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The Biggest Gaming Flops Of 2022

2022 was a great year for gamers. From the beginning to the end, there was a little something for every style of gamer. Players could defeat challenging bosses in "Elden Ring," or ride a mechanical animal in "Horizon Forbidden West." They could capture adorable monsters in "Pokemon Legends Arceus," or continue the heartwrenching story of Kratos in "God of War Ragnarok" – the latter of which dominated nominations at the Game Awards. Yes, 2022 was a standout year in gaming. Even older titles got a facelift, and "The Last of Us Part 1" now has a fan favorite looking better than ever.

But every video game isn't destined to be great, and some are downright flops. The games on this list aren't going to win any awards, but they'll definitely stand out in gamers' memories for how downright terrible they are. While the games mentioned here weren't all financial failures, they have one terrible detail or another that will make them stand out to gamers for years to come. Whether it's crippling microtransactions, unfortunate timing, or simple, unimaginative gameplay, these games are undeniably the biggest gaming flops of 2022.

Diablo Immortal

Even though controversy didn't slow "Diablo Immortal" down, it definitely deserves a dishonorable mention for its use of excessive microtransactions. The game has done exceptionally well, earning developer Blizzard heaps of cash while also managing to enrage its fanbase in the process. The main problem gamers seemed to have with "Diablo Immortal" was the way it monetized some of the core gameplay elements of loot-based games. Instead of grinding for hours and fighting deadly enemies, players could just spend real money to have increased odds of finding favorable items. 

"Diablo Immortal" hit an unfortunate milestone not long after its release, making it the worst rated Blizzard game in existence, but that hasn't stopped gamers from enjoying it nonetheless. For those who can look past paying for basic game functions – or don't mind spending money to progress – "Diablo Immortal" might not be a gaming flop after all. Still, some players were seriously damaged by the game's setup. For example, one gamer spent $100K to build their perfect character, only to have it backfire terribly when they couldn't actually find anyone to play PvP with. Even though Blizzard allegedly worked to fix the issue, that it happened in the first place had some gamers irritated.

Babylon's Fall

"Babylon's Fall" was supposed to have it all. It was developed by action experts Platinum Games and backed by a major publisher, Square Enix. It seemed, cool, too, designed to have engaging action RPG gameplay. Like a fantasy-flavored "Nier Automata," players could run around the map with their trusty weapons floating alongside them, encountering any number of magical creatures along the way. "Babylon's Fall" was designed to be played in small parties of 4, so gamers could meet up for regular raids with their friends. However, all of the excitement that fans might have felt before the game's release quickly dissipated after critics had a turn with "Babylon's Fall."

Critics explained that "Babylon's Fall" was simply not fun to play, full of grinding at the beginning with action that couldn't live up to other Platinum Games titles, like "Bayonetta." The game also simply looked bad. The graphics were poorly animated, according to reviewers, and the painting-esque style that developers were going for didn't translate to the final product. In other words, the game was a mess. By September 2022, not even a year after its release, gamers said RIP to "Babylon's Fall," marking it a disappointment to both Platinum Games and the community at large. Though the game will continue to be supported through February 2023, it's no longer available for sale in digital storefronts.


"Crossfire" fans were somewhat dismayed when "CrossfireX" was delayed in 2020. But, that didn't mean there was reason to worry yet, right? After all, Remedy – developers of the fan-favorite "Control" – had signed on to work on the single-player campaign for "CrossfireX," and had been working on the project since 2016 along with Smilegate, which would create the multiplayer experience (via Eurogamer). Additionally, "Crossfire" as a franchise has an excellent history of being successful, and even made its creator stupidly rich with its high sales numbers. Fans surely had nothing to be nervous about.

Even though its delay was announced in 2020, fans wouldn't see "CrossfireX" until 2022, and even then its arrival wouldn't be celebrated. Critics seemed to dislike "CrossfireX," and the game earned a measly 38 on Metacritic's aggregated scale. Game Rant was particularly harsh on the FPS, giving it a .5/5 and calling the single-player campaign "a mostly painful experience from start to finish." The review was similarly critical of the multiplayer mode, and actively told gamers to play something else instead of "CrossfireX."

"CrossFireX" was received so poorly at launch that Smilegate issued an official apology letter to gamers, asking for their patience and promising to improve the game in the future. The letter was too little, too late for many, making "CrossfireX" a miss.

