Top 5 Most Disappointing Videogame Moments in 2023

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Top 5 Most Disappointing Videogame Moments in 2023

From scrapped campaigns to broken releases, we ranked the biggest letdowns we've seen this year in the interactive entertainment industry. Here are the Most Disappointing Videogame Moments in 2023.


Amidst standout CRPG titles and stellar remakes that build on what made their original experiences so memorable, 2023 has also been a year for big flops in the gaming space. These experiences range from killed promises years in the making to downright unplayable products, stains on an otherwise perfect mid-year. And just like their more successful counterparts, these disappointments are worthy of mention, be it for the moral or just the catharsis that comes from sharing unbridled seethe.

So we compiled the list of the latest line of hit-and-misses in the interactive entertainment space this year. As such, each moment is objectively ranked by the amount of outcry and widespread discontent experienced by gamers all over the world.

Most Disappointing Videogame Moments #5 – Atomic Heart

Squandered potential for a new Bioshock competitor. 

In the midst of hard comparisons to the Bioshock games, Mundfish's take on a technologically advanced Soviet Union opened up so many compelling possibilities for further worldbuilding. Unfortunately, Atomic Heart's release was bogged down by a confusing plot, an outdated looting system, empty set pieces and severely uninspired dialogue, making it lesser than its main inspiration.

Most Disappointing Videogame Moments #4 – Diablo 4

Overpriced cosmetics and questionable nerfs on its first major update.

In spite of its hugely successful launch that bagged Blizzard-Activision a devilish $666 million in global sales, the highly-anticipated series entry was also plagued with cosmetic microtransactions.

The initial line-up of skins also earned the ire of many game journalist sites, with numerous reports remarking that the costumes that cost real-life money were almost always similar to loot you could get for free in the game.

Furthermore, Diablo 4's 1.1 patch caused a lot of outcry during the release since the early game update seemingly made the most-played classes in the game significantly weaker.

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From the outset, this anti-fun sentiment has seemingly damaged the game's rep, but believe it or not, this isn't the worst thing that Activision-Blizzard has done this year.

most disappointing videogame moments

Most Disappointing Videogame Moments #3 – Overwatch 2

A butchered promise, with each piece sold separately.

Ever since Jeff Kaplan helped announce the popular team-based shooter's sequel in Blizzardcon 2019, millions of die-hard fans around the world were excited to partake in the future title's main offering: a full PvE campaign that sought to grow beyond the scope of it's bite-sized Archives story events.

These “hero missions” promised grander set pieces and even extensive skill trees that completely modified and enhanced iconic hero abilities. Needless to say, people were excited.

The news came amidst a pretty bad content drought, and since then millions of players finally had confirmation of a proper expansion to an IP they already loved.

But that was before quarantine, and Blizzard has undergone a number of restructuring after the their controversies in recent years. As a result, priorities for planned sequel changed.

Overwatch 2's rocky release as well as the addition of an in-game shop already put a bad taste in everyone's mouths, but what made it all come to a head was the Season 5 content presentation in May when the devs confirmed the cancellation of its original vision for Story Missions.

This understandably came as a shock to most of the fans since Overwatch 2's promised campaign was its main appeal. But to add insult to injury, players will now have to pay to unlock, play and keep all of the released story missions in the current game. Not very heroic.

 

Most Disappointing Videogame Moments #2 – The Last of Us Part 1 for PC

An unpolished adaptation that continues the PC Port curse.

What was supposed to be the introduction to the highly acclaimed series for non-console players was instead a bug-ridden mess of hilarious proportions.

Featuring a frozen Ellie, randomly wet character models and Joel's patchy new eyebrows, Naughty Dog's 2023 PC port for one of its most iconic games suffered a lot of technical issues upon release.

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Consequently, TLOU's non-console version broke newcomer expectations and internet meme records alike which led to consumers sharing footage of their comedically bad run-ins with corrupted textures and moist models on online forums.

What would have been the newest way to experience Joel and Ellie's heart-rending journey across an emotional apocalypse was instead a poorly unoptimized build littered with world-ending crashes and long loading times. Looks like we'll have to wait until Neil Druckmann's Boston dystopia escapes PlayStation exclusivity.

Most Disappointing Videogame Moments #1 – The Lord of the Rings: Gollum

A broken disappointment that warped expectations.

The release of The Lord of the Rings: Gollum rounds out our list as the biggest disappointment in gaming this year for it's severely underwhelming graphics, unrefined controls and an inflated price tag of $60 on release day.

It's not everyday when a developer abandons all effort to save face and directly apologizes for the state of the game on launch. Unfortunately, that's all the good that's come out of its highly controversial release.

Compared to other low points on this list, Daedalic's scuffed release was a thoroughly clunky experience that offered little to no immersion due to bugs that would ruin even the best parts of its mediocre narrative, which stands on its own two feet as well as its titular hero.

But despite the shameful practices that most of these studios partake in, at least the original gameplay was designed to be enjoyable. Ultimately, Gollum falls as the latest in a long line of unfinished game releases that plagues the industry, earning much of this list's ire.

And that's all of the worst moments in the industry so far in 2023. Despite the amount of cringe and confusion the videogame world has experienced these past few months, there's still time for 2023 to make up for all of the bad. Or add to it.


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Top 5 Most Disappointing Videogame Moments in 2023
Paul Goño
Paul started writing for ESTNN in 2022, the same year he beat his first Souls game. An avid fan of RPGs, his all-time favorites include Baldur's Gate 3, Assassin’s Creed and Kingdom Hearts 2. Besides being a professional nerd, he still struggles to get over the broken PS2 memory card that stored years of his save files.