GamerSushi Asks: Underrated Games!

Viva PinataMan, after the huge amount of response we got to the thread about overrated video games, I figured we were just about begging to get this follow-up. I’d love to see something similar happen here as well.

Basically, I want to know what you guys think are the most underrated games out there. Games that for some reason or another seem to get overlooked by either gamers or the media on the whole. Or perhaps they weren’t overlooked, but just discounted outright or given an unnecessary amount of undue hatred.

For me, I have to say that Suikoden III doesn’t really get the praise I think it deserved as one of the best RPGs of the last generation. In this generation, Saint’s Row 2 was largely ignored in light of Grand Theft Auto IV, when it was probably a better spiritual successor to the series than GTA 4 was, even. 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand was a great shooter that more people definitely needed to play. Likewise, Viva Pinata was another underrated game still that got shoved under the rug because it appeared to be a kid game.

So what about you guys? What do you think are the most underrated games?

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29 thoughts on “GamerSushi Asks: Underrated Games!”

  1. well aparently blood on the sand sold 1,030,000 copies so it was not that underrated by people, just critics.
    Advent Rising was a sick game, I loved the story and the powers were very interesting, I kinda want them to finish the story, but they definitely would need to up production values, cause their were too many parts were I did not know where to go

  2. Advent Rising. Hmm…Anthony, care to comment? I seem to remember you having some strong opinions about this one.

    How are we qualifying this? Is a game underrated if it gets a less than stellar score from official reviewers but is actually quite good? Or are we just talking about great games that nobody played?

    Can’t think of many examples of the former that rise above the level of guilty pleasures (-cough- Alien Syndrome on wii -cough-), but there’s plenty to choose from for the latter.

    I’d have to go with Panzer Dragoon Orta and Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath. It’s an absolute crime that these games ended up in so many bargain bins. Both received excellent reviews at the time. Too bad most Xbox owners couldn’t lift their heads up from playing Halo 2 long enough to take notice.

  3. I’d agree that Oddworld: Strangers Wrath is underrated. Id also say that CoD3 is underrated. It wasn’t a great shooter, but it was fine and better than most of the trash that other companies were shoveling out. Also i loved the medal of honor were you parachute onto the map. it was just a great feature that saved an otherwise not so great game, but i think it was still underrated.

  4. Is Demon’s Souls still considered underrated? Critics loved it but it’s a game that should be GOTY but wasn’t even on most people’s list for consideration.

    But anyway, my pick would be Folklore. Completely off anyone’s radar but a huge amount of fun. It’s a little bit more hardcore than most games right now, even if the premise doesn’t seem like it (i.e. there’s no way to heal if I can remember correctly). I don’t remember the last time I actually stood on my couch in excitement when fighting the final boss. Even the motion controls work great, better than any Wii game.

  5. Not so much an underrated game, but just one you don’t hear much about cause its an indie game, is Audiosurf. My music collection isn’t huge, maybe 500ish songs, but I’ve thrown more hours into Audiosurf than probably any other game i own.

    If you haven’t tried it, go do so now.

  6. Modern Warfare 2! no.

    Oh geez, I love underrated games. It makes me feel great when I take a risk or unearth a gem that just needs the dirt of ignorance wiped from it to make it outshine all the other artificial stones that are really just cheap effects.

    My favorite underrated game was Golden Sun 1 & 2, by far. I deem it underrated because I didn’t see as much advertising and even recognition among gamers. It’s always a nice surprise to bring it up in conversation and learn that there are other gamers in the Golden Sun club.
    The Golden Sun series was one of the best RPG’s of all time imo, and definitely in the Top 10 or 5 or 3 in handheld history. The graphics were and still are fantastically detailed and animated, the Djinn-class system was innovative and fun to experiment with, and the story was incredibly well-written and epic. The 2 games were an absolute blast to play through, and I’m psyched for the 3rd installment that has been confirmed to be in development. Golden Sun is gaining popularity, or at least its fanbase is starting to surface into the Know, but I still classify it as an underrated game because I literally found it on the shelf, checked the back, thought it looked cool, and was amazed when I returned home and couldn’t put it down.
    If you haven’t played Golden Sun and the sequel Golden Sun: The Lost Age, GO GET THEM. NAAAOOO.

  7. The Witcher. The people who know about it love it, but not that many people seem to know about it…

  8. In the same way that overrated games can be both “great” and still “overrated” (much like ovechkin), so too can games be amazing and underrated. Therefore, I say:

    Half-Life 1 – The whole “orange box” and revolution of “everyone plays games now” has lead a lot of people into the laps of Valve… but a lot of those players havent experienced the first one. Hell, I can’t even remember most of it; I just remember how amazing it was.

    Also, Super Mario World for SNES. and Deus Ex because it’s fantastic and I almost never hear about it any more *eTears*

    Fahrenheit / Indigo Prophecy
    The Longest Journey / Dreamfall

    I feel there are a lot.

  9. Nice posts so far!

    Julez, I totally am onboard with you about Indigo Prophecy. Great game.

    I’ve never actually played Dreamfall, but I hear that it’s kind of awesome. I hear the same thing about the Witcher, Captain Canada.

  10. I will second the Witcher,the Longest Journey/Dreamfall, and Indigo prophecy. also Commander Keen, Cosmo’s Cosmic Adventures, Tyrian, the Penumbra series, and Full Throttle (or pretty much anything by Tim Schafer) are all underrated imho

  11. Not really a underrated game, it’s scores reflected well on the game but Jet Set Radio Future, launch game for the xbox is one of my favourite games of all time. My goal for 2010 is to somehow get the original that was on the dreamcast haha.

