Jack: For my pick, the Best of the Worst is Theodore Rex!So there's a show that everybody hates. The critics tear strips off it, your friends swear it sucks, and even the advertising seems to agree. So one night you happen to come across it and, as you see it, it's not that bad. It might not by any stretch of the imagination be perfect — the star is a Large Ham, the hero's daughter is a whiny brat, and the walrus scene doesn't work — but it's nowhere near the disaster that everyone says it is. What's going on? You've just experienced a critical backlash. The opposite of Hype Backlash, critical backlash is what you get when something is over-criticized and condemned to the extent that it couldn't possibly be as terrible as everyone it makes out to be. Like hype backlash, it's yet more proof that the critics aren't always necessarily correct, and Quality by Popular Vote isn't always a reliable indicator of something's merits (or lack thereof). Critical backlash tends to occur when critical reaction towards the product is tainted by some outside factor; overhype, overexposure, and outside controversy may prompt the critics to focus on the noise surrounding the work rather than the merits of the work itself. Critics are often primed to dislike the product based on some preexisting prejudice and fail to look deeply enough for redeeming value, particularly if the work suffers from Public Medium Ignorance. Some critics may Follow the Leader and echo more popular and louder critics. Of course, some things also just press a critic's buttons the wrong way; critics usually have different expectations and approaches than the wider audience, and just because something doesn't tick the right boxes on their checklist doesn't mean the wider audience might not find something of merit in it. Alternately, it may be that the vehemence of the criticism has conditioned the audience to expect the show's flaws, lessening the blow, and thus making what good qualities it has stand out more. If the work develops a particularly devoted audience despite the critical drubbing, then it may experience hype and critical backlash from different quarters; the work may not be as bad as the critics say, but likewise not as good as its most ardent fans claim, falling instead somewhere in between. Cult Classics have often suffered from a critical backlash, only to be later rediscovered and Vindicated by History. Adaptations and works that generally fall into a critic's Acceptable Targets radar (such as animation and genre fiction) often receive this kind of reaction. This phenomenon is deeply related to the Streisand Effect and No Such Thing as Bad Publicity. Please note that this page is not a personal blog to discuss your personal experiences of this; this page is all about the general properties which tend to receive this treatment. Also remember that this is YMMV; seeing something you hate here only means that other people may not hate it as much as you do, not that it doesn't have points worth of criticism, so try to resist the urge to make a Justifying Edit.
Rich: Jack... you're such a hipster that even in our small group—even in our tiny little group—you just have to be the dissenting opinion.
Rich: Jack... you're such a hipster that even in our small group—even in our tiny little group—you just have to be the dissenting opinion.
—Best of the Worst, "Dinosaur Movies"
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Anime and Manga
- Code Geass has received so much exaggerated praise and exaggerated criticism due to its Broken Base status that long after the show originally aired different people regularly experience either Critical or Hype Backlash (depending on their expectations, degrees of suspension of disbelief, etc.) after they finally get to see it for themselves. It's not surprising to see newcomers arguing that the series doesn't deserve all the hate or all the hype.
- Much like InuYasha below, the soundtrack from Bruce Faulconer's production team for the FUNimation English dub of Dragon Ball Z was reviled early on, and its fans became more vocal over the years since the show's airing. The dub overall has its own supporters as well.
- The InuYasha anime plays around with this: when the series first came out in [adult swim] during the early 2000s, the show was considerably renowned, but the English dub from Viz Media and The Ocean Group was openly reviled by fans (sure even back then it had its supporters, but still). However, over time, the fanbase for Viz's English dub became a lot more vocal and, while it may not be seen as one of The Ocean Group's finest works, it is still considered to be a good effort. Unfortunately, while this was happening, the show was starting to get a lot more backlash (due to various things such as hype backlash and the show becoming more episodic). It has even gotten to the point where plenty of viewers think that the English voice acting is the only good thing about the show nowadays (especially in the case of Naraku and Koga).
- MD Geist has been so often called 'the worst anime ever' that when a lot of people actually watched it when it aired on Sci-Fi Channel, for many of them it failed to be as bad as claimed and it's gained something of a fanbase largely for the designs of the mech, its soundtrack, and generally avoiding anything 'cute'.
- Not to mention how ridiculously violent it is.
- Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny has such a vocal hatedom that anyone watching the show after its initial run is liable to experience a Critical Backlash. The show has its issues, certainly, but since nothing could ever hope to be as bad as the hatedom claims it is, it's not uncommon to find people for whom all the bile is hard to understand.
- A character example is Katejina Loos from Victory Gundam. By the time most people discover Victory and watch the show, they will have been told again and again that Katejina is "The Queen of Evil" in the Gundam verse. They will have been told repeatedly that she is more evil than Gihren Zabi, Yazan Gable, Muruta Azrael, Lord Djibril, Ali Al-Saachez, and Decil Galette, and more annoying than a gene-splicing Katz Kobayashi and Flay Alster mixed with the blood of Scrappy-Doo himself. While Katejina is undoubtedly a horrible person, there is simply no way for her to be as revoltingly awful as the fandom makes her out to be, and many people watching Victory for the first time (years after it aired) find themselves actually noticing her few good points, if only because the fandom's (largely deserved) bashing of her, makes her bad ones something you just sort of accept.
- Naruto having such a massive fanbase as well as a large, and vocal, Hatedom (a portion often holding it up to Double Standard for things they may let slide in series) means that in addition being possible to suffer from Hype Backlash, hearing about the series from its haters means having Critical Backlash can be just as likely.
