I think I am looking for something weirdly specific. For me a so-bad-it’s-good game is one that is enjoyable because of its flaws. Those flaws being the reason you want to continue playing.
Unlike a movie where all that is asked of you is to watch, a game requires you to actively participate. Because of this bad games are usually too frustrating to want to spend much time with them. I am looking for that ultimate bad game. The one where everything about it is terrible, yet it somehow amounts to something not only playable but a hell of a lot of fun to play. I don’t know if this game exists yet.
To try and clarify – Ride To Hell: Retribution is a terrible game, but for the first couple of hours it is a lot of fun to play. However, because I wanted to finish it I had to subject myself to roughly 12hours of broken repetitive gameplay. By the time I finished it I hated it so much I was tempted to take the disc outside and run it over repeatedly with my car.
You mentioned Big Rigs. I should definitely give that a shot. Being a racing game means I would not feel compelled to finish it, so I could have those first few initial hours of joy and then promptly walk away.
I think Deadly Premonition is a great game despite its flaws. They are pretty surface level stuff (controls, graphics, etc.), but once you are able to look past them you realise what an inventive game it is and you fall in love with its personality. Another example of this is Alpha Protocol. I loved that game despite some obvious flaws.
I am looking for unintentionally bad games. Intentionally bad games can be fun, but those that are earnestly aiming for something more are just more endearing to me. I feel the same about movies. Sharknado might be entertaining, but it is too self-aware to ever be a great bad movie. Compare that to The Room or Troll 2 (probably the two most well know so-bad-it’s-good films), both of which are probably the works of crazy people with a tenuous grasp on the English language. Despite this, they are weirdly ambitious and full of ideas.
I got a really good deal on a 3DO and a bunch of games the other day. Amongst them is Night Shift and a few other interactive movies. I think I might find what I am looking for amongst them, but I haven’t had the time to try any of them out.
Oh, and lastly, thanks for the link to Vinesauce. I checked out his Action 52 video and it was really funny. I guess bad games are easier to enjoy when you’re not the one who has to suffer through them. I’ll also check out Bad Rats. It sounds… interesting!
Sorry for the wall of text.