The 10 Cruelest Video Game Pranks of All Time Video Games
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The 10 Cruelest Video Game Pranks of All Time

Nobody goes more crazy and over-the-top than the gaming industry when it comes to April Fools jokes. They really love to screw with their paying customers. So, in light of the day of the year where you can't trust anything on the internet, here are the cruelest jokes ever played on gamers other than the ones that God already pulled.

What are the nastiest video game pranks ever pulled? While there have been some bad ones done, these take the cake. 

Check out Ranker's other lists: The Best Arcade Games of All Time, Greatest Baseball Video Games and the Best Manic Shooter Games.
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  1. 1

    Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 Nude Code by EGM

    All of the best video game industry pranks have been played by Electronic Gaming Monthly (RIP).

    This is by far the meanest. Kind of.

    Anybody who plays, owns or has even heard of Dead or Alive, as a franchise, wants to see these similar-looking cartoon character (with insanely awesome bodies) naked. This is a fact. Nobody WOULDN'T click on a link that said "naked Dead or Alive girls", if even just for curiosity's sake.

    So when EGM announced that there was a nude code for the latest this epic c*cktease of a game franchise which features the characters dancing, lounging (with maximum jiggle factor) or even bending over and having "butt battles" together, everyone took to Google faster than Charlie Sheen to rock bottom.

    If you have ANY DOUBT that this game exists SOLELY for the reason that porn does, please view the NSFW video of the red head lounging on a chair here. Dear lord. Personally, I'm a Hitomi fan, if only just because of how angry she always looks.

    *Shakes head*

    Anyway, the cheat required players to complete the entire game in juuuuuuust under the amount than is physically possible.

    EGM were torturous, evil, brilliant monsters.

  2. 2

    Duke Nukem Forever Demo by File Planet

    The "Chinese Democracy" of video games. Arguably one of the most highly anticipated (and at this point it's less of a hype-before-the-prequels-came-out anticipation and more of a long-line-at-a-ride-you-don't-even-like-at-Disneyland-in-blazing-hot-weather waiting game) games of all time, Duke Nukem forever is the follow-up to a game that took people's favorite movie one-liners, a badass that makes the main guy from Doom look like a wimp and killer monsters and made them into one of the first great first person shooters.

    Ironically, the announcement of the sequel came in April of 1997, which really makes the release of this game (or the non-release) the most cruel joke in video game history.

    After many stops and starts in the game's development cycle, between 1997 and 2008, news about the games "impending release" came out on a near-yearly basis. Each time disappointing gamers with the news that it, sadly, was not coming out.

    Duke Nukem Forever is so appropriately named because that's how long it's taken it to come out. It's the dead-beat father of video games. It gave us some great times and keeps saying it's going to come around, but never fails to disappoint.

    It was supposed to come out sometime in 2009, but didn't because one of the companies in development went through massive downsizing, then the case went to court. After that it was announced that after 13 years, it would be officially released in May of 2011... only to be delayed until mid June of 2011.

    Needless to say, it's a frustrating fight, which is what makes this prank played by FilePlanet (a video game downloading site) that much more cruel.

    The prank? A link to the demo with a promotional screenshot of the game. It's free! It even has a "Download" button!... but it doesn't work. The whole thing was probably one of the most disappointing experiences in a lot of internet browsers' lives.

  3. 3

    Pandaren Express by Blizzard

    The perfect solution for the lazy gamer, and again, an ingenious way to solve the problem of having to lift a finger during countless hours of doing nothing but lifting fingers.



    Pandaren Express was the best April Fools joke ever executed by the creators of World of Warcraft.

    Pandaren Express was a parody of competing MMORPG game Everquest's real life partnership with Pizza Hut, where you could order pizzas through the game itself.

    Pandaren Express would let you order Chinese Food via the World of Warcraft servers and have it delivered without ever having to face a real-life human being ever again. Cause who the hell wants that kind of stress and pressure?

    Not THIS guy!


    Needless to say, they never delivered on this "promise" because it was really just a great joke and a jab at their competitors, but really, again, it's only a matter of time. This is a brilliant idea.

  4. 4

    An Internet Classic: The Scream Shock Maze by Parents and Jerks Everywhere

    Remember when the internet started getting popular and ubiquitous? When you would spend hours looking through ebaumsworld for videos you only used to be able to see on Max X late at night on a Sunday and one of the primary uses of the internet was to download music, look at .gif websites and playing pranks on little kids? We're a lot more sophisticated now, because now we have illiterate cats, free extremely-specific porn and the ability to see where our ex girlfriends are via GPS.

    One of the early viral staples of the internet was the series of prank-games where you would be sent to a site that was either a "find the __" or a magic eye (just because we were transitioning out of the 90s at that point, still) or sometimes... it was a game that required a certain level of calm.

    This was the most cruel kind of scream shock, by far. The player of the game (in this case a maze game) is forced into a sense of calm concentration, just to be shamefully startled like when a child runs across the foreground of the camera in a crappy horror movie remake.

    This particular game is a puzzle that "tests your steady hand." You lose whenever you touch the borders and the point is to get to the end. And the payoff at the end is really the worst part. Even if you know it's coming, it scares you with a Linda Blair exorcist face.

    Have fun sleeping.

    Click here to play the game

    BONUS: Here's a video of a father doing this to his kid with this game. Best. Parenting. Ever.

  5. 5

    The WiiHelm by ThinkGeek

    In a world where there's a machine that automatically Tweets for your dog and in a time where pre-packed-and-peeled hard boiled eggs are a "real thing" it's not that hard to believe that there would exist a popular video game helmet that would allow you to play while eating.

    The inconvenience of having to actually consume something in order to keep your body alive while playing marathon-long gaming sessions is clearly a problem that needs to be solved sometime in the next ten years.

    So, a few years ago, ThinkGeek.com took this idea and ran with it in another one of their awesome fake-products released on April Fool's day (aka the first of April... you fool.)

    Here's the full description of the WiiHelm via ThinkGeek:

    The Nintendo Wii has surely revolutionized gaming as we know it. Rabid fanboys everywhere are now flailing their arms in delight as they wield the Wiimote as a tennis racket, baseball bat or sword. Problem is the average gaming geek is just not up to the strenuous task of vigorous arm movement for longer than 10 minutes. This makes those extended play sessions a thing of the past... and who wants to beef up at the gym just to play video games on your couch? We sure don't.



    Fortunately for cream puffs everywhere the WiiHelm is now available at ThinkGeek. Simply lock your existing Wiimote into the stylish white helmet and free your hands for relaxation... or other important tasks. After extensive scientific study it was found that manipulating muscles in your neck for 10 minutes uses 64% less energy than waving your arms about like a lunatic. The WiiHelm works great with all of your favorite Wii games and the included foot pedal allows easy button presses using minimal toe effort. Plus the amazing Wiimote Saf-T-Lok technology and double reinforced head strap save you thousands of dollars in damaged flat-screen repair charges.

    So why was this so cruel? Because it solves a problem that's existed in gaming ever since it started: the need to use your hands and be even a vestige of a functional human being fore man five minutes at a time.

    Click here to 'buy' the WiiHelm

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