The Worth it or Worthless podcast is closing in on 4 years old at the time of writing this and in honor of us dubbing April of 2022 “Hatepril”, I (Dan) thought it might be interesting to put together a list of the games we’ve hated the most over nearly 100 episodes.
Without further ado, in no particular order, here’s a bunch of games we don’t recommend!
Surprise, surprise. The list is starting with one of the most notorious franchises that we’ve encountered in our travels.
Episode 7 was supposed to be an interesting romp through several games in a franchise that I thought would be interesting. After a bad pilot cartoon and LITERALLY hundreds of deaths in Turbo Tunnel, Battletoads cemented its place in our podcast hearts as a dumpster fire.
After that, we tried giving the SNES and the arcade versions a shot as well, and neither one made us feel a whole lot better, though I still the arcade version is alright.
In episode 20, we attempted to give the franchise another shot in the form of Battletoads & Double Dragon: The Ultimate Team on the SNES, but alas, it still managed to live up to the disappointment we’d come to know the franchise for.
The sad truth for us is that, with only the exception of the great Battletoads 2020 remake/sequel, there’s just not much fun to be had here.
Streets of Rage 3 (Genesis)
Here’s another game that long-time listeners won’t be remotely shocked to see on this list. Much like Battletoads, Streets of Rage 3 went VERY differently than expected when we covered it in episode 14.
As a fan of beat-‘em-ups and Streets of Rage, I thought I liked Streets of Rage 3 when I picked it for the show. It turns out that I simply hadn’t paid close enough attention prior to that.
The game is way too long. The (literal) random notes in the music are an absolute hot mess. The game is an eyesore if you play an HD version of it on something like a Retron 5 or the Sega Genesis Classics collection (I can’t speak for how it looks on a CRT).
It’s sad to see great beat-‘em-up mechanics go to waste here because the gameplay itself is actually good. The experience just gets marred by everything else unfortunately. With that being said however, we’re living in a world where Streets of Rage 4 is a thing and it’s absolutely fantastic, so maybe play SoR2 or SoR4 instead when the mood strikes.
On the positive side, our sentiment on the soundtrack garnered one of my favorite bits of feedback of all-time. Someone who… let’s say, “didn’t agree” with us told us not to play more video games and to listen to Britney [Spears] instead if we thought the SoR3 soundtrack was bad. It’s Internet gold at its finest.
Superman 64 (N64)
As it turns out, Superman 64 is a thing that exists. It should be the stuff of legend, but this is a game that you can actually go out and “play”. Thanks to our community on Patreon, Hatepril was not only a thing that we did on the show, but it also brought this experience into our lives.
Episode 92 yielded this raging dumpster fire and I can’t think of almost anything nice to say about the game. I feel like it’s rare when the hype is real on something, but against all odds, Superman 64 lives up to its notorious reputation through and through.
Batman Forever: The Arcade Game (PS1)
Superhero video games seem like a thing that should be easy to get right. Even if you need to shoehorn weird stuff in, it’s still generally a great canvas to make a game on. However, as history has proven time and time again, making a good superhero game is apparently pretty difficult.
Surely a video game based on a bad movie could be salvaged by one of our favorite genres, right? Sadly that’s not the case with Batman Forever: The Arcade Game as we discovered in episode 8 of the podcast. The other Batman Forever movie tie-ins were bad enough with their weird Mortal Kombat engine nonsense, but the Arcade Game is a whole different mess.
It’s a beat-‘em-up where you character ice skates around the screen and explodes with some kind of special attack every 12 seconds. If you play this game, it probably won’t take too long before your brain shuts off and your eyes glaze over from having no clue what’s even happening.
It’s a weird, very expensive dumpster fire to have as part of a collection. Do yourself a favor and just watch 3 minutes of gameplay here and then forget this game is an actual thing that exists.
Bible Adventures (NES)
If Superman 64 was an NES game about the Bible, we might be getting somewhere close to the neighborhood of Bible Adventures. Fortunately, Bible Adventures is a slightly smaller dumpster fire than Superman 64 and it doesn’t have any rings to fly through. It just has platforming capture the flag with a baby and some animals to collect, over and over and over and over. It also has some bad music and physics to go with it.
In episode 84 of the podcast, we discovered that it was far too easy for some random developer to make unlicensed fan fiction about the Bible for the NES. It’s just surprising that we never managed to notice how awful this game was when we were kids. Please do yourself a favor and just don’t bother with Bible Adventures.
Double Dragon 2: The Revenge (NES)
As a kid, arcade ports can be a great way to live a pared-down version of the original experience. Games like TMNT 2 were fun ways to play a slightly worse version of a game that people enjoyed.
However, games like Double Dragon 2 shouldn’t be a thing. What if they took something fun, added some of the worst platforming in existence, cheap AI, and obnoxious level design? Sounds like a recipe for a GREAT game to me.
