I don't mean to grasp the mop bucket and broom too eagerly here but I was thinking about what games I think are just terrible. They aren't moderately crappy or insanely madcap hodgepodge weirdness that is funny in its ridiculous attempt at being entertainment (Sesame Street games come to mind), but just games that are forgotten, lackluster, unplayably obtuse or unfair to the point none of the other factors (graphics, gameplay, sound, etc) can save it. Just games that have nothing interesting at all to grab a player's attention.
If I were to think for a moment, the first one I can think of is probably going to be Trojan for the NES. It is an extremely pedestrian port with sloppy controls that are unhelpful in playing it, and the music is kind of grating and minimal, but also very loud and garish, which is not a good combination of things.
The enemy designs are pretty good, but a general crappy feel to the way things control and animate just suck all the fun out of it. The aesthetics and world building are also uninteresting to me, kind of a bland early 80s He Man retread. Rygar did it better, and isn't the best game ever either. It just has something that Trojan doesn't.
Another which some may not agree with as much as the last one is Jackal. Games where you are a car generally don't do it for me... I don't like driving and I don't think I have ever been concerned about cars, they were more my brother's thing.
Castelian for the NES is one that occurs to me, but in a way it's just about at the #IQuitThisLousyGameDevelopmentJob level of crapness, so ... I dunno it doesn't seem like it got far enough along in its development where the placeholder character was replaced with something better drawn. What the heck is that thing? It doesn't help its lazy design choices with tight or intense gameplay either, because it controls like a school bus without proper brakes on a frozen lake.
Time Lord for the NES (you notice how much of these were NES games? I never had a Game Boy
). I don't know why this one boss in the Western level takes about 50,000 shots to kill but there isn't an excuse for that. The game is sort of 'almost there' in terms of design, but it doesn't save it by being clunky, again. Characters with that level of artwork don't belong on any game cartridge.
X-Men for the NES was one we rented because Dad had a bunch of X-Men comics, and I'd read a lot of them. We had a black and white TV, and it basically made the game unplayable in absolute. I've revisited it over the years to realize this is the least of its worries.
I never had Silver Surfer and I never had Jekyl and Hyde, and there were a lot of games which I never had or played when they were out. What are some of your choices?