Making video games is no small feat, especially in this time when the competition is so strong and the fanbases are so demanding.
It doesn't help either that pressure piles on a developer right from the very moment a new title is even teased, be it from people inside the operation or outside of it. Targeted release days, hype from outside, poorly managed deliverables - all things that can cause havoc behind the scenes.
What's more, the influx of games with 'live servers' has led to a steady stream of games being released that are clearly not ready to leave the development stage.
Publishers see the presence of live servers as a window to routinely pump out patches, updates and content and smooth over any grievances with a disappointing launch. It still feels like a somewhat cheap strategy, but has at least showcased more regularly that even the most poorly received titles in their day can find their reputation redeemed.
With all of that in mind, these hated video games got REALLY good.
10. No Man's Sky (2016)
No Man's Sky is the embodiment of 'all bluster no substance', with all of co-founder Sean Murray's sweeping promises prior to the launch only setting the game up for one of the most botched releases in history.
But, roll forward to 2022, and No Man's Sky might also hold the crown as the biggest redemption story in the industry.
The number one criticism labelled at the game on launch was that it lacked character, which has led to Hello Games making a real effort to give each new update a more obvious theme. The Desolation update, for example, did a stellar job in showcasing the potential terrors of deep space through an atmospheric abandoned setting.
For multiplayer, a full four-player experience was delivered in the No Man's Sky Next patch, and the Beyond update allowed up to 32 players to join the same server. There have also been updates that have brought with them a revamped inventory system, upgrades for settlement customisation and new visuals, biomes and terrains.
Credit has to go to Hello Games for listening to feedback, sticking with their project and making No Man's Sky one of the most worthwhile experiences even in 2022.