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Top 10 Incredible Video Games Released On Terrible Consoles

They deserved better.
Mario wii u
Nintendo
We're fortunate enough to live in a rather harmonious gaming era right now, where Sony and Nintendo have been killing it with the PS4 and the Switch, while Microsoft is looking to shake up the industry with their revolutionary work on Xbox Game Pass.
But as the history of gaming has proved time and time again, the hardware market is notoriously fickle, as are consumers.
As such, the last three decades of the medium are littered with platforms that arrived on a tidal wave of hype and quickly died a death.
A console dying is one thing, but the unfortunate by-product is that this often results in good games being stranded on dud hardware.
While many brilliant games have been rescued from their exclusive releases on doomed systems through ports, there are sadly still countless classics locked away on consoles you either need to buy from eBay or settle for emulating.
These 10 video games were all released for awful platforms, though despite the hardware's failure, they were terrific experiences that deserved a better fate. To date, however, none of them have been officially ported to other consoles, and it's a crying shame.
And before you ask, no, the Dreamcast will not be appearing on this list, because it's in no way terrible...

10. Virtual Boy Wario Land (Virtual Boy)

Wario Land
Nintendo
Long before the existence of premium VR platforms such as the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR, Nintendo unleashed the monstrosity that was the Virtual Boy, and less than a year after its 1995 debut, the headset had been discontinued.
It got pretty much everything wrong that VR hardware possibly could: it wasn't comfortable and the only thing more rubbish than the graphics was most of the games.
When Nintendo promised a totally new gaming experience, did anyone think they were talking about headaches and nausea?
But not quite everything released for the Virtual Boy was shovelware slop.
Virtual Boy Wario Land did what most other games on the system didn't: it made clever use of the headset's 3D capabilities to give players a unique platforming experience on multiple planes of movement, while not at the expense of more traditional mechanics.
Though it can be comfortably beaten in less than two hours, it's one of the Virtual Boy's few titles made with an actual creative spark rather than simply to cynically shift hardware. Some fans even continue to insist it's one of the best games in the Wario series, so there you go.
Despite seeming ripe for the port treatment, it's still bafflingly left stranded on this prehistoric junk - unless you use one of the many open-source Virtual Boy emulators out there, at least.

9. Panzer Dragoon Saga (Sega Saturn)

Panzer Dragoon Saga
Sega
The Sega Saturn is one of the most divisive game consoles ever made, for despite its impressive specs and intriguing library of games, it was notoriously difficult to develop for, and after getting thoroughly curb-stomped by Sony's much cheaper PlayStation, Sega discontinued production just three years following its western release.
The Saturn still has many cheerleaders, though, and while most of its quality library was either available elsewhere or eventually ported to other platforms, there are a few holdouts that, depressingly, are still left hanging.
Case in point, we have what was surely the Saturn's best exclusive title, Panzer Dragoon Saga, which was quite aptly released at the very end of the Saturn's life, and boldly attempted to reinvent the rail shooter franchise as a ludicrously ambitious, four-disc RPG.
The game received near-universal acclaim for its graphics, dark story, complex characters and for successfully shifting genres mid-franchise, but due to the Saturn imploding shortly after its release, it's frequently hailed as the greatest game you've probably never played.
Despite its cult fandom, the game has never been ported to another system, and remains one of the most-requested ports in the history of video games.
With Nintendo recently announcing that the original 1995 Panzer Dragoon is getting a remake for the Nintendo Switch, fingers are crossed that this stone cold masterpiece might finally be liberated from captivity in the near-future, whether as a port or something more involved.

