Weekend Open Forum: The most underrated video games

By Matthew ยท 86 replies
Aug 20, 2010
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  1. It's a cold hard fact of life: we can't all be winners. No matter how fun or unique a video game may be, the reality is, there's a chance it's destined for the eternal void that is Best Buy's bargain bin. Those odds increase substantially if the title isn't backed with media hype or the marketing budget of a multi-billion dollar publishing conglomerate. Even then, undeservingly harsh critics can steer consumers in the wrong direction. And sometimes, by the mysterious workings of an unjust universe, awesome games just slip between the cracks.

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  2. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,713   +855

    Three games immediately come to mind. They either received what I thought undeserved bad reviews or just weren't well publicized:

    1) The original Populous by Bullfrog (1991)
    2) Unreal II: The Awakening (2003)
    3) Space Rangers 2: Rise of the Dominators (2006)

    Populous is the original "God" game and for it's time had great graphics and music. The gameplay was crazy addictive.

    Unreal II: The Awakening to me was an early version of a combination of F.E.A.R. and Crysis. Great graphics and a very compelling storyline. I really don't understand why it received luke-warm reviews. I think most people either found it too hard or the storyline too complex. Be curious to know how many people started it but never finished as it had a terrific ending.

    Space Rangers II is a Soviet made game that's been translated to English. Nothing special in the graphics department, but a ton of side games and puzzles to complete as you became the ultimate Space Ranger. Was really a lot of fun.
  3. mrtraver

    mrtraver TS Guru Posts: 380   +86

    Freespace 2 tops my list of underrated games. Most gaming sites loved it, and there is still a hardcore following (check to the Freespace Open Source Project!), but it just did not have the sales befitting a title of this quality.

    I always felt that Crimson Skies for PC was under-appreciated, too. It didn't help matters any that it shipped with bugs that corrupted game saves and made menus load very slowly; the reviews were all done before a patch fixed the corruption bug and improved the menu load times. But it was a blast to play, and the menus loaded even faster when I doubled my RAM to 256MB! I just recently played through it again, after finding a patch that lets it run on modern nvidia GPUs and let me bump the resolution up to 1280x1024.
  4. Clrabbit

    Clrabbit TS Rookie Posts: 90

    MegaMan Legends 1 & 2 both got horrible reviews and tons of "Old school" fan hate when they came out.

    They both were the best Rockman games ever for story, world, characters, even the voice acting was amazing for being an early PSX game. Gameplay was fun and you had a good amount of replay value. about every 2 yeas I brake out the old copies and give them another run though, every time I enjoy the games a little bit more.
  5. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    Alpha Protocol, while having it's fair share of bugs and technical shortcomings, is an otherwise outstanding attempt at an espionage RPG. The replayability and level of detail is pretty damn good IMHO, and the game deserved better than simply falling off the radar.

    XIII was also an underrated gem of a game, and the unique cell-shaded graphics and Bourne-esque plot are rivaled by few other games IMHO.

    The Neverhood is another almost-unheard-of title that deserves more recognition for it's great gameplay.

    Killer7 is yet another title that offers a unique spin on the traditional FPS, but it wasn't very well received at its time of release.

    Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth is a fantastic Lovecraft-themed horror game that, surprisingly, wasn't as well received as Bethesda's Fallout 3 & Elder Scrolls series.

    Another underrated psych-horror gem would have to be Sanitarium; the story, characters and sound effects are amazing for a game of its time.
  6. princeton

    princeton TS Addict Posts: 1,676

    Killing floor. For the price it's a really really nice game. ATM it hasn't had any but it had 2 free major content updates consisting of over 10 new weapons and over 5 new maps altogether. I got it for 9 bucks on a weekend sale. But it's criticized for poor graphics and cheesy voice acting.
  7. motrin

    motrin TS Booster Posts: 162   +15

    force 21 RTS. i loved this game.. untill my friend lost it!
  8. ruben1992

    ruben1992 TS Rookie Posts: 32

    Day of Defeat: Source
  9. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    Osu! ?
  10. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Posts: 7,668   +988

    I was going to say Far Cry because at the time it seemed like it wasn't getting as much attention as other shooters (it went out just months before Half Life 2 and Doom 3). It's one of my favorite games of all time and perhaps for me it went like an underrated title, but looking at the Wikipedia entry it seems it sold a good amount of copies not to mention it has spawned a sequel and even a movie.

    Other than that I remember Shogo: MAD. Awesome game with great gameplay. That one and the Blood series catapulted Monolith to mainstream light before they got acquired.
  11. blue44

    blue44 TS Rookie

    Dune....with the live cut scenes...very addictive..pc
    Perimeter....great game but difficult to master..pc
  12. KG363

    KG363 TS Guru Posts: 515   +9

    Far Cry 2- loved it

    Saboteur was good.
  13. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 2,922   +630

    But Saboteur was a terrible port. It lagged a fair bit for quite dodgy graphics at times.
  14. oni my favour. i think it has been forgotten...
  15. captainawesome

    captainawesome TS Guru Posts: 428   +44

    ALL the Bullfrog titles. Especially
    Dungeon Keeper 1 and
    Magic Carpet 2. Man those Games were epic!
    Then there is:
    Baldurs Gate (they were ALL under-rated :( )
  16. As mentioned above Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth.

    Also, Advent Rising.
  17. Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth.
    Drakensang : Dark Eye
    The Witcher (IMO)
  18. The Darkness on Xbox 360.
  19. Mostly, I just wanna say that this was a great idea for an article. I so often catch myself going through old games, hoping I come across something good that I just never heard about. I'll be looking up some of the games people listed here, for sure. :)

    I'm not entirely sure if 'TMNT: Turtles In Time (Reshelled)' is something that's been overlooked, but I certainly never heard of it until I stumbled over it on Xbox Live. I loved the old version on the SNES, back when I was a kid, and now I find myself ridiculously amused with the improved HD graphics (and fully 3D) version. It's a very simple little game, and the textures ain't exactly the stuff of legends, but it's awesome.

    I downloaded the trial version first, and then when I played to the end of the trial I paid to unlock the full game. I just kept going until I went through the whole thing that same night. Every new level was different and refreshing. This game, like so many, is not available to PC users (just PS3/360). Typical. And that's why I ended up getting a Xbox console, really.

    The same goes for Monkey Island 1 and 2, all updated with HD graphics. None of this is new to Xbox Live users, I'm sure, but I just bought my first Xbox (360 Slim) ever, so it's all new to me right now.

  20. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,690   +96

    The first ever Prince of Persia (at least amongst the people I know), they would always argue how much time I wasted playing it, but really it was very addictive and the game play was very awesome for that era along with 2D graphics.
  21. The witcher, mount and blade
  22. MikeFE

    MikeFE TS Rookie

    The Gothic-series.
  23. IMHO, THIEF III - Has a great storyline even though it could it hard to play at first.
  24. American McGee's Alice. Wildly crazy imagination, great atmosphere, sound acting, the girl not having doubleD's was the only letdown.

    Revolt. A racing game that was a blast and very addictive.
  25. captainawesome

    captainawesome TS Guru Posts: 428   +44

    Redneck Rampage! Also Carmageddon was rad.

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