We’ve heard about the “so bad it’s good” phenomenon in movies and to a lesser extent in music, but did you know there are video games that fit that bill too? Whether they’re a buggy mess, were just simply released unfinished, were based on a bad concept that completely missed its mark or are legendary for some other reason: these games are so bad you can’t help but love them. Let’s take a look!
Star Wars Episode I: Podracer
This game was as barebones as barebones gets. The environments were bland. The game had almost no characters. The pods themselves looked average at best for the time. But boy oh boy did we play this game for hundreds of hours? It’s a classic game in its own right, despite all its flaws.
Spyro: Enter The Dragon
Oh man, how do I say this. The second Spyro game was flat-out bad. It had all the things you’d expect from a platformer along with those classic early PS2 era controls. Yeah, the biggest difficulty this game had was trying to actually play the game. Apart from that, nothing was really memorable about it. Character design was weird at best, voice-overs were horrible, … But we all completed it, didn’t we?
Shadow the Hedgehog
Imagine Sonic running around with a gun. And shooting things. We know Shadow is supposed to be the edgy one, but Jesus Christ did they go overboard with it. It’s still an amazing game though, if you don’t mind constantly thinking “why is this a thing”.
Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing
If playing the worst racing game of all time sounds like your thing, look no further. The cars have some … interesting sound design. You can basically clip through everything on the map – and you should. The game is unparalleled in leaving you awe-struck as you wonder how this ever passed QA and was allowed to release.
Link: The Faces of Evil
The entire CD-I Zelda series could fit in this list, actually. Zelda was already a hugely popular franchise in the early 90s, but then the Legend of Zelda series for CD-I nearly killed it. Literally. The game was so bad we all finished them for the laughs, but they really weren’t doing the franchise any favors. Weird cutscenes, bad gameplay, uninspired design, … You name it, this game had it.
A game with Shaquille O’Neal at a time when he was one of the most popular sportsmen on the planet. What could go wrong? Well, pretty much everything. While the game in itself wasn’t the worst one you’ll find on the market, it did show the heights of Shaq’s ego around that time.
Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness
You thought Tomb Raider games could do no wrong after Lara Croft personally defined the adventure game genre, but alas. The sixth installment of the series was – as the title kind of implies – so dark that it caused a total disconnect between what the Tomb Raider series had been up until then. It’s still a Tomb Raider game though, and because of the weird story choices perhaps the most memorable one of the older games.