Mini-games are never going away. These weird little diversions in bigger games have lost their luster in our modern era, but they’ll always be with us — and they’re always improving. Sometimes, mini-games are a welcome change of pace, and sometimes they’re just straight bad.
Here, we’re focusing on the weirdest and worst mini-games in history, the ones that made us want to never play another video game again. Some of these are just so weird we couldn’t ignore them, and others are just flat terrible.
It’s a good thing mini-games have improved so much, and just looking at the list below, lots of direct sequels didn’t just fix their bad mini-games, but made them the highlight. Keep scrolling to check out our 10 picks.
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#1. Blitzball [Final Fantasy 10]
Final Fantasy is full of weird mini-games — especially after the cavalcade of awkward 3D extras in Final Fantasy 7. Once we got a card game in Final Fantasy 8 and Final Fantasy 9, there was no escape from required mini-games you’ll have to play to get the best possible stuff in the game. And Final Fantasy 10 includes the most baffling and incomprehensible mini-game of them all — Blitzball.
Just saying the name Blitzball is enough to make Final Fantasy fans cringe. The game is about as fun as a drowning simulator — you’ll swim around a giant orb of water, trying to dunk your ball into the opposite side’s net. Sounds easy, but actually controlling your team and making everything happen is absurdly obtuse. This ain’t a sports game, and trying to complete all the matches to get the best items in the game is a chore most of us just ignored.
#2. Stripper Rhythm [Dead To Rights]
Dead To Rights I’m guessing most of you reading this never played. Heck, you might’ve never even heard of this abortive series from the good folks at Namco. Dead To Rights is a shooter styled after Max Payne, but instead of hardcore shooting and neo-noir pontificating, we got lots (and lots) of mini-games. Moving marbles through mazes to disarm bombs is a terrible mini-game, but the stripper rhythm game is easily the worst.
Early in Dead To Rights, hero Jack Slate needs to distract some guards to go after a villain in a strip club. Jack’s girlfriend, a stripper named Hildy, takes to the stages and dances slowly to save the day. This is an early Xbox / PS2 title, forcing you to watch a noodle-bodied mannequin thrust while pressing buttons that very, very slowly glide across the screen. It’s an embarrassing feature of an already deeply embarrassing game.
Bring back even more bad memories of the worst mini-games on the next page.