The 9 worst video game reboots that you should stay away from

Video game reboots aim to breathe new life into their once-dead franchises. Unfortunately for these ones, the exact opposite happened.


Every video game franchise ends. It's inevitable. However, because video games are born out of a concept or idea, developers will often reboot dead franchises in the hopes of kickstarting a new one.

Reboots can make or break video game franchises. Sometimes, the break can spell an end for future installments.

Sometimes, these reboots end up capturing the audience that loved the originals, all the while opening up the series to a new generation of gamers.

Unfortunately, for every DOOM and Tomb Raider, there are a dozen other video game reboots that not only failed to live up to the originals but dashed any hopes of the franchise ever becoming relevant again.

With that said, we're taking a look at 9 of the worst video game reboots out there.

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DmC: Devil May Cry (2013)

DmC would've been the start of a new franchise had it been released under a different name.

2013's DmC: Devil May Cry by Ninja Theory wasn't actually a bad game. In fact, it was a good game. Unfortunately, it just wasn't Devil May Cry.

While Ninja Theory tried its best to re-imagine the series that, at the time, had been on hiatus for years, all the changes only served to alienate hardcore fans of the series. With a new character design for longtime series characters such as Dante and Vergil, a different story, and more importantly, a less nuanced combat system, DmC effectively shot itself in the proverbial foot out of the gates.

Despite selling well and receiving positive reviews from critics, DmC: Devil May Cry was ultimately the game that forced Capcom to reconsider rebooting the Devil May Cry franchise.

The good news is that it led to a fifth game with a sixth installment potentially in the works.

Dungeon Keeper (2014)

The original Dungeon Keeper is widely considered one of the most influential titles of all time. The reboot? Not so much.

The 2014 reboot of Dungeon Keeper was an excellent showcase of EA's greediness. The publisher attempted to monetize the game at every opportunity it got, turning it into a blatant cash grab where the only way to proceed was to throw money at your phone, if only so that the on-screen pop-ups would stop showing up so you could just enjoy the game for a second.

While the legacy of Dungeon Keeper will never be forgotten, EA's failed attempt at a reboot on mobile phones effectively killed any chances of a modern Dungeon Keeper game.

Bomberman: Act Zero (2006)

Bomberman: Act Zero gets a 0/10 in our books.

It's not unusual for reboots and remakes to drastically change the design of the original game. However, drastic doesn't even begin to describe what Hudson Soft did with Bomberman: Act Zero.

Instead of the cute bite-sized humanoids that were prominently featured in earlier Bomber games, Bomberman: Act Zero was a violent game set in a future where people bombed the hell out of each other for some reason. Although people would've probably forgiven Bomberman: Act Zero for looking so different had it been a good game, it just wasn't even remotely close to it.

Repetitive, uninspired, and drab, Act Zero felt like a gritty and mature reboot done for the sake of it.

While Hudson Soft has since worked on a new Bomberman game following Act Zero, none have shared the same aesthetic as whatever the hell this 2006 game had.

SimCity (2013)

2013's SimCity was so bad that it killed an entire franchise.

Speaking of influential games, SimCity is right up there. This simulation game was released in 1989 and spawned what is basically the simulation genre.

With so much history riding on it, fans were understandably excited for the release of the 2013 reboot, SimCity. The modernized version of the game promised levels of depth and immersion that the series had never gone to ever before. The graphics were amazing and still do hold up until today. But, for all the good things that SimCity did and the promises it delivered on, it made one grave mistake - requiring an online connection to play.

Network outages and poor server connections plagued SimCity at launch and for many weeks later. Things got so bad for SimCity that even publications refused to touch the game to review it.

If there's one good thing to come out of the SimCity debacle, it's Cities: Skyline as Colossal Order's simulation game has effectively supplanted SimCity's place in gaming, effectively putting an end to one of gaming's most beloved franchises.

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Alone in the Dark (2008)

Alone in the Dark probably should have been kept in the dark, if you get what we mean.

