consistent as Nintendo has had its share of flops! For this list, we're naming off the worst games to come out every year between 2000 and 2020. Our countdown includes Pokémon Dash, Wii Music, Mario Party: Island Tour, Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival, Metroid Prime: Federation Force and more!
Script written by Ty Richardson

Top 21 Worst Nintendo Games of Each Year (2000-2020)

Welcome to WatchMojo, and today, we’re taking a look at the Top 21 Worst Nintendo Games of Each Year.

For this list, we’re naming off the worst games to come out every year between 2000 and 2020. Note that we’re only counting games developed and/or published by Nintendo. Which Nintendo game burned you badly? Let us know in the comments below.

2000: “Mickey’s Speedway USA”

It’s arguably one of the most inoffensive titles on this list, but given the time this little kart racer came out, “Mickey’s Speedway USA” could have been a lot better. See, prior to this, developer Rare and publisher Nintendo had already given us two exceptional kart racers on the Nintendo 64 - “Mario Kart 64” and “Diddy Kong Racing”. Mickey and company would borrow some elements from both titles, but didn’t try hard enough to really distinguish itself. It also didn’t help that the roster was so basic and small, and three of the four unlockable characters were Huey, Dewey, and Louie, which felt like you were unlocking the same character three times.

2001: “Dr. Mario 64”

Don’t get us wrong - we’d be down for a game of “Dr. Mario'' on any given day. “Dr. Mario 64”, on the other hand, is not the iteration we prefer. No, we weren’t expecting “next-gen graphics'' or anything, but they could have done a lot better with this game. Bland visuals aren’t the only problems plaguing “Dr. Mario 64” as the music lacks the same frenetic yet lighthearted pacing as previous games. Yes, it's the same “Dr. Mario” gameplay we’ve come to know and love, but for a supposed “enhanced remake”, this could have been a lot better.

2002: “Super Mario Sunshine”

Please don’t get the pitchforks out just yet!! Let us explain - our criteria is that every year needs ONE bad game represented, and 2002 was a heck of a year for Nintendo. “Metroid Prime”, “Animal Crossing”, and “Eternal Darkness” were remarkable titles! But if we’re being honest, we’d rather play those than “Super Mario Sunshine”. We like the different approach to 3D Mario with FLUDD and all. However, let’s be honest - this isn’t really the most polished Mario game, and the controls can get a little finicky at times. Still, that won’t stop us from going for all the Shine Sprites again...after a few years pass.

2003: “Pokémon Channel”

When we spend our hard earned money on a video game, we at least want it to actually play like a video game. “Pokémon Channel'' seemed to have forgotten what format it was made on and thought we wanted to spend fifty bucks so we could watch TV with Pikachu. Yes, the entire point of “Pokémon Channel'' is to watch random Pokémon themed programming with some occasional gags. The game was so void of any real content that it felt you had unknowingly Hyper Beam’d your wallet in a blaze of glory.

2004: “Pokémon Dash”

(Fair warning - this isn’t the last of the “Pokémon” titles on this list.) A Pokémon-themed racing game is the type of game we’d sign up for any day. “Pokémon Dash” could have been the start of a great spin-off series, and yet it went against everything that made racing games work. Controls were wonky, did nothing interesting with the DS’s capabilities, and the entire game was an absolute slog to sit through. But you know what made the whole experience worse? Typically, racing games give you a diverse roster of characters to play as. Here? Your only option is Pikachu because Pikachu is love. Pikachu is life, and no other Pokémon exists in the franchise.

2005: “Nintendogs”

Once again, we find ourselves in another year of solid Nintendo titles, but of them all, “Nintendogs” hasn’t aged well. Admittedly, it's not entirely the game’s fault; Father Time just hasn’t been too kind to it, and it doesn’t help when the games industry places such a heavy focus on making things look realistic. “Nintendogs” may have been a marvel back when the Nintendo DS first launched, but these dogs have seen better days! It’s like revisiting a PS1 game and wondering where all those amazing graphics went. Also doesn’t help that the later “Nintendogs” titles would add more features, breeds, and animals. So, what reason is there in revisiting this one?

