10 Games So Awful That They Got Deleted

The Day Before

While some games have carved their names in history as blockbusters that are impossible to forget, others found themselves in deep water for several reasons. Such games were so awful that even the developers had to acknowledge they messed up, and the only way for them to salvage their reputation was by delisting their games across all supported platforms.

It’s not like anybody misses them, but still.

From the catastrophic failure of Cyberpunk 2077 at launch to Fntastic trying to pull off the scam of the decade with The Day Before, in this list we’ll be counting down games that were so bad that they just had to be recalled, delisted, and left alone as a tale for the history books.

 

10. Overkill’s The Walking Dead

Overkill's The Walking Dead
Overkill’s The Walking Dead

After the wild success of Payday 2, Overkill Software wasted no time announcing its next venture, The Walking Dead. Overkill’s take on the hit TV show would have an original story, while the gameplay was to follow in the footsteps of the Payday games. Sounds good so far, right? If only it were that simple.

The co-op first-person shooter was announced in 2014 for a 2016 release window but was pushed back into 2018. Being held back by 2 years, you’d think Overkill would create one of the best multiplayer survival-horror games of all time, but the final product was incredibly mediocre: a lackluster shooting game with repetitive mission design, outdated graphics, and forced co-op. And that’s still not counting the many, many bugs it had. Enemies would occasionally glitch through walls, NPCs would become frozen, forcing you to load an earlier save file, and sometimes, the game would get a black screen for no reason at all.

Calling Overkill’s The Walking Dead a dull and technically frustrating game would be putting it lightly. Now normally that would slide in today’s day and age where hundreds of similar games are released all year round but the hype and excitement for Overkill’s The Walking Dead was so much that it ended up being a double-edged sword.

Unsurprisingly, The Walking Dead’s creators and licensing company, Skybound Entertainment, didn’t like how Overkill tarnished their franchise’s reputation (even if they still stand by the even worse Destinies). Skybound Entertainment terminated their licensing deal for the game and this resulted in Overkill’s The Walking Dead being delisted from Steam and the console versions being canceled.

Overkill Software and their parent company Starbreeze Entertainment went bankrupt and underwent restructuring for over a year while their accursed The Walking Dead game would end up being forgotten in the annals of history.

 

9. Popeye 2021

Popeye 2021
Popeye 2021

What a weird story this is. A digital-only Switch exclusive for a character who hasn’t been popular in about 30 years?

The 1982 Popeye arcade game holds a special in the hearts of OG players. After Donkey Kong introduced the world to the platformer genre in 1981, the 1982 Popeye game was what took the formula a tad bit further. Many hailed Popeye as another momentous arcade game and to this day whenever people reminisce on it, they always have good things to say. In comparison, the 2021 Popeye remake by Sabec Limited for the Nintendo Switch was nothing but a travesty.

The game spanned only 3 levels in which the players as Popeye had to collect hearts and letters thrown by Olive Oyl, all while avoiding getting mugged by Bluto. Sounds like a faithful adaptation, but for some reason, the levels were made endless, completely ruining the design of the original. The 3 levels were bare bones on top of that and running around in circles chasing a high score that’s not even shared online was like a drug/spinach-fueled nightmare.

In name, it was a 3D remake of the 1982 classic. But in reality, Popeye 2021 seemed more like a game the team concocted over the weekend with premade assets and slapped a $12.99 price tag on to make an easy buck. Just to lay it out there, you can get one of the best indie games of all time, Hades, on Steam for less. Popeye 2021 was declared an insult to the fan-favorite character. Luckily, the game was delisted from the Nintendo Switch in 2023 out of the blue. Some sources cite the Popeye license for Sabec expiring, though, whatever may be the case, it’s a miracle nobody will have to live through it.

 

8. Wander

Wander game
Wander game

Wander is the only game in this list that didn’t exactly make players feel scammed, though it was still very much an awful game. It was developed by a small indie team called Wander – two birds one stone – as a non-combat and non-competitive MMO exploration game. Players would embody a tree and different beings in Wander, discovering breathtaking new locations as they wandered the world in search of answers. The environment and soothing melodies were the game in Wander. However, a weak narrative and decent art will only get you so far.

