7 Best Games Hated by Critics

These are the best games that were hated by critics. While many of these games have flaws, or a lot of them, they all have a noticeable fanbase. For video games or any medium, critics can just get it wrong, as demonstrated by these 7 titles.

7 Best Games Hated by Critics

In any medium, whether it’s movies, games, or books, a work is often given more appreciation long after it comes out. Many iconic and well-regarded books and movies were trashed upon release. While video games can have the same quality, none are quite on the same level as Psycho. Most of the best games that got bad reviews have a small to medium-sized cult following, which is at least noticeable if you look around. That is except for many awesome online multiplayer games that suffered from a bad launch but became beloved later on. Here are the 7 best games hated by critics. 

Deadly Premonition

Swery’s breakout cult favorite, Deadly Premonition, had an incredibly divisive critical reception. Similar to a game like Death Stranding, you either loved it or you hated it. The title has a lot of charm with its quirky characters and writing. You can tell this game was made by a developer not in the states due to some of the lines. For example, one of the characters describes reading a book, and she says it takes place in the US. This game takes place in Greenvale, Washington, and no one would actually say that. If they’re in the country, they would naturally assume it takes place there.

York Morgan about to blast a Shadow with a shotgun.

York Morgan about to blast a Shadow with a shotgun.

If you’re a Twin Peaks fan, you’ll love this game, too, as it evokes it with the story and style. The gameplay can be a bit janky, though, and the original game has two versions. The original Xbox 360 version is backward compatible on Xbox Series X|S. Playing it this way leads to the best-looking and running version on consoles. However, the best version is probably the PC port, with its gameplay refinements and story additions. 

God Hand

God Hand actually had decent reviews, for the most part, that is, except for one big exception. IGN’s 3/10 score for the game that’s so notorious it’s often linked to the title for many gamers. In 2006, IGN was the most popular gaming site, and because of this score, many people declined to pick up the game. It’s a shame because there’s still no other title quite like God Hand. The elevator pitch for God Hand would be a beat ’em up, but with Resident Evil-style tank controls. It sounds weird, but once you start playing, it clicks. 

Gene fighting off against Gorilla Mask.

Gene fighting off against Gorilla Mask.

The game features a comedic tone to the whole experience, and all the bosses are very memorable. God Hand’s challenging too, even on easy, and if you want to make it harder, you can do the Kick Me challenge. One of the key abilities is the tension gauge, and once filled, you can fully unleash the God Hand. Your attacks go incredibly quickly, but that Kick Me sign on your back is removed. If you want to really test your skill, try beating the whole game without using the gauge. God Hand is one of the best action games on the PS2, but it is sadly pricey at well over $100. 


For old-school horror gaming fans, the Splatterhouse reboot was highly anticipated. The original three games had quite a depicted fanbase. They were essentially the first gory or M-rated series before even Mortal Kombat. The development process was rough, with the main developer BottleRocket shutting down a year before the game was released. Namco Bandai then had to develop the game until it came out. When the reboot finally launched, it got trashed by reviewers, and to be fair, the initial impressions weren’t good. Apparently, the opening levels were a bit rushed out the door and among the last things to be made, which would explain a lot.

One of the Few Times Sticking With It Actually Works

Revisiting this game recently, I did initially quit after the first two levels. They’re that bad, and the tutorials go by so fast you don’t have time to process all of it. I, and most likely everyone who played this game, had to look up how to do the health regeneration move because the tutorial is that poorly executed. After a while, I decided to play at least a few more levels, and I’m so glad I did because the rest of the game is simply a transformation.

The Carnival level is another major highlight of Splatterhouse.

The Carnival level is another major highlight of Splatterhouse.

When comparing the initial and later levels, they’re like night and day. The later levels are so much more well-designed and have much better detail packed into them. My favorite level has to be the meat factory with the awesome boss fight with Biggy Man, one of the retro horror gaming icons. I wouldn’t blame reviewers for giving Splatterhouse a low score because the beginning is legitimately that bad. A good first impression is really important, and Splatterhouse doesn’t have one. However, it gets a million times better once finished with the opening sections. The rest of the game is a horror metal-themed ride that never lets up. 

