Top 10 Underrated Video Games Of The 90s
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Top 10 Underrated Video Games Of The 90s

VOICE OVER: Callum Janes WRITTEN BY: Garrett Alden
All of these video games deserve much more attention than they got! For this list, we'll be going over the games from the 1990s that were overlooked upon initial release and in retrospective examination. Our countdown includes “Blast Corps” (1997), “Body Harvest” (1998), “Dino Crisis” (1999), “Dune II: The Building of a Dynasty” (1992), “Jet Force Gemini” (1999) and more!
Transcript
Script written by Garrett Alden

Top 10 Underrated 90s Games


Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 underrated 90s games.

For this list, we’ll be going over the games from the 1990s that were overlooked upon initial release and in retrospective examination. To be clear, none of these games are “more” underrated than the others – they all deserve more attention. The order is just our preference.

If there’s an underrated 90s game that we overlooked, please let us know your favorite hidden gems in the comments!

#10: “Beetle Adventure Racing” (1999)


Racing games tend to be more serious like “Need for Speed,” or involve exaggerated characters on karts using special items to win races or in arena battles. “Beetle Adventure Racing” may have been made by the team behind the former, but it’s somewhere between that and the latter. Featuring all VW New Beetles, the game also had longer racetracks, a few special items, and a battle mode. Although overshadowed by several other racing games on the Nintendo 64, “Beetle Adventure Racing” is still the most fun you can have involving Beetles without hitting your friends on the arm.

#9: “Blast Corps” (1997)


Made by Rare, “Blast Corps” is totally different from the company’s usual famed platforming games. Rather, it’s an action puzzle game. To stop a runaway truck carrying a nuclear missile, the player must use a variety of vehicles and mechs to clear debris and create pathways to ensure it doesn’t explode. While it did well critically and financially, “Blast Corps” remains much less well-known compared to some of Rare’s other titles on the system. Also, its unique premise and somewhat technical controls have ensured that it’s not as accessible as other games.

#8: “Tenchu: Stealth Assassins” (1998)


You would think it’d be impossible for any game where you play as a ninja to be underrated. But it is! The game features two playable ninjas, as well as a ton of weapon variety and different storylines, though the missions remain the same. Although “Tenchu: Stealth Assassins” did well at the time of its release, it was quickly overshadowed by other contemporary stealth games that came out soon afterwards, like “Metal Gear Solid.” And sure, the voice acting is kind of corny, but it was still the 90s, man! Besides, any game with a grappling hook gets a pass on almost anything!

#7: “Body Harvest” (1998)


It’s amazing that “Body Harvest” has flown under the radar as long as it has, particularly since the developers behind it eventually became Rockstar Games! A lot of ideas present in “Body Harvest” would later become staples of open world games like the “Grand Theft Auto” series. Large maps full of civilians, non-linear gameplay, as well as tons of vehicles and weapons you can use, are all present here. They just happen to be in a game in which you travel through time fighting aliens! Although not as expansive as later titles, it’s still a fun and unique experience.

#6: “Dino Crisis” (1999)


What if the guys behind “Resident Evil” made a “Jurassic Park” game? That’s essentially what “Dino Crisis” is and it’s as awesome as it sounds! Its survival horror elements rely on a few more jump scares, but the familiar locked door areas and limited inventory and ammo should be familiar to fans of Capcom’s zombie franchise. “Dino Crisis” proved successful initially and spawned a few sequels, but it has been overshadowed heavily by “Resident Evil” and the franchise is essentially dead. It’s due for a comeback, and frankly: dinosaurs are way cooler than zombies!

#5: “Parasite Eve” (1998)


“Parasite Eve” is a survival horror themed action RPG. Despite being set in New York, the game never really caught on among Western gamers – probably because it’s the sequel to a novel. Still, regardless of whether you read the source material, “Parasite Eve” is a fantastic game, with dynamic combat, customizable weapons, and a fantastic soundtrack. For those who love Square games, “Parasite Eve” is a more mature and grounded game than their usual fantasy RPGs…mostly…but still has all the polish and quality fans expect from the company. If you can find a copy, it’s worth checking out.

#4: “Dune II: The Building of a Dynasty” (1992)


“Dune” is one of the most influential sci-fi books ever written, and it’s only fitting that a video game based on it, or rather its first film adaptation, is similarly impactful. Arguably the most important real-time strategy game ever made, “Dune II” didn’t invent features like fog-of-war, resource gathering, or managing units with a mouse, but it did bring all these elements together for the first time. “Dune II” paved the way for franchises like “Command and Conquer” and “Warcraft” to hit it big. Sadly, it has been largely forgotten when compared with those big names.

#3: “Jet Force Gemini” (1999)


Space shooters are everywhere, and back in the late ‘90s even Rare tried their hand at one. “Jet Force Gemini” feels like a hybrid between third person shooters and the adventure platformers the company is known for, making for an unusual blend of gameplay elements. With 3 characters with unique abilities to play as and over a dozen worlds to explore, there’s plenty to experience. While there are some clunky things about it, such as the controls and some backtracking, the overall package is still great, and it deserves more attention.

#2: “Power Stone” (1999)


You really don’t see many games like “Power Stone.” A 3D arena battler, “Power Stone” features a colorful cast of fighters pitted against each other. To win, you must collect power-ups and items to defeat your foes. It makes for a fantastic, if hectic game to play with friends. Honestly, the only reason we feel like it didn’t catch on more is that it came out on the Dreamcast. The system’s poor sales ensured that “Power Stone” never saw the kind of play other contemporary fighting/party games had at the time. Still, if you can get your hands on a copy, this is one hidden gem that will power up any party.

#1: “Mischief Makers” (1997)


The Nintendo 64 was a console that most gamers looked to for 3D games. So many, particularly in the west, probably didn’t know what to make of “Mischief Makers,” a 2.5D side-scroller with anime influences. And that’s too bad, because it’s a great platformer, with simple, yet challenging gameplay based around a central shaking mechanic that wouldn’t be out of place even on today’s Nintendo consoles. It also features a bright and distinctive visual style, entertaining characters, and a catchy soundtrack. “Mischief Makers” is definitely a game you should give a shake or two.
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