It happens to the best of us. Sometimes we have so much going on in real life that our gaming lives take a hit. Hell, sometimes it’s because we’re playing too many games that some slip through the cracks. I mean we’ll still keep up with games that we are currently playing but, sometimes, there’s just too much on our plate. Most of the games that do slip under our radar are because they don’t appeal to us for some reason or other. I’m here to tell you that there are some games that may have slipped by that deserved to be played. Now some of you may have hit these titles in one way or another but, I personally think that these titles were missed by a majority of gamers out there.
If there’s anything that you believe should be on this list and/or have any comments on the games listed here by all means reach out to us. This is all a matter of opinion and is not meant to be the end all be all of anything.
Rayman Origins (PS3, XBOX 360, and Wii)
This game is a 2D platformer that was released in 2011. This title is hands down one of the best platformers ever made. Yes, even better than those games with the name “Mario” in it. Origins is a masterpiece in every single way. The art and animation are completely colorful and amazing and 100% hand drawn. This type of beauty isn’t done in games anymore. Also, the game is displayed in 1080p. The music is also absolutely brilliant. I cannot stress how good the music is. The gameplay is as simple as it comes but, once you think you are quite used to the game’s mechanics, they throw many things your way that will have you using your different abilities in unorthodox ways. The difficulty appeals to every type of gamer as well. It’s easy enough for people who want to casually breeze through it but it ramps up in difficulty once you near the end and it is crazy hard if you want to try to fully complete it. This game was met with positive reviews across the board, critical acclaim, and was nominated for game of the year across several gaming news outlets. Despite all of this positivity, the game was a financial failure due to lackluster sales. Do yourself a favor and play this game (if you haven’t already). There is the good news that there is a sequel on the way in September across the three systems. This game was truly a labor of love and I guarantee you there will be a smile on your face the whole time you play.
Anarchy Reigns (PS3)
Anarchy Reigns or Max Anarchy was a title released by Platinum Games in the U.S. in January of this year. It’s considered a sequel to 2008’s MadWorld (which was another good title that a lot of people missed). It’s an action adventure in the style of a beat-em-up/fighting game. It comes with a semi-ridiculous story but the focus is really on the gameplay and the characters themselves. This title also has an excellent soundtrack. One of the better video game soundtracks I’ve heard. The single player campaign is satisfying enough and has three sides to the same story. This part of the game is rather short. Platinum hasn’t really been known to make long games. The best part of the game is the multiplayer. We’re talking all out 32 player showdowns in an arena with characters that have ridiculous movesets, semi-infinites, infinites, OHKO’s (One Hit Knock Out), and their own different styles. The problem with this game is that it was released everywhere else about a year prior, so if you jump online, beware because there are people who have been exploiting the infinite combos with certain characters. This game is like a fighting game that’s not and it’s totally awesome. Play it, because whether you do or you don’t…it’s madness.
Persona 4 Arena (PS3 and XBOX 360)
The Persona series has always been an RPG since the first title. The games were met with an overall positive reception due to their deep stories and your control of the relationship levels between your character and others within the game. With this latest entry, the developers decided to do something different, they decided to make it into a fighting game. Now, this has been done before with the likes of Ehrgeiz and the Dissidia games, which used more popular RPG characters from the Final Fantasy games. Those games aren’t bad and are only as popular as they are because there are Final Fantasy characters in them. As fighting games they aren’t terribly deep or that much fun.
Persona 4 Arena is not only a ridiculously fun fighting game but it is also a deep one. It’s also counted as a legitimate entry in the series due to its extremely long and engaging story mode. The game uses 4 buttons, 2 for your character and 2 for a spirit that each character controls (their Persona). That’s all there is to it really. There is also an auto-combo mechanic where if you press a certain button 5 times each character will do a preset combo ending in a super (if you have meter). No, there is no way to turn it off. Sounds easy enough, right? The thing is once you try to get deeper into the games’ mechanics you will discover that just four buttons, a solid combo system, and a truly diverse and kick-ass character roster makes this an awesome game. The game is easy enough to pick up but to master it takes a certain kind of dedication and patience. This title was made by the same people who thought up Guilty Gear and Blazblue and it’s just as good as both. I also want to add that the online scene is still very much alive a year after its release and that’s partially due to the amazing netcode. This game was also added as an official entry into EVO 2013. EVO is the biggest worldwide fighting game tournament held every year in Vegas. It was also voted as the best fighting game of last year. Not too shabby for something that most people probably haven’t played.
Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner (PS2, Xbox 360, and PS3)
Konami just released an HD collection for both games in the Z.O.E series late last year. The title I am referring to is the second in the series which was originally released in 2003. The tagline for these games was, “High Speed Robot Action”. There are some decent mech games out there, such as some of the Gundam entries; the thing is that these games aren’t all that compelling or exciting. The second Z.O.E game took their tagline and ran with it. This game is by far the coolest, most intense, fast paced, mech game I have ever played. It looks great, it plays better, it has a dramatic and well written story (although the voice acting leaves something to be desired), and it has some very interesting boss battles that require you to use what you know in different ways. I played the original on the PS2 and it was probably one of the best games on it. I own the HD collection and I must say the transition is excellent. Everything that was great about the game holds up and they threw a little extra challenge in there for you this time around. Similar to the U.S. release of Devil May Cry 3, in this game our normal mode was Europe’s very hard mode. It was great to play this game again with HD graphics and sound and if you want to play it for the first time I highly recommend it. It’s awesome.
Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix (PS2)
I know a lot of people played Kingdom Hearts II. It was a highly anticipated title back then and was met with a fair amount of success. That’s being modest, it was crazy successful. A lot of people know about Kingdom Hearts. The reason why this title is on the list is because it seems that the Japanese like to play games with English voiceovers but at the same time have even more content than the U.S. originally got. This seemed to be the norm with Square Enix games of that time including the first Kingdom Hearts, and Final Fantasy X and X-2.
This brings us to the Final Mix version of Kingdom Hearts II. The regular version is one of my favorite games and the amount of content they put into this remixed version is bananas. First off there was more added to the plot, unfortunately this stuff wasn’t voiced over so we are just treated to Japanese subtitles and characters speaking silently. There were more abilities added to the insane amount you already had. There were new keyblades exclusive to this version. You also had access to an additional Drive form called Limit form which resembled Sora from the first game but with crazy attacks. Along with the additional Drive form you had one more Drive gauge so instead of 5 like the original, you had 6. The game also added harder versions of the Organization XIII battles. The best thing about this was not only did you actually get to fight Roxas, you had the option of fighting all thirteen members in a separate room after completing the game and going through a secret area. These battles were hard, I mean HARD as HELL! Not to mention that the bosses would have about 17 bars of health and could at anytime do their “desperation”. Try fighting unlimited Roxas and tell me that you didn’t have a hard time.
The game also gave you a secret boss battle with who was then known as the “Enigmatic Spirit”. We all now know that this is Terra from the Birth By Sleep game. Terra as a boss was horribly difficult, I mean really, really difficult. These boss battles forced you to actually use the guard and reflect functions and knocked Sora down a peg from being a keyblade swinging WMD. The game also added a new mode of difficulty called Critical mode along with another secret ending in addition to the original one we already have. The game also allowed you to challenge yourself by equipping an ability called 0exp. It’s exactly what you think it is: 0 exp gain for the entire game, so you would remain at level 1, and you only had access to this in Critical mode.
That’s a LOT of bonuses. The game was well worth importing and the reason why it was on this list is because it never came to the states. I had so many hours of fun with this game and if you get the chance to import it, do it immediately. Just to be able to fight all of those extra bosses makes it worth it. It’s one of the best games you’ve probably never had the chance to play.
So these are in my opinion games that you should play if you haven’t already. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with any of these (unless it’s not your thing).
Let us know in the comments, what are some games that you have played highly urge others to play?