The Top 5 Worst Video Game Vehicles

There are times when you step into a shiny new car, plane, or mech only to realize you were better off walking. We're spotlighting 5 of the worst vehicles in video game history.

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They help you race to the bomb with seconds to spare, and provide the firepower needed to turn the tide of battle. Vehicles are a critical part of a hero's repertoire. But there are times when you step into a shiny new car, plane, or mech only to realize you were might have been better off walking. We're spotlighting some of the Ford Pintos, AMC Gremlins, and Yugo GVs of gaming, which are probably all equipped with faulty GM starters.


Graug (Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor)

According to the Dwarven hunter Torvin, graugs are one of the oldest species of creatures living in Mordor. They're amphibious giants that mostly keep to themselves in caves, but will attack and eat almost anything that threatens it. A Graugs super heavy armor plating makes it extremely difficult to kill, and it has a ground pound attack that can wipe out soldiers by the dozen. Despite this, orcs flock to fight them in hopes of winning bragging rights. But hey, their death wish is to your benefit, right?

Later on in the game, Talion gains the ability to take possession of these massive creatures and ride them into combat. But to do so, he must first go through the lengthy process of exploiting the graug's weakness by stealthily stabbing it in the ankle and making it bleed, preferably without being stepped on while doing so. The blood will drive nearby caragors into a frenzy, and a pack of them will attack. While the graug is busy fending off hungry caragors, fire a couple of elf-arrows into the giant's forehead. This will stun it long enough for you to climb up and mount it. Now you have a giant monster to ride into battle. Picking up the Shadow Mount ability lets you skip the climbing bit, but the rest stays the same.

Believe us, the initial wow factor of riding a 40-foot creature into battle wears off quickly, and wrangling a graug is not nearly worth the effort. Even though graugs have the power to wipe out encampments, and eat orcs like popcorn, they move very slowly. Despite ducking behind the monster's heavily armored head, orc archers are remarkably good at hitting you. If those archers are standing safely on cliff tops or towers, getting them requires you to deal with them personally, which totally defeats the purpose of riding a giant beast into battle in the first place.

Worst of all, graugs can't step on tiny little crags, but they can still spit poison at the two of you. Eventually, the giant may be overwhelmed by the stupid little critters. As both a mode of transportation and a weapon, the graug is horribly impractical, especially compared to the caragor, which can be ridden with a single Shadow Mount shot. Caragors also run fast, can climb up walls, and can quickly devour orcs. They can even move stealthily in some of the DLC packs. The usefulness and availability or caragors leaves graugs far behind. So, it's better to just leave these giants sleeping inside caves.


Quad Bikes/Snow Mobiles (Far Cry 4)

Driving is not one of Far Cry 4's strong points, as evidenced by its auto-drive feature, but Kyrat is huge and mountainous, so you don't want to be stuck walking everywhere. Although you would have be desperate to drive anything other than the hundreds of military jeeps roaming Kyrat's roadways, the game does a wide variety of cars to get around in.

There's no shortage of terrible vehicles here, ranging from junky automobiles to slow trekking cargo trucks. Even the locals won't touch the three-wheeled Tuk Tuk. But our pick for the worst of the worst are the quad bikes and their snow mobile counterparts. These might be the fastest vehicles in the game, but they can't outrun bullets. These things are hard to maneuver and offer no protection. Not a very good for getting around a country filled with lots of winding roads, cliffs, and armed soldiers out to kill you.

Even the auto-drive has trouble controlling the these vehicles and taking tight corners without sliding into people and objects. When driving manually, your odds of slamming head-first into a tree rises exponentially. That is, if you can manage to avoid driving it off a cliff. These vehicles may be useful for races, but otherwise, you're better off using them to hijack better driving vehicles, or as bomb delivery systems. You might not have any protection when riding an elephant, but at least the powerful beast commands a sense of fear and respect. The only thing quads do is make you an easy target.


The War Machine (aka da Vinci's Tank) (Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood)

In the Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood side quest War Machines, Ezio is tasked with finding the plans for Leonardo da Vinci's device and destroying them. After that, he hops into a working one and uses it destroy the factories and all working tank prototypes.

The War Machine is an actual design that Leonardo da Vinci designed while under the patronage of Ludovico Sforza in 1487. The concept, like with a modern tank, was to let the machine roll in first and wipe out the enemy line while infantry followed safely behind. Although it was never built in da Vinci's time, some modern era engineers built it and got it to work. The original design requires four men to use a hand crank move and steer the slow-moving tortoise tank, while four others manned the ring of cannons. This would have been a near unstoppable weapon if its occupants didn't die from exhaustion, pass out from the heat, or suffocate from all the cannon smoke and smell of man sweat.

