Top 20 Games That Nobody Played – But You Should

There are hundreds of excellent games that have been released over the last two decades that never quite got the attention and sales they deserved. Many times it is because of lousy marketing, but at least some of these games find an afterlife as a cult classic. While not all of these titles are “retro”, I hope that you consider taking a look at all of these games.

Update: If you want to read a more in-depth look at under-appreciated games, check out our Hidden Gems series

Jet Grind Radio/Jet Set Radio – Dreamcast
The combination of slick cell-shading graphics, energetic music, adrenaline-pumping action, and a very unique premise made Jet Grind Radio a title that no serious gamer should go without.

Unfortunately, JGR was left on a lot of store shelves as it suffered from very little marketing, a confusing title, and lousy cover art. Game shoppers just didn’t have any motivation to give it a chance. Many gamers that did give the game a try were quickly discouraged by the initially-tricky controls. But I can assure you that once you put a bit of time into the game, it will become second nature and you will be having a blast.

The game saw a sequel on the XBox in Jet Set Radio Future, but that game seemed to be watered down a bit in gameplay and didn’t bring anything new and exciting in return.

Full Review of Jet Grind Radio

Panzer Dragoon Saga – Saturn
Touted by many Saturn fans as the greatest RPG ever, PD Saga is still a hot commodity on eBay. The graphics were great for it’s time, the gameplay was deep, and the total of 4-discs brought you to a new world that few games have rivaled.

Saga came out near the end of the Saturn’s short life and combined with a relatively short print run, not very many gamers got their hands on the game initially. It wasn’t until the Playstation, N64, and the Dreamcast made it onto the scene that the Saturn and its crown RPG got the recognition it deserved from hardcore, classic gamers.

Why Saga was never ported to another system, I will never know.

Full Review of Panzer Dragoon Saga

Pac-Man Vs. – Gamecube
Pac-Man vs. is possibly one of the best party games ever to grace a console. It doesn’t matter if your friends are gamers or not. If you have 3 controllers and a GBA w/ Link cable, you will have fun with this game. In Vs., up to three people control the ghosts on the screen. When a ghost eats Pacman, the two players switch roles. The beauty of it all is that the player controlling Pacman uses a GBA to see the entire map and the ghosts are limited to viewing a small area around themselves. So even though the rules of the game haven’t really changed, the experience is profoundly different than the original.

Shigeru Miyamoto, father of Mario and the brain behind Vs., originally planned on having this game as a release on its own, but instead came bundled with a couple of other existing Namco GameCube titles. Because of this, it was never really marketed and given much attention.

Full Review of Pac-Man Vs.

Guardian Heroes – Saturn
Developed by fan-favorite, Treasure, Guardian Heroes is another late-blooming Saturn title that many people still haven’t discovered. Guardian Heroes is a beatemup with strong RPG elements. Treasure combined great 2D animation, a unique control scheme, and killer gameplay with the ability to level up and focus the skills that you choose. If the game caught on as much as it should have, it could have brought new life to the beatemup genre.

A psedo-port/sequel showed up on the Gameboy Advance, but it lacking much of the excitement of the original. Also worth mentioning is Panzer Bandit , a Playstation game that is basically a Guardian Heroes-copycat that was enjoyable, but lacked much of the Treasure Charm and RPG elements.

Full Review of Guardian Heroes

Beyond Good And Evil – PS2, Gamecube, XBox
Possibly one the best games of 2004, Beyond Good and Evil featured a magical combination of action, animation, and storytelling that won it many high ratings. The game represented high quality and production values when most other games on the market were either re-hashes of other successful games or just plain awful.

Even though it did receive a decent amount of advertising from UbiSoft, shoppers just didn’t respond to this new title among a sea of big-name sequels that were released at the same time. While it receive many critical acclaims from both the press and the gamers that tried it, many BG&E cases were still sitting on stores’ clearance shelves.

Full Review of Beyond Good and Evil

Samba De Amigo – Dreamcast
If you enjoy rhythm games, monkeys, and need something different from Dance Dance Revolution, you really need to take a look at Samba De Amigo. Samba is another one of the ultimate party games and deserves another chance. It involves waving/shaking maracas in certain directions to match the upbeat music. Many people find it much easier for beginners to play as opposed to DDR, but it still is a challenge in higher levels and it can be a riot to watch your friends shake their maracas like there’s no tomorrow.

Hampered by the high price of Sega’s first party maracas, Samba didn’t sell very well. Now, cheaper third-party maraccas can be found online, but I find the game to be highly enjoyable even with traditional controllers.

Full Review of Samba De Amigo

Snatcher – Sega CD (plus a few others if you read Japanese)
Heavily inspired by Blade Runner, Snatcher is an RPG-like adventure game that is developed by Konami and the people behind the Metal Gear Solid series.

Originally made for the MSX and some other older platforms in Japan, Snatcher finally had an English port on the Sega CD. Unfortunately like many other terrific games on Sega’s platforms it came out on the tail end of a dying system. To this day it is still claiming a premium on eBay.

Snatcher was also released on the Saturn in Japan along with it’s 3-disc sequel Policenauts. Policenauts wasn’t quite as fortunate as Snatcher, as it never saw an English release (petition anyone?) Update: Could a DS Port Be On Its Way?

Full Review of Snatcher

River City Ransom – NES, GBA
You could say that River City Ransom was a precusor to Guardian Heroes. It was the original beatemup on the NES that had entertaining RPG elements. The game has a unique style that is fun and still looks cool today in a cartoony sort of way. It’s personality is one that still is rarely matched today.

