?Celebrities have become a integral part of videogames. Whether they’re starring in a game adaptation of one of their films or lending their voices to a hot new action game, celebrities in games have become the norm. Usually, their participation neither helps nor hinders a game. Sometimes, a celebrity’s involvement is a huge plus, because it helps the game feel more like a part of an existing franchise, as in the rare case of Vin Diesel in The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay.
These are the games that exist as nothing more than shameless cash grabs and/or lame attempts to cash in on a star’s often fleeting popularity, the game equivalents to the George Foreman grill. These 10 games are uniformly awful, but sadly there are far, far more where these came from. Let the terribleness begin!
We all know that 50 Cent was shot, so naturally he should star in a hard-boiled shooter game, right? Clearly, this is an accurate representation of the life of a man reported worth nearly $450 million. Why doesn’t he kick back and hire people to do his gunplay for him while he kicks back with a Vitamin Water? 50 Cent: Bulletproof
actually did well enough to earn a sequel that’s even sillier, but when choosing a game for this list, we gotta go OG.
9) Celebrity Sports Showdown
There’s probably no more shameless cash-grab on this list than Celebrity Sports Showdown. It’s the same shitty Wii party game compilation that has been released a thousand times, but with “star power.” Sure, we all want to hit Fergie in the face with a stick, but did anyone anywhere in the entire world decide to pick this up because they want to play as Keith Urban?
8) Wu Tang: Shaolin Style
When you think of the Wu Tang Clan, you think of fighting games, right? Someone did – the scrapped fighter Thrill Kill became Wu Tang: Shaolin Style and let you play as rappers GZA, RZA, Method Man and more. At least ODB fought with Drunken Boxing, so they got that right. Protect ya neck!
7) Playboy: The Mansion
Games are all about fantasy, and if there’s one thing that (male) gamers fantasize about besides kicking ass, it’s bangin’ a lot of chicks. Although virtually bangin’ chicks is pretty lame, its decidedly less lame than this pseudo-erotic Sims ripoff starring a virtual Hugh Hefner. You know what we don’t think about when we imagine Hef’s life? The mundane management crap. Give us Hef’s Virtual Chickbanger any day.
6) Jackie Chan
Doesn’t it look exactly like your favorite Jackie Chan movie? It’s a little-known fact that Jackie Chan hates frogs, which is why he kicks one in every one of his movies. Okay, so that may not be true, but whoever made this game apparently thought that having him fight amphibians would make for some thrilling and authentic gameplay.
5) KISS: Psycho Circus: The Nightmare Child
Is there anyone in the world who still takes KISS seriously? These guys have mastered the art of selling out, but their video game was a lame Unreal clone at best. Even the announcer in the trailer can’t fake any enthusiasm about this piece of crap.
4) Michael Jordon: Chaos in the Windy City
It’s hard to say whether this game or Space Jam was a bigger blow to Michael Jordon’s credibility. At least Space Jam didn’t have Jordan throwing flaming basketballs or fighting zombies (unless there’s some director’s cut we’re not aware of). But casting Jordan as a side-scrolling action hero who fights with his b-ball abilities should have seemed like a bad idea to someone. This is why famous people hire image consultants.
3) Revolution X
There’s only one band subversive and edgy enough to start the revolution that will overthrow the villainous New World Order, and that band is… Aerosmith! In this game Janie’s got a gun and so do you, and you’ve got to use it to take down the NWO and rescue Steven Tyler and pals. In all fairness, Revolution X was no more horrible than any other arcade shooter, but it was much, much sillier.
2) Britney’s Dance Beat
Remember when Britney Spears was a big enough star to have her own merchandise? In Britney’s Dance Beat, you try out to be one of her backup dancers, proving your skill with carefully timed button presses. A dancing game in which you don’t use a dance pad. And compete to work for Britney Spears. So basically it’s a virtual job interview. The sequel, Britney’s Self-Destructive Tendencies, was never released.
1) Shaq Fu
What is it with basketball players and ill-advised videogames? There’s a very good reason that Shaq Fu is considered one of the worst games of all time. Namely, because it’s the only game ever where Shaq fights a mummy. Not a great concept for a video game, but a great one for an Abbott and Costello movie. Abbot and Costello and Shaq Fight a Mummy. We’d totally watch that.