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22 of the worst PC games of all time

(Image credit: Gearbox)

We love PC games, but sometimes you gotta stick the boot in—especially when it comes to the following games. This is a cursed list, in no particular order, of the worst PC gaming has to offer, from horny adventure games to dreadful movie tie-ins. Some games are so bad they’re good, but the ones featured here are just straight up bad. Some of them might have a few redeeming qualities, because few games are 100% awful. But ultimately you should avoid these like radioactive fire.

Duke Nukem Forever

(Image credit: Gearbox)

Developer Gearbox Software
Our review
29%

After decades in development hell, Duke Nukem Forever finally slithered into the world in 2011 courtesy of Gearbox Software and, well, it was worse than anyone could have ever anticipated. Dumb AI, uninspired level design, and dated, deeply unfunny pop culture references were among its most severe crimes, but mostly it was just really boring. In hindsight, 29% is quite generous. AK

Deus Ex: The Fall

(Image credit: Square Enix)

Developer N-Fusion Interactive
Our review
40%

This sloppy mobile port is the lowest the Deus Ex series has ever sunk. With comically inept AI, a tiny city hub, robotic animation, and laggy, unresponsive controls, it’s clear this thing was never meant to be experienced on anything bigger than an iPad. Despite a few decent missions and some interesting Human Revolution backstory, The Fall simply isn’t worth playing. AK

Velvet Assassin

(Image credit: DTP)

Developer Replay Studios
Our review
35%

The stealth is bad, the levels are dreary, I keep finding big watermelons in Nazi bunkers for some reason. When stealth games go bad they end up being really boring, but Velvet Assassin takes things a step further by crassly appropriating the legacy of the real agent Violette Szabo who was captured and executed by the SS during World War 2. Her memory deserves better. TS

Rogue Warrior

(Image credit: Bethesda)
SHIT LIST

The worst reviewed games in PC Gamer history.

Monsters, Inc. Monster Tag (1%)
Bass Avenger (2%)
Monsters, Inc. Pinball Panic (2%)
Plumbers Don’t Wear Ties (3%)
Bravo Romeo Delta (3%)
Willow & Wicket (3%)
Blackstone Chronicles (3%)
Mini Golf (3%)
Big Brother (3%)
Daily Sport Football Strip (3%)

Developer Rebellion Developments
Our review
25%

Truly one of the worst first-person shooters in living memory. Painfully boring, laughably short, and criminally unimaginative, this expletive-ridden Cold War shooter is like one of those straight-to-video action movies you’d see on a DVD rack in a garage, but somehow dumber. I don’t know how much they paid Mickey Rourke to play the sweary protagonist in this thing, but it was too much. AK

Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing

(Image credit: Future)

Developer Stellar Stone
Our review
N/A

A legendarily awful game perhaps best known for its meme-worthy victory screen, which excitedly states “YOU’RE WINNER!” You might think this sounds quite charming, but Big Rigs is just straight up terrible. With unpredictable driving physics, almost non-existent collision detection, and game-breaking bugs too numerous to mention, this may be the actual worst game on PC. AK

Daikatana

(Image credit: Future)

Developer Ion Storm
Our review
58%

Yes, John Romero and Ion Storm’s ill-fated FPS is an easy target. But c’mon, how could we have a worst PC games list without it? Although not nearly as bad as its reputation suggests, this overhyped shooter is nonetheless blighted by rampant bugs, scatty sidekick AI, and sludgy, uninspiring visuals. It isn’t completely worthless, but a low point in Romero’s otherwise illustrious FPS career. AK

Boiling Point: Road to Hell

(Image credit: Future)

Developer Deep Shadows
Our review
61%

Boiling Point is the classic example of a small, scrappy, but wildly ambitious developer trying to build something on a scale that would make even a blockbuster studio’s eyes water. The result is a hilariously buggy open-world FPS that isn’t quite funny enough to justify playing it. The patch notes, however, are hilarious, including “Police station cannot be destroyed by crossbow anymore.” AK

Aliens: Colonial Marines

(Image credit: Gearbox)

Developer Gearbox Software
Our review
48%

The only crime greater than Colonial Marines being considered Alien canon is, well, the game itself. Turning H.R. Giger’s legendary monster into dumb FPS cannon fodder, this dreary, glitchy FPS is a poor attempt to recreate the magic of James Cameron’s film. And the story is nonsense, performing numerous narrative backflips to squeeze as many fan-pleasing moments in as possible. AK

Rise of the Robots

(Image credit: Future)

Developer Mirage
Our review
69%

It's hard to make robots dull, but this game manages it. The game only has six characters and one of them is Loader, a fighting forklift truck. Rise was actually quite good-looking for the time but the limited movesets and clunky movement controls made it miserable to play. Street Fighter 2 had been around for years before this came out and the quality gulf between SF and this is vast. TS

Limbo of the Lost

(Image credit: Future)

Developer Majestic Studios
Our review
N/A

This point-and-click adventure became notorious after it was discovered that most of its assets were nicked from other games. Players started noticing that its backgrounds were retouched screenshots from Oblivion and Thief, which led to further revelations of plagiarism. The game itself is pretty rotten too, but the musical number at the end has to be seen (and heard) to be believed. AK

Bad Day L.A.

