The Worst Reboots In Gaming’s Storied History [MUO Gaming]

Dave LeClair 02-04-2013

The Worst Reboots In Gaming's Storied History [MUO Gaming] gamingLast week we discussed how glorious it can be when a game developer takes its time and reboots a franchise properly The Best Video Game Reboots In Recent Video History Often, video game franchises will attempt a reboot. Essentially, this means they take an established franchise and move it in a new direction. Whether it be a major shakeup to the main character, a dramatic... Read More . Games like DMC and Tomb Raider were given a proper reboot, and the new versions are arguably better than the originals. When it goes down like this, it’s great. Gamers get to enjoy a beloved franchise brought to modern standards, and developers and publishers get to make some profit from an idea that already existed.


Of course, reboots are not always good. In fact, it seems like most reboots are actually much worse than the original. All too often, reboots feel like cheap cash grabs by the creators. Instead of genuinely trying to inject new life into a franchise, it often seems like the companies are just trying to milk every last dollar they can from it. The reboot gets a huge marketing 4 Video Games That Failed To Live Up To The Hype [MUO Gaming] Hype is a necessary part of video games. As the game builds towards its release, it is only natural for fans to get excited, and the PR departments for the games do a great job... Read More push, and builds the hopes of gamers, only to pull the rug out from under then on release day when the game is an utter pile of trash.

These are the games we are going to look at today; the worst of the worst in terms of video game franchises being brought back to life.


Here’s a great idea: take a pen and paper RPG HabitRPG Makes Improving Yourself Actually Addictive Change your habits for the better by tying them into challenges in a role playing game. Level up for doing things you know you should and lose hit points for indulging in habits you know... Read More and turn it into a classic video game RPG 5 Resources To Make You A Better Path Of Exile Player [MUO Gaming] In the middle of February, I dropped an article on you guys that introduced you to everything you ever wanted in Diablo III - all in another game. That game is Path of Exile, and... Read More . Here’s a terrible idea: take that very same pen and paper RPG and turn it into a generic first person shooter. It makes no sense, but it’s the reality poor Shadowrun was faced with. I will readily admit that I’ve never played the pen and paper variant of Shadowrun, but the classic role-playing game for Genesis and SNES was fantastic.

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When I heard Shadowrun was coming back for modern consoles, I was thrilled. When I heard it was coming back as a FPS, I was appalled. As expected, the game came out to little fanfare, and while it was not the worst shooter ever made, it certainly did not live up to the gameplay of the original. It’s existence just doesn’t make sense, and thankfully gamers have moved on, with the servers for the game being shut down shortly after release.


Bomberman: Act Zero

Remember the cute characters from every other Bomberman Bombermine – A Must-Play Bomberman MMO [MUO Gaming] The best video games are often those with simple ideas at their core. Tetris is a perfect example - it's simply piling odd-shaped blocks together in order to form a solid wall, and yet it's... Read More game? Well throw those out and replace them with some sort of Master Chief wannabe, and you have Bomberman: Act Zero. Clearly, Hudson was trying to capitalize on the space marine popularity while making Bomberman an edgier character with this game, and boy oh boy did it fail miserably.

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Everything about this game is bad. The story, the powerups, the camera, and the gameplay are just so drab it’s not even worth a second look. A quick scan around the Internet will show this game in all kinds of “worst” lists, and I would be insane not to include it here. Seriously, if you’ve never played Bomberman: Act Zero, count yourself among the lucky and never look back.

Duke Nukem Forever

What can I say about Duke Nukem Forever that has not already been said? The game had the longest and most laughable development cycle ever, and most gamers just assumed it would never actually see the light of day. Unfortunately, it did, and as expected, it is terrible.


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Unlike Bomberman, there is some entertainment to be had with the Duke. Playing this game is akin to watching a bad horror movie. Sure, the writing is terrible, but it makes that turn where it’s so bad it actually becomes funny. You’d think working on a game for what felt like forever would be the recipe for something awesome, but you’d be sorely mistaken in the case of Duke Nukem Forever.

