The Most Disappointing Games Of The 2010s

The Most Disappointing Games Of The 2010s
Image: Gustavo Mendonca, Star Wars 1313

Video games have changed so dramatically with another console generation passing by and an endless number of game releases. But while it’s important to celebrate the fanatastic achievements of games over the last decade, it’s also important to explore the failures: the games that broke our hearts, kicked us while we were down and laughed at our misery. These were the games that failed to live up to their potential, the ones that crashed and burned, and the ones that we wish had never been made. Welcome to our list of the most disappointing games of the decade.

This article has been updated since its original publication.


Sometimes, I lay awake at night and imagine a future where Scalebound actually released, and I weep at the thought. When this Xbox-exclusive title was announced in 2014, it looked absolutely phenomenal — a game that would be an instant console-mover for Xbox. It had dragons and magic and wide open worlds. It looked like a cross between Devil May Cry and Monster Hunter World, and the hype around the game was enormous.

While it failed to appear at E3 2015 after its initial announcement a year earlier, it did appear at Gamescom 2015, where a snippet of gameplay was shown, and a multiplayer mode was announced alongside it. Hype for the game grew in that time, and while a delay from 2016 to 2017 was a disappointment to fans, there was no real indication that anything was amiss. And then, in January of 2017, the shock announcement was made: Scalebound was cancelled. It seemed to come out of the blue, and that somehow made it worse. While numerous issues like hype, miscommunication and over-ambitiousness were blamed for the cancellation, in the end, it didn’t matter. The dreams of Scalebound were over, along with the hopes and dreams of its fans.


God bless Peter Molyneux — he sure is ambitious. For those unfamiliar with this lovely gentleman, Molyneux is a games developer and founder of the now-defuct developer Lionhead Studios. He’s become known for over-promising and under-delivering on his games, despite past successes with games like Fable and its sequel. In Godus, Molyneux promised the /”ultimate god game” with a “living world” and multiplayer functionality.

Godus was kickstarted to the tune of £526,563 ($1.01 million) in 2012, but what backers actually got was a far cry from the game’s original vision. The PC version was buggy and unfinished when it released, and the mobile version was a microtransaction-based adaptation that barely resembled the planned model. Godus, for all intents and purposes, was a massive failure.

Mighty No. 9

Mighty No. 9 was another tale of Kickstarter failure, with backers raising $3,845,170 in 2017 for a game that earned the Kotaku review title: /”Mighty No. 9 Tries Really Hard, But No.” Mighty No. 9 was designed as a spiritual successor to the Mega Man series, and featured a similarly cute and robotic protagonist. Fans and backers had high hopes for the game, but all they got in return was disappointment.

Levels were basic and unexciting, characters were bland, the voice acting was atrocious and textures were poor at best. With poor combat, choppy graphics and an overall unfeeling of the game being unpolished, Mighty No. 9 was a complete mess when it released, marking it as one of the decade’s most disappointing titles.

Fable Legends

We first heard of Fable Legends in 2013, when Lionhead Studios released a cinematic trailer for a co-op RPG set in the Fable universe. In the game, four heroes would join together to battle a single villain as they traversed the magical land of Albion. Fable Legends was delayed in 2015, with a newly announced release date of 2016. An open beta was planned for early 2016, but in March of that year, Microsoft announced not only the cancellation of Fable Legends, but also the closure of Lionhead Studios as a whole.

Fable Legends had great potential as a co-op action adventure game, and gameplay demos pre-cancellation looked promising. While longtime Fable fans lamented the lack of focus on a sequel, the experience still looked fun and gorgeous. There was even an ambitious art book released in the promotional lead up to the game. You can still purchase it, if you’d like to see what could have been.

Unsung Story

The timeline of Kickstarter “success” Unsung Story has to be one of the weirdest, shadiest development cycles in modern gaming. Three years after company Playdek raised over $800,000 for the strategy-based RPG, they bailed entirely on the project, handing over the development reigns to another company — Little Orbit.

A Timeline Of Unsung Story, One Of The Biggest Kickstarter Failures Ever

It was supposed to be a dream game for fans of strategy-role-playing games, but instead it became a disaster. Unsung Story, which crowdfunded over $US660,000 ($828,631) in 2014, is one of the biggest Kickstarter failures of all time. Let's zoom out and look at the whole debacle, shall we?

Read more

Little Orbit CEO Matt Scott told Kotaku in 2017 that the company did not receive any of the money raised by the game’s Kickstarter, and the studio has posted regular updates on development over the course of this year. But whatever happened to the money fans paid for the original Kickstarter is a mystery.

Correction: The original version of this story mentioned that Little Orbit had started a second Kickstarter for Unsung Story, but this is not the case. We apologise for the error.

Star Wars: 1313 And Amy Hennig’s Cancelled Star Wars Title

disappointing games decade

Until Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order released in 2019, the Star Wars video games had had a rough go of it. Star Wars: 1313 was one of the more disappointing cancellations in video games history because the premise and early footage were so exciting. The game, developed by LucasArts before the studio’s closure, was designed to follow bounty hunter Boba Fett as he navigated the metropolis beneath planet Coruscant.

The game was revealed at E3 in 2012 and was set to be a cinematic, combat-heavy action adventure with full-body performance capture and next gen graphics. And then, Disney purchased the Star Wars franchise. And in 2013, LucasArts was shuttered, destroying any hopes that fans had for the game.

