GameSpite Quarterly Issue 6
Winter 2010/11 | The Most Underappreciated* Games of All Time

Available in the standard paperback edition for a reasonable $14. Also available in an opulent hardcover edition for $38. Both editions have the same contents! The only real difference is that the hardcover edition doubles as a blunt weapon.

Underappreciated is a State of Mind

Last summer, a poll posted on the Talking Time forums dared to ask, “What are the greatest games of all time? (You know, according to your personal opinion.)” And then! Then we dared to compiled those votes into a list, resulting in yet another Top X Games of All Time list. It was a pretty solid list, as such things go, even if it did betray the fact that most people using Talking Time are Americans who grew up playing the Super NES. The imporant thing is that the subsequent write-ups, published in GameSpite Quarterly 2, were damn good.

All things are cyclical, at least so far as GameSpite Quarterly goes, which is why this summer Talking Time participated in a follow-up poll that dared to ask, “What are the most underappreciated games of all time? (You know, according to your personal opinion.)” And then... then we dared to compile those votes into another list.

That list has been incarnated as the book you're reading about right now: GameSpite Quarterly 6. There was no real rule of thumb or limitation in our poll beyond, “The game you’re citing can’t have appeared in GameSpite Quarterly 2, because it would be silly to call out a game as ‘best ever’ and then lament the fact that no one ever gives it any respect.’” All we wanted to do here was simply publish a compilation of articles about games that probably deserve a little more love than the general public gives them. Some of the titles we’ve explored here are deeply beloved among the small audience that actually knows about them; others are generally reviled but have certain qualities that merit respect. Others are totally out of left field. And that’s OK.

Like our previous list, this was an open, democratic venture, so the results took on a life of their own (as so often happens when the vox populi speaks up). There’s an eyebrow-raising number of Final Fantasy games in the list, for example, and more Nintendo-developed games than you’d think strictly necessary. But hey, the people have spoken. And in addition to the marquee titles, they’ve vouched for all sorts of fascinating obscurities. When I edited GSQ2, I was familiar with the ins and outs of just about every title being covered. For this volume, though, many of the write-ups were downright illuminating. Talking Time has some pretty diverse tastes.

That’s what the asterisk on the cover line indicates, by the way—this book is about a select group of people’s choices! We wouldn’t presume to present it as some absolute listing or anything. It’s just a bunch of dudes (and ladies) speaking up for games they think deserve a little more love, and a bunch of other dudes (and ladies) writing loving articles about those works.

In the course of writing for and editing this issue, I’ve taken an open-minded, objective look at a number of games I’d previously written off after a cursory glance, including Bangai-O Spirits, Unlimited Saga, Brütal Legend, The Legend of Zelda: Four Sword Adventures, and Legend of Mana. And you know, each and every one of them—along with the other 40-plus games explored in this volume—have unique, interesting elements worthy of your attention. If this book inspires a couple hundred people to discover or reconsider just a few of the games discussed herein, I’d say we’ve done a noble public service for the entire medium. If nothing else, though, at least we got 50 great articles out of it.

Jeremy Parish, November 8, 2010

In This Issue

Extra: GameSpite Quarterly 5 Errata

  • Contra by Tomm Hulett
  • Crystalis by Jeremy Signor
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by Jeremy Signor

All text ©2010 its respective author. All copyrighted images property their respective creators with all respect to their ownership. Layouts and edits: Jeremy Parish. Cover by Philip Armstrong.