The PlayStation 2 holds a special place in the hearts of millions of gamers worldwide. With its expansive library of titles, the console defined what gaming could be for a generation in the early 2000s.
However, not every PS2 title was created equal, and for the hundreds of amazing games that have stood the test of time, there are a few that haven’t aged quite as well. Some games were so bad, we can’t help but think about them to this day – here are the worst PS2 games everyone loves to hate.
GoDai: Elemental Force
GoDai is a 3D melee-combat based action game in which you play as a ninja named Hiro, who collects increasingly strong weapons to be used in combat as the game progresses. While the concept sounds fun in theory, GoDai seems to suffer from every possible problem you could think of. IGN described the story as “unappealing”, the character design as “awful”, and the animations as “slow and choppy”, giving the game a 2.5/10.
With all of that on top of an impossible-to-control camera and subpar voice acting, the best part of GoDai: Elemental Force may just be its box art.
Army Men: Green Rogue
One of the most despised tropes in almost any form of media is an unnecessary sequel. Army Men: Green Rogue seems to be a perfect representation of this, having been released as the THIRTEENTH Army Men game to come out between 1998 and 2001.
While the series rode off the nostalgia of a beloved childhood toy, and previous installations of the game were perceived well enough, Green Rogue seemed to be a downgrade from the Army Men games before it. The on-rail nature already left fans disappointed, but the dozens of game-breaking bugs on top of that left fans asking if this game was even necessary in the first place.
The Simpsons Skateboarding
It’s pretty obvious when a game is trying to bandwagon off of a freshly popular genre or trend, and The Simpsons Skateboarding is no exception. The game released in 2002, following the massive success of the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series. While The Simpsons certainly has some great titles for the PS2, The Simpsons Skateboarding is not one of them.
For a game about skateboarding, this title certainly lacked… skateboarding. The game was critiqued for its lack of tricks, and wasn’t helped by its chunky graphics, poor audio quality, and mediocre dialogue and controls. Game Informer magazine’s review of the game stated: “Never before have I seen a developer put forth such an effort to secure the Worst Game of the Year award. I’ll even go as far to say that this may very well be the worst PlayStation 2 game on the market.”
Bad Boys: Miami Takedown
If action games like Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas aged like wine, then Bad Boys: Miami Takedown has aged like milk. As a video game port of a movie sequel, the game was essentially set up to fail – and boy did it fail.
Bad Boys: Miami Takedown suffers from a critical case of taking itself too seriously, which is not the mistake you want to be making when adapting a Will Smith comedy movie. Beyond the game’s generally ugly graphics and terrible acting, the uninspired writing and hilariously clunky cutscenes almost make this title so bad that it’s good. Almost.
Game adaptations of movies were inescapable during the PS2’s heyday, and Charlie’s Angels was just one of dozens of films that fell victim to the trend. The original movie had already been released to mixed reception, so it’s no surprise that this game holds a 23/100 score on Metacritic.
Beyond the ridiculous nature of the plot itself, which has the Angels engaging in beat-em-up combat to figure out who has stolen the Statue of Liberty alongside other international treasures, the gameplay itself is even worse. The terrible enemy AI serves as a nice distraction from the nonsensically bikini-dressed Angels, and the long pauses between character dialogue make a bad experience take even longer to get through.
While Celebrity Deathmatch was an audience favorite when it was airing on MTV, the same cannot be said about its video game adaptation. Celebrity Deathmatch is a wrestling game featuring a confusing cast of characters including celebrities like Anna Nicole Smith, Busta Rhymes, Jerry Springer, and the entire lineup of NSYNC.
While the fighter lineup may sound like a fun gimmick, the terrible AI sucks any and all fun out of the experience. The fighting system was described as unresponsive, illogical, and ridiculously easy, with AI who were more likely to wander helplessly around the arena than they were to get any good hits on you. With just a single game mode that was ripped apart by critics, Celebrity Deathmatch was a concept better left as 5-minute shorts on television.
The Guy Game
If you’re brushed up on your knowledge of video game controversy, then you’ve probably heard of The Guy Game. Released in 2004, The Guy Game is a trivia game show that uses live action footage from spring break activities – if players answer the questions right, they’re rewarded with footage of young females exposing their breasts. Just a few months after the game’s release, a girl featured in the game sued the developers Topheavy Studios, stating that not only was she not informed her footage would be used in the game, but she was also only 17 years old at the time of its recording.
Nowadays, the general public consensus is that The Guy Game is tasteless and objectifying, and it’s become somewhat infamous for representing the “boys club” culture that was rampant in the early 2000s. While the trivia aspects of the game function just fine, the premise of the game itself make it a time capsule for the kinds of games we’re better off having left in the PS2 era.
Fugitive Hunter: The War on Terror
Released mere months after the start of the Iraq War, Fugitive Hunter has players travel across the world to eliminate some of America’s most wanted, including a final boss fight in which you get to capture Osama bin Laden himself.
The premise is almost so ridiculous that it’s enticing. However, the gameplay for Fugitive Hunter was received so poorly that it overshadowed the shocking premise. Levels were a drag to get through, and leaving a room even once would invite previously killed enemies to respawn, making levels take even longer to complete. The graphics were critiqued at the time for being outdated and ugly, even for the standards of 2003, meaning the just barely humanoid terrorist models are even harder to take seriously now.
Catwoman is one of the first titles that comes to mind when most people think of bad PS2 games. It checks almost every box: an unnecessary adaptation for an already poorly acclaimed movie, terrible camera angles, cringeworthy dialogue, and glitches galore.
While the graphics are decent compared to other entries on the list, Catwoman was a clear cash-grab with little attention paid to quality, and the nonstop cat-based puns make the whole experience a real cat-astrophe. If you want to play a fun PS2 game starring Catwoman, you’re better off picking up Lego Batman.
Little Britain: The Video Game
Some games are on this list because they’ve aged poorly for gameplay reasons. Some games are on this list because they’ve aged poorly for cultural reasons. Little Britain: The Video Game is a glorious blend of both. Based off of the similarly poorly-aged British television series of the same name, Little Britain is relentless in its “jokes” targeting overweight people, gay people, transgender people and more. However, beyond the outdated and mean-spirited humor, the gameplay itself is just as offensive.
Little Britain: The Video Game holds a 1.6/10 from GameSpot UK, with critics dragging the game’s terrible animation, awful graphics, and appallingly unfun minigames. Most people’s opinions of the game can best be summed up in this quote from PALGN, stating Little Britain is “possibly the worst licensed game in the history of mankind. The English language is insufficient to fully describe the atrocities this game comprises.”