But Star Wars: 1313 wasn’t the only disappointment in Star Wars‘ recent video games history, because in early 2019, Amy Hennig’s untitled open world Star Wars adaptation was unceremoniously cancelled. Code-named ‘Ragtag’ the project was set to be an action adventure helmed by Hennig, who is most known for her work on Uncharted. Very little was actually known about this game, but even seeing the words “open world” and “Star Wars” together was enough to get everyone hyped. Unfortunately, the dream is now over.

Agents of Mayhem

Within three months of Agents of Mayhem‘s release, it was at EB Games for a mere $4. If that isn’t the mark of a true disappointment, I don’t know what is. Agents of Mayhem is an open world action game developed by Volition, the masterminds behind the Saints Row series. In fact, it’s even set in the same universe as Saints Row and spins out of a Saints Row alternate universe tale, but that didn’t stop the game from being a giant, undeniable disappointment.

This action-adventure featured players teaming up in agent trios to defeat the forces of evil organisation L.E.G.I.O.N. It’s a simple enough set-up, but one that’s accompanied by poor writing, bad humour, simple design and gameplay choices, and grinding repetition. Those looking for their next hit of insanity from the Saints Row universe were ultimately disappointed by this lacklustre entry in the extended franchise.


Now, admittedly, the inclusion of Darkspore on this list is a strange one, because the game isn’t necessarily disappointing because it was good or bad. It’s disappointing because we lost it completely in the span of five years. Darkspore released in 2011 as a spin-off of the Spore franchise, and was a sci-fi RPG where players could build deadly aliens and battle across alien worlds. Nothing remarkable here, but the important part is that Darkspore used a DRM scheme that required a constant connection to the internet.

In 2016, just five years after the game originally released, the online servers for Darkspore shut down. Because of its DRM-scheme, this meant that the entire game became unplayable. The entire game! Gone! And just five years after it first released. In 2019, the game remains unplayable. Darkspore was a disappointment not because it was a good game (it was just ‘fine’) but because it revealed just how harmful DRM can be for games and their consumers. The fact that this game was only allowed to exist for five years before the plug was pulled is a tragedy.

Duke Nukem Forever

Duke Nukem Forever was in development hell for 14 years, but when it finally did release, everyone wished it hadn’t. Being in development hell for so long meant that Duke Nukem Forever felt and played like a relic of the past — because that’s what it was.

It featured simplistic mechanics, extremely dated humour, poor writing and shoddy performance, making it almost instantly forgettable. To give you an idea of how dated it was, 2K Games launched a website called “Boob Tube” alongside the game that featured a game called Duke Nudem where players could shoot women to get them topless. For prizes, players would get topless wallpaper images of the women. Real classy-like. The game also featured a multiplayer mode that featured women being slapped into submission.

No other Duke Nukem game has been released since Forever, and the series is currently languishing in the pits of video game hell, where it belongs.

SimCity 2013

EA sure does have a weird history with DRM, and SimCity 2013 was another victim of its strange ambitions. To run the game and save, players were required to have an online connection that also forced multiplayer gameplay. This meant the initial launch was completely buggered by network issues, rendering the game broken for some. It took a full year for EA to implement an offline mode and allow players to save local files to their computer, a feature which should have been implemented from the beginning.

Beyond that, SimCity 2013 was just a bland game, and a poor follow-up for the iconic franchise, which has since become a microtransaction-filled mobile title. May the SimCity franchise find peace in the afterlife, because it sure won’t find any on Earth.

Aliens: Colonial Marines

If anything, Aliens: Colonial Marines was good value in the comedy department, because the ‘deadly’ aliens that populated the game world were as thick as several bricks. The AI was so bad that fans had to go in and fix it for an experience that was even remotely playable. And beyond the AI, the campaign was muddy and uninspiring,it wasn’t pretty to look at and even gameplay was a slog.

Fans expecting a solid and worthy adaptation of the classic Alien franchise were left sorely disappointed, with sources later telling Kotaku that Colonial Marines became a “hodgepodge” of assets as it was passed between studios. What had the potential to be terrifying romp ended up like a wet fart. Thankfully, Alien: Isolation came out the following year to erase all the bad memories of Colonial Marines.

Mass Effect: Andromeda

Hey, remember this game? Yeah, me either. Mass Effect: Andromeda released in 2017, and promised to be an epic follow up to the critically-acclaimed Mass Effect trilogy. It was… not. While it featured solid combat, characters, and gorgeous worlds to explore, it was dogged by a variety of bugs and glitches that made it barely playable.

This included character models that were often stiff, unresponsive and unemotive, which made for particularly awkward sexual interactions. Soon after release, the internet was filled with compilations of bad facial animations, to the point where they became more important than the game itself. Mass Effect: Andromeda should have been a nuanced, well-developed follow-up to a series that has become a critically-acclaimed part of video game history. Instead, it became a meme.


Anthem promised to be the next big thing in games, with massive, showy trailers in the lead-up to its release. When the online RPG finally arrived in February of this year, it was just kind of there. It had bland combat, boring quests, unexciting level design and gameplay that required frequent grinding. While it still has its fans, the overall experience was definitively uninspiring. It was just OK, when it aimed to be so much more.

Anthem had solid ideas, if not the talent to match its ambitions. But it was bogged down by poor design, making it a disjointed and frustrating experience for players. It’s part of the reason why rumours are surfacing that BioWare is planning a total overhaul of Anthem‘s gameplay. Much like No Man’s Sky before it, Anthem could very well rise from the ashes in a new and brilliant form, but for now, we’re stuck with what we got — a tired and uninspired mess.

