Top Ten Underrated Video Games List

Introduction: Hello gamers! This is a top ten list of what I think are the most underrated games that have hit the shelves. Whether they sold badly, or are just poorly received, these games I feel like were somehow neglected by the general populous. There will be a few guidelines and disclaimers (mostly the latter):
1. These games are NOT rated by overall quality, and are also NOT rated by obscurity. But by a COMBINATION of BOTH.
2. These are all games I have played at least ENOUGH to form an opinion about. Not all of these I might have completed (I'm no completionist, fair warning).
3. This is my opinion. I do not consider this a fact.
4. Only one game per series can make this list.
5. I will ATTEMPT too avoid spoilers as much as plausible.
6. I'll try to get as in-depth as I can. May be

Now that that is over with...
This list is a non-votable list and the content of the list reflects the opinion of its author.
The Top Ten
1 Contact (DS Game)

This is a game I'm not sure if anybody here is really going to have heard about before this since IT HARDLY SOLD in America at all, and only sold 25,000 copies IN ONE YEAR in Japan (Initial Release was there!). It is really obscure, had mixed reception, and was honestly among my favorite games ever.

(Since the site does not have the cover art, look it up if you want)

Here is why I don't understand it's reception AND it's sales AND why I think it needed a SEQUEL:

1. A really well designed class system. The way it works is that you collect suits throughout the game that give you special abilities. For example, the Nitro Suit allows you to use Fire-oriented abilities.

2. Probably the most intuitive RPG reward system in the history of gaming. You level up the aforementioned suits (There are 7 of them), weapon types (Blunt/Fist/Sword), Attributes (Strength, Dexterity, Speed... There are 7), Anti-Elemental (4), Anti-Weapon (3)... Yeah that's a lot of leveling up. AND IT'S QUITE INTERACTIVE! You level up stuff BY UTILIZING IT. Not by just gaining exp. No, you USE THE SKILL OR ATTRIBUTE to level it. One called Karma can even go negative if you cause an utter massacre!

3. A pretty swell plotline. To summarize, the Professor is trying to fight off a terrorist organization known as the cosmoNOTs lead by the well designed character named Lester Sprawl (who has a mediocre sword at best when you pick it up), and Mint a girl that the protagonist (Terry) imagines in his sleep (Pretty creepy!) You are actually a part of this as you wield the technology to control Terry (FOURTH WALL BROKEN!), and the professor actually contacts you specifically quite a few times in game. Makes you feel special.

4. Character design was good, I thought. Though I thought some were a little on the stereotypical side. You'd see what I mean if you decided to order it on Amazon, if there's copies left.

I mean sure it's combat system could have used some work, and running past people without any real punishment at most times are somewhat poor design choices, I feel like this game still gets nowhere even close to enough attention. I mean G4 did a review on it that did it some justice too, but I still say it's nowhere near enough. One of the best games ever made, and it's not even recognized.

2 One Piece: Grand Adventure

Yet another game that is so unrecognized that it has not a single picture of it's cover art on here. By the way, this game nearly got me into One Piece, and then I would have become an otaku instead.

For being a game based on a T.V. show (an anime, really), it had extremely good mechanics. I mean it felt like you're playing Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat with characters from the anime. The game itself had a plot that wasn't at all memorable, but I digress. I played this game sheerly for the gameplay value. Not really much to say about this game, not exactly wondrous, but definitely NOT awful, and undeserving of it's status of being shoved under the rug.

3 Shadow the Hedgehog Shadow the Hedgehog Product Image

I know the toxics known as the Sonic community will utterly BASH me for what I say next. I thought this game was actually really good, quite honestly. Hear me out, I KNOW it ISN'T standard Sonic fare, but that doesn't equal a bad game (what does is a lack of functionality and a lack of immersion, which I believe this game doesn't lack in many ways), in the slightest. In fact some good games can be departures from it.

The fast-paced shooter element complemented the platforming decently enough, and the plotline was actually really well put together in my opinion. They used the amnesia REALLY well. Shadow can't remember his past (other than "MARIA! ") and is venturing to figure it out, completing missions along the way. The game allowed you to actually have a whole web of missions where you could do things your way. If you wanted to be good, evil, or in the middle, you could do so. It made it so it isn't as simple as "get the the giant ring at the end and beat the level." It also gave it a fairly good replay value by having 326 DIFFERENT ENDINGS (sure it's only 6 missions long, but multiply that by 326, and you get a COMPLETIONIST'S length of 1956 missions, which are probably about a half-an-hour each. That's a whole of 978 hours, almost TWO COMPLETE RUNS OF SKYRIM, which is known to be fairly long, and not even as much time as I've played Team Fortress 2 in THREE YEARS OF TIME). Of course, I only got to one of them, of which I don't remember.

I recommend giving the game a second chance before you bash it again, Sonic Adventure 2 or die folk. Just get rid of the dang tunnel vision please.

