A game being bad is one thing, but a mediocre game is an entirely different scenario you don't want to sit through. At least with a bad game, you can get some enjoyment out of revelling in negative reactions, and it can be a learning experience for future developers on how to avoid all those pitfalls.
A mediocre game is merely a serviceable experience that threatens to let you waste ten forgettable hours of your life, then comfortably rest collecting dust in your collection. It neither excels in one area nor is detrimental in another, it simply exists as a way to pass some time.
This list is ten games that secretly are one of these aggressively average titles, but have one feature hidden in the game mechanics that elevated them from the rank of mediocre. It might only be a small inclusion or an innovative method of play that shocked the world, but each one is a middle-of-the-road game at its heart.
While a few of them may be stone-cold classics in your mind, this list should open your eyes to see they really only have that magic feature that prevented them from being bargain bin fodder.
10. Red Faction: Guerrilla - Insane Destructibility
Red Faction: Guerilla has a special place in many people's hearts, and it's not because of the setting or characters. Mars as an environment is insanely repetitive, only changing incrementally across the game from an orange rock to a slightly more yellow rock.
The main gunplay didn't set the world on fire and the open-world contains few interesting aspects beyond a smattering of optional missions. It's incredibly one-note as you carve your way across the planet with basic third-person shooter mechanics and missions that don't stray from the formula found in nearly every shooter from the time.
This all means absolutely nothing though, the second you grab a sledgehammer and realize you can level an entire building.
The level of destruction you can unleash in Guerilla is unrivaled, with entire structures crumbling stunningly realistically and offering crazy levels of carnage when you introduce explosives into the mix.
The shooting is evolved from its basic mechanics as you realize all of your cover is now crashing into rubble around you, and the vehicles become improvised weapons that can be crashed through the sides of enemy forts to break in and wreak havoc.
It's crazy to think that over a decade after its release the only thing that's come close to the level of destruction available in this game was when it was re-mastered in 2018.