The Worst Video Games Of 2023 Listed

2023 saw the release of some of the best games ever made, but the year wasn't without its fair share of disasters either, feat. The Lord of the Rings: Gollum, and plenty others.

Story Highlights

  • 2023 has been a year full of top-notch video game releases, but that doesn’t mean there were no bad ones. 
  • Titles such as The Lord of the Rings: Gollum and Redfall have been harshly panned following release.
  • Similar to these games, multiple other entries have failed to hit the mark on many levels.

While I wouldn’t call 2023 an amazing year for gaming, given how so many people lost their jobs in the wake of mass layoffs across different companies, it did give rise to a swath of top-tier games, including The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, the Resident Evil 4 remake, and multiple others. On the same side, though, not every title lived up to the same fate, and instead, fell horribly short when it came to meeting expectations.

This article will single out the worst video games that were released in 2023, therefore, so you know to avoid them ahead of time. I’ll also be looking at games that were ported to specific platforms, and those will be an overview of the port itself rather than the overall quality of the title. That way, you’ll be able to make a well-informed purchasing decision going forward.

Make sure to check out the following video by eXputer for a descriptive overview of these unsatisfactory games. 

YouTube video

Worst Video Game Releases In 2023 

Starting with number 10, we’ll go down the list in descending order of the worst games that came out in 2023. Let’s get started right away with no further ado.  

10. The Lord of the Rings: Gollum

The Lord of the Rings: Gollum
The Lord of the Rings: Gollum
  • Platforms: Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 5, PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch
  • Genre: Platformer
  • Developer: Daedalic Entertainment

If you’d like to bide your time in frustration, anxiety, and sheer discomfort, The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is the game you should definitely buy right now without a second thought in mind. Considered by Metacritic the worst The Lord of the Rings adaptation in the business right now, Gollum is nothing but a futile attempt at formulating a stealth platformer, marred by a severe lack of performance stability. 

It’s been claimed that the game had a budget of somewhere around $16 million, so evidently, it’s not the financing that led the title to its downfall, and eventually, the official label of the worst game of 2023. As a result, the developer of the project, Daedalic Entertainment, shut down its internal studio that worked on Gollum and even abandoned another title in the works that was based on The Lord of the Rings IP. 

9. Redfall

Redfall
Redfall
  • Platforms: Xbox Series X|S, PC
  • Genre: First-Person Shooter
  • Developer: Arkane Austin

Moving forward, I’ll be honest with you, I personally had high hopes for Redfall, along with an army of other Xbox fans who anticipated much from the first-person shooter following its initial reveal at E3 2021. The end result was a terrible disaster, with popular developer Arkane diffusing radio silence for the title in terms of post-launch support after its launch. For starters, it was in October when the FPS finally received a performance mode.

Talk about clunky AI, lackluster gameplay, lifeless in-game world, bugs, more bugs, and finally, some more bugs. eXputer rated Redfall 2/5 in its review, with writer Moiz Banoori remarking, “Redfall is a disappointing offering from Arkane that lacks the charm, depth, and mechanics that made their previous titles so beloved.” It recently went on sale for $10; players said that it was still too much for Redfall.

8. The Walking Dead: Destinies

The Walking Dead Destinies || Image Source Steam.
The Walking Dead: Destinies
  • Platforms: Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 5, PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch
  • Genre: Action-Adventure
  • Developer: Flux Games

The Walking Dead: Destinies came out mid-November, but it still made the list of the worst games launched in 2023, competing fiercely with The Lord of the Rings: Gollum. Talk about goofy, incredibly bad gameplay, along with poorly made cutscenes that sport only static 3D models. For a television series this grand, the game adaptation in question is nothing short of an utter nosedive. 

eXputer’s 1/5 review of Destinies labeled the venture a “licensed catastrophe,” with reviewer Asad Ahmed remarking, “The Walking Dead: Destinies is an incredibly disheartening journey into mediocrity and frustration, and I cannot recommend it to anyone.” Best avoid this one, I tell you.   

7. The Day Before 

The Day Before
The Day Before
  • Platforms: PC
  • Genre: Multiplayer, Survival Horror
  • Developer: Fntastic 

Another one of 2023’s disasters is a multiplayer survival horror, The Day Before. Launching for PC in early access, the game lacks the most basic of features and is marred to death by performance issues, no matter how beast of a PC you have. The UI is barebones, the gameplay is god-awful, and there’s just no reason for you to go ahead and pick this one up. Oh, wait a minute, you actually can’t anymore—not even if you want to. 

The Day Before developer Fntastic admitted that its newest release is nothing but a critical failure, and in the wake of this instance, it’s shutting the entire project down, refunding those who bought the MMO. The writing was on the wall all the time though, The Day Before became one of Steam’s worst-reviewed games within a week of its early access launch.

6. Skull Island: Rise Of Kong

Skull Island: Rise Of Kong
Skull Island: Rise Of Kong
  • Platforms: Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 5, PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch
  • Genre: Action-Adventure
  • Developer: IguanaBee

King Kong is one of those characters in media that has insane potential to be showcased properly in the realm of video gaming. To my disappointment, that isn’t what you’re getting with Skull Island: Rise of Kong. Bland gameplay, below-average visuals, and a level design that just makes you want to put the controller down, plain and simple. 

Just take a look at this gameplay walkthrough of Rise of Kong and you’ll know what I’m on about. You may as well binge all the Kong movies out there rather than delving into the massive snowball of a whole lot of nothing that the game in question truly is. 

