Worst UI in video games?

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If you’re a gamer, you’ve probably seen various types of UI (user interface) in video games over the years. Some can be pretty good, but then you have others that can be pretty bad such as, not being visually appealing, confusing to navigate or perhaps both and maybe something else along with it. I have seen these discussions on other forums before, but I am surprised to see GTP doesn’t already have one. So with that said, here is a thread where you can discuss the worst UI’s you have seen in your gaming history.
 
6,030
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Surprised this didn't get any bites...

2K has never been good with the UI's. Their menu system in NBA 2K12 and 13 were confusing messes, their WWE games are an actual pain to deal with, and I don't remember the old NFL games being that great beyond the backgrounds.

I was gonna throw Forza Horizon 4 under the bus again, but honestly all of these Windows 8-ish menus are ugly and not necessary. Almost any function in FH4 should be two to four selections on one menu, you shouldn't need ten menus to show the content.

Not bad per-se, but bad in comparison to what it had, Grid Autosport. 1 and 2 had interesting and integrated menus, this was a car in a glittery vacuum and some bland menus with solid colored bars that showed progress(I guess?). I didn't get into this game, and the dreary menus made sure the door my experience was thrown out of, was locked behind it.

As much as I enjoy some of their games, KOEI has never had great UI's. AeroBiz on SNES was aggravating to use, the (insert series here) Warriors games at one point allowed you to miss entire sections and proceed to get your butt postmarked back to you. I think the Naval Ops games are the most confusing yet best adapted they have done...if it wasn't for the ship builder and all it's tricks. Still, hard to stay irritated when there's options for Ye Olde cannons, ancient weapons, Duck Interceptors, and cat sculptures with laser eyes to shoot down missiles.

All I have for now.
 
1,499
PletdeKoe
Persona 5.... hahahaha

No seriously though, I never found the Pip-boy in fallout 3 very user friendly. Also final fantasy XIII was difficult to find the right options etc.
 

Moglet

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Gran Turismo Sport has a pretty bad UI in terms of flow and speed, especially when browsing in the "Discover" menus which are easily the worst I've seen of that type. The visuals are, for the most part, good enough.
 

VBR

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Gran Turismo 5. Ten seconds just to open the replay theatre, slow as 🤬! Then there's the lack of cohesion & consistency; sometimes the back button takes you back & sometimes it takes you to an icon on which you have to press the enter button to exit (in one place you even have to press the triangle button to exit). The X & O buttons are also labelled differently in different parts of the game. There is so much junk on the screen, it's very cluttered & untidy looking. Then there are all the various & entirely unnecessary nag boxes, "Press X to continue" etc, littered throughout the game. In most games you can toggle the HUD on & off with a simple button press when driving, but not in GT5, oh no that would be too elegant & useful, there's a menu for that too, which you have to pause the game to access (rendering it useless for online racing).


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2,847
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Ridley-X4
Gran Turismo Sport has a pretty bad UI in terms of flow and speed, especially when browsing in the "Discover" menus which are easily the worst I've seen of that type. The visuals are, for the most part, good enough.
It's still leaps and bounds better than Gran Turismo 5, as another post mentions.
 
4,710
United States
The US of A
Surprised this didn't get any bites...
Me too. I would've thought this one would have gotten more posts than the best UI thread, but it's the other way around. Don't get me wrong though, I am glad the best UI thread is getting some posts.
VBR
Gran Turismo 5.
It's still leaps and bounds better than Gran Turismo 5, as another post mentions.
When I looked this topic up on other forums, I saw this one come up several times and I never really understood why. I always thought it was alright (visually anyhow), but maybe people just don't like don't having everything on the screen at once like it is in GT Mode?

I do agree with one thing though, it is pretty slow at times and the input lag can be annoying.
 
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39,114
Gran Turismo 5 is easily the worst I've ever used. Even if it didn't have all of the problems VBR mentioned above with actual navigation and button shortcuts, that it pinged GT5's servers every time it navigated to a new menu meant that the game was far better to play if you weren't connected to PSN than it ever was if you were. On the not-at-all-infrequent times that PS3-era PSN was having connection issues, the game would straight up just hang and you would have to restart it.
 
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91
Finland
Finland
When I looked this topic up on other forums, I saw this one come up several times and I never really understood why. I always thought it was alright, but maybe people just don't like don't having everything on the screen at once like it is in GT Mode?

I do agree with one thing though, it is pretty slow at times and the input lag can be annoying.
I agree with you there, I never really had any major issues with the UI in GT5. Personally I think it looks pretty good.
 
4,710
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that it pinged GT5's servers every time it navigated to a new menu meant that the game was far better to play if you weren't connected to PSN than it ever was if you were.
You know, I forgot about that. :dunce: It seems like I used to stay offline at times just so I wouldn't have to wait as long for it to load, especially when the game was booting up. It probably didn't help I had slow internet back then.

To reiterate though, I don't have an issue with how GT5's UI looks, but I do have an issue with its functionality, mainly it's load times.
 
