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Gameverse | December 1, 2020

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The Worst James Bond Games Ever Made

Matthew Byrd

James Bond

The recent reveal that developer IO Interactive is working on a James Bond game currently known as Project 007 has understandably shaken the video game world. There’s a distinct possibility that their James Bond game could be the best ever made.

We’re not talking about those kinds of Bond games today. We’re talking about the other kind of James Bond game. They’re the kinds of games that exist to remind you that all-time classics like GoldenEye 007 are largely an anomaly. The fact is that most James Bond games have been either mediocre or something much, much worse.

These are the five worst James Bond games ever made.

5. Tomorrow Never Dies

If I’m being honest, there are worse Bond games than Tomorrow Never Dies. Some of the older Bond titles or Goldeneye: Rogue Agent could easily occupy this spot.

However, Tomorrow Never Dies holds a special spot in many people’s memories due to the fact it was the James Bond game that PlayStation fans had to rely on while N64 gamers were spending sleepless nights with GoldenEye 007. It was never close to being close enough.

The game was also pretty bad in its own right, even if it falls short of all-time bad status. Picture a worse version of Syphon Filter with that game’s creative weapons and action sequences, and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what Tomorrow Never Dies had to offer. Honestly, the PlayStation would never get a Bond game that came close to competing with GoldenEye.

4. James Bond Jr.

The whole James Bond Jr. concept has always been odd. So James Bond has a nephew whose life as a teenage spy often mimics that of his uncle’s? Even for a time when everything was being turned into a cartoon, that’s a pretty weak premise.

Somehow, though, the James Bond Jr. games manage to be much worse than the show. Both the NES and SNES versions of the game are pretty bad, but it’s the SNES edition that feels worthy of real scorn. Despite benefiting from the console’s increased processing power, the game plays like the abandoned project of a high school student developer.

Again, there was potential for this adaption to actually be a fairly enjoyable platformer, but a complete lack of effort turns this into an embarrassing curiosity.

3. A View to A Kill (Commodore 64)

The only reason that A View to A Kill doesn’t take the top spot on this list is that it was made in 1985. You kind of have to give games from that era a little credit compared to more modern titles (with one exception we’ll discuss in a bit).

Still, the Commodore 64 version of A View to A Kill is indefensible. The text adventure edition of this title works well enough, but the developers of this game attempted to create a visual adventure for Bond that largely consists of awkward driving sequences. No amount of begrudging credit for ambition makes it easy to forgive this game for its awful glitch-filled gameplay that is borderline unplayable.

I don’t know if it’s possible to actually like this game.

2. 007 Racing

I fully understand if you clicked on this article expecting to see this game in the top spot, but the truth of the matter is that I have to give 007 Racing credit for at least thinking outside the box. There’s a world where this game was actually a fun distraction.

Unfortunately, we don’t live in that world. We live in the other world where 007 Racing is ruined by ungodly controls, poor level design, and an absolutely unforgivable hesitance to embrace anything fun.

007 Racing could have been a series of compelling racing missions, a Mario Kart-esque racing title, or a Twisted Metal-like car combat multiplayer game. It was somehow a little of all of those things and yet not enough of any of them.

1. Live And Let Die

Given what we’ve looked at thus far, you may be wondering what makes Live so “special.” Why is it worthy of the honor of the worst James Bond game ever made?

Well, the main reason is that it’s not really a James Bond game at all. This was just going to be a generic boat action game before its publishers realized that there was a boat in the latest James Bond movie and they could just slap the license onto what they already had.

We’ve seen some lazy Bond games in the past, but it’s a special kind of lazy to have a James Bond game that was almost literally thrown together at the last minute.