Winner: Phantasy Star Universe
Sega | PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox 360
It's not just that the game was announced in April 2005 for a spring 2006 release - which ended up getting pushed back till October. No, this wait had its roots in 2001, when the fun of Phantasy Star Online started to peter out. Sega kept us going - upgrades, ports - but that workhorse wasn't put to rest until 2003. Then the wait began in earnest.
Somehow, after years in development, Phantasy Star Universe is one of the most disappointing games released in 2006. The improvements over the original 2001 formula are slight; most of the changes are just designed to make the game more of a tedious time-sink. You want cool weapons? Nope - you get crappy items that might help you make cool weapons, if you're lucky. Beautiful graphics? PS2 performance issues make this impossible, even on PC and 360. Even the "extra" content on the disc is locked; you have to wait for Sega to get around to making it available even though you paid $50 or $60 for it... while your $9.99 monthly fees add up. No thanks.
Collateral Damage: Superman Returns
EA Games | Xbox 360, Xbox, PS2
The long-awaited Superman Returns game got even more long-awaited this year, as it was quietly delayed so many times that it didn't hit stores until months after the movie had left theaters. And when it finally did arrive, it defied fan expectations by being just another in a long line of awful Superman games. The dude is cursed.