8 Unbelievably Broken Games That Somehow Got Released

8) Sonic the Hedgehog – 2006


Back at 2005, SEGA’s legendary programmer Yuji Naka made a big announcement at E3. There was to be a new, cross-platform Sonic game released as part of the franchise’s 15th anniversary. Everyone was delighted, and there was dancing in the streets. Then, a few months after this, Yuji Naka made a second announcement. He was resigning from the development team. Everyone was fearful, and there was riots on the streets.

Well, maybe not riots on the streets, but there was definitely soon to be some on the forums. Sonic ’06, as it was dubbed, became a programming race against time after various developmental disasters, and what we were left with was a game so chock full of bugs that it basically resembled an Amazonian tribesman’s dinner plate.

Glitching through scenery, disappearing characters, animation issues, a completely useless camera – Sonic ’06 was a library of sloppy design. It was reported at the time that due to time constraints when making the game, the developers began to flat out ignore the (increasingly large) bug reports of the various testers.

There’s a lesson to be learned here somewhere. Something about SEGA insisting on still making Sonic games, probably.

Comments (133)

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  1. DB Nsays:

    To think, I was sure ET and/or Cheetahman/Action 52 was going to show up. Good post.

    I bought a copy of Dead or Alive 4 for 360 that doesnt load up further than the character select screen; but mine has to be a turd in the rough because I haven’t heard of any else having this problem.

    1. Ciarán Uttingsays:

      Thanks! Couldn’t face putting E.T. in there though, it was barely even a game. More like an interactive disease.

  2. Bobsays:

    No Sonic 06? Big surprise

    1. Ciarán Uttingsays:

      haha yeah very true. Shoehorning the Havok physics engine into a Sonic game was never going to end well.

  3. Mr Westsays:

    Funny article! So true about BF, that game made me rage when it first came out. Specially as it was like the only game I had on th new Xbox apart from Fifa

    1. Ciarán Uttingsays:

      Thanks man. And thanks for sharing your pain with me. We’re kindred spirits now.

  4. Jeremysays:

    I personally think that Dark Void and LAIR should be here also. Great article tho!

    1. Ciarán Uttingsays:

      Thanks Jeremy. To be honest, LAIR didn’t even cross my mind. Maybe I’ll write a sequel article!

  5. Fox9ersays:

    Sonic 06?

    1. Ciarán Uttingsays:

      You should hang out with Bob from down there ⇩

  6. Senor Pezsays:

    How does this list not include X: Rebirth? More like X: Stillbirth.

    1. Ciarán Uttingsays:

      Haha! Outstanding.

  7. Vittoriosays:

    How was Sonic 06 not on here. You know. With all of those glitches. Like getting stuck in a wall, or being able to levitate a box as Sonic by standing on it and kicking it. Then the miscalculations on the jumps where, if you don’t get it jUST RIGHT, you die? Then there’s the fact that Elise and Sonic seemed to have a romantic relationship…?

    1. Ciarán Uttingsays:

      Personally, I found their hinted-at lust powerfully erotic.

    2. Paul Rasosays:

      Even odder, Sega released it without beta testing

    3. Nathan Kinneysays:

      You forgot falling off loops and dying during scripted sequences

    4. Khalil Youngsays:

      Sonic 06 didn’t have game breaking bugs at least. You were able to beat it, most of the glitches just caused you petty deaths at the most and a lot were avoidable if you watch a playthrough people can make the game look almost sound in terms of control. Almost. It’s a bad game but it is nowhere near broken to the point of these games.

  8. Charlie Bsays:

    Sims 3 should have been #1. Without mods, that game is useless.

    1. Ciarán Uttingsays:

      I couldn’t because the Sims patch notes are always hilarious whenever they update it. Eg. Sims can no longer “Try for a Baby” with the Grim Reaper.

  9. Hateful Sightsays:

    Hi, hello. I was going to kill myself tonight, but I have read your article and they made me laugh, made me feel happy.
    I have decided to die two days from now, thank you for that (:

    1. Pingurulessays:

      So why do you want to die?

    2. Charlottesays:

      I don’t know if this comment was meant to be a joke, but I’m going to err on the side of taking you seriously and ask you to please reconsider.
      If it means anything at all, I don’t want you to kill yourself. If it means anything at all, I’m thinking of you and I’m glad that you are alive.

