FeaturesTop 10s

5 Games Ruined By Memes

5 Games Ruined by Memes - Gamers Heroes

Memes can be found all over the Internet, but there’s no denying how lazy and tired they are. When a video game uses a meme, they substitute quality writing and humor for something that will likely be outdated by the time you read this list. The following games might have their merits, but they are ultimately ruined through sloppy use of these references.

Gamers Heroes Top 10 - 5

The Binding of Isaac

The Binding of Isaac pays homage to The Legend of Zelda’s top-down dungeons, and that would normally be OK. However, almost every weapon in the game is a reference to a meme of some sort. Some are especially dated — the laser-spewing power-up Shoop da Whoop dates back to 2007.

Gamers Heroes Top 10 - 4


The folks behind Guacamelee! must have logged some serious hours on reddit. In the first level alone, dozens of image macros and video game references dot the landscape. This also seeps into the gameplay — certain battles and objects are copypasted from other titles. It is one thing to take inspiration from other games, but outright recreating them makes players crave the original source material instead.

Gamers Heroes Top 10 - 3

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game

This one is technically cheating, as Scott Pilgrim’s source material prides itself on its “homages.” However, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game feels like a poser, throwing in a bunch of game mechanics and references without rhyme or reason. Put simply, its spritework cannot hide the fact that we’ve seen all of this before — many times.

Gamers Heroes Top 10 - 2


Lab Zero’s Skullgirls was designed to be a love letter to fans of fast-paced 2D fighting games like Marvel vs. Capcom and Guilty Gear. The trouble is, every single character in its roster is prone to dish out moves with roots from other games. It’s one thing to base an attack off of Wolverine’s “Ballistic Barrage” or Dio Brando’s steamroller — it’s another to have the player mimic it outright and even say the move out loud word for word.

Gamers Heroes Top 10 - 1

Borderlands 2

By far the worst offender on the list, the script writers for Borderlands 2 basically copypasted the front page of 9gag and called it a day. As a result, the game doesn’t have a personality of its own, relying on the half-baked jokes of others. Full of memes old and new, the writing in Borderlands 2 isn’t just annoying — it’s downright embarrassing.

Casey Scheld

Casey Scheld has more than 15 years of experience in the gaming industry as a community manager, social media director, event specialist, and (of course) gaming editor. He has previously worked with gaming start-ups like Raptr, publishers like Konami, and roller derby girls at PAX West (check out Jam City Rollergirls)! Gamers Heroes is a passion project for him, giving him a chance to tap into the underground side of gaming. He is all too eager to give these lesser-known heroes of the indie space the attention they so rightly deserve, seeking out the next gem and sharing it with the world. Previously making appearances at events like CES, GDC, and (the late) E3, he is all too happy to seek out the next big thing. For those that want to talk shop, send over a tip, or get an easy win in a fighting game of their choosing, be sure to check out his social media channels below.


  1. Wow, if there was a list for ‘worst lists ever’ then this could actually be in the top 5. Really? We’re the games ruined by the memes? Did your face ball up into an uncomfortable cringe every time Isaac shoop-da-whooped his way to victory? References like these are meant to be tongue in cheek. A quick laugh here and there. Also, Skull Girls? Really? You’re putting it no. 2 on the list for games ruined by memes for being too similar to previous fighting games? Is being a tribute game, or rip-off, considered a meme? Yeah, remember what I said about this being Top 5 in Worst Lists Ever? More Top 3 and that’s only behind, “The Top 10 Reasons for being pro-Holocaust” and “The Top 5 Reasons why Vin Diesel deserves to have an oscar for his fast & furious movies.”

      1. Memes don’t ruin things, they make them funnier!
        Even a random overused meme can be funny when used in the right place.

  2. I like how the author says Scott Pilgrim was ruined by memes. No? It has some Mario, Zelda, and a cool TMNT 3: Turtles in Time reference, BUT THOSE AREN’T MEMES.

    When the main article picture is a bunch of rage faces and then the game is argued as being “meme-y” because it mentions Zelda, you know you’re just making aimless clickbait.

  3. This article = Hipster douchebag whining about how old lame everything that didn’t happen within the past five minutes is.

    1. “Drawn to the underground side of gaming, Casey Scheld has made it his mission to help out the lesser known heroes of gaming. JRPGs? Indies? Quirky platformers? If you’ve never heard of it, he’s reviewed, guided, and mastered it.”

      Very telling. This guy’s clearly just against the idea of “things people like in my indie titles”. God forbid popular internet culture make its way into games.

  4. Based on the title I expected something like Skyrim where the game was somewhat ruined by obnoxious arrow in the knee jokes. But oh no, instead we get Skullgirls, which doesn’t even have memes, just references to older fighting games (and it was in no way ruined by those references)

  5. This list is garbage these games are amazing and there are all highly rated this author if this page must have been high and drunk to post this.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *