These are the great games that for one reason or another, never made it to household name status. Maybe they didn't have a big enough advertising budget. Or they came out for a console that not enough people had. Or they were overshadowed by a more hyped game. Or they were really popular for a short while but have been forgotten by all but the most hardcore gamer of their genre. Whatever the reason, they never got famous even though they deserved to. Feel free to add your own favorite unsung games here. The more obscure the better.
One of the most innovative control systems ever made for a computer game. People would think this game totally rocked if it was re-released today with better graphics. see more on Die by the Sword
One of the better iterations of the "build it and they will come" strategy games. More depth and detail than the other games like it. Had a great theme and lots of gameplay variety. Coulda been a bigger series than The Sims if a marketing powerhouse like EA had been behind it. see more on Stronghold
For being a Star Wars game, this great game got almost no press, even when it came out. You still never see it on best of lists. It had great squad-based combat controls and a decent story. The chatter among the Clone Troopers was pretty funny. see more on Star Wars: Republic Commando
Mount and Blade
There are many games set in medieval times. Also a growing number of games that let you ride horseback. None of them can compare to the gameplay in this obscure game. The detail is impeccable. The physics are quite accurate. I grew up riding horses on a cattle ranch and can tell you that this is the closest simulation of horseback riding I've ever seen. The combat, diplomacy, questing etc. are great too. If the graphics had more polish, I'd say it's the best game ever made.
One of the most innovative and unique games to come out for the Nintendo DS. How many bomber flight sims have you seen on a handheld? This game has you manning every station on a B-17 bomber as it makes it's sorties in WWII. The controls are easy but the missions are challenging. see more on B-17: Fortress in the Sky
This series is one of the best fantasy games ever made. It's in 2-D so you can play it on even the most basic "modern" computer, even an older laptop. The combat is turn-based so you don't have to have cat-like reflexes. The best part is the mode that lets you design your own levels. Not only do you get to design the map, but you also get to pick which monsters you encounter, which heroes you get to play and even get to script triggered events. You can even customize every hero and monster if you want the game to be easier or harder than the default. The scripted events are super easy to make and look so cool when they are done. This game will make anyone feel like they are a game developer. see more on Disciples: Sacred Lands
Sure everyone has heard of D&D, but have you heard of this game? It's a really tough but fun RPG for the SNES. This is another great game that I think would be really popular today with new graphics. see more on Eye of the Beholder
This is one of the most innovative FPS games ever. Not only do you shoot at enemies coming at you from all directions (even from above and below you), but you can also fly your ship in any direction. This is the closest I've ever come to feeling like I was really flying something in a three-dimensional space. It is a really tough game so you feel a real sense of accomplishment in later levels if you manage to escape the mine in time. If this game came out today with the 3-D TVs and game systems we have now and with today's graphics, it would be mind blowing. I was blown away by it back when it came out. The graphics are a bit dated, but the control system and sense of movement through a three dimensional space have never been surpassed by newer games. see more on Descent