Balan Wonderworld

We're at the tail-end of 2021, and that means awards are being handed out for the best (and worst) video games of the year.

We've seen plenty of winners, but what about the games that didn't go down so well this year? If you're wondering what exactly were the worst games of the year, Metacritic has now put together a "top 10" list. This was the criteria:

"the lowest-scoring games released for any platform between January 1, 2021 and December 31, 2021. Games are ranked by Metascore (as of December 18, 2021) prior to rounding, and any titles with fewer than 7 reviews from professional critics are excluded. If a single title would have landed on the list multiple times due to low scores on more than one platform, we only included the lowest-scoring version."

While the overall winner is technically eFootball 2022 for PC, the worst game specifically for the Nintendo Switch was Balan Wonderworld. Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto Trilogy for Switch was the only other Nintendo version mentioned on the list, placing sixth.

  1. eFootball 2022 - 25 (PC)
  2. Balan Wonderworld - 36 (Nintendo Switch)
  3. Werewolf: The Apocalypse - Earthblood - 42 (PS4)
  4. Taxi Chaos - 42 (PS4)
  5. Of Bird and Cage (PC)
  6. GTA: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition - 47 (Nintendo Switch)
  7. I Saw Black Clouds - 48 (PS4)
  8. Arkham Horror: Mother's Embrace - 48 (PC)
  9. Demon Skin - 48 (PC)
  10. Necromunda: Hired Gun - 49 (PS4)

Here's what Metacritic had to say about both of these games:

Balan Wonderworld:

A new 3D platformer from the creator of Sonic the Hedgehog? Count us in! [Checks reviews ...] Er, on second thought, maybe not. It's one thing to be a retro-styled platformer, which could have its charms, but it's another altogether when the game actually plays like it was made decades ago, which is what critics felt about the creaky Balan Wonderworld. (It also doesn't help that Balan has an odd costume-swapping mechanic, overly simplistic controls, and an incomprehensible story.) The game appears to be a commercial failure, and creator Yuji Naka retired from Square Enix shortly after its inauspicious release.

While the Switch version may have the game's lowest Metascore, Balan Wonderworld scored poorly on every platform, though it did manage to sneak into the yellow range with a 51 on PS5.

Grand Theft Auto Trilogy:

Need further proof that we are now living in the darkest timeline? How about the inclusion of one of the gaming world's most heralded franchises in our list of the year's worst games. Rockstar's remastered compilation of three older Grand Theft Auto titles—2001's Grand Theft Auto III, 2002's Vice City, and 2004's San Andreas, each scoring in the 90s upon their original releases—turned out to be one of 2021's biggest gaming disappointments. The remastered graphics managed to both remove some of the originals' charms and introduce new distractions and inconsistencies, while the compilation was also unexpectedly buggy at launch. The next-gen console versions (on PS5 and XBX) of the trilogy were marginally better than this Switch version, which suffered from even more performance issues, but they were still utterly disappointing.

What do you think of Metacritic's top 10 worst games of 2021? Did you play anything on this list? Comment down below.