Top 10 Games Developers Are Ashamed Of
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Top 10 Games Developers Are Ashamed Of

VOICE OVER: Riccardo Tucci
Sadly, not every video game can be a masterpiece... For this list, we're looking at some of the most embarrassing video games that developers would rather you forget. Our countdown includes “Brink” (2011), “Metroid: Other M” (2010), “Tom Clancy's Elite Squad” (2020), “Final Fantasy XIV” (2010), “Anthem” (2019) and more!
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Script written by Caitlin Johnson

Top 10 Games Developers Are Ashamed Of


Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 games developers are ashamed of.

For this list, we’re looking at some of the most embarrassing video games that developers would rather you forget.

Let us know in the comments which one you wouldn’t want to put your name on.

#10: “Brink” (2011)


Though Bethesda has had plenty of duds by now, in 2011 it was a different story. This faction-based FPS looked interesting before it came out; you played as a resistance movement trying to seize control of a futuristic, floating city, or the security forces trying to stop them. But it was released to almost no fanfare and was resoundingly mediocre. Its developer Splash Damage had previously been known for making “Wolfenstein” and “Quake” spin-offs, and “Brink” certainly didn’t help them expand beyond making expansions and additional modes for existing games. It was totally forgotten and even going free-to-play in 2017 couldn’t help it.

#9: “Pac-Man” (1982)


The original, arcade version of “Pac-Man” remains one of the greatest and most influential video games ever made, and it’s had plenty of great ports and updated versions with new twists over the years. But “Pac-Man” on the Atari 2600 was a different story entirely; though it sold well, it was clear that nobody actually enjoyed playing it. It was widely seen as a deeply inferior version of “Pac-Man”, lacking its colorful graphics and responsive controls; the screen flickered, the ghosts were all pink and didn’t have distinct behaviors, and the joystick was notoriously poor. You were better off just heading back to the arcade and letting “Pac-Man” eat all your change.

#8: “Destiny” (2014)


We all know that “Destiny” has come a long way since its 2014 launch, so far that it remains a wildly popular MMO with tons of content and expansions. But it wasn’t always this way, and in the beginning, “Destiny” probably wasn’t something anybody would be proud of. At launch, it had a messy story and nowhere near enough content to be worth the full $60 Activision decided to sell it at. And then to make matters worse, Activision forced Bungie to make “Destiny 2” instead of just focusing on updating and improving the original game. Finally, Bungie split from Activision and was allowed to transform “Destiny” into the game so many know and love today.

#7: “Metroid: Other M” (2010)


Though “Other M” wasn’t as egregious as many of the other games on our list, it still occupies a complex position in the hearts of “Metroid’s” many fans. This was largely because it was pretty short and the story contradicted everything we’d spend decades knowing about Samus Aran – and, though much of the gameplay was solid, it had a few “features” no fans enjoyed. Despite having some redemptive qualities, “Other M’s” reception was negative enough that the series went on hiatus for the next six years.

#6: “Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad” (2020)


It launched in 2020 to some controversy, thanks to Owlient’s decision to use the Black Power fist as the logo of its in-game radical organization, Umbra. This was ultimately changed, but it couldn’t save “Elite Squad”, which turned out to be one of the worst Tom Clancy games ever made. Though it was going to be a huge crossover between all of Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy characters, it was a resounding disappointment. Very few people actually tried to play the game despite updates coming out, and in 2021 – only a year after the game’s reveal – it was announced that updates would end, and the servers would be shut down.

#5: “Fallout 76” (2018)


Like “Destiny”, “Fallout 76” has changed its fortunes since its release – but there are plenty of people who were so burned by the game at launch that they don’t want to try and pick it up now. As well as simply being a completely broken mess of a game with no NPCs, no real story, and very little content, “Fallout 76” had shameful effects on the real world as well. The collector’s edition items were moldy and of poor quality, while people trying to get refunds were accidentally doxxed by Bethesda’s own forums. And then Bethesda introduced a subscription service to access private servers, which led to even more division between the few players the game had at the time.

#4: “Final Fantasy XIV” (2010)


With the great success of “Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn”, it’s easy to forget that Square Enix’s latest “Final Fantasy” MMO wasn’t always this good. The original release was absolutely abysmal thanks to the terrible gameplay and unwieldy UI. Square Enix was so shocked by the backlash that it overhauled the development team and a brand-new relaunched version was released three years later. Thankfully, “A Realm Reborn” was great, and “Final Fantasy XIV” remains one of the most popular MMOs on the market; but it wouldn’t have been this way if the first attempt wasn’t so shamefully bad.

#3: “Anthem” (2019)


We saw some intriguing footage of “Anthem” at E3 2018, but it was clear all along that very few people were that invested in it; it was simply EA’s attempt to capitalize on the success of “Destiny”, and was something no BioWare fans wanted from the beloved studio behind “Dragon Age” and “Mass Effect”. And it seemed many people at BioWare didn’t want “Anthem” either, as there were many high-profile departures from the project. Upon release, “Anthem” was found to be so glitchy that it even bricked entire consoles, and EA finally decided to shutter it in 2020 before the launch of “Anthem Next”. It was yet another unfortunate failure for BioWare after “Mass Effect: Andromeda”.

#2: “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” (1982)


Few developers have made a game so bad that thousands of copies of it were buried in the desert – in fact, Atari might be the only company to do so. “E.T.” wasn’t the only game that ended up in a New Mexico landfill in 1983 following the disastrous Video Game Crash, but it was the most infamous, with Atari harboring thousands of unsold copies. Its development was rushed so that it would coincide with the movie’s release, and this definitely shows. As E.T. himself, you’re tasked with wandering aimlessly around some fields looking for parts of an intergalactic telephone and trying not to fall into a pit – and that’s the entire game.

#1: “Postal III” (2011)


It’s not often we get a game so bad that its own developers recommend people don’t play it, but “Postal III” is one such title. “Postal” was a series that built its reputation on being offensive, which is also the exact reason so many people love the first two games. Unfortunately, “Postal III” couldn’t toe the line between being funny and just plain crude, making it an unfunny and juvenile game. On top of that, it’s also extremely buggy and an all-around bad experience to play. It was so widely hated by fans that Running with Scissors re-assessed it and decided they weren’t going to sell it online anymore.
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