You know that thing, where like, a movie you like is so resource intensive that it is only available on a new, more powerful Blu-ray player that costs $400? Oh, you don't? Maybe that's because gaming is the only entertainment medium that has this odd occurrence. As gaming evolves over the years, some games will just become unavailable at one point or another. Whether it be servers shutting down, licenses expiring or being trapped on an old system, video games are the only entertainment properties that have this issue of just, disappearing. While remasters and re-releases can fix this to some degree, some games just don’t have the option or audience for that route. Other times, licenses expire for games, and thus they can’t be legally sold past that point, meaning if you don’t have the game already, you don’t have another chance to buy it.
Games just don’t have the permanence that other mediums have, and unless they’re a classic Nintendo title that will be sold to you for $5 about 47 different times, they have the chance to disappear one day. That's what we'll be covering in this list, 20 video games that are unavailable to play anymore.
20 BS Zelda
The BS Zelda titles were games released for the SNES Satellaview in Japan only. One of these games was a sort of third quest for the original Legend of Zelda, and featured brand new dungeons, a remixed overworld, and some brand new elements. The game was only broadcasted at certain times, and would play in real time, and events would occur throughout the broadcast, including voice over from a live narrator! The unique Zelda title is now incredibly hard to find due to its broadcast nature, and only one of the four BS Zelda titles has been officially re-released by Nintendo.
19 Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World: The Game
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game is a title that fell prey to licensing issues. The 2010 beat ‘em up was very well received and even had DLC added to the title, but in 2014 was pulled from stores due to the licensing expiring. This is a quirk that is much more common to find in today’s digital market. With titles such as this, it is very easy to one day be pulled from online stores such as PSN and just, disappear. If you still have the title, well, keep the system it’s on, as you’re highly unlikely to ever see a re-release on future hardware.
18 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants In Manhattan
Another licensed title, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan, developed by PlatinumGames, was released for current and last gen consoles to mixed/negative reviews in 2016, before being removed from stores less than a year after release. You're not missing out on much by not playing this game, it's very eh. But, as with the other licensed titles on this list, if you don't have it, you simply can't get it anymore.
You can play as the Turtles in Injustice 2 though! Yeah, isn't that a frightening bit of info?
Look it up, it's real. I don’t like that. I don’t want to see Wonder Woman being punched by a turtle.
17 The Last Remnant
A 2008 Windows and Xbox title, Square Enix developed The Last Remnant which was a game that received mixed reception. While it's gameplay was well-received, there were various visual and technical issued with the game, especially with the Xbox version. Surprisingly, this is one of the games on our list that is only single player. The PC version was recently announced to be delisted from physical and digital retailers, while the Xbox version remains available for purchase. This was later revealed to be due to a December 2018 PC and PS4 re-release. While the game will be receiving new life with this release, the original PC title will never be available for new players to purchase again.
16 Club Penguin
Say what you want about me for saying this, but this game SLAPPED! Tons of customization options, mini-games, an OPEN WORLD style map, interaction with your penguin friends,
This treasure was Game of the Decade.
Unfortunately, this past year, the browser-based game shut down in favor of the mobile based Club Penguin Island, and, surprise, that's getting shut down too! While players will soon no longer have a chance to run around this weird little island filled to the brim with fun, we will all carry it on in our hearts. My penguin was named Jazzy8501. Iconic.
15 PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale
PSASBR, as we'll call it, was Sony's answer to Smash Bros. While it was a mechanically different game, it was a crossover fighter between Sony's mascots. The game's hook was only being able to take out other plays with three different super moves, which you could unleash after charging up a meter to one of three levels throughout the match. With the online servers being shut down recently, most of the game, save for some ok offline modes, is now unavailable to players. The game was quite a fun hidden gem, and I'm hoping we'll one day receive a sequel.
14 The Legend Of Zelda: Four Swords Swords Anniversary Edition
This title, a remaster of Four Swords for the GBA, is a bit of an odd one. Originally a free DSiWare and 3DS downloadable title, this game has been available to download for like, five months ever? It was released as a downloadable title twice for a few months, and hasn't ever been available again. The game features a brand new single-player mode, enhanced music, and new levels and content over its GBA counterpart, making it a vastly superior version. It's a very impressive remaster, and it's honestly surprising Nintendo won't let us have it anymore. Please, take my money.
P.T., otherwise known as Playable Teaser, is quite an interesting case. The game mysteriously showed up on the PlayStation Store as a free download one day and featured the unnamed protagonist walking around and around in a square-shaped corridor. Each time you walked around the loop and completed an obtuse task, the loop would change, and would gradually grow more and more horrifying. The teaser, if completed (which was incredibly hard to do) featured a cutscene revealing it to be a teaser of the now-canceled Silent Hills game. With the game's cancelation, the unsettling (seriously it's so scary) teaser was removed from the PlayStation Store and is completely unavailable for redownload, rendering it unavailable if you ever removed the game from your system.
12 The WiiWare Library
Hey, remember the Wii? It's the thing your Grandma still uses every day to work out. The Wii was a great little system with some terrible online capabilities, and with it moving over 100 million units.
Its online store was flooded with incredible titles such as Action Girlz Racing and Frogger Returns.
With the Wii Shop Channel officially shutting its doors in January of 2019, any WiiWare titles that haven't been ported to other consoles will simply be gone forever. While there is some complete and utter garbage on there, the Wii Shop Channel has some great content on there as well. Hopefully, the good ones find a home on other consoles.
11 The Culling 2
The Culling 2, sequel to, surprisingly, The Culling, is a sequel no one asked for. The original game, one of the first battle royale games, had an active, steady player base. The sequel, a rushed, poorly developed game made to cash in on the battle royale genre exploding in popularity, had an absolutely awful launch.
