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21 Games from the Past 21 Years That No One Should Ever Play

From "Shaq Fu" to "Ride to Hell: Retribution" to "Elf Bowling."

by Mike Diver
Aug 5 2015, 3:40pm

Promotional imagery from 'Ride to Hell: Retribution.' Honestly, the game gets no better than this picture, right here.

Remember when we ran a piece on 21 games of VICE's lifetime, the magazine (and everything since) having been founded in 1994, that you really should have played? That was a bit of fun. This: not so much. But it's all about balance, light and dark, left and right, United and City. You can't have the good stuff without at least sniffing the slurry of shit that flows beneath it.

Here we have 21 of the absolute worst games to have been released since the last time England failed to qualify for the World Cup finals and Rednex had a British number one single. You didn't ask for them, you got them anyway, and they were fucking terrible. I'll let other people summarize these tragedies because, frankly, I don't want to be anywhere near them. And if you ever have been, I'm sorry. So, so sorry.

Drake of the 99 Dragons (2003, Xbox and PC)

"Don't ever start playing and you'll get a ton of lasting appeal... A good idea that went horribly astray and ended up disastrous." IGN

Charlie's Angels (2003, multi-platform)

"Bad, in just about every way, from the dated control system to the limited play boundaries surrounded by invisible walls, the poor camera, unsatisfying play mechanics and the sometimes-disturbing graphics." IGN

'Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing' gameplay

Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing (2003, PC)

"It's as bad as your mind will allow you to comprehend." GameSpot

Superman (1999, Nintendo 64)

"It serves no purpose other to firmly establish the bottom of the barrel." GameSpot

Shaq-Fu (1994, multi-platform)

"The controls are mutilated, fucking atrocious... This game falls down the asscrack between basketball fans and fighting game fans, and doesn't please anybody." The Angry Game Nerd

Knack (2013, PlayStation 4)

"Devoid of anything resembling personality, creativity, or even a basic level of excitement." Giant Bomb

Fighter Within (2013, Xbox One)

"A misery of clichés, reaching for kung fu movie kitsch but delivering nothing of the sort." Edge

Article continues after the video below

The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct (2013, multi-platform)

"Playing this is like listening to a roomful of barely competent musicians, each of whom is playing a completely different song. And every once in a while one of them kicks you in the groin. Also, you have sunburn." Polygon

Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z (2014, multi-platform)

"Filled with repetitive enemy encounters, cringe-worthy pervy jokes, and frustrating, unbalanced gameplay. This is not the ninja game you're looking for." GamesRadar+

Amy (2012, multi-platform)

"Amy fails on all counts. It's a characterless mess of themes and ideas swiped from a dozen better horror titles." Eurogamer

The Crow: City of Angels (1997, multi-platform)

"The Crow isn't just bad on a conceptual level—no, this game takes the time to reek on all fronts." GameSpot

'Ride to Hell: Retribution' gameplay

Ride to Hell: Retribution (2013, multi-platform)

"I don't think there's ever been a game that does so many things so universally poorly. Forget this exists, and continue your life as if it never did." EGM Now

Little Britain: The Video Game (2007, multi-platform)

"A game that has no redeeming features whatsoever. The epitome of a cheap cash-in." Darkzero

The Letter (2014, Wii U)

"A half-formed thought scribbled on a Post-it note... we can't help but wonder how this even made it onto the Wii U eShop. Warn your friends, write it off, and then move on." Nintendo Life

Girlfight (2013, multi-platform)

"The only way I could possibly recommend this game to anyone is if you have a blossoming interest in both breasts and fighting games, and are trapped on some sort of desert island with a PS3 that only has Girlfight on it." Hardcore Gamer

Over on VICE Sports: What Has Become of British Heavyweight Boxing?

Star Trek (2013, multi-platform)

"So immensely tiresome, so poor and such a cash-in... It's terrible, and not even 'fun terrible,' which is all you need to know." VideoGamer

Aquaman: Battle for Atlantis (2003, Xbox and GameCube)

"It has only the bare requirements necessary to technically be called a game, and even these components are an ugly mess." GameSpot

Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric (2014, Wii U)

"Possibly the worst Sonic game ever made, which considering some of his previous lows is one of the harshest insults in gaming." Metro Game Central

'The Guy Game' gameplay

The Guy Game (2004, multi-platform)

"Not only does the game objectify women, it makes them look pretty darn dumb. Their failures are your gain, though, as when they miss an answer, they have to show you their goodies." Game Spy

Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust (2009, multi-platform)

"Let's review some of the words used in this article: hateful, toss, stupid, tedious, terrible, dreadful, pathetic. That about sums it up, but just to be clear: do not buy this game." Eurogamer

Elf Bowling (1998, multi-platform)

"Asking me which Elf Bowling game in Elf Bowling 1 & 2 is better is like me asking you if you'd rather eat a spoonful of rat turds or hamster turds." IGN


What, no Colonial Marines? You can tweet @VICEGaming with your own duds of the past 21 years. Because there are plenty more that we ran out of room for here.

Follow Mike Diver on Twitter.

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