10 Worst Nintendo Games With Best First Impressions

Over several decades and six generations of consoles, Nintendo has consistently released numerous successful titles and hardware. However, not every entry can be a winner. Though happily sparse, there are plenty of mind-blowing titles released under the Nintendo name or released exclusively for one of their consoles.


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Development is a long and tedious process for any company – even one as renowned as Big N. While many of their titles set industry standards, Nintendo is certainly still fallible. These are the games that will make players think they’re watching another of the greats before disappointing their fans.

10/10 Linearity stuck The Legend Of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Link raises the Master Sword in Skyward Sword promo on the Nintendo Wii

Measured by his own merits, Skyward Sword is by no means a bad game. It still offers the same level of polish, creative mechanics, and playability as Nintendo’s other popular titles. However, it is a considerable step down compared to previous entries in The Legend of Zelda Series. The sense of mystery and exploration that the franchise is known for was completely absent, as the campaign took a far more linear and hands-on direction.

It’s a shame because the majestic live orchestral soundtrack and watercolor art direction do a great job of keeping gamers hooked. The sublime presentation made its shortcomings all the more stinging.

9/10 Nights: Journey Of Dreams succumbed to an intrusive mechanic

The fool dances in front of a full moon in Nights: Journey of Dreams.

Nights: Journey of Dreams is the long-awaited sequel to the cult classic from Sega Saturn. It instantly charms both old and new players with its elaborate CG opening and whimsical score. While the in-game graphics aren’t of the same quality, players might be willing to overlook that for the unique flight mechanics and creative boss encounters.

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Unfortunately, it wasn’t that long ago nightsUnskippable cutscenes, frustrating controls, and horrifying platforming sections all take their toll. It definitely offers more content than the original title, but these elements only interrupt the core experience of the game.

8/10 Epic Mickey’s presentation shone while its gameplay was underwhelming

Mickey Mouse and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit shake hands in Epic Mickey

junction points Epic Mickey Titles might not have equated the mouse with the burly plumber, but her heart was in the right place. The first game features several loving tributes to the company’s animated history and plenty of moral dilemmas to encourage younger players to reflect on their actions.

Jim Dooley from pushing daisies fame offers a wonderful score that strikes the perfect balance between whimsical and dark. on a presentation front, Epic Mickey succeeds. Clumsy combat, tedious fetch tasks, and an unnerving camera, however, resulted in a title that should have gone back to the drawing board.

7/10 Yoshi’s story needed another draft

Yoshi jumps for joy on the Yoshi's Story play box

Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island showed that the aging Super Nintendo was still capable of delivering an excellent title that could keep up with the more advanced 32-bit efforts. With the jump to the significantly more powerful N64, expectations for the game’s sequel were certainly high.

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Yoshi’s story opens with a suitably sugary pop-up book and a light-hearted tune sung by the dinosaur of the same name. Once players take control, they are presented with vibrant animated pre-rendered sprites and environments. However, the game’s bland design and lack of challenges make it an unworthy sequel Yoshi’s island and a stunning entry for a console full of superior platformers.

6/10 Star Wars: Shadows Of The Empire impressed with its aerial combat

Dash Rendar holding his blaster in Star Wars: Shadows Of The Empire

A war of stars Title record between the events of Reich strikes back and Return of the Jedi for a brand new console and overseen by Shigeru Miyamoto? In 1996, the prospect was certainly mesmerizing. Shadow of the Empire was heavily touted as one of the must-own games for the N64. The game begins with the iconic text crawl and a playable recreation of the Battle of Hoth.

Being able to actually take control and bind AT-AT Walker was an unforgettable experience. However, the next level is a very clunky third-person mission on foot. This sets the tone for the rest of the game’s frustrating campaign.

5/10 Disney’s Magic Mirror enchanted children but bored adults

Mickey laughs at his double in Disney's Magical Mirror

Disney’s Magic Mirror was a graphic adventure title developed by Capcom and another disappointing title featuring the famous Disney mascot. The company’s history has seen many quality titles based on Disney properties, such as: duck stories and Goof Squad which made this GameCube effort highly anticipated.

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The game’s graphics and sound are absolutely on point with expressive character models and the singing talents of Mickey’s then-official actor Wayne Allwine. Unfortunately, while younger players might enjoy some of the rudimentary puzzle-solving mechanics, everyone else will be bored and frustrated. Gamers of all ages are better off checking out LucasArts classic adventure games.

4/10 Paper Mario: Paint Splatter is stuck with a terrible mechanic

Mario uses his hammer to create rainbow-colored chaos in Paper Mario Color Splash for the Wii U game

Paper Mario: Sticker Star disappointed fans with its less creative settings, uninspired narrative, and highly unintuitive card battle mechanics. When splash of color was announced for the Wii U, there were hopes that it would be more in line with its beloved predecessors.

Initially, splash of colorThe more sophisticated paper cut art style of Impresses and the game’s humorous dialogue is a major improvement over stickers stars dry exhibition. Unfortunately, Nintendo just couldn’t resist overriding the much-maligned map system for this title as well. That decision ruined another potentially great Mario ROLE PLAYING GAME. Thank God, ThatOrigami King turned out to be more consistent with what Paper Mario fans wanted.

3/10 Chibi Robo!: Photo Finder Below average

The mechanical dude takes the photography in the Chibi Robo Photo Finder

The quirky Chibi Robo! franchise debuted on the Nintendo GameCube and put players in control of a tiny robot tasked with cleaning and maintaining a normal house. Despite positive reviews, the little helper was put into sleep mode for several years. It wasn’t until the 3DS that the mechanical butler was reinstated park patrol!

park patrol was successful enough to warrant a downloadable follow-up, known as Photo Finder. While the game retains the same visual charm and premise as its predecessors, its camera-focused mini-game structure strays a little too far from previous entries. The borderline broken camera function certainly didn’t make the transition any easier.

2/10 WarioWare: Got it! Was unpolished and underdeveloped

The cast of WarioWare: Snapped!  pose for a picture

Each of the WarioWare Titles can generally count on their short but groundbreaking experiences. Each entry in the series has made the most of its hardware to come up with some really creative and quirky mini-games. twisted integrated a unique force feedback cartridge for the Gameboy Advance, Touched suitably used the touchscreen of the DS, and Smooth movements worked well with the Wii’s motion controls.

Unfortunately, mini-games that depend on new hardware fall apart when that hardware isn’t working properly. While caught! retains the series’ trademark humor and contrasting art styles, the mini-games are unpolished, and the game doesn’t offer nearly enough content to justify the price of admission.

1/10 Mario & Sonic didn’t win gold at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics

The cast with glowing keys at the Mario and Sonic 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi

The fourth entry in the Mario & Schall series made its HD debut and made some changes to spice up the formula. The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi introduced some new events like figure skating and a new mechanic called Action & Answer Tour that challenged players to expand their knowledge of the two franchises.

This Mario & Schall team up was a visual and sonic treat, featuring well-known locations and live covers of classic tunes. Unfortunately, many of the events were complete duds hampered by poor motion and touch controls.

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