2016’s Most Disappointing Game, As Voted By You

2016’s Most Disappointing Game, As Voted By You

Everyone was keen to vote on their favourite game of the year … but not nearly as excited for the vote on 2016’s biggest disappointments.

We asked, and you answered in droves. Here’s your most disappointing games of 2016.

Mighty No. 9

If you’re talking about failures, it’s hard to go past the grovelling apology Keiji Inafune gave to the internet for the farce that was Mighty No.9.

It was a huge Kickstarter success. But the project itself continued to spiral out of control, suffering delay after delay. And the overall quality was alarmingly awful: ordinary voice overs, dodgy performance, textures that looked completely unfinished, and a main character that just doesn’t have the same swagger as Mega Man.

MN9 ended up taking home 5% of the vote, which is an indication of just how divided people were on their most disappointing games. But perhaps the interesting part was that it only beat out RollerCoaster Tycoon World by two votes. Rollercoasters really are popular, it seems.

The Division

Image: Steam/The Division

The Division has had a turbulent year, to say the least. But while it might now be in a much better state than before, that’s not enough to wipe away those first impressions that clearly left people wanting.

7% of you ended up voting for The Division, which was enough to set it away from the pack but not even remotely close to the winner. And there’s a good reason for that…

So without further ado, Kotaku Australia’s most disappointing game of 2016 was …

No Man’s Sky

Image: Hello Games

With a runaway 47% of the vote, Hello Games clearly struck a chord. A very brown chord, but it’s also symptomatic of how excited people were for the indie space explorer in the first place.

The release of the base-building update has gotten people interested in the game again, but I’d venture it’ll take a lot more updates before it starts to live up to the image people had of Hello Games – and the image that Hello Games sold people on.

Personally, the reception to the game has been one of the most disappointing things as well. That ranges not just from the reactions of people, but also the response from the developers to go completely dark. There’s a lot of lessons to learn from No Man’s Sky, and I just hope 2017 marks a turning point for everyone involved.

But that’s not all – there were some (dis)honourable mentions worthy of a shoutout:

  • Mirror’s Edge Catalyst: With 5% of the vote in its own right, the Mirror’s Edge Catalyst sequel clearly left plenty of you wanting. I don’t vote in the polls, because I don’t want to influence the outcome, but if it was down to me I would have voted for Catalyst. And that would have put it on par with RollerCoaster Tycoon World, and two votes away from your third most disappointing game of 2016.
  • Virtual reality: While a few of you were disappointed about virtual reality, there wasn’t enough overall disappointment for any of the individual headsets to register in any meaningful way. If you combined votes for all three (Vive, Rift, PSVR) together, you get 4% of the vote – which is in the top 10, but still behind quite a few games. PSVR, by the way, was the most disappointing of the three headsets in your reckoning.
  • Mafia 3: A few votes ahead of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and with 4% of the vote, people were clearly excited to return to the Mafia franchise, but not excited for some of the mechanics and performance.
  • Battleborn: I’m surprised by this one. With 3% of the vote, Battleborn ended up almost on par with Infinite Warfare. There was obviously a bit of hope for Gearbox’s shooter, but just about everything went wrong that could have gone wrong. And that’s a shame. Mikey from the US actually enjoyed it, but when your AAA game gets discounted three weeks after release you know you’re in trouble.

So that’s your verdict on the most disappointing games of the year. There were more votes overall for most disappointing game of the year, although I think outside of The Division and No Man’s Sky there weren’t a lot of really high-profile let downs. Battleborn ran into a fight everyone expected it to lose, although the amount of votes for Mafia 3 was pretty interesting.

Thanks to everyone for voting. As we get into the new year, we’ll also run a poll to see what games everyone is most excited for.


  • Thought for sure the beta release at full price of Streetfighter V would’ve nabbed it a spot. Oh wells.

    • I think it was saved by it’s niche genre.

      Plus.. it’s actually a damn good game now. And its not like its fans were ever going to play anything else instead.

      • I guess it’s not a case of if it’s a damn good game, it’s more a case of how they released it earning that title. I love Streetfighter personally, but can’t bring myself to buy it unfortunately due to how they did it :\

    • NMS trumped it by being barely more than a tech demo at full price. Its only just a game now with the new patch which is mainly focussed on a feature that wasnt even talked about.

  • Actually yeah, PSVR probably would’ve been a better pick. It’s such a shame they just tried to clear out the old Move and Camera stock which hamper the experience so much more than if they’d just created new components actually built for the purpose instead.

