E.T, for the Atari 2600, is widely regarded as the worst videogame of all time, considered by many people as the main reason for the videogame crash of 1983 and Atari’s demise. After a bit of thinking, researching, and re-watching the documentary Atari: Game Over (totally recommend it, by the way), I came up with a question for you: is it really the worst game ever AND the reason for nearly killing an industry?
I’m here today to show you that E.T. definitely ISN’T the worst game of all time, nor the most painful gaming experience you’ll sadly have.
Bear in mind, I’m not trying to say E.T. is a bad game. Far from it, it’s still unbelievably bad. But those following 10 entries deserve way more hatred than the poor little alien’s Atari 2600 adventure. Here we go:
#10: Plumbers Don’t Wear Ties
This isn’t what I’d consider a proper “game”. Plumbers is a poorly made, barely interactive slideshow with voiceovers, which promises you a strip tease at the end of the “campaign”. The pathetic story, near nonexistent gameplay, terrible voice acting and overall presentation are enough to put this game on this list. Say what you want about E.T., that damn thing was a game at least!
#9: Pimp My Ride
Console: Xbox 360, PS2, PSP
One of the worst uses of a license ever seen in the videogaming industry, Pimp My Ride was a game released in 2006 which would have been considered bad for 2001 standards at launch. This work of fine art features poor controls, terrible objectives which barely mimicked the TV show, unbelievably boring minigames and embarrassing visuals.
If you wanna know more about Pimp My Ride, check out WTMG’s Cream of the Crap article dedicated to it.
#8: Star Wars Jedi Arena
Console: Atari 2600
Jedi Arena is not just a very bad game for the Atari 2600. It’s one of the most nonsensical uses of the Star Wars universe I’ve ever seen. Based on a completely forgettable scene from A New Hope, it features a nonexistent presentation, awful graphics, ear-bleeding sound effects, controls which almost never work and an A.I. that gives up on you during the game and just attacks both players for no reason whatsoever.
If you wanna know more about Jedi Arena, check out WTMG’s Cream of the Crap article.
#7: Bubsy 3D
Take a look at the picture. Can you believe that Bubsy 3D was actually released AFTER Super Mario 64? This platformer is an embarrassment. Terrible visuals which make Atari Jaguar games look decent in comparison, clunky tank-like controls (everybody’s favorite control type for a 3D platformer), lazy level design and a truly irritating protagonist who spits out obnoxious puns and one-liners every 5 seconds.
Not to mention the fact that the game’s publisher invented a fake award (the Golden X award) just to stamp it in the front cover of the game, trying to convince half a dozen fools that someone had actually enjoyed this terrible waste of bytes.
#6: Atari Porn Games
Console: Atari 2600
If you truly want to blast an Atari 2600 game, look no further than the porn games released for the console, like Beat ’em and Eat ’em and Custer’s Revenge.
Not only are they morally disturbing (Custer’s Revenge‘s goal is for you to basically rape a Native American woman tied to a cactus), but those games are truly terrible in their design and control departments as well. E.T. was awful, granted, but, damn, at least it was filled with innocence!
#5: Superman 64
Console: Nintendo 64
Oh Superman 64. A game so poorly designed most people give up on it in it first level alone. Who could blame them anyway? Flying through those rings is a true exercise of patience, given how little time you’re given to complete the course, and given how unbelievably atrocious the controls are.
If you manage to beat the first ring section, you’re presented with even more boring objectives such as beating thugs with a terrible combat system, defusing bombs (by picking them up and throwing them on the wall…), and later on, even more rings. All of those being set in the blandest levels imaginable. A true classic, indeed.
#4: The Zoo Race
This biblical game is so unbelievably bad it’s hilarious. You can choose between a wide array of animals, from a rhinocerous to a pig wearing a top hat, and partake in some of the weirdest racecourses ever seen in a videogame, all made with an engine that makes Quake from 1996 look modern in comparison.
And who could ever forget the amazing gospel soundtrack? I am firmly against using auto-tune in music, but for the sake of my ears, they should have fixed the singer’s voice with that program. Yeesh.
#3: Big Rigs: Over the Road Racings
The infamous Big Rigs is a 2003 racing game which was basically released in its pre-alpha stage. The game features no artificial intelligence (your opponents don’t move, at all), no collision detection, no physics and no music. To add insult to injury, one of its courses automatically crashes the game.
And who could ever forget the immortal “YOU’RE WINNER”?
#2: Every single Unity asset flip out there
Year: From this decade onwards
While E.T is indeed poorly designed, it had its own original design. Developer Howard Warshaw did everything by scratch. Unity asset flips, on the other hand, are basically a bunch of Unity elements (scripts, assets, rules, graphics) created by other people, which are then bought by lazy “game developers”, tweaked to a minimum (or sometimes not tweaked at all) and re-released on Steam as if they were a game of their own. Those dishonest games aren’t even worthy of a virtual bargain bin, and are the main reason why Steam Greenlight isn’t trusted anymore these days. Some examples include the pathetic Slaughtering Grounds by the infamous publisher Digital Homicide, and the dozens of games released by shadowy developer Dentola Studios.
#1: Life of Black Tiger
Life of Black Tiger is something hard to believe it exists for a mainstream console such as the PS4. A game so ugly, horribly optimized, nonsensical, full of stolen imagery from the first page of the Google Images results, glitches, poorly translated English, somehow got approved by Sony to be released for its console. Not only that, but its trailer was even featured in the main Playstation channel on Youtube, and is being sold on PSN for an absurd 10 dollars.
This game was the worst experience I’ve ever had on a console or a PC. If you want to bash a game to death, pick this one instead. If you wanna know more about this piece of electronic toxic waste, check WTMG’s review for it.
I am pretty sure there are even more terrible games out there that could be part of this list. Which ones would be part of yours? Leave your thoughts below.