Not all video games combine perfectly, as the most disappointing games of 2021 show. These games are not bad in themselves; most of them are playable perfectly and have some good ideas going for them. But be it the gameplay, the story, or the level of polish, something about them just isn’t working. It is easy to scoff at objectionable crockery; It’s harder to have a critical eye on games that we really wanted to like.
An interesting thing to note: some of the games on our “most disappointing” list may also appear in our “best games” or “games you missed” stories. Some of our writers loved these games and some couldn’t stand them. As such, if any of the games on this list look promising, you might want to check them out. Read on for our most disappointing games of 2021, and remember disappointment is a relative thing!
The higher the kick, the harder the fall will be. Battlefield 2042 is definitely proof of that. Finally, returning the series to a highly sought-after modern setting, there was significant anticipation towards 2042, but the game fell short of those expectations quite spectacularly.
Online-only shooter can be quite fun in bursts, but you’re constantly fighting the game to find these moments. The main shoot remains hugely unsatisfactory even after several post-launch patches designed to improve it, and the seven maps are still a hugely disappointing bunch. Slow menus and cluttered UI haven’t been fixed either.
At least the Battlefield Portal mode, which offers content from classic games from the franchise, is still quite fun and the new Hazard Zone offering has its moment, even if it doesn’t feel like Battlefield at all. The dice swung towards the fences with Battlefield 2042 but the end product missed the mark. – Rory Mellon
Biomutant was a game that initially received a lot of publicity on social media, and I understand why. You can play as a furry anthropomorphic rodent that uses kung fu to take on other creatures in a devastated post-apocalyptic land. Additionally, its high level of character customization and vast skill tree allow players to build a creature to their liking.
While Biomutant has a strange charm, it is plagued with a number of bugs and glitches that spoil the overall presentation. The dialogue of the characters in the game quickly becomes squeaky as they speak in a strange invented language. This wouldn’t be so bad if the scenes didn’t last that long or if said language didn’t sound so irritating.
There are even more issues I had with the game, but let’s be brief: you can skip Biomutant. – Tony polanco
Diablo II: Risen
Diablo II: Risen is a perfect example of why Tom’s Guide ranks the “most disappointing” games of the year rather than its “worst” games. Taken on its own merits, Diablo II: Resurrected is a perfectly good time, faithfully updating a classic PC RPG for modern systems. On the other hand, that’s all it does. All of the game’s clunky and poorly aged systems, from inventory management to creating labyrinthine characters, are perfectly preserved, just as you remember it.
There’s still a lot to like about Diablo II: Resurrected. The click, fight, loot gameplay is as addictive as ever, the updated graphics look beautiful, and the story is still well above most hack and slash fees. However, Blizzard missed a real opportunity to revamp the game with 20 years of improvements to the genre. Diablo II: Resurrected reminds us that nostalgia can be a double-edged sword. – Marshall Honorof
Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – Final Edition
Although it can’t really be seen in the image above, the included remasters of GTA III, GTA Vice City, and GTA San Andreas are not the “final” versions of these games as claimed.
If you somehow missed the couple of weeks the internet went crazy with this game, let me explain. The process of enhancing the game’s textures, some of them seemingly automated, resulted in all sorts of strange visuals, unintentionally creating alien-looking characters or strange typos in the game’s signage. Not to mention other widely reported issues like frame rate drops, physical glitches, or outright glitches.
The reworking process did some good for the game’s lighting and controls, but they’re hard to appreciate when the rest of the game is so ugly and unreliable. Whether acting as an introduction to these classic open-world crime games, or as a nostalgia trip, Definitive Edition is a bad way to experience it. – Richard Priday
Halo Infinite Multiplayer
master Halo Infinite Bell. It’s not perfect, but switching to an open world format and letting the Master Chief explore (part of) Zeta Halo was absolutely the right move. However, I can’t help but feel a bit disappointed with some of the decisions related to multiplayer.
