Let’s start this topic, because, this is one thing I’ve started getting a vested interest in, and, it’d be interesting to hear what other games from the retro era people think are either under appreciated, underrated, or, just somewhat obscure hidden gems. It could also be games that are considered “bad”, but, really aren’t once you get past the entry barrier.
I have a few of that last one that I aboslutely appreciate:
Terminator 2: Judgement Day (Sega Genesis version, not SNES. SNES version IS actually pretty bad.)
Back to the Future on NES (LJN title, scary scary.)
X-Men on Genesis. the first one, not X-Men 2, which is well recieved.
The Firemen, only released in japan and PAL countries and PAL copies are a friggin rarity these days. I’m very glad I bought a loose copy on a flea market many years ago without knowing what it was, it just seemed obscure and was cheap so I picked it up. I mean look at this, looks like a light saber in a fire, lol.
My favorite 2-player gem is Goof Troop on SNES. I know the Game Grumps popularized it somewhat, but I am still shocked that this game is left off of multiplayer lists. The animation is fluid, the music is catchy, and the puzzles are fairly complex towards the end. It get a little repetitive later on with the limited inventory system, but definitely give it a try.
I’ll throw in a vote for Rock’N Roll Racing. It is right there with Mario Kart. No Mode 7, but you get this isometric view similar to R.C. Pro-Am. You compete on 6 alien planets, while buying new cars and weapons to use during the races. It is frantic and brutal the entire time, with a WWF-style announcer that calls out the action. Check this out if you have not and you might be pleased.
My personal favorite gem is Zombies Ate My Neighbors. I play it every October. The game is 48 levels of monster madness. Every stage pays homage to literary and cinematic monsters while keeping a frantic pace. This was the first game to teach me about conserving ammo. This was before Resident Evil. I failed so many times before managing to finally beat the game. It remains my single proudest gamer moment. Best of all, it is 2 player. Grab a friend and enjoy this gem on Halloween. I dare you!
Radical Psycho Machine Racing (R.P.M. Racing) for the SNES. One of the first racing games that I played where I could create my own track, with varying track textures (asphalt, dirt, ice), ramps and hazards, 3 different class of vehicles and just all kinds of fun.
Top Gear Racing for the SNES was one of the first “behind the car camera” games that I played where the track actually showed you going up and down hills, which if I remember, affected your car’s speed.
Another fun racing title on the SNES was ESPN Speedworld which featured Dr. Jerry Punch.