The best thing about video games is that there’s something out there for everyone. Not everyone will like every game, and someone out there is sure to like something you don’t.

Do you disagree with anything on our list? Want to make a case for Andromeda‘s ‘creative’ animation style? Or for Duke Nukem’s women-hating ways? Feel free to chat about it in the comments below!


  • The moment I saw the article title, Duke Nukem and MA: Andromeda came to mind. Good to see they are here. Sim City is also deserving. Wife and I got that day 1 and what a mess.

    Anthem is certainly worthy but I would personally put Destiny (and 2) by default. I expected a swankier, more expansive version of the Defiance MMO shooter based on early development, a massive sprawling world to explore, shoot stuff and lose myself in. I figured if the small developing team of Defiance could do something decent, Bungie would blow it out of the water. What a terrible replacement we got.

    • Have you read user reviews? Lots of people actually really like the game. I enjoyed it. It was nowhere near as bad as the games on this list and nowhere near as bad as critics made it out to be.

      • If Anthem is on this list then Crackdown 3 sure should be given what it promised and what it finally delivered. Crackdown 1 and 2 were great games and given the length of development, 3 should have been awesome. Instead it was just another Crackdown 2 level but ten years late. Therefore in the Most Disappointing list.

    • Thank you for your valuable contribution.

      Its always heartening to read another opinion that whilst generously given, has also been given not based on personal experience , but heresay.

      You are to be commended for not falling for the antiquated notion that offerring any form of opinion not based on subjective experience should actually be taken seriously.

      Again ,Thank you for your contribution.

  • I didn’t find a single bug in Mass Effect: Andromeda and definitely didn’t find it “barely playable”. I think it was mostly hampered by extremely high expectations.

    • I am in the same boat. I played a fair bit of Andromeda and enjoyed it. It wasn’t a fantastic game, but wasn’t as bad as people made it out to be.
      I think if it had a completely different name which didn’t tie in to Mass Effect, the reception would have been a lot warmer.

      In it’s place (for me personally) I would have put Dragon Age Inquisition. I couldn’t get into it

      • I literally couldn’t get past the start due to a trigger issue where daddy dearest dies and my screen would never proceed. When that was fixed I had issues where unique character models would duplicate mid cutscene, certain places ran like absolute garbage on certain rigs (the Krogan home can eat a bag of dicks), obligatory dead face npc, I fell through the floor on multiple occasions, npcs would become invisible mid conversation, I remember audio cutting out for large gaps in time, I can remember my Nomad breaking at one point and being unable to fix it.

        Some people did apparently have pretty breezy run and then some people like were just in the trenches, not having a particularly enjoyable time.

        • Out of curiosity, which system were you playing it on? I was playing on PC and I don’t remember having that many issues.

          • I played on PC and my partner watched me yell at the screen at how infuriating some of the systems were.

            Probably the angriest I’ve gotten at anything until the recent run of Windows 10 ‘feature’ updates

    • I’m in the same boat. Loved andromeda. Didn’t have a single bug. Got the platinum trophy on launch weekend. That’s how much I loved it!

    • Yep I’m with you on that one. Is it as good as the original trilogy? no. but i was playing the game from day 1 and apart from some minor performance issues that were quickly patched, I had a good run with the game and enjoyed my time with it.

    • I found a bare handful of bugs but they didn’t affect my enjoyment of the game much. The new alien species was probably the low point and some of the relationship writing could have used another pass (or three) for me but everything else, from the story, the lore, the gameplay, the combat and the baddies (even if a religious zealot that wants to turn everyone into copies of them genetically is a little on the nose) I really enjoyed.

  • Peter Molyneux, hope he’s retired. Really buggered up the last game which could have been a wonderful evolution of Populous. As having played all his games since then (Populous 3.25 disc for the win) was hoping for a wonderful modern game was in process.

    • He’s got several games on the go, all in early access. He gets bored and jumps onto new projects from the looks of it, like Notch.

    • He’s a mad bastard genius, and I love him.

      For a free game on my phone, Godus is a decent populous update. It’s no Black & White, or From Dust, but for a small team, it’s hardly disastrous if expectations are low. And having only played it for the first time in the last 12 months, after reading about the launch debacles, my expectations were very, very low. I played it for a few hours. It’s barely decent, maybe good, far from great – but I’ll let Molyneux have a pass on that.

      I mean – Populous (the first gane I bought on PC), Dungeon Keeper, Black & White, Fable – there was a near 20 year streak where his games pushed my expectations of what I even wanted from games. Were they perfect? They had their flaws, some larger than others. He’s a guy whose record is pretty consistent – to a point. I’m not entirely convinced that he’ll NEVER be involved in making a great game again, and I just hope he does. Cause damn, he made some good games.

      • I agree that it’s a largely unremarkable but tolerable effort on mobile.

        That’s the problem, in fact. That the game was always self evidentially made for mobile from the ground up with constant bubble popping and little strategy. It’s a popcorn game to be played while taking a dump, a lightweight builder with some minor puzzle elements, despite being sold as a living world multiplayer strategy game where you wield godlike powers of volcanoes, hurricanes and floods and smite your enemies.

  • If there’s a bright side to the Scalebound saga, it’s that it had to die so that Nier Automata could live, and I’m okay with that.

  • Humour is an entirely subjective thing and should not be the qualifier of a game that’s good or bad. That said, what I played of Agents of Mayhem didn’t hook me as much as any of the other saints row titles did.