- The Wham Episode ending for Neon Genesis Evangelion in the form of the movie The End Of Evangelion becomes a lot less tragically depressing if you come in expecting the show to be, well, tragically depressing. For most people, the fact that it came out of nowhere and derailed the series, killing off several major characters and giving us the infamous Tang ending is what really caused a lot of emotional anguish to the audience. However, thanks to It Was His Sled and the numerous explosions on Internet forums and on this site's page description, it's almost impossible to go into the show not knowing it will experience eleventh hour sadness due to Creator Breakdown. Thusly, when everything starts falling apart after episode 20, and the show forcefully cranks out the Deconstructor Fleet and Tear Jerker Up to Eleven, the implausibility borders on mildly depressing to So Sad It's Funny.
- Interesting example with the Pokémon anime. The series is often criticized for its Strictly Formula nature; as well as refusing to age the characters with the passing years. Yet, despite the decline in popularity it experienced in the Johto arc, it still maintains high ratings in both Japan and the U.S.; and has a large and devoted fanbase.
- Following the Seasonal Rot of the Fairy Dance arc, quite a few anime fans who have previously praised Sword Art Online, have switched to bashing it by series end. Not surprisingly, an increasing amount of folks are saying that the hate and backlash for the show is quickly reaching this territory. This is actually the opinion of Toonami themselves (whom probably witnessed first-hand many requests of SAO coming to the block get retracted when the show moved on to Fairy Dance during its Japanese run), as their rationale for picking it up in response to the backlash.
- The entirety of Brian Michael Bendis' Marvel career, really. People either love or absolutely hate him and his work (to the extent that he got death threats over killing Hawkeye) but there's been a growing wave of positive reviews for his more recent work. The most recent volume of Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man and All-New X-Men seem pretty popular and generally have very good monthly reviews from the critics.
- That and there's always been a huge amount of Critical Dissonance with his writing. For all the people on the internet screaming about how he's "ruining" comics, his work consistently sells very well.
- In the Spider-Man pantheon, Maximum Carnage and The Clone Saga are routinely used for target practice by seemingly everyone under the sun. While they are probably not examples of the best of Spidey's career, there are many people who genuinely feel that both stories don't warrant the sheer volume of backlash routinely given to them. One reason for The Clone Saga being less hated is how it was streamlined in the 90s cartoon (as was the Alien Costume/Venom origin). Everyone in the fanbase and critics hated One More Day more. A lot of people do acknowledge that the Clone Saga had some very good material (among other things there was an excellent miniseries called The Lost Years), but it dragged on far longer than could be supported by the story, resulting in the endless cycle of who the clone is until everyone stopped caring. Another problem is that some of the stories were very bad, among them the death of Dr. Octopus, though some were even worse than that one.
Films - Animated
- Disney Animated Canon
- The first example was Alice in Wonderland. It was trashed by critics - many of whom villified Disney for "Americanising a great work of British literature" - and bombed at the Box Office, Walt himself even disowning the final film. But it found popularity in the 1960s with stoners and steadily opinion softened towards it. By the 1990s, it was included in the Walt Disney Classics collection.
- The Black Cauldron is a major Old Shame for the studio. It nearly bankrupted them and was trashed by critics for being Darker and Edgier. There's very little merchandise for it, and it took over ten years to get released on video. But it has a strong cult fanbase to this day. And even the original author didn't think it was that bad.
- There's also Home on the Range, which was heavily bashed by critics, and continues to be, even on This Very Wiki. But if you look on deviantART, YouTube, or IMDb, you'll notice that it has a decent fanbase who compare it to Disney's films from the '40s and '50s.
- Unshaved Mouse had this reaction to Chicken Little - finding it to be quite a decent movie that was quite enjoyable. At the time of its release, it was one of the Black Sheep of the Disney studio.
- The Hunchback of Notre Dame is the only Disney film to ever be nominated for a Razzie Award, and critics bashed it for being too dark and mature for children. As far as the Disney Animated Canon goes, it's a massive Ensemble Darkhorse and it has far more fans than its critical response would suggest.
- Pocahontas got a lot of hate when it was released, and it's considered the turning point for when Disney started its slow decline. The Nostalgia Chick and the Unshaved Mouse don't think too highly of it either. However it does have plenty of fans for the animation and songs, and for those who think the Aesop is actually a good one. General consensus seems to agree that it's far from Disney's worst film.
Films - Live Action
- Avatar, even in This Very Wiki. When Avatar got extremely popular, the Hype Backlash was so bad, many critics began to dissect it and complain about even the slightest of its flaws, to the point where even that backlash and all its criticisms were considered overblown.
- Citizen Kane: People from the 1940s would probably be cringing at seeing how something like this is considered a Sacred Cow today.
- Doom, not the game, but the movie. It may not be accurate to the game, but does that really matter? The biggest problem The Rock leaves a Lampshade Hanging on. Otherwise, it's fine.
- Gigli is an interesting case. A lot of its initial reviewers said they thought it was bad, but not terrible. Somehow it sank in popular perception from 'bad movie' to 'worst movie ever' thanks to its many mildly to moderately negative reviews, combined with the fact that it starred Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez (who were the 'it' couple at the time). Roger Ebert actually took time out of a different review to point out that it wasn't that bad.
