Some of these games are rare because they never sold too many copies at the time, but lived on in cult status, making them desirable gaming trophies to have on your shelf of experiences. Usually, when a game is great and people enjoy it, it’ll sell a lot of copies and there will be enough used ones floating around for future generations of gamers to enjoy, but sometimes when a game is a surprise hit, or just never really finds an audience, it’s hard to get your hands on a copy, and most people will never get a chance to play it at all.
The following games have made this list for a variety of reasons. Chances are there are some you’ve never heard of, and chances are there are some you’ve loved playing already. From obscure, to underappreciated, to downright rare and nearly impossible to find – here are 10 games that not enough people have gotten the chance to play.
10. Star Wars 1313
When Disney took over, they cancelled a lot of ongoing LucasArts projects, and this was one of them. The plan was for a grittier, more mature take on the Star Wars universe, which may not have aligned with typical Disney. It would take place during Boba Fett’s earlier adulthood, and give us a deeper look into the character. With Battlefront getting a mixed reception, many had hoped it would have been more like what they were expecting from 1313.
Rumor has it this game is still being shopped around, trying to find a development studio to license it and complete work, but we won’t hold our breath. We’ve seen gameplay trailers, but only a small number of people have ever had a chance to try this game out. Let’s hope that changes.
9. Thrill Kill
If you had a bootleg copy of this game that was cancelled near completion, consider yourself one of the lucky few. This 1998 fighting game aimed to allow 4 players to compete simultaneously, which would be a tough thing to try to balance even today, let alone two decades ago. A “Thrill Kill” was basically their equivalent of a Fatality in Mortal Kombat. The four players would compete in a 3D room, think along the lines of a Soul Caliber game.
Thrill Kill’s engine was later used for the Wu-Tang Clan game, along with a slew of others.
8. Brave Fencer Musashi
This game got attention initially because it included a demo disc for FFVIII. This 1998 action RPG from Square was a bit overshadowed, but a great game none the less. It involved real-time sword battles with RPG elements. There was a day and night to recharge, and a lot of charm, but the game quickly became rare and some of you may remember looking through the shelves at game stores to try to find a copy. A sealed copy is going to run you around $300, but you can pick up a used version in so-so condition for closer to $40.
The Neverhood was a PC adventure game back in the day, and its sequel was a platformer for PSX called Skullmonkeys. Playstation Magazine said this game had the best game music they’ve ever heard, which was composed by Terry Scott Taylor.
We’ve seen this claymation style in other games, namely Clayfighter, but Skullmonkeys does a better job of pulling it off aesthetically. It feels kind of like Earthworm Jim meets Donkey Kong, overall it’s a great platformer and a great way to spend an afternoon if you’re able to come across a copy.
6. Starfox 2
Starfox 2 was a completed, yet never released follow-up to the incredible Starfox for Super Nintendo. Decades later, Starfox Adventures feels a bit like a sequel to the original Starfox, but we never got the proper sequel at the time. It was scrapped since the Nintendo 64 was right around the corner, and they opted to use the advanced tech (at the time) for Starfox 64.
5. Night Trap
Before there was Heavy Rain, there was Night Trap. This narrative-driven, full motion video game took advantage of the enhanced storage capabilities of CD-ROMs and was originally released for the Sega CD before being ported over to 3DO, DOS, Mac OS, and Sega 32X.
This game was about a group of ladies who were being targeted by vampire-like creatures. Your job was to switch between hidden cameras and use traps to stop the vampires from harming the young ladies.
This game was very controversial, and was quickly pulled from store shelves, however it’s not too hard to find online these days. It had a large role in contributing to the forming of the ESRB, so this game has a little piece of history.
4. Starcraft Ghost
There are rumors that there was a playable build for Starcraft Ghost at one point, but all we’ve really seen are a few clips of gameplay. Allegedly, some Gamestop employees back in the day had a chance to check it out hands-on, but we can’t confirm these rumors. In any case, Starcraft Ghost was going to be a 3rd person shooter set in the Starcraft world, so you could run around as a marine and blast zerglings from a whole new point of view.
Aside from the team working on it, and maybe a handful of game store employees, not many people got a chance to try this out. There are still gamers out there still holding onto hope in 2017, but it seems very unlikely. Starcraft Ghost met the unfortunate death of development hell.
3. Snow Bros.
This game was similar to Bubble Bobble and has developed a bit of a cult following over the years. It’s not like it was a total flop or anything, it received re-releases on other platforms as well as a sequel. When it was ported to the Gameboy, they had to change the shapes of certain characters, as it was color that was previously used to distinguish them and the Gameboy couldn’t display colors.
Most recently, there was a mobile port released for iOS and Android. This game has also found it’s way to an arcade emulator, even thought it was never officially released in arcades. In 2006, a rom of the unreleased Amiga version was leaked online.
2. Robot Alchemic Drive
R.A.D was a PS2 game developed by Sandlot and published by Enix. You control a giant robot named Meganite. There were some interesting mechanices, for example destroying certain buildings could have an impact on the trajectory of different characters, if those buildings were relevant to their story.
R.A.D. certainly wasn’t for everyone, and sold about 18,000 copies in its first two weeks of release, but has found a fanbase that continues to revisit it to this day.
1. Earth Defense Force 2017
This is a very campy third person shooter. It was popular enough to spawn a series of sequels, most recently 2015’s EDF 4.1. We’ve finally made it to 2017, and the Earth isn’t overrun by hordes of insect aliens. The fifth installment is coming this year.
This was actually the third game in the series which has a larger following over in Japan, but the first to make its way overseas to a North American audience. Some people wrote it off quickly for not having the greatest graphics, and for seeing kind of repetitive, but once you gave it a chance and got into it, and overlooked some of the flaws, there’s a very fun game here.