  12. The Ship on steam, it’s an amazing mystery game. The only thing it lacks is online players. It’s very hard to find servers with a decent amount of players.

  13. Ah, Deus Ex. A shame that franchise has died off. What a great game.

    I forgot to mention Rez as well. Never played the ps2 version, but the Dreamcast version was amazing.

  14. Deus Ex, for sure. The first Devil May Cry was awesome.

    Advent Children? That fan-service crap that didn’t even make sense? Pass.

    Hot Shots Golf, as a series, gets no love and it is more fun than Tiger Woods (and without the hookers).

    The Dragon Quest series, in North America, barely registers sometimes, which makes me sad.

    Final Fantasy XII is hated by many, but it was an amazing game that really propelled the whole genre forward.

    Saints Row 2, NCAA doesn’t get the love that Madden does, but is ten times as fun.

  15. @ Zayven, isn’t Deus Ex 3 is coming out?

    I’ll give a few of my underrated games that are closest to my gaming heart:
    Gitaroo Man. Forget Guitar Hero, Rock Band and Space Chanel 5 – THIS is the greatest music game of all time!
    I’ll echo Julez, I think it was Julez, with Farenheit/Indigo Prophecy.
    Another two which weren’t a huge game (in the UK anyway) were Dark Cloud and Dark Chronicle, two of my favourite RPGs. Seriously, they were great!

  16. Jet Set Radio Future was indeed awesome. I wouldn’t bother with the DC version, DraZiC11. While a fun and innovative game at the time of its release, it has a few frustrating and poorly implemented elements that were either fixed or eliminated in JSRF.

    And speaking of JSRF’s developer, Smilebit, (who also did Panzer Dragoon Orta, btw) they made an incredibly underrated game for the xbox called Gun Valkyrie that didn’t get a lot of great reviews or press due in part to its absolutely brutal difficulty level. A really fun but incredibly frustrating game. It really deserved a sequel.

    Another game that was really good but got punished because of its absurd difficulty level was Enclave. Demon’s Souls really reminds me of this game, actually; just imagine DSouls as a linear action game with no character improvement beyond buying new gear. Died during that scripted earthquake sequence at the end of the level that you didn’t see coming? Tough cookies. Back to the beginning of the level for you.

  17. Hadn’t heard about Deus Ex 3. Is it a done deal or something bouncing around in developmental hell?

    The original Deus Ex was really ahead of its time; its the spiritual ancestor of modern first-person shooters like Bioshock. I thought the sequel (which I actually played first) was a step back design-wise, but still a great game.

    Somebody should start another thread about games that aren’t so much underrated as forgotten. I was going to bring up the Syndicate series because I never hear anybody talk about it anymore but that’s more due to the passage of time than a lack of acclaim at the time of the games’ release.

  18. Oh, I always loved the first Parasite Eve game, as well.

    I couldn’t put it down when I played through it about ten years ago (yikes, has it been that long?).

    Didn’t care for the second one, though. They turned it into a Resident Evil clone.

  19. Alright, this is the last game I’m going to mention…seriously.

    Crimson Sea on xbox. It came out with no fanfare, got respectable reviews, and promptly disappeared forever. I don’t know if I’ve ever talked to anyone else that played it.

    It was made by the same company that does the Dynasty Warriors series (Koei?). The story was cliched sf drivel, but the action was intense and super fun, especially once your character gained access to psychic powers. Overall, it’s a forgotten gem of an action game that deserved a sequel.

  20. @ Zayven:

    According to the Deus Ex 3 forums [ ], they are still pushing forward with the project. Eidos MontrĂ©al is working on the game, and you may have heard that Square Enix has recently aquired Edios, so that could be a really great thing (development wise, cinematics specifically) or maybe not such a great thing in terms of the series ‘feel’. We’ll have to wait and see.

    Deus Ex 1 was incredible. DE2 was such an unbelievable disapointment… If DE3 can bring back the feeling of the first, I think the fans will have a great, great year.

  21. The general consensus has always been that Deus Ex 2 was built with the limitations of consoles in mind. I’m not sure that argument holds up, seeing as how Bethesda had no problem putting the massive Elder Scrolls 3 on the xbox.

    I think the bigger problem was that the developers didn’t give console gamers enough credit and felt like they had to dumb down the design to compete with the “quick twitch” style of shooters that dominated consoles at the time. Remember, pc gamers are the original “hardcore” crowd and have always looked upon consoles as mindless entertainment for the ignorant plebs. It shouldn’t come as a surprise if the developers felt that console gamers “couldn’t handle” or “wouldn’t get” the original Deus Ex (wasn’t there a disastrous ps1 port that left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth?).

    That’s my excuse for the game, anyway. The sad thing is that even after they scaled the design back to the point that it was a mere shadow of the first game, Deus Ex: Invisible War was STILL one of the best shooters released on the xbox.

  22. Yeah I agree with that. They scaled it back a lot, and obviously designed it for console and then just ported it over to PC. It’s like they betrayed both groups, I’m not exactly sure who their target market was hah. When it first came out for PC, the mouse didn’t even respond properly, it took them a while to get a patch out but afterwards it was atleast playable.

    I remember it was one of the first games I played that had good physics, like pushing the lights over the pool tables to make them swing, actually effected the lighting in the room. It was like seeing the HL2 physics demos for the first time. Awesome.

  23. The Last Remnant. I’ve heard the xbox360 version wasn’t that good but when they released the pc version I didn’t hear much about it. I’ve been playing The Last Remnant for the PC over Steam on and off over the past few weeks and I love it to bits. JPRG ftw.

    Also Condition Zero: Deleted Scenes. CS with a slight story? AWESOME. <3 Wish they did it with the source engine. <3

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