Top 7... horrendously buggy games we loved anyway

Tsk. Bugs, eh. In games. Nothing worse. They're not meant to be there. But sometimes they are and that's where they stay until Mr Developer stops fiddling with his massive beard and decides to do something about it. And he always does something about it because he knows otherwise gamers will just refuse to play his broken piece of programming ever again. Because unlike developers, gamers actually have standards. Although that's not actually true. Because sometimes we'll happily play a game - even love a game - that has more bugs than an 80s rap jam.

Like what games exactly? Like these games exactly. The Top 7... horrendously buggy games we loved anyway.

7. Dead Island | 360, PC, PS3

Let's start with the game that has the honour (although it should probably be considered more a dishonour) of being the inspiration for this week's Top 7. So perilously rough around the edges that it always seems a realistic possibility that at any moment it could actually fall apart. Sure, all Dead Island's problems aren't exclusively bug-related - stupid plot, stupid characters, stupid quests - but ho-lee shit there are a lot of bugs.

Above: Even without the bugs, Dead Island is pretty stupid

Google 'dead island bugs' and - BOOM - 16,000,000 results. There's a 50+ page thread at the Steam forums dedicated to the game's myriad issues of technical slapdash shittery. Inability to complete quests. Vanishing inventory. Game crashes. Terrible frame-rate. It reads like a laundry list of stuff that you absolutely don't want to have in your game. Because broken stuff isn't good stuff. Developer Techland has tried to improve things with patches, but so far that hasn't gone as smoothly as everyone would have liked either. Ah. Oh dear.

Above: What we're saying here is that trying to patch Dead Island is like trying to use a box of Band-Aid to treat a man who has been chopped in half by a freak elevator accident caused by the Antichrist

This all sounds pretty awful. And it is. But after investing several hours into the quality assurance void that is Dead Island, we came to appreciate that - despite its flaws - it's an incredibly hard game to put down. This is probably because violently killing infected tourists with frighteningly brutal weapons is a lot of fun. Dumb, blatantly unfinished and nothing like that fancy trailer everyone jizzed over, but good, honest, mindless fun all the same.

6. Gears of War | 360, PC

We’ll never forget the moment we saw the magical levitating car. It was a beautiful, nay transcendant, experience. One of those wonderful convergences of universal serendipity. It was Act 2 of Gears of War. After an initial shaky start with the game, we had made ultra-super-besybest friends with it, was completely in the flow, and had commenced utterly kicking all kinds of arse all over the show. And after a long, hard-fought, but ultimately rewarding tactical battle, we heard a curious noise.

Above: But, you know, at least everyone could enjoy a good old knees-up together, despite the ongoing horror of war

We turned around to find the source of this strange, metallic rattle, and found a car going berserk on the tarmac. It started with a gentle vibration, as if having a satisfied purr to itself at our victory, or perhaps a hearty giggle at the plight of our fallen Locust foes. But then it started slowly, ever-so-gradually rising off the ground, as if the sheer joy of its victory was literally lightening its spirits, causing a physical manifestation of its elevated mood which seeped through to take command of every proton of its being.

Above: It was like this, only more majestic and with less Spanish voice-over

Up! Up went our glorious, beautiful, triumphant car of victory! And then, in one flawless moment of life-affirming splendour, once it was free enough of petty earthly conceits, it completed its perfect tribute to our vanquishing of the dark subterranean hordes by beginning to rotate upon its horizontal axis. Yes! Yes, our benevolent automotive friend was actually doing slow back-flips of joy! We watched as it continued up into the heavens. It took ten minutes before it disappeared up through the clouds, but we didn’t miss a second of its ascension. We love you, magic sky-car. We wish you the best, wherever you are.


Top 7


  • chill21genlee - October 26, 2011 4:40 p.m.

    To this list I would humbly submit the addition of: Virtually every EA sports game made on the current gen consoles. Most recently NHL12, which freezes more than Mr. Freeze's freezing freeze machine of Freezery... And, oh by the way, they darn well know they are pushing out incomplete games, and then take their sweet ass time to patch the mistakes they voluntarily ignored for the sake "going gold" by deadline. When the execs bonus' and funding is tied to the gold date, these things tend to happen more!
  • CharlieFockstrot - October 1, 2011 11:01 a.m.

    F1 2010&2011 should be on the list, More bugs than a hobos balls.
  • FOZ - September 28, 2011 5:16 p.m.

    I didn't actually find any major bugs in the PC version of Far Cry 2. You could phase through walls with the mortar, but maybe that was just a hidden feature, right? New Vegas, however. I guess there are tons of quests, but come on. It looks hideous, it can't handle more than like 8 NPC's, and I don't see any reason it's acceptable for the game running on ancient technology that has been around since the beginning of this generation to still crash so incredibly often.
  • komadose - September 28, 2011 9:47 a.m.

    also Stalker.
  • Craza - September 27, 2011 8:49 p.m.