4 Spongebob Squarepants The Battle For Bikini Bottom Spongebob Squarepants The Battle For Bikini Bottom Product Image

This game has been mentioned a good couple of times by countdown makers on Youtube, and if you had played it, you'd totally understand why. If you enjoyed OLD Spongebob (If you enjoy the newer seasons, well you don't have good tastes. You might like Annoying Orange, it's pretty similar to that.)

The game had really good platforming going for it. It wasn't frustratingly difficult, like Super Meat Boy is when you aren't playing with a controller, though it wasn't stupid easy either.
The cast from Spongebob was just as it was in the series itself. EVEN WITH THE SAME VOICE ACTORS! Wow! Tom Kenny and the gang are all here!
The plot is something taken straight from Spongebob episodes as well. Plankton is trying to steal the formula. Don't let him do it.
The game even had a somewhat memorable soundtrack, and honestly the music of the overworld is a perfect fit for it.
The overworld was well executed mechanically, and looked like the most accurate mapping of Bikini Bottom possible.

So yeah I'd say a must have for any OLD Spongebob fan who still has a sixth gen console and can find it.

5 Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus Product Image

Another just like Shadow the Hedgehog. A game that's hated by the purist idiots that dominate some toxic communities for no decent reason at all. In this case, it's the Final Fantasy community doing the ignorant bashing on Dirge of Cerberus. Yes, I thought Dirge of Cerberus was actually fairly good.

The plotline is decent enough. It involves the main character, Vincent Valentine, trying to save the world from an organization known as the Deepground, which spawned after the events of Final Fantasy VII (the original game this spin-off links to). Not the most interesting plot, as plots of that kind are used quite a bit.

The execution was fairly solid, it is a third-person shooter RPG, and the only of it's kind in the entire Final Fantasy series. It made the features refreshing, but the only issue is that Square Enix is not adapted to making games like this, and you can notice that through the fact it's also got quite a few RPG elements.

The soundtrack was definitely different, but actually somewhat memorable. The menu music is actually really well composed. It gives a sense of tension. Character development was well done, though I'm not sure about the ship in the game. It was really awkward in my opinion.

I actually liked playing this game while I had it, or had a working PS2 to play it on.

6 Gex 2: Enter the Gecko Gex 2: Enter the Gecko Product Image

I feel like many people completely seem to forget this game, and that it ever existed. Well let me say this: I have no idea why this game didn't quite fly off shelves like Super Mario 64 did.

The game's protagonist is a lizard from Hawaii who likes watching T.V.. That makes for some interesting quotes and personality traits. He is quite extroverted, kind of lazy, and extremely comical. I think this game probably holds the world record for Fourth Wall Breaks. T.V. and movie references everywhere.
The plot centers around you saving T.V. from Rez, who's trying to take it over, by request of agents who make him agree to their terms with money and a tuxedo. Totally unrealistic if you ask me, but this game doesn't seem to like taking itself seriously anyways, and that is most certainly an understatement in all honesty. Heck the end has one of the funniest and biggest references in the entire game (No spoilers! ).

The game's levels are themed like T.V. is themed, I guess, in some alternate universe. There are Cartoon levels, there are horror themed levels (Two on N64, Three on other platforms), Kung-Fu levels, Tech-themed levels, a Titanic centered level (N64 Exclusive! ), Prehistoric levels, and a Dystopian channel that's also Rez's lair.

Platforming is as functional as could be with quite few complaints from me, which weren't even memorable complaints. About as solid as Banjo-Kazooie is in that department.

The music is well suited to the themes of the levels themselves and is quite memorable. Overworld theme sounds like it's straight from a James Bond soundtrack, I guess with a Hawaiian Gecko twist? I don't know.

Overall, I believe this is a great game. Don't understand why the series in general isn't heralded among the greats of platforming. I guess because people thought it'd be a cheesy ripoff title, but it had it's own sort of personality. Vibes of a comedic gaming masterpiece.

7 Disgaea: Hour of Darkness Disgaea: Hour of Darkness Product Image

This game was voted in 2001 to be "the best game nobody played." I'd say it fits the bill rather nicely. Of course it became more popular as time went on (it aged fairly well actually), but nonetheless still deserves this list. It did become Nippon Ichi's second most popular game for the PS2, which is why it's lower on the list. But it's AMAZING!

The game plays like a turn-based RPG with a twist that hinges on Strategy titles. You can summon up to 10 characters at a time on a single map that is lined with tiles. If you've played Final Fantasy Tactics, it's probably somewhat familiar to you. Of course I say somewhat because it's not quite the same. It has a few quirks that I'll let you see for yourself if you haven't and wish to.

The plot centers around a prince of the Underworld named Laharl, who tries to inherit the throne from his father, who... choked on a pretzel? Yeah this game's plot after the beginning takes a roughly similar angle. Somewhat dark, but much more comedic than anything else.