Double Dragon 2 is another example of being completely unaware of how bad things really were when I was a kid. It’s confusing trying to understand why I thought certain games were good as a kid. I liked this as a kid, and now I’m here to tell you that a bad time is waiting for you with this one. So, if you’re gonna play this game, at least do it with rewind or save states on the Switch Online Service or the Kunio-kun Retro Brawler Bundle to save you the headache of the abysmal platforming in this game.
Super Star Wars/Empire Strikes Back (SNES)
Star Wars is another one of those canvases that makes for great material to base video games on. While some of the Star Wars games that out there are fantastic, others have basically been worth flushing down the toilet. Super Star Wars and Super Empire Strikes Back are two of those games that don’t give the most sterling reputation to Star Wars video games. When we covered both of these games in episodes 34 & 69 of the podcast, we sadly couldn’t get far, far away from these experiences nearly fast enough.
In a world where Super Mario Bros. set the standard for great platforming, I wish that the developers here would have paid closer attention to what makes a game feel great. I can’t speak for Super Return of the Jedi just yet, but as far as the first two Super Star Wars games go, there’s a lot of cheap enemies, bad platforming, and weird bosses to be found.
It’s a classic case of a licensed game/series that people probably wouldn’t have many fond memories of if it wasn’t based on a something they already loved. If you’ve never played the Super Star Wars franchise, you’re not missing out on an experience that you need in your life. If you love Star Wars and you’re curious about the Super Star Wars franchise, you’ll probably be much better served by watching a playthrough on YouTube instead of doing it yourself. There’s certainly worse games out there, but these aren’t games we’ll be revisiting in the future if we’re looking for a good time.
Diddy Kong Racing (N64)
Mario Kart is a well-loved franchise that still holds up for a lot of people, even through the weird, janky era of N64 cameras. Diddy Kong Racing seems like it would be a great spiritual successor to Mario Kart 64. In an era where Rare was absolutely on fire with games like GoldenEye and Banjo-Kazooie, they made Diddy Kong Racing.
In episode 26 of the podcast, the nostalgia for Diddy Kong Racing evaporated and we discovered what it looks like when a kart racing game really doesn’t hold up well. Rare took the formula from Mario Kart 64 and expanded it with new vehicles, upgradable items, and a single-player story to give some sort of context to the whole weird scenario where animals race each other in go karts. On paper, it doesn’t seem like much could go wrong there but we found out otherwise when we spent time with the game.
The upgradable weapons are a good idea, but the number of items is pretty limited overall. Choosing different vehicles seems interesting, but some of the races let you mix and match things like planes and cars and ultimately the tracks fall short of the greatness of a lot of the tracks from Mario Kart.
This game might have been a much better experience in a bygone era, but nowadays you’ll pretty much always be better served by going with Mario Kart instead of Diddy Kong Racing.
Adventures of Batman and Robin (Genesis)
In a plot twist that I’m sure no-one saw coming, another licensed game made this list. In episode 27 of the podcast, we covered the Genesis version of The Adventures of Batman & Robin and it’s another example of a game where the appeal doesn’t extend anywhere beyond the IP it’s based on.
It’s basically a game where they made a bad version of Contra with Batman: The Animated Series. Why Contra? I honestly have no idea. I could get onboard with a co-op Batman Contra game if it was actually fun, but this one sadly isn’t. There’s a part of my brain that wants to like this game, but every time I come back to it and check if it’s really THAT bad, I soon find myself skipping levels with a cheat and just feeling the same sense of “meh” that I usually do.
This is another case where you might find yourself tempted to check this one out if you like the IP. If you’re curious, I’d recommend treading carefully and doing a bit of research first. It’s definitely not the worst game on this list, but it’s definitely not a game that I’d put near the top of a list of recommended Batman games.
Celebrity Deathmatch (PS2)
In 2003, “edgy” kids who were sneaking MTV when their parents weren’t around (AKA us) thought Celebrity Deathmatch was great. Revisiting the franchise and playing the game in 2022 for the podcast (Episode 93), we discovered that Celebrity Deathmatch doesn’t quite seem to hit the same way that it used to (no pun intended).
In a garbage fighting game rife with lowbrow humor and terrible jokes, Celebrity Deathmatch transports you back to a time where games like this were actually a thing that companies put out into the world. Granted, the show was popular and I think people generally still think back on it fondly, but the game is just bad.
If a 3D Mortal Kombat, stripped out combos, interesting special moves, put the characters in a wrestling ring (or factory, or Hawaiian island), and had a cast from early 2000’s pop culture, you’d basically have Celebrity Deathmatch the video game. It’s a game that can be amusing for a few minutes, but wears out its welcome in less time than it would take to watch an actual episode of the show.
You’ll be doing yourself a favor if you go back to not even knowing that this game ever existed in the first place.
We’ve endured a lot of rough games throughout the last few years, but we know that our opinions on the podcast don’t always reflect the thoughts of a lot of gamers. Do you legitimately enjoy any of the games on this list? Be sure to send us a DM @wiowpodcast on Twitter or Instagram or shoot us an email and let us know your thoughts!
Thanks for reading!