    3. Ciarán Uttingsays:

      This is great news. We Got This Covered said they’d like to publish a bunch more of my shitty scribblings, so keep checking back and I’ll try and keep you alive for a lot longer.

    4. Charlottesays:

      Checking in again with you; I’m thinking of you.

    5. Charlottesays:

      I hope it’s ok that I’m replying again. I hope you are still with us.

      1. giznad138says:

        I think he killed himself. RIP Hateful Sight. 🙁

      2. Charlottesays:

        I hope not. I think I’ll keep checking in for a while longer, so he/she knows that he/she is important.

      3. Guestsays:

        Thank you, Charlotte. you are really sweet and kind, a rare thing nowadays.

        And, no. I didn’t die, yet. As they say, things will get worse before getting better and it seems that I haven’t fallen to the bottom of this downward spiral that drag my days, turning my nights restless and making me think my blood to be polluted.

        Anyway, rest assured that I won’t die. Yes, I know, I will die, everyone will, but I am pretty sure that it won’t be a suicide, I am past that line. even though I can feel it building up in me, the urge to get back to old habits. To give in to Her whim and follow this desire to be clean to the point for it to become a wont and not a need… ugh…

        Probably Time will me. You know, whenever that you think you are the one killing it, the Time, but in truth it is it that is killing you. Little by little each day and you are not even aware.

        Regardless of it being relentless, I am really glad to see your replies and concern here, for a stranger and, even more, for being me. You made my day less dull and some light shone on me while I read all that.

        Thank you again and now I shall be the one thinking about you. Take good care of yourself, Charlotte.

      4. Hateful Sightsays:

        Thank you, Charlotte. you are really sweet and kind, a rare thing nowadays.

        And, no. I didn’t die, yet. As they say, things will get worse before they get better and it seems that I haven’t fallen to the bottom of this downward spiral yet. That horrid thing that drag my days, turning my nights restless and making me think my blood to be polluted.

        Anyway, rest assured that I won’t die. Yes, I know, I will die, everyone will, but I am pretty sure that it won’t be a suicide, I am past that line. even though I can feel it building up in me, the urge to get back to old habits. To give in to Her whim and follow this desire to be clean to the point for it to become a wont and not a need… ugh…

        Probably Time will me. You know, whenever that you think you are the one killing it, the Time, but in truth it is it that is killing you. Little by little each day and you are not even aware.

        Regardless of it being relentless, I am really glad to see your replies and concern here, for a stranger and, even more, for being me. You made my day less dull and some light shone on me while I read all that.

        Thank you again and now I shall be the one thinking about you. Take good care of yourself, Charlotte.

      5. Charlottesays:

        Thank you for letting me know you are still here. I have goosebumps. This is lovely news.
        It can be hard to be a sensitive soul; to see the things in this world that others seem to be oblivious to, and to feel & know things that others do not. It can be overwhelming. Thank you for carrying on.
        Please check in any time you may want or need. Please write more in general, as your words are poetry.

    6. Zachary Carlinisays:

      don’t do that.

    7. Charlottesays:

      I haven’t given up on you; I hope you haven’t given up on you.

    8. Charlottesays:

      I hope you have found it within you to keep living. I won’t reply anymore, but I’ll keep thinking about you.

    9. Ben Stathamsays:

      Probably for the best…

  10. Cpt_Spauldingsays:

    Stronghold 3 was a joke.

    1. Ciarán Uttingsays:

      100% accurate.

  11. Jack Veras Larasays:

    Such a fun article to read, your sense of humor is great! I would enjoy reading more of your articles!

    1. Ciarán Uttingsays:

      Thanks for the kind words, Jack. There’s plenty more on the way, keep an eye out!

  12. shane bsays:

    I agree with the list with the exception of the list lacking that guitar game “gig something-or-another”? Forgive me for not knowing the name but I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.

    1. Ciarán Uttingsays:

      I do, and you’re right. It stinks.

    2. SharkSockssays:

      Power Gig: Rise of the Sixstring. I got that game for free and I wanted compensation just for playing it. It was so laughably bad and nearly unplayable. It was upsetting that me, someone who regularly 5 stars stuff on expert on music games could be failing on this. The songs chosen for it were great, too. Just, you know, horrible game.

