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Left Behind: Forgotten Gems In Gaming

With so many video games out in the wild past, present, and future, it’s easy to forget many of them along the way. While there will always be standouts we remember years, even decades from when we first played them, there are those that seem to be swallowed by the sands of time.

Today we take a look back at 10 forgotten games that suffered such a fate, but are still worth a look if you can get your hands on them.

#10—Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure

Chances are if you’ve heard of Pitfall, you instantly think of the original game on Atari. Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure is the sequel to the vine-swinging adventure during the early 1990’s, putting us in the role of Pitfall Harry Jr. as he finds himself going through jungles, abandoned mines, and ancient Mayan ruins to save his father.

One of my first platforming experiences outside of the Mario franchise, the memories of Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure’s level design and art direction have stuck with me since childhood, and while some flaws are more noticeable today (like inconsistent hitboxing), it remains a fun experience that many may have missed out on or forgotten as gaming only grew larger.

#9—Galerians

What do you get when you cross Resident Evil with psychic powers? You get Galerians. Back in 2000, when this game hit stateside, I remember picking it up at Blockbuster as a last resort title because nothing else seemed to interest me. What I ended up with was a unique survival horror experience where you had to carefully manage your character to ensure you actually had the power to take on the enemies you encountered.

The game was particularly unforgiving due to the time it took to use your powers, sections where you’d face multiple enemies at once, and an extreme scarcity in the drug used to revitalize your character’s ability. It made each room passed one you could write down in the ‘win’ column, and while there were moments my younger self wanted to just turn the game off I couldn’t put it down.

#8—Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy

But if the slower pace of Galerians isn’t your thing, there’s always Psi-Ops. A third-person shooter of the PS2 era, Psi-Ops drops players into the experience of Nick Scryer, an amnesiac in the midst of a terrorist action by a group known as The Movement which is lead by psychics. As the game progresses, Nick unlocks more and more psychic powers.

Slam that guy against a ceiling, mind control his friend and use him as a vessel of death before killing him, set them ablaze, Psi-Ops had plenty of gunplay, but the fun of it was in decimating the enemy with each new ability and then to have your abilities tested against other psychics in boss battles. I can also say it’s the only time I’ve heard the band Cold put out a good song with the song “With My Mind” made specifically for the game.

#7—The Getaway

The Getaway was almost guaranteed to be drowned in time by the success of the Grand Theft Auto series, but that didn’t stop developers at SCE London and Team SoHo from introducing the world to a more grounded and realistic crime drama set in a faithfully recreated London.

With no HUD, the game forced the player to pay attention to the little details. Turn signals would trigger on vehicles to instruct the players where to drive, blood spots would grow on the player the more damage they took to alert them they were growing nearer and nearer to demise. It was often times difficult, but had many memorable setpieces, like a brazen battle in an upscale restaurant during a lunch hour with civilians ducking for cover, or a full on firefight to escape a police station.

#6—Extermination

Extermination for its time was essentially a fight-or-flight experience, with ammo being incredibly limited and enemies being numerous. A survival horror game where players are dropped into into a research lab in the antarctic, it really drives home the feelings of isolation in the middle of a frozen-nowhere.

What made it a remarkably unique experience is the fact you can become infected, and should that happen, it will start to infect your health more noticeably the higher your infection percentage rises, to a point where it will actively start draining your health as you go. Watch out for those bites!

#5—Mobile Suit Gundam: Zeonic Front

There have been a lot of mech games over the decades, and many of them have been of Mobile Suit Gundam origins. Zeonic Front was one of the first Gundam games to let you play as the series’ antagonists in a tactical setting.

Think old school Rainbow Six or Ghost Recon, but instead of troops on the ground, you command a squad of massive mobile suits through urban, forest, and desert environments against assortments of Earth Federation combatants. Methodical combat of varied intensity makes Zeonic Front a more ground experience that lets your appreciate the tactical side of mech combat in real time.

#4—Hidden & Dangerous

One of the first tactical shooters I ever played, Hidden & Dangerous allows players to lead a four-man squad of British soldiers through key moments in WWII deep behind enemy lines. From raids on heavily guarded mansions, to clandestine creeping through darkened city streets, Hidden & Dangerous rides a fine line between a spy experience and tactical warfare.