- The American 1998 Godzilla film often gets this; true, it does severely depart from its source material, but as a standalone monster film and as a 'realistic' take on the Godzilla franchise, it's not bad, and some of the diehard Japanese Godzilla fans admit to liking it (and especially its Animated Adaptation) better than some of the official Toho films (some of which have been known to be famously horrible).
- Heaven's Gate was annihilated in reviews and became one the most dramatic flops and Genre-Killers in Hollywood history, but some modern critics have suggested it wasn't as bad as it was made out to be. Part of the problem was that the film had received so much bad publicity during production due to delays, cost overruns, stories about Michael Cimino's hyper-perfectionist directing style, protests from animal rights groups and ⅓ of the film being cut, that critics were already expecting it to suck by the time they reviewed it. Although critics have softened their views, the original version is still panned, as the cut muddled up the storyline. On the other hand, the rerelease of the uncut version in 2012 was actually very well-received.
- Some critics seem to think Hello, Dolly! is a terrible movie musical. If you overlook the most glaring problems (Barbra Streisand's acting and sluggish pacing) it's So Okay, It's Average at worst, though definitely not up to the standard the same studio had set with The Sound of Music.
- The film adaptation of The Host has been well and truly savaged by critics, leaving it with a meager 8% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Opinions vary as to whether this was deserved, depending on your fondness for Stephenie Meyer's novel.
- Hudson Hawk was raked over the coals by critics when it was released. They thought it was an absolutely terrible action movie. And it was. Many viewers since have, however, noticed that it is a pretty darn good comedy, which is what its creators intended all along. It has also found an audience among anime fans due to the startling number of parallels to Lupin III.
- One of the main issues was that the film was poorly marketed, the theatrical trailer made the film look like a fairly straightforward action film, when it was anything but, so moviegoers were caught off guard.
- Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. While it's doubtful the film will ever be considered the best of the franchise, and it does have a groan-worthy scene or two, it's by no means as bad as people make out. Most of the backlash aimed at this movie seems to be the result of Nostalgia Filter, as well as complaints about the film's MacGuffin being Science Fiction rather than a mystic/religious artifact. Which isn't true anyway, but that's beside the point.
- "Manos" The Hands of Fate got a reputation as "THE worst movie of all time" after it was shown on Mystery Science Theater 3000, causing Dr. Forrester to apologize for showing it to Joel. It's probably easier to agree with it if you haven't already heard it.
- Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Movie was fairly well thrashed by reviewers but made a decent amount of money from its fanbase. Today, it is generally regarded as a Guilty Pleasure, retaining all that is considered fun about Power Rangers while having a much bigger budget and completely original footage.
- On lists of Worst Best Picture Winners, Ordinary People is often given a high rating. But this is possibly because it beat Raging Bull to the Best Picture Oscar. The film itself is a very subtle, quietly moving film that doesn't deserve the almighty kicking it gets.
- A number of people think this of Pixels. If you take away Adam Sandler's character (who was arguably responsible for literally all of the film's negative publicity) and focus on the video games and the way they're brought into the real world, then it becomes a fun, enjoyable romp with shades of Wreck-It Ralph.
- While few fans would try to argue that Ghostbusters II isn't a watered-down imitation of its beloved predecessor, several of them also have a hard time seeing it as the bottomlessly terrible and unfunny disaster it's often made out to be on the Internet.
- Kevin Costner's The Postman was a major commercial failure and its premise sounds ridiculous the first time you hear it, but it's certainly no Battlefield Earth and the premise does makes sense after you think about it.
- Despite how much critics love to hate Repo! The Genetic Opera, the movie still has a huge fan following similar to The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
- Disney is so ashamed of Song of the South that the film isn't distributed anymore. Those who do get their hands on it, though, may find their reactions vary from 'Gee, that was kinda cute, not that bad' or 'Ughhh, this is really boring, where's all the racism I can mock?...'
- Speed Racer. Critics hated it and it flopped, but many of those who watched it consider it to be a fun, if silly movie.
- The Star Wars prequels tend to get varied reactions from audiences, with most die-hard Star Wars fans (especially those who saw the Original Trilogy first) calling them pure hot garbage with few redeeming qualities. This is an agreement amongst some fans that The Phantom Menace's reputation has been blown out of proportion by people more angry with how the film was a disappointment than any actual legitimate criticism. While Menace and Attack of the Clones polarized critics, Revenge of the Sith was released to rather great acclaim.
- On a more specific note, while the acting of the prequel trilogy is considered to be awful, many fans feel that some actors get too much flak for their performances. In particular Jake Lloyd and Hayden Christensen were attacked by die-hard fans who were more forgiving towards beloved actors like Samuel L. Jackson and Liam Neeson even though their performances were considered by critics to be just as terrible. Many believe that Lloyd and Christensen weren't bad actors per se and that their bad performances came more from George Lucas's directing and writing.
- An earlier Star Wars example — a look at Return of the Jedi's stats on Metacritic illustrates the considerable gulf between critical reaction (52%, meaning mixed reviews) and the audience reaction (8.3/10, meaning universal acclaim). The film still carries a reputation as a disappointing end to a great trilogy which made the bad guys into idiots, but the average Star Wars fan typically considers it to be a great film that happens to follow two even greater ones.
- Jar-Jar Binks. Yes, he's annoying and unfunny. Yes, he has little effect on the plot and yes he could be seen as a racist characterization of Jamaicans but he's not unbearable to watch and with the amount of hatred he receives, one would think the character came to life, fucked everyone's mothers and killed their fathers afterwards. Tellingly, Mr. Plinkett's review spends over 90 minutes discussing the movie's flaws and barely has to mention Jar-Jar at all, making the unspoken point that Jar-Jar is no asset, but it's unfair to blame him for ruining the film when there are plenty of other things wrong with the writing, acting, story and direction.
