10 Brilliant Video Games That Surprised Everyone

Who'd have thought Uruks would be more engaging than the Fellowship Of The Ring?

Warner Bros.

Don't you just hate it when an awesome looking game is announced, marketed to breaking point, and a hype train gathers steam only for its release to be a disappointing damp squib that alienates its burgeoning fanbase? Looking at you, WATCH_DOGS and Aliens: Colonial Marines. Similarly galling is when an established franchise releases its latest entry only for it to be a squeaky fart - Mass Effect: Andromeda springs to mind.

But what about the other, altogether more pleasant side of this coin? That lovely surprise we all get when a game that no one expected to be any good turns out to be a new classic? Sometimes developers can pull it out of the bag, restoring our faith in the medium just as we were feeling resigned to accepting more Call Of Duty sequels and lootbox-riddled live-service tat.

Whether it's a new IP that sounded poor on paper, a surprisingly solid movie tie-in or a game that finally escapes its franchise's less-than-favourable legacy, there are plenty of games that gives us that warm fuzzy feeling in a sea of disappointments. Let's give some of those dark horses the recognition they deserve.


Revisionist western fan, lover of the 1990s Lucasarts adventure games and detractor of just about everything else. An insufferable, over-opinionated pillock.