Top Ten Worst Video Game Cliches

We have all experienced this. You know, you are playing a game and you encounter something. Something you don't like and you hope to dear God that its not a reoccuring thing. But no it comes back not just in this game but in many games. So what better way to rant than to create a list about them, the top ten WORST video game cliches.

The Top Ten

1 Escort missions

Definitely the worst, on top of protecting yourself you have to protect someone else. There are usually no checkpoints and the person you have to "protect" is usually a complete moron. - Drbazinga

In games like "The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker" or "The Walking Dead", escort missions work quite well. This is because they actually give the other person a reason to follow you, and you care about them. In games like "Resident Evil 5" and "Amy" on the other hand, escort missions are ANNOYING! This is the 95% of games, with terrible AI partners who are just there to slow your progress. - PeterG99

I hate these. Usually, the person I'm escoerting is yelling at me to hurry up, when they themselves are barely moving at all. And if I decide to stop and reload, they will suddenly sprint ahead, and get mauled by zombies, Big Daddies, or whatever I happen to be protecting them from.

The person to escort is like :" HEY GUYS TRY ALL TO KILL ME, I HAVE A SUPER IMMORTAL BODYGUARD" And you die 2 seconds later - Olive855

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2 Water levels

Ocarina of Time, anyone?

No one remembers the water levels in Blaster Master

I'm partial to ice levels, but this is a close second. - Thifer20

Mario bros in water... - Olive855

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3 Unskippable cutsences

Okay game, I get it. Max Payne is an alcoholic, now let me skip the damn cut scene so I can shoot some Commando Somber or whatever guys, or SOMETHING better than making me watch this guy get wasted! And not Grand Theft Auto wasted, but wasted wasted.

This is the worst one, I believe all the top 11 are tied for second and all the ones below 11 are too stupid, I mean zombies? Zombie games are the best!

Pretty much everyone can agree.


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4 Unskippable tutorials

This is especially bad if you already KNOW the gameplay.

Mario and luigi dream team could take a 50 year sentence for its tutorial.

ESPECIALLY in kirby super star. God that was annoying (ultra fixed this, way better game).

Professor Kukui: Ok, I'm going to show you how to catch a Pokemon!
Me:Uh, no thanks Kukui, I've been playing for 6 years an-
Professor Kukui: So first you weaken the Pokemon...
Me: *slams face into table*

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5 Unoriginal villains

Any villain who wants to either take over the world or destroy it and rebuild it in their own image is unoriginal. Whats worse is of they're as boring as hell and don't seem to pose as a threat

If the villain really wanted to get the main character they would just get them instead of talking about it! - beatles5

We need more villains like The Joker.

This is one of my most hated tropes in media and exactly why I don't want Karel from Fire Emblem to be a villain. He would be nothing but a Sephiroth ripoff if he was that role, and I will tell you what: Ripoffs suck and it would be more original for Karel to be a good guy all along (which he is, in both the games he's in), no matter how psychotic and violent he is.

Also; I would like to see a variety in both villains and good guys.

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6 Boring boss battles

Cliches are only done on a purpose, so unless a boss is meant to be boring, this really isn't a cliche, Just something annoying.

Yellow devil from megaman

Egg dragon for example sonic unleshed is like 1-3 minutes sonic generations is 1- 9 minutes

I'm looking at you Yiazmat!

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7 Backtracking to old areas

Call of Duty ghosts is one big backtrack, you leave the house and go back. If I remember right you don't leave the state!

All I have to say Is a good game which used this cliche to death is "Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door"!

Who remembers the Purple Comet Missions? I certainly did. I HATED them! - SmashBall

Exactly. I don't care that I have to collect 50 coins in 30 seconds, if you wanted to give me a power star Nintendo, then make a new level. - KingofHoundooms

Metro last light is basically one HUGE backtrack.

8 Luck based gameplay

Look at Mario Party 9, it just ruins the game.

To get 3 stars in Mario kart 7 you need luck. - Harri666

MKWii mirror cup is too luck based

*Cough* Mario party... *Cough* in Mario party a lot of it is based on luck like the dice blocks and chance time where you could get screwed up badly and the luck based battle mini games could send you from first to last since a certain amount of your coins get taken and wagered and if you get last you just lost all your coins and the worst thing is GAME GUY - Pastakirby7

9 Quick time events

Maybe this wouldn't be too bad if you at least had some TIME to react, but nope, this isn't the case, as some games like Resident Evil 4 give you a damn NANOSECOND to react!