- Super Mario Bros.: it's the Ur-Example of Video-Game Movies Suck, but some people who have looked at it from a different angle (not expecting a direct adaptation, not listening to the Nostalgia Critic's word for it for once) actually don't find it to be that bad — some even think it's actually pretty good.
- Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen: the sequel much more negative reviews the professionals gave it]] in relation to its predecessor (Roger Ebert giving voice to a particularly strong condemnation) may have been a reason why it grossed over $800 million.
- Many people feel this way about Waterworld. It arrived in theaters in 1995 with both the baggage of its gigantic budget and Troubled Production (the sets got hit by a hurricane and that still wasn't the biggest issue) and growing critical and audience weariness with Kevin Costner, and its story is hackneyed, but its scope and scale are genuinely impressive.
- House of Wax (2005) was trashed by critics, and nominated for several Razzie Awards. It's noted here that the large amount of panning stemmed from the widespread Hatedom for Paris Hilton - and that the bashing seemed to be the Catharsis Factor for most of them. Roger Ebert likewise noted that Paris Hilton merely played a typical slasher movie victim - and did it no better or worse than any number of actresses in other such films. To prove this point, Paris would later spark She Really Can Act moments with Repo! The Genetic Opera and a guest spot on Supernatural.
- Clash of the Titans got savaged by a lot of fans and critics alike. Richard Corliss of TIME magazine noted that a lot of the bad reviews came from critics who had nostalgia for the original. Some feel that it's a decent popcorn action flick when it's not being compared to its original.
- The Divergent films are usually on many critics' 'Worst of X Year' lists, and "still better than Divergent" is often used to describe other movies based off YA books. Some understandably don't find the movies to be that bad.
This especially appears to be the reaction to The Divergent Series: Allegiant, which was near-universally panned by critics but has a So Okay, It's Average rating of 6.0 on IMDB.
- You know, a lot of critics back in the '40s would probably look at one series/universe today and wonder why people like it. They hated it because of how it was written, even using the same stock phrases people use to describe the Inheritance Cycle. Now? If you criticize it at all you'll be deemed "illiterate" by its Defensive Fans, who have given it the prestigious "Sacred Cow" badge. What is it? The Lord of the Rings!
- British author Colin Wilson first hit the big time in 1958 with a book of critical literary analysis called The Outsider. This was at first hailed as a critical success and the big-name critics couldn't get enough of this perceived driven young genius whose personal life was also newsworthy — it turned out he was living rough to save on rent and spending his days in the British Library researching and writing. However, with subsequent books the critics turned and savaged him, perhaps fearing they'd been over-fulsome the first time. While still having cult status, Wilson's 'formal' literary career never really survived this early critical Heel–Face Turn.
- A lot of this had to do with his nonfiction writing: Wilson has written a number of histories of occultism, and publicly stated his belief in some supernatural phenomena. He also wrote what is widely regarded as one of the most risible books about Jack the Ripper (at least until Patricia Cornwell got into the act).
- Many people have disparaged Two and a Half Men as the Antichrist of sitcoms. The show itself is guilty of trite jokes and plots more than anything else. It also gets away with many more sex jokes than its time slot, and having a minor as a costar, would seem to allow. Besides all that, Charlie Sheen's real-life antics seem to color many people's perception of it even though he left the series in the eighth season. Yet it always commanded a sizable audience.
- Variety shows definitely count. They were derided by many critics and audiences for being schmaltzy and uninspired in their heyday, but there's a sizeable population who view them with nostalgia goggles and think that they didn't deserve the bashing they got and/or are certainly better than the crop of reality shows that we have today. The Star Wars Holiday Special might be an example.
- Most Smart Marks despise Total Divas and usually any wrestling columnist that has to mention it will take the time to bash it. Despite this, the show still attracts a significant Periphery Demographic outside the E! network's target audience including plenty of male wrestling fans.
- Due to its extreme longevity, Doctor Who has entire eras that suffer from being critically maligned. This also applies to fan opinion, however it is quite common for stories and eras previously negatively viewed to receive positive reappraisal thanks to the passage of time. The Sixth and Seventh Doctor eras are rife with examples, as is the Second Doctor era, the latter due mostly to more stories from Patrick Troughton's time being recovered.
- The Beatles' final (sort of) album, Let It Be, was derided as a mess of half-done songs and sloppy editing, and arrived in stores after they'd broken up. However, it contains "Let It Be", "Get Back", "The Long and Winding Road", and "Across the Universe", some of the group's most famous and beloved songs.
- Bob Dylan's 1978 album Street-Legal was slaughtered by critics (in Rolling Stone's review Greil Marcus started out by calling it "a joke" and got even more vicious as he went) for its Springsteen-ish arrangements and sometimes inscrutable lyrics. It's even been speculated that the album's poor reception might have helped drive Dylan to convert to Christianity. But after a remixed version was released in the '90s many fans have embraced it as one of their favorite albums.
- The Hatedom of Justin Bieber has gotten to the point where even people who dislike his music think all the hate is overblown.
- The album My Beauty by former Dexy's Midnight Runners lead Kevin Rowland came in for some of this. In this case, many critics chose to focus their ire on the fact that Rowland chose to wear drag and makeup on the album cover. This led the album being one of the worst-selling in the label's history, with only about 500 copies shifted; however, on its rerelease after the the controversy had died down, later reviewers found it to be a relatively solid album of cover tracks.
