Metacritic Has Revealed The 10 Worst-Reviewed Games Of 2023

I'll give you one guess at which one took the crown.

Metacritic has published its list of the worst-reviewed games of 2023, offering up 10 of this year’s duds which all slid in at under a Metascore of 50 and with the “winner” only managing an aggregated review score of 34.

Of course, it’s important to recognise that the studios behind these games don’t set out to make a “bad” product, and for nearly every game on this list there’s no doubt some merit, but sometimes things just don’t land whether it’s because of budgets, management, timing or just inherently poor design choices. It’s still interesting though to look back with morbid curiosity at those games that didn’t hit this year, and here they are:

Metacritic’s Worst-Reviewed Games Of 2023

Gargoyles Remastered

Metascore: 49

Metacritic said: Disney’s 1995 Sega Genesis platformer Gargoyles (based on the cartoon series of the same name) got the remaster treatment in 2023, but unless you are a die-hard fan of the IP, the new version has little to recommend it. Critics have complained about the remake’s frustrating difficulty level and too-short length and wonder why the game needed to be brought back at all.

Loop8: Summer of Gods

Metascore: 49

Metacritic said: A JRPG set in an alternate reality version of rural 1980s Japan, Loop8 finds your time-looping teenage protagonist battling a race of demons called the Kegai. (The “8” in the title stands for August, the month that you “get” to re-live again and again, theoretically fixing your mistakes each time.) Critics saved the majority of their complaints for the turn-based battle system, though the story and the game’s overall repetitiveness also drew their ire.

Gangs of Sherwood

Metascore: 48

Metacritic said: A co-op action game set in Robin Hood’s Sherwood Forest in which you play as one of the Merry Men? Not a bad idea for a videogame. But one that is set in a dystopian steampunk sci-fi version of Sherwood Forest filled with far-too-easy boss fights and poor overall execution? That, unfortunately, is what Gangs of Sherwood turns out to be.

Hellboy: Web of Wyrd

Metascore: 47

Metacritic said: The world still doesn’t have a good Hellboy game. Though it’s slightly better than 2008’s The Science of Evil, beat-em-up roguelike Web of Wyrd fails in its gameplay despite laudable visuals, the casting of the late Lance Reddick as Hellboy, and a clear respect for its source material (Mike Mignola’s Hellboy comics). Note that the PC version scored 14 points higher than the console release (which still doesn’t make it a good game—just a mediocre one.)

Crime Boss: Rockay City

Metascore: 43

Metacritic said: One of 2023’s most-publicized flops, new IP Rockay City wastes a well-known cast that includes Danny Trejo, Michael Madsen, Chuck Norris, Kim Basinger, Danny Glover, and Michael Rooker, among others* on what amounts to an inferior take on the Payday formula. (*In this case, “others” includes Vanilla Ice.) The first-person heist-shooter has you assemble four of their characters into a criminal gang that must complete a series of missions in a fictitious city that’s basically 1980s or ’90s Miami (though some aspects of the game feel like they are set in the present day). But you’ll find much better writing in any of the late-20th century action movies Rockay City is so clearly modeled after.

Testament: The Order of High-Human

Metascore: 41

Metacritic said: Attempting to blend action-adventure gameplay with Metroidvania and RPG elements, the second release from indie studio Fairyship Games finds you in a fantastical realm plagued by an epidemic of madness. Filled with everything from parkour to swordfighting to puzzle-solving, Testament ultimately fails to make any of its disparate components work well, according to reviewers.

Quantum Error

Metascore: 40

Metacritic said: A sci-fi/horror/shooter hybrid set in outer space, Quantum Error puts you in the shoes of firefighter Jacob Thomas as he attempts to rescue survivors from a combination of zombies and terrorists (and, well, fires). The firefighting aspect actually injects a bit of welcome originality into what otherwise amounts to a bland and poorly executed release.

Greyhill Incident

Metascore: 38

Metacritic said: An alien invasion-themed stealth/survival horror game from new studio Refugium Games, Greyhill Incident was a failure on almost every level, with critics noting poor acting, bland settings, and rote gameplay.

Flashback 2

Metascore: 35

Metacritic said: The 1992 Amiga game Flashback (later released for other platforms) was a much-loved, Prince of Persia-like sci-fi platformer that was followed by a 1995 sequel under a different title, Fade to Black. This fall brought another sequel (more accurately, a prequel) to the now 31-year-old original, this time bearing the Flashback name—but absolutely none of its charm. Incredibly buggy upon its release, Flashback 2 also suffers from underlying problems that can’t easily be fixed, including an overall dated and too-simplistic approach that results in tedious, unchallenging gameplay.

The Lord of the Rings: Gollum

Metascore: 34

Metacritic said: Also the worst Lord of the Rings game adaptation in history, stealth platformer Gollum attempts to deliver an original story for its title character that is set between the events of The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring. Critics note that extensive knowledge of Tolkien’s books is a prerequisite for enjoying the game, but that’s just the least of Gollum’s problems. “Dull” and “tedious” are words that reviewers have used again and again to describe gameplay, while the controls leave something to be desired. But the biggest flaw is the game’s visuals—or maybe it’s the many game-breaking bugs. At any rate, it’s a complete package: completely terrible.

We gave Gollum a 3/10 in our review here at Press Start, saying “I struggle to think of a positive experience over the thirteen-odd hours I spent playing this game. Gollum is uninspired and dated and The Lord of the Rings fans deserve better than this.”