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Driver 1's Main Menu UI
PSD3D002.png

I know some are going to disagree with me, in fact, I already know 4 people among these forums that already do, but I never liked Driver 1's main menu UI all that much. For starters, it doesn't even look like a menu, it looks like one of those "Press Start" screens instead. Secondly, the options you have are hidden on the screen unless you highlight them. Which means, you don't even know what options are available on the screen or how many it has unless you start fiddling with it. I can live with having some options offscreen and having to scroll a short way to them like in GT4's menu for example, but this is different. Everything is already on one screen, but it's hidden until you cycle to it and although it's not hard to learn where things are if you play it some, that could be confusing for new players and/or nongamers trying to find something and not knowing where it is yet.

I'll give it some credit though, it's unique, it's unlike anything I have seen before and I can tell they were trying to do something different from the list style menus from its time and I can see why some would like it. Plus, at least all the options are on one screen and none of it is off-screen where it could be easily missed. Although it's not the absolute worst UI ever, I have no doubt theirs much worse out there than this, I just don't think it's good UI design.
 

Downhill Dino

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Yesterday I was trying to think of games with bad UI and I thought "I hope no one says Driver". :lol: I understand the points, and even though I pull out the game every year it's probably still nostalgia getting me. Gotta say what does make it terrible is my disc is scratched and half the words for the menu options don't show.
 
4,710
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Yesterday I was trying to think of games with bad UI and I thought "I hope no one says Driver". :lol:
Too late. :P This is one I had wanted to post about for a while now.
I understand the points, and even though I pull out the game every year it's probably still nostalgia getting me.
Understandable. Theirs nothing wrong with liking it.
Gotta say what does make it terrible is my disc is scratched and half the words for the menu options don't show.
That sucks! Whenever I made that post, it didn't even cross my that the words could glitch in some cases, making it difficult to understand. Kind of furthers my point really.
 
91
Finland
Finland
maybe people just don't like don't having everything on the screen at once like it is in GT Mode?
Maybe it could also be that some people aren't familiar with the game and think that it's the main menu which comes up when you launch the game, and miss that it's the GT Home hub? Maybe I could understand if it would be the main menu, but as it's the GT Home hub, I think it does a good job of being like a home with all your stuff there and being able to customise the background wallpaper, colour and the profile picture. I really don't see at all that it would be ugly, completely the opposite. And that's not to even mention the other menus of the game, which I think look really good. Especially the animations in the main menu look stunning, even when compared to many much newer games. So, at least from a visual perspective, I would definitely not put GT5 here.
 
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The Race Day menu in Need for Speed ProStreet.
Need for Speedâ„¢ ProStreet_15.png

Been meaning to post about this forever now, but this might just be one of the most notorious cases of confusing UI I have ever had in a video game. Full disclosure though, this screenshot is from the PS3 version. ;) That said, quick introduction here, in this screenshot, I completed the Battle Machine event and the 2 events I unlocked were the one with the skull above it and whatever the round part is below it. So what's the problem exactly? The problem is the color separation between what's unlocked and what isn't is just bad. While with the "skull event", you can kind of see the events above it aren't unlocked yet and you can easily tell I already beat "Battle Machine" since it's green, the one below it however blends in a bit too well with the other events around it, making it hard to tell what's unlocked, what isn't and what you can actually select.

There were many things that confused me and drew me away from ProStreet when it came out, but this was the single biggest reason I didn't get into it right away. Although I may understand it now, this menu was extremely confusing to me back when I first got the game on PS2 in 2007. Since the color separation was so bad, I couldn't tell what could be selected and what couldn't and sometimes found myself unintentionally playing Battle Machine again out of sheer confusion. Considering this was the PS2 version, the menu was obviously blurrier than the PS3 screenshot you see here, and the crappy TV I had at the time and whatever brightness settings I was using probably didn't help either.

ProStreet as a whole I think did alright with every other menu it did in the game, except this one. This one I think just focuses too much on trying to look good and less on being intuitive and easy to understand and the bad color separation certainly doesn't help. This can be confusing to people who are new to the game, much like it was for me at first. Maybe I was just being a little dumb when I first played it and I'm sure it could be even worse, but still, it's not good and I can't help but feel that had it been designed better, I probably wouldn't have had this problem.
 
21,326
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Project CARS 1 is pretty bad and I'm particularly salty about it because a lot of us were constantly telling them during development the menus were poor, and there were lots of talented guys posting better alternatives on the dev forum. They kept telling us as team members our advice and work would be taken seriously but they didn't, they just ignored us and put out something that was visually not great, but also poor UX.

They did a better job for pCARS 2 but everything was still too small if you're playing on only a moderate size TV.
 
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1,449
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MI
Not a game so to say but rFactor 2 will always be at the top. You go ahead and try to select your AI to race against and tell me how you fair. lol
 

GTvsForza

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I wouldn't call FH4's menu UI horrible, but it's definitely improved in 5.
 
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Marin County
I really dislike deliberately overwhelming interfaces. The two most notable examples of this I can think of are Forza Horizon 4 and especially Riders Republic. I like both games but man do they throw way too much UI at you.
 
4,710
United States
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I really dislike deliberately overwhelming interfaces. The two most notable examples of this I can think of are Forza Horizon 4 and especially Riders Republic. I like both games but man do they throw way too much UI at you.
I got Hot Wheels Unleashed recently and I kind of feel the same towards the Hot Wheels City Rumble menu as well. Navigating the map is a journey in itself (which may have been intentional) and I could see it being problematic when I want to find a specific event on the map, but I ain't had the game too long.
 
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