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The 10 worst consoles ever

1. Action Max
Year: 1987

Culprit: Worlds of Wonder

US launch price: $99

What it would cost today: $183.95

Sucks because: This top spot was originally going to go to a used Genesis that one of our editors bought online, only to find out it didn't work right because it was filled to bursting with long-dead cockroaches - but we decided to give it to the Action Max instead. That's how shitty the Action Max is: given the choice, we'd rather play a Genesis full of terrifying bug husks.

The brainchild of Worlds of Wonder - the same people who gave the '80s Teddy Ruxpin and Lazer Tag - the Action Max was basically just a light gun, a box that hooked up to your TV and a handful of VHS tapes masquerading as games. The idea was simple: shoot at a movie, and if you hit the moving, strobe-like "targets" coded into the tape, you'd get points. And, yeah, that's about it.

A whopping five tapes were produced for the system (some say six, but the sixth one's usually listed as "unconfirmed"), and all of them ran about 20 to 30 minutes, featured sub-porn production values and never, ever offered anything new or different on subsequent viewings. For an idea of the incredible awesomeness that awaited Action Max owners, check out these trailers that somehow survived into the digital age:

Above: Spooks! Mechanical Crabs! Lasers! All of them terrible!

Shortly after producing the system, Worlds of Wonder went out of business. Some say the Action Max had little to do with that. We say it was divine retribution.

Best game: Sonic Fury, but only because it came packaged with the system and was therefore the only game you'd never have to go out and attempt to actually buy.

Did we leave out your least favorite console? Want to add some fuel to the fire? Go ahead and vent your spleen in our forums.

Feb 22, 2008

26 comments

  • TE5LA - August 25, 2013 11:25 a.m.

    The Jaguar was not a bad system. Did you own one? The graphics were very good for the time. If you're going to compare it to the Saturn and PlayStation, which used CD-ROM drives, you should compare the Jaguar using its optional CD drive. Apples to apples. Another nice thing about Jaguar games, all the cartridges had battery backup so game scores and progress could be saved.
  • uz_mike222 - August 26, 2009 4:28 a.m.

    i only got three things for this article 1) chainsaw391, DON'T EVER USE CAPS LOCK EVER AGAIN!! I want you to get a knife, stick it under the key and pop that bitch, then cut out the sensor for it. 2) I do agree with nintendroid426, Blu-Ray is just a fancy name for "better" pictures, and the only few things the PS3 has it going for is free internet, some good games, and free internet. other than that, the PS3 is just a horrible abomination. six-axis thumb sticks? Blu-Ray? and a $600 price tag? F*** you Sony, go back to making TV's. and 3)very good article, i applaud you Mikel, keep up the good work.
  • seifer93 - August 22, 2009 5:53 p.m.

    I honestly think that the GameGear deserved an honorable mention in this list. It had all the graphics of the Sega Genesis in a handheld machine only 3/4ths the size of the Genesis!
  • Nintendroid426 - August 21, 2009 1:14 a.m.

    here is one: PS3. games are good (compared to wii)but are and were in low quantity at launch and today, no one needs blue ray, 600 dollar launch price? are u effen kidding me? why have online and music when i can have my computer go online and listen to music on my ipod????
  • Blackbird - August 20, 2009 6:05 p.m.

    Aaaah... Ahhh... my brain actually hurts... AaaaAAAahh!
  • nightrider - August 11, 2009 8:59 p.m.

    what in the world is this
  • InstantThreat - August 10, 2009 3:42 a.m.

    I LOVE MECHANICAL CRABS!!!x]
  • frankmondana - July 31, 2009 11:31 p.m.

    Oh wait, I forgot a few things- -The PC boards were assembled by 4 year-old Indonesian kids with ADHD. - Common components (resistors, capacitors, etc) would change from 1 unit to another because they were bought from surplus dealers. -The unit never had proper UL or ETL listing. They sent a few units that were well built to the labs. They passed but were required to change a few things. They then built a few more that passed but the production units were built as described above. OK, I'm done.
  • platamoose - July 17, 2009 4:30 p.m.

    The Action Max was pretty bad ass, I mean it was bad and it was complete ass.
  • Bloodmeta - July 10, 2009 10:57 a.m.

    Well Gamesradar, You Are Telling The Truth. Plus The N-Gage Kinda Looks Like A Taco On Your Head... WHO WOULD WANT A TACO LOOKING PHONE D:, Plus The CDi Totally Deserves To Be In This List...But The Animation Did Make Hilarious Youtube Poop Videos Like Hayroon Said... So There's The GOOD Side To It XP
  • Hayroon - July 10, 2009 1:47 a.m.

    The Zelda CDI games were crap but they did cause some funny youtube poop
  • TheCommunist - July 9, 2009 5:39 p.m.

    LOLZ! that retarded Legend of Zelda video is the shittiest game I have ever seen...literally the shittiest
  • megarl - September 15, 2009 12:57 a.m.

    in a science text book there is a part about cellphones and the picture was the n gage!
  • darkcloud - September 4, 2009 12:20 a.m.

    uz_mike222. fanboy much?
  • eindatadog - August 27, 2009 9:13 p.m.

    I love the look on the kid's face on the package for the R-Zone. I wonder how much they paid that poor kid to act like this was a video game system.
  • eindatadog - August 27, 2009 8:57 p.m.

    Wow! Something that was hated even more than R.O.B.! This was such a loser, my Atari Jaguar pooped on it.
  • Fionachitauro - August 12, 2009 10:22 p.m.

    Graphics are AMAZING. GTA4 graphics are shit compared to these =D
  • frankmondana - July 31, 2009 11:14 p.m.

    The Gizmondo was every bit as bad as it's remembered. The company I work for had the pleasure of doing some PR work for these clowns prior to the release of the steaming brickshit pile. I was given 3 of these things as well as an unlimited account and all kinds of software and schwag. Very cool right? Benefits of being "on the inside" right? They were great little machines except for a couple of minor glitches. -The sound quality for the "phone" was a little worse than 2 cups attached to a string. -Battery life measured in nanoseconds. -A screen that was only visible standing under an 32-1/2 foot tall oak tree on July 4th, between 12:01 and 12:09PM while zebras raced by singing "staying alive". -Games that made me long for Pong as played on a 9" B/W portable TV with a scratched screen. -The "keyboard" had the tactile feedback and accuracy as a dead hissing cockroach laying on a pile of pigeon shit. -The only screen ever made that would get 1/8" deep scratches while stored in a vacuum chamber. 2 months later I couldn't give these things away. I still have them although I parted out 1 of them to use for a FIRST Robot. This was the only time the hardware from these shitpiles worked. These guys never intended for this thing to be real. It was a scam from the start. Even their final checks (accounting for 80% of the contract total) bounced 2 days after the project ended and we didn't hear from them again. We did think the crash was hysterical (except for trashing a beautiful car that I got to drive once after a meeting)although it would have much funnier if they became paraplegics relying on machines to keep them alive. Machines run, of course, with Gizmondos. Good thing I never hold a grudge.
  • HoudiniWaltz - July 31, 2009 9:14 p.m.

    Where's the Apple Pippin?
  • lorchan - July 31, 2009 7:02 p.m.

    R.I.P. Gunpei Yokoi ;_; He would have been so proud of Metroid these days... He never lived to see it go 3D. (I actually like the Virtual Boy, by the way)

Showing 1-20 of 26 comments

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