  13. Ben Filleysays:

    how about any of the nba2k titles? absolutely abhorrent. try them sometime, they are maddening to anyone who enjoys basketball. or, how about some of the madden titles while were talking about maddening.

    1. Ciarán Uttingsays:

      I once asked someone how many quarters made up a game of basketball. This is why I’m not allowed to comment on the games.

      1. Punkindrublic1says:

        Would have been funnier if you had said “How many quarters in a hockey game” 😛

  14. Glaciusxsays:

    Superman 64….*shudders*

    1. Ciarán Uttingsays:

      I know, gross isn’t it.

      1. Dj readmansays:

        That game was not broken, it just basically, shit, or complete and utter damned to hell, fucking utter shit,,that’s better,lol

  15. Superman 64 was a very bad port of an unreleased PlayStation 1 version of it (which, looking at the leaked trailer, was looking very good for PS1, and it wasn’t just “following rings”)

    1. Ciarán Uttingsays:

      Thanks for the info, Parappa. I genuinely had no idea about that.

      1. Talea Fraemohs-Mitchellsays:

        Also, Warner Brothers was largely responsible for the general crappiness of the game, due to them being helicopter parents to the overworked developers. I can’t remember much details, but I do remember they consistently wanted updates on how the game was progressing, and were very specific about what kind of missions he could go on. (i.e. They decided Superman shouldn’t be able to hit “real people,” they shouldn’t portray too much violence, etc. which left the designers with not a lot to work with.

  16. scir91onYouTubesays:

    most fun “broken” game of all time is street fighter 2 rainbow edition. many of us kids played that for days on end after school in pizza and candy stores across usa in 1992/93. guile’s sonic booms and ken’s hadouken’s would fill up the screen while blanka changed into zangief and did a spinning pile driver going through the bottom and top screens a few times. hilarious and FUN! THAT is how you break a game the right way!

    1. Ciarán Uttingsays:

      Your childhood is a dream

  17. Shubhendu Singhsays:

    Okay…That Fallout Glitch video spooked me a little.

    1. Ciarán Uttingsays:

      Good luck sleeping tonight

  18. Bankhead23says:

    They need to hurry and fix bf4 cause I had to restart the campaign over today because of error codes

    1. Ciarán Uttingsays:

      Yeah, I share your pain. Had to restart the 360 campaign twice. Didn’t even bother with the Xbox One campaign.

  19. nikitagramsays:

    what about Ghostbusters? thats one game everyone used to have and no one knew what do do with that, it was so fucked up!

    1. Ciarán Uttingsays:

      Oh my God, I completely forgot about that game! I had it on the Amiga 500 I think, not a bloody clue what was going on.

      1. Ashsays:

        I had a chance to get it on playstation glad I didn’t now

  20. Alex Pendragonsays:

    Not sure EA has had “several years to fix the game since release”. I’m not sure if “this year” and “last year” count when it’s actually just 5 months. 😉

    1. Ciarán Uttingsays:

      I was referring to their servers/ the battlefield franchise as a whole, which is consistently released broken.

  21. Brandonsays:

    While i understand why its here, I still must say that New vegas, as well as nearly all Bethesda games (I know New Vegas was made by Obsidian, but still) are some of the funnest games out there, despite the bugs.

    1. Ciarán Uttingsays:

      I agree, they’re great games all considered.

    2. oblivion328says:

      New Vegas was a great game after they patched it, but I wouldn’t say that excuses them for releasing it in such a broken state.

      1. gtox11says:

        My issue with Fallout/Elder Scrolls is that, it seems at least, that Bethesda is relying on player mods to “fix” their games a bit too much.

        While one might say that mods are just fun alternatives to the vanilla gameplay, when there is a list of “100 must-have mods” I feel that that is showing that there is at least 100 pieces of the game that some random player was able to make better than the developers. That, to me, is a big problem.

        But in fairness though, they are fun games in general. I just wish the old school development was still around when games released when they were done cooking, not when the publisher demands the return on their investment (even if it means a broken mess and only 50% of the potential profits).

