Just because 2018 was a pretty darn good year for games doesn’t mean there weren’t a handful of missteps. Join us as we discuss our personal, completely subjective picks for the five worst games of 2018. These aren’t the objective worst — some of these games are actually pretty good, if you just want to run around and shoot stuff. Really, think of this list as a series of major disappointments. And many of them are from massive, popular franchises.
We couldn’t make a list like this without discussing some of the worst games that didn’t make it. I’ve played over fifty games this year, and I managed to miss some of the biggest stinkers. Here’s a quick list of (reportedly) awful games that I wasn’t able to play: Agony, Gene Rain, Super Seducer, Past Cure, and Underworld Ascendant. These games all generated a bunch of negative buzz online, but we didn’t have time to give them a try. Now, let’s get into the official list.
5. Metal Gear Survive
Who asked for this? As a huge fan of the Metal Gear franchise, I had to play this strange, ultimately pointless addition to the series. If you love Metal Gear, I’d recommend anything over this heartless exploitation of the Fox Engine. Play Metal Gear Solid on Gameboy. Play Metal Gear Acid. Any of the other spin-offs is more creative. Metal Gear Survive is a slow, plodding survival game that’s propped up by an amazing engine, with none of the characters we know and love.
4. Black Ops 4 [Singleplayer Only]
A baffling addition to a great game, Black Ops 4 actually does include a quasi-single player mode, even after the very public reveal that there would be no campaign. A first for the series that once focused exclusively on high-quality story missions. The singleplayer, tucked away in a tiny menu that’s easy to ignore when you’re jumping into the excellent Blackout mode, is a glorified tutorial with ridiculous money spent on full CGI cutscenes. These tutorials are laughably bad — slow and boring, with a wasted Woods returned to spout awful one-liners ad nauseum. The game would be better off removing this mode (and the dumb cutscenes) completely.
3. The Quiet Man
What can be said about The Quiet Man that reviewers haven’t already said? In this SquareEnix produced (?!) brawler, you fight groups of enemies and watch cutscenes. Sounds normal — until you hit the big gimmick. Your hero can’t hear, they’re completely deaf, so naturally the player can’t hear, too. Except, the protagonist seems to have no problem communicating with anyone, using sign language, reading lips, or just straight-up speaking. There are no subtitles, so you’re watching several hours of story with no context on what’s going on. It all leads to a truly baffling ending involving supernatural powers. It’s a bad movie with the sound turned off.
2. Fallout 76
A huge misstep from Bethesda, Fallout 76 is a game without an audience. Repackaging Fallout 4 with multiplayer, survival elements, and absolutely no engaging story or scenarios only made the flaws inherent in Bethesda RPGs stand out even more. The only fun to be had is goofing around with friends, because the “story” in nonexistent. The content is light, and you’ll find yourself simply scrounging through endless buildings, hoping another players hasn’t taken everything first. Multiplayer Fallout could’ve been a great thing, but a stripped-down Fallout 4 on a different map just doesn’t cut it.
1. Far Cry 5
How could a genuinely fun game make it to the top of my worst games list? It’s all in the presentation. As a Far Cry game, it’s one of the best — the weapons are good, the sneaking is smooth, and the location is absolutely beautiful. The addition of airplanes and helicopers adds extra variety, and you’ll even be able to call buddies to help you out, including a friendly bear. All of those are positive changes, but severe problems quickly make themselves known.
As you play, you’ll periodically be whisked away to encounter one of three cultist leaders. These mandatory missions stop your progress dead. You’ll be wandering the world, enjoying yourself, when you’re randomly kidnapped by cultists, and forced to endure agonizingly bad monologues from gifted actors given absolutely bottom-of-the-barrel scripts. The missions are boring, bland, uncreative, and culminate in one of the worst endings I’ve ever seen. Far Cry 5 is half of a good game, absolutely sunk by half of a terrible game. It’s the most disappointing game of the year, and I didn’t even have high hopes. All I wanted was a fun game. Far Cry 5 constantly takes the fun away from you.
That’s our quick list! You can watch us rant for 50 minutes on these five games in the video above, where you’re free to venomously disagree with our opinions. It isn’t just your right, it’s your privilege! Here’s looking forward to a 2019 filled with awesome (and a few terrible!) games.