Best Underrated 2012 Games That Still Hold Up
The gaming industry has been riding a wave of success for decades as the form of entertainment continues to grow in popularity and prominence. The financial growth of the industry is reflected in the games themselves, as today’s video games have far superior visuals, improved sound design, better-written stories, and are simply much bigger and more complex than they were, to the point where it is hard to believe that Adventure and Ghost of Tsushima came out just four decades apart.
Due to the constant growth of the game, games from years past that still hold up today are worth celebrating. Looking back just ten years, it’s easy to find games that still hold up today, despite being overlooked back then.
6 Special operations: the line
Special operations: the line came out at a time when shooters dominated the gaming industry, with franchises like Call of Duty, Battlefieldand armament of war all booming in popularity. Therefore, many studios have created shooters to try to cash in on the hype.
Because of this, Special operations: the line struggled to get much attention, as its mundane gameplay made people quickly dismiss it, since there were so many other shooters coming out around the same time. However, the game gradually built a cult following for its story, which differentiated itself from most shooters of the era for depicting the horrors of war in truly unsettling and disturbing ways. Unfortunately, many of the game’s messages about the war still hold true.
5 hitman absolution
Contrary to Special operations: the line, hitman absolution had a ton of hype before its release, as it was the first game of the Hitman series since the iconic Hitman: Blood Money from 2006.
IO Interactive shakes up the classic Hitman formula with Absolution reducing the openness and level of freedom of previous games in favor of more railroad missions and objectives. This move generated backlash from fans, who were basically hoping for a repeat of blood money but with new levels and updated graphics.
Many fans are now beginning to appreciate hitman absolutionhowever, as the critically acclaimed Hitman trilogy released between 2016 and 2021 bears many similarities to the 2012 game, which is now seen as a bridge between the classic and modern styles of Hitman playability.
4 Max pay 3
Max pay 3 is on this list for a reason similar to Hitman Absolution. Like the stealth game, Max pay 3 received backlash from disgruntled fans that the game moved away from its classic gameplay style in favor of a more modern approach.
However, another similarity with hitman absolution is that now the dust has settled and the initial disappointment with the unexpected gameplay changes has faded, so people can finally enjoy the game for what it is.
3 the dogma of the dragon
the dogma of the dragon is an open world action RPG with a high fantasy setting. The game was first released on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 before an enhanced version titled The Dragon’s Dogma: Dark arose was released on the same consoles with sporadic releases on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch over the years.
the dogma of the dragon was ahead of its time, as it essentially offered a Souls-like experience before the term Souls-like even existed. The game’s punishing difficulty was a deal-breaker for many in 2012, but now that FromSoftware has reminded the general public just how rewarding challenging games can be, the dogma of the dragon finally starting to get the respect he deserved in 2012.
2 sleeping dogs
Unfortunately for United Front Games and Square Enix, sleeping dogs is no stranger to listings with words like “underrated” or “underrated” in the title, as the game struggled to sell in 2012 and was also overlooked by some reviewers.
sleeping dogs is a spiritual successor of true crime series and places players in a beautifully designed open world set in Hong Kong. Along with its Hong Kong setting, the game also differentiated itself from other open-world games with its martial arts combat. Due to the popularity of the open world genre today and the way the game can be purchased now, sleeping dogs is an easy game to recommend to anyone looking for an action-adventure bargain.
1 Okami HD
okami and sleeping dogs often go together in lists like these, as they are two of the most underrated games of all time. As the name suggests, okami HD is an HD remaster of the original Okami which was first released in 2006 on PlayStation 2 before coming to Nintendo Wii a few years later.
Among those who played the game to the end, Okami HD is considered one of the greatest action-adventure games of all time. However, far too few people have completed the game than it deserves, as the game has always struggled to sell, and it admittedly has a frustratingly few hours opening.
The compliment “it’s like Zelda” has been used so much over the years that it has practically lost its meaning, even though Okami HD is a game that certainly deserves comparison, as many people put it on par with some of Link’s best adventures, including Ocarina of time.
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