There is a certain beauty to open-world video games. Games where you are truly free and have full-on freedom of choice to go and do whatever you want, whenever you want to. You can stumble upon fantastic open-world games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, where you are free to explore breathtaking views, or games like RDR2, where every nook and cranny in the map has easter and secrets for you to find.

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As impressive as these games are, there are other open-world games that seemed like the best idea ever, but the experience was underwhelming at best once you start playing them.

10 Raven's Cry

A pirate sailing a ship in Raven's Cry

After Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag's success, developers knew gamers were ready to live out their Pirates of the Caribbean fantasies. Flash-forward to 2015 when Reality Pump Studios released Raven's Cry, an action-adventure game that mixed fictional characters with real historical events and pirates from the 17th-century Caribbean.

Sounds good, right? That's what players thought until its release. It turns out Raven's Cry was half cook when they launch it; most of its content was missing, numerous bugs, and even features so simple as character's dialogue not showing during cutscenes. On top of that, players complained about its boring story, combat gameplay problems, and poor storyline.


9 Generation Zero

Four kids shooting a machine in Generation Zero

Avalanche Studios, the brains behind the Just Cause series, released in 2019 their first-ever first-person shooter, Generation Zero. This game takes players to a post-apocalyptic Sweden that has been overrun by robots. Set in 1980, you play the role of a teenager who has to find a way to defeat these killer machines while surviving the Swedish wilderness and deciding the fate of those who lived in your hometown.

While the game got insane reviews for its art style and concept, fans were disappointed with the story and its poor plot, other aspects like a bad quest design, a terrible inventory system, whacky exploration, and awful combat mechanics.

8 Metal Gear Survive

A zombie with a red diamond in its head in Metal Gear Survive

Remember Metal Gear? Those awesome action-adventure stealth video games with a solid (no pun intended) story and even better gameplay? Well, forget all you know because, in 2015, we got Metal Gear Survive, the collateral damage from the messy divorce between Konami and the series' creator, Hideo Kojima.

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This game might have Metal Gear in the title, but it didn't feel like a Metal Gear game. Fans accused this game of being generic and having nonsense gameplay like stabbing zombies through a fence or lack of basic information on stuff so simple as its surviving mechanics. If this wasn't enough, Metal Gear Survive had every gamer's nightmare: microtransactions.

7 Wild West Online

someone standing in a town in Wild West Online

An MMO set in the wild west is a great idea; just take a look at Red Dead Online. However, what wasn't a good idea was releasing an empty open-world game with no story and a bunch of microtransactions.

That's what developer 612 Games learned when they released Wild West Online back in 2018. This game accumulated its fair share of hype because it looked so much like RDR, and seeing that it released months before the latter, you can imagine everyone wanted to try it out. However, it was a big flop; the studio even had to rebrand the game as New Frontier.

6 Mafia III

Someone with a gun standing in front of a car in Mafia III

Following the success of the previous Mafia games, developer 2K Games released Mafia III in 2016. With a 68 score on Metacritic, this one is a game that splits players' opinions. While it has the cinematic elements to make it a fantastic gaming experience, Mafia III's gameplay has some room for improvement.

Fans praised the game for its compelling story, characters, and game world. However, these features were overshadowed by Mafia III's repetitive gameplay, average mission design, and bugs and exploits all over the map.

5 No Man's Sky

Four astronauts exploring a planet in No Man's Sky

No Man's Sky is a typical case of overselling and under-delivering. Hello Games sold this game as an exploration survival game where players could explore a procedurally generated galaxy with over 18 quintillion planets. This method of creating data assured each planet had unique ecosystems with different sets of fauna and flora. (basically Minecraft but in 3D and space themed)

While No Man's Sky looked beautiful, after a few hours players felt something was missing. Simply put, this game lacked depth, lacked a story or objectives you could engage with, and even the few gameplay it had started to feel repetitive after a while. To this game's credit, it did get better as years passed, thanks to the addition of multiple new features.

4 Mad Max

Max fighting in Mad Max

Whether it's a movie or a video game, Mad Max's universe is very captivating. A post-apocalyptic future full of testosterone and racing cars? Yes, please! This is why, after the massive success of Mad Max: Fury Road, a game set in this societal collapsed world seemed like a no-brainer.

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However, it had a rocky development process. It was developed by a studio with cero experience making vehicular-combat games, this showed in its lousy gameplay, and it was released a year later after it was expected. This resulted in a game praised for its world and car action, but that had some huge problems like lackluster quests, an awful health system, and a frustrating scrap-collecting system.

3 Sea Of Thieves

A pirate ship in Sea Of Thieves about to be attack by the Kraken

While this multiplayer game eventually got better, even having an unexpected boost on Twitch, gamers couldn't ignore some lousy gameplay features at launch. When the game was released, it felt more like an early access alpha release title than a full-fleshed game.

After a few hours in, players had already seen everything there was to this game, making whatever was left of the gameplay repetitive and without a specific end-game goal. In 2018, Sea Of Thieves' progression was cosmetic; there wasn't a real difference between islands, and becoming a pirate legend didn't have a payoff.

2 Fallout 76

A power armor helmet laying in the wasteland

Many Fallout series fans felt disappointed with Fallout 4, so when Fallout 76 was announced, many didn't know what to expect. Bethesda promised an online multiplayer game (the first in the series) set in the most dangerous wasteland players had seen until that moment and with an open world four bigger than the previous game.

Release day came, and Fallout 76 felt a little off. First, the game was online-only, depriving players of a solo experience. Then there weren't any NPC in the whole map, which changed how the game's storytelling used to work. Fallout 76 also had several glitches and bugs that affected its gameplay. Bethesda tried to fix this with multiple patches, one of them was as massive as 50GB, which was almost as big as the game. However, as time went by and with the release of the Wastelanders expansion, the game improved significantly.

1 Mass Effect: Andromeda

Mass Effect: Andromeda promotional photo

Due to the Mass Effect franchise's massive success, when BioWare announced Mass Effect: Andromeda, it quickly built up hype. However, when the game finally released, it didn't hit well with the original trilogy fans.

Players didn't like Mass Effect: Andromeda's dull plot, loading screens, and weird weapon grading system. While the game had mixed reviews and a 72 Metacritic score, many Mass Effects players could agree on one thing: it just didn't feel like a Mass Effect game.

NEXT: The 5 Best Open World Video Games (& The 5 Worst)

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