Whether it’s the art style, the characterisation, the movement or just the technical side of things even the worst games can get something right. A nice graphical sheen, or a well told story can do wonders for even the least interesting titles, just as a sufficiently bad element can ruin an otherwise fantastic experience.
In fact as the technology and software used to make games becomes more and more standardised, getting something wrong is only getting harder. Although this can come at the cost of those standard elements becoming samey and boring no matter how well they work (we’re looking at you, Assassin’s Creed, Arkham Asylum, Mad Max and Shadow of Mordor).
But with combat being such a big part of modern video games just nailing that one thing can save a game from being completely terrible.
In this list we’ll be looking at some stinkers, some disappointments and some severely lopsided experiences that at least partially saved themselves through well implemented violence.
Whether the following games can be considered the worst in their series or just the worst, they did at least get the combat right.
8. Red Steel
It’s no wonder that people were excited for Red Steel when it was announced: a first person shooter using the Wiimote to aim realistically at the screen, occasionally slowing down to have sword fights by swinging your arms around.
Sadly the reality didn’t live up to the dream and when Red Steel launched it was met with mixed reviews, owing to inconsistent visuals, poor controls and technical issues. In the end it did sell well, but the general consensus among the gaming population is that Red Steel 1 is a bad game.
Bit of a surprise then when you boot this game up, sit through the intro sequence and then immediately start having a blast with the game’s combat - accurately blowing Yakuza away like you’re Kazama Kiryu with an air zooka.
Every gun feels powerful and kicks like a mule, the bad guys run and duck for cover and even chase you down when you try to take cover yourself. The sound effects give every gunshot and explosion a sense of weight, and the shotgun might be the most satisfying in any video game after Doom 2’s super shotty, sending gangsters flying with every pull of the trigger and even tearing up the scenery around them.
It more than makes up for the lacklustre katana fights which can be won just by wildly swinging the controller until you give yourself repetitive strain injury.