If you invest your time into any media, you usually do so because you’re looking for a rewarding experience. The problem is the amount of time invested being relative to your enjoyment.
Role Playing Games are, by their very nature, time-intensive affairs. Much grander than your average run and gunner, they require players to understand and utilise deeper systems which in turn brings them further into their expansive worlds. The best RPGs have immersive stories, interesting characters and settings that can entrance and delight.
So if an RPG under-delivers in these key areas, you better not be dozens of hours in before you realise the grave error you’ve made by giving it the benefit of the doubt.
It might be irritating characters, generic worlds or (perhaps the worst of all) boring battle systems but some RPGs just aren’t worth the time investment they ask of you. Dust in your usual contenders of terrible, frustrating mechanics or glitchy performances and these bad games leave a bitter taste that lasts longer than your average dud game.
Every entry in this list failed to capture imaginations in one way or another, and let’s just hope you weren’t 25 hours in before you finally decided you’d had enough.
10. Quest 64
Maybe Quest 64 serves a purpose as someone’s very first introduction to the roleplay genre but if you’re looking for a single scrap of depth or individuality then you should look literally anywhere else. I mean, the fact that Imagineer couldn’t think of a better name for their N64 RPG than “Quest 64” is telling enough and we haven’t even made it past the box.
The real issue is that Quest 64 makes no attempts to separate itself from other games or even the past; its story is trite at best, its battle system is tired and its general gameplay is witheringly basic.
Generic Protagonist Child (or, as the game calls him "Brian") can wield the four standard RPG elemental spells. Encountering new enemies is a standard affair of trial and error trying to identify their arbitrary weakness. Battles take place by interrupting overworld exploration ala Chrono Trigger but the wildly swinging camera means that once you’re done it’s all too easy to get lost and turned around in Quest 64’s unremarkable world.
There had been concerns that Nintendo’s 64bit machine and its cartridge system was going to struggle to produce compelling RPGs in that era. Considering that Quest 64 launched after the PlayStation mega hit Final Fantasy VII, it did an indisputably good job of confirming that theory.