The Best Worst Games You Ever Got For Christmas

When I was little we didn't have much money. When I got a new game for my NES, it came from the bargain bin at "Electronics Boutique" (yes, I am that old).

These were the games you'd look at, wince slightly, then play because there was nothing else. Again and again and again until - something strange would happen.

You'd begin to love them. They were like a secret. Games none of your mates were playing - hell, they'd probably never heard of them. Yet to you, they were gold. Like a rare treasure.

Rainbow Islands

Solstice

Bust A Groove

Bubsy

These are some of my favourites, but please, share yours with me.

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Comments

    People rag on Busby and its sequel. They were good games. The 3D version never happened.

    Toejam and Earl, though that may not qualify as obscure or bad.

      I introduced my son to Toejam and Earl via emulator a couple of years ago - he loved it! Definitely still holds up.

      Bubsy was evil... it let you build up enough speed that you had no chance of survival :P

      Im sorry, i gotta disagree. You play Sonic 1 or 2, then play Bubsy (which came out later on the same console) and it was flat out ordinary. Comparitvely crap graphics, controls and humour, yet sadly the same price. My friend and I clocked it (because back then we had the time to try and beat any game we got) with a resounding meh. I'd rate it higher if it wasn't such a poor and obvious imitator, even for a more forgiving 10 year old kid's tastes. On par with the equally mediocre Jazz Jackrabbit or The Great Gianna Sisters- that other "completely original" platformer of that era...

      Last edited 29/12/16 6:35 am

    Most of my NES game experiences came through hiring them from a video store. (Some of you youngsters may need to Google 'Video Store') During the school holidays or on a weekend we'd pester Mum until she took us to the local video store and browsed the shelf of NES games. The really good games, we either asked for them for Christmas or borrowed them again and again until we were bored. There were some real rippers in there, then there was Rush'n Attack. That was a pile of turd. So glad it was a rental.

    I do remember really enjoying Solstice.

      I was hiring games right up until the video stores disappeared. Someones you could smash through a main story during a 3 day hire over a long weekend. I miss it, really!

        That's exactly how I finished Metal Gear Solid on PSX, hired it from the local Video Ezy and barely moved for two days straight! Obtaining that bandanna was a pain in the arse!

        I finished Battletoads from a video game hire. In hind sight it probably would have been cheaper to buy it based on how long it took me to finish the game.

    Solstice was the bomb yo! I remember hiring this gem several times at the local video store.

    Ahh how I heart Bust A Groove. So many fond memories of playing it with my cousins & school friends as a kid. I still got my physical copy stored in the garage with all my old school games, really tempted to dig it out now.

    Never really had gaming consoles in our house. I was born in '81, and growing up did seem weird we didn't have one when everyone else had something - Did get a GameBoy when it first came out - Came with Tetris and Super Mario Land. Following christmas I got gifted Serpent (Remember Snake from old phones? Yeah, just like that. Good news is, I can still clock SML without losing a single life (Unless I want to farm the coins in the underwater level to rack up more lives)

    First time we got a "proper" console was when the NES got redesigned (NES-101). Had saved my pocket money and did odd jobs for months to get the thing, only to note when I got it home it didn't come with any games (We lived in a little town too, and had to drive 6 hours round trip to collect it - Couldn't just go back easily. No local video shop for rentals ever, so was pretty freaking devastated. Borrowing games was hard to, as most people I knew were starting to sell their stuff to buy playstations). Had to wait longer to save more pocket money, and gave it to mum to go and get me Super Mario Bros 3 - Mum then kept hold of it and wrapped it up under the tree for me

    Waited 4 months before I could get my hands on the damn game I paid for, only to find out mum got me a copy of Solstice instead (Also point out, same parent who purchased me Serpent :P )

    From what i remember, it was a pretty damn good little puzzle game though, and I spent hours playing it. Well, whenever I could get use of the TV

    But yeah, between Solstice and Serpent, I've made sure over the years that when my parents buy my younger siblings video game stuff, they come get my input first

    Heart of Darkness on PC. Shit that game was good, but I don't think I ever finished it!

    Werewolf: The Last Warrior for the NES. Parents took me to "Tandy Electronics" (I can be old too) and picked it out for Christmas, taking it to the counter without showing me the front cover. Meanwhile I'm eyeballing Mega Man 3 like a heroin addict.

    I don't think I was ever aware enough of games and their reputations when I was a kid, so games that were bad weren't something I winced at. And even before I got gamesmart, most of the games were requests so there was no wincing to be had (and once I knew stuff about games, I was no longer being given them as presents and just had to buy them for myself :P).

    I was so freakin happy when I finally got Bubsy for my birthday.

    Considering Electronics Boutique opened in 1997 it wouldn't actually make you that old nor would you have been buying NES games there.

      Meh, my memory may be a little hazy on the details, but I'm sure you get the idea :)

      You seem to have a good one though - the exact year EB opened and what they stocked! Do you take fish oil or something?

    The best worst game I ever got was for Sega mega drive, called greendog: the beached surfer dude. Nothing about it was good in anyway but I was soo hooked on it for ages as a kid. It pushed sonic, busy, earthworm Jim and alike aside for a terrible platformer

    Bubsy. So, so bad. Borderline unplayable. There were so many rubbish platform games when all the companies desperately knocked out half finished crap to compete with sonic.

    Most of the games mentioned here are so bad (or at least infamous) that have almost developed cult-like fame. Do you want obscure (and possibly bad)? Try those that were so unremarkable that no one ever remembers them even for lists like these. The two first games I had for my SNES were Bugs Bunny Rabbit Rampage and Tiny Toons: Buster Busts Loose. I loved them to bits (especially the former) but no one I've ever speak with remembers them or ever heard of them.

    We had this terrible NES game called Section Z; it was a space shooting side scrolling thingy that went on for ever. We never finished it. Controls were unresponsive and awful. Anyone else know it?

    My brother and I didn't make much in the way of pocket money, so when Christmas rolled around if we got each other games, they'd be weird bargain bin stuff. I think the one that qualifies best for this list is Dare to Dream. It's a pretty lousy adventure game that ran in Windows 3.11, created by Cliff Bleszinski in his pre-Jazz Jackrabbit days. The art is terrible, the tone switches wildly from super cartoony to extraordinarily dark and the game logic sometimes rivals the likes of Gabriel Knight at its most infamously bad. And yet, I poured hours into it. I never could negotiate my way through the the illogical mess of two latter episodes but I still feel a bit of fondness for it, objectively terrible though it may be

    Hell: A Cyberpunk Thriller

    My mother bought it for me for Xmas and it sat on a shelf for a while. Eventually I was stuck home sick for a week and had nothing better to do so I played it. It was terrible. Dennis Hopper couldn't save it. But I played it and I kept playing it and in the end I actually enjoyed it. I was really bored.

    There was another game that was the epitome of terrible but I forced myself to love it, but I can't remember what it was called. It was a point and click adventure where your character picks up a microwave from a repair shop but they give you the wrong microwave. The one you collect was meant for a hero (the guy who turns up to collect the microwave looks like Conan)

    You take the microwave home and after using it you're transported to a different planet. That's about all I remember of it but I remember that I played through the whole thing. Can't remember how it ended though.

      That sounds familiar. It's not one of the Zack McCracken games, is it?

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