    By the time I played Andromeda, a lot of the graphical issues were fixed. It was, however, the video game poster child of ‘go woke, go broke’ with managing to put off everyone with the cringe inducing writing.

  • Batman Arkham Knight has to be up there for me, personally. I didn’t have as much fun with the combat or the exploration. A huge part of it could be I marathoned most of it while sick with the flu, when I was in too much pain to sleep, though.

    • I really loved Arkham Knight. What didn’t you like about it?

      I personally didn’t like the overuse of the batmobile, the riddler challenges, the hidden riddker tracks and the non-existent boss’s fights.

      But everything else was pretty enjoyable for me.

      • It’s definitely a personal letdown, I would still recommend it to people who like the other games in the series. I also don’t think it’s a bad game, but the previous games (even Origins made by WB Montreal) were highlights of the previous generation, Knight just was okay.

        The city felt designed to be explored by car, so it felt less satisfying to glide around it. I really missed the riddler puzzle rooms. I felt like the Arkham Knight plot was really obvious. The car combat got grating towards the end (especially when I died and had to do it again). The end involving a checklist of all sidequests to see the full ending really bugged me, too.

        • Yeah solid points there.

          The end involving a checklist of all sidequests to see the full ending really bugged me, too.

          Especially when 99% of those quests were just ridiculous ‘make work’ and trophy collecting. I found that very disappointing. I love the game but I value my time too much to spend 10-20hrs just picking crap up. Why am I then punished by not seeing the real ending?

          The combat felt great though. I recently reinstalled City but I couldn’t go back after playing Knight. Even for all it’s flaws.

        • I’ve really enjoyed all the Arkham games, and I think Origins had the best story (the world wasn’t as full of random “stuff” like the others was a let down). Knight, the car battles and race tracks got really annoying, I liked the Riddler stuff – but there was just far too many and some of the side-quests repetitive. Overall I still think Asylum is the best of all of them, it was a good length, nice tight world (I don’t think big is beautiful, I love smart & condensed), all bonus’ and side quests weren’t just padding, and it’s the only game in the series where I could get all the combo’s in 1 fight – ever since City I just gave up. The suped up Joker sucked though – but that first time the game breaks the 4th wall making you think it’s crashed – priceless!

      • I really loved Arkham Knight. What didn’t you like about it?

        I mean, the fact it literally didn’t work *at all* on the pc to start with when released. The fact they had to go ahead and pretty much rewrite the code from the ground up for the PC version? I owned the PC and the PS4 versions (my kid playing it on the PS4) and while it was cool on the PS4, it deserves to be slammed due to the abhorrently disastrous launch on the pc, the way it was handled there is a posterchild for how *not* to port a game.

        • But they fixed it. That deserves props. They didn’t just leave it. It’s now a fine, fine technical game.

          Looks amazing looking down on the city with all deets on ultra.

          • They fixed most of it a fair while after release. That doesn’t remove the responsibility they had to deliver at least a working game in the first place.

    • I think in terms of graphics and most game play mechanics, Batman: Arkham Knight is the best of the Arkham series.

      However, its story was probably the weakest of the series, the batmobile overstayed its welcome and the lack of boss fights was disappointing.

      The tank battles, when you think about it, is hilariously bad. An army of… robotic drones? How convenient for the superhero who has vowed to never kill.

      • An army of… robotic drones? How convenient for the superhero who has vowed to never kill.

        Hahahaha I know! ALL they had to do was put a human being in each one and he would’ve been screwed. If only they had access to someone who’d been trained by batman and knew all of his methods….

        Darn hey? It’s a big plot hole.

        • Absolutely.

          The whole unmanned drone thing was just a super convenient excuse to allow players to reign destruction with the batmobile.

          • I liked it in spite of its flaws, but definitely a flawed game.

            Combat felt great though. Graphics were totally on point as well.

          • I still love Arkham Knight myself, but this was one of those things that bugged me. I want a Batman game where you actually have to feel like you need to control yourself, like you have to stop yourself beating down someone to death. There’s a certain point where ‘beating the shit out of someone’ becomes ‘beating a bloody corpse’ etc. I felt like Arkham Knight could’ve used that? I mean I totally get why the wouldn’t, but man, it was totally the right game to do something like that, with the psychosis aspect…

          • That’s always been a thing with the arkham series of combat too. I mean, it’s awesome but if you kick some one as hard as you can, in the spine, or punch them in the head as hard as you can with gauntlets on, whilst they’re on the ground, they gonna die!

            How good would a batman game be where you had to hold back and do the minimum damage, and if you don’t he slowly changes, until at the end of the game he’s not recognisable as Batman anymore, and his friends and allies then have to take him down. That could be the alternate ending.

            I’m also really over the joker. He’s just in everything and i’m sick of it. Have been for years tbh.

          • I think that would be the ultimate Batman game. You start out hunting crime. You can stay the path or if you fall, Dick Grayson hunts you. Maybe you kill him. Maybe Azrael does. Maybe you kill him.

            Down from the sky Superman flies because you’re beyond redemption… you try to use kryptonite and find out he’s got backup as the Flash disables your weaponry before you know it…

            I really would love a game like that :/

          • And yeah theres so many other villains lets give them their time to shine!!! King Shark? Black Mask? Mr Zsasz?

          • Dare we say….

            You either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.


            It’s a good line.

          • ZOMG I would be in on that like NOTHING else! How cool would it be, and the boss fights would be insane. You’d be taking down criminal groups and then you find a boss already taken out. A batarang comes out of nowhere, you barely dodge. It’s Nightwing and you have to take him down or escape before he can get the other members of the bat family in on your location. So you’re on a time limit.

