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1. Super Star Wars (Genesis)
The goal of the Super Star Wars Genesis port seemed simple enough. Sega wanted to port over the SNES game and finally have a Star Wars experience that players didn’t need a Sega CD or 32x to play.
Later, Sega decided to make it a Sega CD exclusive before scrapping it altogether. You can actually play an early Genesis prototype to learn the hard truth: this is just a much, much crappier version of the SNES experience you know and love.
Better to leave this unreleased title far, far away in the distant past.
2. Starcraft Ghost
For Blizzard fans, Starcraft Ghost is the ultimate unreleased game. It was meant to be a console FPS following the adventures of Nova, one of the Ghosts in the Starcraft universe.
The game was hyped for years and then basically disappeared. However, I’m glad it never surfaced. The game was being developed to run on platforms like PS2 and Xbox. While those systems had some great FPS games, they also had some bad ones, and there is a better than decent chance Ghost would have been terrible to play.
Also, the graphics would have been really rough compared to later hits like Overwatch. Best to leave this in the past where it belongs.
3. Star Wars 1313
Many Star Wars fans lament that we never got to play Star Wars 1313. After all, a third-person action game where you control Boba Fett as he navigates Coruscant’s underworld sounds completely badass.
Behind the scenes, though, the game kept getting postponed and changed (for instance, it was not originally designed as a Boba Fett game). Historically, games that have several delays and major changes in their direction don’t add up to a great final product.
If nothing else, the legacy of this game lives on in The Mandalorian. In that series, our title character wears armor originally designed for this unreleased game.
Sonic fans of a certain age have a real soft spot for the ABC show Sonic the Hedgehog (also known as SatAM due to its Saturday morning time slot). The show was beloved, but most Sonic games ignore the characters and plotlines of this series.
Sonic-16 was going to be a Genesis game adapting the series. Here’s the deal, though: instead of controlling like a Sonic game, it was going to play like an awful Prince of Persia knockoff. And it was already being built on the bones of another canceled game, Sonic X-treme.
There is video of a tech demo for this game floating out there. You can verify with your own eyes how not fun this whole thing would be!
5. Socks the Cat Rocks the Hill
There was a weird period in the 1990s where every game developer wanted titles focused on cute animal mascots. It got so bad that players were nearly haunted by Socks the Cat Rocks the Hill, a SNES, and Genesis game starring Bill Clinton’s cat.
A generic action platformer starring Socks would have been bad enough. But this unreleased game would have had Socks fighting animal spies made to look like Bill Clinton’s political enemies.
Is this a piece of trash game that never deserved to see the light of day? As Bill Clinton himself would say, “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.”
6. Sister Sonic
We get it: “Sister Sonic” sounds like something created in the depths of DeviantArt. But this was the real name of an unreleased Sonic the Hedgehog RPG that was being designed for Sega CD...sort of.
The reason we say “sort of” is that this was just going to be a port of Popful Mail with a Sonic skin and Sonic-themed localization, though after enough fans complained, Sega scrapped plans for this game and simply ported the original Popful Mail over like people wanted.
It was the right decision. But it’s still wild to imagine that the Sonic franchise nearly had their own “Super Mario Bros. 2 is just a reskinned version of another game” moment.
7. Metroid 64
Sometimes, we are happy a game was canceled because we eventually got something better. And that’s definitely the case with Metroid 64.
Aside from confirmation that Nintendo tried and failed to adapt Metroid for the N64, we don’t know much about this title. The going theory is that this would have been an early version of Metroid Prime. And considering that Metroid Prime is a perfect game, it’s good that we didn’t have to endure a far worse version using the N64’s janky-ass controller.
8. Ghosts 'n Goblins 64
The original Ghosts ‘n Goblins is a classic, but it is also classically difficult. And the series very nearly had an N64 adaptation.
And man, we’re glad this never came out. It was allegedly inspired heavily by the success of Super Mario 64. Can you imagine the insane difficulty of the original game in an awkward 3D environment, all while you try to make precision moves using a single analog stick?
