10 Awesome Video Games That Should Have Been Terrible

9. Just Cause 2

just cause 2
Avalanche Studios

The original Just Cause was a nice idea, offering a GTA-like experience at a time when all anyone could ever talk about was GTA, but set in a lush tropical paradise and with more of a focus on insane stunts, absurd action and parachuting. Sadly, the game was short, technically buggy and lacked the story, dialogue or general imagination of other open-world titles of the time. So when Just Cause 2 came along, we acknowledged its beautiful visuals and the fact that it had one of the biggest maps in video game history, but remained skeptical, thinking that the series' developers Avalanche probably just don't have what it took to realise their vision. But how wrong we were, as they upped the silliness, threw in a ton of destructibility, did away with the laws of gravity and created one of the most beautifully insane sandboxes around. Avalanche didn't completely do away with the original game's formula, instead honing in on making the little quirks a hell of a lot more fun; grappling hooks could attach to anything and save you from fall damage when fired down towards the ground (because video games), parachutes could miraculously fly upwards, and Rico's high bullet resistance encouraged a gung-ho style of play that flew in the face of the trend towards cover-based mechanics. The topographically diverse islands of Panau were a place you'd go to and cheerily unleash some unadulterated explosive chaos, letting Just Cause 2 earn the series a reputation as a veritable playground of stunts and destruction. Check out our review of Just Cause 3 to see if it recaptured the whimsical fun of its predecessor.

8. Transformers: Devastation

It's a shame that when you think of Transformers these days, your mind instantly skips to overblown trailers, the sound of grinding gears and scraping metal, and the scourge of mainstream Hollywood cinema. But please, just try to remember what the license used to be before Michael Bay got his hands on it; try to remember the brightness, the innocence, the action figures and the kids' TV show of the 80s. Transformers: Devastation harks back to those carefree times, and mercifully has absolutely nothing to do with the movies. But a video game based on a largely forgotten TV show is far from a recipe for success, and there was no reason to think it was going to be anything to shout about. But take into account that Devastation was brought to us by the Platinum Games, the makers of the fantastic Bayonetta series, and the whole picture changes. Devastation was one of the most overlooked games of 2015, despite the fact that it has an excellent combat system that lets you seamlessly switch between car and mech, and gracefully crunchy, all-metallic carnage between the nefarious machines trying to take over the city. The overall presentation of the game is an awesome throwback to the look of the show too, with the cel-shaded visuals being faithful to the original sketches, some electric guitar-heavy twanging backing it all up nicely.

Gamer, Researcher of strange things. I'm a writer-editor hybrid whose writings on video games, technology and movies can be found across the internet. I've even ventured into the realm of current affairs on occasion but, unable to face reality, have retreated into expatiating on things on screens instead.