We don’t have long to go before we get our hands on our next-gen console of choice, so it isn’t a surprise to see a lot of writers compiling lists of what they consider the “best” games of this generation. The current lineup of hardware and software has undoubtedly made a massive contribution to the games industry and will be remembered for decades to come.
However, I feel like there’s very little mention of games that didn’t do so well, either sales-wise or in reviews, but deserve a chance. And that’s why I wanted to compile my own list. Do note, however, that this list is entirely personal and only includes games that I’ve actually played. My views do not represent the entirety of Pixel Enemy’s.
Without further ado, here are my top five games that deserve a chance, and why.
5) Remember Me (PS3, Xbox 360, PC)
Developed by Dontnod Entertainment and published by Capcom, Remember Me was an ambitious title that had some glaring flaws, but was fun to play nonetheless. My reason for including it in this list is simply because the game is unique and felt fresh. While some developers were busy recycling, Dontnod took a risk, and they deserve some credit for that. The game itself felt a bit clumsy at times, but is action-packed, and the satisfaction I derived from beating it was immense.
4) Bulletstorm (PS3, Xbox 360, PC)
Bulletstorm is a product of Epic Games and People Can Fly, and was published by EA in 2011. While the game received generally positive reviews, it didn’t do well in sales. The title has sold less than one million copies and quite frankly, I’m surprised by that. I’m not a huge fan of FPS games but this one had me hooked from start to finish. While I enjoyed the cheesy lines, the best part of the game for me was the “skillshot” system which rewarded players for killing opponents in obnoxious and destructive ways. Blowing creatures up never felt this good!
3) Beyond: Two Souls (PS3)
Should it be classified as a game? Is it an interactive movie? What genre does this fall under? All these questions are valid. Very recently, I wrote a brief feature on interactive storytelling in light of the varied reviews that Quantic Dream’s latest project received, and in it, I mentioned what I think went wrong with Beyond: Two Souls. However, it’s fair to say that the game has paved way for further exploration of the concept of interactive drama/storytelling, and that’s not a bad thing. I know that many others have enjoyed the experience like I am. And it looks like David Cage isn’t out to please the majority, which I like about him.
2) Driver: San Francisco (PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, PC, Mac)
My reasons for including Ubisoft’s 2011 installment in the Driver series in this list are slightly different. The game received generally positive reviews and sales have exceeded Ubisoft’s expectations, but I feel like it deserves more attention. A lot of people have shunned it because it’s yet another racer and the only racing games people really talk about are Forza, Need for Speed and Gran Turismo. However, Driver: San Francisco is the most fun I’ve had playing a racing game in ages, and it didn’t bore me like the aforementioned titles do after a while. It’s a very challenging game and has a story, albeit cheesy. Like Remember Me, I felt like beating the game was quite an achievement. Also, the in-game San Francisco looks great and the soundtrack is pretty awesome.
1) Mafia II (PS3, Xbox 360, PC, Mac)
2K Czech’s 2010 release came under a lot of fire not just from critics, but also from a member of the European Parliament who called for the game to be banned. Campaigns against violent games aside, many reviewers complained that Mafia II was generic and boring. I strongly disagree. I picked up a copy after completing L.A. Noire as I was craving something set in a similar time period, and Mafia II didn’t let me down. While it was nothing like the game that brought me to it, the 12 hours I spent playing it were full of enjoyment. The beautiful city of Empire Bay was a plus, but sadly, you couldn’t do much in it except for driving around and adoring the views. That’s my only complaint, though. On a side-note, the game’s soundtrack quickly climbed up my list of favorites.
And there you have it; my list of top five games that didn’t do so well but deserve a shot. Be sure to keep an eye out for our staff picks for the “Best Game of the Generation” coming up soon. I’m open to questions/comments, and would love to hear your list!