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The Worst Games Of 2023 So Far

2023 is going to be full of games that will blow you away. Remakes like "Resident Evil 4" are letting fans relive their glory days and introducing new players to beloved titles. Upcoming new IP like "Starfield" offer the promise of an entire universe for players to explore. There really has never been a better time to be a gamer, but that doesn't mean it's all sunshine and rainbows.

For every industry-changing mega hit that we're going to see this year, there are a dozen more games that will disappoint fans and frustrate players to the point of breaking their controllers. While some developers are offering expansive worlds and ground-breaking stories, others are doubling down on monetization systems that grind away at wallets and patience alike. The future of gaming looks bright, but the path is going to be littered with bad games, and there have already been plenty of major disappointments this year. Before sitting back and relaxing with your next favorite game, let's remember how far we've come in a short period of time. Here are the worst games 2023 has seen so far.

Atomic Heart

"Atomic Heart" might be one of the rockier games SVG has reviewed this year, but to be fair, it does manage to get plenty of things right. The game takes place in an alternate 1955 in which advanced technology has allowed the Soviet Union to build Facility 3826, a communist utopia powered by sci-fi robotics. All is well — until the robots turn on their masters and utter chaos breaks out across the entire city. That premise sounds reminiscent of "Bioshock," but the bright, dazzling visuals of "Atomic Heart" couldn't be further from Rapture. As players make their way through the game, the gunplay is mostly engaging and only somewhat hampered by repetitive, overly simple puzzles.

Sounds like a hit, right? What ends up weighing down "Atomic Heart" like a two-ton chunk of steel is the writing. By the end of the game, the main storyline doesn't really go anywhere satisfying, but even that could be forgiven if the line-by-line dialogue didn't make you constantly cringe. The protagonist, P3, dishes out incessant quips, and in between jokes that fail to land, he says "crispy critters" so much that gamers have made compilation videos about the phrase. Meanwhile, every single line spoken by Nora — the sentient in-game item shop — is so aggressively sexual you'll feel uncomfortable even if you're playing by yourself. With another pass through the script, "Atomic Heart" might have been something truly spectacular.

  • Release Date: February 21, 2023

  • Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S

  • Genre: Action, FPS

  • Game Modes: Single-player

  • Metacritic Score: 75 (PC), 70 (PS5), 73(Series X)

Blood Bowl III

The idea of leading a team of customized orcs in a bloody match of football that mostly throws out all the rules sounds great. The "Blood Bowl" franchise, based on the niche tabletop game of the same name, is fantasy football set in the "Warhammer" universe. The very premise of the game appeals to a narrow selection of gamers, but fans truly love the concept.

They don't, however, truly love "Blood Bowl 3" itself. One player took to Reddit to express their disappointment, writing, "'Blood Bowl 3 has Broken Me." One of the biggest problems with the game is that it's riddled with bugs and prone to crashing. Luckily, since it's ostensibly a live-service game, there's a good chance that those issues will be resolved in the future.

The bigger problem with "Blood Bowl 3" is that it's filled with so many microtransactions that players might need a small business loan just to get into the game. One major appeal of the game is the ability to customize your players, but getting a full team tricked out in the way you want them can cost around $50, with additional special items available for even more money. That's a lot to ask just to gain access to the full experience of a game that already costs $30 on its own. Sorry, tabletop fans, this one isn't for you.

  • Release Date: February 20, 2023

  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S

  • Genre: Sports

  • Game Modes: Single-player, online multiplayer

  • Metacritic Score: 57 (PC), 59 (PS5), 51 (Series X)

Crime Boss: Rockay City

For every live-service game that manages to dazzle players with fun mechanics and to an ever-expanding world of content, there's another that seemingly uses the idea of live-service to release a game that's unpolished to the point of feeling incomplete. "Crime Boss: Rockay City" falls into the latter category. The game boasts a cast of celebrated Hollywood actors, but that's its only claim to fame.

"Crime Boss" is an FPS roguelike in which players take on the role of Travis Baker, an up-and-comer in the crime-ridden streets of Rockay City. Players can recruit a team of gun-toting NPCs to help them conquer the city, or team up with their friends online in a multiplayer mode that explores the urban legends of the city's criminal underworld. Regardless of the mode, the missions in "Crime Boss" are so straightforward and fast-paced that they never feel satisfying. A typical run can easily be finished in just a few minutes, then it's back to menus, team management, and finding another turf to attack.

Unfortunately, these levels are exactly short-but-sweet. The gameplay in "Crime Boss" is riddled with bugs, most of which are basically game-breaking. Players can get trapped inside walls. Enemies can fail to fully spawn, littering the battlefield with invisible NPCs that make actually finishing the mission borderline impossible. As a live-service game, there's a chance "Crime Boss" cleans up the bugs, but it will still be left with mindless missions, an incomprehensible story, and a disappointing lack of customization.

