A lot of games are bad. That's a pretty fair statement to make. There's a wealth of videogame content being released every week, whether that be brand new games, DLC for existing titles, or even just free updates with new content. The law of averages means that some of this content has to be bad, and even the best of the best sometimes make the odd misstep.
There is however a large difference between a game that just sucks and a game that was still published even though the developer or the publisher knew it wasn't finished.
Of course, nowadays, unfinished games are released in staggeringly large quantities. We can't seem to go a month without hearing about a new title that either lacks the basic levels of polish expected of AAA games or happens to, mysteriously, be missing a lot of the features promised to us before its release.
Back in the earlier days of gaming, this was a lot less frequent. When a game was put onto disc and shipped out to stores, developers couldn't just put out a day one patch or promise to fix things later on down the line. They had to make sure the game was, at the very least, in a playable state.
So why do publishers think they can get away with these kinds of shady practices in the modern era, where the internet will put any company on blast for even the slightest mistake? Because people keep pre-ordering games. Wait for the reviews, folks!
10. Balan Wonderworld
If you travelled back in time to 2010 and showed someone a gameplay clip from Balan Wonderland, they'd probably wonder why this five-year-old game they've never heard of has such terrible graphics. It's important to stress that not only was this game released in 2021, but it actually runs on Unreal Engine 4. That's the same engine that was used to make Final Fantasy VII Remake, Returnal, and Days Gone.
To add further insult to injury, the game is poorly optimised on certain systems. The framerate on the Switch port averages out somewhere between 20 to 15 frames per second.
There are also multiple platforming sections that can be completely skipped because the developers forgot to add collision to certain areas, allowing you to bypass puzzles and entire segments of the game. At what point is a bug no longer a bug, and instead just lazy programming?
Most amusing is that the demo for the game, released two months before the game actually came out, featured all of the same problems - which means Square Enix considered the game too broken to even bother fixing, but apparently not broken enough that they wouldn't sell it to you for full price on release.