Are you referring to RAGE, by any chance? (There are probably more, but I recently completed RAGE so it's fresh in memory)
Give the player the most powerful and funny weapon just before the last boss battle begins, right before the game ends.
I suggest that you really do make a great game overall:
Great story, great concept, great atmosphere.
But make the controls really akward, preferrably while preventing
smooth and predictable movement. Staying on predictable,
The principle of least astonishment is a sucker in this relation:
If it surprises the player, it makes the game more interesting.
Maybe the collision bounds are off the expected position and dimensions,
but how about changing it once in a while?
Oh, and if you're making a game revolving around, or taking long time spent driving in cars,
make sure the driving mechanics resemble something equivalent to gta 1,
Maybe even simpler: simpler car handling always makes a game easier to play.
Glue the cars to the road to keep things simple. Speaking of simple,
make cars look alike, to discourage players from collecting them.
(That was mainly something I disliked about the godfather game (~2004?)
But also gangland suffered from weird handling. Some of the nfs games have appaling vehicle physics too, but I guess it's because they are more like arcade games)
It's so easy to be a jerk about other peoples products! I'm enjoying it!