Wander was just too shallow to stand on its own two feet. Walking for hours on end in a game devoid of any other mechanic wasn’t exactly relaxing. On the contrary, it was frustrating.

While good in concept, Wander lacked the execution. Unlike Journey, Stardew Valley, and Outlast, games that can be considered pacifist but still have much to do, Wander didn’t have any single feature apart from walking that could really be seen as a positive. And even the set pieces were incomplete. Wildlife was missing yet you’d hear sounds of animals nearby. On the other hand, Wander was buggy beyond belief. One moment you’re walking in the jungle and the next you’re under the map.

Wander failed to find an audience and to make matters worse, the developers had an internal disagreement with CryTek regarding the use of the CryEngine. The dispute resulted in Wander being removed from sale and shortly after, the development team disbanded.

Wander was terrible technically, but well, if by chance it sounds like you missed out on a good walking simulator, might we suggest you try out Death Stranding instead?

 

7. Afro Samurai 2: Revenge of Kuma Volume One

Afro Samurai 2
Afro Samurai 2

After the successful launch of Afro Samurai in 2009, preparations were underway for the sequel. However, the game’s producer David Robinson left Bandai Namco and in an interview with Polygon, he stated he was able to secure the rights to the sequel that he plans on making after forming his own studio. David’s newly founded Redacted Studios would then make Afro Samurai 2 and Versus Evil served as the publisher for the release.

With an entirely new team working on Afro Samurai 2, prospects didn’t seem bright from the get-go and when the game was finally released, it was a new level of bad. Afro Samurai 2: Revenge of Kuma Volume One was named among the worst games of 2015 by various publications. It was panned by critics and users alike with some going as far as to describe Afro Samurai 2 as a “technical mess of hot garbage”. Anyone who sat down to play Afro Samurai 2 would feel the same way. It was an amalgamation of utterly repetitive combat, horrendous UI choices, and a predictable story. The sequel was a disappointment and a massive step down on a technical as well as on an artistic level. By the time the storm had calmed down a bit, Afro Samurai 2: Revenge of Kuma Volume One was drowning in reviews of 1s and 2s.

Versus Evil felt humiliated and without notice, they delisted the game and issued refunds to every single person who had purchased Afro Samurai 2. Plans for making this into a trilogy were also killed right after.

In an interview with CGMagazine that was conducted sometime later, Versus Evil’s General Manager addressed the refunds and the situation as a whole. He cleared up the air by stating “The game was a failure. We could not do, in good conscience, volume 2 and volume 3. So we’ve begun the process [of refunding purchases]”.

Afro Samurai 2 may have been a disasterpiece but at least the publishers owned up to their mistake and by the end of it all, they actually managed to gain some respect.

 

6. Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk 2077
Cyberpunk 2077

When The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt came out in 2015, it quickly became the most awarded game of its time. CD Projekt Red showed the world how a narrative-driven RPG is supposed to be done, and now you had to put respect to the studio’s name.

However, with such acclaim also comes the pressure of consistency. Once praises of The Witcher 3 calmed down, all eyes were on Cyberpunk 2077, the next action role-playing game from CDPR which the studio had already announced back in 2012. The pressure was on but from the gameplay trailers at E3 2018 and 2019, it looked as if CDPR was working its magic yet again. A release date was set and pre-orders were hitting the millions. But then the delays started happening. Whenever we were about a month or two off from release day, CD Projekt Red would apologize on its socials and delay the game on the grounds that it needed more polish.

When Cyberpunk 2077 eventually did launch in December 2020, CD Projekt Red left minds blown once again – though not in the way you’d expect.

Vanilla Cyberpunk 2077 was absolutely broken, especially on PS4 and Xbox. NPCs would not load, the game would crash every five minutes, and the textures, hell, even the basic physics such as bullet impact were missing which was ironic given this was a first-person shooter. Cyberpunk 2077 was in a state of chaos, and its release left millions of players worldwide mad and out gunning for refunds. Cyberpunk 2077 was so awful that less than a month after launching it was delisted from the PlayStation Store while Xbox was issuing refunds left and right.

The action RPG would return to consoles 6 months later, overhauled with hundreds of improvements yet still years away from the polish and quality expected of the creators of The Witcher 3. But despite the rightful criticism, CDPR chose to stick by their mistake, supporting Cyberpunk with updates for 3 years. With the launch of Phantom Liberty, Cyberpunk is now close to the game it should’ve been.

Today, Cyberpunk 2077 can be considered one of the greatest games ever made, albeit it’s safe to say nobody will be pre-ordering the in-development sequel.

 

5. Babylon’s Fall

Babylon's Fall
Babylon’s Fall

For the most part, PlatinumGames’ track record is almost spotless. But one of their major blemishes is called Babylon’s Fall, an action RPG that was unfortunately more Avengers than Elden Ring.

You could say it was PlatinumGames’ ambitions that killed Babylon’s Fall. Unlike the single-player formula in NieR and Bayonetta which the studio was known for, PlatinumGames went for an always-online live-service approach in Babylon’s Fall. The weak story, tedious hack-and-slash combat, and repetitive texture use did no favors to the game either. Babylon’s Fall debuted to a peak player count of only 1188 players on Steam, becoming a commercial failure.

PlatinumGames offered free updates to support the game but within a month the player count had dwindled to below 100. Babylon’s Fall was dead on arrival and with it showing absolutely no signs of ever recuperating, publisher Square Enix and PlatinumGames axed it 6 months after release. Babylon’s Fall was delisted from both PlayStation and PC by the end of 2022 while servers were officially shut down in February the following year.

Babylon’s Fall was simply an awful game and considering its disastrous life, PlatinumGames likely won’t be dipping its toes in live-service so soon again.

Oh, they’re doubling down? That’s not a terrible decision at all.

 

4. 1000 Top Rated

1000 Top Rated
1000 Top Rated

1000 Top Rated was marketed as the easiest puzzle game on PlayStation that would net you a (previously) prestigious Platinum trophy in only a matter of minutes. While it’s not known how many people played it in 2017 before it was taken down within 36 hours of launch, a reported 94% of the player base did snag the Platinum. This was bonkers news when you realize only 1-2% of players achieve a Platinum in most games.

As you can imagine, there was barely any content in 1000 Top Rated to begin with. The puzzles were literally just images split into pieces which players had to arrange in the right order. It was as easy as it gets and as per the internet, now you could “buy Platinum trophies on PlayStation”. Sony promptly delisted 1000 Top Rated, and in a post made by the developer, Sony wanted them to change the name of the game as well as any mentions of trophies and how easy it was to get them.

Months went by and 1000 Top Rated did not resurface. The game’s official page on the PlayStation website was also removed and in another post made by Top Rated, the studio enigmatically implied that 1000 Top Rated wouldn’t ever be coming back. On to the next Platinum, I suppose.

 

3. CrossfireX

CrossfireX
CrossfireX

CrossfireX was a free-to-play multiplayer game from Smilegate Entertainment for the Xbox One and Xbox Series. Unfortunately, unlike the wildly popular Crossfire from 2007 which has made the developer over $10 billion to date, their 2017 franchise spin-off has made a name for itself as the worst in the series.

Both the purchasable single-player mode made by Remedy of Alan Wake fame and the free-to-play multiplayer mode were plagued with countless issues. The campaign had a generic story, awful UI design, and was riddled with bugs whereas the multiplayer mode, as well as the game as a whole, looked unrefined. CrossfireX made vanilla Battlefield 2042 seem like a masterpiece, and if you have played vanilla Battlefield 2042, it was the furthest thing from a masterpiece.

Everything went downhill for CrossfireX once it was out, and the reviews were the final nail in the coffin for any hope of recovery. CrossfireX was a huge misfire and Smilegate it’d be better to delist it rather than let new players discover it and contribute to the already massive pile of hate mail. Well, we don’t know about that, really — most people were just completely apathetic to the thing.

Smilegate officially ended all support for CrossfireX on 18 May 2023, and everything from the multiplayer to the single-player campaign was rendered unplayable.