8. Alien Vs. Predator (Atari Jaguar)

Alien VS Predator Jaguar
Atari
The Jaguar was Atari's last attempt at a home game console before withdrawing from the market altogether, and despite touting some impressive gear under-the-hood, it was a buggy and difficult platform to develop for, leading to a small library of games, most of which were a bit naff.
It didn't help that the controller was an ungainly abomination with a phone keypad essentially welded onto the bottom, and its already tepid commercial performance was thoroughly steamrolled by the arrival of the Saturn and especially the PlayStation in the years that followed. By 1996, the Jaguar was dead.
But the jewel in the Jaguar's crown is surely the best-selling game of its launch year, Alien vs Predator, a rarest of mid-90s movie/comic adaptations that actually worked.
AvP allowed players to play as not only the Xenomorph and the Predator but also a Colonial Marine, ensuring that its corridor-trawling campaign was both dynamic and ferociously intense (especially the Marine portion).
The visuals were mind-blowing for the time and still hold up relatively well today, especially the inclusion of "Predator vision" while playing as the titular creature.
More than anything, though, the game oozed atmosphere and gave players an experience they couldn't find on any other platform - and still can't. Plans for a sequel were put into motion, though this naturally all fell apart when the Jaguar peaced out.

7. Pikmin 3 (Wii U)

Pikmin 3
Nintendo
The Wii U is a most bizarre blip for Nintendo who, hot off the success of the Wii, clearly hoped for similar results with their next home console, released in 2012.
But an atrocious marketing campaign doomed the Wii U from the jump. Casual consumers weren't aware that it was a distinct, delineated new console rather than a new iteration of the Wii, and the lack of a distinguishing hardware hook failed to interest many outside of the hardcore Nintendo crowd.
With a weak lineup of games sealing the deal, the Wii U went on to sell a laughable 13.56 million units - that's only a few million more than the doomed Sega Game Gear - and, with the success of the Switch, has basically been all-but-forgotten.
While Nintendo has ported many of the Wii U's best-selling games to their handheld-console hybrid, there are a few frustrating exceptions.
Away from the more obvious choices, we have Pikmin 3, the ludicrously addictive and wonderfully adorable real-time strategy game where the player controls three miniature alien creatures looking to save their home planet from annihilation. Aww.
Between the gorgeous visuals, charming art style and devilishly entertaining puzzles, it's a crying shame that Pikmin 3 hasn't yet made a leap to the Switch despite numerous rumours pointing to the possibility.
Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto has hinted at the development of Pikmin 4 in the past, but if Nintendo doesn't port Pikmin 3 to the Switch first, this'll be yet another case of them leaving money on the table.

6. Glimmerati (N-Gage)

Glimmerati N-Gage
Nokia
Nokia's smartphone-cum-gaming handheld attempted to take on the Game Boy Advance, but due to the N-Gage's high cost and unwieldy button layout - catering more for phone calls and less for comfortable gaming - the platform cratered shortly after release and was discontinued barely two years following its launch.
And while the vast majority of the N-Gage's library was pretty lackluster, there sure was something to the deceptively addictive Glimmerati, a top-down racer where the player was charged with giving rides to well-to-do rich folk and rising the ranks in the process.
As a gloriously self-aware satire of the Eurotrash lifestyle, Glimmerati knew exactly what it was and delivered accordingly, while refusing to skimp on simple yet extremely effective core racing mechanics.
In a sea of bland me-too racers, this one actually stood out with its shamelessly daft tone, and is one of the few N-Gage games that actually felt like a rich and complete experience.

5. Burning Rangers (Sega Saturn)

Burning Rangers
Sega
Sonic Team's Burning Rangers was one of the Sega Saturn's final releases, and served as an apt swan song for Sega's doomed console, a third-person shooter in which players were tasked with extinguishing fires and saving citizens.
As unremarkable as that might sound, Burning Rangers was a major technical milestone for the Saturn, both in terms of its state-of-the-art visuals and its robust soundtrack and sound effects.
Though it didn't offer up too much challenge and there were an abundance of glitches to deal with, the core gameplay loop proved thoroughly engaging and a welcome divergence from typical shooter romps.
Like Panzer Dragoon Saga, it's never found its way off the Saturn, and as a result copies can go for literally hundreds of pounds on eBay.