Vampire: The Masquerade - Swansong

"Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines" is considered an RPG classic by both gamers and general fans of the macabre. The game dips into the mysterious underbelly of the world, exploring the lore of the "Vampire: The Masquerade" tabletop RPG and translating it into a gaming experience. For years, players have yearned for a "Bloodlines 2," eager to experience what a vampire-themed RPG would be like on the most contemporary hardware. In 2022, gamers got a new "Vampire: The Masquerade" video game, but it wasn't "Bloodlines 2." Not by a mile.

"Vampire: The Masquerade: Swansong" was initially set to release in 2021, but it wouldn't come out until 2022. Even then, fans weren't happy with the final product. Critics said that "Swansong" was, on one hand, a great peek into the World of Darkness setting that the "Vampire" games are known for. On the other hand, the game adopted that lore so deeply that players were often tasked with delving into an in-game codex to parse through the terminology characters used, which ultimately took gamers out of the story and made the game feel like homework. Perhaps the harshest critique issued by critics was that "Swansong" was boring, and even with the layers of World of Darkness lore and a wide cast of characters, it just couldn't do enough to keep players' attention.

Chocobo GP

"Chocobo Racing" for the PS1 was a weird spinoff game favorite of many kids growing up in the 90s and early 2000s, and spiritual successor "Chocobo GP" sought to capitalize on the now-adult players who grew up with the game. Those nostalgic adults had the thing that Square Enix was clearly gunning for when creating "Chocobo GP:" Money. "Chocobo GP" utilized a Season Pass-based live service system, which both felt unnecessary to many players and added another expense to an already moderately priced game. Destructoid's review of "Chocobo GP" pointed out that in comparison to other classic racing games like "Mario Kart" or "Diddy Kong Racing," "Chocobo GP" felt money-hungry. It lacked the innocence of games where one can play to unlock new characters without spending a single additional cent.

In addition to the premium currency complaints gamers had for "Chocobo GP," some reviewers simply said that it didn't stack up to the many other racing games out there, especially "Mario Kart." Inverse claimed that "Chocobo GP" was unimaginative and boring compared to "Mario Kart," which it was in direct competition with on the Nintendo Switch. With lackluster tracks and a pricy live service model, there was just no reason for gamers to pick up "Chocobo GP," no matter how adorable those charming Chocobo were.


Unlike some games on this list, "Dolmen" isn't a completely terrible game, per se. Instead, it's a victim of an unfortunate set of circumstances. First, it was announced and released at a time when there was a wide variety of sci-fi horror games in development, many of which had bigger budgets and more impressive pedigrees. "Dolmen" looked less promising when put up against other games like "The Callisto Protocol." It also released around the same time that a little title named "Elden Ring" came out, giving it little chance of entering into the gaming discourse for months. As a Soulslike game, "Dolmen" had stiff competition in the form of FromSoftware's greatest achievement.

Then, there was the quality of the game. NME explained that the combat system for "Dolmen" felt unbalanced, with many attacks having a weightless quality to them. The game was punishingly difficult, but not in a fun way, with many enemies seeming to have faulty hitboxes and one-hit kill attacks. Unlike many Soulslike games, which offer players moments of mercy through I-frames, "Dolmen" only seems interested in beating players to a pulp repeatedly, with no chance to perfect one's strategy. Learning a boss's moveset is often futile if they can kill you in one hit.

Daily Emerald gave a harsh, in-depth review of "Dolmen" as well, commenting that unlike many Souls games, multiplayer in "Dolmen" is completely disconnected from the single-player mode. Players can summon another player character to help them defeat a particularly challenging boss, but when they return to their own single-player campaign that boss will still be alive and well. That sort of isolation didn't sit well with many gamers, and "Dolmen" faded into the distance as 2022 progressed.

Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires

There are few things worse than a bad game, but a repackaged version of a bad game just might be one of them. "Dynasty Warriors 9" didn't win any awards when it originally released in 2018, and the 2022 repackage of the four year old game similarly disappointed.

