The Xbox Series X|S launched with a mixed bag of exclusive video games, some of which didn't sit too well with critics. It comes expected, of course, as it isn't uncommon for a console to have more mediocre launch titles than best-selling marvels. The question is, which games failed to crack the faintest line between mediocre and downright awful?
Fortunately, we have a tool. A tool that, for as long as we can remember, has helped budding gamers decide whether or not a game possesses enough qualities to justify the price tag. And yes, we're talking about the comprehensive package known only as Metacritic. So, what are the worst Xbox Series X|S games to date, according to the all-in-one database? Well, here's what we know.
5. Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy — The Definitive Edition
Grand Theft Auto harbors some of the greatest action-adventure games in the world, which of course includes its online counterpart, a multi-billion dollar universe that accumulates $800 million yearly from Shark Cards alone. Because of this, Rockstar Games wasn't exactly backed into a corner when devising plans to rebuild on top of its former successes. The factor that rang the death knell when looking to rekindle the flame, however, was passing the torch over to Grove Street Games, a subsidiary studio that primarily dealt with mobile ports.
Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy — The Definitive Edition launched to a swarm of starving fans, many of whom spent the best part of a decade pleading for the award-winning series to be remade. The final product, however, was a far cry from its former self, and was instead lumbered with game-breaking bugs, low frame rates, and countless graphical errors. As a result, Rockstar had to issue mass refunds, as well as release a formal apology on behalf of its subsidiary studio. With that, a Metacritic score of just 56 seemed fair, as sad as it is to admit.
4. MX vs ATV Legends
MX vs ATV has bathed in a fairly shallow pool of success since its debut, with the occasional entry often exceeding players' expectations and going beyond the bog-standard Motocross formula. But its latest iteration, on the other hand, failed to bring anything new to the table, which resulted in a lazy mud-soaked template. The result of developing such an uninspiring racing clone led to a rather underwhelming Metacritic score of 56.
Let it be said that Motocross fans can still get their kicks out of MX vs ATV Legends. For $50, though, there are plenty of alternatives with triple the quality and content. All in all, it's mediocre at best, and in no way worthy of such a ludicrously high asking price, given that it is, with all due respect, a cheap rehash of its earlier chapters.
3. Bright Memory
Before we delve right in to the faults that plague what should be the flourishing foundations of a next-gen shooter, we do have to acknowledge the fact that Bright Memory was developed by a one-man studio. For that, we have to give kudos to FYQD for doing what millions of others have failed to even entertain. The downside to this, however, is that the game, at least in its current state, isn't the full-fat product it should be. But that isn't to say it's incapable of harboring a classier future.
Bright Future, as hard as it tries to sit adjacent to its rivals, fails to perform up to par. Although mechanically stable, its perplexing structure and offbeat visuals unfortunately bog down an otherwise fascinating experience. For this, a Metacritic score of 55 seems more than fair. Still, there are far worse games out there, ones that have had teams of a hundred working on them and still flopped. So there's that.
2. Balan Wonderworld
Platformer games are famous for offering developers the tools to build without limits. To this end, industry newcomers often look to the genre as a starting point, a place from which they can express themselves without facing any consequences. Unfortunately, this wasn't the case with Balan Wonderland, a shoddy and half-baked 3D platformer with far more bark than bite.
Glossing over its exterior, one could easily describe the so-called Wonderworld as a creative waterfall sewn with passion and intrigue. And to be fair, it looks fantastic from a bird's-eye view, with enough vibrant colors and quirky settings to boot. The problem, though, isn't with its exterior, but more so its appalling gameplay and execution. To say it's cooked to perfection would be a far cry from the truth, which is precisely why Metacritic ended up slapping it with a score of 47.
If there is one thing a video game needs to reach its peak performance, it's time. Failure to give something the correct amount of time in the oven, of course, can lead to pretty disastrous results. And going by that, CrossfireX is about as cooked as a newborn calf still grazing in a field. Thanks to Remedy Entertainment neglecting its basic needs, the would-be average first-person shooter came out with far more warning lights than the firm could face to repair.
Besides harboring an incredibly lacklustre campaign laden with in-game microtransactions, CrossfireX also failed to incorporate a captivating multiplayer platform. Bundled in with clunky mechanics, uninspired maps, and a whole lot of repetition — Remedy's dire attempt at creating a next-level first-person shooter wound up becoming nothing more than a petty cash grab laced with errors. For this, a Metacritic score of 38 seems more than justified.
So, what's your take? Are you at all surprised by the worst five Xbox Series X|S games? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.