The character lineup is quite rich, fairly dynamic, and entertaining. With Prinnys (penguins who say "DOOD! " instead of proper nouns), a stereotypically spiteful prince of the Underworld who likes being the center of attention, and his vassal that's somewhat similar to Laharl except she's a bit more whimsical than he. There's also many other characters to mention like Flonne, who is initially a stereotypical innocent little girl (angel), but who becomes more like Laharl's vassal, Etna, or Captain Gordon, the stereotypical superhero type with a bit more of an arrogant charm to him.

The soundtrack? NOSTALGIC HEAVEN! Between Captain Gordon's theme, and the main theme, and all else too... If you play games for the soundtrack, it's a must buy. The music is orchestrated absurdly well, to the point where I start shedding tears of joy even THINKING about the music in the game, even though I'm the type of person that doesn't usually visually express their emotions. So yeah, perhaps the best soundtrack in video game history.

Even the GRAPHICS emphasize the nature of the game. It looks like you're literally playing an anime (I think there is a Disgaea anime somewhere, which I MUST WATCH! )

In my honest opinion, this game is among the best ever made. Among the greats. You will for sure see it in my top ten when it comes to favorite video games of all time, and how could it NOT be?

8 Etrian Odyssey II: Heroes of Lagaard Etrian Odyssey II: Heroes of Lagaard Product Image

Another one swept under the rug (even though it got fairly good reviews)? I thought so since I've never heard of the game other than the fact I nearly played it to completion. Let's talk about why this is a game you should pick up if you are a fan of dungeon exploration RPGs.

There are a few things about this game I really liked:
1. The mapping system. You could map every single tile, wall, monster spawn, EVERYTHING so that you'd remember what you had went through and where everything is.
Sure it uses the touch screen, but in an intuitive and absurdly useful way THAT DOESN'T CONFLICT WITH THE GAME. Nicely done, Atlus.
2. The classes. You could choose your party to be any sort of class setup you want to have to run it. Plus skill leveling in this game is VERY flexible.
3. The plot was pretty solid and REALLY simple. GET TO THE TOP OF THE TREE (or the Yggdrasil Labyrinth), and you may find RICHES.

You didn't really play this game for music, but it's soundtrack had quality. Characterization? Well, there's one problem. There's no personality in your crew. You just assemble it, and guide them through the Labyrinth. Though the townspeople can be interesting enough. I recommend giving the entire series a go, though the first sounds the worst.

9 Super Mario Bros 2 Super Mario Bros 2 Product Image

Everyone always talks about Super Mario Bros. 3 when they talk about the best of the first three (in the US of course). However, I personally disagree. I think the platforming in the 3rd game was honestly like walking on ice with scissors in your hand. The first game? It lacked depth, even for it's time. The one that got overshadowed, however (I played the remake on the GBA), was astounding.

Let's start by talking about something Mario games usually lack: A plot. This is an exception, to an extent at least. Mario has a dream about a giant frog named Wart taking over a place called Subcon, and he "awakes to find the dream is true." Part of what I like about it is that it's somewhat up to interpretation whether the events REALLY happened. For a 2D Mario Platformer, it was pretty in-depth.

The gameplay is not standard Mario fare, and I honestly wish it became this. It's modeled after a game called Yume Kojo: Doki, Doki Panic, which sold in Japan, but never really made it to the states (with a title like that, I'd assume it wasn't ever supposed to make it here). It has some in common with the original game, but it is quite different. You can move around mushroom blocks to aid in platforming, there are cherries that can grant star powers after collecting five of them, you can pluck turnips out of the grass, and magic potions can create doors in the middle of a level, but it still retains the feel of a Mario game.

Music was not absurdly memorable, and the game was in no way about character development. Though I think the improvement of the graphics but the visuals miles ahead of the original, and I personally think better than Super Mario Bros. 3 as well.

Definitely not bad at all, in fact it's among my favorite platformers of all time.

10 Blinx The Time Sweeper Blinx The Time Sweeper Product Image

This game did have issues, but I feel like they were for the most part overstated by the people who rated it. I'd say it was a decent game, not 5-6/10 material. I kind of enjoyed the bit that I had played.

The plot was not memorable. Blinx is the Time Sweeper, his job being to clean up temporal glitches. To be honest, it really was a simple plotline. But it is a platformer, so it's expected to not have an excellent plot.

The game was a little on the difficult side at times, some levels really required effort to beat. The mechanics of the game felt quite intuitive, and the quirks accentuated the game's 4D nature, though it focused on it a bit too much. Not bad, but there have been plenty better.

Music was in no way memorable. The art style was odd to me, but it worked with the game's concept in my opinion. The art is kind of like you see on the cover. Cartoonish, and a wee bit silly looking.

Overall, it wasn't bad. Pretty good for being rated 7/10, and then getting slammed for being "overrated," which as you see, I disagree with, but I agree somewhat with the original rating. It was the sales of the game that got me.