3. GoldenEye: Rogue Agent
2004 | PS2, Xbox, GameCube, DS
Copies sold in US: Just over one million
Average score: 60%
Heavily hyped as the spiritual successor to the N64 classic GoldenEye 007, GoldenEye: Rogue Agent was instead a clunky, linear shooter that was to GoldenEye whatsledgehammers are to scalpels. In sharp contrast to the original GoldenEye, which offered players the sensation of being a stealthy secret agent with a versatile arsenal and variedgoals, Rogue Agent felt more like piloting a regenerating meat-tank through squads of human insects needing to be squashed. Slick production values and celebrity talent aside, it was the exact opposite of what a game set in James Bond's world should be.
The company line: "Wreak havoc as you cross over to the dark side - experience life as a high-rolling, cold-hearted Bond villain! E.V.I.L. AI makes enemies react intelligently, making every shootout more intense, unpredictable - and realistic."
What the critics said: While a few reviewers had high praise for Rogue Agent, most found it mediocre at best. Most of the complaints centered on the game's skeletal excuse for a story, with IGN's Doug Perry going so far as to call it "an empty vessel of a game missing personality, charm, story or any kind of distinguishing character." The game's lumbering, destructive action didn't win it any accolades, either, with TotalGames.net writing that it "might have actually been all right as a light gun game."
Regardless of what they chose to pick on, most of the critics seemed disgusted that this game dared to identify itself with the still-cherished GoldenEye, let alone the Bond franchise as a whole. For turning its Bond-villain experience into a simplistic shooter that was frustratingly short on story, the game quickly became synonymous with wasted potential. Of course, that didn't stop people from thinking it was worth their money.