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Video Games That Launched Unplayable But Were Eventually Pleasant Surprises

Updated October 19, 2020 12.0k views12 items

Long gone are the days when developers released finished games that were perfect straight out of the box. The internet and high speed broadband has allowed designers to push out updates and patches for games at any time following their release. This has led to a plenty of times video games have been fixed post launch.

While a classic game may not always hold up now, it at least would've been functional upon its release. But modern technology allows creators to fix their games after an initial huge flop and continue to improve on their initial design. Changes can range from small bug fixes in weekly patches all the way to huge expansions that alter the way a game is played. Fortnite, The Elder Scrolls Online, and many other titles weren't the best when they first launched, but have since become critical and financial successes.

  • Battlefield 4 had a launch unlike almost every other game in the series. EA faced an unprecedented amount of immediate backlash after launching in 2013, because the servers were incapable of dealing with the surge of players. For weeks, players struggled to find an online game, and many of those who found them were regularly kicked from the server before the match was completed. On PC, the game would often crash, corrupt files, or have game-breaking glitches.

    The issues were solved several months after its release, and players were finally able to experience the game as it was meant to be played.

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  • 'The Elder Scrolls Online' Required Multiple Patches
    Photo: Bethesda

    When The Elder Scrolls Online first launched in 2014, most ares were locked to players until they reached certain levels. In a game series known for giving its players a large amount of freedom and the ability to explore, this effectively made large parts of the world inaccessible to newer players, and not worth visiting for more experienced ones.

    Over the course of the two years following its release, developers added extra content and features, and they made a significant change to how the leveling system works. Rather than having certain areas ranked at a particular level, the world now scales to match the player. Regardless of your own level, the enemies and quests will adapt to suit how strong your character is at any time.

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  • 'Diablo III' Had Server Connection Problems And "Pay-to-Win" Mechanics
    Photo: Blizzard Entertainment

    Despite being one of the most anticipated games of recent memory, critics and players panned Diablo III after its 2012 release for a litany of gameplay issues. Users struggled to play the game due to server connection issues, but when they could get online they were faced with a controversial loot system based around an in-game auction that used real-world money and a difficulty spike that was just too much for most players.

    The developers released dozens of patches aimed at tweaking the gameplay and fixing bugs. Meanwhile, the live team spent their days expanding server capacity and fixing the online problems so people could actually login and play. The first major expansions, Reaper of Souls, brought further changes. The loot system was completely overhauled along with the game's difficulty scaling.

    Due to the changes, Diablo III finally became beloved by fans and critics alike two years after its release.

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  • 'No Man’s Sky' Featured Repetitive And Shallow Gameplay

    'No Man’s Sky' Featured Repetitive And Shallow Gameplay
    Photo: 505 Games

    Of all the titles that launched in 2016, No Man’s Sky was perhaps the most eagerly anticipated. It had a unique vision and was expected to allow players to explore a universe filled with unique planets, creatures, and items. When it came out, many consumers felt that the final product was not what was promised; a variety of advertised features had been left out or changed, and the gameplay was repetitive and lacked depth. Many felt they had been had been misled and cheated.

    A year later, the developers had revamped the ship-to-ship combat and added base building on planets. Furthermore, many of the game's original features have been refined and have made the game closer to what many players expected at release.

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