Reviews can be a controversial business, can’t they? The fact is, it’s just not as simple as giving an objective rundown of the merits of such-and-such a game. All kinds of other factors can play a part too. Just ask any gamer who’s irate about the score a game receives.
Perhaps the reviewer just isn’t a fan of the genre at hand. Perhaps they absolutely are, and they’re pandering a little as a result. Maybe they just didn’t ‘get’ the game. Maybe they didn’t even play it to completion. You see where I’m going with this: the whole thing’s a minefield of potential bile in the comment section.
For this reason, aggregate sites are a useful resource for those who are on the fence about making a purchase. A whole selection of reviews at your fingertips casts a much wider net, giving you more information and useful comparisons; verdicts from fellow gamers and critics alike.
GameRankings is a treasure trove of this sort of thing. There it is, in black and white: a percentage-based score for just about any game you care to mention, along with the number of different sources that went into determining said score.
So, all-wise GameRankings, we could use your help. Tell us, which are your scientifically-determined worst games of all time, and which are the best? From Fighters Uncaged and MTV’s Celebrity Deathmatch to Super Mario Odyssey and Red Dead Redemption 2, we’re really running the gamut here, friends. Strap yourselves in, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
30 WORST: Fight Club (Score: 36.84%)
The first rule of Fight Club is, absolutely do not talk about Fight Club. Because it’s a steaming heap of unspeakable junk. This little doozy was released by Genuine Games and Sierra Entertainment in 2004, and doesn’t quite do the beloved movie justice. Gamers Europe awarded the game a stellar 0.5 out of 10, and it did horribly across the board.
The movie Fight Club is a deep and subtly nuanced affair, which really isn’t about the fighting. The PS2 video game Fight Club is solely about the fighting, missing the point entirely, and it even had the gall to make that fighting bad. Super slow movement and awful, unresponsive controls abound.
29 BEST: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (SCORE: 96.43%)
Let’s take a quick break from terrible fighters (don’t worry, there’s another coming up next), to appreciate GameRanking’s tenth-best game of all time. Well, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is actually eleventh on their list, but another title features twice in the top ten on different platforms, so Among Thieves gets bumped up. Good job, Nathan.
The Tomb Raider-esque Uncharted franchise has long been celebrated as one of Sony’s best exclusives. The best of the bunch? The superbly-polished second title. A shining example of how to get a sequel right.
28 WORST: MTV’s Celebrity Deathmatch (Score: 36.76%)
If you remember the days of MTV’s Celebrity Deathmatch, you’ll know darn well that it was not a show to take remotely seriously. Catapulting to fame after its appearance in 1998’s Super Bowl halftime show, this ridiculous comedy series was all the rage for a while. I guess it still is.
Did the video game rendition do the show justice? Well, it’s every bit as absurd, but for all the wrong reasons. For one thing, it released back in 2003, when the Celebrity Deathmatch thing was more or less over. This could have been forgiven if there was any fun to be had, but it’s just so rudimentary as a fighter.
I can appreciate a Fatality-style move in which Mr. T drops the A Team’s van on his opponent as much as anyone, but this is just a mess.
27 WORST: Gravity Games Bike: Street. Vert. Dirt. (Score: 36.52%)
Now, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this actually sounds like a good time. “Anti-gravity bikes, hovering above the… dirt? Sign me right the heckola up,” you might say, throwing your money at the screen like Fry in that meme.
Don’t be fooled, though, because there’s no fun to be found here. This 2002 PS2 title has horrible, unworkable controls, and is a flagrant attempt at hopping on the bandwagon of all those good BMX titles that were doing the rounds at the time. A sorry affair all around.
26 BEST: Red Dead Redemption 2 (Score: 96.45%)
Here’s a title that needs absolutely no introduction. Red Dead Redemption 2 arrived late last year, but immediately hopped straight to the top of many Games of 2018 lists. Rockstar’s most expansive open world experience to date (perhaps the biggest in the industry full stop), Arthur Morgan’s adventure boasts a dizzying amount of things to do and see.
With its huge mission variety, unforgettable characters and the promise of an ever-expanding online mode, Red Dead Redemption 2 is (almost) everything it was cracked up to be. And it was cracked up to be a whole darn lot, friends.
25 WORST: Bruce Lee: Quest Of The Dragon (Score: 35.51%)
Here’s another one that sounded like a winner right from the off. I mean to say, if you’re going to go on a quest of the dragon with anybody, it’s going to be Bruce Lee, isn’t it? Heck, there might be an actual dragon at the end, and it’s always good to have a Bruce Lee handy when you encounter one of those. This has got to be a recipe for a good time, right?
Oh, heck no. I’m afraid you’ve been bamboozled again. In actuality, Bruce Lee: Quest Of The Dragon is yet another poorly-executed fighter.