  • Release Date: March 28, 2023

  • Platforms: PC

  • Genre: FPS

  • Game Modes: Single-player, Online multiplayer

  • Metacritic Score: 52 (PC)

Disney Speedstorm

Look out, Mario: Disney is trying to move in on your turf. "Disney Speedstorm" is a kart-racing game with all your favorite Disney characters — and all of your least favorite monetization systems. Planned as a free-to-play title, "Speedstorm" takes the usual gacha systems inherent in those games and cranks them up to 11. There's a battle pass (of course), but there are also blue tokens, purple tokens, gold tokens, multiplayer tokens, chests of randomized cosmetics, racer shards for character upgrades, and more. It's a seriously heavy-handed approach to a system that gamers are already primed for developers to abandon.

What's especially bizarre is that the game is currently in early access, and the only way to play it is to pay money for a special access pass. Players are able to progress their characters on every current console, but only if they buy a fresh pass for each system they want to play on.

With all the monetization out of the way, it's time to turn to the gameplay. Nothing breaks the mold here. Characters all have individual special moves to use during races, which adds some nice variety, but repetitive tracks hold back the pleasure of that invention. The karts themselves handle particularly well and can be fun to use, but considering all the baggage the game has — and the fact that currently only PS5 players can enjoy four-person split screen — there are so many better options out there. Hopefully the full version of the game will feel more worth players' time.

  • Release Date: 2023

  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S

  • Genre: Racing

  • Game Modes: Single-player, Local multiplayer, Online multiplayer

  • Metacritic Score: 69 (PS5), 75 (Series X)

Dookey Dash

There are few games that have as little to offer as "Dookey Dash." The first game from Yuga Labs, the parent company behind Bored Ape Yacht Club, "Dookey Dash" goes all in on NFT gaming. Players can only hop into the game if they own a Bored Ape, Mutant Ape, or a new invention called a "sewer pass," which comes in several tiers. That skyrockets the ground floor cost of getting into the game. The trade-off is that the best players in the game are granted a Power Source — which is just another NFT that can potentially be used in future Yuga Labs games or sold off to some other poor soul.

What kind of gaming experience do you get after dropping, as some gamers have noted, upwards of $2,000 for the opportunity to play the game for just a few weeks? You'll pilot an ape down a long sewer tunnel filled with obstacles to avoid or smash through and fragments to collect. The further you make it down the tunnel, and the more fragments you pick up, the higher your score will be. That might sound like something you would have played on you iPod Touch. And it looks like it, too.

  • Release Date: January 18, 2023

  • Platforms: PC

  • Genre: Arcade

  • Game Modes: Single-player

  • Metacritic Score: N/A


"Forspoken" is another game with a ton of potential that it just didn't quite live up to. On a positive note, the game blends magic and parkour into a traversal system that feels great to play and remains visually engaging throughout the entire game. Beyond that, the game has a collection of good ideas that all needed a bit more time to develop.

Initially the game's combat feels varied and exciting. Players have access to a wide range of magical abilities that, when combined with the traversal mechanics, make controlling a large crowd of enemies fun. Over time, though, the lack of any real challenge transforms the combat into a flurry of button mashing that you can more or less perform on autopilot. While all the magical effects are flashy enough, the visuals don't look as good as they should on a PS5.

The biggest struggle in "Forspoken" is the narrative. Frey is an interesting enough main character, but she constantly undercuts the drama of her situation with a steady deluge of jokes that mostly fall flat. The magical world of Athia, much like the game's combat, is intriguing at first glance, but reveals itself to be almost paperthin as the game progresses. Ultimately, the story is about as satisfying as a bag of potato chips, which is a big step down from the four-course meal we've come to expect from Square Enix games.

  • Release Date: January 24, 2023

  • Platforms: PC, PlayStation 5

  • Genre: Role-playing, Action-adventure

  • Game Modes: Single-player

  • Metacritic Score: 63 (PC), 64 (PS5)

God of Rock

What if "Guitar Hero" was also a fighting game? That's essentially the premise in "God of Rock," in which players choose from a number of fighters and step onto the stage for a one-on-one rhythm battle. Hitting notes more accurately than your opponent dishes out damage, but also has the unfortunate side-effect of spiraling some fights out into a never-ending war of attrition. Every once in a while, you can throw out a super move using more traditional fighting game inputs, but good luck nailing one of those intricate attacks without losing track of the beat entirely.

For all its promise, "God of Rock" feels like a rough draft. It's not just that the rhythm and fighting mechanics are sometimes at odds with each other, but also that neither side of the equation is particularly strong on its own. The game's UI can make tracking all the notes a struggle, and PC players might as well pass on the game entirely, as Shacknews' reviewer noted, "The keyboard inputs, to put it bluntly, straight up don't work." The music in the game suffers, too, as the lack of licensed songs prevents the game from feeling like a real rock n' roll celebration. It would be great to see this idea explored more in the future, but for now it's a definite disappointment.

  • Release Date: April 17, 2023

  • Platforms: PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S

  • Genre: Fighting, Rhythm

  • Game Modes: Single-player, Local multiplayer, Online multiplayer

  • Metacritic Score: 63 (PC), 62 (PS5), 54 (Series X)

The Last of Us Part 1 (PC version)

Originally released in 2013, "The Last of Us" was (and remains) a masterpiece. Thanks to its excellent combat, engrossing world design, and unparalleled storytelling, "The Last of Us" quickly became known as one of the best video games of all time. When Naughty Dog announced that a remaster of the game was coming to PC, fans were ecstatic, but that enthusiasm quickly soured once they got their hands on the port.

