Top Ten Worst European Video Games

by Terri Rose

Europe has had a remarkable game industry almost from day one, but its size means there have been some absolutely terrible games released. Here's ten of them!


10. Shaq Fu (1994, Mega Drive/SNES)

Okay, this one is more weird than truly awful, but it's worth talking about. In 1994, hot off the heels of making two of the best adventures games of all time (Another World and Flashback), Delphine Software sat down and made a licensed fighting game with Shaquille O'Neal. As one does, I suppose. The game looks nice enough but it controls clunkily and the fights feel far too repetitive. Still, though, at least it's a loveable curio instead of some of the unplayable garbage we're about to see.


9.  Peter Beardsley's International Football/Eurosoccer 88 (1988, Atari ST/Amiga)

One of the worst sports games ever made, a truly grotesque looking game that handles like absolute trash. If you lived in the UK, the game was endorsed by English footballer Peter Beardsley, who hopefully never played the stupid thing. Trash.


8. EastEnders (1987, ZX Spectrum)

It seems a little rude to pick on a licensed game for a long-running British soap enjoyed by your nan, but this game is baffling and bizarre enough to warrant inclusion. A collection of puzzling, depressing little mini-games that vaguely relate to the television series, the game feels more like a surrealist ordeal than any other game for the Spectrum.

7. Intergalactic Cage Match (1987, Commodore 64)

Ugh. Mastertronic made this mess, a terrible future sport/fighting game with some of the worst graphics and music seen and heard on the C64. It was an uncontrollable, unplayable mess, and was considered by some magazines at the time to be among one of the worst games ever made. 

6. Amy (2012, Xbox 360/PS3)

Hey, it's another game by Paul Cuisset, he who made Shaq Fu! Funny how you can make some of the best and worst games of all time, huh? Amy is a nightmare to play, a horrible escort mission level somehow stretched out into a full game. Awkward controls, the worst stealth mode I've ever seen in a game...this one is truly unplayable. 

5. Dick Tracy (1990, Amiga)

This was made by Titus Software, possibly the worst European software house of all time. They'll be back -- I had to limit myself to only two of their horrible, horrible games. But I had to include this jerky, painful, impossible to play sidescroller that typified the downward slide licensed games started to take around this time. A nightmare game from a nightmare studio.

4. The Simpsons Skateboarding (2002, PS2)

UK developers The Code Monkeys handled this one, a Simpsons take on the Tony Hawk games in the way Simpsons Road Rage was a take on Crazy Taxi and Simpsons Hit and Run was their answer to GTA. And while those games are both fairly alright, The Simpsons Skateboarding is utter garbage. Plagued by obscene load times, confusing stages, and impossible controls, the game received plenty of "Worst Game of the Year" awards from magazines and was a gigantic flop.

3. SQIJ (1987, ZX Spectrum)

I've used the term "unplayable" a few times, but here's something interesting: this game is literally unplayable. Really. The game was sent out with a bug where the caps lock was automatically on, and since you controlled SQIJ (seemingly a giant pigeon of sorts) with the keyboard, it would not move at all. So there you go. Also, what the heck is up with the name? SQIJ!

2. Lula 3D (2005, PC)

Listen, I know there are going to be porn games. Dirty video games have always been around, and always will be. But they don't have to be as terrible and depressing as Lula 3D, a German effort that is as slimy and glitchy as you'd expect a German porn game to be. Sorry, cheap shot. The game is cheap and ugly and terrible and should be played by no one. The end.

1. Superman 64 (1999, Nintendo 64)

I promised Titus would be back, and here they are, with one of the most famous bad video games of all time. And it's famous for a reason, a total mess of a game that has your invincible man of steel flying through rings over and over for some reason. It's a horror of both conception and design, and it's the worst European-made video game of all time.