10 Awful 3D Video Games That Should Have Stayed 2D

Two dimensional kings, three dimensional paupers.

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There's a reason they say "If it ain't broke, don't fix it".

In the 90s, gaming went through quite an awkward transitional phase, as the vast majority of franchises were failing to make the transition to 3D – despite several notable exceptions like Super Mario 64. Inevitably, these games were pushed into an early grave, forced to evolve unnecessarily in a desperate attempt to stay ahead of the times, ruining their core appeal in the process.

In recent years, there’s been a resurgence of 2D platforming, the genre once again appreciated for its efforts. Regardless, back then it didn’t stop every developer butchering their most iconic franchises in the hopes of staying relevant. Ultimately, they should have realised that a great 2D platformer doesn’t always make for even a decent 3D one, the latter defined by entirely separate criteria.

As a result, these two dimensional kings became three dimensional failures, and with that said, here are ten games that utterly failed to make the transition into 3D, despite their best efforts to the contrary…

10. Bomberman: Act Zero

Sonic R

Bomberman – the original game, released in 1983 – inspired decades of sequels, most of which are a tremendous amount of fun, especially Super Bomberman and Saturn Bomberman. Initially, Bomberman made the transition to 3D relatively successfully – Bomberman 64, Bomberman Hero and Bomberman Generation are particularly noteworthy – but even these games couldn’t hope to compete with previous instalments.

Bomberman: Act Zero – released for Xbox 360 in 2006 – represented a significant departure for the franchise, and featured grittier visuals and a futuristic, dystopian setting. Ultimately, the game was a disaster, counterproductively implementing a third-person camera perspective, as well as a first-person mode which made the game virtually unplayable. Besides that, the stages were repetitive, the gameplay was monotonous, and the whole thing horribly forced.

As a concept, Bomberman doesn’t translate well to 3D, mainly because without the top-down perspective you can’t exactly see where you’re going. Bomberman 64 – the first actually 3D instalment – tilted the screen to create a three dimensional effect, but Act Zero went all out, and is continual cited as the series' lowest point for its trouble.


Formerly an assistant editor, Richard's interests include detective fiction and Japanese horror movies.