    Also I kind of forgot about the whole NMS thing, so actually found the result a bit of a surprise. Wasn’t disappointed with it at all, myself 😛

  • I had a great time with NMS, got exactly what i expected. A single player endless exploration after work relaxathon. Super easy and chilled. I found it very cathartic in amoungst the multiplayer games I played a lot of this year.

    • I had a great time with NMS, got exactly what i expected.

      That there is the key phrase. I held back from buying it, because of their vagueness (or in cases outright lies) about co-op play.

    • I agree with this. I don’t own a PSVR, but love to get one after seeing the likes of star wars battlefront vr mission played by youtuber Angry Joe.

    • That’s sort of valid though. A lot of people expected PSVR to be VR’s launching point into the mainstream. The one that brings a killer app, a cheap price, shows the world what VR can do and plants a flag for the technology. Instead it came along with a bunch of standard VR stuff that didn’t really stand out, and some of those people decided to pass on it.
      I think as long as the disappointment is based on the fact that PSVR played out like a light gun accessory then it doesn’t matter if you brought it or not.

    • Now that you make me think of it, while I’ve seen plenty of people who talk about having both a Rift and a Vive I’m not sure I’ve seen any who talk about having at least one of those as well as PSVR.

    • Yeah, it’s called ‘sunk cost fallacy’.
      People who own PSVR instead of having just tried it HAVE to like it more because otherwise they’d have to deal with buyer’s remorse.

      I’ve used it. I was amazed. The Until Dawn shooter was OK. Bit low-res, but not bad. The London Heist was fantastic, and I want more like that. I wanted to replay it. But it’s ankle-deep; a demo. Most of the games are. THAT’S the disappointment. There’s no ‘killer app’ yet. And the resolution is probably a little disappointing. For games like Keep Talking, it doesn’t seem to matter so much, but it’s pretty noticable in Until Dawn.

  • I still can’t believe people hate Mighty No 9 so much. I can understand being upset about the project but they act like the game itself is some sort of tire fire.

    • I don’t get it. They all asked for Megaman 1 again and they got exactly that. Spike pits and all. It’s just a real example of how people don’t know what they want.

      • It’s seriously a decent game and a great one for speed running..

        … the problem is when you throw in internet drama + ks click bait articles. Never underestimate how much a game can be brought down due to just plain old internet drama. People were already predisposed to disliking it because of both the drama that ensued + the continous negative press it got as click-bait =P

  • Battleborn would have been way better received if Overwatch didn’t exist. As much as fans of that game claim they’re different blah blah, it draws an immediate comparison, and comes up far short of what Blizzard put out.

    • Personally I own both and think Battleborn is the better game, more modes, interesting characters……..blah blah 😉 the servers stink for aussies but hey that’s like most games

    • Is that the angry joe one or the aussie guy explaining extremely well just how the story is shit?

    • OMFG I was laughing my ass off at the intro, that is awesome with the music and everything. How have I not seen that?

  • I think I’d get a lot more enjoyment out of No Man’s Sky if they fixed the draw distance.

    I want to see something interesting in the distance, and go travel to it to see what it is.

    I don’t want to fly in an arbitary direction full of blurred shit on the horizon and wait for everything to be procedurally-generated in front of me and hope to god that something interesting renders and pops-in before I’ve already flown over it.

    The other appealing factor would be an increased variety of things you can discover.

    It only takes a handful of planets to realize you’re going to be scanning pretty much the exact same plants, rocks, and animals, and they’ll all yield the exact same goods for harvesting.

    Having prettier, more diverse planets up-front instead of ‘when you get closer to the core’ would’ve prevented earlier disenchantment with a bunch of single-tone planets. “This is the barren, rocky green planet!” “This is the barren, rocky brown planet!” “This is the barren, rocky purple planet!” “This is the exposed cavern full of the same two types of crystals.”
    Everything looks the same. Nothing ever really feels like a ‘landmark’.

    • Except it really is exactly the same near the core. The pop in is abolutely atrocious on a decent pc, it must be crippling on ps4.

  • definitely The Division here. I’d give it credit for fixing a lot of the issues in 1.4 but at the end of the day the game just lacks end game content.

    going from world tier to world tier you’re basically farming the same content and when you get to the highest world tier… well you get to farm the same content to min max your gear… yay?

    it’s fun in micro burst but that’s about it

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