This game getting canceled means we finally broke the cycle of gamers throwing these Ghosts ‘n Goblins cartridges against the wall in frustration.
9. Final Fantasy 64
Strictly speaking, the Final Fantasy Nintendo 64 that we saw was more of a tech demo than a real game. It starred characters from Final Fantasy VI but previewed certain concepts (mostly the battle system) that would eventually make it to Final Fantasy VII.
Decades later, many Nintendo fans feel betrayed that after creating this demo, Squaresoft chose the Sony Playstation for Final Fantasy VII. But what Squaresoft discovered back then is still very true: the N64 just wasn’t capable of containing that much info on the cartridge.
Nintendo decided to limit themselves, and Squaresoft decided they didn’t want to be limited. And the rest is gaming history.
10. Fallout Extreme
In recent years, we have seen some good Fallout games (New Vegas), some bad ones (Fallout 4), and some baffling ones (Fallout 76). But one game we never saw for the PS2 and Xbox was Fallout Extreme.
We know little about this game except that it was canceled so the team could focus on the (quite excellent) Fallout Tactics. But in retrospect, it’s good that we didn’t have to endure another repetitive and boring console version of these titles (Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel was quite enough on that front).
11. DJ Hero 3D
The 3DS is one of my favorite game systems ever created. But Nintendo made several awful attempts to bring game experiences like Rock Band over to this tiny system.
DJ Hero 3D was meant to be a 3DS version of DJ Hero. However, most of the fun of the original game came from playing around on the giant turntable accessory. This canceled game would have been a generic rhythm game with nothing special, so gamers aren’t really missing much here.
12. Clay Fighter: Call of Putty
The very name “Clay Fighter” is enough to transport you into the past. During a time when everyone was obsessed with fighters like Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter II, Nintendo gave us clean fighting games for the SNES and N64 that featured characters made of clay.
But have you gone back and played those games lately? They look and play pretty damn badly. This is why we’re happy that the Wiiware title Clay Fighter: Call of Putty was canceled.
Plus, the title was going to throw in random non-clay-based characters like Earthworm Jim and Boogerman. If Clay Fighter can’t even stick to its basic theme, then what’s the damn point?
13. Banjo Kazooie: Grunty’s Curse
Banjo Kazooie fans who like portable games would eventually get Grunty’s Revenge for the GBA. Before that, though, there were plans for a Game Boy Color game called Grunty’s Curse.
Mostly, we’re glad this one didn’t come out because it’s tough to translate a beloved N64 franchise into Game Boy Color form. And while Rare did a surprisingly decent job adapting Donkey Kong Country for the Game Boy, beta videos of Grunty’s Curse confirm that we really dodged a bullet here.
Akira is the greatest anime film ever created (and no, I will not be taking questions about that). It stands to reason that it should have had a great video game adaptation.
Back in 1994, this game was going to get a full-court press: adaptations for the SNES, Genesis, Game Boy, Game Gear, and even Sega CD. However, developers quickly saw how difficult it was to do the movie justice while adding rewarding gameplay and slick graphics.
Eventually, they threw in the towel. And while those who played a Genesis demo at the 1994 CES were impressed, I am happy that we didn’t get a compromised adaptation that was completely incapable of living up to the movie.
15. Machot Drives It All
Machot Drives It All is an unreleased computer game, and it is arguably the weirdest game on this list. The only info we have about this game comes from a single ad in a French magazine and the game’s subtitle: “The First hardcore erotic Game in the world!"
Gameplay seems like it would have revolved around solving puzzles. However, “erotic” games of that era tended to be either embarrassingly tryhard (like the entire Leisure Suit Larry series) or versions of existing games that simply added boobs (looking at you, Bubble Bath Babes).
Plus, all it takes is the realization that you can look up actual porn on the internet to render a pornographic PC game instantly obsolete.
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