While the friendly AI was lacking even for its time, the ability to swap between squad members on the fly, and incredibly fluidly, made it so that with a little practice you were effectively playing a 4-player game with just one computer, and in a weird way it blurred lines between a shooter and an RTS game that constantly kept you on your toes.

#3—Loaded

1995’s Loaded is a top-down arcade-style shooter that featured frantic combat, quirky playable characters, and the single goal of murdering your way to victory while incarcerated. Part SmashTV, part Saturday morning cartoons, and all carnage, the simplistic but addicting gameplay of Loaded is further amplified by a catchy soundtrack that still randomly comes back to me over two decades later. While Loaded did have a sequel, it pales in comparison to the original on all fronts.

#2—Robot Alchemic Drive

My favorite mech game of all time also seems to be one that many people overlooked during its heyday. Robot Alchemic Drive follows a semi-generic anime-style story setup that serves only to get the wheels turning, so that players can find themselves in the shoes of one of three playable characters who can control one of three giant mechs; not from the cockpit, but with a controller. Players have to position themselves wisely within the environment so that they are relatively safe from the fighting, and once they have a tactical viewpoint, a quick press of the button has you in control of a massive mech.

Fighting progressively harder enemies, sometimes in very restricted areas, there are even moments where you’ll find yourself in a terrifying position as you watch your own mech get thrown at the very place you’re standing and have to scramble to safety to avoid being crushed.

#1—Disaster Report

Chances are if you’ve played this game, you found it at a game store during a Buy Two Get One Free sale. The concept on the box may not have sold you, with cheesy art and “ESCAPE THE FURY OF NATURE” on the back. But once you play the game, you have a unique take on the survival horror genre.

The entire premise of the game is escaping a crumbling man-made island metropolis with a handful of other survivors, while managing health and hydration. Periodically earthquakes and aftershocks will hit, and you’ll see the environment change in real time as buildings fall and block pathways or new ones are opened. As water rushes in from shorelines, once-dry streets are now up to your waist in dirty water and debris. Sprinkled in is a plot of corporate conspiracy and government negligence that all comes to a head in the game’s final moments as the player and other survivors, friend and foe, are desperately trying to escape a tsunami that hits the island as a result of the multiple earthquakes throughout the game.

Thanks for reading, we hope you enjoyed the article! If you’d like to see some related content, and support Exclusively Games in the process, click on our Amazon Affiliate links listed below to find related products. – EG Staff

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  1. Musou Tensei on May 21, 2019 at 4:54 pm said

    I have Pitfall on SNES, Galerians (and the sequel), Extermination and Disaster Report (called SOS: The Final Escape in europe). Definitely need to check out the others, I heard of Psi Ops and Getaway but both were released only in a censored form here so I never bothered and Mobile Suit Gundam: Zeonic Front and R.A.D. sadly were never released in europe at all.

  2. I really loved Psi Ops. It was ahead of its time.

  3. Dreadjaws on May 21, 2019 at 10:32 pm said

    I never would have pegged Hidden & Dangerous for overlooked. Everyone I knew had played it back then.

  4. John Vetula on May 21, 2019 at 11:00 pm said

    Disaster report is a top notch choice at number 1

  5. spartichi on May 22, 2019 at 12:33 am said

    I always wanted to play galerians when it it was first out…i was too young to buy it myself though! I feel inspired to give it ago now

  6. I’ve Never seen gundam game at PS1. that’s surprising

  7. Main one I’m interested in is the Gundam one. Maybe if it was released for Pal territories.

  8. Culdcept Saga needs to be made backwards compatable for Xbox One. A true hidden gem of a game… Monopoly meets Magic with a little added spice.

  9. Jongin Choi on May 22, 2019 at 12:56 am said

    the getaway was amazing. i was around 13 when i played it lol good times..

  10. johnmentus on May 22, 2019 at 1:11 am said

    Check out Brigadine on PS1. It is an amazing gem of a turn based strategy war game.

