Bad Video Games: Five to avoid at all costs

Five video games that should carry health warnings

These five are, in our opinion, the worst, most despicable of bad video games and they come wholly un-recommended. You have been warned

To bring you this article, we put ourselves in harms way to make sure that no-one else would ever have to go through what we've been through. We're serious, these games are truly terrible and if you're faint of heart, maybe you should have a look at the best games of 2012 instead.

In fact, you shouldn't even look directly at, or touch these monstrocities should you ever see them lurking in a dark corner of a bargain bin. If these games were released today, they would legally require 50% of the packaging to carry health warnings, and would come with heavy duty industrial gloves and eyewear for prolonged use. And even then, we'd still urge you to stay well clear of them.

Superman 64

This one is widely regarded as being the worst game ever released on the Nintendo 64. The graphics are horrible, despite the fact that there is barely anything for the game to render. The plot involves chasing Lex Luthor around, via a mixture of flying through lots of airborne rings (75%) and rescuing civilians from underneath trapped cars (25%).

Even when you do get to fight a few baddies, the ridiculous combat animations actually force Superman to dislocate his elbows before bringing his limp forearms to bear on his foes. In a cruel twist of irony, this game is unbelievably long. We thought we'd dealt with every one of Lex's ring-based "puzzles" before he appeared in all his bald glory and asked, "you don't want to play anymore?". To which we said, "No."

Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing

If you read the box, Big Rigs is about driving illegal goods around the USA whilst avoiding the cops and racing to beat other drivers. Sounds great. What the box doesn’t tell you is that there aren’t any cops in the game, your opponents never actually move, and your truck actually runs on fairy dust and unicorn tears and can magically go through buildings whilst reaching speeds of 30,000MPH in reverse.

Complete one of the four races (there are actually five, but selecting one of them crashes the game instantly) and you’ll receive the immortal words of congratulation, “You’re Winner!” which seems to sum things up nicely.

E.T: The Extra Terrestrial

No list of worst games would be complete without this one. Lead programmer Howard Scott Warshaw was only given five weeks to build the game, as bosses wanted the game out before Christmas to capitalise on the success of the film.

As a result, the game pretty much involves falling into lots of pits, and then slowly levitating out again. E.T wasn't just awful, it was so awful that despite the film being one of the biggest box office hits ever, the game managed to bankrupt developers Atari almost single-handedly.

Extreme Paintbrawl

Real life paintballing offers accurate gameplay mechanics, glitch-free walls and floors, an intense ambient soundtrack and consistently high frames-per-second. Extreme Paintbrawl offers none of these things.

Even if your real life team-mates are of questionable skill, they are undoubtedly better than Extreme Paintbrawl’s AI, which sprints forward at the start of a match until it hits something, before glitching through the floor. Horrible in every way.

Elf Bowling 1 & 2 DS

Elf Bowling sees Santa get his chance at revenge on his insubordinate underlings. He chooses to do so via setting them up as bowling pins and knocking them down whilst they moon him and abuse him verbally (with such classics as “is that all the balls you’ve got Santa?”)

Clearly this game is meant to have a sense of humour, and it made a passable free flash game. But to try and make it into a genuine release for Nintendo Advance and later Nintendo DS was absurdity at it's worst.