It's dogged by excessive load times and a shonky system that makes you regret waiting for it to load in the first place.
24 WORST: Fighters Uncaged (Score: 35.46%)
Oh, dear. Oh, very dear. It’s rarely a good sign when a game proclaims itself to be Kinect-only, is it? You’re either looking at a serviceable minigame collection at best, or a shoddy, barely functional mess at worst.
Which of these categories does Fighters Uncaged fall into? I’ll give you a clue: it’s the second one. While the concept was kind of neat, bringing a you-are-the-fighter thing to the table, the Kinect just wouldn’t react to what the player was actually doing most of the time. It’s like trying to get that darn Pikachu to obey your voice commands in Hey You, Pikachu!
Fighters Uncaged? I don’t think so. You’re getting right back in that cage, friend, and I’m feeding the key to my pet chameleon.
23 BEST: Soulcalibur (Score: 96.56%)
It’s great to see the cult-beloved Dreamcast getting a little representation on this list. For many of us, Soulcalibur II was the standout title in the series (with its great array of modes, expansive Weapon Master campaign and such), but it’s the first sequel to Soul Edge that has been immortalized on the list.
Soulcalibur launched on the Dreamcast in 1999, going on to sell super well. It was one of the most successful games on the system, in fact, with its solid mechanics and innovative style (the eight-way-run thing was introduced here).
22 WORST: Mobile Suit Gundam: Crossfire (Score: 35.26%)
Any game in the Gundam franchise has to give you that rush, doesn’t it? That feeling of oh, heckola yes, I’m piloting a heavily-armed mech straight through the gates of the underworld and nothing and nobody can stop me.
It’s tough to explain that feeling. Like true love, you’ll know it when you feel it. You will not feel it while playing Mobile Suit Gundam: Crossfire, however, because the darn game just doesn’t work. It’s sluggish, it looks awful, and generally seems as though it needed another few months to bake before being served.
21 WORST: Bomberman: Act Zero (Score: 33.66%)
Well, dang. Maybe I’m just old and decrepit (my partner delights in pointing over ever new little grey hair I have, and it just makes me feel fantastic on a Monday morning), but in my day, Bomberman was… well, he was darn Bomberman, that’s what he was. You know, adorable cartoon colours, cute explosions and friendships being ripped apart Mario Kart-style.
Bomberman: Act Zero is nothing like that at all. This 2006 Xbox 360 release is like Bomberman crossed with the desolate future of the Terminator movies, for no reason other than to be HARDCORE.
There’s no offline multiplayer, which is essentially what these games are all about, and it’s very repetitive. A real misfire on all counts.
20 BEST: Grand Theft Auto V (Score: 97.01%)
That’s right, friends. As was the case with Red Dead Dead Redemption 2, this is a game you’re probably intimately familiar with.
Another masterpiece from Rockstar, Grand Theft Auto V was a barnstorming success. It continues to be one, in fact; it was the eleventh best-selling game of 2018 (even if it is over five years old). As huge a deal as the expansive crime ‘em up was on current-gen systems, though, it’s the PS3 version that GameRankings rated the best. Funny how things work out sometimes.
19 WORST: Ghostbusters (Score: 33.38%)
You felt those familiar alarm bells ringing in your head right from the off here, didn’t you? You know how gamers tend to feel about licensed titles, after all. The fantastic likes of Marvel’s Spider-Man may have alleviated some of that, but heck, we still remember the abomination that was Superman 64. Flying the almighty Son of Krypton through a series of colorful rings, like it was Baby’s First Flight Sim? No thanks.
2016’s PS4 take on Ghostbusters was a similar disappointment, a flagrant cash-grab to take advantage of the movie’s hype.
A lazy top-down shooter that isn’t worth a nanosecond of your time.
18 WORST: Call Of Duty: Black Ops Declassified (Score: 33.21%)
The venerable Call of Duty franchise has become the very last word in FPS games. This has also meant that it’s attracted a lot of the ire that’s been directed at these sorts of titles, but that’s the price of fame.
PS Vita’s Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified was an attempt to recreate the home console Call of Duty experience on the little powerhouse handheld. Sadly, it was a repetitive and uninspired experience, which was very awkward to control. As with the poor old Vita itself, there was a good deal of promise here, but it just didn’t deliver.
17 BEST: Grand Theft Auto IV (Score: 97.04%)
It’s really no surprise that Grand Theft Auto, one of the most beloved franchises of all time, is popping up again. At a mighty 0.3% higher ranking than its follow-up, it’s the PS3 edition of Grand Theft Auto IV.
