The 10 best UNKNOWN classic games of all time

Sure, we all know them Marios, Sonics and Raymans. However, there are A LOT of brilliant classic games out there, that are relatively unknown. These gems either sold little or were never meant to have a sequel. Some of them were not released worldwide and some even didn’t sell at all.

I only consider games that are PRE PS2/GBA era classic – ending with the Dreamcast. So if you are missing a game on this list and think it should be here, drop me a line in the comments section.

Have a look at my favourite unknown classics and WHY I love them so much…

#10 – Die by the Sword
This gem was released for the PC in February 1998. It was developed by now famous developer Treyarch and published by Tantrum and Interplay.
This little treasure gave you complete control over the sword arm of your main character, allowing you to slice and cut off parts of your enemies in a neat fashion. Wii Motion+ anyone? The game recieved an expansion pack called “Limb from Limb”

Why it is unknown:
The game sold relatively poor. Although it was well received by critics, it happened to be released next to a litle game called Tomb Raider…

#09 – Trojan
A nice little arcade game by Capcom, it was later ported over to the NES with a few extras. The game sets you in a postapocalyptic world, where swords and maces are the weapons of choice once again. And you set out to kill a bad guy with said sword. Nice and shiny.
The game was extraordinarily hard, and that’s probably the reason it didn’t really sell. It was re-released by Capcom on their Capcom Classics Collection Vol.1.

Why it is unknown:
Probably because its ages old and even when it was new, it didn’t really sell.

#08 – Gargoyles
Back in the late 90s, Gargoyles was the rage. So it was no wonder that Disney developed a video game. It was created for the Sega Genesis (MegaDrive in Japan and Europe) and featured Goliath in an alternate take on the TV Shows Storyline. A SNES port was planned, but ultimately canned, because it was already late 1995 and the playStation was the new boss, and with the dawn of the N64 on the horizon, this game ultimately flopped.

Why it is unknown:
Most people didn’t care for the Genesis in 1995 anymore, since the PlayStation was the new checker. Poor advertising didn’t help either.

#07 – Mischief Makers
In 1997, a still unknown company named Treasure developed a game for Enix. It was a sidescroller that featured amazingly clever level designs, fun gameplay and a top notch experience. And Enix published it for the Nintendo 64.
Sadly enough, 1997 also saw the release of one of the most overhyped games in gaming History: Final Fantasy VII

Why it is unknown:
Nobody had it. Back in the day, manga was nothing and anime was considered to be “that japanese cartoons”. Nobody ever took something like that serious. Also, everyone waited for Final Fantasy VII.

#06 – MDK
“Wait” youre going to say, “I know MDK… Everyone does!” And you’re not that wrong. Everyone who has a taste in gaming and was born before 1997, the games year of release. So it is not that well known. Unfortunately, because this is one heck of a game. A Sci-Fi 3rd person shooter, you are Kurt and you kill aliens. Sounds generic, but you’ve never done it this way. The design and finesse shines through ever polygon in this title. From the worlds smallest nuclear explosion to those amazingly annoying “A VILLAIN A VILLAIN” robots, everything was well thought out. And Snowboarding.

Why it is unknown:
Back in the day, most people knew it, but it faded into obscurity. It got a sequel, MDK2, but that didn’t sell well and the game fell into the limbo of forsaken gems.

#05 – Vice: Project Doom
Aicom. What the heck is an Aicom? Well, Aicom are the developers of this rare little gem. And Aicom was Sammy and Sammy was Sega. So for making things simple: This is a Sega Game released on the NES. Wut?
Anyway, this genre mish-mash features driving, platforming, shooting and whatelse in one tidy little package. Released in 1991 for the NES, it was as quickly forgotten as the developer that created it. The reason? A tiny little thing called SNES.

Why it is unknown:
Well, it was rather obscure by its days and the impending release of the SNES did not help either.

#04 – Faxanadu
1987, 1989, 1990 – Those were the years this game was released. In Japan, USA and Europe respectively. And we complain when we have to wait three months for a localisation. Back in those days, it took three years!
A strange little RPG, Faxanadu is actually part of the legendary XANADU series of games. The Fa before the XANADU was added to tell Japanese kids it is for the Famicom, Japan’s version of the NES.
The game is sidescrolling and one tough cookie, but worth playing for every fan of the NES or old RPGs.

Why it is unknown:
Obscurity. Also, Hudson did not really advertise it. Even I wouldn’t know about it hadn’t my mom found this game in the local super market in the late summer of 1994 for a win win price.

#03 – Maui Mallard in Cold Shadow (Donald in Maui Mallard)
One of the finest platformers ever created, this nice little hit was released in 1995 for the Sega Genesis, and alter ported to the SNES in 1996.
While some consider the Sega version to be the better game, I say the SNES version owns the Sega one in every single aspect – from level design to gameplay to music – everything is made better in the SNES version.

Why it is unknown:
1995 saw the release of the PlayStation. This sad little fact already killed Gargoyles as well as many many other games. But when the N64 was ready, even the SNES version stood no chance. And though the game was ported to PC and GameBoy, it still flopped.

#02 – Terranigma
A true classic. I consider this to be the pinnacle of SNES RPGs. I can already hear them scream… Chrono Chrono Chrono CHRONO! But do not be fooled, I personally enjoyed this game A LOT more than Chrono Trigger.
In this game, you basically are god. In the body of a teenager from hell. Confusing, but awesome.
Brilliant graphics, one of the best soundtracks ever created and perfect balancing make this game one of the best RPGs ever created.

Why it is unknown:
Can’t you guess? It was never released in the USA because of the many many religious references. And it flopped in Europe, where the PlayStation was released the same year.

#01 – The Legend of Zelda: Ancient Stone Tablets
“WUT” you say – “What the heck? A Zelda Game? You kidding? Didn’t you say UNKNOWN?
Well, I did, but read the title again and then tell me, without using Google, what Zelda game this is and for what console.
You don’t know? You don’t say!
Ancient Stone Tablets was a Super Nintendo game, released in the mid 90s via the SatellaView, a download system for the Super Nintendo. Yes, Nintendo did DLC in the 90s already. It was a full fledged Zelda Game, featuring 8 dungeons set in the world of A Link to the Past, during the time when Link was on his journey. SO it plays during Link’s Awakening.
The game was released as download in four parts. One part each week, for one month. It featured, like all BS (Beta Satellite) games, a narrator and voice acting as well as orchestrated music (on the Super Nintendo, can you imagine?)

Why it is unknown:
Well, think of it: After its original broadcast, the game was never broadcasted again. You see, you could only play the game during the broadcast. Not before, and not after. Only once while it was streamed. Also, it was only streamed in Japan. So what did you expect?

Surprised? Angry? Asleep? If you think I made some mistakes, just drop me a line. And look forward to my next few features 🙂

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4 Responses to The 10 best UNKNOWN classic games of all time

  1. Pingback: The Legend of Zelda Timeline Theory | Gaming with Ezekiel Rage

  2. brunsShizk says:

    who the hell writes these kinds of lists, the majority of them are written by kids that were not around during these games releases. Mischief makers? seriously? That game was advertised everywhere, its not unknown just didnt get as many sales as it thought it would. christ, skip this

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