Top 5 most disappointing video game releases ever

Nate Searl
fallout 76

Every year there are a plethora of new and exciting video games to look forward to. Not every game lives up to the hype, however, even if it does get better over time. Here are the ones that felt the most disappointing at the time of release. 

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If you’re passionate about video games, you’ve surely been disappointed at least a few times. Not every release goes smoothly, and developers aren’t always the greatest at listening to what their fans want.

Some titles come out with game-breaking bugs or terrible servers, some just don’t live up to their name, and others are just flat out bad. Here are the five most disappointing releases of all time.

5. Pokemon Sword and Shield

disappointing games
Pokemon Sword and Shield haven’t been all they were hyped up to be.

Pokemon Sword and Shield had a lot of controversy around their release. Game Freak removed roughly half of the monsters from the Pokedex on the game’s initial release, leaving fans upset. They also made the controversial decision to not allow players to disable the Experience Share, making the title feel extremely easy and unrewarding.

The fanbase was quick to point out these mistakes and create trends on Twitter with hashtags like “Game Freak lied.” While critics were fond of the games, giving it an 80 on Metacritic, fans still have yet to come around, and it only has a 4.6 user rating almost a year after its release.

4. Final Fantasy XIII

Top 5 most disappointing games
Final Fantasy XIII has caught a lot of heat since its release.

Lighting was a popular character, but that’s about all the 13th addition to the Final Fantasy series had going for it. This game had incredibly long and dubious cutscenes that made it feel more like a movie than a game. To make it worse, the gameplay was extremely linear with an extremely slow progression. After a while, all the battles began to get dull and repetitive.

If you actually made it through the grind to finish out the three-disc long game, it was only to find that the story wasn’t actually over. The title ended up taking two more gritty and linear sequels to finish out the story.

3. No Man’s Sky

Top 5 most disappointing games
No Man’s Sky was disappointing on release.

No Man’s Sky is far better than it was on day one, but back then, it was tragic. The game built up tons of hype in the months leading up to its launch. It was going to be the premier exploration title. Unfortunately, the release went terribly.

Players reported frequent crashes and bugs along with a tiny playthrough for a full-price game. This led to fans refunding and review-bombing the game in the following weeks. Fortunately for the game and its supporters, the developer did a good job and got things together to salvage it.

2. Star Wars Battlefront II

disappointing games
Star Wars Battlefront II didn’t receive good reviews upon release.

Star Wars Battlefront II was supposed to an epic reimagining of the hit game with modern technology. It didn’t go quite as planned, however. EA decided they wanted to try to monetize the game through microtransactions and left much of the game’s content behind a paywall.

To this day, their statement regarding the title is the most downvoted comment of all time on Reddit. EA went back and made changes to the game to help make it playable for everyone, but the botched release will forever tarnish its image.

1. Fallout 76

Top 5 most disappointing games
Fallout 76 is littered with bugs.

Fallout 76 was supposed to be a multiplayer take on Bethesda’s popular post-apocalyptic franchise. The release was similar to No Man’s Sky. Fans reported all sorts of bugs and crashes and the servers were completely unstable. The big difference between the two games is that 76 never quite got its act together.

To this day, the PC version only has a 52 on Metacritic with a 2.7 user score. Even though the servers are more stable and the game is less buggy, most reviews still point out that it’s still just a clone of Rust with a Fallout skin (and not a very good one at that).

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