While GTA V is an all-around more ambitious and larger game, Niko Bellic’s adventure will always be the high point of the series for a lot of fans. It’s looking a little ropey today (as you’d expect of a 2008 release), but it’s a wonderful game that’s as playable as it ever was.
16 WORST: American McGee Presents Bad Day L.A. (Score: 33.15%)
If a game really has to be bad, it’s always appreciated when they at least make it clear. You can’t be disappointed when American McGee Presents Bad Day L.A. tells you right in the title that you’re going to have a bad day. It’s the same deal with that Daniel Powter song.
This odd little game is a third-person action adventure, with a heaping helping of dark humor. It’s creative in places, I’ve got to give it that, but it’s just trying desperately to be cool, and it shows.
15 WORST: Sonic Boom: Rise Of Lyric (Score: 33.15%)
As we all know, Sonic’s reputation has taken a real battering of late. We’ve seen glimpses of his past glory in titles like Sonic Mania, but Sega’s main man has really been through the ringer lately. Talking swords and all kinds of other bizarre ideas will do that to a franchise.
For GameRankings’ money, the worst Sonic title ever made was Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric. It also scores 33.15%. This 2014 Wii U adventure has some interesting ideas like the Enerbeam (which nabs shields away from enemies, helps you navigate around and other neat things), but just isn’t used very much.
Meanwhile, its terrible ideas are front and center throughout. Constantly slowing the action down to a crawl, in a Sonic game? What the hedgehoggin’ heckola were you people thinking with this?
14 BEST: The Legend of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild (Score: 97.33%)
Nintendo Switch may be a great success story that righted a fair few of Wii U’s wrongs, but it didn’t have the most stellar start. Its launch line-up quite forgettable, marked only by one phenomenal title: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
It’s not an exclusive (also releasing on Wii U), but it's certainly one of the system’s most important titles. As open-world experiences go, perhaps it isn’t up there with Red Dead Redemption 2, but it’s a fantastic game and a bold step forward for Zelda.
13 WORST: Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 (Score: 32.96%)
Whoa, whoa, whoa. Just hold on a darn minute here. A Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater title, one of the worst games of all time? Not on my darn watch. How the heck did this happen?
You see, friends, even the most critically-acclaimed of franchises can’t afford to rest on their laurels. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 may be renowned as the gold standard of extreme sports games, but the franchise went downhill very quickly afterward.
By the fifth game, the team was desperately trying to recapture that classic gameplay, but the execution was just irredeemably bad.
12 WORST: McFarlane’s Evil Prophecy (Score: 32.95%)
As an ardent horror fan, I like to think that I’ve become pretty hardened to most forms of supernatural nasties and malevolent forces. Ghosties, goblins, the dastardly deeds of regular people? I’ve seen it all, in a thousand different ways. Nevertheless, I’ve rarely seen evil quite like that of McFarlane’s Evil Prophecy.
The concept may have been interesting enough (command a squad of four demon hunters with unique abilities, harvesting souls from endless waves of beasts), but there just isn’t a single redeeming factor about the gameplay itself.
11 BEST: Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Score: 97.35%)
The original Super Mario Galaxy was a real revelation back in 2007. Like Breath of the Wild, it took a beloved formula (and one of Nintendo’s most heavyweight IPs to boot) and revamped it a little; staying true to everything we know while being dramatically different in scope and tone.
Four years later, the sequel arrived on the Wii, and didn’t have quite the same reception. It suffered from a mild case of sequelitis, throwing in new elements like Yoshi and a new means of traversing the world but largely being more of the same. Still undeniably brilliant, though.
10 WORST: Ping Pals (Score: 29.18%)
Do you remember the early days of Nintendo DS? The system had a handy-dandy little app called Pictochat, which allowed you to wirelessly send silly messages to your friends (in text or drawing form). It was throwaway nonsense, but managed to steal away hours of our lives anyway. Brilliantly, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has a stage dedicated to this little app.
It was built-in, that was the selling point. Ping Pals, meanwhile, was the exact same thing, with some cheesy minigames and ‘personality’ thrown in via avatars. Probably the worst piece of software in the system’s vast library, being completely unnecessary.
9 WORST: Rogue Warrior (Score: 29.16%)
I don’t know about you, but when I hear the words rogue warrior, I think of a super-fun class to play in an RPG. You know, sneaky-sneaky, stealthy-stealthy, and then an arrow through the guards’ heads… all of that sort of thing.
What I do not want to think of when I hear the words Rogue Warrior is an awful Xbox 360 FPS from Rebellion/Bethesda. It’s clichéd, glitchy and broken throughout. Yes, 2009 was a time when everybody ever wanted to get in on the whole FPS thing, but you could at least put some effort into the whole affair.
