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The 15 worst-reviewed games of the past 15 years

#10 Nickelodeon Party Blast

Platforms: Xbox / GameCube / PC / PS2 (cancelled)
Average Review Score: 19.6%

What the press release promised: “Anything goes in this highly competitive, totally wild, all-out, all-star Nickelodeon™ challenge. Taking the best of the party games that have come before it, Party Blast offers a freestyle game approach, focused on fast and furious rounds of competitive gameplay, where you step into the game as your favorite cartoon star.”

What the game actually delivered: A multiplayer experience so overwhelmingly bad that it somehow managed to beat titles like Shrek Super Party, Fuzion Frenzy, Monopoly Party and Sonic Shuffle onto this list. In fact, according to averaged review scores, this game is considered worse than Imagine Party Babyz.

Let us repeat that. Worse than Imagine Party Babyz.

Even if, for some sad and strange reason, you wanted to play a party game based on annoying Nickelodeon shows, this would not be worth your time. The mini competitions make absolutely no sense (basketball-hockey on skates!) and slog down with four players on screen. That’s right – to get Nickelodeon Party Blast working seamlessly, you must play alone. Seriously, though, who would have agreed to play with you in the first place?

The nicest thing anyone had to say: “It is sort of confusing.” – Metacritic user

The most scathing review quote: “Kids may never want to play games again after playing this.” – IGN


#9 Chicken Shoot

Platforms: DS
Average Review Score: 18.9%

What the press release promised: “Climb behind the trigger and help our distressed farmer friend obliterate hordes of no good cluckers! Great comic sound effects, and catchy original songs to fashion a world where hunting fowl is a blast! Brilliant animation takes you through forests and villages, through deserts and mountains, winging winged adversaries and piling up points.”

What the game actually delivered: Nothing mentioned above, that’s for sure. The “brilliant” animation consists of a few pieces of stale and static background scenery with crudely drawn chickens flapping in front. The sound effects can only be described as “great” if you love the cacophony of gunfire and dying barnyard animals filtered through portable speakers. Even calling the farmer “distressed” is misleading; he’s a murderous old coot.

Chicken Shoot’s true crime, however, is charging you a single dime to play. This was originally available as a free Flash game, and while still pretty worthless, worked a lot better in that format. Asking $15 for a far inferior version is just insulting.

Oh, and there’s a Wii version. Compare its graphics to the PC edition – which, once again, is free – and see if you give a damn.

The nicest thing anyone had to say: “I found myself craving lots of fried chicken after a while.” – Game Almighty

The most scathing review quote: “Chicken Shoot is like Duck Hunt for idiots.” - GameSpot


#8 Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust

Platforms: 360 / PS3 / PC
Average Review Score: 18.8%

What the press release promised: “Marking a return of the trademark humor that has brought joy (and sniggers) to millions of teenagers for over two decades, Box Office Bust will feature saucy comedy and bombshell babes as players tackle exploration, platforming, racing and puzzle-solving challenges to complete missions. Lampooning the glitz, glamour and gorgeous women of Hollywood, Larry’s set to run riot.”

What the game actually delivered: A Leisure Suit Larry game in name alone. What was once a beloved adventure series, packed with humor and sex, now includes no more laughs or nudity than a late-night Girls Gone Wild commercial.

GamesRadar’s own Mikel Reparaz went so far as to declare Box Office Bust one of the “unfunniest games of March”… a critique that is exceedingly kind in its specificity. Watch the footage he courageously put together and you’ll realize this would qualify as one of the unfunniest games of any time window ever.

The nicest thing anyone had to say: “Visually the game doesn't look terrible.” – ZTGameDomain

The most scathing review quote: “Just like George Lucas tried to do with the Star Wars Holiday Classic, [the publisher] should go out, find all the copies, bury them in the darkest place known to man, leave it there and never speak of it again.” – GameFocus


#7 Yaris

Platforms: Xbox Live Arcade
Average Review Score: 18.5%

What the press release promised: “Hop into a Toyota Yaris and drive it on crazy tracks loaded with stubborn obstacles, cool power-ups and intense enemy action. The relentlessly twisted courses might have loops or even be tube-shaped, but the Yaris never has to worry about sliding off track, as it defies gravity by scaling side-walls and going all topsy-turvy.”

What the game actually delivered: Failure and embarrassment. From a player’s perspective, Yaris is an absolute mess. The controls suck. The graphics suck. The music sucks. The multiplayer sucks. Take whatever expectations you’d usually have for a cynical piece of advertising shovelware and lower them by a few hundred percent. Sneak King is a masterpiece in comparison.

In an ironic twist, however, Yaris fails utterly as a marketing tool as well. Read that press release description again. “Defies gravity”? “Scaling side-walls”? Nobody’s going to associate those spectacular feats – let alone the laser guns, sawblades and rocket launchers also included in the game – with a four-door budget sedan driven by soccer moms. So now, instead of associating the word “Yaris” with reliability or affordability, we think of the seventh worst-reviewed game of the past decade and a half.

Good going, suits.

The nicest thing anyone had to say: “Still, it's free.” – Xbox World 360 Magazine UK

The most scathing review quote: “A festering turd.” – X360 Magazine UK


#6 Pong Toss: Frat Party Games

Platforms: WiiWare
Average Review Score: 18.4%

What the press release promised: “Speed and strategy are the keys to this fast-paced game. Jack up your opponents by using a slew of power-ups that will slow them down. The first one who sinks the last cup wins it all. Be fast. Be furious. Be victorious.”