  11. Kang Ultraa on May 22, 2019 at 1:22 am said

    Psi-Ops was my go-to digital playground! I killed tons of time (and baddies) in the training room! “Psy” surfing on boxes while gunning down minions mid-air, dressed as Scorpion! Bring this gem back!

  12. mackconnor370 on May 22, 2019 at 1:26 am said

    My favorite ps2 game is the force unleashed because you just felt like a badass,man.

  13. scuffedBEARD on May 22, 2019 at 1:29 am said

    Thanks for the article.

  14. david.paullee.connor on May 22, 2019 at 1:46 am said

    the gateway was a must, for someone who liked GTA-theme it was a good alterantive.

  15. Bbattista630 on May 22, 2019 at 1:52 am said

    There was a Mobile Suit Gundam game? I’m not a fan of mecha, so I was never one to follow the franchise. Just really taking a moment to say “good on them”, even if the franchise is so big they likely don’t need it.

  16. Noodleboy on May 22, 2019 at 1:54 am said

    Out of all these games listed Psy Ops was a gem I remember..I was working at gamestop at the time and got it for the ps2..I really wanted an xbox for it just had more games I felt left out with a playstation so I traded in for the xbox and got psyops with it..sadly thats when I realized yes I liked xbox better…the playstation controller was a better firlt for my then favorite game….I got over it

  17. toddwarcraft on May 22, 2019 at 3:15 am said

    Psy-Ops was great.

  18. roguerequest on May 22, 2019 at 3:58 am said

    Second Sight was a better game than Psi-Ops, imo. Psi-Ops might have the better critic score, but Second Sight has the better use review score. I would love for a modern Second Sight to come out, preferably with better controls.

  19. jonathan christie on May 22, 2019 at 4:02 am said

    Eternal ring, it was the first dark souls. Think it was for ps2, miss playing that one.

  20. tyrelever on May 22, 2019 at 4:15 am said

    Pitfall! Man I loved that game, so many hours burned. A close second, although not really a forgotten game is easily Wonder Boy II on SMS. Oh, no – Golden Axe Warrior RPG. Brilliant!

  21. whydoyoucare7 on May 22, 2019 at 4:18 am said

    I really miss all the original Silent Hill games from team silent 🙁 I feel none of them got the recognition they deserved. Much better horror games than the nes you will get now or probably ever.

  22. thug37beachkill on May 22, 2019 at 4:49 am said

    Timesplitters games are DEFINITELY left behind. The games had the gameplay and feel of other FPS games at the time like Quake and Unreal Tournament, yet they had a well-rounded and played out storyline to accompany this gameplay. And having the levels jump throught different time periods also got to show the creators’ and designers’ creativity and talent. I wish a new sequel came out or an HD remake would be made.

    • I think the rights to it were purchased by Nordic, so it could happen. They also purchased Kingdoms of Amular and a few others I think.Type text here…

  23. PuppiePawZ on May 22, 2019 at 5:00 am said

    will forever miss gundam

  24. mmccammon18 on May 22, 2019 at 5:12 am said

    Legend of The Dragoon for PS1 I wish they would remake or I still had it…

  25. night.eagle128 on May 22, 2019 at 6:01 am said

    Another hidden gem I would recommend would be Star Wars Bounty Hunter. That game was dope back in the day.

  26. I think Star Wars Masters of Teras Kasi is a decent enough game that the world forgot about. It’d be fun to see it resurface as a side game at a fighting game convention.

  27. lebeau85 on May 22, 2019 at 7:25 am said

    Gibs for contest. Also The Getaway was a great game.

  28. A game that I know people know about but don’t talk about as much as they should is maga man 64. It was ported over to the play station under the name megaman legends.

  29. gorefathermkgt on May 22, 2019 at 10:27 am said

    Fantastic article. I’ve had the privilege of playing these games and they are true gems. Galerians and Loaded are long time favorites. Keep up the good work guys🍺

  30. Ultra Rad on May 22, 2019 at 10:34 am said

    Couldn’t help but noticed this list is missing God Hand
    Hand’s down my favorite ps2 era game, Well worth a play for anyone that doesn’t mind slightly outdated controls and graphics.