The tank featured in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood is scaled down significantly for a single driver, but it stays mostly true to the original design. It also moves way faster, has better turning, and fires further than it would in real life. However, this isn't enough to make the tank likeable.

Frustration mainly arises when players are trying for full memory synchronization. Ezio has to trail an architect, sneak into the factory without alerting guards, destroy the plans, then operate the tank without getting hit. However, the tank's maneuverability and aiming leave something to be desired. Dueling against two enemy tanks in a tight confined space is an exercise in masochism, since losing even one square of health means restarting the entire mission from where you have to follow the architect and destroy the plans. Thus, the sequence became one of the most despised parts of the game.


M12 Force Application Vehicle (aka Warthog) (Halo: Combat Evolved)

The M12 Force Application Vehicle (FAV), commonly referred to as the Warthog, is the most prolific vehicle the United Nations Space Command (UNSC) employs. Small, fast, and versatile, the UNSC has used the Warthog for over fifty years as its signature vehicle of choice. This all-terrain vehicle is powered by an liquid-cooled hydrogen-injected ICE I/C plant that can be refueled using any available water sources, even urine. Its tires are made from nearly indestructible burst-proof nanotube skeletons, and a roof gun mount allows for heavy weapons placement. It's also one of humanity's worst inventions ever.

Although the Warthog carries formidable firepower, its titanium armor can only withstand a small amount of damage, and is extremely vulnerable to energy weapons. Bad news: Half the Covenant's weaponry is energy based. No wonder humanity is losing. An overcharged plasma pistol can render the Warthog completely inoperable. A short burst from a Banshee's light plasma cannon or a single hit from its fuel rod gun will completely destroy the vehicle.

Also, it's like the Warthog uses oversized beach balls for tires. It drives like it was designed for a monster truck rally instead of a battlefield. Sure, it's fast, and it can turn on a dime, but it also has an extremely high tendency to flip over. All you need is a slight incline and a light breeze to send the Warthog rolling. Flipping it back over like it's made out of Styrofoam isn't exactly reassuring either.

To put things into perspective, the US Military retired the M151 MUTT in 1982 after 23 years of service and seriously redefined what "light vehicle" meant when it replaced with the HMMWV (Humvee) in 1984, which even has wildly overbuilt initials. It looks like combat clearly evolved in the wrong direction. In Halo, humanity achieved interstellar flight, refined genetic engineering, developed cutting edge Spartan armor, and created a pee powered engine, but it can't design a half-decent infantry vehicle?

Judging from its light armor and lack of doors, we're guessing that it became the UNSC's most popular infantry vehicle because it's very cheap and easy to mass produce. Let's be honest, only a soldier that's either decked out in powerful Spartan armor, or has a seriously underdeveloped sense of self-preservation, would step foot inside a Warthog. The thing has a tendency to explode in head-on collisions.


M35 Mako (Mass Effect)

The M35 Mako was designed for utility, not comfort. This armored personnel carrier may be cramped, but it's small enough to fit in a cargo bay. Despite its size, the vehicle is pretty well armored, as evidenced by how it survived the destruction of the Normandy and crashing onto an alien world from space, no worse for the wear. The Mako features an environmentally sealed interior, while its hull is covered with laser detection arrays and ground penetrating radar to ferret out mines. The Mako's six wheeled suspension and booster system allows it maneuverability across a wide variety of terrain, while a turret mounted machine and 155mm mass accelerator cannon provide the firepower.

Although the Mako has an element zero core to manipulate its density across different worlds, its designs must be off, because it drives like an inflatable whale. Running over a rock can send the thing jumping five feet in the air. It's an all-terrain vehicle so long as all the terrain you're driving on is relatively smooth. Climbing up steep mountainsides, even with its physics defying undercarriage thrusters, made staking mineral sites and picking up collectibles incredibly frustrating.

Combating creatures like the thresher maw for the first time was a nightmare, and not just because your entire team was trapped inside a mobile sardine can. Shooting while driving the Mako was tricky, made worse by its tendency to get stuck against small obstacles. Limitations that were felt whenever the Mako ran up the side of a hill or was at an odd angle, making it impossible to aim the turret.

