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5 Video Games That Are So Bad They’re Good

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Video games aren’t built to be shoddy works of art. At least, not intentionally, anyway. Nevertheless, we’ve seen quite a few bad games disgrace our screens over the years, a lot of which have possessed qualities even the most inexperienced hands couldn’t fathom. It’s these very games, though, that have often developed long-standing relationships with the community, to the point of becoming cult classics for all the wrong reasons.

So, what is it that makes a bad game surprisingly good? Is it possible for one redeeming quality to outweigh a truckload of poor ones? And, above all, how is it a game so clearly marked for failure can go on to obtain that awe-inspiring celebrity status? These are but three questions plucked from a flock of feathers, none of which we, as gamers, can even begin to answer. That said, if you’d like to take a closer look at these five shockingly bad games, in particular, then you might just have the answer we’ve been longing to find.

5. Goat Simulator

Goat Simulator - Launch Trailer | PS4

Simulation games are among some of the weirdest things to ever grace the market. Goat Simulator, however, hits a whole other level of weirdness, and it’s surprisingly annoying just how addictive it is. At face value, of course, it’s easy to shrug it off as “just another simulation game.” But ten minutes of experiencing it first-hand, however, will suggest otherwise.

In this bizarre open world simulator, you will have the chance wreak havoc as a stubborn goat with an eye for mindless destruction. With countless movie references, innuendos, and easter eggs to unearth, it becomes far more than your run-of-the-mill slapstick comedy. It is incredibly odd, we’ll admit, but that’s precisely why we love it, and we honestly can’t help but come back to it, as much as it pains us to say.

 

4. Shaq Fu

Shaq Fu Trailer 1994

Shaq is known for being many things, none of which match up with his martial arts persona in the ludicrously entertaining SNES fighting game, Shaq Fu. And before you say it — yes, it is real, and no, you can’t knock it until you try it. Because let’s face it, who wouldn’t want to see the basketball legend throw fists in a quirky 2D fighting game? Seems like a recipe for success, no?

So, what is Shaq Fu, besides a blatant excuse to poke fun at a world class athlete? Well, it’s a combination of things, really, though the majority will tell you that it’s a fighting game at heart. A bad one, at that. So bad, that the game went down as being one of the worst video games ever developed. And we all know what happens when a game gets that sort of branding. Did someone say cult classic?

 

3. South Park

Long before Ubisoft transformed South Park into a genuinely likable role-playing series, its video game ports were bogged down by inexcusable and painstakingly laughable designs and lacklustre plotlines. Take the Nintendo 64 game, for example. It didn’t matter if you were a diehard South Park fan with an extensive knowledge of its episodes and lore, because the fact was, nothing could convince you that the game was anything other than a generic monstrosity.

Of course, South Park being South Park, a following was always guaranteed, regardless of the quality it provided. The quality it did employ, though, was incredibly low, yet ironically good enough to swivel heads and develop a cult following. But let’s face it, the game was terrible. Like, hit-a-turkey-in-the-butt-with-a-snowball sort of terrible. Not quite the magnum opus of comedy, eh?

 

2. Duke Nukem Forever

Nukem

Oh boy, whatever happened to Duke Nukem? Oh yeah, that’s right, he crashed and burned right around the time the new millennium rolled in. That didn’t seem to stop his puppeteer from wanting to cash in on a sequel, though. The problem, however, was that it took fifteen years to chase that very sequel, which meant third-person shooters, in general, had upped the ante quite a bit by the time it did eventually come out.

Duke Nukem Forever is absolutely loaded with cringe humor, oversexualized characters, and questionably shallow personalities. Basically, it’s everything the series was known for back in its golden years — only ten times worse. And yet, in the weirdest way, its 2011 comeback is also pretty darn entertaining, especially for those who waited a decade and a half for its launch. Of course, it didn’t turn any new heads, but it did do a pretty remarkable job at keeping the pensioners in headlocks.

 

1. Rogue Warrior

If excessive foul language and wonky mechanics is your idea of a great time, then Rogue Warrior will suit you down to the ground, and then some. As a game based on the real-life Navy SEAL Richard Marcinko, players can expect to delve into an epic quest packed to brim with wall-to-wall combat, wall-to-wall combat, and wall-to-wall combat. Oh, and did we forget to mention that there’s a smidgen of bad language laced somewhere in there, too?

Of course, third-person tactical shooters aren’t exactly uncommon in this day and age. But Rogue Warrior, on the other hand, sticks out like a sore thumb. Not only is it mechanically in tatters, but it is also weighed down by cringe one-liners, god-awful movie references, and laughably bad voice acting. Sort of sounds like everything you’d want to check out just for the laughs, right? Well, therein lies your reason for its immense popularity.

 

So, what’s your take? Do you agree with our top five? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.

Jord is acting Team Leader at gaming.net. If he isn't blabbering on in his daily listicles, then he's probably out writing fantasy novels or scraping Game Pass of all its slept on indies.