2006: “Pokémon Ranger”

We got to hand it to the “Pokémon” franchise - it isn’t afraid of trying new things. However, we wish it would be a little more selective on which ideas to jump on. “Pokemon Ranger” was one of those games we absolutely didn’t need nor did we want. The entire experience is centered around drawing circles around a Pokémon without draining your energy bar. And that’s pretty much it, and yes, it is incredibly tedious! “Ranger” seems to realize how minimal its scope and mechanics really are as the game is only ten missions long. Needless to say, this was absolutely not worth your time.

2007: “Pokémon Battle Revolution”

On the surface, “Pokémon Battle Revolution” seems to be a triumphant return for the “Stadium” spin-off series. My, how we were quickly disproven and utterly disappointed. Rather than making this a full-blown adventure like the “Colosseum” games or replicating the formulas of “Stadium”, “Battle Revolution” acts more like an overpriced spin-off of the “Diamond” and “Pearl” games. Your options are to either take on one of the eleven Colosseums or go online and fight other players. Thing is you kind of needed “Diamond” and “Pearl” in order to experience most of the game. If you didn’t, you basically dropped fifty bucks for a whole lot of nothing. So, what was really the point of this?

2008: “Wii Music”

If you wanna know how bad “Wii Music” really was, we’d point you all the way back to the game’s debut at E3 2008. Yeah, this game was about as disastrous as that. Attempting to capture the same success as “Wii Sports”, Nintendo tried making “Wii Music” a music simulator, for lack of a better phrase. All you had to do was imitate the movements of playing a real instrument, and you’ll sound like a real musician in very little time! ...Well, that was the idea. More often than not, you’d wind up sounding like Squidward Tentacles. With a ludicrous price tag of fifty bucks, you may as well buy a real instrument and try to teach yourself.

2009: “Wii Sports Resort”

Honestly, 2009 wasn’t a terrible year for Nintendo. Many of their Wii games, including “Wii Sports Resort”, became the best-selling titles of that year. Alas, we have to pick one to be the bad game, and “Wii Sports Resort” is arguably the least appealing of the bunch. Sure, it’s got a hearty heaping of fun minigames, some returning from the previous game. However, the experience can be dampened quickly because of the required MotionPlus accessory. It wasn’t rare for it to desync itself which would cause the game to immediately halt and wait for you to recalibrate. Really, “Wii Sports Resort” is a fun game, but only when MotionPlus is working properly. Doesn’t help that every part of the game requires it.

2010: “Grill-Off with Ultra-Hand!”

Oh, you’ve never heard of this game? Well, we wouldn’t blame you. This was one of a few titles that were exclusive to Club Nintendo members, only purchasable by saving up enough points which could only be earned by buying Nintendo games. There were a couple of neat games that came through this service, but “Grill Off with Ultra-Hand” was not one of them. Watch meat fall on one of three grills and grab them before they burn. Yeah, it’s a really basic game with awkward controls, giving you no room for mistakes and demanding you be on top of your game. This simply was not worth the Club Nintendo points.

2011: “3D Classics: Urban Champion”

With the original game debuting in 1984, “Urban Champion” serves as one of the earliest fighting games in history. That doesn’t mean it’s a great game, though. So, why Nintendo remade it for the 3DS we will never know. “3D Classics: Urban Champion” was one of the worst games you could get on the 3DS as it offered nothing outside of the system’s novelty. It was just “Urban Champion” remade in 3D. It not only looked hideous, but it did absolutely nothing to evolve the IP. This could have been the chance to modernize the franchise. It may as well have been a lazy port, and even at five bucks, it’s still overpriced.

2012: “Nintendo Land”

With the opening of Super Nintendo World in Japan, it looks like Nintendo has finally brought our childhoods to life! But back in 2012, NintendoLand unfortunately failed.This experience wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. While the handful of minigames were decent in their own ways, “Nintendo Land” gets stale pretty quickly, especially since most of these are more fun to play with friends. It doesn’t really show off the Wii U’s functionality all that well, either. Of course, the obvious problem here is just how even with twelve minigames, the representation still isn’t enough. No “Star Fox”? Not even a “Kirby” game? We would have rather had a virtual park to explore than just this generic HUB of bland minigames.

2013: “Mario Party: Island Tour”

By this point, the “Mario Party” franchise was floundering with every new entry, and “Island Tour” made it evident that the series was practically dead. Even though it didn’t have that stupid car from “Mario Party 9”, “Island Tour” was like someone promising a pizza party only to serve stale crackers with cheese cubes and salami instead. Board designs were uninspiring, minigames were ho-hum, and somehow, there wasn’t ANY online play! Simply put, this was a party no one wanted to be invited to. Thank goodness “Super Mario Party” managed to breathe some new life in the franchise!

