When the hype train steams into town, even some of the most shrewd gamers are powerless to resist its pull. But resist we must, if this history of mega disappointments is to teach us anything.
With the artistic evolution of video games has come the cynicism of big money, following in the footsteps of the movie and music industries.
As such, publishers and developers are far less willing to take a gamble than they used to be, generally going through rigorous stages of testing and development before a title ever makes it to market. But even the big gaming industry giants themselves can stop the tide of public opinion – or, it seems, combat an ever-expanding potential for glitches and phoned-in segments in ever-more complex game designs.
While we may never see the like of Simpsons Wrestling again, it hasn't stopped the modern era delivering some of the most desired yet hated games of all time, joining the ranks of some impressive disasters.
From branded tie-ins to legacy titles, some games go large on pre-order and have fans kicking down the doors on release day (Amazon have doors, right?), only to get home and discover they've been had. Unfinished projects, shameless cash grabs and misguided efforts alike have, at times, made video gaming feel like it all might not be worth it after all.
10. Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War (2020)
3.4/10 on Metacritic? No, it's not that Fifth Element tie-in game from the '90s; it's 2020's Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War.
Call Of Duty is not a game series known for innovation, not unless you count it being used to recruit for the US Army. The first-person-shooter has been churning out similar helpings of guns, guys and online carnage for 15 years now, ever since they struck gold with Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare on PS3 and Xbox 360. With ever-decreasing campaign time, increasing monetisation and a greater focus on online play, however, players have been at the end of their tether for years.
Enter Black Ops Cold War.
Developed by Treyarch, who were responsible for the runaway success of the original Black Ops, this interquel to the series, with its early-'80s Cold War setting, should have been a done deal. As the best-selling game of 2020 in the US, everyone bought it and critics raved about it, but that didn't stop fans of the series dragging it into the street and putting a bullet between its eyes.
The campaign is as short as usual, the multiplayer is laggy and underwhelming, and the game overall is considered buggy and rough around the edges. But that hasn't stopped them making more...