Believe it or not, neither the Resident Evil nor Silent Hill games are responsible for birthing the survival horror genre. Both were arguably inspired by the true progenitor of them all, Alone in the Dark.

The 1992 game was the first-ever 3D survival horror game released and was a big hit back in the 90s. The game featured an excellent mix of now-standard survival horror elements, including giving gamers underpowered weapons against overpowered supernatural enemies with the occasional puzzle-solving sections to help amp up the tension and anxiety of gamers.

After multiple installments back in the 190s, a reboot was released in 2008 and the franchise hasn't recovered since.

The 2008 reboot of Alone in the Dark went the episodic route and focused too much on combat. The result was a passable game that lacked everything that made the originals so special. It also didn't help that Alone in the Dark was glitchy and eschewed the iconic mansion setting in favor of a city where you could drive around in albeit inside vehicles that felt like they were possessed themselves.

Shadowrun (2007)

Technically, Shadowrun is still alive.

Most gamers today might like to throw the word cyberpunk around as if it was a newly coined term, but the truth is, it's been around for a long time. In fact, there were a lot of cyberpunk games in the early days of gaming. Arguably the best of them all was Shadowrun, a series of cyberpunk RPG games with rich and detailed narratives along with excellent gameplay.

In 2007, Microsoft decided to reboot the series as a first-person shooter title and things just went sour from there.

Microsoft's attempt to give Doom and Quake a run for their money resulted in Shadowrun, which wasn't just a bad Shadowrun game but it was also a bad shooter as well. Glitchy servers and the lack of stats were just the least of the game's worries. The only good thing that it did was let PC and Xbox players play against each other, but outside of that revolutionary feature, Shadowrun was a largely forgettable game that led to its developers, FASA Studios, going out of business.

Turok (2008)

You can't just remake or reboot a series and forget everything that made it so fun and unique.

The original Turok games were fun shooters built on the premise that there were people who guarded an area that stood between Earth and the "Lost Land" that was supposedly inhabited by aliens and dinosaurs.

The 2008 reboot tried to recapture the same magic, but couldn't quite hack it. The weapons just didn't fit with the game and the stealth mechanics felt like they were forced. The uninspired and boring levels didn't help either. The worst part here is that the Turok didn't feel like bad-ass Native American guardians. Instead, the Turok felt like a generic grunt dumped on another planet sent to wipe out its alien and dinosaur population.

TLDR; the 2008 Turok reboot was a bad game that shouldn't have made it to market.

Thief (2014)

2014's Thief reboot was a Thief game in name alone.

Similar to DMC: Devil May Cry, 2014's Thief reboot wasn't a bad game. It just wasn't a good Thief game.

The issues with the game's stupid AI and linear missions were exacerbated with confusing map layouts, a bad plot, as well as the overall lack of freedom to roam the game's setting, The City.

If you're looking to play a decent stealth game, 2014's Thief reboot isn't half-bad. If you're looking for a good Thief game though, we recommend all three of its predecessors despite their apparent age.

Need for Speed (2015)

More FMVs do not necessarily make a game more successful and better.

Ever since the first Need for Speed was released back in the early 90s, the Need for Speed games has shown no signs of slowing down. A new Need for Speed game is released almost every year and fans have become spoilt when it comes to selection. Sure, the quality hasn't been consistent, but even the worst Need for Speed games are still worth taking for a spin.

A good example of this is 2015's Need for Speed reboot.

It is as if EA thought that the series needed to let fans know that it was headed in a new direction, quite possibly one where games were actually connected as opposed to becoming all standalone titles. For some reason, EA thought that this involved live actors in corny FMK segments. Also, at this point, EA hadn't learned its lesson. If it did, it wouldn't have made Need for Speed online-only.

All in all, the 2015 Need for Speed game was just plagued with problems regardless of how gorgeous it looked, which lands it on our list of the worst video game reboots.

Ray Ampoloquio
Ray is based in the Philippines. He is a lifelong gamer and a PC hardware enthusiast. He builds and repairs laptops and computers for friends and family in his spare time. You can find Ray on Twitter.