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The evolution of gaming has truly been remarkable. From the retro days of Pong to side scrolling adventures like Super Mario Bros to current open-world titles like Red Dead Redemption 2, there is no denying the stark differences in video games now in comparison to their earliest days.
Despite the enhanced graphics, intricate storylines, and overall quality of today's video games, there are some game titles that withstand the test of time. These forgotten video game titles might no longer contain that brand-new zeal they once had, but they're still great to play if you can get your hands on them. Let's take a look at some of these titles, you know, for history's sake.
Who knows, maybe you'll even end up trading in that fancy new Xbox One X for an N64?
Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks
Let's kick this list off with one of the more divisive games amongst hardcore fans of the legendary Mortal Kombat franchise—Mortal Kombat Shaolin Monks. For fans of the violent fighting games, Shaolin Monks served as a bit of a departure from the originals. As opposed to the classic side scrolling game design, Shaolin Monks was the first Mortal Kombat game to feature an adventure storyline and multi-directional fighting system.
While some detractors still voice their hatred for this game to this day, its garnered somewhat of a cult status after its initial release—mostly because of its daring premise. Sadly, this game has been somewhat forgotten over time; but for people looking to see how the Mortal Kombat franchise was able to step away from their usual formula, this game is certainly worthy a dust-off.
Super Mario Sunshine
Super Mario is one video game character that has been able to withstand Father Time with (virtual) aplomb. Some of his famous titles include the original Super Mario Bros, Super Mario 64, and his latest iteration for the Nintendo Switch, Super Mario Odyssey.
Lost in the proverbial shuffle is one of the more unique, and quite frankly, strange games in the Super Mario lore—Super Mario Sunshine.
The game revolves around Mario with a backpack full of water, cleaning up Isle Delfino—where the plumber is on vacation with Toadsworth, Princess Peach, and a few other Toads—after the villainous "Shadow Mario" sludges up the tropical island. It shares a variety of similarities with its predecessor, Super Mario 64, while adding some cool new features—mostly water-related. It might not be considered one of the best Super Mario games of all time by many, but it's definitely highly underrated.
Pac Man World
Everyone is familiar with the classic Pac-Man games: You play as the titular character, Pac-Man, eat a bunch of dots (or food?) while fending off four multi-colored ghosts.
There have been plenty of re-releases of the original Pac-Man game, but one title that departed substantially from the original formula is the forgotten game Pac-Man World. The game, which was released for the Play Station and Game Boy Advance in 1999 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the original, centered around Pac-Man going home for his own birthday party. Sadly, he finds out his family and friends were kidnapped by the villain Toc-Man, thus prompting him to go on another adventure of his own.
This game's level design was quite different from the original's, and featured open-world play with a coinciding storyline. It also spawned two sequels, Pac-Man World 2 and 3. While all three games were met with positive reviews, the titles have been somewhat lost over time; but as you know, that can change in a pinch (especially after reading this article).
Mega Man X
Mega Man is another storied franchise entrenched in video game lore. The story surrounding the robot character has evolved over the years, and branched off into several different sub-storylines. Perhaps one of the most underrated is the Mega Man X series, which featured an enhanced version of the character. The first title in the series, Mega Man X, is a largely forgotten title from 1993 that remains amongst the franchise's best. It's without a doubt a must-play for anyone that's a fan of the Mega Man series—new or old.
Donkey Kong 64
Believe it or not, Donkey Kong is actually one of Nintendo's oldest characters. In fact, he's just as old as Mario, as Nintendo's flagship character (then referred to as "Jumpman") first appearance was in the arcade game Donkey Kong all the way back in 1981.
Kong has made plenty of appearances since then, but arguably his best was in his largely-forgotten Nintendo 64 classic, Donkey Kong 64. It was this game that players got a chance to both see—and play—as Kong's extended family. This is certainly one of the better games for the N64, and despite its slight disappearance over time, it's still just as fun as it was in 1999.
Mario Power Tennis
Mario and co. have gotten into some pretty wacky adventures over the year, but did you know they also tried their hands at tennis?
Mario Tennis was originally released for the Nintendo 64, but it was its sequel, Mario Power Tennis, that has largely been forgotten—despite its vast amount of improvements over the original. It's particularly fun to play with your friends, so if you're in the mood to play a competitive, yet light-hearted sports game with your fiends, Mario Power Tennis is a great option.
Resident Evil 3: Nemesis
Like most movies, there are times when third, fourth, and fifth installments in video games can get quite stale. This was definitely not the case with Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, one of the best entries in the popular horror game franchise.
While there have been remakes of some earlier and later entries, Resident Evil 3 has largely flown under the radar since its initial release. This doesn't really add up considering how well-received it was, so if you have forgotten about it entirely, don't be afraid to refresh your memory with a quick play through.
The Pokemon craze we're subject to today isn't anything new. If you weren't around (or old enough) in the late 90s to witness the original Pokemon mania, well, I feel bad for you. Among the variety of Gameboy games, trading cards, and movies released at the time, there was one Pokemon game that stood out amongst the others, due largely in part to its unprecedented concept—Pokemon Snap.
Basically, Pokemon Snap was a Nintendo 64 game where, instead of catching or battling Pokemon, you took pictures of them. The best pictures would garner you a higher score, and some pictures were harder to take than others—especially when it came to the legendary Pokemon. Not everyone was a fan of this game, but those who were (like myself) absolutely LOVED it.
Once the first live-action Pokemon movie Pokemon: Detective Pikachu hits theaters, life truly will come full circle for longtime fans of the franchise.
Mario's pet/best friend Yoshi doesn't get nearly enough love. The dinosaur first got a crack at his own game with Yoshi's Island for the Super Nintendo, but it was its sequel on the Nintendo 64, Yoshi's Story, which gave the character further depth. Not to mention, it was a pretty freaking fun game in its own right.
I believe this game also marked the first time Yoshi was not accompanied by Mario, making the faux-dino the star of the show. While the game has been re-released a couple of times for the Wii, it's the original iteration that deserves its due respect.
Dragon Ball Z: Budokai
The Dragon Ball franchise is still alive and well, thanks to Akira Toryiama's latest series, Dragon Ball Super. While newer fans might be more familiar with games like Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 and Dragon Ball Fighter Z, many have forgotten about one of the earlier fighting games based on the Z series—Dragon Ball Z: Budokai.
Budokai, which allowed you to re-hash the classic anime series up to the Cell saga, helped set the tone for future Dragon Ball games for years to come. It may not be as memorable as some of the newer games, but it's groundbreaking in its own right, and definitely qualifies as one of the forgotten video game titles you actually miss.