It’s simple controls and deep gameplay have taken it from it’s originally obscure status to a bit of a cult favorite. It also made its way to the Gameboy Advance, but yet again, it didn’t seem to sell well.

Full Review of River City Ransom

Phantasy Star 2 – Genesis
One of the greatest RPGs of of the 16-bit era, Phantasy Star 2 had rich storyline in a futuristic setting, several worlds to explore, and a cataclysmic epic with a truly satisfying conclusion.

While the the Final Fantasy installments and other Square RPGs may have gotten all the attention on the SNES, Phantasy Star 2 showed that RPG fans could have fun on the Genesis.

Full Review of Phantasy Star 2

Rocket Knight Adventures – Genesis
In the avalanche of 2D platformers during the 16-bit era, it was easy for a game like Konami’s Rocket Night Adventures to get lost in the shuffle. Rocket Knight Adventures has more technique and plot than any other platform of the era. The slick effects and big bosses alone can carry the game. It may have its flaws — mainly with the replay value, but overall, this is one of the best bets for the Genesis, period.

Full Review of Rocket Knight Adventures

Silhouette Mirage – Playstation, Saturn
Treasure once again, beautifully pushes the 2D envelope to the max on both the Saturn and PSX in addition to having a wonderful soundtrack and great sound effects.

Treasure is generally regarded among industry veterans to be one of the best developers of original 2D action games. Thanks to Treasure’s creativity, Silhouette Mirage has revolutionary play mechanics and an insane amount of depth. It features gameplay elements depending on changing colors — much like Treasure’s later shmup masterpiece, Ikaruga.

While Treasure has a great deal of quality titles, they are rarely promoted much and often have obscure names. Silhouette Mirage ended up in bargain bins and can still be found for a reasonable price on the Playstation.

Full Review of Silhouette Mirage

Virtua Tennis – Dreamcast, Arcade
Having the essential quality of being easy to play and difficulty to master, Virtua Tennis was one of the sleeper hit of short-lived Sega Dreamcast. It is often overlooked as a killer party game — I have had many parties with both guys and girls of all gaming levels having a blast on a 4-player doubles tournament.

While other enjoyable tennis titles have come long since (Top Spin and Mario Power Tennis), Virtua Tennis still holds up as being possibly the best tennis game ever. Also worth mentioning is the sequel, Tennis 2K2 is also on the Dreamcast.

Full Review of Virtua Tennis

X-COM: UFO Defense – Playstation, PC
In this cult-favorite, players battle an alien invasion by building bases and handling inventory, attacking UFOs, managing a staff of researchers and engineers, and sending your squads of soldiers off to engage in one of the most intense, enjoyable turn-based tactical games ever.

Over the decade, X-COM has still not been topped in terms of strategy. Although it may be lacking eye-candy, the depth of gameplay, open-endedness and amazing atmosphere created by the audio simply makes this game amazing.

Full Review of X-COM: UFO Defense

Chu Chu Rocket – Dreamcast, GBA
Chu Chu Rocket was extremely popular and recognized by most gamers who had actually played it and virtually unknown otherwise. The concept is simple: point mice into your rocket, keep cats away from your rocket. Put four players on the same board and the trash-talking quickly escalates. Reversals of fortune, spontaneous alliances and blistering speed and deep strategy easily make up for its rudimentary graphics.

I have to admit, this game would be hard to sell. If you picked this game off the shelf and took a look at the screenshots, it seems very confusing. But I can attest to the fact that if you give this game a chance, you’ll adore it.

Full Review of Chu Chu Rocket

The Adventures of Cookie & Cream – PS2
C&C is one of the most underrated co-op experiences. This game is about true cooperative game mechanics. Forget about other co-op games that allow the leading player to drag the other player along through checkpoints – this game requires both players to complete puzzles and challenges together, otherwise neither player can progress. It is presented in a clear and intuitive fashion so that I can play it with casual gamer friends.

It is also challenging enough that my hardcore gamer friends enjoy it as well. I’m sure it is often overlooked since it’s too cute for its own good. The main characters are two bunnies in a cartoon world, and the graphics are only average, but they blend well with the artistic direction of the game.

Full Review of The Adventures of Cookies and Cream

Puyo Pop Fever – Dreamcast, Gamecube, DS, PS2, PSP
Puzzle games are easily overlooked by game shoppers as they are usually not that flashy and don’t receive much promotion. In addition, most puzzle game sequels don’t bring much to the table other than unsuccessfully messing with a formula that is already working.

The Puyo Puyo franchise (some sequels went by other names in the US) has been around since the NES days and not much happened in the innovation department until the late Japanese release of Puyo Puyo Fever on the Dreamcast. While Fever offered the orignal gameplay that puzzle fans came to love, it also brought a Fever Mode that brought more strategy and combo-blitzing without adding too much chaos. Puzzle sequels like Bust-A-Move 4 promoted heavy combos, but in doing so, it made them a little too easy and made the game crazy and unpredictable. Puyo Pop Fever has the perfect balance of strategy and simplicity which makes it a title that both hardcore and casual gamers can enjoy.

Full Review of Puyo Pop Fever

Ogre Battle – SNES, Playstation, GBA
This game has received its fair share of blank stares when mentioned in conversations with fellow gamers. The game was a hybrid real time strategy/turn-based RPG that let you build up an army of up to 100 characters.