The "Dynasty Warriors" series from Koei Tecmo has been chugging along for years, releasing similar entries every few years. The tried and true formula is what fans want, and the games tend to utilize beat-em-up mechanics with the thrilling Chinese history seen in "Romance of the Three Kingdoms." The vast amount of playable characters each title includes, along with a variety of challenging missions, has basically created its own genre. However, "Dynasty Warriors 9" attempted to break from that genre, trying something new that inevitably didn't go well with fans. The "Empires" editions of "Dynasty Warriors" games are different from the mainline series, including more strategic management instead of simple hack and slash gameplay, but the decision to continue "Dynasty Warriors 9" with an additional spinoff was baffling.

Reviewer Alex Rowe wrote about Koei Tecmo's decision to repackage the game in its "Empires" edition, commenting that "Dynasty Warriors 9" was little more than an experiment gone wrong, and "Empires" didn't do much to improve on that. Instead of solving the issues – like the bloated, boring maps from "Dynasty Warriors 9" – "Empires" simply doubled down on the most problematic features of its mainline companion. Game Skinny argued that while "Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires" wasn't worse than "Dynasty Warriors 9," it was definitely just as bad, leaving many gamers disappointed.

Postal 4

The "Postal" series has a reputation for being an over the top ride where gamers essentially get to send a community into chaos by killing everyone in sight. Players act as a man suffering a mental breakdown, who thinks everyone in his town is out to get him. The goal is straightforward: Kill them before they can kill you.

That premise might be fine for a game or two, but four entries in and the "Postal" series has gotten tired. Reviewers were brutal when discussing "Postal 4: No Regerts," and many didn't find the humor or absurdity in the satirical series' latest installment. IGN's review explained that almost everything about "Postal 4" was awful, from its shooting mechanics, to its story, to its graphics, to its performance. The game frequently crashed, forcing players to start and restart their game in the middle of the action. Aside from its mechanics, IGN noted that "Postal 4" delivered a sloppy narrative, which was difficult to parse until the end of the game, which had an underwhelming conclusion.

"Postal 4" attempted to take on heavy political issues, but ultimately failed to do that as well. As IGN's review argued, "Unlike the generally excellent commentary found in Grand Theft Auto 5, Postal 4 left me wincing for hours as it takes on heavy issues with the finesse and grace of a grease fire." Unfortunately, there's almost nothing to love about "Postal 4," although its reviews on Steam remain mostly positive.

Gotham Knights

To be clear, "Gotham Knights" isn't a flop in the traditional sense of the world. It sold plenty of copies and many fans got a lot of enjoyment out of cruising through Gotham as members of the Bat-family rarely explored in gaming. However, it wasn't quite what many gamers were hoping for, which led to some confusion before its release.

Many fans were disappointed in the graphical fidelity of "Gotham Knights." According to GGRecon, many gamers canceled their preorders in protest of Warner Bros. Interactive's decision to not include a higher framerate. Players weren't happy that the game didn't include a performance mode, leading some gamers to post pictures online of their canceled preorders.

When the game finally arrived, many of those fans were justified. Critics said that "Gotham Knights" suffered from performance issues on almost every platform, and that the story and combat didn't stand out enough to overcome its other issues. Even though it was marketed well and sold copies, some gamers didn't believe they got the game they were promised with "Gotham Knights."

Shadow Warrior 3

The "Shadow Warrior" series debuted all the way back in 1997, and it's changed a lot over the years – for the worse. The series follows the hero Lo Wang, who blasts his way through hordes of demons in an effort to save the world. However, "Shadow Warrior 3" seems to be a game no one really asked for, and reviews showed that it might have been better off remaining in the shadows after all.

IGN's review of "Shadow Warrior 3" explained that the gameplay itself was very simple, and that its combat didn't add anything new or interesting to gaming at large. It wasn't bad gameplay, per se, but it certainly wasn't groundbreaking. Even more unfortunate, the plot of "Shadow Warrior 3" didn't really line up with the previous installment in the series. PC Gamer took things a step farther, arguing that Lo Wang wasn't a character at all, but an East Asian caricature that constantly makes inappropriate jokes. Being such a miserable character makes for a long, tiring game, leading PC Gamer to award "Shadow Warrior 3" 52 points out of 100.

Sony made "Shadow Warrior 3" available to PS Plus subscribers as soon as it released, which was a mistake according to Game Rant, Many players don't know the "Shadow Warrior" franchise in the same way they would other series, and worse yet the game had performance issues that made the act of, well, playing it downright impossible.