10 Criminally Underrated Video Games That Deserve A Second Chance

First impressions count, but hindsight's a wonderful thing.

hitman 2016
IO Interactive

It takes just 1/10th of a second to form a judgement about someone, and even that can be too long for some people. While we might be slightly more forgiving of games, we still form our opinions pretty quickly.

Thanks to a translation error in the European version of Final Fantasy VII, for example, my first experience was getting mangled by that Scorpion boss in the first reactor. Thanks to Barrett telling me to attack "while it's tail is up", I died. A lot.

Needless to say, I took it back to the rental store faster than a Golden Chocobo, and if not for a friend explaining the error - and how incredible the game really was - I would never have gone back and discovered what went on to become one of my favourite games of all time.

To that end, it's easy to go into any game with unfair expectations, and even when criticism is fair, we can still fail to see the innovative aspects of a game.

Here are 10 recent (ish) games that didn't get the attention they deserved, and that you should definitely give a second chance.

10. Oxenfree

hitman 2016
Night School Studio

Why it got overlooked:

Unfortunately, Oxenfree's only sin was being an indie title. While some get picked up in development by a large publisher, making for a big money release campaign, most do not.

Oxenfree has received great reviews by those that have played it – but that number is far lower than the title deserves.

Why it deserves a second chance:

On the surface, Oxenfree is a beautifully stylised point-and-click puzzle adventure that follows a group of teenagers partying on the island of a former military base.

The mechanics are similar to the classics, though the old method of 'pick up item A and combine with item B to produce unlikely solution' is replaced (that's you, Monkey Island 2, with your 'hypnotise piano playing monkey, then use monkey as wrench to turn off waterfall revealing secret passageway').

Instead, the player uses a radio capable of tuning in with the paranormal events of the island. The game quickly turns from humorous teenage drama to horror mystery with some genuinely spooky and terrifying moments.

Considering it was released around the time of the 'Stranger Things' hype, this game also did a great job tapping into that 80s horror-thriller nostalgia.

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Writer, aspiring author, and I won't stop travelling until I've seen it all. Whilst I might take a break now and then to rant about politics or muse over philosophy, I'm not afraid to roll up my sleeves, buckle down, and spend some solid hours gaming!