Another year in the books. Or ebooks. Or TikTok. I don’t know. I’m older now so I can’t keep up with all your newfangled gizmos and bookkeeping tools. What I do know is that this year is basically over. So, we can now look at Metacritic to see what game critics collectively declared as the worst of the worst in 2022.
We’ve said this before and it’s worth repeating: Liking a “bad” game isn’t a bad thing. Numbered scores come with all sorts of asterisks and caveats, which is part of the reason we don’t use them here. But if you see a game on this list that you happen to love, it just means you have a different taste than a bunch of other critics or players. That’s fine! Enjoy what you like and don’t be an asshole about it and everything will be fine. Now, as we’ve done before, here are the worst-rated games on Metacritic with at least seven reviews, the number the site deems necessary before placing any game on this list.
5. LEGO Brawls | Score: 46 (PS5)
LEGO games tend to be pretty fine at worst and really great at best. However, LEGO Brawls, a Smash Bros-like fighting game, is an exception to this rule. It seems the main problem is that this is just a port of a 2019 phone game that wasn’t very good. (I played it and totally forgot about it until a few minutes ago.) And making matters worse, the publisher had the audacity to charge $40 for this no-frills port of a three-year-old mediocre mobile game. LEGO Brawls on PS5, you deserve this spot on the list!
4. XEL | Score: 43 (Switch)
For a split second, when I first saw the name of this sci-fi 3D open-world action game, I thought some weird XFL game had shipped without me knowing. That’s not the case and instead, the somewhat nice-looking XEL is undermined by bugs, unpolished gameplay, and frustrating technical issues that exist on the PC port, too.
3. Babylon’s Fall | Score: 41 (PS5)
It’s not shocking that a flop of a game like Babylon’s Fall made the top five worst games released in 2022. That’s probably down to its awful controls, tedious combat, and everything else feeling incomplete. At the same time, it’s a bit shocking that this live-service action RPG only snagged the third spot on the list. I’d warn you to not play Babylon’s Fall, but it’s actually incredibly cheap (even free in some cases) to pick up now after Square Enix announced it was killing the servers for this live-service game in February, less than a year after its release.
2. Crossfire X | Score: 38 (Xbox Series X/S)
Remedy Entertainment makes good shit. I love Alan Wake, Max Payne, and Control, games that average in the 83 to 89 range on Metacritic. So the idea of the studio building a brand new single-player FPS campaign, as Crossfire X was originally pitched, sounded great on paper. In practice, the actual game is a boring, meandering mess that mostly plays like a bad Call of Duty knock-off and doesn’t get interesting until too late. By the time the game started turning it around, I was so tired of it that I just couldn’t care. And then I tried to play the online PvP portion of the game (which wasn’t developed by Remedy) and remembered I have access to at least a dozen better, less buggy, more interesting shooters on my Xbox and stopped playing Crossfire X.
1. Postal 4: No Regerts | Score: 30 (PC)
There will be some people who see this low score and use it as a weapon in their fight against the so-called “WOKE” critics and journalists of the world. Here’s the thing though: I played open-world shooter Postal 4 and its various quests and side quests set in a depraved city and even if I ignore its shitty, punching-down humor and awful jokes, what I’m left with is a crappy shooter which plays like Postal 2 but worse. And when you’ve created a game that is being negatively compared to Postal fucking 2, you’ve made a mistake. The best thing I can say about Postal 4 is that well…at least it isn’t Postal 3!