- The 1970s musical genre of disco isn't the naming genre behind Deader Than Disco for no reason, but it's nowhere near as bad as many of its more virulent critics would make out. Part of the problem is that much of the disco was commercialised and nothing like the original genre. For instance, pop disco songs often featured far too many strings.
- Megadeth's Youthanasia and Cryptic Writings experienced this to the point where they are now considered great albums. Risk is on the verge of it, the album being the butt of jokes even though Dave Mustaine corrected a lot of the Executive Meddling when he remixed and remastered it in 2004. In a reversal of the situation, the once–well-received 'return to form album' The World Needs a Hero is now considered lackluster.
- Adam Buckley of A Dose Of Buckley makes reference to this effect on his 'Musical Autopsy' and 10 Worst Songs of the Year videos when he's deluged with comments asking why X, Y, or Z song isn't on his list by replying that musically and lyrically a particular song isn't actually that bad, that there is a difference between a bad song and an overplayed song ("If you had to hear the same Mozart song six times a day, seven days a week, for three months, you’d be pretty fucking sick of it too"), or that he simply can't think of anything funny to say about it.
- Teen pop and boy bands tend to have this happen once they fade out of the spotlight. Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears and *NSYNC were hated almost as much as Justin Bieber back in their day. Today, with these groups/musicians now seen as nostalgic and the culture having found new teen pop to hate on, it's become at least tolerable to admit to liking them.
- Frank Sinatra was the original teen idol in the 1940s. Most of his songs of that period were hated by men across the globe, because girls went crazy over him. Yet as Time Marches On and Sinatra became more associated with a mature adult singing about more world-wise topics these songs from early in his career have been judged on their own merits and are actually quite good. In fact his voice never sounded better.
- Nickelback gets plenty of hate, often voted as the worst band ever to the point where many non-fans don't feel that it's deserved and rather consider their music as bland but not awful.
- Everclear was derided by critics quite a bit in their heyday, but they still produced at least three hit singles ("Santa Monica," "Father of Mine," and "Wonderful").
- Metallica's Load and Reload albums. Upon release, the albums were heavily criticised for their alternative rock leanings and the band's questionable fashion choices. Over time, however, they've become more accepted by the metal community. The reasoning for this is twofold: First, while the Load twins alienated many of the band's longtime fans, they also gained the band many new ones. Most significantly, they brought Metallica's music (and arguably metal in general) to a much younger audience. Since a good portion of the people that got onboard the Metallica bandwagon with the Loads eventually went on to discover less mainstream metal bands, it's only natural that the albums would be more accepted by the metal community now than they were during the mid-'90s. Secondly, in a weird way, the enormous backlash (not just with metal fans but also with the mainstream) with 2003's St. Anger got led many to go back and listen to the Load albums, realising that 'For bluesy hard rock (i.e. mostly non-metal) albums, these really aren't so bad.'
- Popeye Saves the Earth is one of the most frequently bashed pinball machines of all time, and any discussion of terrible pinball by someone who's played a lot of pinball machines will inevitably list Popeye Saves the Earth among them. However, should a discussion about this game go on for long enough, there will always be people coming out to defend it, or at least say it isn't that bad. Indeed, despite its jarring mix of themes (Popeye and conservationalism), it was still drawn professionally, and despite half of the playfield being obscured by a giant plastic model of a cruise ship's bow, it was crafted competently enough to preserve the ball's momentum traveling up and down ramps and lanes. There have been pinball machines with horribly Off Model artwork (such as World Poker Tour), and there have been machines with worse problems with design (such as Orbitor 1). All in all, Popeye Saves the Earth fell victim to being a weaker game released after a long line of critically acclaimed and popular pinball machines and had confusing, ambiguous, and seemingly inconsistent rules.
- John Cena, or more specifically, his wrestling ability. While Cena's move set is certainly limited and his matches can be formulaic, he's nowhere near as bad as a lot of his detractors will have you believe (at least in comparison with most other WWE main eventers with similar schedules). On the flip side, when he has a good opponent to work with, his psychology and understanding of story can lead to classics such as his Money in the Bank match against CM Punk; the same match that managed a five-star rating from Dave Meltzer, the premier writer of the The Wrestling Observer Newsletter, the first one Meltzer had given the WWE in over fifteen years. For comparison, Shawn Michaels has only had two of his matches rated as five stars from Meltzer, and he's often regarded as the best in-ring performer of all time. The Undertaker, a similarly highly regarded wrestler, has only ever managed one, and that was the first Hell in a Cell match against Michaels back in 1997, the last time WWE ever managed the five-star rating. Punk's second draw with Samoa Joe in their trilogy back in Ring of Honor was the first match in the United States to gain the rating in years. The fact that Cena managed to gain such acclaim for one of his matches indicates that he does have some amount of talent, no matter how much the other guy is carrying the match.
- This extended to John Cena's girlfriend Nikki Bella. She attracted an insane Hatedom around the time she won the Divas' Championship, and this only increased when it became clear she would surpass AJ Lee for the longest title reign. Most of the criticisms stem from Narm-filled segments during her feud with her sister (which she herself viewed as an Old Shame). A section of fans still believe she's just as bad as when she first started to get pushed. Others however felt the criticisms were overblown and that Nikki visibly improved her mic skills and wrestling. Bleacher Report praised her match against her sister Brie, rating it higher than the other Divas' match featuring smark favourites Paige and AJ Lee the same night. Likewise Lethal WOW named her the Most Improved Diva of 2015. Outside her Hatedom, general opinion seems to be that she's not amazing but she's not as terrible as her detractors would make her out to be.