It had a peak of 249 players online at once, and was down to ONE PERSON in a few days!
The game was pulled from Steam eight days after release, everyone got full refunds, and the team went back to developing and supporting the original Culling. Yikes.
10 The Sims Online
From 2002-2008, The Sims Online was a thing that existed. Right? I didn’t know either! The subscription-based game was basically an MMO version of the Sims, featuring the same formula we all know and love. You could pick from different towns to live in that had different features, but the game received some mixed reviews due to the fact that there just wasn’t much to do. The game eventually shut down in 2008 due to lower than expected sales. I’d really like to see a new version of this game in the current day with all the way Sims has grown since 2002, but it is EA so… probably too many microtransactions. Actually, there is a fanmade recreation you can try for yourself!
9 PlayStation Mobile
PlayStation Mobile was a sort of marketplace for smaller, more app-like titles released for the PS Vita and certain PlayStation enabled Android Phones. The brand carried over 100 different apps and smaller games for these devices and shut down in 2015. I remember an app that you could make beats on! It was so fun and simple to use, but there was no exporting. Thus, for a hot second, my YouTube channel had outro music recorded from a PS Vita app off my Samsung camcorder and converted into an MP3. Yikes. Um, anyways, these small titles are now no longer available to purchase anywhere unless they’ve been ported by the developers. Sony stated that the closure was due to the marketplace never taking off. That might be due to the system it was made for not taking off either but, who knows?
8 Just Survive
Ok, I'm not really even sure what's going on with this one, but I'll explain as best I can. So H1Z1 was a game that was split into two different projects, its battle royale mode, and the MMO-Survival mode. However, as (obviously) the battle royale portion of the game was doing much better, Just Survive, the survival portion of the game, was set to be shut down in October 2018. However, through a joint venture with a new developer, the servers are staying open and it's being rebranded into a battle royale game.
So, the game is going away, but not really? I don't know.
All I know is that there are too many battle royale games out there at this point.
The 2007 PlayStation 3 title, a remake of a PlayStation 1 title, recently had its servers shut down, which, since the game is only multiplayer, means the title is now completely unplayable. The aerial shooter title was well received but is now just another weird casualty of the gaming landscape of the current day.
Eventually, games become more expensive to keep up and running than they're worth, and for games like Warhawk, when its servers are shut down, that's it.
There is nothing left of that game, an issue no other entertainment medium faces.
Paragon, Epic Games’ MOBA from 2016, officially shut down earlier this year!
Surprisingly, this was so the team could focus on a small side project called, Fourthnight or something?
Who knows. However, Epic made an interesting move and released all the assets for Paragon to all Unreal 4 developers after the closure, which are valued to be worth over $12,000,000, meaning some parts of Paragon might live on in other titles. This is an interesting way to keep shut down titles alive in some sense, however, fans of Paragon won't be seeing the MOBA return any time soon.
5 The Virtual Boy Library
The Virtual Boy, one of Nintendo's more out there creations, was a bit of a disaster. The 3D device was a commercial and critical failure, people simply didn't like it, and it was overall not a fun device to play games on.
Its small library will likely never find a home on any other systems, as they only make sense for the Virtual Boy.
While Nintendo eventually found success with 3D through the 3DS, the Virtual Boy is a project Nintendo is hoping everyone will one day forget.
4 Doc Louis's Punch-Out!!
A spin-off of the Wii's Punch-Out!! title, this Club Nintendo exclusive is now no longer available anywhere due to the closing of Club Nintendo. Doc Louis's Punch-Out!! was a slimmed downside title in the series where you could fight Little Mac's mentor, Doc Louis! While the game isn't exactly groundbreaking in any way, it was a fun experience for Punch-Out!! fans that is now completely unavailable to them in any and all forms. Wow, this list is so uplifting isn't it? Do you want it? Well, you can't have it. Yay!
3 PlayStation Home
PlayStation Home was a free PSN virtual world title. In the game, you had a lifelike avatar that had their own apartment you could furnish with furniture you could buy or obtain in a variety of different ways. The virtual world hosted demos of PSN games, special events, and mini-games you could play with friends or solo. The ambitious projected boasted 10s of millions of users. However, Home did not carry over to the PS4, and closed its doors in 2015. The title was an interesting, different type of experience that we don't see often in today's market. As games move more and more toward a cloud/streaming-based medium, I could see PlayStation Home returning in some form one day.
2 The Legend Of Korra
Another poorly received PlatinumGames licensed title (how are you guys producing bad licensed games and gems like Bayonetta 2 concurrently?), The Legend of Korra became unavailable for purchase in December of 2017. The action title really had nothing going for it, as it wasn't a strong stand-alone title, nor was it a good tie-in title. I remember playing a really good Avatar game for the PSP, just play that if you're looking for a good tie-in game!
Update: Nevermind apparently IGN scored it a 5.1 disregard my poor recommendations.
1 Tabula Rasa
Tabula Rasa, a 2007 MMORPG, closed down its servers in 2009. Originally a subscription-based game, the title went free to play only a month before the game the game shut down, about 1 year after release. While the game was relatively well-received, it had too small of a player base to maintain. There was controversy surrounding the game, as one of the main designers “resigned” from the studio, and development ended shortly after his departure. Apparently, his leaving was not actually a resignation, but instead, the company ended up forcing him out of the company. He ended up suing the company, however, and was awarded just under $30 million after winning the case. Drama! Oh yeah, we were talking about Tabula Rasa. Uh, you'll be missed.