Space Raiders (a.k.a. Space Invaders: Invasion Day In Europe)

Space Invaders is, without question, one of the most important franchises in the history of video games. The arcade release defined gaming for a generation, and it’s a game that has received some awesome remakes, especially on iOS 7 Classic Video Games You Can Play On iOS [MUO Gaming] I've made it no secret that I am a big fan of classic gaming. I've written about NES games with insane values, websites for collectors, and even games that retailers overcharge for. Of course, not... Read More devices. So who in the right mind through that what Space Invaders needed was some generic and downright terrible 3D looking remake?

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There is nothing positive I can say about Space Raiders. The game is boring, the visuals are dull, the music is garbage and it doesn’t look or feel anything like Space Invaders. Instead, it’s some kind of weird shooter that takes place in generic looking alleys in the ghetto. It’s just bad, and if you value your time at all, you will never even consider putting this game in your GameCube. Unless you’re a masochist, in which case, prepare for the time of your life.


As we’ve seen, video game reboots can go both ways. Sometimes, a developer is able to take the best parts of a game and improve them. In other cases, like the ones above, the developers seem to have lost touch with reality. These games would be bad even if they were not reboots of classic franchises but attaching the name of a great game to them and souring a legacy makes them feel even worse.

What do you think are the worst video game reboots? Hit the comments section below and let us know!

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  1. Faizan Ali
    April 10, 2013 at 9:52 am

    I had soo much expectations from Duke Nukem forever but they blew it.... I wonder why they had to ruin such a treasured franchise!!!

  2. Aditya
    April 4, 2013 at 11:15 am

    Syndicate Reboot should be here. I played the original Syndicate and Syndicate Wars and was hoping for a proper sequel for years, hoping and guessing which developer/publisher could pull out the task succesfully. When I read that the next Syndicate game was going to be FPS, I realized that my beloved franchise fell victim to some corporate greed trying to milk more from FPS trend. The reboot was released in 2011 and to nobody's surprise it was considered a mediocre FPS everywhere and flopped.

  3. MakeUseOf TechGuy
    April 3, 2013 at 10:29 am

    Umm, ShadowRun on the 360 was actually pretty awesome. It had innovative gameplay mechanics, and was - wait for it - fun. Which is more than can be said for a lot of FPSs nowadays.

  4. Andrei Bogdan
    April 3, 2013 at 7:37 am

    Didn't play Shadowrun but Duke Nukem was abysmal .

  5. Doc
    April 3, 2013 at 4:13 am

    The biggest problem with Duke Nukem Forever was its extremely long development cycle - if it had been finished by 1999 or 2000, it would have done extremely well; the fact that it took so long means its graphics, gameplay, and style were dated by the time it came out; the over-the-top "adult" humor was out of date by the time of its release, and no amount of "tweaking" would have made it relevant without delaying it even longer.

  6. Ronald Smith
    April 3, 2013 at 3:57 am

    I quite like DNF a lot actually. It's jolly good fun, lol.

  7. Qbert
    April 3, 2013 at 3:43 am

    I think Simcity should be here. It's not been called a reboot as far as I know, but it basically is one (No number at the end, assuming it's not part of the same series).

    They basically turned it into an MMO "social" game, and required it to be always-online. This is on top of the Origin service, which already gets obstructive at times.

    Even more, they just added DLC, a Nissan Leaf charging station, which has no downside to placing in the city, requires no resources, produces no garbage, and makes sims happy when they use it.

    This is why I think Simcity is the worst reboot. While it's not "history" (It's fairly recent) it's bad enough to be called history.

    • MakeUseOf TechGuy
      April 3, 2013 at 10:30 am

      How do you get the Leaf charging station?!?

  8. JohnB
    April 3, 2013 at 3:37 am

    Hey, at least with the "Shadowrun Returns" kickstarter video, the guy responsible for the "Shadowrun" reboot apologized and had food thrown at him in response. :) (Yes, seriously!)