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Top 5 Video Games Never Released Outside of Japan

Western Gamers Can Only Wait and Hope…

While nowadays the west is used to receiving gaming imports from the land of the rising sun, there are still a handful of titles that the rest of us have yet to get our hands on. Which is a real shame since these five are considered gems by fans the world over. Maybe one day we might see these transition to our home consoles, but for now all we can do is pine from afar…

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#5: “Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse” (2008)

The niche ghost hunting franchise has been popular enough to keep getting semi-regular installments, but apparently not enough to bring over this fourth entry in the series exclusive to Japanese Wii’s. While there is a fan translation available to let gamers everywhere put the heart attacks they’re inevitably about to suffer in context, it’s still a little unfortunate that we were robbed of one of the higher quality titles of the series. Adding on to the familiar formula with more characters, locations, and of course, scares, this is one entry that you should definitely give a shot, Japan only or not.

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#4: “Phantasy Star Online 2” (2012)

Let’s face it, we’ve gotten some bad Japanese games over the years, and every “miss” we play through simply reminds us that Sega’s space MMO is definitely one title we’d rather be playing. With good character customization offering up four different races and five different classes to mix and match at their leisure, the gameplay stays fresh, varied, and uniquely addicting. While this one was promised to be localized and brought overseas, this entry is just another victim of the ‘delayed indefinitely’ status. Gamers everywhere were once optimistic, but there’s probably no chance we’ll see this one ever.

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#3: “Valkyria Chronicles III” (2011)

As the second game in the franchise to grace the PSP, this third installment follows the Gallian criminal military unit called ‘The Nameless’ through their involvement in the fictional Second European War. Seamlessly combining Fire Emblem style tactical overview maps with third person movement and combat, the title looks good, plays great, and managed to garner enough popularity to encourage spinning off into animated series, mangas, and cameo appearances in other games. It appears everywhere, it seems, except in an English version. Of course.

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#2: “Seiken Densetsu 3” (1995)

There’s no shortage of fantasy RPG’s on the market, and that was even more true back in Nintendo’s heyday of the Super NES. Still, even among the Final Fantasy’s and Chrono Trigger’s, Secret of Mana captured gamers’ imaginations and managed to carve out its own little base of dedicated fans. Despite the follow up being an extremely good entry with different playable characters, a decent story and strategic combat, overseas fans never got experience it. It’s not too hard to dig around and find a copy now, but that’s little consolation to those still patiently waiting to play a legitimate copy since the 90s.

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#1: “Mother 3” (2006)

With the cult classic Earthbound finding great success among nostalgia junkies in recent times, it’s no surprise fans are looking for every fix they can get, and why wouldn’t they? The series features great characters, fun pop culture references, memorable enemies, and a surprisingly dark, mature story tying it all together. While Ness has had his time in the spotlight, Lucas is still awaiting his true overseas debut despite critical and commercial success. It may not radically alter the formula, but that’s not what anyone is asking for. We’re running out of ways to tell Nintendo just how badly we want this game, so we’ll try one more time. Nintendo, we want Mother 3.

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Be sure to check out the video below to see our picks for the Top 10 Weirdest Japanese Video Games.

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