#1. Final Fantasy XIV
Every single game on this list had a host of problems, but Final Fantasy XIV was in a class all its own. Square Enix, possibly thinking that they could just release any trash with the name Final Fantasy and people would scoop it up, unleashed this catastrophic mess on the public in 2010.
Where to even begin with this. Should we start with the fact that it was incredibly convoluted and confusing to even just make an account? The quests were kind of barren and poorly designed. The in-game map was ugly and not helpful in any way. The interface, in general, was a complete mess.
It was literally so bad Square Enix basically did what was equivalent to an “apology tour” for the game. It included a public apology from Square Enix CEO, Yoichi Wada, a free trial that lasted until the game was considered “fixed,” interviews with developers covering what went wrong and how they intend to fix it, and a regular blog with updates. Square Enix also offered perks for “legacy” players that bought in early.
The result of that is now the extremely popular and appropriately named Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. It’s popular enough now that it is one of the few MMOs that actually charges a subscription fee, and is considered by many to not only be one of the best MMOs but also one of the best Final Fantasy games. To go from something that was seemingly irreparably broken and turn it into one of the best experiences out there is the very essence of making things right.
As you can see based on this list, there is actually a pretty lengthy history of games launching in some downright ridiculously awful states. Given the time and resources, though, the developers really turn them around. Games like Anthem can work, become better while retaining popularity and make the publisher money.
Nobody is saying this going to be an easy road. There are plenty of games that launched poorly and failed to recover leaving us with nothing but distant memories dreams of what could have been. But I believe Electronic Arts has the resources and Bioware has the talent to make Anthem realize its full potential if they just give it the time, effort and resources that it needs. Hopefully, my belief is not misplaced.