The cult phenomenon is nothing new when it comes to film, TV, comics or music. In fact, some creators even cater to the niche crowd, but for video games, the concept is fairly young for a number of reasons.
Firstly, because games are not a passive form of entertainment if something is broken, flawed or just plain confusing, players and reviewers tend to dismiss it quickly, even if it holds hidden strengths elsewhere.
Secondly, the momentum of consoles were always barrelling forward, giving less opportunity to go back and rediscover a hidden gem or overlooked winner. Imagine if you could only watch obscure 80s genre cinema by dusting off an old VHS player? Most would be put off by the hassle.
It’s true that the medium has held cult success since its inception, but to find those gems now is easier then ever in a time of virtual consoles, backwards compatibly and remasters. It has certainly benefitted this list and helped games that were initially misjudged, mis-marketed or just plain weird for the mainstream.