Over the years, there have been many games that were finished, or nearly finished, but for some reason were never released. Some of these games were highly anticipated, with gamers eager to purchase them on the day of release. The common reasons for many of these unreleased games stem from delays in development, the unwillingness of developers to rework the game for a new console, the developers deciding to focus on other titles, and the theme of the game being perceived as too controversial. Even though these games were never given an official release, many of them can be played through emulation. You might notice that Star Citizen isn't on this list. The reason is because it is still in development; if it had been cancelled it would certainly be listed here.
This was going to be a AAA game from Rockstar Games for the PS3. Development for Agent began in 2007, and it wasn’t until 2018 that the hopes for its release were finally crushed when the trademark was abandoned. The game was apparently going to be a spy thriller set towards the end of the Cold War in the 1970s.
Sony and Rockstar both hyped the hell out of this game, describing it a “genre defining” and stating that it will “set the bar for the rest of the industry”. After all that time and hype, all we have is a handful of screenshots.
We’re going way back for this one. ResQ was set to be released for the Sega Genesis, and was 100% complete when it was cancelled. The game puts the player in control of a soldier who is trying to rescue miners in a network of caves. The soldier has a flying vehicle that the player can exit to explore on foot; much like the classic Blaster Master for the NES. The soldier also has a jet pack that allows for limited flight. The player must escort rescued miners back to the vehicle to advance. Between stages there are 3D flying levels that were clearly inspired by Star Fox.
This unreleased game was developed by Peter Molyneux’s Lionhead Studios. From screenshots it appears to be nearly complete, but the game was cancelled so the company could focus on the Fable games. The game puts the character in the role of a caveman that is trying to survive in a world filled with dinosaurs.
Two supposed features of the game were a fully fleshed-out food chain and an environments that could be changed. Don’t like that forest? Then start a forest fire to clear it. Want to rid the threat of a certain type of dinosaur from the game-world? Get rid of that dinosaurs preferred food source.
Out of the games on this list Scalebound is the title I was the most disappointed got cancelled. This game was being developed by Platinum Studios; who are known for making quality games. From the screenshots and promotional videos it looked like it was going to be an extremely fun and visually impressive game. In Scalebound the player would have controlled a young man named Drew who is bound to a dragon named Thuban. While playing you would have been able to take direct control of Thuban to attack enemies. To get from place to place the player could hop on Thuban's back and fly to their destination.
6 Propeller Arena
This was an arcade style combat/flight sim being developed by Sega for the Dreamcast. The game allows the player to choose from four World War II style fighter planes and from a roster of eight pilots. The game looks fantastic for a game that is almost twenty years old, and really shows off what the Dreamcast was capable of.
The game was cancelled because of the 9/11 terrorist attacks; Sega thought releasing a flying/combat game so close to the attacks would be perceived as insensitive. Fortunately the disc image was released years ago if you want to play it through emulation.
This was a going to be an interesting game that even included Steven Spielberg among the development team. LMNO was supposedly going to be a game that’s aim was to elicit an emotional response from the player. It was going to incorporate parkour and role-playing elements into the gameplay and storyline.
From what I can tell it seems like the game was going to focus on trying to keep the protagonist’s extraterrestrial girlfriend Eve safe, and would include many instances of making an exciting escapes. The game would have been played from a first-person perspective. There was no reason given for LMNO’s cancellation.
4 Tom Vs. Jerry: The Chase Is On
This was an unreleased game for the Super Nintendo that had great character animations and large, detailed sprites. The game is, of course, based on the classic cartoon series Tom & Jerry. Many of the animations for Tom and Jerry were taken directly from the cartoons.
The player controls Jerry with the goal of collecting cheese and avoiding Tom. There are traps set up throughout the levels that you can lure Tom into – with hilarious results. Tom Vs, Jerry was nearly finished when it was cancelled, and the unfinished rom can be played though emulation if you want to give it a try.
3 Starcraft: Ghost
Ghost was going to be a third-person shooter set in Blizzard’s Starcraft universe. The player would control a ghost, who is a soldier specialized in stealth with a personal cloaking device. The game was going to feature both a single-player campaign mode and multiplayer deathmatches.
Visually the game look great for a PS2/Xbox title. Ghost was apparently cancelled because the PS3 and Xbox 360 were set to be released toward the end of the game’s development, and Blizzard didn’t want to invest company resources into updating the game for the new consoles. It’s a shame - this game looked like it was going to be seriously fun.
2 Geist Force
Geist Force was going to be Sega’s answer to Nintendo’s Star Fox franchise. The game looks and plays very similar to Star Fox 64; being a rail-shooter with a third-person perspective. The game was being developed for Sega’s Dreamcast console, but was cancelled due to the developer, Netter Digital, missing several deadlines.
It’s a shame because Geist Force looks like it would have been a fun alternative to the Star Fox games. Like many Dreamcast games the graphics were impressive, and way ahead of their time. It is unlikely this game will ever be completed and released because Netter Digital is no longer in business, and Sega has expressed no interest in reviving Geist Force.
1 Star Wars 1313
Star War 1313 was going to give the players the opportunity to play as the intergalactic bounty hunter Boba Fett. The available screenshots and videos of 1313 made the game look incredibly promising. However, when Disney purchased Lucasfilm they closed LucasArts and cancelled all projects currently in development – including Star Wars 1313.
The good news is that Disney has expressed interest in reviving the game due to relentless pleading from Star Wars fans. At this point the game will probably be delayed until the PS5 and the next Xbox are released – meaning 2020 at the earliest.