    I've actually never had a big problem in Fallout 3. Maybe a couple of oddities, but I've had more glitches in Borderlands that I actually remember. However, 10 minutes into New Vegas, and I was getting quite a few. I'm surprised the dog's eyes in the "tutorial" section haven't been fixed yet.
  • d3v - September 27, 2011 7:38 p.m.

    Don't know why Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 isn't on this list (other than it being old). 80% of the strategies and tactics used in high level play (fly/unfly, infinites past the 50hit combo limit, guard breaks, etc.) were based on bugs and glitches. You literally has to break the game to play it at a high level and you know what, that's why the players loved it.
  • IChooseUAntistaMON - September 27, 2011 8:25 p.m.

    Halo 2 could also be on this list for that same reason, at a high level of play players always used the glitchs like bxr, bxb, fast reload etc.
  • lemur - September 27, 2011 2:12 p.m.

    gear of war 2 and 3 always seems to reset my rank. I don't cheat and it happens anyways. I just reached rack 5 on gears 3 and even got the achiement when my rank reset.
  • Mezolitik - September 27, 2011 4:37 a.m.

    The number of potential bugs in Fallout is incredible, but given the number of variables, it's amazing that the game actually works at all. I only witnessed one bug in Fallout 3, and that was in Mothership Zeta, but FO:NV is still a mess. However, I've yet to encounter anything that can't be fixed with a restart. I'm lead to believe that Gears of War is, and always has been, nearly unplayable on PC.
  • Hobogonigal - September 27, 2011 3:02 a.m.

    On my playthrough of Far Cry 2 I stumbled across a bug where my buddies would try to kill me after reviving me. I had to kill each and every one throughout the campaign and this really didn't help towards the difficult sections towards the end.
  • quincytheodore - September 26, 2011 10:50 p.m.

    Wow, I have to agree with the list, although not every one has happened to me. I'll sort it from the least fuked up. - Gears of War. I actually had not encountered many bugs. Maybe just slightly cropping and characters stuck, but nothing major or had hampered the game. - Oblivion. There were some annoying ones, but they were basically some clipping and whatnot. - RDR. The bugs ruined the atmosphere a bit, mainly because it happened when some missions and it glitched upon completion. Never encountered the donkey lady though. - Far Cry 2. Given the fact that I backtracked a lot, I've seen some dubious bugs, especially on the checkpoints where the enemies were supposed to respawn. Crashed many times on the final missions. - Fallout : New Vegas. Man, this one was quite a wreck. Crashed, slowed down, stuttered... and finally save game corrupted. :( Haven't played Dead Island. Will do soon..
  • Yeager1122 - September 26, 2011 8:45 p.m.

    Never encountered any bugs on dead island not finished yet though have to agree that bashing these zombies is so much fun.
  • TheZigMan - September 26, 2011 7:24 p.m.

    Red dead Redemption, Oblivion, Gears of War, and Far Cry 2 are all in my top 10 favorite games ever. I guess that goes to show a buggy game can still be awesome.
  • BackwaterRifle - September 26, 2011 7:14 p.m.

    Fallout New vegas is ******* glorious even with all the bugs. If you haven't played this game, shame on you.
  • HamsterGutz - September 26, 2011 7:01 p.m.

    I actually hate gears of war and fallout 3, but only because I couldn't get them to work on my computers(yes, 2 different computers I tried and still they didn't work) no matter what I did. Fallout 3 was actually the last game I bought for full price because of this. Oh well life goes on. XD
  • soxknight1127 - September 26, 2011 4:48 p.m.

    I've had New Vegas for like a year and havent played it yet for this reason. Gotta mention KOTOR 2 as well. Glitchy as hell and they had to throw a random ass ending on that made no sense because it referenced whole planets they never finished. Actually, you could pretty much make this list with just Obsidian games...
  • NullG7 - September 26, 2011 1:26 p.m.

    Olny have seen a coupple of bugs in the 360 version of Dead Island
  • QLev - September 26, 2011 12:47 p.m.

    Why the hell does Marcus have a Hitler 'stache in the picture for this article?
  • therawski - September 26, 2011 12:15 p.m.

    So many good memories playing Red Dead.
  • Crabhand - September 26, 2011 9:44 a.m.

    I had no idea Red Dead Redemption had such hilarious bugs. The only ones I encountered through the main story and Undead Nightmare were various clipping issues and weird interactions with the lasso. And I really enjoyed this top 7, partly because I've played several of the games on the list. I would like to think Dragon Age 2 deserves a mention, but nobody else seems to like that game :(

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