In all my life as a gamer, I've played a lot of titles that I personally liked a lot but they just didn't seem to get much love from the public, some of them are hated a lot in fact. I constantly defend them both online and in real life when talking to fellow players and when I do convince people to try them out, they usually end up liking those titles a lot. Out of a hat I'm listing the most important ones for me.
1) Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts (Xbox 360)
OK, I completely agree that this wasn't the "Banjo-Threeie" everyone was looking and waiting for. But as one of the very few who not only played the game, but 100%ed it back then, I can say that this game is BEAUTIFUL and AWESOME in almost every way. The worlds, challenges and endless ways to complete them made the players actually think about what they were doing. I loved building different kinds of vehicles and just trying them out in the different worlds. Nuts and Bolts is probably the most underrated game I've played in the Xbox 360 and I really think it is unfair because Rare tried really hard to innovate and they didn't get the reception they deserved. The game looks and sounds awesome and the gameplay is innovative, fresh and varied. Everyone out there should stop the "it's not a real platformer" crap and just try this game.
2) Final Fantasy V (SNES, PSX, PSN, GBA)
The fifth title in the Final Fantasy franchise is probably the least played of them all (along with FFII, but that one isn't very good). And the funny thing is that the most modern games owe it a lot. FFV introduced the job system, had awesome characters (a female pirate who dresses like a man and Gilgamesh, seriously) and one of the most varied battle systems in the entire series. The GBA version even includes several exclusive jobs to expand the experience even more. The story uses the crystal thing all over again but trust me, it's very cool, it has two world maps and Exdeath is one of the best antagonists in the series.
It seems that the fact that this game was never released in America in the SNES days hurt it a lot and I seem to remember the original PSX version (the one that came with Final Fantasy Anthology) had a bug where the screen would get all messy when trying to save the game. Besides, back in the PSX era, many gamers were finally playing the series for the first time because of FFVII, VIII and IX (myself included) and since IV and VI are considered the best from the 2D titles, then no one paid V attention. They should have. I personally think FFV is superior to IV. But I'll elaborate that in another article... or maybe not.
Fortunately, the game can now be easily purchased in the PlayStation Store. So go and buy it NOW!
3) Wave Race 64 (Nintendo 64)
This one actually got a lot of love from the reviewers and game journalists back in the original era but I can't stop wondering what the hell happened between Nintendo and this franchise. Both WR64 and Blue Storm are fantastic racing games and they really push the power of their consoles to the limit but back in the N64 days, No one seemed to have noticed WR64, I'm the only person in my city who owned it and finding fans and gameplay videos like world records and stuff is surprisingly difficult. I think the game is vastly underrated because Nintendo simply stopped working in the franchise. The last time a Wave Race game was released was 11 years ago. That's a LOT for a series as good as this. I think it was Miyamoto himself who said Wave Race 64 used more power from the console than Super Mario 64 because of the "physics" of the water moving the vehicles.
The game looks awesome (even today), the environments are beautiful and the races are intense. There are only four characters but each one is so different that mastering them will take a lot of time. Hopefully, the game is available in the Virtual Console for 1000 Wii Points so everyone out there should try it out.
4) Xenosaga Trilogy (PS2)
I'll actually include three games into one single entry for this because it'd be retarded to put them separate. Xenosaga is a trilogy of fantasy/scifi JRPGS for the PS2 and NO ONE played because they were either too busy with Final Fantasy X (which is cool) or they got scared by reviewers whining about the cinematics being too long. Now don't get me wrong. The cinematics were really long in these games but they were awesome. The narrative, animations, graphics, music, battle systems and voice acting in the three games were fantastic and because of people buying crap instead of this, the fourth and fifth titles were never made. I even remember parts of the plot when characters quoted the bible getting people butthurt in several forums.
This trilogy was supposed to be connected somehow with Xenogears (another JRPG for the PS1) and now it seems Xenoblade (for the Wii) is part of the same universe as well. I'm not sure about it but when I see the three games at insanely high prices in online stores, I get depressed because this were games that definitely deserved more attention from the hardcore gamers back in the 2000s...
5) Shadow of Destiny (PS2)
Now this is a game nobody even knows exists. It's a very obscure PS2 title that I own for some reason. It's about a guy who is the victim of a murder, but every time he dies, an homunculus gives him the ability to go back in time and try to prevent his own assassination. It's a very cool concept and spawned a really interesting storyline. The game has no combat or flashy music or anything. All you do is walk around places, interact with characters and objects to try and solve the puzzles and mysteries. Sounds boring, but it's not. The game even makes you travel back several years to prepare things to solve puzzles in the future. It's very cool, trust me. Try it out if you manage to find a cheap copy somewhere.
I'll post five more tomorrow...