I think the game fell short in popularity partly because of the length of levels (some battles could last an hour easily), and partly because of its small original retail release. The game comes highly recommended because of the near flawless game balancing and design.

Full Review of Ogre Battle

Herzog Zwei – Genesis
Combining elements of real-time strategy and resource management into a shmup, Herzog Zwei is possibly one of the best games on Sega’s 16-bit powerhouse.

Game developers these days tend to stick to a single genre, rather than combining elements from several. It’s a shame because hybrid games like this always get me excited.

Full Review of Herzog Zwei

Shadowrun – Super Nintendo, Genesis, Sega CD
Based on a pen and paper RPG, the console versions of Shadowrun are an RPG that is set in a dark future. The gameplay is more similar to Western PC RPGs as opposed to traditional Japanese console RPGs. Because of this, it seemed to stay under the radar of mainstream console gamers.

Instead of using experience points that you find in most RPGs, which allow you to move up levels, Shadowrun uses karma points, which you earn one at a time. These Karma points are used to make your character more powerful. And like Guardian Heroes, the game allows you to choose what aspects of your character you wish to improve.

Full Review of Shadowrun

Propeller Arena – Dreamcast
I am sure that nobody bought this game in stores — basically because it was never sold. Propeller Arena was slated to be a big release with great online capabilities. It’s solid arcade-style dogfighting action would have been great in an online community (much like Crimson Skies eventually was on XBox Live). However, the game kept getting delayed until it was getting close to the point where Sega ceased Dreamcast production. It used 9/11 as an excuse for canceling the game since one stage in the game allows you to fly your planes into sky-scrapers.

The game was finished by Sega and a limited number of final test copies were floating around. Finally, a couple years ago, one of those test copies was sold for a great deal of cash, ripped, and released on the Net. Now, all the members of the Dreamcast “scene” have a copy of the game. Yes, I have a copy myself, and the game is incredible. Sure, Crimson Skies can rival it, but if you are a Dreamcast owner, it’s definitely a thrill.
Full Review of Propeller Arena

Related Links:

Games That Actually NEED a Sequel
Games That Pushed The Limits – Part 1
The Best Sega Genesis Games For Nintendo Revolution

132 Comments

  1. Julius says:

    Excellent feature!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I can gladly say I play and love over half of these. Good list.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Very good articel, that’s just what I like to see here :) .

  4. Anonymous says:

    Wondering why Armada (Dreamcast) wasn’t mentioned. That game stole a year of my life!

    - Mr_Null
    http://mr_null.1up.com

  5. Anonymous says:

    I just want to point out that Shadowrun wasn’t based on the novels or PC games. I’m quite familiar with the Shadowrun line and I can’t recall a PC game ever being made. The original source material was the Shadowrun pen and paper RPG. I know it’s nitpicking, but a fact like that should have been checked.

  6. racketboy says:

    Thanks for that correction — I’ve made the changes. I guess my memory was bad.

    This thing took me 3 days to write, but I guess, I didn’t get to check everything.

    And to Mr. Null, I may be doing a “Part II” and include suggested games.

    Thanks again for your support!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Shadowrun SNES and the one on Genisis were 2 completely different games, by different developers….

  8. x-guru says:

    UFO!!! that was an amazing game!!
    i played it on my PC and i finished it!!

  9. Anonymous says:

    I see some of those games on the list, and I can’t help thinking how much time was spent on those. Rocket Knight Adventures did have some replayability into it. Depending on the difficulty, the end boss was longer or shorter. After playing Shadowrun at a friends house, I was lucky enough to find it in a bargain bin at KB Toys for 15 bucks. And Ogre Battle was an interesting and unique experience. Great times playing these games.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Metal Slug 1-5.

    Good list though.

  11. Anonymous says:

    No TG-16 games? How about Military Madness or Beyond Shadowgate? Y’s Book I & II? Great games without question, but a little Saturn/Dreamcast heavy.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Beyond Good and Evil is available on the PC as well.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Hogs of War is also underrated, my little boy has caught that fever also. I wish they would make a Hogs of War 2 or let some fans buy the rights to it to create a 2nd version, i have lots of improvements I’d like to make.

    http://www.idahofallz.com

  14. Anonymous says:

    Oh yeah, Chu Chu Rocket owned. Oh and Virtua Tennis is still as awesome as ever on the PSP.

  15. racketboy says:

    thanks for the comments guys.

    Part 2 is underway thanks to your suggestions. Many of the mentioned games in response to this are ones that I considered, that just didn’t make the cut in the first set.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Games that nobody played but should, I’d add System Shock 1/2, Ultima Underworld 1/2 and Die By the Sword and Dungeon Keeper 1/2

    I’m pretty sure all these games were underrated and obscured by time.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Also Grim Fandango by Lucasarts

  18. Anonymous says:

    Shadowrun = best game ever

  19. Anonymous says:

    I’d have to add one that I spent many many hours on, and that would be Rush 2 for Nintendo 64. Especially the Stunt Track. I literally wasted months on that track just trying to get the highest stunt score possible.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Street Fighter 2010

    even the person that put this list together probably never felt the wrath of this obscure amazing NES game.

    … also this game has nothing to do with the actual street fighter series. this game was a completley different game that took on the street fighter name and name of ken as the main character only in order to capatalize on sales in america

  21. Mike K says:

    Oh my god.. I totally forgot about Rocket Night Adventures. THat game kicked so much ass. I remember getting that on genesis, and addictively playing and loving that game!!. IT was so much fun to just charge up your rocket boosts and blast away!

