Making games is hard. Not just on a technical level, but imagine getting a handful of unique personalities into a room, working towards a common goal. Even when everyone is moving in tandem, and something truly remarkable is made, there’s bound to be a few flumps. Let’s take a look at games that are—or were—super glitchy but still a lot of fun to play!
10. Dead Island
Welcome to Dead Island, where zombies can be hulking beasts or tiny creatures of destruction no bigger than a foot. Do you like whacky physics and random collisions? Well, you’ll certainly get your fill here. Witness zombies get toppled like bowling pins by a mere gas canister or sent flying from one well-placed swing. And let’s not forget a fan favorite: limbs that contort and separate on their own!
Okay, we’re done poking fun at the game. Honestly, Dead Island’s myriad of ways to kill zombies is highly concentrated dumb fun, only heightened by the ridiculous bugs you encounter. That fun is then multiplied when you bring in a few buddies!
9. Pokemon Red & Blue
There was a time in gaming history when games had to be stable and as bug-free as possible. Developers couldn’t rely on a magical day-one patch. That’s not to say Pokemon Red and Blue were an unstable mess—it certainly wasn’t—but a few bugs squeaked by.
One of the most famous examples was MISSINGNO, a glitch “Pokemon” you could battle and capture. It was really easy to find, too, and if you caught it, well, you could duplicate items in your inventory. So, hello hundreds of Rare Candies or countless Master Balls! It’s a glitch you can still find in the digital versions of Pokemon Red and Blue!
Another great example is leveling your Pokemon past 100. All you had to do was feed it Rare Candies up until it reached level 255. Or how about catching Mew? Through a combination of Fly, a trainer battle, and choosing specific locations, you can get a low-level Mew to appear!
8. Cyberpunk 2077 (On Launch)
What Cyberpunk 2077 is compared to what it was is night and day. It was an incredible mess on launch day, and many weeks after that, it was pretty astonishing to witness. The story was appealing and featured several noteworthy characters like Goro Takemura (my personal favorite), Judy, and Jackie Wells, to name a few.
The gameplay was also solid, though the skill tree had left a lot to desire. If you were lucky, like me, and only experienced graphical glitches and bugs most of the time, Cyberpunk 2077 was still a fun ride from start to finish. Well, assuming you made it to the end. You couldn’t round a corner without seeing a random T-pose, questionable pathing, NPCs who defied the laws of physics, and vehicles with minds of their own.
7. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II
Despite its numerous bugs, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2 is still a great game. Unfortunately, it was rushed, which meant some quests could break, crashes often occurred, and some events and cutscenes failed to trigger. Not to mention, there was a level-up glitch that made you god-like. Finishing the game meant enduring a hellish gauntlet and a lot of saves, but I’d be lying If I said it wasn’t worth it.
Thankfully, it isn’t 2004 anymore, and the community surrounding it has grown. Modders stepped in and made TSLRCM, an unofficial patch that fixes a bunch of bugs and even restores some content that was left out. Of course, if you want a more pure playthrough, there’s also an unofficial TSLRCM Tweak Pack that leaves cut content out. Either way, KOTOR 2 won’t be such a headache to play on modern machines!
6. Bethesda Game Studios
If we’re going to discuss glitchy games that are still fun to play, Bethesda gets its own entry. It’s a running gag at this point that stretches back over two decades, from Morrowind to Starfield. Anyone who enjoys Bethesda’s catalog expects it, too. You might get launched into the stratosphere, take damage from walking over a wheel of cheese, or witness NPCs take a nasty right hook to the head while you’re talking.
Luckily, the bugs and glitches are mostly harmless. You can usually work through most of them by saving a lot. It’s tedious, sure, but losing a few minutes of progress is better than an hour, which I’m positive all of us have felt at one point or another. Autosave has saved my playthroughs more times than I care to count, too.
5. Marvel vs. Capcom 2
If there are any fighting games on the planet that are more broken than Marvel vs. Capcom 2, I’d love to see it. Not some sole developer working on a passion project, but from developers as well-established as Capcom. It’s incredible the community embraced it like they did because underneath all those travesties is still a top-notch fighting game.
For example, there are player-activated game freezes (Ruby Heart, Gambit), infinite juggles (Cable’s Air Hyper Viper Beam), and the ability to spam unblockable attacks (Sentinel). That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Naturally, players exploited them so frequently that it was fair game, even in tournaments. Only a few lines were drawn in the sand, like freezing the game and infinite dead body loops, though the latter is allowed to a finite degree.
4. The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind deserves its own entry, just because many of its bugs and glitches are incredibly beneficial. They can be exploited to such a degree that, with a few simple tricks, you can make yourself an all-powerful god, even stronger than Vivec. Honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way; it’s what makes Morrowind unique compared to later entries.
Take Alchemy, for example. The strength of your potions is partly determined by your Intelligence. So, you brew an Intelligence potion, chug it, and then brew another even stronger version. After a while, your Intelligence (and other stats) are in the thousands. It’s handy for enchanting gear with ridiculous effects, too.
Then there’s spellcrafting. By adding a secondary target effect, in addition to the buff you want, you’ve created a permanent buff. This trick often gets referred to as the “Soultrap Effect Glitch,” but it’s not Soultrap that’s causing the bug; it’s the Target effect.
3. Mass Effect 3
To be honest, Mass Effect 3 merely continues the tradition of bugs that started long ago in the franchise’s history. It being the last in a trilogy and having the bugs and glitches it had was icing on the cake. No hate from me, though; I still love them just as much as everyone else.
The kinds of bugs you’ll find in Mass Effect 3 are actually incredibly entertaining. You’ve got NPCs breakdancing after being hit by biotics, allies T-posing, and getting stuck in the air after performing a biotic charge. It’s mostly harmless unless you’re the poor soul who can’t deal damage after migrating your ME2 save file over to ME3.
2. Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing
Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing is the kind of game—and I use that term loosely—that’s so laughably bad, it’s entertaining. The type of bad that makes movies like The Room a treat to watch. Playing it just makes you ask so many questions, like, Who thought this was okay? How did this get released? Is this some elaborate joke? You won’t get answers to those questions, by the way. Big Rigs remains an enigma throughout.
First off, the opponent you race doesn’t actually move unless you download the only patch ever released, in which case they’ll move but stop just before passing the finish line. That means you can never lose. Lastly, your truck can accelerate at ludicrous speeds… in reverse. Then there are buildings you can pass right through and terrain that clips in and out of existence. If you can get your hands on a copy of Big Rigs, it’s worth experiencing at least once.
1. Goat Simulator
It’s not every day you see game developers intentionally keep bugs in their game and be entirely open about it, but that’s precisely what Coffee Stain Studios did with Goat Simulator. Why? Well, honestly, because it makes the game a heck of a lot more fun. It was already entertaining, but the glitches just make the experience that much more better. Promise!
Coffee Stain Studios follows one simple rule: if a bug or glitch doesn’t break the game or cause instability, it’s kept in. So, welcome all manner of whacky physics, bring on the stretched-out limbs, the clipping, and bizarre NPC behavior. You’ll be giggling like a madman the entire time!
No doubt there are dozens more examples of fun, glitchy games, but these stuck out to us the most. Several were even high-profile games, like Mass Effect 3, Cyberpunk 2077, and Bethesda’s lineup. Let us know some of your favorites; we all can use a good laugh! It wouldn’t hurt to check out our other lists, like the best game sequels of the past 10 years.
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