As soon as multiplayer was released, it was obvious what the problem was. Not only did Infinite’s challenge-based progression system make leveling up quite difficult, there weren’t many playlists to choose from and the gameplay was randomly selected. Not to mention all the basic customization options that were locked behind a paywall.
To their credit, Halo developer 343 Industries has been listening to player feedback and making changes, including better progression and new playlists. But considering Halo has had online multiplayer since 2004, Halo Infinite’s multiplayer shouldn’t have been that simple. – Tom Pritchard
Marvel’s Avengers: War for Wakanda
Marvel’s Avengers never realized whether it was a single player game with optional high-level multiplayer or a multiplayer game with a single player introduction. However, the game’s main campaign was pretty good and I was hoping that Marvel’s Avengers: War for Wakanda I would play with the same strengths. However, for the most part, this is not the case.
War for Wakanda features Black Panther as a playable character, and his unique skill set is worth checking out. However, other than that, the expansion tells a forgettable story by heart through a series of aimless levels and trivial puzzles. Fighting ordinary enemies feels repetitive; Fighting bosses can be downright excruciating. Serious voice acting doesn’t help much, nor is music forgettable. The expansion is free, at least, but your time is worth something too. – Marshall Honorof
I’m a fan of puzzle games, so I downloaded Maquette when it launched earlier this year. This is strange blurb to write because the puzzles that make up the main game are so well done. I haven’t played a game that I’ve played with a perspective like this in a long time. That part is fun. Unfortunately, the narrative (told through disembodied voices) gets in the way of an otherwise enjoyable experience. I’m avoiding spoilers here, but the story is unnecessarily depressing for a puzzle game. I understand what the developers were looking for, but it just didn’t work for me. It’s a shame because Maquette could have been a sleeper little hit (pun intended). – Tony polanco
New Pokémon Snap
As a remake of the 1999 classic, New Pokemon Snap did an excellent job of rekindling the nostalgia of our childhood. Not to mention what an absolute pleasure it was to have the opportunity to observe how some of the newer Pokémon interact within their natural habitats. Unfortunately, there is not much more to say about the game.
Considering how short each level is, it’s annoying that one of the game’s core mechanics revolves around repeating each stage multiple times before you can finally unlock something new. The plot itself is bland as well, offering nothing to keep you engaged throughout the story. As I mentioned in my New Pokémon Snap ReviewMy biggest complaint is that despite its shortcomings, Nintendo still sells it for $ 59.99. Sure, it was fun testing the game for a few days. But if you were to ask me if this mini experience is worth the same price as other best-selling Nintendo Switch games, the answer would be a resounding no. – Denise Primbet
Outriders it had all the ingredients to make it a success. It has a solid cover-based third-person shooter mechanic and its magic-based abilities add a level of flair to what could have been a standard shooter. Even his story about the last remnants of humanity fighting each other on a hostile alien planet is promising. Unfortunately, none of its elements are gracefully combined, nor convincingly presented.
The game feels like the equivalent of a SyFy movie made for TV with a delivery of outdated lines and predictable plot threads. A solid co-op experience would have helped, but the smooth level designs and silly enemy AI even make playing with friends a chore. Perhaps a sequel (if one is made) could remedy these problems. As it is, Outriders is a game to forget. – Tony polanco
It is curiously appropriate that sweet minutes focuses on a man caught in a time loop because playing it made me feel like I was trapped in purgatory doomed to repeat the same mundane tasks for eternity.
While it offers a star-studded voice cast, featuring the talents of James McAvoy, Daisy Ridley, and Willem Dafoe, the dialogue is too often forced and unnatural. This is a pretty big problem since the whole game depends on its narrative. The rudimentary point-and-click gameplay is actually just a vehicle to tell the main story and ages after the first dozen minutes.
Even if you can tolerate the shaky dialogue, clunky animations, and repetitive structure, Twelve Minutes climaxes pretty ridiculous with a twist that feels undeserved and aims for a budget hit value. Simply put, Twelve Minutes is a complete waste of time. – Rory Mellon