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The Most Disappointing Games of 2018

Fallout 76 Feature

For the most part, 2018 was a good year for games. We got to play some truly exceptional titles that we’ll either remember for years to come or may even be playing into 2019.

However, there were others games. They weren’t necessarily bad games (although some of them were), but they most certainly were experiences that failed to live up to our expectations in some way.

These are the most disappointing games of 2018.

Fallout 76

Fallout 76

Although this list isn’t in any particular order, this is the only game that can possibly sit at the top of it.

There were red flags surrounding Fallout 76 since its announcement, but even the game’s biggest doubters couldn’t have predicted what we got. Fallout 76 isn’t just a technical mess (although it’s most certainly that). No, Fallout 76‘s biggest problem is that it’s an uninspiring, unambitious, sometimes fundamentally unenjoyable game that wears the Fallout name but doesn’t answer to it.

Fallout 76 may prove to be beyond saving.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4

Call of Duty Black Ops 4

Here’s a bit of a strange case. At launch, Black Ops 4 actually received quite a bit of love from all sides. Its Blackout mode was fantastic, Zombies seemed to be excellent, and the other competitive multiplayer mode was a nice addition.

However, Black Ops 4‘s cracks started to show over time. An absolutely awful microtransaction system derailed the game’s momentum while bugs prevented Zombie’s biggest fans from properly enjoying it. Meanwhile, the competitive multiplayer remains stuck in neutral and even Blackout has lost momentum.

With a little better management from the developers, Black Ops 4 could have been much more.

Mario Tennis Aces

Mario Tennis Acs

The Mario Tennis franchise has seen some ups and downs, but the general consensus was that Aces‘ changes and additions were going to breathe life back into the series.

While they sort of did (the base Aces gameplay is fantastic) everything else about this game feels wrong. Rules and customization options are severely limited, the single-player mode is little more than an annoyance, character balancing is way off, and the motion control modes are mostly useless.

There’s a great game at the heart of Aces, but it’s rarely worth the trouble to experience it.

Super Mario Party

Super Mario Party

Truth be told, Super Mario Party is actually a lot of fun. It may even be the best Mario Party in years.

It’s also quite disappointing. This version of Mario Party features simplified (and odd) rules, smaller maps, and fewer maps in general. It sometimes feels as if it was made for younger audiences. That’s nice, but what about other series’ fans?

Super Mario Party is a lot of fun, but it’s lacking a good bit of content as well as that old Nintendo polish.

Hitman 2

Hitman 2

There were plenty of reasons to believe we’d never see the Hitman series again (or at least as it was) which is why so many were excited to hear that Hitman 2 would indeed be released in 2018.

Unfortunately, Hitman 2 proved to be more of a DLC release that was about 2 years too late. It’s so strikingly similar to 2016’s Hitman that it even features some of the same bugs. While many were calling for more Hitman, this sequel felt closer to reheated leftovers than a full meal.

The Hitman franchise has a future, but it can’t just be more of the same.

Mega Man 11

Mega Man 11

Many Mega Man fans had been waiting for a new game that combined the classic gameplay of the series’ best installments with a touch of the modern. For all intents and purposes, Mega Man 11 looked like that game.

However, that’s not quite what we got. It’d be more accurate to say that we got an old-school Mega Man game in slightly shinier wrapping. Maybe that would have been enough, but the problem with Mega Man 11 was that the few new things it did do felt like it was getting in the way of the classic gameplay.

In the end, Mega Man 11 failed to do enough.

Darksiders 3

Darksiders 3

The Darksiders franchise is a true cult classic. It’s a bizarre series highlighted by its incredible characters, premise, stories, and often serviceable action. The hope was that Darksiders 3 would retain what made the series great and fix the things that held it back.

Instead, we got the opposite. Darksiders challenges Fallout 76 as the buggiest game of the year, which means that its action is borderline unplayable at times. Elsewhere, the game’s characters, plotlines, and worlds fail to match the lofty standards of the previous games in the series.

Darksiders 3 is an utter mess of a game that also happens to spit on the legacy of the Darksiders name.

Sea of Thieves

Sea of Thieve

What’s funny about Sea of Thieves is that its disappointment (somewhat appropriately) came in waves. Some people were initially disappointed that this was the next Rare game, but the Sea of Thieves beta actually left others with the impression this might be a great multiplayer game.

It was…for a few hours. The amount of content that Sea of Thieves launched with was downright embarrassing. Things have slightly improved since then, but this is still a title that is nowhere near where it needs to be.

Much like Fallout 76, it’s hard to imagine Sea of Thieves will ever get the content influx it desperately needs.

Matthew Byrd

Matthew Byrd covers the gaming industry including indies, consoles, PCs, iOS and Android apps, as well as topics related to entertainment and technology.