Most underrated 8/16bit games

Apr 21, 2016
I feel like I need to mention Little Nemo: The Dream Master (NES) in every thread like this.

Wonderful Capcom platformer with one of the best 8-bit soundtracks.

Came here to say the same thing nearly verbatim. Thanks for coming to bat for a forgotten masterpiece. Not expecting a re-release of it in any way, shape, or form ever but the memories (and roms) remain.
Aug 26, 2014
Man, these awesome 16 bit game threads always make me sad. The industry euthanized this style of games when it still had at least ten more good years in it. Somewhere there is an alternate universe where people saw the first generation of polygon systems, said "This needs more time in the oven", and we got another generation of 2D sprite games hitting their peak.
Yeah, though you could argue a lot of indie games from the last decade have come out and kind of fulfilled that role

But yeah on the whole I agree, the 32bit sprite based games we did get looked and played really well, so it's a shame that style was ditched for low poly the soon as low poly became viable

I know Thunder Force 4 (Lightening Force in NA) isn't some buried, forgotten game but I feel like it doesn't get the recognition it deserves. The soundtrack is unbelievable but the game itself is really good too. I played it for the first time in 2015 after getting it for 10 bucks at a yard sale and it still blew me away, couldn't put it down until I'd finished it legit.

I fire up my Genesis and other older systems fairly often but it's usually for a quick nostalgia trip or playthrough of contra hard corps/alien soldier. It's rare that I completely get into something like that. I also have Thunder Force 3, and I see that brought up much more often than 4 even though it didn't impress me as much.

Obligatory soundtrack links:
I was not ready for those links
Jun 28, 2013
Gun smoke

It's my goto NES game. Run and gun wild wild west game. There is an arcade version also but its not as fun to play and the music is not as good either.
Aug 26, 2015
EVO: The Search for Eden. I swear no one ever talks about this


I love E.V.O, it's such a hidden gem!

At this point I wonder if there are any true hidden gems, but Illusion of Gaia has always meant a lot to me and I think it's only a game people are moderately aware of

There's a fair amount of sadness in it for a SNES game

Man, that series is so good...but for me, the best one is Terranigma!
Dec 22, 2016
Definitely not unheard of, but I'm going to say Streets of Rage 3 and Sonic 3.

These games are better than everything that came before but people talk about them like they're the worst in their series. And it's not like SoR2 and Sonic 2 are bad. They're great. Potentially amazing. These are just that much better but you'd swear Sonic 3 is down there with like 3D Blast and SoR3 is barely above Pit Fighter based on what people say on the internet.


Feb 6, 2012
Fucking Snatcher

Before Onimusha, there was this...

Multiple pathes/Open World Map, a slew of sword techniques/moves to unlock. Stunning game at the time.
Hokuto No Ken for the Sega Master System.

Unfortunately here in the west it got called Black Belt and had the sprites changed so characters were not recognizable anymore, but it was still a solid game that, back in the days, really gave you those Kenshiro vibes.

Boss finishers were amazing!

Love both of these. Fantastic games.
Jun 26, 2014
The Ignition Factory

You're a firefighter basically. But it has RPG elements and you must choose your loadout with care. Fun game filled with tension!

The Firemen is the superior underrated SNES firefighter game. Also has a surprising good AI-controled sidekick.

Will also mention Magical Pop'n.
Jul 10, 2016
Never played it, but that description makes it sound incredible!
I hope you've still got your tax return... It's $200+ for an original copy. I used to be bent out of shape over my uncle who moved away and took my copy of Super Mario RPG, but he left a copy of E.V.O. Over time I learned to forgive him.

XEXYZ on nes. Pretty much my favorite 8 but game to this day.
XEXYZ was an fantastic game. My mom bought it for my friend for his birthday and we played that game nonstop.
Mar 11, 2012
Madrid, Spain
EVO: The Search for Eden. I swear no one ever talks about this game.
That was going to be my contribution, and for precisely that reason, it's as if nobody knew about that game.

Might be worth checking out the Gargoyle's Quest trilogy.
I don't know that these are underrated, but if they are, then definitely. Alien Soldier is the ultimate Megadrive boss game. I've played the hell out of the original GB Gargoyle's Quest, my favorite game for that console, and Demon's Crest is just beautiful.
Jun 23, 2010
That's not the Atari Lynx ver. which, from reading online, appears to be the better ver. of the game

fire n ice the best puzzle game on the nes imo holds up super well
In Japan this was known as Solomon's Key 2 apparently.

kick master fuck swords im going to kick every mother fucker in this fantasy land

kicking this lady

kicking this fucking octopus

all this shits gonna get kicked
OK that cover is AMAZING. Why can't we get covers like that anymore?
Jul 5, 2016
Hokuto No Ken for the Sega Master System.

Unfortunately here in the west it got called Black Belt and had the sprites changed so characters were not recognizable anymore, but it was still a solid game that, back in the days, really gave you those Kenshiro vibes.

Boss finishers were amazing!

One of Yuji Naka's first games.