            I would be on that like NOTHING else!!!!

          • And our ideas will be ten times better than the next game we get, and the next game and the next…

    • Have to agree with this. While the graphics were stellar the story didnt feel as good as previous games. It felt like a long checklist i had to finish.

  • Bioshock Infinite deserves to be number one on this list. Comparing the released product to the gameplay reveal, it really becomes apparent it was cobbled together in the last 12 months.

      • I agree. It was massively disappointing after the first two, and especially after having played The Last of Us which I felt did a far more effective and emotional father/daughter style relationship.

        • I never felt like Bioschock Infinite was going for a ‘father daughter’ thing? I felt like it was moreso going for a rescuer/rescuee aspect. I don’t think personally I’d compare the two for that reason.

          • Yeah I never got the father daughter vibe at all. She was the token he was using to pin his hopes for personal redemption on. One of the best things about the story for me was how the protagonist wasn’t really very likeable. He was a broken, selfish bastard and his one act of selflessness was kinda not that selfless in retrospect.

    • Yeah. Massively disappointing. The arcade style combat got really old after a while too. Just super underwhelming.

  • This might be a bit of a controversial one, but Days Gone should be up on that list as well.

    Days Gone felt like a repetitive mess. Inconsistent and unlikeable characters, average story, annoying controls (especially the motorbike), repetitive game play… I wanted to like this game and I was so hyped to play it from seeing the E3 trailers, but on my first day of playing it I was thinking “I’m not sure about this…” The game does have some shining points, but for the most part, I just wasn’t interested.

    • Oh come on. Most disappointing OF THE DECADE? Seriously dude? I mean yeah, it wasn’t perfect by any means, but it wasn’t unplayably broken. Same goes for the folks above having a soon over BioShock Infinite and Arkham Knight. Yeah, all of em have flaws, No argument from me there, but to say they are the WORST games of the last 10 years? WTF you guys smoking? You even say yourself ” The game does have some shining points”- did you forget we were talking about “The worst of the decade” and just meander into “Games that simply get my knickers in a twist”? Because there’s a huge difference in those qualifiers.

      • The topic is about the most disappointing games, not the worst. Things can disappoint for a myriad of reasons…

        • Oh definitely.

          I enjoyed Batman: Arkham Knight. It was a disappointing game for sure, but I enjoyed it.

          I was severely disappointed by Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. If we were in 2018, then that would certainly be my most disappointing game of the decade.

          But… for 2019, I’m rolling with Days Gone because it was just a disappointing, sad mess, regardless of the few shining points.

      • If you say Arkham Knight console version? I agree. If you say Arkham Knight PC version? They’re dead on point.

    • I wouldn’t call Days Gone “disappointing”. Calling it disappointing would be to suggest expectations that were not met. I don’t really recall expectations for Days Gone ever being particularly high – that looked like a big pile of “meh” from a long way out.

      The gaming world was expecting mediocrity, and that’s what we got.

      • I was really excited for Days Gone, personally. I just felt very disappointed by it.

        There’s other disappointing games in this decade, too. I was severely disappointed by the Secret of Mana remake, as I played the original Super Nintendo classic when I was a kid and it was one of my all time favourite games. The remake felt… insulting. :/

      • I think at *first* Days Gones very first reveal was interesting. From there, every single thing they showed pretty much failed to inspire… I do get the feeling its inevitable sequel should do well though.

  • Unsung story? I can tell you that Little Orbit will do with Unsung story: Tale of the Guardians what Playdek did to the original. Everything Matt Scott touches crumbles to dust as did Descent and APB. Little Orbit doesn’t pay his developers such as Descendent Studios and looking at the Unsung Story: Tale of the Guardians kickstarter, development there seems to be a mess too.

  • I’ll add Warhammer Online. Many of us who play dark age of camelot wanted this to be a worthy pvp successor. It just became a pve fest with zergs doing roundabouts around the map. Was disappointing they didnt nail the end game pvp.

    • I enjoyed the sieges when they were pretty evenly matched. It added something that was unique for me at the time, and actually had me play PvP when I usually avoid it like the plague. PvE was broken however, since I found that it was impossible to complete all the lore entries due to bugs that had been in there for a long time but they never bothered to fix before it closed down.

    • Running in a small (10-15) crew in order, busting chaos zergs of 3 or 4 40 man war bands was great fun.

      Holding up in a keep and stopping their pve keep trading BS was a thing of beauty.

      Although it did have plenty of bugs and was mostly unfinished.

  • I really don’t feel Duke deserves to be in development hell & would love the series to be revived properly.
    The possibilities are there, but I think no-one wants to get burned again,

    • I dunno… that’s a VERY 80s/90s character they’ve got there.

      He’d need to be retconned out of all recognition to work in the 2020s imo.

      • Why? He’d work now BECAUSE of the 80’s/90’s. You’d literally play up that aspect, make him a ‘man out of time’. It’d be great 🙂

    • Yeah I reckon a decent Duke game would do well, especially if they paired him up like in the original plans with someone just as bad on the female spectrum.

      You could also do something like they did with Ash vs Evil dead and deliberately make fun of the dickhead (I mean he was based on Ash originally). I doubt you’d get away with doing a James Bond focus shift cause that requires a serious kinda world.

      The Duke Forever game was a massive problem because the mob they gave it to, pumped filler into it with mini-games and rubbish like that, all the undone original levels were removed and the plot changed to ‘fit’ a loot+shoot design like borderlands.

