20 Most Ridiculously Awful Video Games Ever Made

Life would be so much simpler if every video game were good. Think of all the hours of energy completely wasted by development teams with dozens of members who pour their lives into a game just for it to turn to liquid garbage in their hands. It's a tragedy.

It can also be pretty hilarious, in a dark comedy way. Like, who thought Sonic falling in love with an actual human woman (and vice versa) would be a good idea? What are the mechanics of that? Isn't it bestiality? Or does Sonic somehow count as human now? 

The premise is just so insane you have to laugh. In that spirit, here are the 15 most ridiculously awful video games ever made.

20. The Simpsons Wrestling

Another iconic franchise that sold a successful arcade game attempted to have a famous console game. That didn't go over well. It was developed by Big Ape Productions for the PlayStation, and is the only Simpsons-related title to be developed for the console. It came out in 2001 and was a massive flop. 

19. South Park

For some of the younger generation that played highly successful games like Stick of Truth, it may come as a surprise that South Park was also one of the worst games ever back in 1999. 

It was made for the PC and PlayStation and received poor reviews for its bad graphics, repetitive voice acting and lack of playing abilities in multiplayer mode.

18. Shaq Fu

Shaq Fu is a 2D fighting game released for the Sega Mega Drive / Genesis and Super Nintendo Entertainment System in Oct. 1994.

While Shaq may be one of the greatest basketball players to ever play, the man didn't translate into a video game. It was poorly developed and was extremely reptitive which isn't saying much for a fighting game. 

17. Total Recall (NES)

It was one of the many games based after a movie that hoped that the hype around the movie would help sell copies. That did not happen. The game was a shell of what it could have been and fell short for many fans. 

16. Skate or Die

You skate around different areas with the same ramps, same couple of maneuvers, and same impossible controller issues. Yep the game is incredibly repetitive and had no purpose. After about 10 minutes of playing, you have experienced everything you can see. 

Skip on this one. 

15. Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)

Let's start with that whole anthropomorphized hedgehog/Literal Human Woman romance. No one in the development process stopped to think about how weird that is? I guess they could be excused if they were trying to save the game's gameplay, but it revealed itself as beyond saving. Finicky controls, lame level design, a useless camera — this game had it all. And in 3D!

14. Friday the 13th (1989)

Video games based on movies are pretty much universally terrible. Since the early days of video gaming, movie executives have seen games as an easy way to cash in on established franchises, rushing out dumpster fodder simply to tie in with film releases. Friday the 13th for the NES is one of the most egregious examples of this strategy. Infamous toy and game manufacturer LJN managed to create a game with an impressive ability to kill the player for no apparent no reason. In that way, at least, it reflects the spirit of its inspiration.

13. Plumbers Don't Wear Ties (1994)

Plumbers Don't Wear Ties is a truly perplexing game. It's barely a game at all, tasking players only with choosing between two to three options for what they'll do next in what basically amounts to a DVD menu. The game is presented entirely in still images, like some fever dream Powerpoint. It doesn't help that the game's story defies logic while peddling misogynistic nonsense.

12. Aliens: Colonial Marines (2013)

Aliens: Colonials Marines' foremost sin was ugliness. Developer Gearbox Software reused the game's uninspired lighting, low resolution textures and messy animations over and over throughout the game, creating a mess of identically swampy environments. It didn't help that the game suffered from a massive number of glitches in service of an inch-deep story that completely misunderstood its own universe.

11. The Culling 2 (2018)

The Culling 2 launched July 10. It peaked at around 250 concurrent players, enough to fill just five matches. Within two days, only a single player remained. The launch, seen even by fans of the first game as a cynical cash-in on the peaking battle royale genre, crashed almost instantly. The Culling 2 flamed out so spectacularly its developer, Xaviant, pulled the game from stores eight days after release and returned to developing the original Culling.

10. Ride to Hell: Retribution (2013)

Ride to Hell originally pitched itself as a 1960s Grand Theft Auto set in the world of West Coast biker culture. That plan disintegrated as the game's development dragged on. When it finally released, Ride to Hell proved a liner mess of a game, full of misogynistic portrayals of women, baffling sex scenes, ugly visuals and misguided mechanics.

9. Super Seducer (2018)

Speaking of misogyny — Super Seducer is up there with the best of them, in that it's very good at being misogynistic. The game purports to be a tutorial in how to pick up women run by so-called pick up artist Richard La Ruina, but in that, as in most things, it failed. Instead, through live action scenes in which La Ruina acts out the player's choices before lecturing on the effectiveness of each decision, Super Seducer sets the perfect example of what a game shouldn't be. Think of it as a spiritual successor to Plumbers Don't Wear Ties.

8. Hotel Mario (1994)

Hotel Mario stands as one of Nintendo's greatest mistakes, and one of the few times it's allowed other developers to try their hand at developing with a flagship IP. The result, made by Philips Fantasy Factory for their Philips CD-i, is a boring, repetitive grind punctuated by truly absurd, sluggishly animated cutscenes. Somehow, those cutscenes are the highlight of the game, crossing from normal bad to so-bad-it's-good so quickly it's almost frightening.

7. Duke Nukem Forever (2011)

It took 14 years of development to bring Duke Nukem Forever to dubious life, and you can see every minute of that time in poor Duke's wizened mug. The game's ugly visuals are expressive of this one fact at least: in all that time, Duke Nukem has only atrophied. The final product featured Duke murdering innocent human women (not good!) who had been impregnated by aliens (very weird!) while making jokes (extremely bad!). Maybe this one should have stayed in development hell.

6. Bubsy 3D (1996)

5. Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing (2003)

Big Rigs is barely even a game. Released by developer Stellar Stone in a pre-alpha state, it has a laughable number of problems. Players can drive through other vehicles and obstacles thanks to almost completely absent collision detection. The other cars in the race don't even move, making the game impossible to lose. It's hard to imagine the chaos that led to a game this far from complete seeing full release.

4. Legend of Zelda Philips CD-i Releases (1993-1994)

What's cool about Link: The Faces of Evil, Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon, and Zelda's Adventure is that when the first one was finished, the developers decided it was good enough to release the other two. It's cool that anyone could be so blind to how bad a game is, because it shows there really is nothing a human being can't do.

3. E.T. the Extra Terrestrial (1982)

E.T. the Extra Terrestrial may have had the worst launch in gaming history. Thanks to unclear, repetitive, boring gameplay, visuals, and music, the game failed so catastrophically that Atari took drastic measures. The company buried 700,000 video game cartridges in the New Mexico desert, consisting largely of copies of E.T., where they could never hurt another soul again.

2. Superman (1999)

Superman 64 commits the cardinal sin of being not just bad, but criminally difficult. Its opening ring maze demanded exact movements from finicky controls and a debilitatingly short render distance, thereby preventing the majority of players from ever seeing the rest of the game. (Spoiler alert: It's also really bad.)

1. Custer's Revenge (1982)

Custer's Revenge is an honest to God affront to human decency. You play as infamous racist moron George Armstrong Custer, inexplicably revived from the dead so that he can rape a trapped Native American woman. The game consists of walking across the screen while dodging arrows. That's it. Just walk and rape. Custer's Revenge is likely the most embarrassing game in history, and it is easily the worst.