Before any discussion of the worst NES games ever created can begin, one fact must be recognized, in order to provide proper context: The Nintendo Entertainment System was among the pioneering systems of the modern age of video gaming, a home console that completely revived and revolutionized the industry. Throughout its reign atop the charts as the primary, premiere source of household gamer entertainment, the NES released many classics, some of which still endure today in continued franchises and homage titles.
However, for each legendary cartridge, there were also some tremendous flops that were produced. Even beyond the cheaply coded, lame, shoddy, half-effort, very average titles, even beyond the Atari-like gameplay or animation issues of some games, there was a select group of games that, for an especially provocative reason, will also be regarded as among the worst NES games ever created. These are a fair representative sampling of those class of games; those titles that, for reasons even beyond their poor replay value and terrible craftsmanship, belong in the lowest rung of gamership and truly are the worst NES games ever created.
Although it stars a recognizable figure from the Marvel Comics universe, this side-scrolling space shooter will live only in infamy for one simple reason: Its torturous level of difficulty. The protagonist under control is the Silver Surfer, and unlike other games of this genre, the Surfer takes up a disproportionately large amount of screen space, his minimal access to weapon power-ups especially in regard to his low-powered initial weapon, and instantly dies upon contact with any enemy or their projectile weaponry. This results in a rather intensely difficult quest, even compared to games usually considered challenging. It is almost as though it was intentionally, mathematically crafted to be as hard as possible, while still teasingly appearing that, perhaps, some super-player out there might be able to actually beat a level or two. This is a title for hardcore NES gamers only; and even then, those may not enjoy it too much for its average gameplay polish and lack of rewarding progress.
Perhaps Gyromite can be forgiven for some of its flaws as an attempt at video game entertainment. It was, after all, one of the original release titles for the 8-bit system, so maybe it was suffering through the kinks and quirks of Nintendo still growing and learning how to churn out quality games. Also, it was intended to be played with a gimmicky accessory, involving a robot controller (the Robotic Operating Buddy, or ROB, used with one other game) that transferred stacked plastic disks to result in on-screen effects (yes, it was as unpopular, short-lived, irrelevant, and difficult to be useful in any future games as it sounds). Whatever the case may be, the end result is a very unusual game consisting of simple, repetitive, unrewarding gameplay that feels more like a test beta for the system or other, unfinished concept at work.
Along with two other American-released games by Hacker Software, Bubble Bath Babes and Peekaboo Poker, Hot Slots was a “play-for-porn” type of title that was a thinly veiled vessel for semi-nude to nude shots of pixelated females. For this entry, you would play a slot machine, and be rewarding for good rolls with a softcore shot of a Hot Slots girl. Aside from its clever double entendre title, Hot Slots ultimately fails as a legitimate video game; and especially now in the shadow of an internet-enabled world where pornography is freely and easily available to its seekers, efforts such as Hot Slots now stand as laughable and silly, in addition to crude and cheap.
Although any discussion of the worst NES games ever created is bound to make some intriguing points, make some interesting lists, and garner productive discussion, perhaps the most important point is to remember that every video game system will inevitable have some sub-par releases; but in order to be the worst, you must have one X-Factor quality that truly separates you from the pack of merely somewhat bad game choices.