Gamers is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.
How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.
How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.
To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.Show less
The prospect of open exploration and free roaming is certainly enticing—but some games make a mockery of the idea. Below are WatchMojo's picks for the "Top 10 Worst Open World Games."
Here we’re taking a look at the games that do the greatest disservice to the open world genre, whether because of lack of effort, misaimed focus, or simple creative overreach. Also, No Man’s Sky escaped this list; while it was certainly a controversial game, it is by no means the worst we’ve seen.
Subscribe to MojoPlays—Game Smarter. Game Together.
#10: 'Fuel' (2009)
This was a conceptually intriguing project that ultimately couldn't help but fall flat. Set in a post-apocalyptic virtual world more than 14,000 square kilometers in size, Fuel promised free roaming of said massive area in between races, with the odd storm and a constantly-shifting day-night cycle to boot. Alas, the biggest problem with such a big open world map was that it was a very big empty open world map. We'd say just enjoy the racing, but the way AI racers seem to give up right near a race's end makes us think otherwise. Just goes to show, a bigger game doesn’t always mean a better game.
#9: 'Two Worlds' (2007)
Fantasy storytelling and action role-playing... how exactly do you mess up such a time-honored combination? Well, as it turns out in the case of Two Worlds, the answer lies in execution. Its promise of open-ended character customization and free exploration of the realm of Antaloor cannot compensate for the game's technical incompetence. Bugs abound in the game world, character animations are clearly limited and the voice acting—done by the developers rather than by paid actors—is amateur at best. There’s a shabbiness and incompleteness to the whole production that ends up crippling whatever good qualities it does possess. Fun fact: There was a lot of hype building up this game with the director claiming it’d put Oblivion to shame… yeah, nope.
#8: 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' (2014)
While the game adaptation of Spider-Man 3 certainly has its problems, this is a far worse licensed product. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 loosely ties into the film by the same name, merging an open-world setting with countless plot threads in the hopes of crafting a cohesive storyline. If the prospect of a slapdash narrative weren’t bad enough, the game also suffers due to poor controls and an offering of rather unimpressive, one-note side activities. Add in issues like frame dropping and poor lighting, and what results is an all-around uninspiring game experience.
#7: 'Driv3r' (2004)
Driv3r spent over three years in development, with its developer Reflections Interactive trying to carefully replicate the cities of Miami, Nice, and Istanbul in then-exquisite detail. A shame, then, that their efforts resulted in a game with flimsy driving controls, AI opponents that constantly outperformed the player and a whole plethora of bugs and glitches. Worse yet, only a handful of paths in each open world hub were useful for mission completion, eliminating any incentive to explore or engage further with the setting. If the game’s sketchy quality weren’t bad enough, its reputation was further muddied by the “Driv3rgate” controversy, which stemming from accusations that the game’s publisher Atari gave early access in exchange for good reviews.
#6: 'Superman Returns' (2006)
The Man of Steel may well be weeping if he were to see how things turned out here. Superman Returns, based on the eponymous film, tries to offer players the thrill of flying through Metropolis at blistering speeds and making use of Superman’s more iconic powers. While that may sound like a fun encapsulation of the character, the surrounding game is anything but. From its brevity to the triteness of its side missions, from its lackluster fighting to the mundane visual design, everything about Superman Returns feels like a half-measure and a severe creative miscalculation. It shouldn’t be this hard to build an entertaining experience around a man who can shoot eye lasers and fly into Earth’s atmosphere... right?
#5: 'Destroy All Humans! Path of the Furon' (2008)
Speaking of games with good ideas but terrible results, here’s one about aliens in the 70s. Path of the Furon picks up a decade after the events of Destroy All Humans! 2, with the latest clone of Cryptosporidium setting out to investigate the return of once-extinct alien warriors. It’s n interesting premise, undermined by the game’s repetitive missions, glitch-filled play, rather simplistic visuals and a script that never quite rises above cringe-worthy stereotypes and low-grade humour. Equal parts embarrassing in quality and unpleasant in tone, this is one close encounter none of us ever wants to have.
#4: 'Homefront: The Revolution' (2016)
A reboot of the Homefront series, The Revolution tackles the (absurd) prospect of a North Korean occupation of the US city of Philadelphia. The game allows you to explore the city in-between missions, with weapon customization and scavenging offered as some semblance of variety. Unfortunately, the promise of these mechanics is thoroughly ruined by the game’s poor mechanical and creative design, making the world less-than-appealing to engage with. Players can look forward to a paint-by-numbers storyline with uninspiring characters, uncomfortable gunplay and stealth elements, and a laundry list of frustrating technical issues. That this is also an aesthetically underwhelming game with no visual flair or energy should not be surprising.
#3: 'Infestation: Survivor Stories' (2012)
Oh, how the shame just built up in regards to this one. Originally known as The War Z, this open-world survival game had more than a little in common with the "DayZ” mod. It relied upon similar elements—food and thirst management, combatting zombies, working with other players to survive—but in a less refined manner. Among other issues, reviewers noted its plentiful bugs, the ease with which hacking could occur, the absence of promised features like a levelling system, and its reliance on micro transactions. And let’s not even get into the legal troubles with the US Patent and Trademark Office or the problematic remarks made by the game’s producer...
#2: 'Day One: Garry’s Incident' (2013)
Goodness, where to begin? This first-person shooter puts players in the shoes of Garry Friedman (we see what you did there), a cargo aircraft pilot who ends up in the Amazon and discovers a lost civilization. Resorting to tired cliches in its establishment of plot and setting, Garry’s Incident has the larger issue of being incompentently made. Weapons fired in close-quarters can just straight-up fail to harm enemies, the world is riddled with textureless surfaces, and the AI for enemies is blissfully ignorant of sounds and actions. Apparently, the developer didn’t take criticism very well and filed a copyright claim to take down TotalBiscuit’s video.
Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- True Crime: New York City (2005)
Cube Life: Island Survival (2015)
- Gangs of London (2006)
#1: 'Raven’s Cry' (2015)
Everything that can go wrong, has gone wrong here. First released under the name Raven’s Cry, this pirate-themed sandbox game established itself out of the gate to be a sub-par game; it suffered from game-ending crashes and was clearly dated in terms of visual design. Digging deeper, however, reveals a content-light product plagued by glitches, undermined by its unwieldy combat mechanics and atrocious in the realms of writing and voice acting. Facing overwhelming negativity, the game was eventually rebranded as Vendetta: Curse of Raven's Cry... only for this version to also get lambasted in reviews and eventually being pulled from sale.
Do you agree with our list? What do you feel are the worst open world games? For more liberating Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.