Games that have been released unfinished

Created May 17, 2018 by Chocodemon
An unordered list of games from major publishers that have been released in an unfinished state.
Maybe half of the game is missing, maybe "just" important story content.
- This list does not contain Early Access games as they're not released.
- This list does not contain "just" buggy/unoptimised games à la Asssassin's Creed Unity.
- This list does not contain games just because it has lots of DLC like Persona 5
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Gothic 3 screenshot
Propably the most unfinished game on this list. After 3 years of developement the publisher JoWood forced the developers to release the game prematurely which lead to a huge dispute and culminated in the separation of them in 2007. The problem? The game was barely playable and the right to the game lay with the publisher. Thankfully JoWood showed some mercy and gave some fans access to the source code and nowadays the game is kinda playable. If you ever wanted to play a game mid developement, you are in luck. Gothic 3 has a big open world, unpolished combat, janky animation and is still better than Skyrim ( fight me (ง •̀_•́)ง ) Personally I still massivly enjoyed this mess and would have loved to play the full game.
The end that never came. Half Life 2's was a wild back and forth for devs and fans. At some point a decision was made to release the first bit under the name Half Life 2 and from then on release episodes to allow people to get their fingers on Valve's new game faster, but somewhere after Episode 2 it stopped. Some might argue that this entry is invalid because HL2 can be seen as a complete game in a series. Fuck that I say. Imagine how furious people would be if Telltale games never released their last episodes. There is a saying that "Valve used to make games; now they make money", but in the 10 years the release of HL2E2 in 2007 Valve has released 12 games and Half Life 2 still isn't complete.
This is a minor offender for most. DX:HR has a single piece of DLC fittingly called "The Missing Link". Somewhere in the story the protagonist Adam Jensen smuggles himself inside a cryopod to get shipped to reach his destination. After a short load time you have reached your destination, but Jensen is hurt, and something seemed to have happened. You want to know? Well that'll be 14.99$, please. When DX:HR shipped there a chunk missing and Eidos made you pay to get the full story. What's better than paying for extra for the complete experience? The DLC was standalone, so if you played to that point, you had to save and close your game, open the DLC and once that was played through, you had to start the main game again. which also meant that playing the DLC did not affect your main playthrough. Nowadays you can only buy the full experience and the DLC is seamlessly incorporated into main game, but people who bought the initial release version of DX:HR were asked to pay twice to get a single full experience.
Named after the pain some feel in limbs that they no longer have, or after the pain the player feels, when they realise that half of the game has been cut? Not much unlike with Gothic 3, MGS5 has been released long before its completion leaving a game that not just feels rushed, but also blander that most of its predecessors. The Metal Gear Series is equal parts serious and humor. Those who have played Peace Walker love the diverse and creative Missions, while Phantom Pain forces you to eliminate the Tank Boys x10 times. And the MGS3 Zealots know that Kojima loves a living world and would have made every animal walk the maps in Phantom Pain, but the lands are barren bar a few donkey, goats and birds. Metal Gear 5 is build on one of the strongest foundations which had the potential to revolutionize video games for ever. But what we got was a mediocre and repetitive game whith micro transaction tacked on, which are needed if you want to unlock all the upgrades. THE PHANTOM PAIN LIVES UP TO ITS NAME
Spacebase DF-9 screenshot
When you take a look into this games english Wikipedia you can see a note reading: "This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it." describing the game nicely, even when unintentional. Spacebase DF-9 was developed by DoubleFine after it emerged from their own 'Amnesia Fortnight' game jam and has been voted on second place. The game released October 27, 2014; November 21, 2014 the programmer and project lead JP LeBreton was laid of and on December 16, 2014 it was posted on the official forums that there were no further plans for patches. The problem? The game left early access as v1.0 and got released. Doesn't sound all too bad and if you consider that it released along with the source code, it seems even better. BUT it is a barebones shell that should yet hold a game. When you take look into the plans that have been made for the game, you'd find a treasure of good ideas and none made it into the game. For the curious. The Plans for this game, when it had been greenlight:
Again Eidos? This time it's different and worse at that. This game has so many offenders that at times it seemed that the devs tried win some kind of bullshit-bingo. DX:MD features the following: > Pre-Order DLC - Consisting of a side mission, clothes for Adam and some one time use items > One time use DLC - If you used those items in your first playthrough, they're gone for good even on new playthroughs. > 2x DLC Weapons each 4.99$ - Reskins which only get Ammo if you have the non-DLC version in your Inventory. Wasting money and inventory space. > 1 Story DLC à 11.99$ - Which is so far removed from the main story that it could have been standalone. > 1 Story DLC à 11.99$ - Which is a single sidequest > A missing second half - Which may or may not release in the future. > Singleplayer mode with micro transactions - WTF? > Season Pass/Deluxe Edition - Contains the two story DLC, not the 2 weapon skins... > Denuvo - Nothing better than hurting the paying consumer Was Deus Ex: Mankind Divided a complete product on launch? No. Is it a complete product now? No.
Simon Parkin wrote following for The Guardian: "Street Fighter V is an unfinished catastrophe, a game delivered half-cooked, as if to meet a financial deadline rather than an artistic one." The first red flag that had been raised was that Street Fighter 5, first in its series, didn't debut in the arcades. The players were greeted with greyed out menu icons and when you completed a story mode, you unlocked items to buy in the store, which wasn't in the game at launch. Since the launch, the roster went from 16 to 31 fighters, all menu options are actually available and an Arcade version has been released. If you bought Street Fighter V on release you got less than half a game, luckily all the content updates so far have been free... except the fighters, those cost ~60$ Link to the quoted article:
Sonic the Hedgehog (1991) screenshot
This entry in the Sonic franchise began developement in 2005 was planned to release in 2006 on Sonic's 15th birthday. Also, it was planned to feature a more realistic world and have physics based gameplay. That this was a bit much in such a small time frame didn't matter to the guys over at SEGA and the game released on time. What did we get? A game that is by some considered the worst game of all time, and definitly the worst Sonic game of all times. For a really in depth look at how all that went down you can take a look at this lovely article:
ASURA'S WRATH screenshot
At first glance Asura's Wrath might be the outlier on this list. So what did the CyberConnect2 do to deserve a place on this list? You have to pay 6.99$ for DLC called "Part IV" which contains the ending of the game, which released 2 Months after the initial release. It is a small offender, but an offender nonetheless.