Not all video games are shooting stars. Some fizzle out upon release and are quickly forgotten. Other failures are remembered for just how spectacularly they crashed and burned. However, just because they sold poorly or even received bad reviews, does not make them bad games.
Over the past decade, many promising titles have let down excited fans for one reason or another. Either that, or they shipped few units. Not all of these titles deserve to be forgotten, however, and do hold something valuable within them. The ten games presented below all garnered public ire for a variety of reasons, but we're here to state why they deserve a second chance.
10 Sunset Overdrive
In a surprising turn of events, Insomniac, known for their mostly PlayStation exclusive catalog, partnered with Microsoft to make Sunset Overdrive. The colorful third person action game received heaps of praise upon release from its atmosphere and fast-paced gameplay. Unfortunately, critical praise does not translate to stellar sales.
Because it came out early in this generation's life cycle, the game did not move as many units as hoped. It is never too late to pick up a copy, though, to experience this unique action game. Insomniac still has an interest in making a sequel, too.
9 No Man's Sky
Rocky launches are a trend this generation, and No Man's Sky was one of the toughest ones to watch. It did everything it promised - players were indeed presented with a vast expanse to explore - it just turned out that was kind of boring. Fortunately, developer Hello Games continued supporting their title after release, turning it into something wholly enjoyable.
Maybe the game wasn't all it was cracked up to be when it first launched, but the creators are doing their best to make it great, and the work has already started to pay off.
Homefront was met with a lukewarm reception upon release, but sold relatively well, prompting development of a sequel. The sequel fared far worse, dooming any hope for a franchise. Don't let the first game fade to dust, though, as it is an interesting (if short) game.
The story was written by John Milius, who penned Apocalypse Now and directed Conan the Barbarian and Red Dawn. It has an aggressively dark tone that mirrors the story of the latter film, making for a compelling narrative.
7 Dangerous Driving
Three Fields Entertainment has been slowly accumulating good faith and higher budgets with games like Dangerous Golf and Danger Zone. The former Criterion developers finally made a spiritual successor to the Burnout franchise this year with Dangerous Driving.
It received harsh criticism for its lack of features and being rough around the edges, but the little jank that exists in the game doesn't hurt the overall experience. At its core, driving just feels good. Some of the laps are too long, but just cruising along and listening to your favorite tracks on Spotify makes for a satisfying gaming session. Online multiplayer has since made its way to the game since launch.
6 Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed's tech was mindblowing upon release. The Euphoria animation engine was unlike anything people had seen, and something very few games use even today, save for Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption. By the time the sequel rolled around, the novelty had worn off.
The Force Unleashed II isn't as impressive as its predecessor, but it still is a fun time. Some decry the narrative, but that's all up to personal preference. What a shame that the trilogy will never conclude.
5 The Order: 1886
Ready at Dawn made a name for itself with their PSP God of War Titles. Their own original IP, unfortunately, did not garner the same love. While everyone unanimously agreed that The Order: 1886 was one of the most beautiful things they had ever seen, many bemoaned its short length and lack of features.
These days, however, the game is on sale for far less than sixty bucks. Having a lower, more justifiable price tag makes the swift campaign more excusable. Who knows, maybe one day the world will see The Order: 1887?
Mark Cerny is an undeniable genius when it comes to console and game design. He worked on the original Crash Bandicoot games, served as the lead architect for the PS4, PS Vita, and is currently hard at work on Sony's next console. His original IP for this generation, Knack, has become something of a punchline, unfortunately.
People laughed when they learned a sequel was in development. Why does the little guy get such a hard time, exactly? The games aren't even bad. Maybe it was the attempt at making him a mascot, but the games should be taken at face value and enjoyed as the simple fun times they are.
3 Duke Nukem Forever
Duke Nukem Forever was in development for so long that it was impossible to truly meet the irrational expectations of fans. When it did come out in 2011, people ravaged it with criticism. Some of the issues were justified, certainly, but a lot of them were from those who simply seemed to be upset that it wasn't a perfect game.
It lacks the inspired labyrinthine level design of Duke Nukem 3D, but it still plays well and has the vibe of a late 90s or early 2000s first-person shooter. Most importantly, it still feels like a Duke Nukem game and doesn't conform to modern conventions.
2 Bayonetta 2
Considering Bayonetta's cult status, it's miraculous a third one is on the way. The first title was published by Sega, and Nintendo made the series an exclusive property after agreeing to publish the sequels.
More people really need to pick up copies of these fantastic hack and slash games and get the word out. They are fun, challenging, and brimming with personality, PlatinumGames' patented high-octane ridiculousness at its best.
1 Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Yes, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain sold well and received critical praise, there's no doubt about that. Still, its quality is overshadowed by the story behind its development. After Hideo Kojima left Konami under unexplained circumstances, the game was left in a weird spot. It's not buggy, but the story is clearly unfinished.
What's there happens to be one of the greatest action games of this generation, but that just makes the loose ends all the sadder. Kojima crafted this series for more than twenty-five years, and wasn't allowed to see it to a conclusion. At the end of the day, though, it is still worth enjoying.