- Hulk Hogan is also criticized for his lack of actual wrestling ability and for being formulaic much like Cena above. Hogan was trained by legendary Japanese technician Hiro Matsuda, but American promoters thought that the American wrestling fans wouldn't buy a guy the size of Hogan wrestling that way and pushed him to wrestle like a generic big guy heel, with his offense consisting mostly of strikes, dirty moves and a few power moves. His ability became even more "limited" when he became the top face of the WWF in the mid-1980s, since his matches always consisted of Hogan getting the crap kicked out of him, only for Hogan to get a second wind, perform the Five Moves of Doom and win. Hogan brought back some of his techincal style when he became Hollywood Hogan in 1996, even putting on a decent technical match against Bret Hart in 1998. Watching Hogan's Japanese matches compared to his American ones would almost make you think it was two different people. Considering that Hogan is the most famous pro wrestler ever and has been a household name to both fans and non-fans alike for over 30 years, he must have had some talent.
- Goldberg has a reputation among hardcore fans for being limited and a dangerous worker because he accidentally delivering a legit superkick to Bret Hart, giving Hart a concussion which lead to Hart retiring due to Post-Concussion Syndrome. While Goldberg wasn't very technically sound and he was a bit sloppy, he at least tried to bust out new moves in his matches and while they weren't textbook perfect, they look effective enough. Let's be honest, the Spear and Jackhammer were all he needed, because fans loved him for it.
- Ever since he became a singles wrestler, Roman Reigns has become Public Enemy number one because of his limited moveset, cringeworthy promos and his positioning as John Cena 2.0. Reigns' moveset is limited, but he does have a few moves that he can do quite well and he has been in several Match-of-the-Year candidates since then, and nearly every opponent he has faced has praised him for his work ethic out-of-character. His promos are mediocre at best but that's mainly due to the creative team's bad writing and Reigns can deliver decent promos when he's allowed more free will, and there are many wrestlers on the roster who are far worse at cutting promos than Reigns. Ultimately, the way he's booked his not his fault, he's simply doing what WWE tells him. He's no where near ready to be pushed as the top face, but he's not as untalented as his detractors claim.
- Aaru's Awakening is considered by GameFAQs to be the worst game ever made. The sheer fact that it has an actual and consistent art style and storyline would however place it above many So Bad, It's Horrible works. On Metacritic you can see the hatred in full-swing. While critics were polarized by it its considered Love It or Hate It , with most of them citing that it has a good art-style, but that there are issues with the controls and gameplay, but metacritic users still decided that it was worth spamming floods of negative reviews to.
- Alpha Protocol: Savaged by various reviewers who panned it for being unpolished and glitchy, scaring off the vast majority of first adopters, it has become a cult classic whose fans admit that it has flaws but enjoy the vast replayability it offers.
- The Atari 2600 version of Pac-Man and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial are frequently called "the worst games ever" by critics. Granted, Pac-Man suffered from being a Porting Disaster and E.T. has some issues of its own, but they're not as bad as critics might think, compared to other games released on that system at the time these two games were released. In particular, the urban myth that E.T. was the worst game ever even drove Digitalpress insane. To the point that they showcased 10 So Bad, It's Horrible Atari 2600 games that, according to the people that viewed it, made E.T. look like The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
- Bomberman: Act Zero was intended as a Darker and Edgier Continuity Reboot for the "next generation," but its Halo-reject characters, uninspired dingy levels and pointlessly hard single player mode (99 sluggish, repetitive levels to play on one life with no continues or saves) won no awards. To further irritate fans of the series, few of the power-ups from previous installments were retained, and offline multiplayer, one of the series' biggest selling points, was not available. The game's only possible redeeming feature, its online multiplayer mode, was written off by most people for a long time; with copies of the game collecting dust in bargain bins, it was doubtful that people would actually be eager to actually play it. Then ProtonJon's livestream featured it on a dare, and a lively series of 8-player matches ensued.
- Deus Ex: Invisible War is actually a really good FPS and received average critical scores of about 8/10. To hear the fans talk about it though, it's the worst heresy ever spawned from the pits of FPS hell- or at least little better than Daikatana and it is even considered Fanon Discontinuity by some. This is more because it simply can't live up to the original, largely because it's accused — with some justification — of being 'dumbed down' for the Xbox (but if Invisible War was dumbed down, you can't blame it on the Xbox — the original Deus Ex did just as well on PS2).
- Dm C Devil May Cry has been panned as the worst thing to ever happend to the franchise. Despite the numerous contentious changes, it's still a solid game with nice gameplay.
- Many reviewers chose to follow the crowd in bashing Dragon Age II, calling it a dumbed down action game, when in fact it still features the tactical combat just like Dragon Age: Origins, only faster. The game did have its problems (recycled dungeons, unpredictable enemy spawns), simplified action commands, and removed isometric view for the PC version, but the writing and dialogue were very good. It probably doesn't help that BioWare was caught planting user reviews from its employees, was quoted out of context in wanting Call of Duty's audience, and that there was a ridiculous amount of pre-order DLC available. Despite a flood of harsh negative user reviews, many fans will agree that it's still a solid overall game.