(Image credit: Future)

Developer Enlight Software
Our review
43%

Described once in PC Gamer by Richard Cobbett as a “one-man assault on his own reputation”, American McGee’s Bad Day L.A. is a terrible, buggy shooter with a seriously malfunctioning sense of humour. The comic book art is pretty cool, maybe, and I like the idea of a city being struck with every natural (and unnatural) disaster imaginable. But, ultimately, Bad Day L.A. just sucks. AK

Hatred

(Image credit: Future)

Developer Destructive Creations
Our review
48%

“My whole life is just cold, bitter hatred,” monologues Hatred’s emo protagonist as he prepares to murder a load of people in cold blood. “It’s time for me to kill and it’s time for me to die.” Matters of taste aside, because really Hatred is about as edgy as a perfectly smooth sphere, it’s just a bad game. A repetitive isometric shooter with braindead AI that is, ultimately, completely forgettable. AK

Messiah

(Image credit: Future)

Developer Shiny Entertainment
Our review
80%

Messiah had some cool ideas actually. You play a cherub who can temporarily possess guards. It wanted to be an action puzzle game set in a monstrous vision of the future. Unfortunately dire controls, useless shooting, and punishing difficulty means it's best skipped, even if you see it in a Steam sale. TS

Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust

(Image credit: Future)

Developer Team17
Our review
19%

There’s a lot to dislike about this dismal attempt to reboot the Leisure Suit Larry series, but the design of Larry himself (actually the original Larry’s nephew) has to be up there. I mean, look at him. Hideous. But its issues run deeper, namely its embarrassing attempts at humour and atrocious minigames. I hope the Hollywood B-listers that make up its cast were suitably ashamed. AK

Star Trek

(Image credit: Atari)

Developer Digital Extremes
Our review
45%

This is not, as a Star Trek spin-off should be, a game about captaining a starship and exploring strange new worlds: it’s a game about crouching behind waist-high cover and shooting giant lizards. This dismal third-person shooter is the worst kind of movie tie-in and, despite a valiant effort by Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto to sell the rubbish script, is almost completely devoid of entertainment. AK

Animal

(Image credit: Future)

Developer Microtime
Our review
N/A

I’ll forgive you if you don’t know this, but Animal is the name of the mascot for Peperami, a salami-based snack that is, technically, food. This crashingly tedious point-and-click adventure game stars Ade Edmondson as the titular turd-shaped hero, who I’m sure is as proud of this as his recent role in The Last Jedi. I don’t think we’ll be seeing an HD re-release of this anytime soon. AK

South Park

(Image credit: Future)

Developer Iguana Entertainment
Our review
8%

Thankfully, South Park now has two great game adaptations on PC in the form of The Stick of Truth and The Fractured But Whole. But long before those games came this rubbish snowball-throwing FPS, which had none of the show’s wit, satire or, crucially, jokes. And the characters just looked weird in 3D. AK

Trespasser

(Image credit: Future)

Developer Dreamworks Interactive
Our review
68%

Trespasser is ambitious, ahead of its time, and genuinely interesting. But, alas, it’s also rubbish. Infamous for its bizarre control scheme, which sees you controlling the long, flappy arm of the protagonist, this Jurassic Park spin-off is a mess of unpredictable physics, wildly unintuitive combat, and bad physics puzzles. Richard Attenborough’s voice performance is, however, excellent. AK

Lula 3D

(Image credit: Future)

Developer CDV Software
Our review
7%

This famously bad game warns players that it features “intense erotic scenes that may lead to CHOKING, SWEATING, and RAPID HEART BEAT.” The reality is a mediocre third-person adventure laced with low-res, deeply unsexy 3D smut that, admittedly, has a pretty wild story. But it’s best if you just read Richard Cobbett’s Crapshoot, because the plot defies any kind of lucid summary. AK

Afro Samurai 2: Revenge of Kuma

(Image credit: Future)

Developer Redacted Studios
Our review
N/A

It’s not often a game is so bad that the publisher pulls it from sale, issues refunds, and cancels the series. But that’s what happened to this Afro Samurai sequel, which was intended to be episodic. Despite a great soundtrack, the combat is plagued by poor animation, a lack of depth, and a wonky camera. Only one episode was ever released, and you can’t even buy that now. What a waste. AK

Left Behind: Eternal Forces

(Image credit: Future)

Developer Inspired Media Entertainment
Our review
37%

A real-time strategy game with a Christian message might sound like a soft target, but Eternal Forces deserves to be on this list purely because it sucks real bad. Set in New York City after the Rapture, whatever the game is trying to say is obscured by an abysmal UI, broken pathfinding, and dense AI. And that’s without mentioning its lazy racial stereotyping. Pray you never play this mess. AK

Mad Dog McCree

(Image credit: Future)

Developer Digital Leisure
Our review
N/A

This on-rails shooter features some amusingly camp cowboy FMV, but it’s also really tedious and barely interactive. You drag your mouse cursor over a bunch of out-of-work actors in ten-gallon hats and shoot them before they shoot you. Clearly designed to be played by drunk people in arcades, Mad Dog McCree is not worth the time on PC. Just watch someone playing it on YouTube instead. AK