  22. jamEs says:

    Here’s a couple on my list

    Hammer Of The Gods (PC)
    Aerobiz Supersonic (SNES)

  23. Anonymous says:

    Nights!!! Saturn

  24. Anonymous says:

    Wow.. they should have had Dragon Force on here for the saturn. Anyone else remember that game? It was sweet as hell.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Probably the best game for the N64 was also a pretty obscure one: “Blast Corps”. It is the only game from the N64 era that I still crave to play almost every week. Every gamer that I show the game, is immediately hooked for hours (it’s that good). I can’t believe they haven’t made a new version for newer generations of consoles. That game is just incredible and underrated.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Phantasy Star II is to this day one of the best RPG’s I’ve ever played.

  27. Anonymous says:

    What? No Katamari Damacy? For shame. Seriously though, that game rules. You could almost describe it as an Acid Trip sim.

  28. Anonymous says:

    This list could be renamed to “Top Games from Sega Consoles Nobody Bought”.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Trap Runner (Trap Gunner in Europe. Yech.) for the PlayStation was awesome too.

  30. Anonymous says:

    burning rangers : saturn

  31. thewebguy says:

    i was a big fan of the jet set/grind games

  32. Anonymous says:

    Of course, you all forgot Warhead for (at least) the Atari ST. One of the first games to have a credible physics/inertia engine. Absolutely mad to play initially but frighteningly rewarding once you got your head around it. Fear the Bezerker!

  33. Anonymous says:

    I’ll tell ya what should have been up there…

    Amplitude on the PS2, what an amazing game!

  34. Anonymous says:

    BG&E is also on the PC
    I play it every six months or so

    The combination of style, story, humour and gameplay make it highly memorable (and there was a healthy online community for a period)

    WiNo

  35. Anonymous says:

    System Shock 2 on the PC was an incredable game that noone played

    FPS RPG elements blended together with incredable enviroment and sound design

  36. Anonymous says:

    I dont understand why X-COM: UFO DEFENSE was included in this list. It was a hit game and people liked it a lot, or so I thought. Was it just me?

  37. X-COM: UFO Defense (aka UFO: Enemy Unknown) sold millions of copies, which is why so many sequels were made.

    If you want a real unknown game for the PC, look up Cave Story (aka Doukutsu Monogatari). It is nothing short of amazing, although you *will* need a gamepad of some sort to play.

  38. morgan says:

    I’d throw on Alien Hominid for gamecube. It has a great co-op mode, very cool art and is an absolute hoot to play.
    http://www.gamespot.com/gamecube/action/alienhominid/

  39. Anonymous says:

    Excellent feature. I would’ve included Skitchin’ for the Genesis. Samba de Amigo must be an acquired taste. I tried to play it with several different people and we all hated it. Wetrix, on the other hand…

  40. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for including Shadowrun. Wow :)

  41. Anonymous says:

    I also need to add a few TG-16 games. There’s only a handful that were stellar on this system, but they were awesome.

    Blazing Lazers was a great Scrolling shoot-em up. Lots of possiblities with the weapon powerup system.

    YS I & II was incredible, and the best of this series was ont he TG16. They did do a remake of it for modern hardware on the PC, and it’s beautiful, but unfortunatly there isn’t an english translation of it yet (that i know of).

    Lords of Thunder is another scrolling shooter, sideways this time, and is equally impressive with an amazing soundtrack. Why games don’t have real soundtracks like this anymore is beyond me. I’m tired of the bullshti atmosphereic gas!

  42. Anonymous says:

    Typos in article: “it’s” should be “its”

  43. Anonymous says:

    Great Article! My fav mentions had to be Shadowrun and Herzog Zwei. Totally forgot about those games! But they were totally kickin’

    Have to add Firepower 2000 for the SNES as a runner-up mention. Had lots of fun with this top-down shooter!

  44. Anonymous says:

    How about Earthbound for SNES? It never sold very well but was a very funny/creative rpg with a unique graphics style that I will always remember. It’s still huge in Japan, and has a big cult following here…but never took off when it was new. Definately should go on a list!

  45. Anonymous says:

    Anyone know of an Emulater to play Shadowrun??

  46. Strangelove says:

    i would say that vagrant story for the ps1 is one of my personal picks for sleeper game of all time. enthralling game play and depth that is rarly matched even in next gen consoles.
    it also took a huge leap forward in graphics for the ps1

  47. Anonymous says:

    I was definitely expecting Bust a groove (or bust a move in japan) for playstation to be on this list. It just shows how rare that game actually was. It was hilarious and fun too.

  48. Anonymous says:

    One word: NetHack.

  49. Anonymous says:

    Cool list. Someone mentioned Dragon Force, that game rocked!
    Also Iron Storm for the Saturn, WWII based strategy game. Think Advance Wars but set in WWII. That game ate up a summer of mine.

  50. Anonymous says:

    Radiant Silvergun, surely!

    Best. Shoot-em-up. Ever.

  51. Anonymous says:

    “Little big adventure” aka Twinsun’s Adventure. The true precursor to BG&E.
    And…Jumping Flash for the PlayStation 1, a truely great 3d platformer, that was burried by the N64 Mario.

  52. Anonymous says:

    No one said Fallout 1/2? That game is amazing. Especially if you like Shadowrun for the Genesis.