Dead or Alive Xtreme 2

When looking at the review scores for the two localized entries in the Dead or Alive Xtreme series, it frankly seems like we’re in bizarro world. The first game has an overall Metacritic of 73, while the second game only received a 53. To be honest, these two scores should be swapped, as Xtreme 2 is a far better game. When looking at Xtreme 1, it’s so light on content. There are only two minigames with volleyball and pool hopping. If you don’t like the volleyball, then there’s not much else to do. I would be furious if I paid full price for that game back in the day.


Xtreme 2, on the other hand, has volleyball, pool hopping, beach flags, butt battle, tug-of-war, water slides, and the best one, jet ski racing. Racing on jet skis is an absolute blast, controls great, and is the perfect minigame if you don’t like playing volleyball. Tomonobu Itagaki, while not the director this time (that would be Katsunori Ehara), was still key to the project, specifically the jet ski minigame.

Jet Ski Racing is easily the best aspect of the game.

Jet Ski Racing is easily the best aspect of the game.

Jet ski racing actually uses a separate game engine created by Itagaki solely for the mode. As well, Itagaki had to design all the courses by himself and even stated on his Facebook years ago that the minigame was the best activity in DOA Xtreme. The final minigame is a hidden easter egg of sorts. Getting a jackpot in Christie’s slot machine with a max bet will play a video of Christie pole dancing. Getting nine jackpots will show the full clip, and you’ll receive a secret ticket allowing your character to do the pole dance. Be warned that you’ll likely go in the red trying this, as Christie’s slot machine can take millions off of you.

One sweet feature of the Xbox 360 was its music features. The 360 allowed you to install music CDs onto the hard drive, and by making playlists, those will appear in-game in Xtreme 2. It’s great if you get tired of the licensed music, but keep in mind not everything will sound very good. The Wanted: Dead soundtrack, which released this year, just doesn’t sound right, while the Silent Hill 3 soundtrack, which released years before Xtreme 2, sounds great. Music appears to sound better if the CD is before or around the same time in the mid to late 2000s.

Amount of Content and Disc Reliance

Finally, Xtreme 2 can be played for hundreds of hours by getting every single swimsuit with every single character. It’s one of the longest Xbox 360 games to get all the achievements in. Despite the Xtreme series’ reputation as a pervy title, you’ll mostly be playing an actual video game here. Whenever you’re chillin’ off at the pool or beach, is when you’re actually chillin’ off after putting in so much time doing all sorts of activities. You actually have to work for your fan service in this game because getting good pictures with your camera ain’t easy. You have to take a pic at the right moment, make sure everything is in focus, and position it correctly. This is easier said than done with the awkward camera controls. 

The Water Slide minigame is incredibly difficult but very rewarding once you finally beat it.

The Water Slide minigame is incredibly difficult but very rewarding once you finally beat it.

Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 still has a small but passionate fanbase to this day and definitely liked more by its players than critics, including YouTubers. A downside you should keep in mind, though, is that Xtreme 2 is a physical-only game that you can’t even install onto the 360’s hard drive. Most 360 titles allow you to install them for better performance, but not here. Apparently, Xtreme 2 is pretty intensive with constantly reading the disc for new data. If your disc gets damaged or wears out, you’re screwed. 

Devil’s Third

Devil’s Third is one of those games that got critically panned, but if you speak to anyone who actually played it, they’ll talk positively about it most of the time. For one thing, this game had a nasty development cycle. Valhalla Game Studios started in 2008, but their first game didn’t ship until 2015. That’s a clear sign right there, and the game went through multiple publishers, which ended up going bankrupt. The game is clearly rough around the edges, with a very poor performance running at an unlocked 60fps. However, putting aside the unpolished nature, the game is quite a fun slasher/shooter hybrid. 

