As stated in our last list article, critics are just people with an opinion and an understanding of pop-culture but with a platform to reach the masses. While one person alone can not speak for everyone, as a collective they can reflect the thoughts of the community. However there will be times when critics and gamers will disagree over the merit of a title.
Sometimes gamers and critics will greatly disagree because the title has a niche appeal, it’s so bad it’s good, or it offers a different experience that most mainstream games fail to offer. This another look at five games that critics have hated but gamers loved.
5. Duke Nukem: Forever
This is the classic story of a game having a long development cycle only to be a disaster upon release. Not a new problem in the gaming world, Duke Nukem: Forever became the poster child due to its almost decade long time in development only to be panned by critics and gamers.
Duke Nukem: Forever was panned for its mediocre gameplay, a series of glitches that hampered the experience. Many felt that action was dull while others felt that Duke Nukem was too juvenile of a character. The problem was that many bought it for $60 and expected to be the greatest game ever made. Once the hype died and the price dropped, many gamers started giving it a second chance. Those who waited had a more favorable opinion of the game as they enjoyed the B-film tone.
Yes this game is real; Pepsiman was a promotional title released for the PlayStation in Japan. Players take on the of Pepsiman as he tries to collect as much Pepsi as possible to quench his thirst. Pepsiman was less of a game and more of an ad, hence the game was universally panned by critics.
A rule of thumb, the internet loves anything dumb and Pepsiman is no exception. The game has developed a cult following in resent years thanks to streams who play it ironically. Nobody is hiding how awful Pepsiman is but there is just something hilarious about watching others stream it on YouTube or Twitch.
3. Silent Hill: Downpour
Released back in 2013, Silent Hill: Downpour was the last game in the iconic horror series. Players take on the role of Murphy Pendleton who escapes a prison transport bus and ends up in the town of Silent Hill. After meeting up with several other people, he attempts to unlock the secrets of his past while finding a way to escape.
The game was meet with mixed reviews as critics were split regarding its story but agreed that the gameplay was a downgrade from previous entries. At the time; fans of the series would agree that even though it was not a memorable entry, Silent Hill: Downpour was still a great game that offered plenty of frightening moments. The game gained a new sense of appreciation following the cancellation of Silent Hills back in 2015.
NieR: Automata has been one of the most critically acclaimed titles of 2017, having become a best seller and being included on multiple Game of the Year lists. However it comes as a surprise to many that it’s a sequel to the 2010 title NieR, itself a spin-off to the Drakengard series. NieR is an action RPG that has players take on the role of the titular character as he attempts to find a cure or his daughter.
The game was released for the PS3 and Xbox 360 back in 2010 but were panned by critics. The most common complaint was the gameplay being too clunky and action being mediocre. Meanwhile it holds a User Score of 8.3 on MetaCritics as gamers have praised NieR for the story and how it played against their expectations. This of cores lead to strong sales, which is why you got to enjoy NieR: Automata.
1. Postal 2 (Vanilla Version)
This classic from Running With Scissors has players live a week in the life of the Postal Dude as he tries to complete a series of mundane tasks while having the option of killing anyone who pisses him-off. Even before its launch, the game was meet with a firestorm of criticism due to its hyper violence, crude and politically incorrect humor
Postal 2 is today hailed as one of the most hilarious games ever made but the original 2003 version was universally hated by critics. Critics panned it for trying to be a Grand Theft Auto clone, a lack of multiplayer and too many bugs. However fans loved the game for being one of the few open world first-person titles along with its non-linear gameplay. As an added bonus, modders were quick to add content that enhanced the world or took the humor to the extreme.
Despite its shortcomings, Postal 2 was a hit and Running With Scissors decided to re-release it eight months after the original launch. Share The Pain version was universally praised for fixing many of the problems the original had and for including a multiplayer element. The game continued to grow with one expansion released in 2005 along with a DLC that was released in 2015.
Are some of these critically panned games your favorite or was there one we missed? Share your thoughts in the comment section below. Also check out our other list of 5 Titles That Critics Hated but Gamers Loved.