Top 7... horrendously buggy games we loved anyway

2. Red Dead Redemption | 360, PS3

Let’s just kick off with this…

Donkey woman is just one example of when animal characteristics are accidentally fused with human NPCs in Red Dead Redemption. Have a search on YouTube and you’ll find loads of equally scary/hilarious examples of cross-breeding in Rockstar’s Wild West classic.

If you see such a glitch in almost any other game you’d be riding straight back into town to demand a refund. But with Rockstar it inadvertently adds another level of intrigue and fun to the world. Players are keen to capture footage of the most bizarre things they come across. It seems that the more Rockstar tries to create realism in its games, the more freaky glitches they feature. Even GTA IV has its fair share, including the spooky swing. And yet, rather than feeling we’ve been sold short, the presence of amusing bugs is actually considered a positive 'feature'. Think of it as unpaid DLC.

With so much complex cleverness going on behind the scenes in Red Dead Redemption – like a fully functioning eco-system where animals roam around and eat each other – you’re obviously going to stumble across a fair share of mad stuff. But it helps to keep those treks across dusty trails entertaining and that’s why we love stumbling across them.

Above: John Marston wonders why flying people are in his game

The most memorable glitch we came across involved a mighty vulture. It starts waddling toward us at pace, like some nightmarish penguin, so we rapidly unload a clip of revolver bullets into the intimidating feathered beast. We trundle over to carve it up, but just before we reach the bird it stands bolt-upright, sets off away from the knife-wielding John Marston and takes off into the sky. The wings never flap but it disappears into the distance. We like to think that it's up there somewhere with our Gears of War magic sky-car.

1. Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas | 360, PC, PS3

The modern Fallout games are a lot like the game coding equivalent of method acting. So crumbly and shambolic are they that it’s almost as if Bethesda has tried to create a total immersion post-apocalypse experience for the player, making the gameplay experience the same combination of hardship, random disaster and sheer untamed madness that would be a day-to-day occurrence when trying to survive a lawless nuked-out wasteland.

AI will chase you indefinitely and indestructibly across the map like a Terminator. Infinite XP and money exploits are everywhere. Correct clipping is frequently optional. Character models will explode into stringy elastic polygon reinterpretations of themselves in a modern abstract art style, before launching themselves high into the sky. Hell, you can even play the game as a baby. And that’s just Fallout 3.

Pre-patch, a lot of the Fallout 3 DLC was unplayably shoddy (particularly on the PS3), with frame-rates frequently dropping to below 1 FPS. In fact it’s a testament to that legendary choppiness that it was occasionally impossible to tell whether the game was just frame-hanging or had hit a full-on hardware-killing crash. And then Fallout: New Vegas arrived. And sweet Jesus, we had been prepared for it by nothing we had seen before. Take a look at this list of documented glitches. It’s like a bottomless pit of coding errors. The game could almost have been put out like a video game version of a build-it yourself kit-car. Still, at least the magic bucket glitch was fun.

September 26, 2011

8 funny Red Dead Redemption glitches
From flying people to horse humpers. The West just got weird

Fallout 3 is full of idiots
...and gaming's most indestructible dad

GTA IV's most entertaining bugs
Daddy's back, you glitches!


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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