10 Video Games That Were WAY Ahead Of Their Time

When graphics from 2004 obliterate most of what's available today.

chronicles of riddick
Starbreeze Studios

If a game has top-of-the-line graphics, seamless controls, and fun gameplay, you'd think the development team couldn't be happier.

But for some, making the best game possible isn't good enough. If the developers want their work to make an impression, they can't just churn out a solid title - they need to release something unprecedented.

Although it's difficult to find a new approach to gaming, it's crucial for the industry to thrive. No matter how good games are, they will grow stagnant unless they evolve.

Instead of telling a good story, some games find new ways to deliver a compelling narrative. Rather than focusing on control precision, certain development teams crafted a brand-new control system to give players a unique experience.

Even though such innovations can be gimmicky, they can also change the world of gaming, if done right. Silent Hill and System Shock II weren't just great titles - they proved there were different ways to play games, which helped pave the road for more innovations.

Regardless whether these games sold well or not, there's no question they were way ahead of their time.

10. Quick Time Events + Real-Time Weather - Shenmue

chronicles of riddick

Just because a game is ahead of its time doesn't necessarily mean it's guaranteed for success. Shenmue may have been touted as Dreamcast's gamechanger, but Sega's open-world title barely sold a million copies.

Despite the fact Yu Suzuki's work could've fallen into obscurity, it quickly developed a cult-following. When you break Shenmue down, it's easy to see why.

Instead of taking place in a set world, the algorithmically generated weather and day-and-night system created a constantly changing environment, making your surroundings appear more authentic. Instead of populating each terrain with dawdling NPCs, each character is programmed with daily schedules, which made all interactions feel genuine.

Although quick-time events have been around since the Dragon Lair series, Shenmue reinvigorated this form of gameplay. Rather than using them as a gimmick, Shenmue proved QTEs could make combat and the story more immersive.

By no means is Shenmue perfect. The controls aren't stellar, the pacing is slow, and the voice-acting is pretty much what you'd expected from a 1990s game. But when you give Shenmue a look with fresh eyes, there's no mistake Sega's underrated title pioneered many key mechanics in the gaming world of today.


James Egan has written 80 books including 1000 Facts about Superheroes Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about Horror Movies Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about The Greatest Films Ever Made Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about Video Games Vol. 1-3 1000 Facts about TV Shows Vol. 1-3 Twitter - @jameswzegan85