Underrated games that deserve a 2nd look

by MaddOx
0 comment

In the ever-evolving world of video games, some titles don’t receive the attention they deserve. These hidden gems often offer unique gameplay experiences, compelling stories, and innovative mechanics that rival mainstream hits. Here, we shine a spotlight on a selection of underrated games that are worth your time and attention.

Our top 5 games we think need more love

Oxenfree

  • Platform: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, iOS, Android
  • Developer: Night School Studio
  • Genre: Adventure, Horror

Oxenfree is a supernatural thriller about a group of friends who unwittingly open a ghostly rift. Developed by Night School Studio, this game combines a haunting narrative with beautiful, hand-painted visuals and an atmospheric soundtrack.

The game’s dialogue system is particularly noteworthy, allowing players to shape their interactions and the story in meaningful ways. The eerie atmosphere and compelling mystery keep players engaged from start to finish. Oxenfree also explores themes of friendship, loss, and forgiveness, making it a deeply emotional experience​​. And if you enjoy it, the sequel, Oxenfree II launched last year.

Oxenfree artwork

Hollow Knight

  • Platform: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch
  • Developer: Team Cherry
  • Genre: Metroidvania, Action-Adventure

Hollow Knight is a beautifully crafted Metroidvania game that takes place in the ruined kingdom of Hallownest. Players explore vast, interconnected areas filled with challenging enemies, hidden secrets, and powerful bosses.

Despite its critical acclaim, Hollow Knight didn’t initially gain widespread popularity. The game excels in its tight platforming mechanics, intricate level design, and stunning hand-drawn art. Its deep lore and atmospheric world-building make it a must-play for fans of exploration and adventure​​.

Prey (2017)

  • Platform: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
  • Developer: Arkane Studios
  • Genre: First-Person Shooter, Immersive Sim

In Prey, you play as Morgan Yu aboard the Talos I space station, which is overrun by hostile aliens. The game offers a mix of first-person shooting, exploration, and role-playing elements, with a strong emphasis on player choice and environmental storytelling.

Prey received positive reviews but was overshadowed by other major releases in 2017. It stands out for its open-ended gameplay, where players can approach challenges in multiple ways. The game’s narrative is rich with twists and turns, and its setting is meticulously detailed, making exploration a rewarding experience​.

Prey gameplay screenshot

The Talos Principle

  • Platform: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch
  • Developer: Croteam
  • Genre: Puzzle, Adventure

The Talos Principle is a philosophical puzzle game that challenges players with intricate puzzles set in beautiful, ancient ruins. As you solve these puzzles, you uncover a deeper narrative that explores themes of consciousness, existence, and human nature.

The game’s combination of thought-provoking narrative and challenging puzzles makes it stand out. The story is told through environmental clues, computer terminals, and voiceovers, creating an immersive and intellectually stimulating experience. Despite its brilliance, it remains underappreciated in mainstream gaming circles​​.

Sunless Sea

  • Platform: PC, PlayStation 4, Switch, iOS
  • Developer: Failbetter Games
  • Genre: Survival, Exploration

Sunless Sea is a survival/exploration game set in the dark, gothic world of Fallen London. Players captain a steamship, exploring the vast, mysterious Unterzee, managing their crew, resources, and sanity as they uncover the game’s rich lore.

The game’s storytelling is its strongest asset, with rich, atmospheric writing that creates a sense of dread and wonder. The open-ended exploration and survival mechanics provide a unique challenge, and every playthrough offers new discoveries. Its narrative depth and unique setting make it a hidden gem deserving of more attention​​.

Sunless Sea Fallen London Port

Other notable games

These additional games provide a variety of unique experiences, from emotional narratives and stunning art to challenging gameplay and strategic depth. Each one offers something special and is well worth exploring for any gamer looking for hidden gems.

A Plague Tale: Innocence

  • Platform: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch
  • Developer: Asobo Studio
  • Genre: Action-Adventure, Stealth

A Plague Tale: Innocence tells the harrowing story of Amicia and her younger brother Hugo as they navigate a world ravaged by the Black Death and hunted by the Inquisition. The game combines stealth and action with a deeply emotional narrative, offering a unique and immersive experience. The stunning visuals and poignant story make it a standout title that deserves more recognition.

Gris

  • Platform: PC, PlayStation 4, Switch, iOS
  • Developer: Nomada Studio
  • Genre: Platformer, Puzzle

Gris is a visually breathtaking platformer that explores themes of loss and recovery. Players navigate through beautifully crafted levels, solving puzzles and overcoming obstacles as they guide the protagonist through her journey of grief. The game’s art style, coupled with its emotive score, creates a serene and captivating experience that leaves a lasting impression.

Celeste

  • Platform: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch
  • Developer: Maddy Makes Games
  • Genre: Platformer

Celeste follows the story of Madeline as she climbs the titular mountain, facing both physical and emotional challenges. The game is praised for its tight platforming mechanics, beautiful pixel art, and touching narrative that deals with themes of mental health and personal growth. Each level is meticulously designed, offering a perfect balance of difficulty and reward.

Celeste artwork, one of the most underated games that deserves some love

These underrated games offer rich experiences that often surpass more popular titles in terms of storytelling, gameplay, and innovation. Whether you’re looking for a gripping narrative, challenging puzzles, or a beautifully crafted world, these hidden gems are worth your time. Don’t miss out on these exceptional titles that have flown under the radar but have much to offer.


Want to find more of our top games lists like this one? Then check out our opinion pieces section.

You may also like

Leave a Comment