The amount of work that goes into creating even a totally mediocre and forgettable video game is mind-boggling, let alone one that actually delivers on its promises and perhaps even courts Game of the Year consideration.
Sustaining brilliance over the course of an entire game totalling potentially 20, 30, or 50 hours of mainline gameplay is an immense challenge, so it's little surprise that even the very best games tend to have their minor blips and dips.
These 10 recent video games, for instance, all received considerable acclaim from critics for their tightly-crafted gameplay, but each nevertheless dropped the ball in one section above all others.
These games all have that level - the stretch of gameplay everybody remembers through gritted teeth without even having to mention it by name.
Whether making an ambitious-yet-failed attempt to change-up the core gameplay or simply padding out the play-time with endless repetition, these levels are what happens when world-class developers get lazy.
These are the awful levels that make players groan every single time they show up, enough that continuing with the game at this point feels like an active chore...
10. The MJ/Miles Stealth Levels - Marvel's Spider-Man
Though Insomniac's Spider-Man is unquestionably one of the greatest superhero video games ever made, it also comes with irritating baggage by way of the periodic missions where control of Spidey is wrestled away and you're forced instead to play as either Mary Jane Watson or Miles Morales.
In addition to having no superpowers to work with, these missions are also stealth-centric, and while hardly particularly difficult, simply kill the game's otherwise propulsive momentum dead.
Even taken on its own terms, the stealth gameplay isn't particularly well-executed or basically fun - the A.I. is terrible and the insta-fail aspect is maddening.
While perhaps a few puzzles or detective-style sequences might've made for fun diversions away from all the web-slinging, these missions clearly should've been optional side content, because all they did was grind the main story to a tiresome halt.
Thankfully Insomniac listened to the vocal complaints from fans and didn't bother including any shoehorned stealth missions in the recent, superior spin-off Spider-Man: Miles Morales.