The original Xbox 360 controls made things even worse, because it didn't have the rotating turret. You had drive straight toward whatever you were shooting, which kind of felt like delivering food to a twenty foot monster. Although the controls were markedly improved in the PC release, the fact that it was left abandoned among the Normandy's wreckage speaks for itself. Even BioWare admitted that roving around in the Mako had major problems. That's why Mass Effect 2 and 3 did away with surface exploration and replaced it with planetary scanning mini-games.

Managing Editor
From The Chatty
  • reply
    April 6, 2015 11:30 AM

    Steven Wong posted a new article, The Top 5 Worst Video Game Vehicles

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      April 6, 2015 11:35 AM

      God the Mako was such a giant piece of shit

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        April 6, 2015 11:39 AM

        The Mako controls were absolutely awful.

        • rms
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          April 6, 2015 2:11 PM

          I liked it, spent much of the game exploring planets

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            April 6, 2015 2:22 PM

            I didn't mind the idea of the vehicle or the vehicle itself so much. But on the 360 the controls there were more than a few cases where I ended up having to fight the controls.

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              April 6, 2015 2:39 PM

              if memory serves, the controls changed how they acted at a certain point - like the driving would go from absolute to relative when the camera got close enough? so i'd be slowly creeping in one direction, then the camera would jump forward because i drove too close to something behind me and the mako would immediately start doing something different.

              the PC didn't with KB/M

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                April 6, 2015 2:41 PM

                From friends working at Bio at the time they said it had Warthog style controls at first, but because it was NIH they wanted to do their own version.

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                  April 6, 2015 4:01 PM

                  They should have just copied the warthog and called it a day.

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      April 6, 2015 11:37 AM

      Fuck the Mako

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      April 6, 2015 11:41 AM

      I never really had a problem with the Warthog the controls were pretty good and as long as I kept moving the guy in the back would mow everything down.

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      April 6, 2015 11:49 AM

      Warthog is the best video game vehicle ever. EVER.

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        April 6, 2015 1:58 PM

        I agree. He's totally Wong in this case.

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        April 6, 2015 3:36 PM

        I fucking love the Warthog, it's what I think of when I think of Halo. I don't know if it's my favorite ever - I definitely recognize its flawed control scheme - but I don't care because it's just so FUN to drive around. Especially with some buddies.

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          April 6, 2015 3:40 PM

          I will say he has a point with the energy weapons and damage it can withstand. I had the most fun with it in Halo 1 when it was invulnerable.

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        April 6, 2015 3:42 PM

        Haloe:CE indestrucible Warthog was the best. CTF Rocket only matches with that thing were a blast.

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        April 6, 2015 6:54 PM

        it may indeed be the best among non-vehicle-focused games (like... star fox or battlezone, etc.). it is really rather awesome.

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      April 6, 2015 12:02 PM

      Mako on PC is perfectly fine if you have basic motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Sounds shitty on the xbox though.

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        April 6, 2015 12:09 PM

        Yeah it was fucking horrible on the xbox. Heard the PC version was a bit better.

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      April 6, 2015 12:22 PM

      The Warthog is a weird choice for "worst." It was one of the first vehicles in an FPS game that was both fun to drive and acted like an actual car. Up until then, IIRC, hover vehicles were more common at the time. (eg: Tribes.) I enjoyed it, although I loved the Ghost, Tank and Banshee more. Fark, getting multiple people in one Warthog was total lols.

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        April 6, 2015 6:55 PM

        it's also a weird choice on that list, period.

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      April 6, 2015 12:43 PM

      Should have the fucking mounts in Dragon Age: Inquisition, assuming they would count. What a worthless thing.

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      April 6, 2015 12:44 PM

      I disagree with the Mako. On PC, yes, it was horrible - "forward" was always what direction the Mako was aimed, not relative to where you were looking on-screen. On 360 (and IIRC PS3), controls were always relative to your view which made turning when driving a lot easier than on PC.

      I also thought it had the rotating turret on console, but I can't 100% attest to that from memory.

      The rest is a good list, though. :) It turns out that you could cheat in that one war machine fight with the two machines pretty easily - in that one fight, if you back up enough after you enter the room they'll stop shooting at you, letting you snipe them out. But doing it legit would have definitely sucked. (Unfortunately, Da Vinci's flying machine didn't have a similarly "workaround", so you had to start that one over too.)

