Despite being one of the most successful video game companies since the industry’s early days, Nintendo has seen its fair share of shortcomings. Some of the company’s consoles have been notorious failures, most notably the Virtual Boy and Wii U. Certain Nintendo franchises have also failed to garner mainstream attention, such as the Nintendo Switch weapons or Golden Sun.
Sometimes, however, initial failure is the first step to unrecognized success. Nintendo has had many games throughout the company’s history that were unsuccessful upon their release but later won the respect of gamers. These games are all considered cult classics today, even if they were pushed back early in their life cycle.
10 child Icarus
child Icarus debuted on the Famicom and NES in 1986, the same year as The Legend of Zelda and Metroid. Unlike these games child Icarus received mixed reviews. Many players criticized the difficulty as well as the failure to compete with other platformers on the console. Fortunately, video game history has been kinder child Icarus.
Many publications call it one of the best games of all time. The franchise was even revived in 2012 Kid Icarus: Uprising for Nintendo 3DS after Pits inclusion in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. This reboot was even led by smash bros Creator Masahiro Sakurai, who turned the platformer into a third-person shooter.
It’s likely, that earthbound suffered from poor marketing when it was first released for the SNES in 1994. The game’s tagline was “This Game Stinks,” with the game’s box featuring scratch and sniff promotions to reinforce this point. Early reviewers also called the game weird and crude in its humor, eventually stifling its release in European markets due to poor sales.
Nowadays however earthbound Considered one of the greatest RPGs of all time. It heavily influenced the genre and inspired many doppelgangers trying to recapture the game’s magic. Though the game is getting many Virtual Console ports, Nintendo has yet to respond to fan requests for a western release of earthbound‘s Japan-only sequel, mother 3.
8th Conker’s Bad Fur Day
When it comes to platform games on the Nintendo 64, few companies have been as successful as Rare. The developer had an impressive resume that included the hits Donkey Kong 64 and Banjo Kazooie. Conker’s Bad Fur Dayhowever, was their attempt to appeal to an older audience, resulting in a rare commercial failure for the company.
Many viewers were put off by this Conker’s Bad Fur Day, especially for the contrast between its kid-friendly artwork and NSFW content. Despite this misfire, many game publications had positive things to say about the game’s design and humor. The title later received a remake with Conker: Live & Reloaded for the original Xbox.
7 Cubivore: Survival of the Fittest
The aptly titled Cubivore: Survival of the Fittest was released in 2002 for the Nintendo GameCube. The game finds players to take on the role of a dice and participate in RPG battles to become the king of all cubivores. Unfortunately, the game’s cute art style wasn’t enough to satisfy the audience.
Upon release, many gaming publications criticized the gameplay and controls while praising the creativity of the premise. However, in recent years, many people have been able to recognize its positive qualities. Maybe it’s because fans are getting nostalgic for the tropes of games in the Gamecube era.
6 Crazy world
Crazy world was released for the Nintendo Wii in 2009 and was developed by PlatinumGames, the makers of Viewtiful Joe and bayonet. The game received positive reviews upon release, with critics praising it city of sin-style graphic design. Unfortunately, many publications have also noted that it hasn’t brought any innovation to the hack-n-slash genre.
Additionally, the game released for the Wii was likely a shot in the foot. The Wii’s audience generally leaned toward children and families, which meant sales were disappointing, especially in big markets like Japan. Unfortunately, it failed to appeal to a wide audience, but those who played it can still appreciate its brief fun.
5 The wonderful 101
Unfortunately, Crazy world wasn’t PlatinumGames’ only flop. The company also developed the Wii U title, The wonderful 101which certainly more than appealed to the console’s audience Crazy world did. The game featured players controlling an army of heroes who transformed like a superhero school of fish.
Upon release, reviewers had many good things to say about the game. However, like many games on the Wii U, it didn’t chart well at all. The game was recently ported to Nintendo Switch, but only after a successful crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. However, their kickstart goal was met very quickly, meaning the game’s audience is still alive.
4 Codename: STEAM
Nintendo had great faith in the 3DS title Codename: STEAM before it was published. It was developed by Intelligent Systems, who were also responsible for breathing new life into it fire sign franchise with Awakening of the Fire Emblem. Also, the game’s design and use of American folklore characters was intriguing to the fans.
Despite the hype before its release, Codename: STEAM received mixed reviews from critics. Unfortunately, its art style and premise weren’t enough to satisfy critics, who were put off by its length and complicated mechanics. However, patches released in the future made it easier for skeptical fans to access.
3 Mario & Luigi: paper jam
That Mario & Luigi Franchise was successful in bringing Nintendo’s legendary brothers into a proper RPG format. Previous games in the series, such as Superstar Saga and Bowser’s Inside Story, are loved by the fans. It was then exciting for fans when Nintendo announced that the franchise would see a crossover with the Paper Mario Series.
Reviews were ultimately positive, although some were disappointed by the lack of elements carried over from the game Paper Mario Series. Unfortunately, the 3DS title is the last entry in the Mario & Luigi series because its developer AlphaDream filed for bankruptcy in 2019. Still, the series has a soft spot with many older Nintendo fans.
The rollplay Miitopia was released in Japan for the 3DS in 2016, with a worldwide release later in 2017. The game centers around the player-created Mii characters, with gameplay influenced by the relationships between the Miis. Many reviewers had great things to say about the game’s creativity and approach to the RPG genre.
Other than that, the game received mixed reviews from critics. As Tomodachi life, Miitopia suffers from a lack of player involvement in playing through the game. The Nintendo Switch port released in 2021 received a much more positive audience response and appealed to a much broader group of gamers.
1 Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido
Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido was released for 3DS and Switch back in 2018 and was created by developers who worked on games like Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE and electroplankton. The game consists of puzzles in which players fight opponents with sushi. Fortunately, the critics responded well to the gameplay design.
Other critics had much to criticize sushi striker‘s length and controls. As a result, the game only sold 5,000 copies for the Switch in its first week, with the 3DS version not even reaching half. However, many fans of the game have criticized Nintendo’s lack of promotion, which could have potentially been a great starting point for a new franchise.
MORE: Video game mascots inspired by Nintendo’s Mario