Let's face it, bad games are brilliant. As long as you didn't do anything stupid like actually spend money on one, there's hours of fun to be had just savouring the failure.
Great games? They need no help. Mediocrity is never enjoyable. A true stinker on the other hand, a bad idea executed hilariously poorly, is a thing of beauty. The only real problem is where to draw the line. Here are 15 of the worst games ever made.
In-game advertising makes everyone cross, but what if the game itself was the advert? Yo! Noid, One Step Beyond, Spot... there were several of these bad ideas (although Spot was actually fun) but Animal was both the worst and the most inexplicable. A point-and-click adventure starring the poo-like Peperami mascot and voiced by Adrian Edmondson at his most shrieking. Really? Well, yes, and one of the most boring point and-click adventures you can imagine at that. Tedious puzzles and a completely forgettable world aside, it put its cards on the table early on by constantly insulting you for playing it. You deserved its scorn. The scorn of a game about a sausage mascot, which you'd actually gone out and bought with real money. Think on that and realise you'd never scrub away the shame, even if you used a wire brush.
2. Limbo of the Lost
There's a puzzle in this adventure where you need to give someone a bottle of green water. No problem, right? You've got a green bottle. Oh, but water's blue, isn't it? Never mind. Just add a bit of yellow saffron!
When people talk about Limbo of the Lost, they usually focus on its minor faux-pas of being a commercial game that blatantly stole all its graphics from games like Oblivion and Wolfenstein, but that's unfair. It's so much worse than that, on a level so twisted, it borders on genius. The kind they keep in a padded cell to stop him picking fights with Batman. One minute you're stumbling through empty caves (stolen from Painkiller), the next exploring Death's house (stolen from Thief 3), the next solving a murder mystery in a game whose plot is never actually explained. It's so insane, it could actually have been funny, except for the fact that it's torture and will make you want to cry.
Normally, when developers come down to show off their hard work,it's considered polite to watch,ask some questions, and hold off on the gallows. Hellboy had an entire room of journalists rolling in laughter from the first line of dialogue. The only problem: it's not a comedy. After apparently vanishing, it hid in shame for years, aside from a demo with some of the worst voice over work this side of House of the Dead, until a reader finally tracked down a copy for its long-overdue scourging. Luckily, it came long before the movie, so not too many people ever fell prey to its awful controls, combat that made Resident Evil embarrassed, and those awful, awful graphics. Firing it up to make sure, just for the record, that it really was that bad, I managed to get to the end of the first level before microwaving the disc. For this, I deserve many, many gold medals.
4. The You Testament
Aside from classic gods and fantasy, games typically avoid religion in the name of an easy life. The You Testament... goes a different direction. So bad, yet apparently so sincere, philosophers could argue for years about whether it's actually the best troll ever, but that doesn't change the fact that it's a game about following Jesus around, and occasionally punching him in the face by accident. Sometimes he turns the other cheek, sometimes he threatens to kill you dead. That's what you get when the combat comes straight from a wrestling game. Later, you gain religion-themed superpowers, like terrain manipulation and seeing the world in wire frame mode. No, really. The best thing about all this craziness? There's a sequel. Same basic game. About Mohammed. Talk about actual giant, steel-plated balls.
5. Doctor Who: Destiny of the Doctors
Released during that now so long-ago period when nobody cared about Doctor Who, this is a pitch-perfect example of how not to do a tie-in game. Playing not as the Doctor or a companion, but rather some rubbish alien called Graak, this most tedious of games was all about stamping around the infinite possibilities for boredom in the Doctor's TARDIS on a fanfic-level quest to rescue his various personalities from the Master via the power of minigames and sheer bloodyminded endurance. Admittedly, it was more interesting than 2D platformer Dalek Attack, but only just. The only good thing in it was Anthony Ainley's full-motion video pantomime introduction and ending videos, which some fans think of as setting up the failed American reboot. At least modern Doctor Who games are awesome, right? Right? Oh.