Top 10 Rushed Video Games That Are Actually Great
VOICE OVER: Peter DeGiglio
WRITTEN BY: Mark Sammut
A rushed game isn't always a bad game! For this list, we'll be looking at those great games that survived a rushed development cycle. Our countdown includes “Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain” (2015), “Fallout: New Vegas” (2010), “Halo 2” (2004), “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” (1992) and more!
Script written by Mark Sammut
Top 10 Rushed Video Games That Are Actually Great
Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Rushed Video Games That Are Actually Great.
For this list, we’ll be looking at those great games that survived a rushed development cycle.
Which titles disprove the idea that a rushed game is always a bad game? Let us know in the comments!
#10: “Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain” (2015)
In the lead up to “The Phantom Pain’s” release, the relationship between Konami and Hideo Kojima deteriorated, leading to the acclaimed director leaving the publisher. Released shortly after this dispute, “Metal Gear Solid V” came out to great reviews and arguably featured the best gameplay in the franchise, but a lackluster narrative with an unsatisfying second chapter hurt the campaign. While rumors circulated that some extra content was cut, “The Phantom Pain’s” impeccable open-ended gameplay proved to be nothing short of stellar. “The Phantom Pain” is a fantastic action game even if it is not necessarily a great “Metal Gear Solid” title.
#9: “Metal Slug 5” (2003)
Released less than two years after “Metal Slug 4,” the fifth installment of the run-and-gun franchise offers blistering action, fun boss fights, and even a few new additions like a slide move. With a really short development cycle, "Metal Slug 5" left a lot of content unused and also lacked the branching paths found in earlier entries like “Metal Slug 3.” Despite its rushed development, “Metal Slug 5” is still one of the best entries in the franchise, a blast to play, and an elite entry in the run-and-gun genre.
#8: “Metroid Prime 2: Echoes” (2004)
With “Metroid Prime” proving to be a huge success during 2002's holiday season, a deadline of two years was set for a sequel. Not only was “Echoes” on a strict schedule, but the sequel introduced a multiplayer mode, a parallel dimension with a planet called the Dark Aether, and a fully-fleshed out story. Considering it was nowhere near complete just a few months before release, “Echoes” is an amazing work of art. Even if the difficulty could be a touch unbalanced and Retro Studios had to drop plans to include “Super Metroid” as an unlockable game, “Echoes” is nevertheless a great title worthy of Nintendo’s seal of quality.
#7: “Mega Man 2” (1988)
Usually, games are rushed because a publisher wants to capitalize on a hot commodity, but that was not the case with “Mega Man 2.” As the first game was not a hit, Capcom was reluctant to even create a sequel and only greenlit the project if the developers worked in their own time. “Mega Man 2” came out just a year after its predecessor and was an improvement in nearly every area, including commercially. While the franchise would prove to be no stranger to rushed games, “Mega Man 2” set a standard that few action games would ever be able to reach.
#6: “Gran Turismo 2” (1999)
If a game is scheduled for the holiday season, it will come out as planned. As the sequel to the best-selling PlayStation One game ever, “Gran Turismo 2” was not going to miss its December 1999 release date. Putting aside some glitches and an impossible 100% completion rate, the sequel was arguably a step above the original “Gran Turismo,” and its flaws would be fixed in later versions. Even more than two decades later, “Gran Turismo 2” continues to hold up as a timeless racing game and a PlayStation classic.
#5: “Fallout: New Vegas” (2010)
Bethesda hired Obsidian Entertainment to create a spin-off to “Fallout 3,” and then gave them roughly 18 months to get the job done. Like the main series, “Fallout: New Vegas” launched with plenty of bugs and glitches, along with no post-game content. Despite being a mess in places, “New Vegas” delivered some of the best writing in modern gaming, arguably exceeding the mainline first-person “Fallout” series. With a sprawling world packed with memorable NPCs and engrossing quest lines, “New Vegas” hit it out of the park in the areas that mattered the most, even if it needed a few patches to not fall apart at the seams.
#4: “Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II – The Sith Lords” (2004)
With less than 18 months separating 2003’s original from its sequel, it is a small miracle “Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II - The Sith Lords” turned out as good as it did. Obsidian stuck close to BioWare’s blueprint, crafting a sequel that mostly revisits its predecessor’s very solid foundations while featuring a strong storyline hampered by an ending that feels incomplete. “The Sith Lords” would certainly have been a better game if Obsidian had more time, but the version that was released is still a must-play for “Star Wars” or RPG fans.
#3: “Halo 2” (2004)
Three years might sound like enough time to produce a sequel, but the ambitious “Halo 2” went through a messy development cycle. With the Xbox 360’s launch right around the corner, Bungie’s FPS was coming out in 2004 no matter what, resulting in a campaign that just kind of stopped and a multiplayer that was not quite able to match the studio’s original vision. “Halo 2” has its issues, but it also happens to be one of the greatest first-person shooters ever made, with even the scaled-back multiplayer being a cut above its console contemporaries.
#2: “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” (1992)
Sega’s sequel is such an iconic game, it is hard to believe “Sonic 2” could have been rushed; however, development on the title began just a year before its release. With such a tight schedule, a few things had to be cut, including a couple of stages, but that did not mean “Sonic 2” failed to bring innovation to the plate. The sequel was faster, bigger, prettier, and better than its highly-acclaimed predecessor, and helped cement Sega as a proper rival to Nintendo. The blue hedgehog has had his ups and downs, but “Sonic 2” is a timeless masterpiece.
Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
“Batman: Arkham Origins” (2013)
Because Rushed Batman Is Still Batman
“Devil May Cry 4” (2008)
Because Half A Game Of Backtracking Is More Palatable When The Combat Is Awesome
#1: “Super Mario World” (1990)
The early '90s console wars meant neither Sega nor Nintendo could afford to give the other an inch. A launch day release for the SNES, “Super Mario World” propelled Nintendo's plumber into the 16-bit era with more than 70 levels of awesomeness, pitch-perfect controls, and Yoshi. “Super Mario World” is by no means lacking in content, but plenty of stuff failed to make the cut and the game’s development was shorter than that of “Super Mario Bros. 3.” In a franchise filled with masterpieces, “Super Mario World” stands out as being extra special, a platformer that comes about as close to perfection as seemingly possible.