5. Avatar: The Last Airbender – Quest for Balance

Avatar: The Last Airbender - Quest for Balance
Avatar: The Last Airbender – Quest for Balance
  • Platforms: Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 5, PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch
  • Genre: Action-Adventure
  • Developer: Bamtang Games

While bug-free and with okay-ish visuals, Avatar: The Last Airbender – Quest for Balance is marked with a “Mostly Negative” rating label on Steam, and let me tell you why. It’s got an excuse of a storyline, repetitious combat that has you mashing buttons with zero creativity involved, and just no amount of depth to it that actually stands out and makes this game worth playing. 

4. Star Wars Jedi: Survivor (PC) 

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor
  • Platforms: Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 5, PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4
  • Genre: Action-Adventure
  • Developer: Respawn Entertainment

Now, don’t get me wrong, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is a fantastic game all over, but the way it presented itself on PC, it quickly became one of the worst titles to play in 2023, especially for those who do not have a console and solely rely on said platform. Zero playability coupled with extreme performance issues made what is otherwise brilliant a hassle to tackle on PC, and that’s nothing but a shame. 

Since the title’s release. the action-adventure has received constant support from the side Respawn, so it’s actively getting better on PC as we speak. However, Jedi: Survivor’s early impressions hinted at another lousy PC port, with Steam reviews not taking long afterward to come pouring in and label the game with the “Mostly Negative” review rating

3. The Last Of Us Part 1 PC 

The Last of Us Part 1 on PC
The Last of Us Part 1 on PC
  • Platforms:  PlayStation 5, PC
  • Genre: Action-Adventure, Single-Player
  • Developer: Naughty Dog

The Last of Us Part 1 is a remake of The Last of Us, which was first released in 2013 for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 exclusively. Although utterly splendid in both the story and the gameplay aspects, the third-person shooter was a hot mess when it launched on PC in March 2023—several months after its original PS5 release. Bugs and glitches encompassed it wholly and left players visibly frustrated. 

So, it didn’t take long for the game to join the band of disappointing PC ports when the community became aware of its insane hardware requirements and abysmal optimization that held it back from greatness. Naughty Dog continues efforts to fix The Last of Us Part 1, with the last major patch dropping about 4 months ago. 

2. Payday 3

Payday 3 Review Visuals
Payday 3
  • Platforms: Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 5, PC
  • Genre: First-Person Shooter, Live Service
  • Developer: Starbreeze Studios

Saints Row publisher Deep Silver along with developer Starbreeze Studios have evidently misfired with their highly anticipated live service shooter Payday 3, the sequel to 2013’s Payday 2 for last-gen consoles. Suffering a staggering 90% drop in player count under a month of its release, the game has been panned heavily for being released unfinished—the UI is bad and performance issues run rampant. 

And rubbing the salt into the wound is Starbreeze releasing paid DLC for the first-person shooter, when its base game clearly needs a lot of work first. This has enraged players to a reasonable extent, and it’s no wonder at this point that the player count of Payday 3 keeps dropping to disappointing figures. The core of the FPS is solid, I’ll give it that, but polish and refinements are of due requirement here.  

1. Mortal Kombat 1 (Nintendo Switch) 

Jean-Claude Van Damme in Mortal Kombat 1
Jean-Claude Van Damme in Mortal Kombat 1
  • Platforms: Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 5, PC, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch
  • Genre: Fighting
  • Developer: NetherRealm, QLOC, Shiver Entertainment, Saber Interactive

Mortal Kombat 1 is a reboot of the long-running Mortal Kombat video game franchise and a pretty good one at that. However, that’s saying for the PlayStation, Xbox, and PC versions of the title only. The Switch edition of the game is blatant sadness, marred by a swath of technical discrepancies, atrocious load times, visual issues, and other performance pangs. Best sit this one out for the Switch 2, if possible.

If it makes you feel any better, eXputer rated the fighter title 4.5/5 in its review, with our expert reviewer Asad Ahmed saying, “Mortal Kombat 1 is a triumphant return to form for the franchise, and it’s the most innovative the series has felt in well over a decade.” Try picking the game up on another platform to avert the disappointment to boot.    

Wrapping Up – Another Year To Look Forward To Approaches

As 2023 has come to a close, I cannot help but look back at a tremendously amazing period of some of the fantastic games to ever come out, featuring Baldur’s Gate 3 — the Game of the Year winner this time — Alan Wake 2, and several others, but the year was, in no way, exempt from its fair share of failed efforts as well, the most prominent of which we’ve outlined in this article. 

Let us know your top 10 list of the worst titles to release in 2023 down in the comments section. Until then, I hope the coming year is full of thoroughly utilized potential and is largely free from games that are both a waste of the player’s time and the resources of the developer. 

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Huzaifa, an Online News Editor at eXputer.com, is a video game industry aficionado with a talent for unearthing the juiciest stories for his beloved readers. Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Data Science, he dives deep into the abyss of news, meticulously dissecting every tiny detail to serve his audience. When he's not unravelling breaking news, he becomes a master storyteller, conjuring up captivating tales from the depths of his imagination. With a wealth of experience as a Video Game Journalist, he's penned his mighty words for numerous other video game outlets, leaving no video game unturned and no pixel unexplored! Experience: 4+ Years || Education: Bachelor of Science in Data Science || Previously Worked at VeryAli Gaming & TheNerdMag || Covered 100+ News Articles

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