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The Top 5 Best Video Games Nobody Played
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By now you should know all the usual suspects that people think of when they hear the words "best video games of all time."  Halo.  Metroid Prime.  Final Fantasy VII.  The Legend of Zelda.  These are the games that are critically acclaimed and that also sold exceedingly well.  This article isn't about them.  It's about what I think are the cream of the crop of video games which, for one reason or another, sold next to nothing and failed to garner the attention and praise of most gamers.
 
5. The Longest Journey.  One of those point-and-click style adventure games that have become archaic and passe by today's standards, if not during the time this game was released.  Despite its under-the-radar status, The Longest Journey deserves to be noticed with its sense of beauty, etherealness, and smart puzzle-solving and story.
 
4. Ico.  Ico was one of those many games that sadly just weren't marketed properly.  I remember that I myself never bothered to pick up this title at first because I didn't hear much about it.  Perhaps the ugly English cover art also has something to do with this game's failure.  Then I heard many friends and fans raving about this game's sense of beauty, scope, and puzzle-solving.  Intrigued, I picked it up, and it's now one of my favorite games of all time.  Ico is one of the most artistic games of all time.  Where other games go big budget, Ico revels in simplicity, from the lack of a soundtrack, to its unique graphics, to its innocent child heroes.  Yet with its made up fantasy language and Celtic-esque setting, Ico is as detailed as it is approachable.  It's a shame a game like this hardly gets noticed.
 
3. Beyond Good and Evil.  When Beyond Good and Evil came out, the message that the entire video game world seemed to be sending out was quite sad.  Many people clamor for fresh ideas and original video games.  Beyond Good and Evil was as original and fresh as video games got, but instead, many countless trashy sequels and overhyped big budget marketing machines sold better than this game.  I'm not sure why this game didn't sell at least a modest amount, as it gave gamers a complete package.  It painted a vivid tapestry of a world that was an engaging cross between cartoony fantasy and serious science fiction.  It gave us characters that seemed real and alive and a breathtaking narrative about an alien conspiracy.  Most importantly, it gave us many exciting cinematic sequences that seemed to be ripped from right out of the best Hollywood scenes.
 
2. Nights Into Dreams.  It's easy to see why this game sold poorly.  It came on the underpowered Sega Saturn at a time when the Sony Playstation was already waxing the floor with the Saturn, and Nights Into Dreams' main competition was the incredible Super Mario 64.  However, Nights Into Dreams is hands down the most gorgeous and thoroughly charming platform game I've ever played.  The key to this game's brilliance lies in its many details and its sense of rollicking fun.
 
1. Panzer Dragoon Saga.  Why didn't this game sell?  It's hard to sell when only several thousand copies of you exist at any given time.  As such, very few people got a chance to experience this masterpiece.  Just a few months before this game was released, people have already bought up Final Fantasy VII by the truckload and claimed it revolutionized RPGs.  However, I find this game to be far superior in many ways.  It gets my vote for the best video game of all time for reasons you can read in my review.
 
So there you have it.  My list of the five best games that people hardly took notice of.  What's the moral of the story?  I'm not suggesting that you break your wallet or go against your tastes in video games.  But if you have an open mind, give the oddities and the underdogs a chance.  You just might be surprised.  Those Halos and Grand Theft Autos aren't going anywhere for quite a while.

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