Gamers often rely on reviews to get an idea of how well a given game suits their tastes. At the end, what most people look for is the score. But while game critics can often provide interesting takes in their reviews, their final verdict shouldn’t be thought of too seriously. There are tons of badly reviewed games out there that end up being plenty enjoyable. On the other hand, some highly reviewed titles aren’t as great as you’d expect. It’s best to take what these reviews say with a grain of salt, and make your own decisions. We’re going to be looking at 20 games – ten favorably reviewed ones, and ten poorly reviewed ones – and point out why the critics were wrong in each case.
Here are 10 games critics hated that were actually fun and 10 they loved that stunk.
19 Fun: Lolipop Chainsaw
Lollipop Chainsaw was developed by Japanese developer Grasshopper Manufacture, responsible for titles like The Silver Case, Killer is Dead and No More Heroes. At its core, Lolipop Chainsaw is just a fun hack and slash adventure with plenty of action. Many critics were left unimpressed by the gameplay, but if you accept it for what it is you’ll end up having a great time.
18 Stunk: Yooka-Laylee
Kickstarter projects are really something gamers have to be weary of. Yooka-Laylee attracted a good deal of attention prior to its release and while many critics gave the game favorable reviews, it’s not as good as you may think. A Spiritual Successor to the Banjo-Kazooie games, Yooka-Laylee relied too much on past gimmicks and that resulted in some pretty stale gameplay. It just feels like a game stuck in the past.
17 Fun: Warframe
The free-to-play game seems to be a model that a lot of developers are trying their hand at. Warframe may not be the best reviewed of these games, but it stands as one of the most unique. Warframe’s mixture of parkour and shooting mechanics makes for a really interesting game. With practice, movement can be incredibly fluid and makes clearing out enemies all the more satisfying.
16 Stunk: Pokémon Sun and Moon
While they did try and introduce some fresh changes that were liked by critics overall, the Gen VII games weren’t great. The pacing is a little slow at the beginning and takes too long to ease you in to the story. It’s great that the games tried something new as well, but the execution just wasn’t there.
15 Fun: Corpse Party: Blood Drive
Based off of the 1996 RPG Maker game of the same name, the Corpse Party series has spawned eight different titles. Of the series’ three mainline entries, Blood Drive has certainly gotten the most flack from critics. The game does have some performance issues. Long loading screens and an out of hand plot are the main problems. But in the end it’s an exciting horror experience that fans of the series can really enjoy.
14 Stunk: Valkyria Chronicles II
Valkyria Chronicles II is a great example of a sequel failing to live up to the expectations set by its predecessor. The plot of Valkyria Chronicles II is awfully written and sometimes just nonsensical. The game is much longer this time around, and there’s plenty more grinding to do. This slows down and stagnates what’s otherwise solid gameplay.
13 Fun: Mafia III
Compared to every other entry in the Mafia series, Mafia III got it pretty bad from critics. The game was criticized for being buggy, as well as having bland and repetitive gameplay. While there are definitely performance issues, the game is still incredibly enjoyable with plenty of content. In the end, the game’s issues don’t affect your enjoyment of it too much.
12 Stunk: BioShock 2
BioShock 2 is probably the most divisive game in the series, as some fans really hate it with others listing it as their favourite in the series. The biggest knock on BioShock 2 is that it really just feels like the first game with a slightly newer coat of paint. The play it safe approach may work for some games, but in this case, the final product was just bland and predictable.
11 Fun: Akiba's Trip: Undead & Undressed
Akiba’s Trip isn’t really a game that should be taken all that seriously, especially when you factor in its raunchy nature. It’s mindless fun that can be pretty entertaining for a couple of hours at a time if you don’t mind very simple beat’em ups – and offers a good deal of replayablity, if only to unlock different endings/dialogue options.
10 Stunk: South Park: The Fractured But Whole
South Park: The Stick of Truth offered some fresh turn-based combat along with the shows infamously crude humor. The Fractured But Whole failed to do all that much with what its predecessor laid out. The game added in an updated combat system, but that wasn’t enough to save it from feeling like the same game fans had played before a few years prior.
The Senran Kagura games are at their core, fan service titles. But at its worst, Estival Versus is a standard beat’em up title with great Musou elements added in. It may not be the most in depth game, but there’s a lot of content and a ton of replayability offered to those who are willing to put in some time getting familiar with it.
9 Stunk: Watch Dogs
When Ubisoft first revealed it at E3 2012, Watch Dogs felt like a title that would change open world games altogether. But when it released, the game felt substandard. It was bland and repetitive while plotting the player within a virtually baron open world experience. The driving mechanics were stiff and uncomfortable, while the rest of the game felt uninspired and rushed.
8 Fun: Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star
Fate/Extella: The Umbrella Star is a fun addition to the Fate series that will admittedly please fans easier than it will newcomers. It’s only big knock is that it can get fairly repetitive, but if you look past that and focus on the great design and variety then you’ll enjoy this title plenty.
7 Stunk: Battlefield V
When you look at a franchise that’s been around as long as Battlefield has, there are bound to be mediocre titles here and there. Sadly, it’s become hard for fans to trust reviewers with these AAA games, as it sometimes feel like they’re too lenient on their faults. Battlefield V has its fair share of issues; with time to death complaints being some of the most prevalent.
6 Fun: Deadly Premonition
Often mentioned as one of those games that are so bad they’re good, Deadly Premonition is an ambitious title that has some performance issues and a lot of charm. The game in janky and the combat especially suffers from this. But if you can get past the stiffness and terrible voice acting, there’s a pretty interesting horror game to be played.
5 Stunk: Pokémon: Let's Go
When word first hit the web of a Pokémon game coming to the Switch, fans were excited. What many expected to be the Switch’s first mainline entry in the series turned out to be a Go hybrid Kanto remake. The Let’s Go games are way too simplified and rely too much on the mobile game’s mechanics to have ever been anything substantial.
4 Fun: Punch Line
Visual novels are gaining traction as a niche genre in the Western gaming market. Punch Line is notable mainly due to it being an anime adaption. The visual novel retells the story with different narrative elements added in and some really nice artwork that makes reading through it a blast – though perhaps more so for those who’ve watched the show.
3 Stunk: Madden NFL 19
While a lot of the big gaming sites and reviewers gave Madden 19 favorable reviews, it was just another in a list of long disappointments to long-time fans of the series. The gameplay has gotten stagnant over the years, regardless of what features have been added-in / taken out over time – and gameplay issues and inconsistencies continue to plague the franchise.
2 Fun: Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes
Though it was an eagerly anticipated title, most critics were unfavourable of Travis Strikes Again, pointing to repetitive gameplay as the main issue. But the game is fun. It’s supported by an interesting narrative that draws you in and some stunning visuals. It’s certainly worth a look, especially for those Switch users out there looking to beef up their library with quality games.
1 Stunk: Detroit: Become Human
Like any other David cage game, Detroit: Become Human relies on its storytelling laurels to draw the player in. The interactive adventure certainly flirts with some interesting concepts, but ultimately falls short in its execution. If you want an engaging and thoughtful narrative dealing with similar concepts, and solid gameplay then just play Nier: Automata instead.