5-man instances in World of Warcraft were quite a big deal back in the day. Players ran them to gear up, gain experience, and to hone their skills. While many of these dungeons are the source of fond memories for us, others can fill us with dread at the mere mention of their name.

These 5-mans are legends in their own right and will probably never shake their bad reputation, despite any changes made to them. These dungeons have officially earned the title of worst 5-mans in World of Warcraft. Check out our five picks for winner of this prestigious title below and be ready to dredge up some not-so-good memories.


Before Gnomeregan was revamped in more recent years, it was the source of much frustration for many players. It was long, difficult, and confusing. You were more likely to get hopelessly lost inside Gnomeregan than any other instance in the game. If you were silly enough to try this at the correct level, it was highly likely that you would rage quit long before the end of the dungeon.

As mentioned, Gnomeregan has since been totally overhauled. However, the bad mojo left over from it's original form still remains. Players still shy away from this dungeon and even if it becomes a straight line with loot chests every step of the way, it will still be despised by the general populace. Without a doubt, original Gnomeregan was just all kinds of bad.

Trial of the Champion

You may be surprised to see this dungeon here, but face it, this dungeon was pretty awful. Just like it's raid companion, the Trial of the Champion stuck players in one boring room and threw bosses at them over and over again. No down time, no trash mobs, just a constant bombardment of boss after boss.

Worse, this instance required players to mount up and “joust” for an entire boss fight. Sometimes loading up into vehicles can be fun, but in this dungeon it just fell flat. In fact, I don't think anyone enjoyed this part of Trial of the Champion and it may go down in history as one of the worst boss fights in the game. A very poorly done “filler” dungeon between Ulduar and ICC, Trial of the Champion has gladly faded into the past, but will forever remain one of the worst dungeons in WoW history.

The Wailing Caverns

Next up on our list of the worst 5-mans in World of Warcraft is the Wailing Caverns (the original version). Following in Gnomeregan's footsteps, Wailing Caverns is one of those places that you will end up lost in, no mater what. Even seasoned veterans of the place have found themselves walking in circles time and time again.

Most players couldn't be bothered clearing the whole of Wailing Caverns. In fact, most just checked the loot table and went for the boss that would drop what the wanted. Forget about the rest of the instance, this was a difficult enough task. Throw in some crazy and unexpected cliff drops and a final boss that was summoned only after certain other bosses were killed, Wailing Caverns easily makes this list.

Sunken Temple

Another dungeon that has since been overhauled, Sunken Temple was once nothing short of a nightmare. A confusing labyrinth of a dungeon that spanned multiple rooms and levels, completing Sunken Temple was nothing short of painful. Who can forget the bosses that could only be summoned by touching certain statues? Miss one and the boss would not appear and you would be forced to wander about, trying to find that one last statue.

Mob packs inside were fairly straight forward, however, many a group learned the hard way that you needed to kill them all. If you didn't, they would be chained to you during a boss fight. Fighting bosses in this instance was so hard, you even needed to bring in a special item found in the Hinterlands just to summon one boss. No item, no boss fight. What a drag.

The Oculus

Holding the number one spot on our list s the Oculus. Everything about this instance is simply awful. Every. Single. Thing. Bosses here only spawned if fought in the correct order, making what seemed like a non-linear instance, linear in the extreme. The real problem here, however, was the drakes. Seriously, I think most of us will agree when I say; screw the drakes.

Coming in three different colors, the drakes each had their own special powers and were absolutely essential to completing the instance. This meant new players had to be taught what to do with their drake and even experienced players struggled with the process. The entire instance required you to fly on these drakes and you had to constantly be aware of how high or far out your were, otherwise you would pull flying mobs down upon your entire group.

Of course, worse than just navigating about on these drakes was the final boss fight. Players couldn't use their characters here. Oh no. They were required to complete the entire fight on their drakes. This required a skilled hand with the drake's abilities and knowing how far to spread out without being too far away. This instance was so bad, that players would drop out of the group once they saw they were queued up for it. Even with an extra loot bag added, no player wanted to run this dungeon. The Oculus is a complete and total nightmare and easily earns the top spot on our list.

That wraps up our list of the Top 5 Worst 5-Mans in World of Warcraft. Do any of these instances make your own personal list? Do you have any horror stories from them? Be sure to share them with us in the comment section below!

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our World of Warcraft Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016

About The Author

Amunet, also fondly known as Memtron, is an organic life form best known for its ongoing obsession with Blizzard Entertainment's numerous properties. To that end, Amu has authored hundreds (thousands?) of the most popular World of Warcraft guides, editorials, and Top 10 lists on the planet. When not gaming and writing, Amu is busy chasing after her three children in a perpetual loop of ongoing disaster.