  22. Douglas Dudasays:

    My simple way of describing my hate for bf 4 is that battlefield 3 was super good before they patched it to shit. BF4 sucks right outa the gate. How does someone live with 1 hp? im less than 20 feet away shooting a sig rifle into his back and he lives with 1 hp turns around and kills me. wtf? other times its less obvious but still stupidly bad gameplay. If your going to deal with guns in games make them ALL dangerous not just the ASSAULT class guns. ALSO SOME PEOPLE GO PLAY MEAL OF HONOR WARFIGHTER FUCKING good game that most people Never tried. AND honestly balanced pretty damn well.

    1. Ciarán Uttingsays:

      Warfighter won’t let you spawn on people who are being shot at. For that reason alone it should have been GOTY

      1. Douglas Dudasays:

        There was a lot of good things they did in the game. For whatever reason most people did not like the multiplayer. I loved it. Sadly now there are too few who play it. ALTHOUGH I will say Ghosts was better than I had expected. This years BF vs COD goes to COD.

      2. Tuckersays:

        Lol Call of Duty is like in its downfall finally, and MoH was only good when they did WWII games in my opinion. BF4 is like some money I wasted lol, BF2 and 1942 will always be the best.

  23. Kaihakusays:

    Well played. I was going to make fun of this list for having nothing I’d touch but then you included Ultima IX.

    1. Ciarán Uttingsays:

      I’m glad we’re cool

  24. Jen Kloddsays:

    For the first time ever, someone is honest about Fallout : New Vegas.

    The only reason why this game found success is the elitist community of Bethesda Softworks “fans”. This game ruined the licence and was shit from the beginning to the end.

    1. Ciarán Uttingsays:

      You’re alright, Jen. You’re allllllllright

    2. therealstateofplaysays:

      Total rubbish,it was a great game. You’re clearly one of the “trendy” fan types who just slate popular games for trifling bandwagon-hopping issues. You’re just as bad as the elitist softworks “fans” you criticize.

    3. Multiscoopsays:

      I found it to be fantastic! It is very bug-ridden, but it is a good game, when you look at it objectively.

  25. Robertsays:

    I would take battlefield 4 of the list because every issues in the game have been patched and fixed on xbox one

    1. Ciarán Uttingsays:

      I played it for about 3 hours last night, and I beg to differ…

      1. meeksays:

        Are you playing on a next gen or other? I seem to have no problems with multiplayer just the story on ps4( and my problem on story had to do with the cloud saving)

      2. Ciarán Uttingsays:

        My experiences are based on both Xbox 360 and Xbox One versions. Though I believe there is another patch for the latter today.

  26. failsafe65says:

    None of the fallout games had any bugs for me

    1. Ciarán Uttingsays:

      You may very well be the luckiest man alive.

    2. Talea Fraemohs-Mitchellsays:

      I know, same here! It’s weird. Everyone else is complaining about how buggy the game is and I’m just sitting here, sipping Mountain Dew and keeping quiet about the fact that that game is what made me a Bethesda fan.

    3. Guestsays:

      Lol that wasn’t Fallout you were playing then.

    4. Ben Stathamsays:

      What a blatant LIAR!

  27. Cuckoosays:

    What? No Daggerfall??

    1. Ciarán Uttingsays:

      Maybe next time. People are coming up with some pretty good suggestions.

  28. Izludesays:

    I played Legends of Equestria a few weeks back, first thing I did was break the game, unintentionally. I have a knack for these things you see. I love exploring and exploiting by nature (games that is). I fell through the floor, appeared upside down, you name it. I’m not a tester, but wouldn’t mind the job.

    Games I’ve broke in the past include WoW, Maple Story, Hello Kitty Online, Fusion Fall, Diablo games, Legends of Equestria recently… it’s hilarious xD

  29. ZacIsCoolsays:

    Do iOS gams count? Because I have a game called knightskape. It was fine at first, but it just got more glitchy as I played. It started with just bad gesture recognition. Then I started clipping through the floor and dying. Soon I started to get levels unlocked before they were supposed to. On the last level, you have to kill a dragon. I fought and killed him, but when I did, his health bar went away, as did my controls, so I could not move or attack, but instead of dying he just stated there and killed me, and since I couldn’t move or fight I just had to sit there and lose.