- Duke Nukem Forever: Rescued from Development Hell after a decade and a half, it was the most popular playable title at PAX 2010 — yet it was almost universally treated as Snark Bait by critics once it was released. Some reviewers even ventured into Fan Hater territory, slinging insults at anyone who actually enjoys DNF. Despite all that, the game still sold well enough to be profitable — a fact that actually annoyed its critics. Check out the Metacritic scores for the PC version, and note the difference in distribution of ratings between critics and users.
- Many in The Elder Scrolls community will lead you to believe that Oblivion will insult your parents and rip out your brain and shit on it before stabbing you in the nads. This is only a natural cycle...they said the exact same thing about Morrowind, only for most of the fanbase to drop that when Oblivion came out and gave them a new target.
- Despite Final Fantasy VIII being an easy target for criticism for its obtuse gameplay systems and even more obtuse plot, there's still a large fandom for the game, liking the more complicated character drama, the subtle nuances of the plot, and the card game.
- Final Fantasy Mystic Quest is becoming an example of this trope as well as its fanbase is starting to become a bit more vocal over the years. More people are willing to be okay with how simplistic the game is and find it to be a fun little title nevertheless (though its fairly renowned soundtrack probably helped).
- The Halo series tends to get this a lot of this, especially from fans of Half-Life, System Shock and Call of Duty. Especially on The Escapist, thanks to Zero Punctuation (who has openly said he didn't really enjoy Halo, but said it was average), in which the series is frequently complained about ripping off stuff it actually created or popularized or was already done by Bungie's previous shooter Marathon, is criticized for its fanbase (despite the fact that they themselves are not so different), has extremely subjective opinions thrown at it, and stuff that's flat out contradicted by the games.
- Herzog Zwei had the unfortunate distinction of being among the first of its kind — a Real-Time Strategy game — coming from a developer renowned for classic overhead shooters, namely the Thunder Force franchise. Reviewers, therefore, treated Herzog as a classic shooter and were perplexed as a result, and their horrific scores followed that train of thought. Now that the RTS genre is firmly cemented in the gaming public's consciousness, fans are much kinder to the game.
- This YouTube video actually shows the reviewer honestly saying he didn't find Zelda's Adventure and Hotel Mario to be as bad as everyone says they are — he even goes so far as to say that he liked them, despite having his fair share of complaints towards the games. In fact, the CD-i in general had this used by the reviewer, who said that it actually wasn't that bad, usually saying it was So Okay, It's Average. There is a top 10 worst CD-i games list made by Johan Oberg, which is also the only list of its kind. Though he hated all three of the Zelda CD-i games on the console, he also said that they weren't the worst games ever made. The games weren't even the worst games on that console, as reflected by the fact that he put it at #3. Later on he also made a top 10 best CD-i games, in which Hotel Mario was at #10.
- Despite all the criticism, many feel that Mario Party 9 and 10 were good games in their own right, especially with all the innovation.
- Metroid: Other M. Mainly due to the story, the game was met with severe criticism from most fans. Gameplay-wise, however, it's a genuinely decent and enjoyable game, despite its linearity and non-innovative gameplay, especially compared to previous Metroid game.
- Any Mortal Kombat game between MK3 and Deadly Alliance falls into this, most notably MK4. Ironically, the game was panned for the exact reason Street Fighter IV was acclaimed.
- Paper Mario: Sticker Star is the lowest critically-rated game in the Paper Mario series and also gained a large hatedom for its gameplay, lacking original characters or memorable characterizations as seen in the previous titles, instead going into a "New Super Mario Bros.-esque" formula.note Despite this, it still has a following (albeit a small one, or just very silent) for being a decent and quirky game by its own standards and not when compared to the past titles, although nowhere near the level of Super Paper Mario which has been Vindicated by History since its release.
- Senran Kagura. Any article that mentions this game will be flooded with comments about how said game is "ruining" gaming as we know it. Kotaku tried turning it into Dragon's Crown 2.0 by bashing the game during its localization announcement. And what do the people that actually played it say? It's a pretty damn good brawler.
- Every Sonic the Hedgehog game made since 1995. Sonic Unleashed gets hit especially by this hard from IGN and GameSpot's (quite unfair) reviews, which made it all the more ridiculous when Sonic Unleashed got worse reviews from those sites than the much-maligned Sonic the Hedgehog (2006).
- Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) itself. While it isn't a good game (necessarily), it's no longer regarded as the absolute nadir of the franchise. In fact, some people say it's actually a solid game.
- In a similar situation to Zelda II, the western Super Mario Bros. 2 is often derided for being a Dolled-Up Installment of Doki Doki Panic, odd mechanics and not being as much memorable than its predecessor and successor. This installment was also released in Japan under the title Super Mario Bros. USA and made it on Famitsu's Top 100 Famicom games at #45 all the while Dokey Dokey Panic was absent. It doesn't help that Doki Doki Panic itself was meant as a commercial for Fuji Television.
- Okay, Unreal Tournament III was an Obvious Beta at the launch moment, which played a bit against it, critically speaking, in the beginning. It isn't Unreal Tournament or Unreal Tournament 2004. However, its gameplay isn't as bad as the fans of previous installments make it seem, and with the advent of the Black Edition, it was just improved in any sense possible, and it's actually worth of a high place in the series' quality.
- When the PC version of Final Fantasy VII was released on Steam in 2013, many who played it (including those who played for the first time ever) didn't think it was as bad as the hatedom says that it is.
