Rhete's Top 10 Worst Games of All-Time
by Rhete

#0 Final Fantasy XI

So shitty, it fell through the bottom of the list! But the real reason I'm putting it as #0 is that contrary to popular belief, FFXI is not a game. It can be called many things, a drug, an addiction, a curse, a habit, but perhaps the best title for it, is job. Final Fantasy XI is a job. Don't ever call it a game.

The various classes you can choose to be in FFXI, warrior, monk, white mage, bard, et cetera, are specifically called jobs. Because once you pick one, that literally becomes your job. To get anywhere is this game, you MUST group with 5 other players. You are absolutely worthless on your own. The enemies in this game are insanely powerful, and to even take down a single enemy that is above your level, you'll need a tank to absorb the enemies attacks, a healer to heal them every 3 seconds so they don't die, a few fighters to actually attack the enemy, then a status class to weaken the enemy overall, or boost the parties stats so they don't have to wait five minutes between fights. In a good group, everyone performs their job exactly to the letter, without any flaw. It's a beautiful clockwork, watching six players work together, all performing their specified tasks, to get the job done. Granted it's not fun at all, but it does have a certain elegance to it!

Because of the stringent requirements needed to form a good party, it takes about an hour or more to form a party with people around your level, another half an hour for everyone to travel to the hunting grounds, then you replay the exact same fight for the next few hours. A good party will find a spot in the dungeon where monsters won't normally walk to close to, then all sit there while one member lures a monster over to them, 6 on 1 kill it, then repeat. Then repeat. Then repeat. After 10 minutes or so, you're literally killing the same 4 or 5 enemies over and over as they respawn. Every fight is exactly the same, it is the very definition of repetitive. It is a job. You can't just sit down and get anything done with 15 minutes, or even an hour. To get anywhere, you've basically got to dedicate yourself, logging in for hours at a time, so you can find a party and have enough time to get to actually killing enemies before you or someone else has to go.

To be fair, FFXI actually does a lot right. It has the most realistic world of any MMO that i've played. In towns people are always coming and going to their various destinations. NPC shops will close at night and open in the morning. Airships that travel between towns have set schedules and departure times. The fictional elemental based days of the week affect many aspects the game, including crafting and magic potency. Even the cycles of the moon come into play, affecting how good fishing will or won't be for the day. The game even does a surprisingly good job of installing a sense of nationalistic pride for whichever of the three nations you decide to call home.

The problem? None of this shit is conductive to good gameplay AT ALL. I dont want to stand around for 40 minutes waiting for a fucking shop to open. I dont want to wait 15 minutes for a god damn airship to arrive. I dont want to wait until tomorrow to craft because it'll be fire day. I just want to fish whenever I want, not wait for the 20 minute sweet spot that shows up once a week. FFXI goes to extreme lengths, and suceeds, to feel like a real world. It just fails hard as a video game. There is a ton of stuff to do in this game, it just takes fucking forever to do. But for all its annoyances in time, the world isn't the biggest flaw. In fact, it's one of the strongest points, it's what makes FFXI such an addiction. Vana'diel becomes like a second home, and it becomes hard to quit even once you realize you aren't having any fun.

While PSU is a game that does nearly everything wrong except combat, FFXI is the reverse, it sort of does everything right, except combat. The combat in this game, is BORING AS SHIT. It's the worst. The worst ever. Imagine say, playing as Kain in FF2/4. Just him. The rest of the party is there, but they're being played by other people. Now remove items, because for all intents and purposes, FFXI doesnt have items. Now make it so you can only jump every 5 turns. So what do you have now? You get to attack once every minute, and jump every five minutes. THIS IS WHAT COMBAT IN FFXI IS ACTUALLY LIKE. It's unbelievably slow. While a lot of MMOs take shit for their "click the enemy to turn on auto-attack, wait for it to die" gameplay FFXI takes this to a whole new fucking level by making auto attack into "attack once every 20 seconds or so, pray you don't miss!" Melee classes have a handful of abilities, which have cooldown times ranging from 15 seconds, to two hours.

Most MMOs have an ability known as taunt. It's used by tank classes to get an enemy monster to focus their attacks on them, and not say, the squishy mages. The taunt/provoke skill in FFXI has a THIRTY SECOND cooldown. So for about 25 seconds, if you lose control of the enemy, you're damn near shit out of luck. This is how slow paced the combat is. Playing a melee is auto attack + a weapon skill every few minutes, tanks are provoke every 30 seconds and maybe a desperation move if you lose control, and mages are either spam heal, spam the same single attack spell, or spam refresh.

The only kind of interesting thing in combat is the pointlessly complicated skill chaining system. Try and look at those charts. I can't even make this shit up, it's one of the most pointlessly complicated systems in a game, ever. Every melee weapon has about 10 skills it can use every once in a blue moon, and by using two in a certain order, you'll get like 50 bonus damage! woo! Eventually it was discovered that this shit is totally bullshit, as its more damage overall to just spam weapon skills as soon as you can, and not bother coordinating multiple people trying to chain. Awesome system guys!

I once read a quote on gamefaqs that was something like this "EXP parties aren't supposed to be fun. They're a grind you have to get through to get to the fun stuff, which comes later" Well that's bullshit, why should combat not be fun? What the fuck is the point of a video game if 90% of it, isn't actually fun! And not to burst that guys bubble, but it never gets better. There is a grind after the grind. Each area it gets worse. There is no top of the mountain where FFXI suddenly becomes fun. It just gets worse and worse, the grind steeper and steeper, until at the very end, the mountain becomes a wall.

But the true, deep down flaw, game-ruining flaw is this: When you die, you lose 10% of current levels exp. It may not sound like a lot, but trust me, this is HUGE. Its huge because as mentioned above, EXP parties aren't fun. They're terribly boring, long, and insanely repetitive. Watching people freak out when they die in FFXI is more entertaining than any movie. There are people that when they die, fucking lose it. That's it, go home, parties over, I'm not talking to any of you fuckers for the rest of the day. The fear of death in FFXI is strong, almost as strong as the one in real life!

But what makes it such a bad penalty, is that this is a game entirely designed around helping other people. You cannot do anything alone. It's not just EXP parties. Everything requires a group. Getting your RSE? Better get a group. After your AF armor? Definitely need a group. Doing a story mission? You guessed it, grouping time! As an additionally evil twist, from level 50 on there are quests every 5 levels that MUST be completed in order to level. These are of course, fucking bullshit levels of hard. The level 60 one is so insane its usually done in groups of 18 people at once, with about 16 people who are level 59, and a handful of level 75s to babysit them.

The huge problem with this, is that no one in this game will help you. Because of the fear of death. The only way to get someone to help is if they have the same goal as you. No one will help you, even if they want to, out of paranoia of dying. They have nothing to gain, but a lot to lose if things go wrong. In a game where you are worthless on your own, creating an atomosphere where no one will help and lives in constant fear of death and can't just loosen up, and play the game for FUN, makes it damn near unplayable, and the worst video game ever.

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