10 Games That Sucked Until They Got Updates

Not to get all “back in my day” on you, but when customers used to buy a game, the game they played on day one was the exact same game they’d play today. If something didn’t work, or some game-ruining bug slipped through the certification process, there was nothing anyone could do, so that’s how it stayed. Nowadays we live in a world of constant updates. Developers ship games in one (often buggy) form, only to worry about fixing the problems later.

Here are some of the most high profile games that suffered through problematic launches, only to be fixed later — sometimes much later.

1. Driveclub

A car races along a track

A car races along a track | Sony

Does a game suck if you can’t play it online? The question comes up because the PlayStation 4 racing game Driveclub had a highly touted online mode that was crippled for weeks after the game’s launch. Sony and developer Evolution tried everything they could to work out the kinks, but the problems were so massive they had to work around the clock for weeks before gamers saw any kind of resolution.

To compound the issue, Sony had promised a limited free version of Driveclub to all PlayStation Plus members. It was supposed to launch alongside the paid version, but thanks to the server issues, the free version was postponed for almost a year. Not the best rollout for a high-profile PS4 exclusive.

2. Assassin’s Creed Unity

Assassin's Creed Unity horrifying glitch

Assassin’s Creed Unity horrifying glitch | Ubisoft

If glitches are your preferred way to have your games ruined, then Assassin’s Creed Unity is the one for you. At least it was, at the time of launch. While the game depicted a richly detailed version of Revolution-era Paris, it also depicted some of the most terrifying face glitches ever seen in a game. Beyond that, players saw characters floating creepily in the air, encountered invisible pits that dropped them into a black void outside of the game world, and suffered the occasional crash. It’s better now, but things were scary there for a while.

3. Halo: The Master Chief Collection

Halo 2 Anniversary Edition screenshot

Halo 2 Anniversary Edition screenshot | Microsoft

We all have our favorite Halo memories, but for many fans it’s the online multiplayer matches that stand out most. So what a disappointment it was when the servers failed catastrophically for a month after this collection came out. The campaign still worked just fine, but joining up with friends or playing online matches was too much for the poor servers. Now the game works as advertised, but really, it should have worked that way out of the gate.

4. Batman: Arkham Knight on PC

 Batman: Arkham Knight

Batman: Arkham Knight | Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

I don’t know what went wrong when the fully functional Xbox One and PS4 game Batman: Arkham Knight came to PC, but something sure did. This game was a disaster, with players experiencing extremely low, chugging frame rates and constant crashes. It got so bad that the publisher pulled the PC version of the game entirely, leaving it unavailable for four long months. If only a vigilante billionaire had been around to fix it up…

5. Destiny

Some futuristic soldiers in outer space

Some futuristic soldiers in outer space | Bungie

Talk about a game that over-promised and under-delivered — at least in its initial form. Bungie had spent years promising that Destiny would be a revolutionary shooter in terms of story and scope. So it was only natural that players came to it with high expectations. Unfortunately, what they found was a ho-hum shooter, with repetitive missions, no real end-game to speak of, and a story that seemed pointless at best. At least the core shooting mechanics were good. The game got a lot better over the years, thanks to a number of major updates and expansions.

6. Pokémon GO

Pokemon GO

Pokémon GO | Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

The rollout for this marvel of mobile gaming was patchy to say the least. Most gamers couldn’t even log in for the first few days of its existence, while others saw Pokémon disappear for no reason or couldn’t find any of the cute monsters at all. To add insult to injury, if you logged on with your Google Account before the first update, the game basically had full access to your account. An update fixed the privacy settings, and the server issues have been worked out. Still, it was a dicy few days for unsuspecting Pokéfans.

7. Battlefield 4

Battlefield 4

Battlefield 4 | EA

Battlefield games are known for their sprawling online multiplayer maps that are filled with soldiers, tanks, helicopters, and airplanes. Shooter fans were understandably eager to hop in when the fourth installment came out, only to be greeted by a host of bugs, glitches, and server issues that kept them from enjoying the game. Whether you couldn’t connect to play online or the game outright deleted your save file, fans had to put up with a lot before Electronic Arts ironed out the wrinkles and made the game function as expected.

8. Fallout: New Vegas

A man in a cowboy hat shoots at robots

A man in a cowboy hat shoots at robots | Bethesda

Another game nearly ruined by glitches and bugs is Fallout: New Vegas, developer Obsidian Entertainment’s take on the Fallout universe. It would turn out to be many fans’ favorite game in the series, but you never would have predicted that at launch. For many people, the early days were a glitchy nightmare of game crashes and corrupted save files, regardless of how far they’d made it in the game. What’s more fun than losing a dozen hours of progress? Pretty much anything.

9. Grand Theft Auto Online

Bank robbers wearing masks

Bank robbers wearing masks | Rockstar Games

Fans of Grand Theft Auto V who bought the game at launch, finished the campaign, and swept up the remaining side-missions, were left wondering when the promised online mode would arrive. Arrive it did, but not without major connectivity problems for nearly everyone who tried to get into that portion of the game. These server issues persisted for weeks on end, eventually culminating in a heartfelt apology (along with $500,000 of in-game currency) to any players who tried to log in during those painful weeks in October 2013.

10. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim on PS3

A warrior in a horned helmet

A warrior in a horned helmet | Bethesda

Being a massive open-world game from Bethesda, most fans expected a few bugs in Skyrim when it launched in 2011. But the PlayStation 3 version was especially full of issues, like horrible, game-breaking lag. Apparently this was the result of a problem with the way the game handled memory, but whatever it was, it was bad enough that some gamers couldn’t even continue playing, often after 40-plus hours of progress. Bethesda eventually released a patch that fixed the issue, but not before many people had given up.

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