Despite the many releases in the first half of the year, the list of disappointing video games of 2023 is short. From Indie sensations to AAA exclusives, the community has received a varied list of titles to choose from. In all fairness, they have done reasonably well, and there have been a few surprise hits like Hi-Fi Rush along the way.
That said, some releases have also failed to meet their expectations. In certain cases, it’s due to the poor performances and optimizations. In other situations, the games could have been better designed and executed. With all these points considered, and many others, here are the five most disappointing video games of 2023 that have let the entire gaming community down.
Disclaimer: This list is not about the five worst games of this year. It includes titles that still need to meet the general expectations.
Which are the 5 most disappointing video games of 2023?
There have been some disappointing games released over the last six months, but here are the ones that make the list of the five most disappointing video games of 2023.
5) Wild Hearts
Wild Hearts was supposed to be the grand competitor to the Monster Hunter series. The game has witnessed Japanese giants, Koei Tecmo, collaborating with EA. In some aspects, it has good features involving the building system. Wild Hearts has an innovative Karakuri system that lets players build temporary buildings and allows the community to approach a battle strategically.
However, games in 2023 need to meet certain benchmarks in terms of graphics, and Wild Hearts has been a major letdown. Its graphical performance on the Xbox Series S could have been better. Moreover, the story also feels like it could have been clearer. Wild Hearts has potential, but it still requires much work from the developers’ end to lift it from the list of most disappointing video games of 2023.
4) Crime Boss
Crime Boss is the perfect example of what works for one game might not reflect for another. Nobody would have expected it to enter the list of the most disappointing video games of 2023, given the star cast attached. However, games rely on gameplay, not just the characters, and Crime Boss fails in both aspects. It often feels like a Pay Day 2 knockoff, but adds a few new areas besides game modes.
Most of the game modes feel unnecessary, and the missions feel repetitive and bland. A fewer number of game modes would have allowed the developers to make the gameplay much more gripping and justify the shooting elements, which is the only enjoyable aspect. To make matters worse, the star cast also delivers poorly written dialogues and acts throughout the game.
Forspoken has some redeemable qualities, and there are moments when a player can enjoy what’s on offer. However, more is needed to remove Square Enix’s latest Western adventure from the list of most disappointing video games of 2023. Forspoken had long periods of delay (almost a year), so expectations were high. While the community was divided over the decision to skip Xbox, they were still hopeful that the delay would let players get a finished product.
Forspoken is anything but a polished game, and like the next entry on this list, it has redeemable qualities. The spells and movement can feel interesting, and some enemies are worth a word or two. However, poor acting, bland storyline, and botched gameplay mechanics massively pull Forspoken from where it can belong in quality.
Deathloop was a success, and it cemented Arkane’s reputation even further. This studio is known for delivering hits – Prey, Dishonored, and Deathloop are the brightest examples. Like Forspoken, Redfall got pushed back by a significant amount of time. It’s available on PC, but it’s a console exclusive on the Xbox. Like the magical RPG, it’s a huge letdown, plagued with bad gameplay mechanics and poor performance.
The level of Redfall’s performance on PC could easily have put it on the top of the most disappointing video games of 2023. Players reported crashes, bad optimizations, and enemies getting stuck on the screen. For a shooter, enemies’ response to being shot is laughable, even at greater difficulties. The decision to implement a 4-player co-op now appears as a waste of resources. Unless there are radical improvements down the line, Redfall could easily become one of the biggest disasters of the year.
1) Lord of the Rings Gollum
A new Lord of the Rings came centered around one of the most beloved characters of the series. What could go wrong? Everything! This is why Lord of the Rings Gollum goes to the top of a list of the top 5 disappointing video games of 2023. From the production quality to the overall gameplay to the mechanics, the entire game is a big letdown.
The graphics look dated and would be considered passable about a decade back. From character designs to lip movements, everything feels dull and doesn’t work half the time. The gameplay is bland; the glitches and bugs make it a nightmare. If Lord of the Rings fans were hoping to get a good game, this game is certainly not it. Despite the patches promised by its developers, it’s unlikely that Lord of the Rings Gollum will ever become a quality product.
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