Most Disappointing Games of 2014

There wasn't a lot of infighting in the Tom's Guide office over 2014's most disappointing games. While some outliers were less than enthused by Dragon Age: Inquisition's breathtaking open world, and others couldn't get over just how obtusely difficult Dark Souls II was, everyone could agree that the following five games were disappointing.

Some of these were the victims of delayed releases, while others made it into stores infested with bugs. But almost all of these games suffered from expectations they could never match.

Here are the year's biggest gaming disappointments. We're popping the hype bubbles and saving you a trip to GameStop's sell-back line.

Watch Dogs

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An open-world action/adventure game that let you hack the entire city of Chicago seemed like a novel idea that could speak to current fears about over-reliance on smartphones and the Internet of Things. Instead, Watch Dogs gave us an unlikable protagonist with a silly cap, superficial hacking mechanics and a tired revenge plot populated by some truly ridiculous characters. Between dodgy driving controls, weak combat and an inconsistent tone, Watch Dogs squandered most of its potential and made fans wary of a potential sequel rather than excited for one.
— Marshall Honorof (@marshallhonorof)

Full Review

The Evil Within

A boring protagonist gets trapped in a blood-soaked mental hospital that is actually kind of a virtual world created by the mind of a very traumatized mental patient, but even though the patient's suffering is literally built into the world itself, you're not meant to feel bad for him, because he's clearly evil. Even the Resident Evil-style combat and controls — which some fans will love — weren't enough to redeem The Evil Within, an action-survival game that sometimes wants to have a plot, but mostly just wants you to shoot the scary things. With its utterly nonsensical story and its reliance on gory gross-outs instead of true horror, The Evil Within is one game I could have done without.
— Jill Scharr (@JillScharr)

Full Review


Looking back on it now, the 2.5 stars we gave Driveclub earlier this year might have been too generous. In the months since the game's release, Driveclub's server issues remain unresolved, with multiplayer races and club challenges often unavailable. Even if the game had come out working and on time, Driveclub's loose car feel, penalty-heavy race environment and lackluster soundtrack would have only amounted to a game whose beauty was just skin-deep.
— Sam Rutherford (@samrutherford)

Full Review

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2

After playing the Ultimate Edition of the first Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, I was excited for the sequel, but my hopes and dreams were quickly dashed once I picked up the controller. Once again, I stepped into the shoes of the protagonist Gabriel, who became Dracula in the last entry. This time, the Lord of Darkness is severely weakened and must rally his powers to stop Armageddon and Satan. Just how weak, you ask? So weak that Dracula, the ultimate big bad, has to turn into a gaggle of rats in an ill-advised attempt at stealth. Add spotty combat and a ho-hum plot, and LoS2 is one game that deserves a stake to the heart.
— Sherri L. Smith (@misssmith11) 

Halo: The Master Chief Collection

While it pains me to call the otherwise excellent Halo: The Master Chief Collection a disappointment, there's no ignoring the game's terribly broken multiplayer component. You'll be lucky to even find a game using the collection's online matchmaking system, and you'll likely have to deal with uneven teams and random crashes if you do. This is especially sad, considering Halo's legacy as a treasured online shooter. The Master Chief Collection is still worth playing if you want to relive the campaigns of Halo 1 through 4, but the game is near-worthless to competitive Spartans as of now.
— Mike Andronico (@mikeandronico)

Full Review

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  • George Mulligan
    How about Raven's Cry? A promising pirate game that has been delayed three times this year alone!

    Ok, I get it. It doesn't make the list, because it's probably going to be a 2017 game.
  • MakPo
    How is Destiny not on this list. It was way too built up and while it was fun, it was too short. And the fact that they limited teams to 3 was so annoying. I beat the game as a level 19 character. Many of the good items are not even available until level 20. One of the few games I have ever spent more than $20 on and it was more of a let down than the ones I get for free the xBox Gold.
  • vidfreek
    Well I have to say that there is no need to spoil plot lines for any of these games to talk about why they were horrible. I got the Evil Within pretty cheap a couple of weeks back and now you've ruined the story line for me, thanks. A list of bad titles has no need to spoil things like that, especially on such a new game. Not cool guys
  • Mike Andronico
    @MakPo Destiny certainly came close, as it's filled with frustrations. However, the game was mechanically sound and visually brilliant, and, unlike a lot of games on this list, actually worked as advertised. This led to the game being too weak for our Best Games list, but not appalling enough for Worst Games.
  • Jill Scharr
    @vidfreek: Hi, I'm the writer who reviewed Evil Within and wrote the above blurb. I'm sorry you're disappointed, but the story was one of the reasons we gave it a bad review. I will be more mindful of this in the future, however.
  • vidfreek
    Well like I said, you could have wrote many things about the story that described your dislike of it and criticized how bad it was without spoiling anything. But thats exactly the kind of weird psychological story that I like and it would have been great to find out what the mansion actually was and whats going on, but alas that wont happen now :(

    Also the same can be said about the Castlevania 2 review, again, more can be said about the 2nd game without spoiling the ending to the first game, more care needs to be done with these quick synopsis reviews, much could have been said about the game mechanics and the dumb mechanics about turning into rats without having to give away the ending to the first game, which is also one I never got around to playing.

    Its nice to read some opinions about bad games but unfortunately people have the easy ability to spoil stuff for others without really knowing about it. I had the first season of Game of Thrones spoiled for me this way by reading an article about Sean Bean that had nothing to do specifically with the show, but the writer decided to give the ending away and I couldnt unread it, it was pretty uncalled for....
  • phlebble10
    How come skyrim isn't on here? Its crap, buggy, laggy terrible resolution and no multiplayer options. I know it was a 2012 game but is should of at least got a special mention.