5. Driv3r's Suspicious Reviews
If you've never played Driv3r, well done. It's easily one of the worst mainstream titles available on the PS2, widely lambasted for its clunky driving mechanics, crap graphics and litany of bugs; even as an unassuming GTA clone it wouldn't pass muster. Nevertheless, two publications, PlayStation: The Official Magazine and Official Xbox Magazine, both owned by Future Publishing, gave the game a whopping 9/10, causing many gamers to rightly smell a rat. Players suspected that Future had been bribed by Atari, and when these discussions spilled onto Future's own message boards, moderators promptly removed every topic related to it, only further fueling the belief that a major payola scandal was going on. It was eventually revealed that Future were given a first look at Atari's game, and even if they weren't bribed as such, it's clear that they gave the game a high score simply so Atari would allow them to publish an exclusive review. Whatever the truth, it denigrates the already shaky reputation of video game journalism, and to many, is the point at which they began taking game reviews with a mere pinch of salt.