  31. GamingprincessLuna on May 22, 2019 at 1:02 pm said

    Damn I forgot a good amount of those games, I kinda feel guilty ^^;

  32. Silent bomber on the ps1 would be my pick. Seriously underrated.

  33. buddyawsum on May 22, 2019 at 2:49 pm said

    I remember this gem called Pitball on ps1, that game was dope.

  34. Brittany on May 22, 2019 at 3:30 pm said

    Rhapsody is one I think should make it on a list somewhere. It’s a really cute game with a fun battle system (almost like FF Tactics) but with cute foods. It also had a fun score in it and music. Game was surprisingly hard on the last end of the dungeon with the final boss.

  35. Alyx the Meh on May 22, 2019 at 3:41 pm said

    Outlaw Golf anyone? Lol

  36. samgagnon333 on May 22, 2019 at 4:07 pm said

    Great topic choice, would love to see more of those be recommended since we are constantly overloaded with large quantities of games being released and so little time to try them all…
    Thank you for sharing!

  37. christopher nelson on May 22, 2019 at 5:08 pm said

    Medievil is the title I miss most.
    Out of all the games of the PS1 generation, this was my favorite..

  38. Laughed super hard when I first made the mech jump in RAD; also laughed at the terrible voice acting. But it was a good game.

    Maybe they weren’t overlooked, but some of my favorites from the ps/ps2 era were Tiny Tank and Second Sight. Tiny was hilarious and SS had a great story.

  39. aaron.devault on May 22, 2019 at 7:03 pm said

    I wish they would actually take the time to make a good Gundam game nowadays. The last one I played was on PS2. I believe it was a Gundam Seed game. Zoids would be cool too. As for other personal gems , at the time of release, Zoids Battle Assault had me drooling for more Zoids, but they never quite made another game with the same or larger scope that it had. The upgrade parts and number of Zoids you could pilot were great as well.

  40. Ouch! Only good song from Cold? That hurt my simple, country girl heart! 🤣 Regardless, good choices on this list! I completely forgot about most of these!

  41. harveybrooks11 on May 22, 2019 at 8:20 pm said

    The Getaway and It’s sequal The Getaway: Black Monday should have been massive titles but unfortunately both were released straight after the release dates of GTA3 and GTA: Vice City so they never got the attention they deserved.

  42. splenetic sylph on May 22, 2019 at 8:42 pm said

    I think the only game on this list I have EVER heard of at all is Galerians! Even so, I only recognize the name. I will keep this list and refer to it when I am bored. I have increasingly fell out of gaming over the last few years, owing to the current state of the industry, but there is nothing stopping me from enjoying games made during what I consider the golden age of vidya. Cheers!

  43. Redsyrup on May 23, 2019 at 4:18 pm said

    Would have been nice to see embedded gif clips of these games. Box art is great but can only take you so far. Then it’s off to YouTube. Gif clips would keep visitors on your site.

  44. frye.john on May 23, 2019 at 4:47 pm said

    Much love goes out to Loaded. One of the first games I picked up for the PSone. The game was just dumb fun and the soundtrack kicked ass! Happy to see it on a list of gems!

  45. Type text here…ya’ll remember tiny tank? That was good game.

  46. sciencemile on May 24, 2019 at 10:18 am said

    The one I remember but nobody else seems to is “Robotrek” for the SNES. Made by the same company that did Terra Nigma and Illusion of Gaia

  47. I’m so far behind on my games I’ve had Extermination and Galerians sitting on a shelf for years along with some of the other games mentioned in the comments like Second Sight and God Hand.

    Finally got round to finishing the Batman Arkham Trilogy so time to go play a ps2 game I think.

  48. I’m glad RAD made the list. I’m excited for my kids to get old enough to be able to play this with them.

  49. DrunkPilot on May 24, 2019 at 5:32 pm said

    disaster report looks interesting. I might track down a copy.

  50. The Getaway was an amazing game for me, I remember having so much fun with that game as a kid.

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