  30. jenssonssays:

    where is skyrim

    1. Ciarán Uttingsays:

      Lumped in with Fallout

  31. Lewis rustsays:

    What about Aliens- colonial marines ?

    1. Ciarán Uttingsays:

      That wasn’t really broken, just incredibly fucking bad.

  32. evansusmcsays:

    Superman for N64 was not a broken game. You just had to have REALLY good skill to control superman in flight. Unfortunately I did not have this skill 🙁

    1. Ciarán Uttingsays:

      Apparently only Superman has the necessary powers to actually complete this Superman game. Ironic.

  33. I still remember paying full price for Superman 64. And Shaq Fu.

    Never. Again.

    1. Ciarán Uttingsays:

      Shaq Fu! What a colossal piece of shit. I paid full price too.

  34. Michael Angelo Ortizsays:

    The big rig one cracks me the hell up. Shattered time and space

    1. Ciarán Uttingsays:

      It’s really something.

  35. Michael Angelo Ortizsays:

    The Fallout one had me super weak too

  36. Newbie13says:

    How’s the Steam version of genesis rising not here?

    1. Ciarán Uttingsays:

      Because I didn’t put it in the list.

      1. Newbie13says:

        I mean, most people can’t get it to start without crashing, and the few that has managed to start it has problems with the first ship you get (that’s needed to complete the first level) not appearing making the first level impossible. Also, many people have problems with that the textures don’t load. Also, the games website is just a couple of ads.

  37. Tom Bournersays:

    One of the most enjoyable articles I have read in sometime, my missus thought I was high I was laughing so hard, especially the last one thanks for brightening up my day.

    1. Ciarán Uttingsays:

      Whoever you are, Tom Bourner, and where ever you lay your head, know that I appreciate this comment.

  38. Wraithkillersays:

    The witcher 2 enhanced edition for the xbox 360 is a very glitchy game at the end. In chapter 3 I was invincible for most or all of it when I started from a old save and at random times the floors would disappear or the walls would twist. Also when I got to the Dragon on Roche’s path on the second part of the fight it was ether invincible or the health bar wouldn’t move.

  39. BLahsays:

    Uhh no Two Worlds? Dafuq? It’s the only game I’ve had to return for being so broken.

    1. Ciarán Uttingsays:

      whats a dafuq

  40. Dannysays:

    Or how about more recently, Madden 25 for the PS4. When you are doing a career mode with a created character the announcers keep saying over and over you just made your first, first down of your career, when I finished the game with about 12+ first downs… Or the PC version of NBA2K13, the headless players?

    1. Ciarán Uttingsays:

      Yeah, I’ve seen this. It doesn’t look good that next-gen is off to such a buggy start.

  41. Blake Wigertsays:

    Where is Dr. Muto? That game is great but it actually cannot be 100%’d (totally not a word) becasue of stage changes in the water world of the game, you can’t reach the collectables because they are inside the walls

  42. Benjamin Jimenezsays:

    that never happened to me on Fallout: New Vegas


    wait…that truck game wasnt just a piss take? IT WAS AN ACTUAL MARKETED GAME?!?!?

  44. xoxosays:

    “The Good Life” was the buggiest game ever and had no end at all.

  45. Marcussays:

    Duke Nukem Forever, anyone?

  46. Disagreeing with Fallout New Vegas. I’ve logged a lot of hours on that game, and never had that issue, or any similar.

  47. Jonny Nine Toessays:

    “Countdown Vampires” for the original PS. That’s definitely my favorite POS game. Complete Resident Evil rip off, with even worse voice acting (hard to imagine, isn’t it?), an uber-lame story (the premise was cool, though…), spelling errors, bland dialog, cats and dogs living together… If there was a “half-ass” award, I believe this game would have gotten several. There were a few touted features in the promo commercial that were no where to be found in the actual game. It seems like this game must have been well into development when the whole dev team suddenly lost enthusiasm for it.

  48. dylaxiussays:

    the one game i was surprised wasn’t on here was skyrim. this game had so much glitches it wasn’t even funny, like if you wanted, and tried hard enough, you could run up any mountain as long as you kept walking towards it and occasionally found a ledge to step on to. or getting flung about 25 miles into the air from one
    hit by a giant.