  53. Michael says:

    I couldn’t agree more with the Jet Grind Radio feature. I loved that game for Dreamcast – it was fantastic. I eagerly anticipated the Jet Set Radio Future release but I didn’t even end up finishing the game. It definitely doesn’t carry the uniquness and fun that Jet Grind Radio has.

  54. Anonymous says:

    Anonymous said…

    Street Fighter 2010

    even the person that put this list together probably never felt the wrath of this obscure amazing NES game.

    … also this game has nothing to do with the actual street fighter series. this game was a completley different game that took on the street fighter name and name of ken as the main character only in order to capatalize on sales in america

    HAHAHA Yes! No one knew about this one and it was GREAT! Clearing the stages, the super future graphics, all the action. I wonder if it as good as I remember it…

  55. Anonymous says:

    Some GREAT titles on this list that are way overrated and even more underplayed whether it be from the lack of advertising, stores just not having the games anymore, or people not wanting to buy them because the systems they were released on are out of production. Great list.
    http://www.FiveZeroFive.com

  56. Anonymous says:

    Great article!
    I’ll second Little Big Adventure 2/Relentless 2, I’ve replayed that more times than I care to say. Sin & Punishment for N64 is another Treasure game that is quite amazing.

  57. Anonymous says:

    How about

    Master of Magic – PC
    Record of the Lodoss War – DC
    Wolfenstien: enemy Territory – PC

    On another note, some poeple list things like Shining Force and Grim Fandango which everyone played when they came out. I think grim fandango won the most Game of the Year awards the year it came out. This isn’t an article about old awsome games that everyone played and loved…

  58. Anonymous says:

    A lot of the games people are posting about really were played by a lot of people. The fact that some of the same games get mentioned over and over pretty much proves it.

    A game that nobody has mentioned so far, which is my favorite “nobody played it” game, is Eternal Darkness for the GameCube. No single game, movie, or book has been more “Cthulhu-ian” than HP Lovecraft’s original writings. It was the ultimate homage to his work. Not only that, it was an excellent game. It was overshadowed by the Resident Evil 1 remake unfortunately. Most people assumed it was a less pretty zombie-fest styled after RE. Nothing could be further from the truth. One of my all-time favorite games.

  59. w0rf says:

    I don’t see Rocket: Robot on Wheels here. Great N64 game which was Suckerpunch’s precursor to the Sly Cooper games they did on Playstation 2.

  60. w0rf says:

    oh, and also, Eternal Darkness. Props to “anonymous” for mentioning that one too.

  61. Anonymous says:

    Shadowrun ! Heck yeah, I remember playing that one…ah, the memories (both the electronic and pen n’ paper versions!)
    ;-)

  62. Anonymous says:

    I could have worded that a bit better. I didn’t mean to say it was more Cthulhu-ian than Lovecraft’s writings, but rather nothing else IMHO has ever come so close to imitating his work than this game. Silicon Knights said in an interview that the Eternal Darkness universe was open to an unlimited number of sequels. Given the dismal sales of the game, that probably won’t ever happen.

  63. Anonymous says:

    i didnt realize that ogre battle wasnt very popular, it was big amoung my circle of friends (i played the fireseal battle for fun a few nights ago), the n64 sequel was also top notch

  64. Anonymous says:

    ARC – Attack Retrieve Capture is a fun competitive and addictive 2-D game, download it at arc-hq.net for free!!!

  65. Carmine says:

    I have to mention Space Channel 5 Part 2 (DC, PS2). In terms of obscurity, it had a barely noticable US release. As far as greatness, it took everything about the first game, improved it, and added all new elements. It is what all sequels should be!

  66. Frankie23 says:

    It shouldn’t say Ogre Battle there, but Tactics Ogre. While the two series follow the same storyline, the gameplay is different. The one mentioned there is clearly of the Tactics bloodline.

  67. Anonymous says:

    They forgot Ikaruga. ;) Dreamcast and Gamecube owners ought to pick this one up ASAP.

  68. Anonymous says:

    Hogs of War as one posted stated earlier .. great game. Alot of what Worms 3d is I feel came from Hogs of War. Also Puyo Pop Fever is available for the xbox.

  69. Anonymous says:

    Hey Racketboy, I think the best party game by far was

    POY POY – for the PS

    it was up to 4 player, in a square arena, and you had to pick objects up (or other characters) and throw them at every one else!

    and by purchasing upgraded gloves, you could use special powered throws (exploding, bouncing, etc.)
    even in single player, it did not get boring.

    also, an honourable mention,

    RETURN FIRE also for PS

    awesome game.

  70. David says:

    Nice list. There’s two games that I tirelessly champion every time the subject of underrated and overlooked games comes up. Tobal No. 1, the first Squaresoft title to appear on the Playstation was an amazing change to the world of fighting games and it still stands among the best in the genre. The sad part is, more people probably played the companion disc that housed the first FFVII demo than the game itself. Its sequel, Tobal 2, is undoubtedly the best videogame to never hit U.S. shores.

    The other game, Tecmo Cup Soccer, is a soccer RPG. You heard me. That alone is reason enough to put it on the list.

  71. Anonymous says:

    OMFG rocket knight adventures rocked my socks. the mixed in flying levels kicked ass, the story was awsome, and characters cool. fuck me i gave that game to a charity shop. :( and now i REALY miss it.