They are really fun, there are a few differences between versions besides the visuals though, Black Belt had a bunch of health pickups during each stage which made it a lot easier.

I have beat Black Belt before, but I could never get past Toki in Hokuto no Ken.
Mar 25, 2010
Terranigma is in no fashion underrated. It's known as one of the best.
By the very few people who have ever played it. Most of the games in this thread aren't underrated by people who actually played them. They just aren't talked about much because not many people did play them. Terranigma is the same.
May 8, 2016
Cocoron for the NES (8-bit).

With Akira Kitamura (the creator of Mega Man) as the head of the project, you can expect many similarities to Mega Man NES games from it, from the graphics, gameplay, and music. However, the similarities end there, as the game is quite ambitious for a NES game...complete with a character builder that lets you create a new build after you beat a boss for a you can gather a bunch of builds to select from before playing a new level, how you navigate the levels...say you reach the end of the level and beat the boss. You can either pick to go to another level or go back to your house. If you pick to go to another level, you go there on foot...meaning you go through a route that combines the previous level with the one you selected. If you pick to go back to your literally backtrack the you go from the end of the level back to the beginning. Then once you go back home...and pick another level, you have selected the normal route that leads you to a boss battle at the end of the level.

It was released in Japan only...however, an English translated ROM exists...and you can buy the English translated ROM on an actual cartridge!

If you like Mega Man NES styled gameplay, with catchy chiptunes, a trippy artsyle and several new features detailed can't go wrong with Cocoron.
Jun 25, 2013
Moon Crystal

Fun platformer with a cool cinematic (for the NES) story

Mr. Gimmick

Emulation is probably the only way you'll ever play this game. It's very rare and VERY expensive.

Violinist of Hamelin

Platfomer with fun boss fights and a sidekick that can transform into different animals, each of which have their own unique ability.

Sutte Hakkun

A really cool puzzle/platformer game.

Oct 15, 2005
A game I don't see mentioned often is 8-bit Little Nemo: The Dreammaster. It was a side scrolling platformer of sorts for NES based on "Adventures in Slumberland," which I had never heard of as a kid, but for some reason we owned this game. It was a fairly challenging game despite the childlike art, and the levels were all pretty bizarre. The main boss was terrifying. Overall, very memorable with a good sound track if I remember correctly.

Edit, well, I guess not as terrifying as my memory serves...

I also owned this game and loved it. Made it to the last stage a few times but don't think I ever finished it. Fairly difficult game from what I remember.

At this point I wonder if there are any true hidden gems, but Illusion of Gaia has always meant a lot to me and I think it's only a game people are moderately aware of

There's a fair amount of sadness in it for a SNES game
I also have fond memories of illusion of gaia. I replayed it a year or two ago and it doesn't hold up as well as I thought it would. The writing is really bad.
Aug 22, 2014
Anyone remember Uniracer on SNES? Very simple graphics paired with fast action and tight control. I consider this game to be the grandfather of Trial HD.
Sep 14, 2013
The Addams Family on snes. Super fun and playable with a cool partially interconnected structure to the levels ad cool secrets everywhere. Pugsley's Scavenger Hunt wasn't half bad either.
Jun 22, 2013
Magicoal for the pc engine super CD-Rom

A strange adventure game featuring an aprentice wizard Rhun and a elemental spirit medium called Melvy who are transported away and have to try and solve some weird mystery. There is quite a bit of japanese text and dialogue so you might get stuck if you are inexperienced with japanese adventure games.

Well it's got some great ideas , lots of spells to collect and equip and replayability although the execution could be better, It's suppose to support certain Back up RAM accessories but crashes when in use and quite a few annoying boss fights and questionable slowdown!

Somehow there is some charm and love put into the game...



Tears in the rain
May 28, 2013
Mega Man 4/5/6

Considered to be shit games, and yet they are better than 99% of games on NES. Amazing music, great graphics, fantastic level designs, fun bosses, perfect controls. Everybody only remembers Mega Man 2 and 3. But the others are just as good.
Apr 30, 2012
Wrath of Black Manta - NESOne of my favorites on NES. You are a ninja that must save the new apprentice of your former sensei from a gang of kidnappers... trough all the world... I think there were 5 countries. You can learn new powers when you finnish a stage. You can interrogate enemies and learn some secrets. The final boss must be defeated using your powers in the correct order... weird. I loved this game, and was one of the only few I could finnish on the NES era.
First LP I ever did for my YouTube channel. That final boss was so infuriating. The game gave you NO indication of the order you needed to beat him.
Sep 28, 2012
Choujin Sentai Jetman

When I was growing up I had a knock-off NES and someone somewhere was selling this as a Power Rangers game. The best way to describe the game I suppose would be Mega Man crossed with Ninja Gaiden, but a lot of the game was quite manageable so my young self enjoyed it a lot. You start the game by picking a stage and then choosing from one of five rangers to play the level with, two of the rangers are clones of the others so you essentially have three unique-ish playstyle. Two rangers use sword attacks, two rangers have a blaster gun, and the final one has a short ranged wave attack. Gameplay was more along the lines of a Ninja Gaiden and there wasn't much in the way of platforming. Each level would end with a boss fight in your Megazord. The music is also fantastic, I'm sure playing the game a lot as a kid had something to do with it but I can instantly recall a lot of the tracks in thegame.