  49. Zach Cartersays:

    I never experienced Doc Mitchell’s rolling head in New Vegas, but I have to say I feel deprived as a result. That was HILARIOUS. Awesome topic, I laughed my ass off.

  50. likalarukusays:

    Before I even read it, I’m guessing Big Rigs Over the Road Racing, Daikatana, Superman 64, Aquaman Battle for Atlantis, Crazy Bus, Charlie’s Angels, Bubsy 3D, Virtual Hydlide, Ultima 9, Elder Scrolls Daggerfall, anything by Phoenix Games (Dalmations 3, Animal Soccer World), anything in the FIFA or Skate series, most if not all of the greenlit Simulation games on Steam (the Vinesauce crew loves to cover these), Myst Riven, a good chunk of FMV games, Pizza Dude, & Jurassic Park Tresspasser.

  51. Corey Kellysays:

    Though New Vegas had its quirks and crazy glitches. Most of the time they didnt hinder your progress or break the game. In a world where you’re constantly being chased by Deathclaws and gigantic ants, a few hilarious glitches here and there seem to break up the constant fear of turning around and getting swatted 500 ft in the air.

  52. Ben Stathamsays:

    EVERYTHING by Bethesda is broken for a full year after release. FACT.

  53. Basil Ashgorasays:

    For the Super Man 64 one:

    “Developer Titus, it seemed, actually hated us.” Actually you are very incorrect. In fact Titus did an interview with some people who said, becuase DC wanted a specific type of game they were limited in what they could do. Further more, the game wasn’t suppose to be played as if you were in a simulator which is ultimately what DC ended up making Titus do upon release. They were going to do a full fledged world. Just goes to show how some things aren’t for the best of everyone…

  54. Basil Ashgorasays:

    Also regarding Ultima 9: Ascension, it wasn’t the only Ultima game that was bugged, Ultima 8: Pagan was pretty bad. If you want to see just how bad they botched it, look up The Spoony Experiment’s take on the Ultima series. Funny shit.

  55. Noiz3yBoyysays:

    You mean -190 million right?

  56. Hueysays:

    Wheres Arkham Origins?

  57. Higuidesays:

    i know from experience from day one about bf4’s glitches, i never really complained about the glitches except the one that reset the battlepack unlocks can reopen them again only certain items where kept it was repeatable. i abused the hell out of that glitch. i pretty much have a month worth of hours of xp boost to this day. i ended up with more unlocks than i lost. when they fixed it the next day, i ended up with all unlocks that got reset like 95% camo unlocks, good collection battlepack attachments for guns nobody unlocked (yet at the time) i pretty much have a month worth of hours of xp boost to this day even using 1 every match i enter since.

  58. jadensays:

    yes we all know that bf4 is still broken as hell.

  59. xxninjatubbyxxsays:

    I dont understand why Bf4 was in this. I like bf4. never experienced glitches.

  60. Chrissays:

    Wanted to say great article it had me laughing and also brought back various pissed off memories of game play as well as sadness wondering why video game companies were out to torture me with games like Superman 64.

    If I remember correctly if you want to go even further back in time there was also Indiana Jones and ET for the Atari 2600 which are a highlighted topic at this time due to the land fill.

    Both were broken in their own ways…

    E.T. was actually so bad that hackers modified the ROM to fix the game though.

  61. JohnClark_R6says:

    Honorable mention Modern Warfare 2. Even though I had a blast playing it, the glitches and hacked lobbies were out of control.

  62. adamwhitleysays:

    I’d add Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. So disappointing.

  63. gtox11says:

    I bought BF4 and played the single player missions for an hour. It was okay, and was as entertaining as I had expected it to be.

    I decided to try out the multiplayer, and at first I sat at a forever loading screen. Closed the game and reopened. Started another match, finally got through the loading screen, and then (before I could even pick a side and join the game) I was kicked out of the server by PunkBuster. I tried again on another server, and same result. This happened about six times.

    Thankfully BF4 (for some inexplicable reason) is labeled on Origin as a Guaranteed Great Game, and so I was able to get a refund since I was within the 24 hour window.

    I was thankful that it took less than 24 hours to realize that that game was a piece of junk.

    Just recently I bought Dark Souls 2…. *sigh*…

  64. YOYOYOsays:

    Swords and Sandals 5

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