  72. I find it amusing that people continue to say that specific games need to be on the list. Some of them are not games that died in obscurity such as Katamari Damacy which I keep seeing everywhere. System Shock 2, is my favorite game of all time however it was and is pretty popular. As any gamer about it and they will know of which you speak unless they happen to be twelve.

    On ShadowRun, Nintendo and Sega made two completely different games by two completely different developers. AND the sega version was much better and more like the Pen and Paper version than the Nintendo and much better in my oppinion.

  73. Scottacus says:

    My favorite obscure game is Military Madness for the Turbo Grafx-16 (later remade as Nactaris for the PSOne, but not as good).

  74. Belgand says:

    X-COM was definitely a major game that many people played and many know.

    Personally I never thought that River City Ransom was unpopular. It received a fair bit of coverage in Nintendo Power at the time and I know I played and loved it.

    Shadowrun (SNES) though… yeah. I liked it and had heard of it through Nintendo Power, but it was never really all that big. Then again, the game also happened to come out just about the same time I got into the Shadowrun RPG.

  75. Kieron says:

    X-COM sold over a million – ON THE PC – I believe. It is in no way a minor game.

    KG

  76. Anonymous says:

    That was the point I was making with my first post. A lot of games people are posting about are not “games nobody played” There have been a lot of good, truly obscure games mentioned though. I’ll throw another one into the ring: Plok. Great side-scrolling platformer for the SNES. The music was the best thing about it. To this day I still load it up just to hear that bitchin’ boss battle theme.

  77. monty says:

    I miss Bilestoad and Dino Eggs, from Apple ][ days….

  78. Duder says:

    One of my favorite titles on any console remains Metal Marines on the SNES. Was sort of an RTS before RTS existed, with some turn based and 3rd person action elements as well. A tremendously overlooked game.

  79. Anonymous says:

    There’s so many games to list. Some are mearly listed because so few made it to the U.S. and what console they were released on(a dieing console?). Also a lot are played on EMUs now and are very popular. I think we’re referring to when they were released more so…… anyways heres my partial list off the top of my head:
    ———————————-
    metal marines – SNES
    Rush 2 – NU64
    Guardian Heros – saturn
    tactics ogre – ps1
    beyond good and evil – ps2
    shadowrun – genesis
    shadow man – ps2
    dark wizard – sega cd
    vay – sega cd
    switch panic – sega cd
    snatcher – sega cd
    Warsong(Langrisser 1) – genesis
    biohazard battle – genesis
    zany golf – Tg16 & genesis
    beyond oasis – genesis
    popful mail – sega cd
    clash at demonhead – NES
    king arthur world – snes
    7th saga – snes
    Pocket neo geo – metal slug series etc, mainly becuz no1 had pckt neo geo
    motar rotar – tg16
    beyond oasis – genesis
    light crusader – genesis
    vanguard bandits – ps1
    dark stone(diablo style gameplay, was $10 brand new) – ps1
    pretty much many of the games from dead systems, i could list heaps…
    /end brainstorm
    on a final note – thank god for EMUs, ROMs, and PCs
    AMEN ;p
    *To the creator of post nice list/idea BTW(srry i forgot ur name, thinking of these wonderful games.. lol… :D)*

  80. Anonymous says:

    Nox for the PC. The game was run over by the release of Diablo 2 which it (only superficially) resembled. The single player is fun, the cooperative multi-player ok, but the competitive multi-player was amazing. Lots of reviewers only did the single player and missed the whole point. Pity Westwood went out of business and the servers disappeared.

    Zanac on NES, Supper Puzzle Fighter 2 on Dreamcast and NeoGeo (?, one of the odd consoles). Uplink Hacker Elite (Windows/Linux). And can’t forget the current indie MMORPG A Tale in the Desert (Windows/Linux/Mac).

  81. Anonymous says:

    neo geo wasn’t odd… it had quite a few legendary titles if i remember correctly. (SNK vs. Capcom)

    I look forward to enjoying those games.

    thanks for making the list!

  82. Panzer Dragoon was ported to Xbox

  83. SigEpTendo says:

    Vagrant Story should be on this list… It is a masterpiece, and as such is among good company with both this and Ocarina of Time achieving a perfect 40/40 from Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu with an intense grading system.

  84. Anonymous says:

    Oh my god, how could REZ have been left off this list?

    I’ve been a gamer since the VCS days. Jet Set/Grind Radio, IMO is one of the best game of all time.

  85. Anonymous says:

    BG&E was released for the PC too

  86. Rune Avatar says:

    XCOM : UFO Defense was a great game, though it was a little well known.

    If you want a nice lifestealer that was little known but you can still find out there for free, Try Scorched Earth for the PC

    It’s a freeware dos game that certaintly stole many hours of time from me and my brothers

  87. Bawitback says:

    The Adventures of Cookie and Cream was the first PS2 purchase of mine. Great title.

  88. kaneda says:

    Puyo Pop Fever is an awful puzzle game. There are dozens, if not hundreds of puzzlers that are better, including several from the Puyo series. That is all.

  89. racketboy says:

    I’ve had a LOT of fun with it, so it can’t be too bad. ;)

  90. Anonymous says:

    I truly CANNOT believe that Sacrifice by Shiny Entertainment wasn’t on this list. In my opinion it is one of the most engrossing and beautiful realtime strategy games ever made.

    This game came out with such cutting edge graphics requirements that very few people could even play it. Later when the average system was capable of playing it, the hype had died down and no one was buying it.

