NOTE: Most of this article was originally posted in 2012 to celebrate 50 years of 007. James Bond is back in cinemas with the release of Spectre in Australia November 12, so we've decided to revisit his best and worst moments in video games, plus add more to the list.
As has often been the case, there is no direct movie tie-in to coincide with the release of Spectre. We last had one for Quantum of Solace in 2008, and before that we have to go back to The World is Not Enough.
Between them there was a From Russia With Love game in 2005 -- complete with a 75-year-old Sean Connery's voice. It was released 42 years after the film, and the style of early '60s film actually suited the limitations of the PS2/Xbox/GameCube.
The other '90s games were surprising late. GoldenEye 007 will forever be a historic console game, but that doesn't change the fact it came out in 1997 when the film was out in 1995. Likewise, the Tomorrow Never Dies game was also out two years after the film.
Most recently, Skyfall did get a game in the same year, but 007 Legends wasn't a direct adaptation, and it also wasn't good. Perhaps that's why Spectre is only getting a mobile spin-off.
In this two-part series, we look at the best and worst Bond games throughout the ages.
Part two looks at the best James Bond games.
Here are the seven worst Bond games of all time.
007 Racing | 2000, PS1
Rarely do racing games surmount to anything more than a desperate cash-in on a strong brand name, relying on clueless parents to disappoint children on Christmas morning.
Was there even any racing in this game?
Despite sounding like a ridiculous racing spin-off, there is scarcely any real racing in this game. It was more of a Vigilante 8-style combat game, in which everything was broken. It had the license of cars from all 19 films, including Bond’s iconic Aston Martin DB5, but it certainly didn’t come out of Q branch.
Some men just don't like being taken for a ride.
GoldenEye: Rogue Agent | 2004, PS2, Xbox, GameCube
What an absolute disgrace. The Bond games -- much like the films -- were in a rut in 2004, unsure of where to go next. EA had the brilliant idea of making a sequel to the highly successful GoldenEye, only it wasn’t actually a sequel.
It was simply a misleading title that had nothing to do with Rare’s 1997 masterpiece. It was set in an alternative timeline, involving Goldfinger wanting to murder Dr No and had you play as an ex-MI6 operative. You didn’t even get to play as Bond!
My dear girl, there are some things that just aren't done.
007 Legends | 2012, PS3, 360, Wii U
007 Legends makes the list because this is 2012, a year in which Bond is returning to the big screen for the first time in four year and Bond’s 50th anniversary. It deserved a quality game, and the idea of meshing together missions from six classic films didn’t sound too bad. At least not this bad.
While it’s certainly not the worst Bond game out there, 007 Legends is just another generic shooter. Totally forgettable and devoid of the Bond charm.
It'll bring tears to your eyes.
A View to a Kill: The Computer Game | 1985, Commodore 64
A View to a Kill is best remembered for a 57-year-old Roger Moore setting a world record for slowest on-screen running (probably) and sleeping with a women less than half his age. He was also older than the mother of that woman.
It was also the first Bond movie to get a direct tie-in game, which may have been a ploy to make the movie look better. While it was the first movie-based game, 25 years later it still holds the title of being the absolute worst.
Bond got stuck in walls, shooting was impossibly complex, and then didn’t work, and following the boring story was a painful ordeal.
Shocking. Positively shocking.
Quantum of Solace | 2008, Wii
The HD version by Treyarch was pretty good -- that's not on this list.
The Wii version, however, was a total disaster. It was one of the worst ports to a console that had a reputation for being utterly screwed by third party developers. The controls didn’t work, there are severe frame rate issues and it had a resounding sense of being all broken.
Worst of all, it came with the feeling that it could have been fun if someone had dedicated the time it deserved. Most Wii shooters are terrible. Then there’s Quantum of Solace.
Don’t touch that! That’s my lunch.
The Spy Who Loved Me: The Computer Game | 1990, Commodore 64, Master System, Amiga, Atari ST, DOS
We know Bond has a weird history with movie adaptations being made long after the film has been released. That extends back to 1977's The Spy Who Loved Me, which got a game in 1990 when the film franchise was in limbo.
Released for the Amiga, Atari ST, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, DOS, Sega Master System and ZX Spectrum, it was a topdown car shooter, with Bond driving a Lotus Espirit. Weirdly, it introduced new characters and was loosely tied to the events of the film at best.
With no new James Bond movie between Licence to Kill in 1989 and GoldenEye in 1995, a PS1 port was considered, but never eventuated.
James… what an unpleasant surprise.
Live & Let Die: The Computer Game | 1988, Commodore 64, Amiga, Atari ST, DOS
Live and Let Die is a perfectly playable game, but it's not a Bond game.
It's a classic licensed rush job that began as an entirely different game. Then Bond license holder Domark was looking to maximise its investment by going beyond recent movies, and discovered Aquablast, an unreleased speedboat game.
In 1988 they thought it looked enough like the boat chase in a Bond film released 15 years earlier, so decided add a boss fight and rebrand it as Live and Let Die. It really has nothing to do with James Bond, and wasn't intended to for most of its development.
Now there’s a game (not) to die for.