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

2. 3D Tetris

Sonic R

Tetris – easily one of the most timeless games ever made – has been around for over three decades, and is one of the highest selling games in history. In fact, it’ll probably be around forever. After all, it’s essentially a perfect game, an uncomplicated, universally recognisable concept, instantly identifiable, and as iconic as they come.

Over the years, there have been countless versions of the game, countless variations on the classic formula, but none have been as pointless, or as commercially unsuccessful as the following.

Released in 1996 for the Virtual Boy, 3D Tetris sought to reinvent the classic game for the modern age, rendering it entirely using 3D technology. In the game, players manipulate a three dimensional version of the game, adjusting the perspective in order to control falling blocks, and placing those blocks in order to score points.

The Virtual Boy was way ahead of its time – and while its technological achievements should be commended – it was also a notoriously awkward gaming platform, making even basic functions infamously difficult. Tetris – the simplest, most appreciable game ever made – might have worked to the system’s advantage, but ultimate failed.

After all, Tetris is a staple of the medium. There’s a reason it hasn’t changed significantly in over three decades: it’s perfect the way it is. Any “improvements” would be inherently detrimental, because the game cannot physically be improved, not even a little bit.


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