    The game is still alive online, with an average of 2 to 10 players online at a given time. This game featured a map editor, so there are map-packs of hundreds of extra maps to be had.

    If you haven’t played this, i recommend you give it a shot.

  91. Anonymous says:

    ICO (PS2), beautiful gameplay from the makers of Shadow of the Colossus (PS2) which was also phenomenal.

  92. Anonymous says:

    You know, Tiny Tank Was pretty rare for the Playstation. I Never heard that game Mentioned again. Yet , The game Had good humor, plot, gameplay and control. Also, Bust A Groove like mentioned before is very rare. Many sites don’t even have ROMS for theses Games

  93. Anonymous says:

    I recall seeing an Ico at a walmart after mine was pretty scratched up. Pretty rare, But could be found

  94. Anonymous says:

    finally, There’s Wild 9 for PS1. That Game kicked ass(Shiny Entertainment)Aside from being rare

  95. Anonymous says:

    God damn it I just sold my TV to by an LCD … I want to play now!

    The Anonymous that mention the Darkness game for GC and says its the only Lovecraft Cthulhu-ian game, ever tested ‘Call of Chtulhu’ for the xbox, I just love it… it dirty, grim and entertaining! (Ever had your characters head shooten of in a game? By the character himself? No?)
    Also ‘Fahrenheit’ (adventure) and ‘Kula World’ (pussle) is two great games!

  96. purple says:

    Herzog Zwei! What a game! It would be an incredible game if it released today even! Lord I hope that someday someone makes a remake or a sequel to this game.

  97. Anonymous says:

    snes= Romance of the Three Kingdoms 2
    Rock ‘n Roll Racing
    genesis= Masters of Monsters
    turbo grafix 16= Ninja Spirits
    n64= Beetle Adventure Racing

  98. Anonymous says:

    I agree with most of the list. I LOVED x-com, but that game was most definitely a hit.

    TG-16 = BEYOND SHADOWGATE!, Final Lap Twin

    NES = Gumshoe, Rygar, Kunio Kun no Jidaigeki (River City Ransom 2! Set in anciet Japan) In fact all Kunio-kun games were rad and worth playing, including Renegade, Crash N the Boys, Dodgeball and Nekketsu Koushin Kyoku .

    Genesis = Zombies ate my Neighbors, Sub-Terrania, Rolling Thunder 3, Crusaders of Centy

    PSX = Hercs Adventure, Rakugaki Showtime, Gunners Heaven, Dino Crisis 2

    PS2 = Culdcept, Killer 7, Minority Report (Massively underrated!)

    Dreamcast = Tech romancer, Illbleed

  99. Anonymous says:

    Oh yeah, and for PC I can’t forget Myth: The Fallens lords and its 1st sequel. Absolutely the BEST real time strategy game ever made.

  100. Anonymous says:

    no one has mentioned second sight? it was for the xbox ps2 and gamecube i belive? it was one of the best story driven games i played for the playstation 2 for under 8 bucks i got it new at circuit city mad cheap!!! i would of payed 300 to play it it has a hollywood type story kinda like memento it was made by eidos i belive? and had the graphics system like timespliters it came out the same day as psyi opps by midway so that game good in its own right got all the hype and this game was doomed to the bargin bin buy it now you wont regrete it.

  101. Anonymous says:

    what about bloodywolf for the turbo graphix???? omg i loved that game its the only game since contra of its type that i would say almost rivals it!!!!

  102. Anonymous says:

    the shadowrun world is going to have an FPS soon: http://www.shadowrun.com

  103. Anonymous says:

    EarthBound should DEFINITELY be in the list….

    -Shawn M

  104. Anonymous says:

    Can you imagine? Pac-man VS. on the Wii and DS?? what a perfect combo, it won’t be hard to make neither. come on , some one start a petition!

  105. racketboy says:

    Wow — that would be a great idea.
    Forgot that Pac-man vs would be quite challenging to play on a Wii

  106. Anonymous says:

    Ahh Beyond Good and Evil – great game, going to have to find some of the others on this list.

    I’d have to add Vandel Hearts for the PS to the next list too, as well as adding another vote for relentless : Twinsuns adventure.

  107. Egad says:

    xcom goes for 60 on EBAY. easily a top 3 game of all time..

  108. Long Live The Dreamcast Innovation says:

    Just thinking about Jet Set Radio makes me want to cry. I listen to hip hop, but playing that game opened my mind up to the great music and environment that game simply had.

  109. sebastiano says:

    Virtua Tennis was an overlooked game? That’s nonsense. There are other titles that don’t belong in here, but putting one of the biggest and most popular Dreamcast games in the same category as Silhouette Mirage must be a joke.

  110. sonkoukou says:

    ogre battle also exists in sega saturn plateform t

  111. I actually LOVE Rocket Knight Adventures. And Shadowrun for the Super NES, though after beating it, there was really no real reason to play it again.

    And the reason why Sega hasn’t ported Panzer Dragoon Saga is because the original code is gone.

  112. Loved This one!!! Super Sweet, I cant find Silhouette Mirage for the Sega Saturn For less than 30.00 and its a import. Racketboy is it worth the coin??? Please if ne one has played this for Sega Saturn is it Worth 30.00 for me to play it?
    Thanx all

  113. Oh and Ms.Pac-man for the Dreamcast has a Multi player Game sort of like the One talked about here “Pac man Vs.” GameCube also Really Fun, My Fav Pac-man Game is Pac-Land for the Turbo Grafx 16 its so odd and great.
    THANK YOU FOR THIS PAGE RACKETBOY IT ROCKS

  114. racketboy says:

    Glad you enjoyed it — funny how people still stumble across this 3 years after I wrote it :)

    You might want to look into the US version of the PS1 port of Silhouette Mirage. It’s in English and it should be much cheaper. I don’t know if its worth $30 unless you want it for collecting. But the PS1 may be under $10.

