In any form of entertainment or art, it’s almost impossible to predict which works will remain popular and which ones will slip out of common memory as time moves on. While many video games from decades past remain incredibly popular, other titles that gamers enjoyed seem to be almost entirely forgotten.
This can sometimes happen as game mechanics or visuals age poorly, but some titles that have been left behind deserve another look. Redditors have shared several video games that nobody else seems to remember, and there are quite a few great experiences mentioned that may be poised for a cultural comeback.
Hugo’s House of Horrors
Several of the best horror games that have been made ask the player to walk around a spooky house, but Hugo’s House of Horrors was one of the earliest. Players must guide Hugo as he navigates the haunted mansion to save his girlfriend, Penelope, who was last seen there.
The game didn’t initially have mouse support, and commands had to be typed in. Christopher135MPS notes that this made “Hugo’s house … a painful combination of difficulty and needing the exact phrase. The required commands could be challenging to think of, requiring exact wording to work.
Interstate ’76 is a vehicle combat game released on PCs by Activision in 1997. Unlike most racing games of its time, Insterstate ’76 did have a story to justify its gameplay. In the game, the 1973 oil crisis failed to resolve, and riots overtook the American Southwest. Vigilantes decked out their cars with weapons took the law into their own hands to force peace.
Interstate ’76 was notable for varied armaments and vehicles that were actually affected visually and mechanically by damage. Brianpattison remembers the game, saying they “begged [their] parents to switch from AOL to a ‘real’ ISP because the online play didn’t work over AOL’s connection.”
It Came From The Desert
It Came From the Desert is an Amiga action game from 1989 that took inspiration from several of the best monster movies of all time. Players step into the shoes of a geologist investigating a meteor crash site in California who discovers giant irradiated ants threatening to spread across the country.
Players need to fight the ants, and the game uses time as a resource. Every action moves the clock forward, and after 15 days, players fail if they haven’t taken the ants out. Situbusitgoodgog praises the game, saying, “The rich world, varied gameplay and just feeling of depth was crazy for the year it was released.”
Metal Arms: Glitch In The System
Metal Arms is a third-person action game from 2003 featuring robot-on-robot combat and basic platforming. The game’s protagonist, Glitch, is awakened from deactivation after he’s found in a ruined city. He then joins the rebellion against the tyrannical General Corrosive and his Morbots.
Namealreadytaken463 remembers the game fondly, posting that Metal Arms is “One my all time favs and nobody around me ever knew what it was.” In addition to the main campaign, the game also has a popular multiplayer skirmish mode. To the dismay of its fans, Metal Arms never received a sequel and has slid out of popularity.
Army Men: Sarge’s Heroes
Many people have childhood memories of playing with green plastic army men, and the Army Men franchise illustrates the battles that many children imagined in their heads. The franchise includes both tactical strategy games and third-person shooters, with Sarge’s Heroes being the latter.
AverageJo24 reminisces about the game, which was released on the Nintendo 64, PlayStation, and Sega Dreamcast, by saying that it “…was the game of my childhood but none of my friends seem to have even heard of it!” The franchise currently boasts 24 entries across several platforms.
Racing games weren’t rare even in 1991, but Road Rash made a name for itself by introducing combat to the formula. While the motorcycle racing mechanics were enjoyable on their own, players could also use melee strikes and weapons to take other racers down. Road Rash was EA’s most profitable title to date when it was released.
BooksLoveTalksnIdeas claims that Road Rash was one of the “Most fun arcade racing games ever,” and that “It’s surprising that they haven’t been brought back with online multiplayer available for new consoles.” Unfortunately, the franchise has been dormant since 2000’s Road Rash: Jailbreak.
War of the Monsters
Despite their popularity in film and wider entertainment culture, there haven’t been a large number of kaiju games that have achieved mainstream success. CrystalQuetzal, however, remembers War of the Monsters, writing, “I don’t think anyone I know knew about that game but it was such a fun monster fighting game!”
War of the Monsters let players choose giant fighters, many inspired by the most iconic kaiju in film, and battle each other across various landscapes. Players could even trigger large natural disasters unique to each play area.
Movies and literature have a long history of successful interpretations and crossovers, but there aren’t nearly as many video games based on books. One example that not many people remember is the 1998 action horror game Parasite Eve.
The game and its two sequels take place in a world in which mitochondria are actually part of a sentient being waiting to take over the world. It’s a bizarre premise, but gamers like basket_of_chips remember how frightening the game was, saying, “[Parasite Eve] fascinated and terrified me at the same time.”
The mid-1990s to mid-2000s saw an explosion of “mascot”-style video games featuring cool anthropomorphic animals in third-person action platformers. While some, like Ratchet and Clank or Jak and Daxter, received the critical acclaim that they deserved, others slipped through largely unnoticed.
Fitherwinkle mentions that “It’s not just ‘this is ok for a game that fell through the cracks’ but more like ‘No this is legit great and should have hit harder than it did.'” Scaler‘s central gameplay hook, which let the player transform into different reptilians, garnered critical praise, but the game never got a sequel.
Buck Bumble, a 1998 release for the Nintendo 64, may not have garnered the same critical or commercial acclaim as other third-person action games of its time, but it still has a dedicated fanbase with fond memories of its six-legged hero. Players piloted Buck, a mutated bee, as he flew across various maps and attacked enemies with a wide arsenal of weapons.
Buck Bumble is remembered well by DemiousRising, who says “Every time one of these threads pops up I always look for this game,” and that they’re happy other posters recall how memorable the title screen credits were.
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