      Perfect example of feature-creep and management interference as well as swapping out the entire dev team multiple times.

      • I think that’s the way to do it. Have Duke and maybe his daughter. He finds out she’s a sexist pig of a woman, she’s taken on all his aspects, but play up the aspect that every time she’s sexist or a pig, he’s shocked over it.

  • Dragon Age II should probably be an honourable mention.

    In isolation it was probably an okay game, but it was definitely a big let down from DA:O

        • My point is metacritic isn’t the best way to judge a game.

          I strongly agree about DA2, a shadow of what origins was

          • In a straight up comparison of whether a majority or minority of people favour a game metacritic is definitely a useful resource:

            Bioshock Infinite was praised by both Critics + users (94/100 critic + 8.6/10 users found it favourable).
            but DA:2 is praised by critics and found generally unfavourable by users. (82/100 v 4.5/10 )
            The majority of people, critics and users combined who have reviewed DA:2 on metacritic don’t like it.
            The minority of people, critics and users combined who have reviewed Bioshock Infinite did not like it.

            You are in that minority, which is fine and your opinion is still valid.

          • I have a vague memory of claims of site bribery by EA for Dragon Age 2 reviews that were somewhat substantiated weren’t they? I could be wrong, but I really, really remember something happened around that time with EA getting shills to write ultra positive reviews for favours… mainly because it brought back memories of the shitstorm of the Kane and Lynch 2 Gamespot review controversy.

          • there was something about an EA employee posting 10/10 reviews on metacritic.

            but i honestly think the game appealed to critics and not to fans who were hoping for a DA:Origins 2. Not the Mass Effect 2 but with dragons that they got.

            If it was released as a side project to the core mass effect series it might not have caught so many fans off guard (and if they didn’t reuse dungeons so much)

          • I played it and just got so bored by it. The literal cut and paste nature of it felt so damn lazy. It wasn’t the worst game I’ve ever played, but there’s no way it was a 94. Maybe a 70 or a 65. It was a great “mediocre” game but not an excellent one like the original was.

          • @weresmurf the curse of the 14 month development window. Definitely needed longer time for the devs to flesh out the environments.

          • yeah especially when it came out around the same time as the Witcher 2 and was given a score of 94 on PC gamer while Witcher 2 was given a 92. it was insane that PC gamer though it was the better RPG

      • People are allowed to have their own opinions though. Metacritic ratings are just more information. It doesn’t override your own feelings about a game just because a certain percent of critics feel differently. .

        • Indeed. Critics can also completely misread the room with their reviews, to paraphrase a recent article I read. Joker being only a 59 from the critics yet a 9.2 from the audience? (I’d be among those giving it a 9 or 10)

          • Or for the reverse, Ad Astra. 80 from the critics, only 6.2 from the audience. Those that I know that have seen it have agreed with the fan vote. Those arent the only examples, more often than not with bigger movies the critic score is nothing like the audience opinion.

            To the point I dont bother with critic views any more.

          • I definitely use metacritic but it’s just more info. Like if a game gets over 85% then I’m probably going to like it. But it’s not everything.

  • I wasn’t disappointed by DNF because I had no expectations to start with! It was never going to be good or meet expectations!

    For me it was ME:A. God damn that was a mess – from the crap facial animations, crap story that dragged, and packed with pointless busy work to pad out length.

  • The first Destiny was my biggest disappointment. The hype for this game was huge, major disappointment. I’m sure the later games got better but it was too late for me, damage done.

  • I surprised that Halo 5: Guardians wasn’t on the list. The marketing campaign for the game was all smoke and mirrors, the story broke the timeline and /or cannon. In a nutshell, it was Halo 2 all over again. I’m shocked 343 Industries repeated the same big mistake Bungie did back in 2004

  • For me it’s breath of the wild. It’s bland, boring and out dated right from the box. You can tell this is a wii u game that was held back for 2 years to reach the switch launch. If you take Zelda off the title it’s instantly a 6/10. I wish people would wake up and see it for what it really was. A generic run of the mill AA rpg.

    • Again I’ll ask to be sure I’m hearing you right. With all the shovelware on steam, with games that came out promising one thing and delivering another, as well as the games that never made it, along with the true pieces of gaming miscarriage like Duke Nukem and Colonial Marines, You believe Breath of the Wild (which you yourself are giving a 6/10, ) should be in the WORST OF THE DECADE CATEGORY? That IS what this article is about, right? That’s your selection? Okaaaaaaaaay…..

      • This article is about most disappointing games of the decade. Maybe your on the wrong article

        This is a game with a 30 Year history of fantastic games in its franchise. This game is average at best. Hence the disappointment.

        • Ok my bad. Now go back to what I wrote and mentally replace Worst with Disappointing. And again there’s so many other games from the last 10 years that promised so much more, yet wound up circling the drain. BotW never deceived in its offerings. Every video and preview showed exactly what it had in store. But sure, lets agree to disagree.

          • As someone that was really late to the party (I didn’t play it for a year), I kind of feel like outside of the sandbox tools it is just really generic. There just isn’t a lot there that makes it feel like anything other than the ideas of a handful of games kind of lazilly thrown together. Sure, the quality of presentation is great, but as a game it kind of feels cheap.

            As Agent said, if you removed the zelda characters from the game it would have gotten a lot less coverage.

  • About the only entry that I don’t agree with being here (besides games that actually were never released) would be Anthem. Did anyone actually think that was going to be amazing after ME:A?

