Though most fans greatly anticipate Sonic Frontiers to be the next impressive installment of the franchise, the game could end up like the infamous Sonic the Hedgehog reboot from 2006. While the previewed gameplay of Sonic Frontiers seems quite smooth, there will remain doubt due to memories of the glitchy mess that is Sonic ‘06.
Still, those who think that game was the worst reboot of all time have clearly haven’t played Bubsy 3D or Tomb Raider: Angel Of Darkness. The question is, what are the qualities (or lack thereof) that make these attempts at franchise revivals the worst ever?
A 1992 sci-fi platformer for the Amiga, the original Flashback was revered for its awesome level designs and addictive 2D arcade adventure gameplay. Since its glory days, it was ported for PC and a bunch of other consoles, but some of these ports were worse than others.
When Flashback came to the Xbox 360 in 2013, past players looked forward to having just as much fun as they experienced the game in higher quality. Little did they know, the game they once adored received a subpar reboot that was primarily only good for a quick nostalgia trip, due to mediocre controls and unequal gameplay. At the very least, the great story of Flashback still stood the test of time.
One of the few platformers where the player couldn’t jump and the first to implement a grappling hook, Bionic Commando, was released in 1987 as an arcade game. It was so loved for its cool weaponry and cyber aesthetic that it got a home version for the NES a year later.
The 2009 reboot of Bionic Commando, however, was seen as lackluster due to its unpredictable storyline and entirely laughable plot twist. Definitely not one of the best rebooted video games, especially since ammo was so hard to find and some important objectives were unbeatable without it. As expected, the remake was given halfhearted reviews from fans and lead to insufficient sales.
Perfect Dark Zero
Perfect Dark Zero was one of the best Xbox 360 multiplayer experiences at launch in 2005 and the prequel to one of the hardest Nintendo 64 games to beat, so it was obvious the first-person shooter wouldn’t be easy (especially the Jungle Storm stage).
Since it was split into separate single and multiplayer modes, it’s almost like playing two different games, the worse of the two being single player. In this mode, the storyline is ridiculously lousy, which could have been overlooked if the gameplay was solid. However, due to terrible A.I. and allies straight up walking into gunfire while the player tries their hardest to protect them, it was considered a flop to past fans. Even the missions in multiplayer were repetitive and extremely boring, since enemies were in the exact same spot in every game.
Sonic The Hedgehog
Sega’s unofficial reboot of its classic 1991 platformer Sonic the Hedgehog, aka Sonic ’06, ran into a slew of problems that were detrimental to the enjoyability of its gameplay. As the most infamous Sonic game to ever be released, the game was plagued by possibly the worst loading rates in the franchise, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
The weak, slowly progressing plot, as well as the questionable relationship between Sonic and Princess Elise, came off as cringey to many loyal fans. Sonic 06’s terrible camera, playthrough-ruining glitches, comically unappealing NPCs, and unreliable controls are what earned itself a spot on this list.
Frogger: He’s Back
The incredibly addictive Frogger is a big nostalgia trip for many gamers, so excitement predictably revved up with the release of Frogger: He’s Back, 20 years after the original game.
Unfortunately, the sequel was a huge failure, despite selling three million copies and having much better graphics. Frogger: He’s Back was equipped with the most frustratingly difficult levels and even more aggravating controls, making the game a punch in the face to loyal fans instead of a walk down memory lane like they expected.
A game that some feel should not have made it to the market, the 2008 reboot of Turok, essentially removed all the elements that made the original so loved and distinct.
Unlike the real Turok, which had player act as saviors of those in need while fighting against disgusting creatures through highly creative levels. The reboot portrayed Turok as someone who was meant to destroy the dinosaurs and aliens of another planet. With weak level design, unappealing stealth mechanics, and weaponry that just didn’t match up, the game ended up a disappointment to those who swore by the original.
Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness
The 2003 action-adventure game for the Playstation 2, Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness, was a fall from grace of earlier installments of the series for a slew of reasons. For one thing, the transition from the use of the D-pad controls to the analog stick weren’t very smooth and often felt stiff, especially while using stealth moves.
The Angel of Darkness’ grid-based system couldn’t live up to the combat of other games in the genre on the console, since Lara’s clunky and sluggish move sets held her back entirely. This is inexcusable considering she is supposed to be a martial arts expert, yet tasks like kicking and punching are not only slow as molasses, but are boring to watch.
Alone In The Dark
As the very first 3D survival horror game, Alone in the Dark lead as one of the best ‘90s video games in its genre, where players explored and attempted to escape the creepy Derceto mansion. While squaring up with the supernatural and puzzle solving were highlights of the original game, the 2008 reboot fell completely flat.
Trying to be a shooter (though killing enemies was best done by setting them ablaze), the game concentrated on combat but was much too glitchy to be enjoyed, and its repetitive controls made it that much worse. Leaving behind the classic mansion for a city was already outrageous, but having to drive around in it uncontrollably made players want to drive off a cliff. Puzzle solving just didn’t fit into the game anymore but was forced in anyway, taking much fun away from its horror aspects.
Fans of the original Space Invaders are still wondering why Space Raiders even exists. Departing from surface-to-air shooting, the 2002 reboot featured third-person-shooting with gameplay that put players to sleep and mundane graphics.
Furthermore, the terrible plot and unlikeable main characters were things the game didn’t need. To go from such an iconic and addicting arcade masterpiece to the lifeless at-home Space Raiders was abhorrent to say the least, breaking the hearts of long-time fans and stepping on their nostalgia.
The first installment of Bubsy was beloved for its hilarious yet rather illogical plot of a bobcat protecting yarn balls from aliens, as well as its comical death animations, but there was nothing funny about Bubsy 3D.
Thinking they were doing something revolutionary, the designers of the game shot themselves in the foot when utilizing the Playstation’s high-res graphic mode, since it caused the maps to come out sparse and polygonal. Departing even further from its original glory, the third-person platformer featured unimpressive gliding and shooting action with controls. Furthermore, the soundtrack is horrendously annoying, unlike Bubsy: Claws Encounters of the Third Kind.