Devil's Third Launch Trailer

After my first playthrough, I had many issues with Devil’s Third. One is that the campaign tries way too hard to ape the Modern Warfare games, and too, melee is a lot of fun, but you simply die too fast for it to be a reliable option. I revisited this game a little while ago in score-attack mode, and the first half was a blast. The first time through, I didn’t understand certain mechanics. Like how important weapon throwing is, the fact that you can still use your fists after your melee weapon is gone, and how to properly use the Enbaku Gauge. 

Tight Combat

Those first two add a lot of tools to the melee system and makes it more viable. The Enbaku Gauge can really lead to clutch moments. For example, near the end of mission six, I was almost near death due to gunfire from some enemies. I realized I could still use the gauge and turned it on, leading to a small explosion around Ivan. This killed many of the enemies, and I managed to kill the remaining ones, which felt awesome. The first five levels have a great balance of melee combat and shooting, but the rest of the levels are more geared toward the latter. You can still melee here or there, but you will mostly be shooting near the end, which is a bit disappointing. 

This invisible woman boss is superior to the one in Wanted: Dead.

This invisible woman boss is superior to the one in Wanted: Dead.

The boss fights are challenging and probably better handled than the bosses in Wanted: Dead. Devil’s Third has an extremely small player base. I once commented on a speedrun video about some tactics, and the World Record holder flatly said that nobody plays this game. It’s a bit of a shame, and due to the high price of over $300, this game will likely remain very niche.

Friday the 13th

One troubling aspect of game reviewing is that games are rarely re-reviewed, and live-service games are often much better after launch. Dead by Daylight and Friday the 13th suffered from this, but both titles had massive followings. Dead by Daylight is still receiving new content to this day. Friday the 13th was a perfect alternative to Daylight with its maps, variety of objectives, and fun, overpowered 1v7 gameplay. It just never got boring with the gameplay loop.

Friday the 13th: The Game Ultimate Slasher Edition Nintendo Switch Launch Trailer

It’s also a great Friday the 13th game in regards to the license. Many nods and references to the movies are found throughout the multiplayer, campaign, and even the virtual cabin. Even people from the movies contributed, with Tom Savini designing an exclusive Jason skin and Kane Hodder reprising his role as the horror icon. The unlockable Pamela and Tommy tapes are also very well done with the voice acting and writing. Any Friday the 13th fan or even any horror fan should get this game. It’s still one of the best multiplayer horror titles.

The Best Game Hated by Critics: Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes

Despite subpar or lackluster gameplay, there are some games in which the story is so good that it elevates the entire experience. Travis Strikes Again is one of those games. Before this title, Suad51 had been having a bit of a rocky track record. Killer7, and especially No More Heroes 1, were huge cult favorites that made Suda one of the brightest new creators in gaming. Ever since, he simply could not match the quality of those two games. The titles released afterward were all at least decent but far below those two titles. Combined with Suda not directing any of the games after No More Heroes 1, his hardcore fans started to lose interest. 

Travis Strikes Again: PAX West Trailer - Nintendo Switch

When Travis Strikes Again was announced, it was very exciting to finally see Travis back. Suda would also return in the director’s chair, but the gameplay had people worried. In truth, the gameplay’s fine enough and similar to a budget Xbox Live Arcade title, but the story is what makes it. Travis Strikes Again features an incredibly personal story that blurs the line between fiction and reality, as all the levels represent different parts of Suda51’s life. Many powerful and unique themes are constant, like the relationship between fan and creator, as well as nostalgia.

It’s one of the rare games that you’ll be playing and beating solely for the story. It’s that good, but remember, the game is for Suda51 fans. If you aren’t, you might not get some of the things the story is trying to tell you. This is what likely occurred to reviewers as the game’s Metacritic is in the 60s. For Suda51 fans, the story hits so hard that you’ll probably like it far more, and that’s why Travis Strikes Again is the best game hated by critics. 

1 Comment

  1. Now flip the script – do your list of Worst Games Loved by Critics. I’ll kick it off – I thought Final Fantasy X was/is extremely overrated. IX was far superior imo.


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