 

2. The Culling 2

The Culling 2
The Culling 2

Amid the battle royale fever, one studio by the name of Xaviant created a first-person action game in 2017 to capitalize on the genre. The Culling wasn’t all that bad, but with PUBG and Fortnite trapping the world in a chokehold, everyone quickly forgot about Xaviant’s melee-based offering. In an attempt to get back in on the action, Xaviant would announce, develop, and release a sequel, The Culling 2, all within 9 months.

With great AAA games taking a minimum of 3-5 years in the oven, you can imagine the kind of work Xaviant had put in The Culling 2. The game was a clone of PUBG and an extremely poor one at that. Everything from the gunplay and map design to the graphics felt like a rip-off of PUBG. To make matters worse, servers were endlessly disconnecting and if you did manage to connect to a game, you’d automatically win since no one else was in the match. The situation was pretty dire.

Within 8 days, Xaviant announced that they would be delisting The Culling 2 from all supported platforms. Refunds were issued out, and the game was effectively buried faster than it was developed.

Xaviant would later fumble again by ruining their moderately successful run with The Culling by making it a “pay-per-match” game, and ultimately because of the backlash, Xaviant took a tumble from which it wasn’t ever able to recover.

 

1. The Day Before

The Day Before
The Day Before

The Day Before was hyped up by developer Fntastic as “a real breakthrough for the MMO survival genre”, and the stunning announcement trailer at E3 2021 had convinced a lot of people. More trailers would follow suit in the coming months and they’d showcase highly decorated interiors and beautiful graphics.

The gameplay, on the other hand, looked unrefined but since the game was still under development, everyone was willing to let that slide. But who knew that this was false advertising happening on the grandest scale? Reflecting on these earlier trailers, it is obvious Fntastic just wanted to generate internet clout for their game before they tried scamming all of us.

The Day Before was delayed multiple times before it eventually came out on Steam in December 2023. In the period leading up to the release, Fntastic gave us another look at the zombie survival game, and oh boy was it rough. Contrary to what was shown two years prior, the gameplay trailer of 2023 seemed like it was from a completely different game. The graphics had been downgraded severely, the open world was devoid of zombies making combat non-existent, and the game felt lifeless. Millions were looking forward to how things would turn out. Nearing release day, it seemed as if The Day Before would simply be a dull game with generic missions, but somehow, it was worse than anyone could have imagined.

It wasn’t even an MMO.

The Day Before’s launch build was riddled with game-breaking glitches and it would either crash every few minutes or you would have to restart the entire game. There was a meaningless progression system, no incentive to explore the monotonous, empty sandboxes, and survival felt like a chore more than a requirement, which is the exact opposite of how a post-apocalyptic zombie game should feel like. And the best part was, you could get all this for the low price of $40 on Steam.

The Day Before gave the impression of being a side project the developers cooked over the past few months rather than something they had been tirelessly working on for five years. It was rated as the worst game of 2023, and by some, as the biggest scam game of all time. Fntastic was bombarded with innumerable hate comments and The Day Before’s player count dipped hard. Only four days later after launch, The Day Before would be removed from sale on Steam. Fntastic would address the situation on Twitter by stating that “The Day Before has failed financially, and we lack the funds to continue. All income received is being used to pay off debts to our partners.”

Because of the hype it had, The Day Before sold 200,000 copies on Steam during the time it was still up. However, the publisher Mytona offered refunds to all users, saving face for what could’ve been one of the biggest scams in history. Today, Fntastic is officially defunct and The Day Before remains unplayable. Its release was definitely a wild thing to be a part of, but luckily, the atrocity was delisted and in the aftermath, people who bought it had only lost a couple of hours of their life, and hopefully a whole bunch of trust in random trailer.

Just remember this lesson the next time these two dudes try to sell you a game.

READ NEXT:  How The Rock Got Xbox Cooking

Some of the coverage you find on Cultured Vultures contains affiliate links, which provide us with small commissions based on purchases made from visiting our site. We cover gaming news, movie reviews, wrestling and much more.