I’ve never really been one to lend much weight to the notion that graphics are equivocal to a game’s worth: a game is a sum of all its parts, and a good storyline and/or gameplay can usually make up for bad graphics. Such an argument will always inevitably come up when discussing a medium that’s inherently visually based; but it’s difficult to accurately measure “good graphics” when the bar is constantly moving, and a variety of different techniques are being employed.

I mean, is Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon in the same league as da Vinci’s The Last Supper? No. Does that make it any less enjoyable? Of course not.

All the same, there are instances when subpar graphics can be detrimental to the enjoyment of a good game. This problem often emanates from technological limitations, or as a direct result of the developers’ lack of skill/unfeasible gameplay ambitions. Occasionally, even if you are willing to look past the graphical aspects of a game, there can be games forever ruined by particularly rubbish graphics.

When conducting this list I decided to not include any games older than twenty years, as it seemed unfair to do so. The choices are either games (new and old) below generational standard, or games that have aged so badly that any fun they may have once held, has long been sucked out of them. Oh, and I have to have at one time considered the game to be good, so they’ll be no E.T or Super Man 64 here.

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This article was first posted on February 1, 2013