  115. Bryan says:

    Is Phantasy Star II really that obscure? I thought it was considered to be one of the early killer apps for the Genesis. And it’s often cited as the best game in one of the most popular RPG series of all time.

    So I wouldn’t say it’s a game nobody played, not by a long shot.

  116. Lalakoboldslayer says:

    I only played Phantasy Star II from that list, and it’s a very good game.

  117. Jason says:

    I’ve played nearly all of the games listed (so it really shouldn’t be called ‘Top 20 Games That Nobody Played’), and I agree they’re all great games, with one exception: Phantasy Star II.

    Phantasy Star II is an evil game. I was the target age when it was released back in ’89 (I was a teenager), and I thought it flat-out sucked even then. The graphics were passable (nothing above-average for a 16-bit console), but the gameplay was absolutely horrid. It’s one of the most overrated, needlessly-difficult games ever created, and the reason why is because 99.9% of the game is spent grinding for levels. Plus, unless you consult an online FAQ or have a copy of the dictionary-sized ‘strategy guide’ the original cart came with, you will not know what ANY the Techniques mean, etc. You’ll spend over 100 hours on PS II, and in a five-second cut scene, it’s implied all your characters die at the end. That’s right: When you BEAT the game, you’re rewarded with a short-arsed ending that implies you FAILED in your 100+ hour foray into frustration. Phantasy Star II is a total f*cking waste, and don’t let anyone (including racketboy) try to persuade you otherwise. Try PS II out for yourself, and you’ll immediately understand its flaws. PS II is the real ‘black sheep’ of the PS series (and despite fan boys’ claims to the contrary, PS III is better than PS II). Want good Phantasy Star? Stick with PS IV, which is a absolute gem, and if you’re the hardy sort, pick up PS III, which has an interesting Sci-Fi civil war theme.

  118. Fisch says:

    nice list, but those games seriously werent overlooked…

  119. Luis Peres says:

    I totaly loved this article !
    And that prompted me to tell you about a game that im sure you never eard about.

    Back in 1993-95 i was part of the team wich created the first PC Portuguese video game and as it was only released in Portugal and Spain back then, despite the excelent reviews it got all over, remains to this day a good example of unknown video game history, i´m sure.

    GAMBYS was going to be released by Psygnosis at the time, but as we still had made the game in DOS, and we released it too late as at the time WINDOWS 95 was gonna be the new norm in operating systems, our own DOS video game project was a casuality of technology changes and remain stuck in Portugal and Spain untill today.

    Please take a look at my new GAMBYS website at http://www.luisperes.net/gambys_videogame.html, download the game and check it out as i would love to learn you opinion about this work of mine and of a small unknown team who created this lost piece of history in video games. ;)
    Thanks

  120. YES Thank you for putting Herzog Zwei in there. A sleeper hit to end all sleepers on the Genesis. My HZ cart was quite well worn from continued use. Those Ground Cannons were SICK!
    I remember a couple Christmases ago, I bought a Genesis for my bro, and guess what, I also went straight to Ebay to grab a copy of Herzog Zwei. We sat around playing that thing like we were kids again and enjoyed every single second of it. PLEASE MAKE A REMAKE OF THIS AWESOME GAME SOMEONE

  121. racketboy says:

    BTW, if you guys want to see a more in-depth and updated guide to these gems, check out this series:
    http://www.racketboy.com/guide/hidden-gems

  122. Edd says:

    Wow I play and love half these games

  123. Anon says:

    Equinox. (Solstice II – Sequal to Solstice for NES) was good. Challenging, great music. SNES

    Blackthorne. Similar to the original Prince of Persia, but with a shotgun. SNES

  124. Alex says:

    where the hell is quest 64!?!?!?

  125. ogre battle says:

    Ogre Battle is also for the N64
    And I don’t think Jet Grind Radio belongs on this list,

  126. aivaras says:

    siudas halk pyzda nahui

  127. Surfer says:

    Almost all I can point out is, I don’t know what to really say! Except obviously, for the amazing tips which have been shared within this blog. I’m able to think of a trillion fun methods to read the articles on this site. I do think I will ultimately make a move making use of your tips on those things I could never have been able to manage alone. You’re so thoughtful to permit me to be one of those to benefit from your helpful information. Please recognize how great I appreciate it.

  128. Wow that was strange. I just wrote an really long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyway, just wanted to say fantastic blog!

  129. Gravy says:

    Loved quite a few of these, some not so much.. But we all have different cravings for games. I like that Panzer Dragoon Saga made it up front, did you ever play the ONLY gaming installment of the Dragonriders of Pern saga? Dreamcast release, really nice blending from the series to the game. I was wondering…

    Do you have any ONLINE titles that you would suggest? I like your opinions, and so value them.

  130. Prince Lance says:

    How can you have Ogre Battles, but not have Brigandine? Brigandine was all the same things Ogre Battle was but so much better. I think someone might have missed Brigandine on the shelf….. might wanna check it out. I still have my copy for PS1 that I play on my PS3, and I also have it on an emulator on my PC.

Leave a Comment