Bestselling crap

The critics panned them, but you bought them anyway - let's look at why

8. X-Men: The Official Game
2006 | Xbox 360, Xbox, PS2, GameCube, PC
Copies sold in US: Close to 500,000
Average score: 52%

Apart from Shadowrun's rich cyber-fantasy RPG world being turned into a shallow multiplayer shooter, it's hard to imagine a worse use of a license than X-Men: The Official Game. Meant to fill in the gaps between the second and third X-Men movies, The Official Game strapped players into the boots of Iceman, Nightcrawler and Wolverine, and then shoved them through a series of levels tailored to the powers of each. Sadly, every last one of those levels was either bland, repetitive orfrustrating, and The Official Game stands out for somehow making a dull experience out of flying around on an ice sled and cutting down enemies with adamantium claws.

The company line: "For the first time, X-Men: The Official Game lets players truly experience the powers of three popular Super Heroes from the X-Men movie universe by allowing them to take on the roles of Wolverine, Nightcrawler and Iceman as they wield and upgrade their signature powers and maneuver through unique environments designed to showcase their Super Hero abilities."

What the critics said: Even the more laudatory reviews for X-Men: The Official Game had something to complain about. "I love a challenge, but I hate mindless repetition," said Game Chronicles' Mark Smith, who gave the game a 7.8 score anyway. Other critics were less friendly, tearing into everything from the game's crappy enemy intelligence and overall repetitiveness to its bland level design and useless camera. Wolverine in particular was singled out for abuse, as his levels - which made up the bulk of the game - were unimaginative, button-mashing slogs through hordes of idiot thugs.

The harshest criticism, however, came from The Onion A.V. Club. "Almost everything about this movie cash-in is cheap and incompetent, from the short, forgettable levels to the poor control system to the hand-crampingly repetitive action," wrote reviewer Chris Dahlen. "Even more disappointing than you'd expect."


After graduating from college in 2000 with a BA in journalism, I worked for five years as a copy editor, page designer and videogame-review columnist at a couple of mid-sized newspapers you've never heard of. My column eventually got me a freelancing gig with GMR magazine, which folded a few months later. I was hired on full-time by GamesRadar in late 2005, and have since been paid actual money to write silly articles about lovable blobs.
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