8 BEST: Super Mario Odyssey (Score: 97.42%)
Oh, yes indeed. We’re right up there with the cream of the crop now, friends. The top three of GameRankings’ highest-rated games ever kicks off with another of the Switch’s very biggest releases to date: Super Mario Odyssey.
You could say that, true to its name, Odyssey represents Mario’s most ambitious and grandest adventure to date.
A return to the free-roaming platforming style of Super Mario 64, Odyssey added curious new mechanics to the mix, with Cappy and the transformations being a real highlight.
Right there in the first kingdom, you transform into a semi-realistic T-Rex and stomp some Chain Chomps, right from that moment, you know what an epic journey you’ve let yourself in for.
7 WORST: Batman: Dark Tomorrow (Score: 27.83%)
Any long-serving comic book legend like Batman is going to have a whole slew of video games to their name. Naturally, like the movies, comics, shows and merchandise based on the character, they can’t al be great. For every top-notch Arkham game, there’s got to be a Batman: Dark Tomorrow to balance things out.
The issue with this 2003 GameCube release was that… well, everything was an issue. It claimed to be a mix of stealthy detective action and enemy-pummelling, but utterly failed on both counts. The animations were just bad, the gameplay spectacularly unfun.
6 WORST: AMY (Score: 27.24%)
AMY is another title that appears multiple times in GameRankings’ top ten, on different formats. To avoid shaming this 2012 horror title any more than it’s already shamed itself just by existing, we’re only going to count it once. This is the PS3 version.
Scoring marginally better than the Xbox 360 release (25.81%), rest assured that this one’s still an awful mess. The collision detection is abysmal, and the hand-holding mechanic is infuriating when the titular Amy just keeps letting go. It’s an all-round bad, bad time.
5 BEST: The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time (Score: 97.54%)
The fact that Ocarina of Time pops up as GaminRankings’ second-highest-rated title ever probably doesn’t surprise many of you. How many Best Games Ever™ lists do you come across that don’t feature this one somewhere? None, that’s how many.
In the same manner as Super Mario 64, Link’s first foray into 3D was nothing short of a triumph. It’s not a perfect title, as it has its foibles and its Navis just like any other, but it was a stunning achievement for 1998. The benchmark by which every Zelda game will always be measured.
4 WORST: Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust (Score: 26.08%)
Now, there’s an appropriate title if ever I saw one. Not just for the cheap ‘bust’ innuendo, but because this one absolutely did not deserve to perform well.
For one thing, the presentation is more than a little on the ropey side. What’s going on with these character models? Looks certainly aren’t everything, but couple that with the fact that we’re stuck in huge, boring, free-roam environments and the gameplay is as shallow as a kiddie pool, and you’ve got an experience that you do not need in your life.
3 WORST: Fighter Within (Score: 24.68%)
Again, we’ve almost arrived at the moment of reckoning here, friends. With a diabolical score of 24.68%, Fighter Within is the second-worst-received game on the entirety of GameRankings. Which game is the very worst? We’ll get to that in a moment.
First, we’ve got to thoroughly snark on Fighter Within itself. Its blurb reads, “Kinect for Xbox One arms FIGHTER WITHIN with realistic fighting moves using unprecedented 1:1 precision movement tracking.” Suffice it to say, they’re being just slightly economical with the truth there.
Still, it sounds better on the back of the box than “Kinect for Xbox One arms FIGHTER WITHIN with absolutely zero clue which moves the player is attempting to perform, and even if it did know, it wouldn’t care anyway. No, you can’t have a refund.”
Fighter Within came along three years after Fighters Uncaged, and it doesn’t look as though Ubisoft really learned anything in that time.
2 BEST: Super Mario Galaxy (Score: 97.64%)
Here it is, then. By a mere .10%, Super Mario Galaxy managed to edge past Ocarina of Time. It’s the most critically-acclaimed game on the whole site.
On the one hand, if you’re not already a fan of the Super Mario titles, Galaxy isn’t likely to change your opinion on that front. If you do appreciate the games, or platformers in general, this is everything that Mario is, buffed to the finest of sheens.
Its sequel, as we’ve seen, is excellent too, but it was just a little too familiar. Galaxy still had that element of surprise and grandeur on its side.
1 WORST: Charlie’s Angels (Score: 23.74%)
Well, dang. It’s quite a drop from the very best to the very worst, isn’t it? From Super Mario Galaxy’s 97.64% ranking to Charlie’s Angels' 23.74%... ouch.
So, what do you have to do to deserve the dubious distinction of worst game ever? Horrible visuals? That’s a given. Equally poor gameplay and a badly-conceived story and progression system? Check, check and check.
Throw in some ridiculous bugs (and not even funny Skyrim-style ones) and you’ve got 2003’s Charlie’s Angels in a nutshell. It really does have it all.