1. Perfect Dark Zero (360)
Microsoft has spent billions on acquisitions across so many industries, but its purchase of Rare will go down as one of its most wasteful. Once co-owned by Nintendo, Rare was among the top developers for the N64, making classics like GoldenEye 007, Banjo-Kazooie, and Perfect Dark. In 2002, Microsoft spent a cool $375 million to buy Rare Ltd., which sounded like a huge hit against Nintendo. In the end, it was a move that ultimately had very little impact on the original Xbox and its competitors. After a generation of delays and spotty releases like Grabbed by Ghoulies and the Conker remake, Rare looked to be reborn on the 360, with the glitzy platformer Kameo and the real main event: Perfect Dark Zero, the long-awaited return to one of Rare’s top franchises.
Then Wall Guy happened. Perfect Dark Zero garnered some bad buzz early on thanks to screens like Wall Guy--and even though the final title was solid (if rushed), it was hardly what shooter fans wanted. Most early 360 adopters gravitated to Call of Duty 2 instead, while PDZ languished as an utter disappointment, as much from poor design as from the skyhigh expectations of the very underwhelmed fans. If only Rare fanboys knew what PDZ's failure would lead to: a generation of horrendous Rare-made motion games. Had more bought a copy back then, this miserable timeline could've been avoided. We hope you’re proud of yourselves.