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      April 6, 2015 1:08 PM

      I whole heartedly disagree with the Mako hate. On Xbox it was fine to drive. Certainly not the best in-game vehicle I've ever driven, but I never had any real trouble with it. I could climb mountains and take out Thresher Maws with the best of them. On the PC it was a joy to drive. Fantastic vehicle. You people all need to learn how to drive.

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        April 6, 2015 1:09 PM

        I also disagree with the Warthog for that matter. That thing was ridiculously easy to drive.

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        April 6, 2015 1:25 PM

        The Mako would have been better on the Xbox if the turret had been independent of the driving and steering. It could be a pain in the ass to shoot on the move especially if you decided to aim behind you as the controls would flip with the turret so suddenly I'd be driving backwards. It could be annoyingly counter intuitive. The Warthog was great though lightly armored yes but absolute blast to drive and dangerous in the right hands.

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          April 6, 2015 4:09 PM

          I can definitely agree with these points.

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            April 6, 2015 4:12 PM

            I should have added that this was why I loved it so much more on PC. The flaws that did exist with driving the Mako on 360 were fixed with the PC version. It was very easy to drive on PC. It should have been that way on the 360 too.

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      April 6, 2015 1:15 PM

      Warthog had a TERRIBLE control scheme.

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      April 6, 2015 1:25 PM

      What the Mako was fine- it was just for tootling around and it had a turret anyway. It sucked but it wasn't rage-inducing.

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      April 6, 2015 1:26 PM

      The Earthworm Jim underwater vehicle was bad. I mean who puts a submarine made of glass in a series of caves?

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        April 6, 2015 4:24 PM

        dude fuck that section of the game. The rest was so gratifying and then that bullshit.

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        April 6, 2015 5:43 PM

        I had forgotten about that part of the game! It was pretty terrible.

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        April 7, 2015 5:18 AM

        They had some epic levels past that part too

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      April 6, 2015 1:28 PM

      PC Mako was fine. It had ridiculous wallclimbing ability.

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      April 6, 2015 1:52 PM

      I'd replace the Warthog with the helicopters from GTA. So fucking annoying.

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        April 6, 2015 1:56 PM

        I really liked the GTA helicopters in MP or free roam! But when flying them is tied to a story mission (like GTA4 finale) the controls go straight to most annoying thing about the game.

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        April 6, 2015 2:53 PM

        RC Copter GTA3 PC

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          April 6, 2015 3:37 PM

          Fuck that mission.

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          April 7, 2015 12:54 AM

          for me the RC biplane was worse. I finally took out the cars by landing and shooting them when they randomly drove past me

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          April 7, 2015 6:43 AM

          You mean Vice City? The controls were fine, they just weren't mapped right. The game lets you remap.
          That mission gave you 7 minutes, I did it in less than 3.

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        April 6, 2015 6:56 PM

        yea this is a good choice. pretty much all the air vehicles in GTA / Saints Row, at least with a mouse and keyboard.

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        April 7, 2015 12:49 AM

        Yeah these fucking things should be on the list.

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      April 6, 2015 1:56 PM

      This should fix the thread.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQuF3EDcQ8Q

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      April 6, 2015 3:42 PM

      Call of Duty 3 tank with original Wii controls. It was a launch title.

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      April 6, 2015 3:44 PM

      The Warthog was outstanding from a fun-to-play perspective. One of the best things about Halo.

      The article is kind of doing a "would this work as an actual military vehicle" thing I guess? In which case I agree the answer is lol no.

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      April 6, 2015 4:08 PM

      best is cs jeep

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      April 6, 2015 4:14 PM

      If this list includes the Warthog, then they're just trolling

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      April 6, 2015 4:31 PM

      Half life 2 vehicles sucked major balls (fuck you airboat).

      Consequently, I loved the fucking warthog. Those first few levels in Halo: CE when you load up a couple of marines and mow down covenant are some of my favorite memories in video gaming. Assault On the Control Room when you first meet up with fire team Zulu and circle that poor wraith tank? Fucking awesome.

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        April 6, 2015 5:45 PM

        I'm not the only one that hated the HL2 vehicles! Thank you!

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          April 7, 2015 5:26 AM

          You definitely are not. Probably one of the worst controlling vehicles I can think of. I get that they wanted to make it physics based, but come on, fun should come first and that fucking boat and the car are just not fun. What's more hilarious is that I played through the orange box again on the 360 and somehow they made the controls even worse. :|

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        April 7, 2015 5:32 AM

        I don't understand this. The hl2 vehicles were awesome