Bethesda was incorporated on June 28, 1986. If we fast forward three and a half decades, Skyrim will be released 15 times. Granted, Skyrim was a smash hit at Bethesda Softworks, so making hay while the sun is out makes sense. However, Bethesda doesn’t always achieve such critical success. With the guidance of Metacritic, here are Bethesda’s 10 worst games of all time — so far, at least.

Note – Bethesda Softworks is well ahead of the internet and therefore online review aggregation. That’s not how every title Bethesda worked on was rated. What follows are aggregated critical scores of those who were assessed.

10. Star Trek: Encounters (51)

Image via GamePlayStation on YouTube
  • Released October 4, 2006
  • Platform: PlayStation 2

Star Trek: Encounters is a top-down arcade shooter that annihilates all forms of diplomacy and humanity and instead challenges players to shoot down various enemy ships. Gameplay is linear, battles are repetitive, and puddles add depth. There are some brilliant moments though, like blasting planets(?) and beaming your away team. Overall, the Star Trek branding feels odd – the Enterprise isn’t exactly known for dogfighting. We hope the upcoming Star Trek game learned from these gaffes.

9. Wolfenstein: Cyber ​​Pilot (50)

Image via Bethesda Softworks
  • Published on July 26, 2019
  • Platform: PC, Playstation 4

Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot has a spot on this list based on Metacritic, but not because the game is bad. In fact, thanks to the high production values, Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot has been called one of the best VR cockpit games to date. The problem is that it’s relatively short at two hours and has almost no replay value that Wolfenstein usually offers with its alternate history. This, combined with its penchant for offering relatively easy fights, resulted in one of Bethesda’s lower scores.

8. Fallout 76 (49)

Image via Bethesda
  • Released November 14, 2018
  • Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One

We all expected this game to make the list, but it was a glaring misstep, much like The Elder Scrolls: Blades. Bethesda heard that players wanted to experience cooperative play in its titles, and then apparently designed a title from the ground up to maximize monetization while minimizing work. Fallout 76 is in better shape today, but when it released it was a terrible misstep that felt frustrating and greedy at the same time. Whether the ongoing work is enough to make players change their minds and give it another chance is another discussion entirely.

7. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Legend of Jack Sparrow

Image via Gamesplace-se on YouTube
  • Released June 28, 2006
  • Platform: PC

A direct port of the PlayStation 2 title that suffered a similar fate, The Legend of Jack Sparrow on PC redefined how little a developer could care about when porting a title. An included manual told players which buttons to press, as players were unable to follow the on-screen instructions in-game, which still showed PlayStation controls. A litany of bugs and errors popping up throughout the game made progression almost impossible, and the rare save points sealed the deal. Too bad, because Jonny Depp lent his voice to the game, but even he couldn’t save it from himself.

6. Starship Enterprise: Conquest (49)

Image via WibNack on YouTube
  • Released November 20, 2007
  • Platform: Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 2

Star Trek: Conquest had torn critics and fans alike. On the one hand, Star Trek: Conquest brought a slower-paced strategy-action game to consoles, where historically it’s been a difficult transition. On the other hand, the boredom that could occur between the rarely close fights made sales difficult. His most egregious mistake, however, was failing to understand what makes Star Trek the sci-fi powerhouse it is: the most human of elements triumphing in alien environments. If the focus had been more on relationships and diplomacy, this game might have been a little more than its board game-like gameplay it remembers.

Related: Star Trek: Resurgence Receives First Gameplay Reveal, Briefed By Ambassador Spock

5. Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships (47)

Image via Xbox Original GamesDB on YouTube
  • Released September 29, 2005
  • Platform: Xbox

Gameplay is limited, races are absurdly easy to win, and upgrading your stable to beat the competition is easy too. Almost every race can be won by simply having a thumb and pressing the A Button as long as your stable is upgraded after races. In addition to this snooze-fest of gameplay, you’ll also have to load in every single race, whether your horse is racing or not. If this is ever suggested to you, we strongly recommend saying whinny.

4. The Elder Scrolls: Blades (42)

Image via Bethesda
  • Released May 14, 2020
  • Platform: Nintendo Switch, mobile devices

One of the grittiest joys of the Elder Scrolls series is dungeon crawling, and Bethesda tried to up the ante on that dopamine rush with The Elder Scrolls: Blades. Then, with the rails’ exploration and repetitive tap-based combat, Bethesda realized that the dopamine rush of exploring dungeons and long-forgotten caves had little to do with finding the occasional scattered loot piece. We hope this realization will be remembered when The Elder Scroll 6 releases.

3. IHRA Drag Racing Franchise (38)

Image via RetroGameTV on YouTube
  • Released December 1, 2003
  • Platform: Xbox

The first installment in this series, IHRA Drag Racing, was taunted upon release by IGN with this memorable line: ‘Lifting the dining table two inches off the floor and watching everything slide down on it would induce more thrills than any other game.’ Bethesda read that review and somehow ordered two more iterations of the franchise, released in 2004 and 2006. With very little meaning to the title other than driving in a straight line after the loading screen, it was a confusing franchise that left players wondering what the point was. And there were three. They never got better.

Related: Sony gives a sneak peek at the Gran Turismo movie, which, as you’d expect, has a lot of cars

2. AMF Extreme Bowling (34)

Image via Family Friendly Gaming on YouTube
  • Released June 28, 2006
  • Platform: Playstation 2, Xbox

Bowling can be exciting when you have a few brews and friends to share while hitting the lanes. Not only does AMF Extreme Bowling lack both of those aspects, but it also lacks any form of extremes or extremities, which raises a bit of concern about its naming convention. However, AMF Extreme Bowling has struck an important chord for the gaming community – it’s not fun to be flawless every time you play. After understanding how the aiming and energy system works, each player will perform constant hits until the game finally shuts down. You should save yourself the misery and try Nintendo Switch Sports instead.

1. Rogue Warrior (28)

Image via Bethesda Softworks
  • Released December 1, 2009
  • Platform: PC, Playstation 3, Xbox 360

Rogue Warrior, not to be confused with roguelikes, is set to explore the exploits of Richard Marcinko as players guide him to disrupt a North Korean ballistic missile program. The PC version had the highest rating of 29, and that’s probably due to how easy it is to uninstall. The script and storyline are bad enough to make Steven Seagal blush, the cover system will have your character plowing into machine guns for fun, and the dialogue is so singularly bad that you turn the sound off just so you don’t have to hear the silly accents and the never-ending swear words.


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