Let’s be brutally honest with ourselves here: bugs happen. Consider how massive in scale Metal Gear V: Phantom Pain or Skyrim are. Whether it’s a single door that lets you in but not out or being unable to complete a quest because 10 hours ago you killed the wrong chicken (don’t kill the Riverwood chicken), problems are bound to crop up. Most of the time, the teams realize what went wrong and release patches to solve the problem. But some games are released neither with glitchy doors nor angry villagers but entire levels that crumble at the touch. So, in order of release, here are the most broken games ever to have been released.
Superman 64 (1999)
Most games have a hidden debug feature for use in development that shows the polygons without textures. But Superman 64 didn’t need this. Practically everything was grey and with washed out textures. The game also had a lot of pop-in and the collision detection wasn’t great to boot. Between the lack of instruction and the way objectives flickered across your screen like so much strobe lighting, Superman 64 was one of the worst games produced for a great console.
Big Rigs: Over The Road Racing (2003)
Some games may seem boring to the average gamer but appeal to an extremely niche audience. However, there’s no way to reach even these die-hards if your game is as broken as Big Rigs: Over The Road Racing. Forget bad collision detection, there simply isn’t any in the game, so you can drive through buildings, bridges, or even over mountains, ultimately leaving the boundaries of the game. Despite being a racing game, the other competitors don’t actually get off the starting line because they were never programmed with A.I. If your opponents did actually try to race, all you have to do is turn around and go in reverse, since the team forgot to put a speed cap on that gear.
Sonic The Hedgehog (2006)
During E3 2005 SEGA programmer Yuji Naka announced a cross-platform Sonic game that would celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Sonic franchise, and carried the name of the original game from 1991. Unfortunately, Mr. Naka left the team during development, and the resulting game was a disaster. The game was panned for its controls, poor level design, awful story, and long load times. It is also the game to feature the infamous kiss between Sonic and Princess Elise.
Fallout: New Vegas (2010)
A few years ago, my brother and I had a gaming session and I looked over to see my brother’s Fallout: New Vegas character awkwardly vibrating through some dirt on his way to the next ramshackle settlement. “Dude, I think the game’s broken.” Instead of an admission, my brother actually laughed. “Yeah, all the Fallout games are broken. It makes it more fun that way.” Fallout games — and the Elder Scrolls games for that matter — are inevitably broken at launch. It is just something millions of consumers have grown to expect, and may even be part of the unique charm of these games.
Ashes Cricket 2013 (2013)
As an Englishman, I’m supposed to be in love with the summer pastime that is cricket. But — much like most other sports — I have no idea why people love it. The point is, people love the game and love playing a game of the game. So when Ashes 2013 was released, avid cricket enthusiasts descended with glee onto what was one of the worst sports games ever made. In cricket, you either throw the ball, hit the ball, catch the ball or run after the ball. How stupid must a company be to not put in a catch animation and have such poor A.I. that the runners can’t actually make it around the pitch?
Battlefield 4 – 2013
Battlefield 4 was a the game with plenty of promise. You could hijack a jet mid-air, take out enemies with a sniper rifle from two miles across the map, destroy entire skyscrapers. You could do all this and more with 63 other people from around the world doing the same exact things. Until error codes popped up, that is. The game was riddled with bugs, glitches, and crashes at release.
DICE promised to fix the issues but several updates (and a few years) later, things still go wrong. In addition to having to deal with angry gamers, several law firms launched lawsuits against DICE for a variety of reasons stemming from these issues.