10 TERRIBLE Video Games (That Secretly Saved Franchises)

The night is darkest just before the dawn.

Resident Evil 6 Leon

There's no denying that a bad video game can often be the kiss of death for a franchise - or in the case of Mass Effect, two hugely divisive releases in a row causing the series to be put "on ice."

Yet necessity is also the mother of invention, and so often all a major video game series needs is to be humbled and embarrassed by a terrible entry in order to fully reinvent itself.

Though each of these 10 games represent some of the worst that their respective series has ever had to offer, the fan outcry was vitriolic enough that the developers had no choice but to listen up, take note, and make sure the same mistakes weren't repeated next time.

As a result, these 10 hit video game IP were all restored to their former glory, but only after they were allowed to plumb the cleansing depths of awfulness first.

It's almost enough to make you wonder which other video game franchises could do with a little creative irrigation, to get the bland stodge out of their system and allow some passionate re-jigging to take place...

10. Tomb Raider: The Angel Of Darkness

Resident Evil 6 Leon
Square Enix

Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness was the sixth mainline entry into the hit platformer franchise, and sought to effectively rejuvenate the series following Lara's fake-out "death" in The Last Revelation and consequent revival in Chronicles.

But many members of development team Core Design were tired of working on Tomb Raider by this point, to the extent that few key personnel from the earlier titles actually stuck around for The Angel of Darkness.

Elsewhere, poor management resulted in the game being scrapped at least once and the additional complexity of developing for PS2 hardware further hindered production, leading to an end product widely panned for being both glitch-riddled and blatantly unfinished.

Core Design reportedly submitted the game to Sony eight times before it was accepted, with staff later commenting that it needed around two more months of work to be satisfactorily completed.

The Angel of Darkness was not only blamed for killing the video game series' commercial prospects but also denting the box office performance of the Angelina Jolie-starring movie franchise, and led to Core Design head Jeremy Heath-Smith resigning in its wake.

All planned sequels were scrapped, and Eidos Interactive ultimately took the franchise away from Core and gave it to Crystal Dynamics, who released a string of critically acclaimed and commercially successful Tomb Raider games in the years that followed.

Most notably, they gave Lara Croft a gritty makeover with 2013's terrific reboot. Core Design burning out with The Angel of Darkness is ultimately the best thing that could've happened to the series, because it allowed a fresh, enthusiastic new pair of eyes to deliver a radical retooling.


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.