Games That Got Better: How Bad Games Recovered From Failure

We’ve all played a bad game at some point, right? It’s an age-old story – you get excited for a launch, the trailers look fantastic, but the final product is an absolute mess. In recent years, this is a problem that seems to pop up all too often, with games launching under terrible conditions. However, we’re here today to discuss the games that got better.

Which games launched to a horrific reception, only to turn it around and become something superb? Let’s discuss some of the games that experienced a disappointing launch but an impressive glow-up.

The Tale of No Man’s Sky

Image Credit: Wallpaper Access

No Man’s Sky is one of the iconic games that got better, undergoing a massive and staggering overhaul. When No Man’s Sky launched, it was a shell of a game, buggy beyond belief, and absolutely abandoned by the developer. And yes, we do mean abandoned.

Hello Games overhyped the launch of No Man’s Sky, making it out to be the best game ever. When it launched, it was a devastating wreck, and Hello Games completely disappeared from the face of the Earth. In reality, the development team had buried itself, ultimately returning almost a year later to address the game’s faults.

Following its recovery, No Man’s Sky has become a fantastic, glorious space-faring adventure, rich with content and constantly updated. It has had one of the biggest turnarounds in gaming history.

Show Some Unity

Image Credit: Ubisoft

When Assassin’s Creed Unity launched in 2014, it was not well received. Unfortunately, what was penned as the ‘first next-gen Assassin’s Creed game’ was a glitchy, unstable mess of a title. It was so poorly delivered that Ubisoft, the franchise’s developer, resorted to handing out exclusive expansions completely free of charge, by way of an apology.

We can stress how bad Unity was at launch – it was borderline unplayable. While it made for some hilarious bugs, it was a rock-bottom moment for the prolific and massively successful Assassin’s Creed franchise.

Although, the updated Unity now stands as a high point in the franchise’s history. It effectively laid the groundwork for games to come, boasting a revised combat system, advanced customisation, and a hyper-realistic world.

Read more: Halo Infinite Multiplayer Review

Beware of Night City

Image Credit: Wallpaper Abyss


We can’t talk about games that got better without mentioning Cyberpunk. When Cyberpunk launched in 2020, it was widely regarded as one of the worst games of all time. It was broken past the point of being playable, and the developers, CD Projekt, made numerous public apologies.

There were lawsuits set up against the development team, and enormous efforts went into fixing it. Although, it took an entire year for the platform to stabilise, with each update addressing more and more bugs, glitches, and errors.

The result is at least playable, and the reviews are becoming more positive as time goes on. There’s a decent roadmap in place for Cyberpunk, which still boasts massive potential. When it came out, it was an abysmal title, but it truly is one of the games that got better following its launch.

Those Honorable Mentions

Fallout 76

Fallout 76 was an empty, barren game when it launched – and that wasn’t just in keeping with the post-apocalyptic theme. It featured nothing in the way of a story, or even NPCs in the wasteland. There were many who claimed it was unfinished, but today, it’s a highly populated adventure filled with things to see and do.

Elder Scrolls Online

Like Fallout 76, ‘ESO’ was a relatively unfinished Bethesda/Zenimax launch. It was riddled with bugs in the first instance, and like Fallout 76, it felt empty and stale, all too fast. Today, it’s one of the most popular MMORPG titles out there, and the player base is growing.

See also: The Rise, Fall, and Re-Rise of Warzone