10 Phenomenal Video Games NOBODY Bought

Sunset Overdrive walked so Hi-Fi RUSH could run.

Sunset Overdrive
Microsoft Studios

Within the world of video games, there have been extraordinary success stories of record-breaking sales and acclaim alongside soul-crushing lows of development hell leading to devastating flops.

Usually, our understanding is that good games sell well while the truly awful ones are left to be forgotten. After all, who wants to spend their hard-earned money on something that nobody seems to like?

This isn't always the case, however. Sales numbers aren't always a solid indicator of a game's overall quality, with there being some genuinely incredible and genre-defining games failing to draw in the crowds.

There can be any number of reasons for why this could be the case. The game, through no fault of its own, could be sent out to compete with equally great titles that happened to sell better. The marketing campaign may have been a disastrous misfire. Or the interest from general audiences just wasn't there at the time.

While some of these titles have since gone on to achieve the recognition they've deserved since day one with a dedicated cult following and newfound appreciation from the wider community, they nevertheless failed to make much of an impression when they first hit the scene.

10. The Saboteur (2009)

Sunset Overdrive
Pandemic

The final game to come from Pandemic Studios before they closed their doors, The Saboteur can best be described as Grand Theft Auto meets Assassin’s Creed set within a stylised German-occupied France. In it, you play as Irish racing driver Sean Devlin who becomes caught-up in the French resistance.

By combining third person shooting with stealth, driving, and even some parkour, this title centred itself around a supremely playable mix of mechanics that kept moment-to-moment gameplay fun and fresh.

The biggest draw, however, was undoubtedly the art design. Occupied areas of the city are presented in a slick black-and-white, punctuated with splashes of vibrant reds from blood sprays and explosions. It’s only when enemy forces have been vanquished from that borough that colour returns to the Parisian streets, bringing them back to vibrant life.

For everything that this game got so spectacularly right, it's a tragedy that The Saboteur went completely under the radar on release. It’s only in the past few years that this cult classic has begun to get the recognition it deserves.

Between the developer's closure and the lack of interest at launch, the unfulfilled potential for a sequel has remained a sore spot for fans of this fantastic game.

Contributor
Contributor

Glasgow-based cinephile who earned a Master's degree in film studies to spend their time writing about cinema, video games, and horror.