    Given some of the cancellations listed, I’m surprised PT didn’t rate a mention since thats the only cancellation I’m familiar with that did raise widespread ire and helped give rise to a certain profane hashtag.

    • The annoying thing about Anthem was that the bones of a good game were there. It was like they’d never played a game though, so screwed up pretty much every QoL decision with the game. The UI was trash, the hub area useless, loading broken… List goes on.

      It deserves to be there for so many reasons, the least of which was how unsurprised everyone was. It was like they saw the negativity of the two Destiny launches (both of which vastly improved later on) and said “hold my beer”…

    • The scariest part about Anthem is that the development team first got the idea for what the game was actually going to be when they saw the E3 trailer with the rest of us.

  • Personally it is Skyrim. Everyone’s hype oversold me on how good the game was.

    First time I installed it, the game crashed itself repeatedly because my PC was basically too powerful and it couldnt handle being rendered at high FPS. I had to google a solution (cap the FPS below 90) to make it playable.

    Then I played it and found it to have some of the most boring, slow combat I’ve ever experienced.

    And finally after pushing myself to play it for like 12 hours to give it a chance, I finally gave up on it; boring story, uninteresting mechanics.

    Bethesda games just aren’t for me.

  • Also anything written buy David Cage, after Omikron they were all pretty predicatble piles of quicktime rubbish.

  • I know it got a lot better but I think that No Man’s Sky’s initial release deserves a mention of some kind. Sea of Thieves too.

    • If it hadnt redeemed itself so well, I expect NMS would have been high on the list, but how its recovered is a story to celebrate, not ignore.

      SoT, the jury is still out I think. Its getting there, though I still dont think theres a good enough game in there yet.

      • I think Sea of Thieves is a bit of a niche game. I love the opportunity to hang out in a beautiful, low stakes world and chat with my friends while we drift around the ocean, but that sedate pace isn’t going to be for everyone, even with Rare and new content every month.

  • I guess I got lucky, because I didn’t buy or play any of these. I was tempted by Agents of Mayhem, because the SR series amused me with its dopey humour and ability to make my character as varied or daft as I pleased (no zombie voice in 4, though – for shame!), but after seeing a description of ‘…Mayhem’, thought “Nahh…”, partly because it had pre-prepared characters. I didn’t bother with Gat Out of Hell either. No idea if it was any good, but SR4 wrapped that universe up nicely for me.

    • Gat Out of Hell had its moments, mostly fanservice in regards to the ultimate fates of various dead characters. I do like how it (at least on the consoles) just picked up the President from the SR4 save games without asking.

      That and learning more of Kinsey’s kinks.

  • For me:
    – No man’s sky, was sold the dream they delivered a cardboard box. Later redeemed itself
    – Anthem (xbone) was in unplayable for months due to their server issues once that got fixed it was over. However picked another copy up really cheap, fun to boot around in for 20 minutes or so with my son in a co-op. Any more than 20 minutes and it’s boring.

    – Mass effect : A, wow kept grinding through it hoping it would get better, it didnt. Multiplayer was impossible due to bugs.

    – Duke Nukem forever, yeah well… I’m still really keen on playing that early build that was shown at E3 that one year…

  • Fallout 76 deserves to be here, I enjoy playing it but online and now fallout first really takes away from the formula all the other games mastered.

  • Hmmm. I think this is two seperate lists – disappointing games that didn’t live up to their potential, and games that got cancelled.

    Can a game that never got released be disappointing? Sure, I’m disappointed that 1313 got cancelled, but it isn’t the game that’s disappointing.

    Both lists are valid, and would make excellent articles, but they’re different topics.

    Oh, and Fallout 76 is the stand out winner for me. Shame Bethesda, Shame!!

    • Had very similar thoughts about cancelled games being seen as a disappointing game.

      It’s interesting how strongly EA is represented here.

      I would actually add in Star Wars: The Old Republic. Perhaps the game eventually turned into something decent, but for those that played the original release, SWTOR fell very short of expectations which saw a mass exodus of the player base including termination of Australian local servers.

      • It did eventually turn into something decent, and really captured the old-EU vibes with Knights of the Fallen Empire. I played a little at launch, except my SO at the time killed my enthusiasm with their negativity, and then again a few years later where they’d tuned things way down and had a lot more fun. Its pretty easy to get in and just blitz through the content now for the story if you were curious about that then put it back down again.

        • Yeah i hear the game has become decent but that still does not delete the fact that as an MMO it likely had the fastest decline in numbers ever seen.

          SWTOR had everything it needed to be great at the time – a well established franchise, the largest game production budget (at the time to my understanding) and a celebrated developer. Despite these advantages, the game failed to deliver when it needed to

    • Agreed…how can a game be “disappointing” if it never got released… sure there is general disappointment over the situation leading up to the cancellation but not disappointment at the actual game itslef, as a game that you will never play how can it live up to or fail on expectations set for it when its never going to be played itslef?

  • Personally anything by Bethesda and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.

    The joy of opinions, they are uniquely our own.

  • I have two titles that I think have largely been given a pass even though they are personally really disappointing.

    First RDR2 feels worse than the first one. There is something really odd about the game where it actively makes me not want to play it, but I loved sitting down and watching mates plug away at it. I think it has to do with the garbage controls, lazy shooting mechanics (including cover), the railroading of mission objectives that don’t give you options and how some of the story elements force you around makes the map feel small.