2014: “Chibi-Robo! Photo Finder”

Life has not been easy for the adorable little robot, and as the years have gone by, Chibi-Robo has faded into obscurity. If there was any entry that signified the death of the franchise, however, it was “Chibi-Robo! Photo Finder” for the Nintendo 3DS. Using the handheld’s built-in camera and augmented reality capabilities, players must find common household objects and snap pictures of them to fit a specific outline. Sounds neat until you experience the various technical issues and pickiness of composition. Please, Nintendo, just give us a port of the first game so we can show what made Chibi-Robo so great.

2015: “Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival”

Over the past decade, “Animal Crossing” has become about as big as Mario and Zelda, making it ripe for some spin-off games. “Amiibo Festival” looked to be a solid “Mario Party”-esque title up until we realized just how critical it was to own amiibos. In order to play as certain characters, you’ll have to buy their amiibo figures. This design choice is repeated across the other modes as well, meaning you’ll have to spend more than sixty bucks to get the most out of this title. And to think they only made this game JUST to have “Animal Crossing” amiibo!

2016: “Metroid Prime: Federation Force”

2016 marked six years since we last saw Samus (the last game being 2010’s “Other M”), which is part of what made “Federation Force” even more infuriating. Rather than giving us a sequel or even a remake, Nintendo shelled out this multiplayer game for the 3DS. Much like “The Legend of Zelda: Tri-Force Heroes”, the entire game was designed around multiple players, making it impossible to play solo. The kicker here was that you don’t even play as Samus, but as generic space marines! Reception for the game was so bad that it never broke top-selling charts and failed to outperform 3DS titles that were released prior. Might be safe to call “Federation Force” a total commercial failure.

2017: “1-2-Switch”

Had “1-2-Switch” released as a game bundled with the Nintendo Switch, perhaps we’d be more forgiving and talk about a completely different game here. Alas, we can’t change the past, and so, here we are with this embarrassing fifty-dollar game. “1-2-Switch” was nothing more than a glorified tech demo, a collection of minigames to demonstrate the Switch’s technical capabilities. If only it was given more flavor and didn’t focus so much on just the HD Rumble and motion controls. We came here to play VIDEO GAMES - not pretend to milk a cow with our friends.

2018: “Pokémon Quest”

Towards the end of the 2010’s, Nintendo started getting braver with the tacky mobile games as we’ll see in a bit. “Pokémon Quest” wasn’t anything too insidious with its monetization, but it was one of the most mundane. Feed your Pokémon food, send them on missions to automatically fight other Pokémon, occasionally tap on the screen to use their special abilities, wait for cooldowns, rinse and repeat. Yeah, it plays exactly like dozens and dozens of other gacha mobile games from the last decade. The whole experience was so fatiguing that we had to use our best move to save ourselves. Player used “Uninstall”! It’s super effective!

2019: “Mario Kart Tour”

Now, if you want to talk about insidious monetization, this is, by far, the WORST mobile game Nintendo has put out! “Mario Kart Tour” was supposed to be the pinnacle entry in the series. Finally, a legitimate “Mario Kart” game for our phones so we can race with our friends wherever, whenever! Only one thing - the game didn’t launch with multiplayer. It does now, but its other problems persist. This is “Gacha: The Mobile Game” as you’ll have to spend Rubies in order to shoot pipes, which is your only way to unlock drivers, cars, and gliders. On top of that, exclusive content is locked behind exorbitantly-priced paywalls. How greedy can you get!?

2020: “Super Mario 3D All-Stars”

Yeesh, Mario’s 35th birthday could have started a lot better. Consisting of “Super Mario 64”, “Super Mario Sunshine”, and “Super Mario Galaxy”, the “3D All-Stars” collection was on track to be everything we wanted until the blemishes started to show. For starters, “64” was stuck to its 4:3 screen ratio. “Sunshine’s” controls were worse due to the Joy-Cons’ tightness, had its camera controls inverted, and had debug effects left in. “Galaxy” was the only one of the three that seemed to have benefitted from the upgrades. Compared to collections put out by Konami, Capcom, SNK, and Bandai Namco, this was a collection made with minimal effort and care. And we suppose “Galaxy 2” just never happened, huh?