Pop Culture | Video Games | Retro
10 Awesome Retro Games You've Probably Never Played
While there's plenty of games on older consoles that we all know and love, sometimes there's some that, while amazing, happen to slip through the cracks. Let's take a look at some that deserve your attention.
1) Snowboard Kids (N64, 1998)
If the idea of Mario Kart on snowboards sounds like something you're into, then have I ever got a game for you. Also, you're my kinda person.
This colorful racer pits a group of Japanese schoolkids in a race down several colorful locations (amusement parks, highways etc.) while hitting each other with items like frying pans and explosive snowmen.
It even got a sequel! If you want a fun twist on a multiplayer racer, you should track this little gem down.
2) T'ai Fu: Wrath Of The Tiger (PS1, 1999)
Developed by Dreamworks Interactive, T'ai Fu is the story of a young tiger who must learn of his past in order to master kung-fu and defeat the dragon warlord that killed his people.
Along the way you'll do battle with a variety of animals all themed after various styles of kung-fu; Leopard, Snake, Monkey, Crane etc. You'll also learn these styles yourself, giving you an ever-expanding list of moves.
If this looks or sounds familiar, it's because much of the staff of this game went on to make the Kung-Fu Panda movies! With cool fighting styles, awesome music, and great voice acting, this gem still holds up.
3) EVO: The Search For Eden (SNES, 1993)
An action-RPG like no other, this obscure Super Nintendo game doesn't put you in the role of a young warrior or a group of travelers. In fact, it has you play through the cycles of evolution!
You start off as a little sea creature, and depending on how you choose to evolve, you can become a bird, a dinosaur, or even a caveman! Each comes with their own unique levels, giving the game lots of replay value.
EVO's charming graphics and a soothing soundtrack combine with its gameplay to create something unlike anything you've ever played before, and it's absolutely worth your time.
4) Klonoa: Door To Phantomile (PS1, 1998)
During a time when 2D platformers were disappearing, Klonoa came along and reminded us all of how great they were.
The story of a young dog/rabbit/thing who has to save his land from an evil dark force, Klonoa has everything you'd expect from a great platformer: colorful graphics, tight controls, and lots of creative levels. It even has a surprisingly emotional story.
Despite being obscure, the game actually did spawn a franchise. It got a sequel on the PlayStation 2, two spinoff games on the Game Boy Advance, and even a remake on the Wii! Check it out.
5) Rocket: Robot On Wheels (N64, 1999)
You might not have heard of this game, but you've definitely heard of the people who made it. Sucker Punch Productions would go on to develop the Sly Cooper and Infamous franchises for Sony!
One of the many 3D platformers on the Nintendo 64, Rocket puts you in the shoes of a little. single-wheeled robot who has to save an amusement park from an evil raccoon.
This game sticks out from the likes of Super Mario 64 and Banjo-Kazooie by focusing a lot more on puzzles and driving interesting vehicles than sheer platforming. It feels pretty unique, and it's worth revisiting now. Maybe someday we can get a sequel?
Click to the next page for more obscure retro games!
6) Alundra (PS1, 1997)
This Zelda-esque adventure game isn't well-known, but it's absolutely worth your time. Alundra focuses on the titular character's journey to save a coastal village that's being plagued by a demon, who often attacks people through their dreams.
Despite its simple "explore the world and kill things" gameplay, the game stands out thanks to its challenging dungeons and its surprisingly deep plot, which delves into themes of religion, personal trauma, and social pressure.
You even dive into people's dreams, and the dungeons therein are modeled after that person's own personality! The game went on to spawn one sequel, and both are worth a playthrough.
7) Actraiser (SNES, 1991)
The world has been destroyed, and only you can rebuild it. Why? Well, because you're God! That's right, this is a game all about assisting your worshipers in making new lives for themselves.
You do this with the help of a little helper angel that lets you protect your people from monsters while you tell them where to build their homes. You can even help them out by changing the weather, clearing the land of obstacles, or getting items from other lands to help them out.
Sometimes, a monster lair reveals itself. At this point, you descend to the Earth, possess a statue of a warrior, and take the battle to the forces of evil personally! It's a mix of action, strategy, and city building, and somehow it all combines into an amazing game.
8) Ape Escape (PS1, 1999)
When a laboratory test monkey named Specter becomes super-intelligent, he takes his fellow monkeys on a rampage through time! As Spike, you have to travel through time and recapture the monkeys using a variety of gadgets and your wits.
Released alongside the original DualShock Analog Controller, this game made full use of the twin sticks and rumble feature of this new device. You control your gadgets with the right analog stick, using it to snatch monkeys with a net, swing a stun baton, spin a propeller to fly, or even drive an RC car!
The game also encouraged going back to levels you'd beaten already to find secrets, as not everything could be found until you unlocked more gadgets. It was popular enough to receive two sequels on the PlayStation 2 and a remake on the PlayStation Portable, but people don't seem to talk about it much!
9) Pilotwings 64 (N64, 1996)
Better known as "the Nintendo 64 launch title that isn't Super Mario 64," Pilotwings 64 got overshadowed from the get-go by being released alongside one of the most beloved video games of all time.
It's too bad because this game is a treat. Tasking you with piloting things like hang gliders, jetpacks, and even a gyrocopter through a series of challenges and tests, this unique game could be extremely difficult to master.
Of course, you could always let off some steam by flying around the island in a wing suit and taking pictures! It may be a frustrating game, but there's nothing else quite like it.
10) Jet Force Gemini (N64, 1999)
Released during the later part of the Nintendo 64's lifespan, Jet Force Gemini is one of the lesser-known games made by Rare, one of the system's best developers.
Taking the roles of space heroes Juno, Vela, and their dog Lupus, you have to shoot your way through hordes of insect soldiers while saving the adorable Tribals. Ultimately, after taking separate paths and amassing a small arsenal of different weapons, you must face off against Mizar, the evil leader of the insects.
With surprisingly robust shooting mechanics, lots of hidden items to uncover, and challenging sections where you have to manage enemies while saving Tribals, this game was bigger than most of its time. It even had a bunch of multiplayer modes, making it a massive package that's well worth a look.
Which do you want to play?