On launch, the game spent hours building shaders. A week and two patches later, that wait time had barely been cut in half. The game pushed CPUs to their absolute limit, and regardless of the hardware players had to run it, freezes, hilariously weird bugs, and even crashes were a frequent occurrence. Players reported input lag from their controllers that was either difficult or impossible to work around.

Days after launch, Naughty Dog released a statement on Twitter saying, "We know some of you have not experienced the Naughty Dog quality you expected." The studio promised to continue working to fix the game, and in the first month after its release, multiple updates attempted to address all the problems. Considering Naughty Dog's reputation, the port's release was particularly jarring. Then again, the fact that footage for the port's announcement trailer was captured on PS5 should have been a red flag for everyone.

  • Release Date: March 28, 2023 (PC port)

  • Platforms: PC, PlayStation 5

  • Genre: Action

  • Game Modes: Single-player

  • Metacritic Score: 57 (PC), 88 (PS5)

Minecraft Legends

"Minecraft Legends" tries its best to appeal to multiple different audiences. On the one hand, it reaches out to legions of "Minecraft" fans with its world and characters, but it also tries to grab the attention of people who love unit-based tactical strategy games. It ends up working its way to the middle, offering neither group much of anything.

The main problem with "Minecraft Legends" is that its tactical gameplay is unfocused and likely to alienate gamers who've spent more time with polished strategy games. Instead of putting players into the position of a god overseeing the battlefield, the game inserts the player-character into the action, but that greatly limits your strategic options in practice. There are other limitations that feel out of place for the genre, like the inability to give orders to individual units on the battlefield. Instead, you've got to send groups of combatants to the same objective, and it's a 50/50 shot if the AI will carry them to their proper destination.

The game also includes building mechanics, just like you'd expect from a "Minecraft" title, but those are just as rough as the tactical elements. Because the actual gameplay is centered around the battles, all the building comes across as being included only by necessity. Maybe "Minecraft Legends" can introduce a new audience to the RTS genre, but considering gamers are advising each other to avoid the title, there's not much hope for that either.

  • Release Date: April 18, 2023

  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S

  • Genre: RTS

  • Game Modes: Single-player, Online multiplayer

  • Metacritic Score: 67 (PC), 71 (Series X)


Arkane Studios is the renowned developer behind titles like "Dishonored," "Prey," and "Deathloop." Any time Arkane has something new to release, gamers everywhere get excited. Sadly, 2023 has not been Arkane's year.

"Redfall" was meant to be the studio's next big hit. The game is set in a fictional Massachusetts island town and takes place shortly after a group of vampires moves in and makes the island their new hunting ground. Players have four different characters with varying skill sets to choose from, and they can fight back against the vampire's and their loyal cultists in single-player or co-op FPS action.

That's a great premise for a game, but the execution leaves plenty to be desired. The first thing most players will notice in the game is its slew of performance issues. Textures can take upwards of 10 seconds to load in, and many of them are low resolution even when properly loaded. The game is also locked at 30fps on consoles, including the Xbox Series X. Players have complained about in-game assets being reused so frequently it utterly breaks immersion. On top of that, the enemy AI leaves a lot to be desired, leading to moments where simply standing on the other side of a car can prevent a vampire from being able to actually attack the player. Overall, "Redfall" just doesn't feel like the next-gen game it's supposed to be.

  • Release Date: May 2, 2023

  • Platforms: PC, Xbox Series X|S

  • Genre: FPS

  • Game Modes: Single-player, online multiplayer

  • Metacritic Score: 56 (PC), 59 (Series X)

Wanted: Dead

"Wanted: Dead" is part hack-n-slash, part third-person shooter, part mini-game extravaganza, and part zombie-themed anime. As with anything that tries to be everything, the game doesn't pull off any of its multiple genres very well. Though the game proudly proclaims that it shares a lineage with "Ninja Gaiden" and "Dead or Alive," it by no means stands shoulder-to-shoulder with those hits.

The story follows an elite police team murdering its way through zombies in the streets of Hong Kong. Despite the amount of time the game dedicates to showing the squad working with each other, don't expect to walk away with a new favorite fictional character. The storytelling here is decidedly sub-par, but that's okay as long as the gameplay is great, right?

It's not. For a hack-n-slash game, there's a shocking lack of abilities and moves for players to really dig into. When performing the same attacks gets dull, players can swap over to their guns, but the enemies in the game are so good at bullet sponging it hardly feels worthwhile to try. On top of that, the AI runs into frequent problems, getting held up when limbs are flying, and for the most part all the enemies use the same attacks. Though there are only five levels in the game, extremely long encounters, infrequent checkpoints, and an overload of cutscenes stretch the entire experience out for about ten grueling hours. That is, if you skip the plethora of pointless mini-games, which most players likely will.

  • Release Date: February 14, 2023

  • Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S

  • Genre: Action

  • Game Modes: Single-player

  • Metacritic Score: 57 (PCPS5), 60 (Series X)