5. Superman (Nintendo 64)
Lex Luthor has created a virtual version of Metropolis. During a battle with Lex in his LexCorp office, Superman manages to witness the trapping of his friends Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen and Professor Emil Hamilton within the virtual realm. Superman enters Lex’s interdimensional portal, where Luthor negotiates to Superman that he must fly through his maze of rings scattered across virtual Metropolis in order to save his friends. Other villains Superman battles in the game include Parasite and Brainiac.
The game is based on Superman: The Animated Series. It is notorious for negative reception it received from critics and is considered one of the worst games of all time. Game reviewers focused their individual scores primarily on over-responsive controls in addition to monotonous gameplay. The flight controls are extremely unresponsive, sometimes requiring multiple button presses for a response. Critics found little redeeming value in the game. This game was largely criticized for having unnecessary repetitive, difficult and confusing objectives, unnecessarily short time limits that left no margin for error, poor graphics and poor controls. Listed as the worst game of all time by GameTrailers, the worst game on a Nintendo platform by Nintendo Power, and as the worst comic book video game adaptation in history by GameSpy and GameDaily and Game Revolution panning the game for its atrocious set-up, gameplay, and graphics.
4. Jurassic Park (Sega Genesis)
One of the best selling books of all time subsequently made into one of the highest grossing movies of all time, right? You’d think they would attempt to design a game of similar stature, right? You obviously have never played this boring as paint drying game. One would think that when a certain storyline is created, that most subsequent recreations of the story would follow a similar pattern. Jurassic Park though just kind of meanders through the jungle and leaves the game player feeling dejected and hurt in the end. After a rather weak opening scene of the T-Rex roaring at you in low-def, the game simply starts. There is Dr. Grant standing in the jungle, armed with a dart gun and a few grenades, waiting to be brought through the jungle to a destination. And that’s about it. You need to do some jumping, a little hopping over rocks, and maybe maneuver to avoid little creatures trying to drain your life bar. You come across a dinosaur that will simply fall over for about a minute after you hit it with a dart. The grenades of course make them not get up anymore. A little more jumping and hopping along through the jungle and maybe stomp on a baby raptor while doing so. And then….TA DA! You reach the end of level one. Maybe level two will have something more exciting? But sorry, it may be a different scene, but the same general premise level after level. You go into substations, go back into the jungle, and maybe drive a motor boat through another low-def scene. This is all happening with the final goal being to get back to the Visitor Center. The second to the last scene is going through the ventilation system with raptors running around below you. Once you jump through a final hatch, you land on top of the large bones setup in the Visitor Center main hall. With a simple flick of the thumb and the toss of a grenade in between the skeleton setups, they crash onto the raptors waiting below. And the game ends…
With one simple grenade the last “boss” is defeated. In the most simplistic and moronic way, the game is over. Sorry Sega, but this blockbuster movie just doesn’t translate into your silly little black cartridges. That T-Rex is a pussy too!
3 Shaq Fu (Sega Genesis)
Shaq Fu for the Sega Genesis is probably the worst conceived game ever to come out for any platform system. The story line is so abominable that you almost wish for a completely incoherent one was substituted as to give the idea of the storyline being more enigmatic. You are Shaq, somehow in Tokyo, where you are discovered by some zen karate master who says that you have come from some distant planet to save the world (I wonder if Shaq himself ever played this, or maybe even wrote this story line?). After you endure the blatantly uninspired storyline, you have to endure the worst 2 player fighting game of all time. The controlling in this game is incomprehensible. The best thing you can do is just hammer the buttons of your controller with your hands and watch the screen, hoping your capricious hammering of the controller will cause a victory against the most banal of opponents. Looking at the screen doesn’t help the cause either because how dumb it looks to see hackneyed monsters fighting a big dude in basketball shorts. Once you lose because the controlling is so irritating, you have to endure more uninspired dialogue from enemies with 80 times more skill than you have as Shaq. Your opponents can basically throw the elements at you, they can throw planets at you, while you’re left to a high kick and a low kick depending on which buttons your randomly smashing. With a name like “Shaq Fu”, you had to know this game was going to be bad, but you were not in store for how bad it was until you actually played it for yourself.
2. Custer’s Revenge
Not a lot can be said about ‘Custer’s Revenge’, the first game to feature nudity and sexual acts. Released for the Atari 2600, the player controls General Custer as he has to make his way across the screen, bearing a huge erection, avoiding arrows, in order to get to a tied-up, Native American woman, and rape her… The back of the packaging states, “She’s not about to take it lying down, by George! Help is on the way. By God! He’s coming”, while the manual says “If the kids catch you and should ask, tell them Custer and the maiden are just dancing.” As you can expect, the game came under opposition from woman’s rights groups, had an $11 million lawsuit filed against it, therefore we label it as the worst video games ever made.
1. E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (Atari 2600)
About a third of the people I quizzed came up with this title almost instantly, and it’s not hard to see why. No matter how you rate it, E.T. was a misbegotten product that deserved to be buried. (And, as things turned out, it was. More on that in a minute.) How, you may wonder, does someone screw up the one-two punch of the year’s most popular movie and the number one video game console? Through a combination of poor planning and unbridled optimism. Warner Communications, then Atari’s parent company, sealed the deal to make a video game adaptation of the blockbuster movie in the summer of 1982, aiming to have the cartridge out for the Christmas shopping season. The result was a severely compressed development schedule, giving programmer Howard Scott Warshaw a mere five weeks to pull the game together.Then corporate hubris entered the mix: With the expectation of runaway sales, Atari produced 4 million cartridges. Unfortunately for Atari–and the collective psyche of anyone who ended up buying the cartridge–the rushed development was apparent on the screen. Everyone I spoke to who singled out particular gripes mentioned the pits that the player, as E.T., fell into and would then have to slowly levitate out of, which led to horrendously monotonous game play. None of the qualitative comments I received about the game are printable, except for one: “Famously bad.”
Atari’s big gamble didn’t pay off. Less than 40 percent of the cartridges sold, one of the major financial blows that resulted in Atari’s bankruptcy in 1984.Amazingly, E.T.’s story doesn’t end there. In 1983, faced with literally millions of unsold and returned E.T. games added to its already sizeable inventory of unusable cartridges, Atari opted for an environmentally unfriendly (some would say downright hostile) solution: The company dumped them into a city landfill in Alamogordo, New Mexico, where they were crushed, buried, and later covered in a layer of cement. The incident was reported in the New York Times and prompted protests and legislation from city officials.