From time to time, great video games are released that no matter how highly praised by gamers and critics alike, just don’t seem to sell. After a bit of thought and research I’ve come up with a list of games from this generation that I thought were fantastic, yet couldn’t shift a million copies if they had an army of marketers plugging them left right and centre.
A 3rd person sci-fi action shooter from the guy that created Resident Evil 4 where you can power slide on your knees at a hundred miles an hour. What’s not cool about that? Received well by critics but a commercial flop. Thankfully PlayStation Plus picked it up and if you missed it then, or are playing on 360, you can pick this up pre-owned for less than a fiver.
El Shaddai Ascension of the Metatron
Set in a world based on Christian and Jewish scripture, El Shaddai is a combo driven platformer with both 3D and 2D elements. An extremely attractive art style and a few 9 out of 10 reviews unfortunately couldn’t save this gem from being flung into the duldrums of video game stores bargain bins around the globe.
Raven Studios time bending FPS was a surprise release when picked up by Call of Duty giants Activision. Unfortunately this far more interesting game didn’t even get a fraction of the advertising its publishers behemoth franchise usually sees. Worth picking up now as it’s ridiculously cheap and not a bad game to boot.
This intriguing strategy game was released in 2008 exclusively for PS3. Set to a fictional World War II era backdrop, Valkyria Chronicles is still one of my favourite games to this day. The story is fantastic and the gameplay both clever and deep, forcing Official PlayStation Magazine to give this brilliant title a 9 out of 10 score. Unfortunately it hasn’t sold outside of Japan and you’ll be hard up to find yourself a copy. Best check used game scores.
An Xbox 360 exclusive JRPG from the creator of the much loved Final Fantasy series, backed by Microsoft’s mega bucks. A winning formula for a sure fire hit right? Wrong. Although reviewed positively this is one game that slipped by many 360 owners, especially in the far east where it was hoped to shift systems in an almost non-existent Japanese 360 market.
3D Dot Game Heroes
An old school Zelda style adventure game, entirely made from big dot pixels. This charming title is a PS3 exclusive and on release had critics wetting their nostalgic pants. All the best elements from 16-bit adventure classics while delightful, couldn’t force a breakthrough at a time where FPS and open world game ruled the roost.
The last game by Pandemic Studios, geniuses behind Star Wars Battlefront, Destroy All Humans and the Mercenaries games, before EA tragically closed them down after only acquiring them 18 months before. It’s a 3rd person open world stealth action game set in German occupied France during the second world war. And it’s bloody brilliant, however sales were extremely poor and EA is not a fan of poor sales. RIP Pandemic.
Shadows of the Damned
Super vulgar over the top action game Shadows of the damned is a fantastic example of big publisher backed game (EA) that just couldn’t be flogged at all. From Suda51 and Grasshopper Manufacture (Killer7, Lollipop Chainsaw and No More Heroes) this wacky package is great fun if you’re a fan of 3rd person action games. Unluckily it barely shifted 25,000 copies in the US in the first two months and opened at 31 in the UK chart, falling instantly out of it the next week.
Enslaved: Odyssey to the West
Ninja Theory (DmC and Heavenly Sword) had so much hype leading up to the release of this much anticipated twist on an old Japanese fable. It tells one of my favourite stories in recent years, and although it has a slightly off combat system, it looks beautiful. Probably had poor sales due to the fact it was released on the same day as Borderlands, and a month before Call of Duty: Black Ops.
Probably the most surprising game on the list. Hampered slightly by the poor second entry in the franchise, this shooter gained critical acclaim from most scoring 9 out of 10 from quite a few publications. Yet it only managed to shift 180,000 copies in its first month of release, compared to games in the same year like L.A. Noire which sold 500,000 in its first week.
And there you have it. 10 Games that nobody bought……..
……………………………………………………………… or did you?
So why not tell us what you think of this selection and do you have any that should be added to the list? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts
List considered and compiled by DaftChunk aka Gareth Davis