Despite the tremendous quality of games that launched throughout 2020, many duds came out, too. It's partially due to the high bar set by 2020's best games that makes the disappointing ones seem so much worse.
Though, even the year's most disappointing games aren't necessarily bad — many of them couldn't compete with their expectations or were overshadowed by games of a similar genre. Either way, these are the most disappointing games of 2020.
The Most Disappointing Games of 2020
Resident Evil 3
It's nearly impossible to discuss Resident Evil 3 (2020) without comparing it to something else. Considering it's a remake of the 1999 PlayStation original titled Resident Evil 3: Nemesis and follows in the footsteps of 2019's Resident Evil 2 remake, a lot was riding on this game to be good. And to be frank, that's all it was: just good.
The biggest problem with Resident Evil 3 is that it leaves out a large portion of the original, feeling like a watered-down version of what could have been great. Resident Evil 2 (2019) took some liberties to modernize what was created in the original, but for the most part, it's a rich experience full of things to do. The same cannot be said about Resident Evil 3, sadly, and it comes off as a game that needed more time in the oven.
Fast & Furious Crossroads
Let's be clear here — the expectations for yet another Fast & Furious game weren't high. In fact, most people expected Fast & Furious Crossroads to be mediocre at best. So when it came out was even worse than fans had expected; players were surprised and disappointed. Most of the complaints are that it's a shallow experience, mostly traveling from point A to point B.
Other criticisms are that Crossroads is entirely too short, coming in at just over four hours of playtime to finish the story mode, despite its $39.99 price tag. What's odd is that it's developed by Slightly Mad Studios, a team that is best known for the Project CARS series, which has generally been well-received.
Marvel's Avengers had everything going for it. It's developed by renowned Tomb Raider studio Crystal Dynamics and features some of the most beloved characters of all time. What could go wrong? Well, publisher Square Enix wanted Marvel's Avengers to feature live service elements, similar to Destiny 2 or GTA Online. The problem is that this live service model is at odds with the moment-to-moment gameplay and feels tacked on for the sake of monetization.
The single-player campaign mode is fun enough and has touching well-written moments, but that's pretty much where the enjoyment stops. Crystal Dynamics excels at making single-player narrative-driven action adventures, not games as a service, and it shows. It's no wonder most of the game's player base dropped off shortly after release.
WWE 2K Battlegrounds
After the tumultuous release of 2019's WWE 2K20, publisher 2K decided to take a new approach for 2020 — opting to release a more arcade-style WWE game. The result was WWE 2K Battlegrounds, a repetitive, uninspired, microtransaction ridden mess, with some of the most horrendous-looking character models in recent memory. This game was developed quickly while the team at Vicarious Visions works on the next proper WWE entry, set tentatively for fall 2021.
Following the departure of longtime WWE developer Yukes during 2K20's production, Visual Concepts took over to get the game out in time for the fall of 2019. Because of the production shakeup, the result was a mess. Instead of pumping out yet another poorly received mainline 2K entry in 2020, 2K pushed for an interstitial release, Battlegrounds — which ended up being poorly received anyway.
The initial showing of Godfall garnered a tremendous amount of hype — particularly in that it was the first PS5 game we ever saw. Because of this, players were expecting to be blown away, but sadly, Godfall is an experience that feels just okay. It's pretty enough and features fast and fluid combat reminiscent of Devil May Cry, but the problem is that it gets repetitive quite quickly.
Referred to as a looter slasher (the publisher's words, not ours), Godfall tries to be like Destiny in that it rewards you with random gear as you progress through its stages. This idea is fine, but again, compared to games that do it better (like the aforementioned Destiny or Borderlands), it feels shallow and unrefined. Plus, it suffers noticeable frame rate dips when facing off against multiple enemies at once. Even more egregious is that it's one of the PS5 games that cost $70, making it an even tougher pill to swallow.
XIII – Remake
Not many people were clamoring for a remake of XIII, a first-person shooter that originally came out in 2003, which gained a lot of praise for its comic book art style. Nonetheless, publisher Microids and developer PlayMagic insisted on remaking the beloved classic in 2020, and what we got was an absolute mess.
For starters, the comic book art style that made the original so great was removed in favor of forgettable and bland character models (that were likely less expensive to develop). On top of that, the game is filled with technical issues and bugs, ranging from immersion-breaking visual issues to even game-breaking glitches that halt progress. Needless to say, there wasn't much of a reason to remake this game, especially since it wasn't done right.
You probably knew this was coming. Yes, Cyberpunk 2077 was one of the 2020's most disappointing games. Without beating the drum too much since we've covered its disastrous launch ad nauseum, we will say that this game disappointed for several reasons. The main issue is that it was in development for nearly a decade (first announced in 2012), meaning it had years and years of marketing behind it — resulting in a tremendous amount of hype. Even if it had launched in a functional state (more on that below), it still would have been difficult to match the expectations of years of excitement.
But the biggest issue is that Cyberpunk 2077 is full of glitches and bugs on the console version, to the point of being pulled from the PlayStation Store. The technical problems on consoles were so bad that many players sought refunds from developer CD Projekt RED directly, while retailers and digital storefronts altered their refund policies to accommodate disgruntled consumers. Players have gotten used to some technical problems here and there over the years, but the degree of Cyberpunk issues is more than most would have imagined.
Were there any games that you were looking forward to this year that turned out to be a dud?