4. Kolibri (Sega 32X)

Kolibri Game
Sega
The 32X was an add-on for Sega's Mega Drive/Genesis, a low-cost, entry-level 32-bit platform developed in response to the Atari Jaguar and while Sega continued to prep the Saturn for its release the next year.
But the 32X was a shameless rush-job with a terrible library and little industry enthusiasm, and a cautionary tale about the risks of both splintering your market and, uh, how stupid it is to release a piece of hardware like this so close to the release of a new flagship console.
With the Saturn in stores six months later, the 32X quickly sank without a trace.
But the 32X did count a few gems among its output, such as scrolling shooter Kolibri, which was developed by Novotrade International, the team behind Ecco the Dolphin.
The beguiling combination of frantic shooting and a serenely beautiful art style really help Kolibri stand out in a crowded genre, no matter its brief play-time. Above all else, how many other video games let you play as a freaking hummingbird?

3. Super Mario 3D World (Wii U)

Super Mario 3D World
Nintendo
Pikmin 3 being locked away on the Wii U might be tragic, but the fact that Super Mario 3D World has yet to receive a Nintendo Switch port is borderline sacrilege.
In addition to being the best-reviewed exclusive on the platform, the gloriously entertaining platformer is the Wii U's second best-selling game, and it seemed like a foregone conclusion that Nintendo would port it to the Switch as soon as the smoke had cleared surrounding Super Mario Odyssey.
And yet, even as Odyssey's two-year anniversary fast approaches, fans are left sifting through dubious rumours and "reports" that Super Mario 3D World might finally get ported to a platform that, you know, people actually bought.
Even if it wasn't quite the game-changer that Odyssey was, it nevertheless proved to be a thoroughly creative, visually stunning and ingeniously designed entry into Nintendo's flagship franchise.
That so few have had the chance to play it because the game had the misfortune of launching on a dud console is absolutely criminal. Again, Nintendo - do you like money or not?

2. Knuckles' Chaotix (Sega 32X)

Knuckles Chaotix
Sega
Knuckles' Chaotix is unquestionably one of the most visually impressive games on the 32X, and represents an attempt by Sega to do something different with the Sonic franchise.
The Knuckles-starring spin-off is defined by a partner mechanic which tethers the player to another character, requiring co-operation to make it through a stage.
It was nothing if not a bold attempt to switch-up the series' formula even if, for some, it slowed Sonic's signature speedy gameplay down too much.
Still, the level design throughout is spectacular - especially the mind-melting 3D stages - the soundtrack is amazing, and though it's uncharacteristically simple compared to the mainline Sonic games, is that really such a bad thing?
Of the 40 games ever produced for the 32X, this was the single effort to bring the Sonic series to the platform, and no matter how ill-advised the 32X was, this game deserves to find a new home on another system.
Sadly, almost 25 years later, Sega still has it locked in the damn dungeon.

1. The Apprentice (Philips CD-i)

The Apprentice
The Vision Factory
Don't feel bad if you don't remember the Philips CD-i, because while it was ahead of its time as a multi-purpose multimedia CD player, it launched for a ridiculous $1,000 back in 1991 ($1,839 in 2018 money), had a terrible library of games and was widely panned for its limited graphics, horrible controller and generally lackluster functionality.
Bill Gates famously called it "a terrible game machine, and...a terrible PC", and if all this isn't bad enough, Philips reportedly lost around $1 billion due to the CD-i's failure. Oof.
And while the few decent CD-i games were eventually ported to PC - namely the acclaimed cyberpunk romp Burn Cycle - there's one standout title that sadly wasn't so lucky.
The Apprentice is a stylish and at times unexpectedly brutal 2D platformer casting the player as a wizard's horny apprentice (really), and it's one of the few titles on the CD-i that actually feels like a well rounded, fully realised experience.
It doesn't do anything astoundingly inventive with the genre, but it looks and plays great, and offers up a slightly off-kilter tone that helps distinguish it from the hundreds of squeaky-clean retro 2D platformers out there.
It's incredibly unlikely that The Apprentice will ever be rescued from the doldrums of the CD-i, sadly.