Glitches in video games are things we’ve learned to live with, and we even often find ourselves quite enjoying them. While we wouldn’t exactly wish to play a steaming hot mess of a game over a functional game that’s been created with love by its developers, they still hold a place in our hearts, if only for the fact that they make for humorous YouTube videos.
The following 10 games are the most glitchy video games ever, and they range from the good games that are blighted by bugs, to the awful, barely functional games that are nothing more than sad blips on gaming’s history.
10. Recovery: Search and Rescue Simulation
The simulation genre has taken something of a battering in recent years, and it now seems to exist solely for independent PC developers to produce tongue-in-cheek games that seek to offer laughs instead of realistic sim experiences, with Surgeon Simulator 2013 and Goat Simulator (which we’ll get to later) being prime examples of this.
But while some of these games have comedic merit, there are plenty more that are downright terrible, and Recovery: Search and Rescue Simulation firmly occupies the latter category. Recovery: Search and Rescue Simulation almost transcends the notion of a “bad game”, as not only does it fail to attempt to offer its players joy of any kind, but it’s also barely functional.
Tasking players with roaming around a vast yet achingly dull open-world in search of items (which are supposed to be highlighted on your in-game map, but very rarely are), Recovery: Search and Rescue often chooses to not load said items into the map, therefore bringing your “adventure” to a halt due to the item you need to obtain in order to progress not actually being in the game at all.
On top of this annoyance, Recovery also freezes up if you turn your character too harshly to the left or right, and its map’s mountainous background simply disappears every now and again. As if that wasn’t enough, there’s also the odd issue of fallen trees and some foliage in the game’s map being hidden inside a huge invisible wall, meaning that you’ll often walk into a barrier that simply shouldn’t exist.
Recovery: Search and Rescue Simulation was another example of how far the “simulation” genre has fallen, and how desperately Steam needs some form of quality control.
9. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Despite Skyrim being an undeniably great game, the ambitiousness of its open-world meant that it was bound to suffer from more than a handful of old glitches.
While only a few of these glitches were downright game-breaking, they did provide for some rather peculiar moments as Skyrim‘s wildlife would sometimes teleport and, as evidenced in the above video, would sometimes experience an animation “freak-out” and break into dance.
While these glitches were humorous irritations, some were actively exploited by speed-runners of the game in order to progress through it in a shorter period of time. The most abused of these glitches is one that allows players to inexplicably teleport through walls if they are holding a plate. This glitch is apparent from the first quest, with players able to completely skip Skyrim‘s opening by grabbing a plate, walking to a specific wall in the environment and catapulting themselves to a different part of the world.
8. Assassin’s Creed III
Assassin’s Creed III did a great deal of damage to the series (that was swiftly repaired with the release of the excellent Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag) thanks to it having received a distinct lack of polish from its developer Ubisoft Montreal. This lack of polish resulted in an open-world game that felt unfinished, and an unfinished open-world in video games usually leads to a myriad of bugs and glitches. AC: III was no different.
Those who played the game know that its glitches were too numerous to note in full, though they included (but were not limited to): the player flying approximately 2 miles into the air for no apparent reason after attacking an enemy, protagonist Connor’s Tomahawk-holding hand glitching out to the point where it looked like he was ferociously pleasuring himself/the enemies surrounding him, and the game’s horses jittering around like they’d had black coffee (with two sugars) injected into their eyeballs.
Rocky on the PS2 was a passable fighting game, but the reason why it remains so prominent in our memories is its abundance of surreal glitches.
Every so often, Rocky would put on a show of unimaginable horror that even H.P. Lovecraft would look at and think “man, that sh*t’s f*cked up”. If the fact that the audience would sometimes turn into giant, indecipherable pixels every so often and the ring announcer would repeat himself like a broken record wasn’t enough, then Rocky Balboa & co. morphing into unspeakable atrocities with missing jaws and terrifying, bulging eyeballs would surely tip any player over the edge.
The most disturbing of these glitches, though, was Clubber Lang’s limbs bending until they passed above his head, giving him the appearance of a totem pole albeit with the totems replaced by his hands and feet. Mr. T pities the fool who fights with his feet on the ground and his hands not floating maniacally above his head.
6. Fallout: New Vegas
Fallout: New Vegas‘ huge open-world was a breeding ground for odd glitches, with them popping up from its intro to the very end of the game.
Some of its glitches were far more annoying than others (many players had their game saves corrupted, completely deleting their progress), as many stood to add an unexpected dose of humor to proceedings.
The glitches gained notoriety on YouTube, with hundreds of videos of the game’s various bugs popping up on the site. While players encounter the odd glitch in its predecessor Fallout 3, they were nowhere near as prominent as they were in its follow-up game, which was a lot more unpolished and gave off the impression that it was an unfinished game.
Such was the prevalence of these glitches that you’ll be hard-pressed to find a player who completed the game and who didn’t encounter the ‘floating head bug’, which would see the disembodied heads of the game’s NPCs dart around the screen turning the Vegas wasteland into a location nightmares are made of.