- Zelda II: The Adventure of Link has been one of the most divisive games ever, due in no small part to the Genre Shift and difficulty. While there are a few issues, namely limited lives, instant deaths, and reset experience, the game still controls incredibly well for an early-to-mid NES game, and predated many Metroidvania games with RPG elements (in the US at least). Still, the game gets hate for "not being Zelda enough", over two decades after the fact, even though there has never been another Zelda like it since.
- The webcomic Ctrl+Alt+Del is widely derided, yet maintains such a significant base of regular readers that the author is able to live off the comic. In the world of webcomics? This is very rare.
- The Nostalgia Critic's LP of Bart's Nightmare isn't good, but has some character moments in there and a lot of people think it isn't worth Doug constantly apologizing for it.
- Discussed in a SF Debris review of Star Trek: Insurrection, where Chuck Sonnenburg argues that the movie is one of the most hated films in Star Trek history because it didn't have Critical Backlash on its side. Though it definitely wasn't the most popular or critically acclaimed Star Trek movie, it also wasn't panned badly enough to make anyone eager to defend it. Thus, it probably has the least amount of people that openly admit to liking it, even though several movies in the series have gotten much worse critical receptions (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier and Star Trek: Nemesis come to mind).
- The Unjustly Maligned Podcast is about this subject, with a guest every episode discussing and defending a work that they think isn't as bad as its reputation, including many examples from this page.
- Breadwinners has received VERY negative reception from certain YouTube critics and older Nickelodeon fans, many calling it the worst show to have ever existed. That said, professional critics gave it decent to average reviews, and it does have a small fan following who believe it's not that bad.
- Beast Machines originally had quite a bit of backlash after all the praise and love Beast Wars got. With the advent of fansubs of Japanese produced G1 material and the later dubbing of The Unicron Trilogy made many people realized their weaknesses made Beast Machines strengths stand out more (animation, story, characterizations, etc.).
- Any given Transformers series after Beast Wars is starting to receive this treatment as even Transformers: Robots in Disguise and the Unicron Trilogy were starting to have a bit more vocal fanbases over the years. While Transformers Animated is still fairly popular with the fanbase by the time it came out the fanbase was starting to be a bit more forgiving to past Transformers shows. (One potential reason why is the popular notion of "The Original series was the only good Transformers show!" is becoming more & more widely frowned upon in the Transformers fanbase even by those who still like the original series).
- Ben 10: Alien Force and Ben 10: Ultimate Alien certainly aren't flawless, but they are far from being as crappy and hated as the original series' fans usually describe them. Considering how long they were able to air, as well as the quite notable Broken Base caused by Ben 10: Omniverse, it would seem those two shows still had quite a fandom of their own.
- Some Looney Tunes fans argue that the Daffy/Speedy series isn't as bad as it's made out to be. Many even argue that several of these cartoons are, by their own merits, actually pretty decent.
- Same with Loonatics Unleashed, despite critics and some fans not particularly liking the premise, the show does have a considerable enough fanbase.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is a subversion. While some critics were initially quick to dismiss it as "just another sugary sweet girl's show", its unexpected popularity led many to rewatch the series and reconsider their opinions of it. It now stands as one of the most critically acclaimed kid shows on television.
- My Little Pony: Equestria Girls plays this straight. As soon as the movie's very existence was hinted at, involving a plot where the ponies become teenage humans in high school, a portion of fans pounced and rocked the very internet with drama. Even now people who haven't even seen it yet continue to hate it. However, most people who have seen it, while agreeing the story is a bit weak, admit that it is entertaining and definitely worth watching.
- The Mike Scully-era episodes of The Simpsons are starting to get this. While almost nobody thinks they're as good as "Golden Age" Simpsons, a good portion of them are still pretty funny and watchable in their own right. Some fans even believe they contain some of the best Funny Moments in the entire series.
- For how much hate Star Wars: The Clone Wars got from The Movie, many people have come to see it more along the lines of "Not too bad" instead of "It rivals The Star Wars Holiday Special for badness". Part of the reason for this is that most people now watch it less as a standalone movie, and more of a pilot for the highly regarded animated series. The television show has been applauded in several circles and the initially hated Ahsoka has become a beloved character.
- Total Drama has been a frequent victim of this over the years. After an immensely successful first season with Island, its immediate sequel Action has frequently been derided by fans as a significantly weaker followup to an otherwise well-received series, so much to the point that some fans refuse to acknowledge its existence. World Tour was better received, but easily led to the Broken Base in the fandom due to the controversial love triangle arc that dominated the second half of the season, as well as its finale which was considered hit or miss, depending on who you ask. Revenge of the Island was relatively well-received, but the introduction of a completely new cast didn't sit well with all fans, and even the mutated island theme was a mixed bag or some. However, backlash mounted significantly with the release of All-Stars, which quickly became reviled for what is widely recognized as weak writing amplified by inconsistent character development, a lack of integrity to the plot, a lack of focus on the crossover between the show's first two casts, numerous abandoned plot points for no apparent reason, a weak villain (depending on who you ask), unbalanced focus on characters considered over-exposed, and a major Downer Ending. Fan backlash proved so strong that All-Stars gradually assumed Action's status as the most hated season in the series.
- Teen Titans Go!: The show has a massive hatedom who often decry it for its parodies and flanderizations of the characters from the original show, as well as being more meanspirited than the original series. Despite this, there have been some critics that have given it decent reviews and it even has a small regular fanbase. Even several casual viewers have watched it and while hardly considering it a masterpiece likewise don't consider it to be the worst thing ever made.