If you’re anything like me, you have had a back catalog of video games to play at any given time. If not on your shelf, then there are games sitting in stores that you salivate over the prospect of buying. What about those gems that we miss out on for any reason? You know what I’m talking about. Maybe it’s a trailer that sparked your interest once upon a time, or perhaps it’s the opposite. There are a few games I ignored for a long time because they “looked stupid.”
Well, that’s what I’m here to talk about! Below, I will list the Top 5 Games I regret waiting to play, and I’ll swallow my pride and admit the reasons. Only one of them is truly a product of poor judgment. I’ll start at the bottom of the list.
#5 – Ori and the Blind Forest (Xbox One)
“The forest of Nibel is dying. After a powerful storm sets a series of devastating events in motion, an unlikely hero must journey to find his courage and confront a dark nemesis to save his home. Ori and the Blind Forest tells the tale of a young orphan destined for heroics, through a visually stunning action-platformer crafted by Moon Studios for Xbox One and PC. Featuring hand-painted artwork, meticulously animated character performance, and a fully orchestrated score, Ori and the Blind Forest explores a deeply emotional story about love and sacrifice, and the hope that exists in us all.” – orithegame.com
This is my most recent game I regret stumbling upon in 2021. Ori and the Blind Forest is among the first video games that I downloaded after becoming a Game Pass Ultimate member. After I watched a few videos and browsed screenshots, I figured, “Why not?” The worst that could happen was I would have to waste time deleting it to free up precious space on my Series X. What was I thinking?
Ori and the Blind Forest reminds me that I’ve lost touch with some of the video games that initially got me into gaming. Its difficulty scales with your experience. As I learned abilities, the game threw new obstacles at me that I genuinely had to sit and think about for a moment. Any time gameplay and map presentation simulate Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, I should be aware that I’m going to pour hours into it. It helps that the art design for this game is stunning!
#4 – Sacred 2: Fallen Angel (Xbox 360)
There are only so many games that feel and play like Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance or Champions of Norrath. In my quest to discover another action role-playing game, an old friend and I found Sacred 2: Fallen Angel. I knew nothing about the series going in beyond the gameplay videos I watched. We all know relying on videos to convey how a game will truly feel is a gamble.
Sacred 2 opened with a weird rock concert. The band, Blind Guardian, was rendered in Xbox 360 era graphics and performed “Sacred Worlds.” Now, there’s nothing wrong with German power metal. I simply didn’t expect anything of the sort to precede a fantasy game. Part of me said, “This game is going to be METAL!” but what was mostly on my mind was, “This is absurd. I made a bad choice.” No, I didn’t.
It crossed off every box that it needed to. Sacred 2 feels like Diablo and the video games above. It’s still a strange game, but it leans into its humor. There’s juvenile humor, dark humor, and everything in between. Most important, Sacred 2 provided such a deep skill system that I enjoyed creating builds as much as progressing in the game. Also, I’m a sucker for the Seraphim class. Too bad Sacred 3 bombed.
#3 – Drakengard (PlayStation 2)
Sometimes, I question if I should regret playing certain video games. Drakengard is one that I question. The mixture of hack-and-slash with aerial combat atop a dragon is what drew me in. Also, it’s a role-playing game on PlayStation 2. In my opinion, the PlayStation and PlayStation 2 have the best role-playing games, so I was all in. The protagonist Caim gets wounded in battle but carries on, finding a Dragon wounded from torture. They distrust each other, but the two make a pact to save one another. Caim lives, but he sacrifices his voice as the price for the contract.
Now that I look back, Drakengard is the PlayStation 2’s “Game of Thrones.” After playing it, two things came to mind: “This game is pretty badass!” and “… How did anyone allow it to get made?” Nothing about this game’s story is typical of a role-playing game. The ‘protagonist’ Caim is a sociopath filled with bloodlust. There are incestuous themes, a pathetic character, an elf prone to cannibalism, a racist doomsaying priest, and plenty more. When I reached these parts of the game, I’d reel back in shock and then continue slaughtering armies to both my and Caim’s delight.
The gameplay is nothing short of fun. Like many, I was reminded of Dynasty Warriors when fighting on the ground. There are hordes of enemies along a map to leave in a bloodied mess. When Caim rides his Dragon and takes the fight to the skies, he rains fire down on his helpless enemies. Other Dragons challenge Caim as well. In some of the stages, players can seamlessly switch between ground and aerial combat. This is a feature I’ve wanted in more recent games, especially PlayStation 3’s LAIR. I’m still waiting.
Drakengard 1 and Drakengard 2 have multiple endings. A few of the non-canon endings went on to inspire the NieR series.
#2 Battlefield (Bad Company 2) (Xbox 360) – 2010
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is the first game I played from the Battlefield series. It largely fell under my radar because I was heavily into Call of Duty. I put all of my attention into Modern Warfare 2 and then decided to try something new after watching a trailer. Considering I’m always looking forward to destructible environments in games, I knew I had to try it. After all, I loved Red Faction and knew there needed to be another multiplayer game out there that boasted similar ambitions.
Call of Duty became a relic of the past. After playing Battlefield, Call of Duty doesn’t give me the same rush. It’s always disappointment with that series, admittedly due to my lack of skill. I craved more in a first-person shooter, though, and I got what I was looking for.
I didn’t have to wait for a killstreak to call in a Chopper. Players could pilot one with their entire squad, and that was the same for any other vehicles. Tanks? I can drive a tank? Fly a jet? I can use medkits and revive players? How many of these games did I miss? I missed eight years’ worth of Battlefield because I didn’t know any better.
#1 – Kingdom Hearts (PS2) (2002)
I am sad to admit that I did not play Kingdom Hearts for a very long time. Any time I saw a trailer, I scoffed. “Final Fantasy and Disney? Hah! That looks like it’s for children.” If I could reach into the past, I’d slap my younger self for speaking such blasphemy. Kingdom Hearts is one of my favorite video game series. It doesn’t matter how convoluted the story is, and likely will continue to be. As long as Donald and Goofy are with me along the way, I’m in!
It is an action role-playing game that Disney and Square Enix collaborated to create. It follows Sora across various worlds from the Disney universe as he and his friends get wrapped up in a quest to save all worlds from darkness.
These days, I can’t imagine not wielding a keyblade and slicing through hundreds of thousands Heartless. Disney characters play essential roles in this fictional universe, as do Final Fantasy characters. There are also original characters who are unforgettable! Lucky for me, I managed to play this before the PlayStation 2 became irrelevant.
There you have it
Of course, there are plenty more video games I wish I had played sooner, but these are the five that stick out. It goes to show that no matter the circumstances, we miss out on some great games sometimes. We don’t have time to play them all, but I know we will certainly try. If you’d like to, go ahead and comment with some of the games you regret not playing sooner!