Perfect, Underappreciated Games - PS1 Era and After

As the title says, this would be a list of games that I have personally compiled as being absolutely perfect while also remaining underappreciated.

List items

  • This game is my favorite game of all time for a reason. Three playthroughs to get 100% map completion, a deep weapon customization system, a modified version of the Parasite Eve fighting engine that utilizes excellent combos, a wonderful story set around the world of Ivalice from the Final Fantasy franchise, and gorgeous graphics for the PS1 make this the best game of all time, as well as the most perfect game of all time.

  • Between the cel-shaded and colorfully delightful graphics, a deep weapon synthesis system, and a story-driven version of the Georama system from the first game, Dark Cloud 2 surpassed its predecessor with incredible leaps and bounds. It also proved that Level 5 was an RPG company to be reckoned with, leading them to create other instant classics like Dragon Quest VIII and Rogue Galaxy.

  • Once upon a time, Square didn't just pump out JRPG after JRPG. Brave Fencer Musashi featured interesting and fun gameplay that mixed action and RPG in a beautiful way. The world was goofy, wacky, and dangerous, while the characters were memorable and bonkers. The idea of fighting as a blue-haired samurai was enough to sell me on the game, but after putting your hands on the controller, it's hard to quit playing.

  • This is a no-brainer. It's a game that was absolutely magnificent to play, featured an enthralling story, and almost no one bought it! The stealth in this game and a deep photo mechanic are only part of what has kept this conspiracy theory-driven game on top games' lists the world over...and it helped to cement Michel Ancel's status as one of the greatest creative minds in games today.

  • Take one great game development studio (Io Interactive), mix it up with the world's largest publisher (EA Games), and offer up incredible squad mechanics to go alongside the pinpoint amazing controls, and you get a shooter that almost no one has heard of. Years later, however, Freedom Fighters is seen as being a cult classic in the gaming industry.

  • I prefer the Dreamcast version of the game, as it featured smoother textures and a greater sense of atmosphere over its N64 and PS1 counterparts. Between the voodoo-infused storyline, the collection of hidden items, the great narrative, and the stark environments, this game was full of imagination and greatness in a time when Acclaim couldn't seem to deliver that anywhere else.

  • Stan Winston's creature designs aside, The Suffering offered a great tale of moral ambiguity alongside great environmental design and excellent shooting mechanics. While the sequel couldn't seem to capture the same magic that this game offered, The Suffering helped show that turning down your brightness and only seeing things by the light of your gun muzzle fire can truly be terrifying.

  • While the game is still fairly recent, Dead Space is a great example of a game with no original parts that accomplishes everything better than the places it draws inspiration from. EA helped to redefine themselves with the release of Dead Space as a company that is willing to take a chance on a new original IP.

  • It's the one game that, above even Vagrant Story, I'm STILL waiting for a fucking sequel!!! I loved everything about this game, from the use of physics and crazy storyline to the completely unique co-op multiplayer and Cold's "With My Mind" track.

  • While this sequel to the EQ-inspired Champions of Norrath may have dropped the randomized dungeons, it made up for it in so many ways. There's the stronger narrative, continually deep character customization, improved graphics, improved online play, and above all, a reason to own a Multitap! I can't count how many hours I've sunk into Return to Arms or its predecessor, but the only game to rival it at the time was WWF Smackdown: Here Comes The Pain!.