    The other game I take issue with is Borderlands 3, a game that improved on its predecessors in just about every way except story. Borderlands 3’s story is so phoned in and it uses its characters so lazilly that I found myself wishing that it had not been a part of the series and instead was a standalone with new characters. It feels like a low effort fanfic, where somebody knew they were mary suing, but didn’t give a shit because this was their story and they could ruin any number of characters without reprimand.

  • Star Wars 1313 would have been great, instead we got this cartoon batman fighting game instead, well at least everyone seems to like it either way. I didn’t. I prefer more realistic takes on Star Wars!

    • Genuinely curious what ‘realistic takes’ on Star Wars you’re talking about. Anything remotely new? Because I assume Fallen Order is the game you’re referring to as the ‘cartoon batman fighting game’.

      So the only really great Star Wars games I personally see are the much older ones like KOTOR, the Jedi Knight series and such… And I say this even while having thoroughly enjoyed the arguably ‘recent’ The Old Republic MMO for it’s class stories.

  • @alexwalker just the thought… maybe just put the edit/correction about Little Orbit starting a new KS on the actual section on the unsung story section itself? It makes Little Orbit look bad by making it look like they are double dipping when they technically came and saved a dead ks out of their own pocket… or even better fix the original article itself by removing the said part instead of you know… constantly misquoting it and then putting a correction at the very end that most people will miss starting another chain of misquotes?

    Seriously arent these edits supposed to be the realm of editors to fix instead of keeping an incorrect statement on the article?

    • What’s incorrect about the statement that’s sitting there, saying Playdek bailed from the project and Little Orbit came in and picked it up, running a second?

      • The Little Orbit part… the article is stating that Little Orbit started a second ks to fund Unsung. The 600k ks they are linking is the original Playdek KS.

        Little Orbit never started a new KS. Its the same KS and they have not asked for any further funding… they are basically saving a dead ks at the cost of their own pocket.

        The original article had that lazy correction at the end instead of a proper edit and now the error has been requoted on this list… and the correction is put all the way at the end of this list which most ppl will skim through instead of attaching it to the relevant part.

        It makes Little Orbit look like leeches by insinuating the took the name of the game and then tried to get more money… I mean its very rare a KS gets rescued like this and to make the guys attempting to save the project look bad because of journalistic errors and then said error not being fixed properly leading to another misquote just doesnt sit right with me =/

        • Yup, I get you and that’s totally on me. Not sure what happened in the thinking that led to the error, but the paragraph has been fixed properly and the correction has been moved further up.

          Nobody else has requoted the error, and it hasn’t been picked up or reprinted, but I understand the disappointment. Sorry. We’ll do our best to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

  • Re 6 was a huge let down for me. Being a massive fan of the series, I had to make myself play it. That’s never good.

  • I played fable legends during closed alpha and beta, still cannot believe they cancelled it, it was a game with alot of potential

  • Going to sound like one of “those” people, but purely because I was fed so much hype and praise about it, I have to say The Last of Us.

    Simply a game that didn’t resonate with me. It kicks off with a cheap, manipulative introduction sequence that left a bad taste; feeds you down a series of corridors while your sidekick with no internal monologue incessantly natters away; the stealth felt rudimentary, exploration was unrewarding and the final cardinal sin was all the intrusive cut scenes.

    In hindsight this seems like a game that many praise for its story, and the “moments” it produces. Given it failed to engage me, the lack of compelling gameplay had me giving up on it after about 3-4 hours.

    • Wow. I guess we’re all different. I’ve been a gamer for 30yrs and its in my top 3 gaming experiences. I love that game with a passion. The story just spoke to me.

  • For me, the cancellation of Prey 2 was the biggest disappointment of the decade.

    The first game may have been rough but it was still fun and the sequel had a lot of potential, even if it didn’t connect much to the first game, but due to the bossy nature of Bethesda, it was cancelled because “It wasn’t up to our quality standard” as Pete Hines of Bethesda said, which is really rich coming from the developer/publisher who released buggy Fallout games as well as Dishonored 2 which was very unoptimized at launch. Which then lead to the 2017 reboot which was more of a System Shock wannabe than Prey.

    Not to mention how Human Head Studios went from there was incredibly rocky from developing the much reviled The Quiet Man and then to Rune II which after the game finally came out, the company went out of business and then reformed into a new studio under Bethesda’s wing. (I won’t go into the lawsuit with the Rune II publishers because that’s a tricky one to explain.)

  • Crysis 2

    I waited for so long to continue the (kinda) open-world jungle masterpiece that was Crysis. I paid full price for my PC copy of Crysis 2 and what I got was a watered down, linear, generic shooter in the city with half of the suit’s powers taken away. The aliens all became red and lost their freeze abilities and the graphics looked terrible. In the main menu of the PC demo it said to push the Start button. I should’ve known not to buy it but I did so anyway. As PC games could not be refunded, I lost my hard-earned money. I blame EA.

  • I know I’m one of a very rare breed – but I really loved Simcity 2013. It’s launch bugs & DRM certainly did suck… but the gripe that many people had with the game itself was the size of the maps – to me that was a bonus, it set a challenge. And once I learnt how the roads and traffic worked (which was very different to almost any other Sim and un-intuitive) and the spacing of stuff it was a really fun and interesting game. The expansion put an interesting twist on it as well.

  • And Star Citizen continues to disappoint all but a handful of the most exceptional individuals.

  • What was rather disappointing is that many of the disappointments in this list of games… were never games? I’d understand giving an honourable mention to one of the games that failed to materialize, but there are several in this list.

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