What the game actually delivered: Well, the game does enable you to “toss” a virtual ping “pong” ball, so at least half of that title is accurate. Never mind that, due to the broken controls, you’ll rarely get the ball to land where you intended. Or that, due to the ridiculously dated graphics, you’ll rarely be able to see where the ball actually did land. Or that, due to the stupid simplicity of the activity simulated, you’ll rarely care one way or another.

As for the second half of the game’s title? Not many college fraternities we know of engage in pong tossing… They do play Beer Pong, but this game’s publisher (with a helpful push from censor-happy Nintendo) was too afraid to stick with the original name. America’s children are safe from alcohol, then, but who will protect them from overpriced, underdeveloped WiiWare?

The nicest thing anyone had to say: “If you want to get any real enjoyment out of this game, you absolutely have to get some friends to play. It's still not very good, but it does make it that little bit more bearable.” – Nintendo Life

The most scathing review quote: “Six-pack of bottled domestic beer: $6.99. Package of 20 16-ounce cups: $1.79. Not having to pay 800 Wii Points for a terrible game: priceless.” – IGN

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99 comments

  • mozaralio - January 22, 2013 2:44 a.m.

    I liked fusion frenzy... and I remember playing elf bowling when I was 7, I feel like it had better graphics on the PC in 1999 than it does on the DS in 2007?
  • Fletchdawg - September 25, 2012 11:51 p.m.

    Awesome read, very funny stuff. Great list. That jackass game on ds wasn't on the list but was in the opening image, that thing was terrible to the point of unplayable, it was like a scaled down, non user friendly version of the insurance job parts of saints row 3 where you bounce off traffic. I never thought backyard wrestling was that bad a game I remember it being difficult from time to time but always enjoyed playing it and from memory liked the counter system, the hit detection worked and when you were playing someone with a similar skill leel it was pretty entertaining. Might need to fire it up tonight as I haven't played the PS2 in a while, why do I have fond memories if it is this bad? From memory it spawned a sequel too so they must have at least sold some copies...
  • tabuju - July 12, 2011 1:23 a.m.

    I used to have Nickelodeon Party Blast on my PC! That game was actually pretty fun.. right now, i understand, back then, i thought any game was great.
  • Octoboy - July 19, 2010 7:28 p.m.

    “So astoundingly bad that it manages to transcend nearly every boundary put forth by some of gaming's absolute worst of the worst.” That's great, really makes me miss the days Gamespot was reliable. On a different note: where is Superman 64?
  • LikaLaruku - January 31, 2010 7:54 a.m.

    That Liesure Suit Larry video wasted 7 minutes of my life I'll never get back.
  • bigkriem - January 6, 2010 3:44 a.m.

    no, you are not the winner, you are wiener for buying that crap
  • bigkriem - January 6, 2010 3:41 a.m.

    How to make Big Rigs better:1)have guns 2)make it look better 3)make stuff solid, or just throw that pile of elephant poo away.
  • kneehighsocks - January 4, 2010 1:06 a.m.

    I remember playing elf bowling on when I went to my grandparents house on their pc back in 1999. It was fun then, but then again I was like 8 years old.
  • dante1924 - December 28, 2009 6:57 p.m.

    No you are not big rigs. You are most certainly not WINNER! Elf bowling took 15 seconds to make? Oh yeah? Big Rigs took only FIVE! Big rigs is winner at that, right? RIGHT?
  • BertTheTurtle - August 28, 2009 8:44 p.m.

    Big Rigs sounds hilarious, but I always loved a game of Elf Bowling. Played it a lot when I was younger.
  • RandomIdoit - August 3, 2009 8:09 p.m.

    EEEEEEEEEEW!!! These games make me want to puke! And F'ing POWER RANGERS was too good for this list? BIG RIGS IS THE 2nd WORST GAME EVER SPAWNED BY THE MOST EVIL VIDEO GAME MAKERS IN ALL OF EXISTANCE!!!!!!!!!!!
  • thumperdh - August 3, 2009 5:27 p.m.

    I see every one forgot "Skydive" for the pc check it out yourself http://pc.gamezone.com/gamesell/p13236.htm http://www.games.net/external/103545/635/gamepro/skydive/
  • super0sonic - August 2, 2009 6:08 a.m.

    Wow i kinda want to play that big rig game.
  • lovinmyps3 - August 1, 2009 11:10 p.m.

    My god... the elf DOES have two dicks!!!
  • noobmasteroftehworld - August 1, 2009 3:57 a.m.

    why isnt superman 64 on this the game is so terrible that its good let that sink in for a moment
  • GMAN2 - July 31, 2009 6:34 p.m.

    Haha this has got to be one of the funniest articles.
  • Shrimpandwhitewine - July 31, 2009 3:43 p.m.

    Great article, really funny read.
  • matt588 - July 31, 2009 4:43 a.m.

    I actually enjoyed elf bowling and chicken shoot, but only because for some reason they were loaded on my high school's computers. Luckily I was able to play them instead of study.... on second thought maybe I should have spent more time studying because I seem to have been the only person stupid enough to buy destroy all humans:big willy unleashed. Just thinking about that abomination causes rage to swell up deep from within.
  • FriendlyFire - July 31, 2009 4:05 a.m.

    For some reason I was *sure* Big Rigs would be #1... Maybe it's just that special!
  • theschwartzb - July 31, 2009 3:31 a.m.

    I love how several of the "best quotes" for some of these games werent really good at all.

Showing 1-20 of 99 comments

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