Two miliseconds to press a button that will save your life. Fail and you die. How unfair is that? Come on game developers!

I hate quick time events? I remember doing that while playing ben 10 protecter of the earth. Its so ANNOYING! GOOD LUCK TRYING TO DO THAT WITH A CONTROLLER THAT DOES NOT WORK!

I don't mind them. - madoog

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10 Dying by one single hit

This is why I don't like games like Mario. Although easy, it doesn't really feel like I am growing while I am playing through the adventure. In my opinion, games like Zelda does it better because you start off with low hearts at the beginning (still not enough to die in one hit though). But after each boss, you gain an extra heart. If the game is too hard, you can find heart pieces hidden around the world and if the game is too easy, you don't have to get the heart after you beat the boss.

Too annoying, too lazy to repeat again.

A cheap way for video game opposition to win against the main character. It's annoying as all hell. - NuMetalManiak

A lot of 8-bit games do this like Transformers for the Famicom, Silver Surfer, Contra, most of Action 52, and Ugh... I wanna be the guy...

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The Contenders

11 Main character has amnesia
12 Bosses that heal themselves

YES, I hate this so much. Sometimes it's fine, like if your in an rpg fighting a group of people with only one healer, but if it's a really hard boss with a lot of hp, it's just not fun.

Dreamy Bowser Because of his healing attack He seems like he has the exact same amount of hp as Yiazmat from Final Fantasy XII!

After you work so hard to whoop a boss ‚they destroy your hard work by healing!

13 Having to repeat missions over and over
14 Blatantly obvious weak spots

"There's a huge eye with fifty arrows pointing to it, and I can lock on to it. Better check my trusty little guide to see where I should hit the boss! "

It's insulting to the gamer to have a boss to have a bright glowing weak spot, but it's even more insulting if the game flat out tells you that the only way to defeat the boss is to attack the obvious weak spot.

Nintendo does this a lot especially in Mario and Zelda games.

Every single Zelda boss battle is like a reanactment of Alice In Wonderland (2011)

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15 Cover art that features something the game doesn't

When you see a game, what's the first thing you see? The cover. The cover should represent the game, showing what the game is about, not something to make people buy the game.

Twilight Princess without a magic bar even though it's on the back... - TrueBlueHeroes

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16 Bad AI

This is ridiculous. You need you AI controlled companion to shoot at the enemies because you're reloading, and all they do is let themselves die by running into the wall. And enemy AI are just as bad; You run up to an enemy, and instead of trying to kill you it just runs about.

Its either the enemy AI is eagle eyed... Or your buddies never held a gun before...

17 Button mashing

Don't the dev's know this damages the controllers? T_T

So many games I could name... Especially some RPGs like Dungeon Maker.

"... Play for too long and you become one of those people; know every combo and special attack, but who needs to be one of those people when a regular battle can be perfectly reenacted by chucking your controllers down the stairs?! "
-"Yahtzee" Croshaw, Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Zero Punctuation)

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18 Ability loss

Me playing Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.
Oh yeah, this game is awesome. I'm killing everything instantly. I'm A BADASS.
Death showes up and steals my equipment.

Still loving this game to death. - CastlevaniaFanboy128

19 Forced to lose as part of the plot

This cliche is my worst one. It forces you to lose to the boss, which is really annoying. I'm looking at you, Beatrix from Final fantasy IX. And it makes you waste items just for nothing.

So, you are thrown into an immensely difficult battle with a seemingly unbeatable boss. You give it your best, using up all of your best healing items, weapons, etc, until you inevitably die. Then, after watching a cutscene, you suddenly realize - you were intended to lose the battle. That, and you just wasted all of your best items for nothing.

So many RPGs have this one. There's not often a telltale sign that you are gonna lose some of these either. - NuMetalManiak

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20 Getting knocked back
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List StatsUpdated 26 May 2017

300 votes
129 listings
4 years, 81 days old

Top Remixes (8)

1. Unoriginal villains
2. Escort missions
3. Boring boss battles
1. Bosses that heal themselves
2. Cover art that features something the game doesn't
3. Escort missions
1. Invisible walls
2. Backtracking to old areas
3. Main character has amnesia

View All 8


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