By all accounts the Call of Duty franchise has had yet another successful year. They haven’t exactly shattered any of their previous sales records but it’s no less been another strong year for the CoD series. This year however review scores for Activision’s beloved franchise have dipped. Last year, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 for the Xbox 360 averaged 83 out of 100 according to Metacritic. This year Call of Duty: Ghosts averaged 73 out of 100. There are many reasons for the decline (you can read my review HERE as I touch on some of those issues) but at the end of the day reviewers wanted a little more. The drop-off got me thinking. What is the worst reviewed but highest selling game of all time? Could it be a Call of Duty game? Surprisingly enough, Call of Duty never made this list but you might be interested to find out who did.
After reviewing 200 of the top selling games of all time (according to VGChartz), I compiled this list of the worst reviewed games that made bucket loads of cash. Granted, there are many other games out there that sucked far worse than the ones on this list but for the purpose of this write-up I chose to examine the top 200 highest selling games and sift out the ones that have no business being a top seller.
- Metacritic Average Score 58
- Sold 28.78 Million Units
How Wii Play managed to haul in as much cash as it did is beyond me. As of today it remains the best selling non-bundled game of all time – an impressive feat. Is it worthy of such jaw dropping sales figures? Hell no. If you liked it, you should hang your head in shame. There’s only a few things in life you don’t want to get caught doing and buying Wii Play is one of them. Just like nursing a bad case of hemorrhoids should stay a personal secret, you should tell nobody you bought it! Sure anyone can play Wii Play. Even Grandma can play it, but c’mon man this game had me bored to tears in only a matter of minutes. Wii Play was as painfully repetitive as my regular Saturday morning blackhead removal routine. It took advantage of all those suckers looking for a decent Wii launch game they could play at parties. Am I one of those suckers? Unfortunately, yes.
- Metacritic Average Score 62
- Sold 4.73 Million Units
Sequels always seem to have the best of intentions. They want to capitalize off the success of the previous release and do everything they can to deliver an outstanding experience worthy of its predecessor. Unfortunately, things don’t always work out as planned. Driver 2 was one of those games that disappointed many. Some even considered it an awful game and not only did it not push the franchise any further but in fact, it may have set it back. IGN described it as “one of the most disappointing games, if not the most disappointing game of 2000”. It was criticized for its dated graphics and just having more of the same. Regardless, this sequel sold a boat load copies and many likely feel duped for it.
Mario Party 8
- Metacritic Average Score 62
- Sold 8.01 Million Units
I just need to stop at “8”. To say that the Mario Party series overstayed its welcome with the 8th installment would be an understatement. Talk about milking a franchise or what. Let’s be honest here, making an 8th Mario Party was about as wise as it would be to have eighth quadruple rum and cokes, after you chugged a gallon of milk. This game was pure torture and ugly in every sense of the word. I’d rather poke my eye out with a hot poker than have to do some of those mind numbing mini-games all over again. Mario Party 8 ended up selling over 8.01 million copies making it one of the highest selling games of all time. High game sales don’t always translate into a good gaming experience. Mario Party 8 is evidence of that.
Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex
- Metacritic Average Score 66
- Sold 5.42 Million Units
Are you starting to see a trend yet with these million dollar franchises? Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex is yet another bad sequel. Despite its commercial success, the game received many less than stellar reviews. Stale and redundant are just a couple of words used to describe the game. Many found some redeeming qualities but many despised the trial and error aspects of the game. Crash Bandicoot is certainly one of video games most lovable characters but Wrath of the Cortex is anything but lovable. Perhaps the bandicoot can look forward to making a next gen splash at some point to reboot his image but he left a hairball in most gamer’s throats after this let down.
Link’s Crossbow Training
- Metacritic Average Score 68
- Sold 4.93 Million Units
Good ol’ Nintendo and their persistent pile of peripherals. Link’s Crossbow Training was bundled with the Wii Zapper peripheral and was the first title to use it. It was in the Top 10 of the best-selling Wii games list for nearly two years. Well guess what? It had no business selling so many copies. When you factor in the price of the game and zapper, Link’s Crossbow Training is highway robbery. The single player alone took a little over an hour. You heard me – an hour! I won’t even get into what I can spend $60 bucks on and get in an hour that is a lot more fun than Link and his shitty crossbow. How this game managed to get as many mediocre reviews as it did was beyond me. I would have lambasted this game if I had reviewed it.
Medal of Honor: Rising Sun
- Metacritic Average Score 68
- Sold 5.13 Million Units
Eurogamer said it best when they said Rising Sun was a “formulaic, by the numbers FPS with zero innovation, demented AI and a crushing lack of inspiration.” Rising Sun was all that and a big flaming bag of poo. Rising Sun isn’t the worst Medal of Honor game but it undoubtedly isn’t the best either. That honor goes to Warfighter, a right proper three coil steamer. When you consider how many units it sold, Medal of Honor: Rising Son never managed to live up to fans expectations and likely sold all those copies on name alone.
- Metacritic Average Score 67
- Sold 5.52 Million Units
I don’t think I will ever understand how a game with “Cooking” in the title becomes an all-time top seller. It’s baffling actually. About the only good thing about the game was its budget pricing. Otherwise, this repetitive piece of nonsense held no appeal to me and lands on my list of terrible games that made far too much money. Hell, how this even managed to get a lofty 67 meta average is beyond my understanding.