Top 10 Games That Should Have Been Finished

With the countless number of great games released every year, sometimes it can be easy to forget what could have been. Every now and then, though, a promising game will go through development hell and end up being canceled, disappointing those who were eagerly awaiting that game’s release. Not all of the entries on this list have been officially canned, but their status at least remains in limbo. Not all hope is lost on these titles, though. Duke Nukem Forever has showed us that keeping hope alive can still pay off.

10) Full Throttle: Payback

Full Throttle

Grim Fandango and The Secret of Monkey Island are two of the more popular LucasArts adventure titles, but 1995’s Full Throttle was also great. Although Tim Schafer had left the company by the time a sequel was being planned, more Full Throttle didn’t seem like such a bad idea. Unfortunately disagreements inside the company led to production being stopped in 2000, when about a quarter of the levels had already been completed. It’s a shame, because the “heavy metal adventure” Tim Shafer had created was fun and unique and a sequel that expanded on that universe could have been even greater.

9) StarCraft: Ghost

StarCraft: Ghost

StarCraft: Ghost was a planned third-person shooter set in the StarCraft universe. Various weapons such as assault rifles and shotguns were to be included, but stealth was also a major component. Developer Nihilistic Software began development in 2001, but the years that followed saw numerous delays, discontinued work, and all kinds of other problems. Blizzard has put the game on “indefinite hold,” but it has essentially been canceled. Series fans are surely enjoying StarCraft II now, but it would have been very interesting to see a new take on the StarCraft universe that branched out from its strategy roots.

8). The Lost

The Lost

After System Shock 2 was released to critical acclaim, developer Irrational Games began work on The Lost (with some help from FXLabs Studios). The survival horror game was heavily inspired by Dante’s “Divine Comedy,” revolving around a mother who sells her soul to the devil in order to enter hell and save the soul of her recently deceased daughter. Add on some Ken Levine magic and you’ve got what sounds like an intriguing and complex story. Technical problems and issues with publisher Crave Entertainment ultimately led to the game being canceled, though. In 2008, FXLabs acquired the rights to the game and released it for the PC in India, under the new title of Agni: Queen of Darkness. That’s just not the same as Irrational Games developing it, though, so the disappointment still lingers.

7) Thrill Kill

Thrill Kill

Thrill Kill was going to be a four-player fighting game for the PlayStation, inspired by Mortal Kombat. It included over-the-top finishing moves, excessive violence, and other suggestive content. The controversy surrounding the game was too much and the game never saw an official release. Bootlegs of the game have found their way online. Some people claim the game isn’t that great, and though it certainly doesn’t seem groundbreaking, surely there’s a certain appeal to playing with three of your buddies while you pull off moves like “Swallow This” and “Head Muncher.”

6) Resident Evil 1.5

Resident Evil 1.5

Resident Evil 1.5 is essentially an early build of Resident Evil 2, so in that regard it’s hard to classify it as its own game. As it turns out, Resident Evil 1.5 differed quite a bit from the sequel that was eventually released. It included two story paths that did not cross over, a different second character, more zombies, and protective gear that enhanced defense among other things. The game was nearly finished, but Shinji Mikami was not happy with the game and it ended up being scrapped. The development team started all over and ended up making Resident Evil 2. That turned out to be a great sequel, but curiosity leaves me wondering how Resident Evil 1.5 would have stacked up.

5) Beyond Good & Evil 2

Beyond Good & Evil 2

Yes, I know that a teaser trailer was released and that lead designer Michel Ancel keeps reassuring fans that Beyond Good & Evil 2 will be released, but the original game came out eight years ago and we still don’t have many details on the sequel. When Beyond Good & Evil came out it was a great action-adventure game with a strong female protagonist and varied gameplay. That’s a formula that would still work today, so I’ve got my fingers crossed that Ancel doesn’t keep fans in the dark for too much longer. In the meantime, the original game has been re-released with an HD update on both Xbox LIVE and the PlayStation Network.

4) Shenmue III

Shenmue II

The first two Shenmue games were groundbreaking in their approach to open-world gameplay, including features such as a day-night cycle and fully voiced NPCs. The games also boasted high production values and well-told stories. Despite this, they were hit with disappointing sales, and the creative differences between mastermind Yu Suzuki and Sega didn’t help matters. This resulted in a halt on production of Shenmue III, which is a real travesty considering the story was left unresolved after Shenmue II. Yu Suzuki is keeping hope alive though, saying recently that he believes Sega will let him make the third game in the series.

3) EarthBound 64

Earthbound 64

The Nintendo 64 was light on quality RPGs, so the idea of bringing a sequel to the cult SNES favorite, EarthBound, to the system seemed like a wonderful idea. Critics who saw EarthBound 64 were enamored with it, and Nintendo fans seemed to be looking forward to its release. Sadly, the jump from 2D to 3D proved to be too much due to the developers’ inexperience with the hardware. Though the game was eventually canceled, it was remade for the Game Boy Advance and released in Japan back in 2006. Still, we’ll always be left wondering how a 3D EarthBound game would have turned out.

2) Star Fox 2

Star Fox 2

Star Fox for the SNES was Nintendo’s first 3D game, and a fantastic one at that. A sequel seemed obvious, and one was made. Star Fox 2 veered away from the linear nature of the first game and featured a more open-ended map. The perspective would shift when reaching enemy forces, and then go back out to the map after defeating them. Star Fox 2 was basically completed but never ended up being released. An employee would later go on to say that Nintendo wanted to avoid its release due to the upcoming Nintendo 64. They felt a Star Fox game had to represent the best of the platform, but the N64 ended up coming out later than planned, and Star Fox 2 was left behind. I’ve still got my fingers crossed for a Virtual Console release, though.

1) Chrono Break

Chrono Cross

Chrono Break was a trademark registered by Square Enix back in 2001. Of course fans lit up at this news, thinking a sequel to Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross was being made. SE responded, saying no new Chrono game was in development, but there was still potential for a new game. Yet here we are in 2011, with no news of a sequel from Square Enix. So Chrono Break being included at #1 is simply representative of any Chrono game being made at this point. Chrono Trigger is one of the greatest RPGs of all time, and Chrono Cross was great in its own right. Their legacy still lives on, but if there’s an RPG series that deserves a new game, it’s this one.


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Author: Anthony LaBella View all posts by
My first experience playing a video game blew me away. The fact that Super Metroid was that game certainly helped. So I like to think Samus put me on the path to video games. Well, I guess my parents buying the SNES had a little something to do with it. Ever since then my passion for video games has grown. When I found that I could put words together into a coherent sentence, videogame journalism was a natural interest. Now I spend a large majority of my time either playing video games or writing about them, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

4 Comments on "Top 10 Games That Should Have Been Finished"

  1. Nobody111 June 6, 2012 at 7:41 am -

    I am so missing Outcast 2 here… Now there’s a game that should have been finished.

  2. Nobody111 June 6, 2012 at 7:41 am -

    I am so missing Outcast 2 here… Now there’s a game that should have been finished.

  3. Trent Pressley June 11, 2012 at 1:51 am -

    ugh…=*( Baldurs gate dark alliance 3

    • inzautoe June 11, 2012 at 9:43 am -

      Or ANY game in the genre. Really, where ARE these games now? Diablo and Torchlight are about the extent of it. Black Isle is no more, Interplay is doing nothing, and Snowblind Studios (Champions series) has moved on to other types of games. Who’s left?

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