Here's someone doing a NES Longplay of the game:
Sep 17, 2012
Ihatovo Monogatari for the SNES. A crime it has not been fansubbed to English

After the game’s intro which depicts a train journey (a reference to Kenji’s novel, Night on the Galactic Railroad) The game begins with our nameless main character standing alone at an empty railway platform. We have arrived in Ihatovo, a fictional town (originally crated by Kenji which he based on Iwata). There’s no back story to this character, nor do we know his name. All we can establish is that he’s dressed in a hat and coat, a choice of clothing that’s synonymous with Miyazawa’s own attire, made symbolic in various national stamps, artwork and book covers. In his hand is a suitcase. What’s inside it? Where has he come from and why is he here? The player is left to explore Ihatovo and interact with its inhabitants by speaking with them in the streets, or visiting their homes and places of work. Saving is made possible by visiting the local hotel, our character’s new temporary home where he awakes from after each chapter is complete. After some interaction with two key characters (Horogama-Sensei and the Rasuchijin inhabitants) the game objective is established: Discover and collect seven lost pieces of work by Kenji Miyazawa. After each note book is found, a new chapter is opened. After collecting all seven, they are presented to Miyazawa himself who appears in the game. He rewards the player by returning them back to the physical world via the galactic train.
Sep 16, 2013
Famicom Detective Club Part II - Great classic adventure style VN type of game. English translation patch exists

Rolling Thunder 2 on Genesis - Methodical side scrolling run and gun where you constantly flip between the top and bottom levels.

Marvel Land - Decent platformer for Genesis

Xandra no Daiboken: Valkyrie to no Deai - Platformer where you play as a green blob with a pitchfork. Apparently he is the sidekick of a more popular Namco IP. Surprisingly good, you have a varied move set which includes this quick dash jump and a big wind-up stab-jump that you have to both use at some point during the platforming.

Actraiser 2- I think this one fits the bill of being underrated the most. If anything, it is hated. I think it's the best action game on SNES. It looks great, has an orchestral Yuzo Koshiro OST, and the gameplay takes the simple Actraiser action stages to the next level. You have a shield, you can glide, down thrust, and more. Not a complete cakewalk either. I bet many people who hate it played a stage or two, got wrecked, and didn't give it a second chance.

DoReMi Fantasy
Oct 14, 2016
Pacifica, CA
Light Crusader on Sega Genesis

Probably the most underrated Treasure game, as well. I like the magic system in this game, and there are some really interesting scenarios and puzzles in it. There's even one point where you disguise yourself as an enemy in order to progress, as well as to avoid combat. There's another point where you go into different time periods. Pretty cool. Also, the graphics are pretty awesome at times (although they're a bit bland overall). I think I still have the notebook that I used to take notes for this game in while playing it from back when I was still in high school. Aside from Ikaruga, this is pretty much the only Treasure game that I like.
May 4, 2013
Sabre Team. It was a really awesome turn based strategy game. Back in the day, it had me hooked more than X-Com. This game would really deserve a modern remake, but it seems everyone forgot about it :(

Mission 1 on YouTube.


Likely to be eaten by a grue
Aug 25, 2005
LA sucks
no joke

Is actually pretty great.

Great controls, and each level has a hidden card that unlocks a final world, if I remember correctly. And greggman worked on it?


pretty cool look inside of a game that you'd think be trash, though it's a bit technical at points with tile data and the like.

also did they do this before mario?
Apr 8, 2014
Biker Mice From Mars was a surprisingly fun SNES racing game—especially with the split-screen multiplayer. I feel like it may have been a clone of Rock n Roll racing, but I never played that game enough to say for sure.

It is definitely inspired by Rock n Roll Racing. Even the music is very similar.
Jun 27, 2014
As many of you, I'm not sure whether or not it holds up, but:

If you played as Wile E. Coyote, you had to try to catch the Road Runner:

As Road Runner, you had to avoid the traps and trick Wile E:

And when you ran, you'd hear percussion drumming a beat with you, or bass, or something, so it sounded very playful and cartoony. It really felt like an episode in some aspects, and I feel the developers must have had some fun with this one.

It can be beaten in a half hour. Here's one playthrough.
Apr 9, 2015
Chicago, Il
I played this game a lot a while back on ZSNES (When it was still relevant). I never knew it had multiple endings. Kind of makes me want to give it another go.

EVO: The Search for Eden. I swear no one ever talks about this game.

Sidescrolling platformer/RPG played across millions of years, jumping through different eras, and evolving into different creatures with different attributes as you go. It's got some properly weird alternate history stuff in there, lots of "bad endings" show you what would have happened to the world if you had failed, and it's really fun to evolve the different parts of your body to see all the different combinations.

It's on the SNES.