Question What game exceeded your expectations once you played it?


Community Manager
Nov 25, 2019
Visit site
Enjoying a game I thought I'd hate is a pretty great feeling. Of course, I could just be set on perma-hate mode due to disappointments in the past 😢

I'll still come across a surprising gem every once in a while. Most recently, I've gotten really into the Resident Evil games, despite my lifelong fear of and hatred for zombies (I draw the line at watching Shawn of the Dead).

How about you? What games did you find surprisingly fun?
Alone in the dark (1992). I remember trying it out not long after it released, but back then I thought controlling the character was horrible and the overall feel was not a good one. I tried it again not too long ago and I managed to get into the groove of navigating the quirky character and enjoying the absolutely fantastic atmosphere. It is definitely not a perfect game, but the claustrophobic horror element is something it did incredibly well. It basically paved the way for games like Resident Evil.
Dead rising 3. i heard the reviews, the technical issues and the negatives about the game. But after playing it i have to say that i had a lot of fun with the game. Granted, it was a requirement to do some technical tweaking to unlock the frame rate as the game was UNPLAYABLE without it. But after that? Awesome fun. The fact that i could craft stuff whenever/wherever i wanted, plus the relaxed time constraints to do various tasks meant i could enjoy myself and truly appreciate everything the game has to offer. Something the previous 2 i couldn't do.

DR4 ditches the time constraints completely? not such a bad idea. In fact im looking forward to playing it...
  • Like
Reactions: Rynwar
Nov 16, 2020
Visit site
Truth be told, I bought Counter-Strike on disc (I still have it here somewhere, remember when it was a modpack? damn I'm old), and never played the base game it was built on, Half-Life, until Half-Life 2 came out and I went ape for that. So insane that I blew off an instant classic for a FPS mod.


Community Contributor
Well, I'm not about to buy a game that I don't expect to like, but there have been surprises. I gave Saints Row: The Third a shot despite not liking Grand Theft Auto 3 and had a ton of fun. Outer Wilds ended up being a lot more fun that I expected. The Last Remnant was a long-shot that I ended up loving.

The king would be X3: Terran Conflict when it comes to the "Experienced Fun minus Expected Fun" calculation, though. I got the very first X game and it was a buggy mess. Reviews for the X games weren't so great, either. Finally, X3:TC got a "so-so" review with a note saying that it's really only for patient gamers so I bit. Steam says I've played it for over 600 hours but I started playing the game before Steam started counting hours. What's more, I even enjoyed X: Rebirth (fun stuff after they gave it two DLCs and modders made the 'small talk' mini-game unnecessary. I'm still holding off on X4 to let Egosoft fix up that game even more but I know I'll love it.
Aug 23, 2020
Visit site
Assassin's Creed...(check the name...)
I never really enjoyed any of them, but I enjoyed origins. I wish like all games it was shorter so I'd have finished it.

Its usually the 70% type games that I used to like the most. I just can't think of any. So look forward to see what people say :)
Aug 23, 2020
Visit site
Mad Max. Got horrible reviews and was actually amazing. Was victim of releasing too close to other titles that were similar in gameplay.

Edit: Not horrible - PCG gave it a 77, but Gamespot 6/10

Yes! This is just the type of game. 'Avg Score' - The old. If it's not 90% Reviews, not worth your time. - I really like Eurogamers review 'score' of of Recommended or Essential. A simpler world

I really enjoyed Mad Max
Boiling Point. Was a very mediocre game, according to most reviewers. Bought it back in the day, but I actually liked it a lot. Had some flaws, but the level of freedom was incredible. Basic: you were dropped in some Mexican town and had to find your daughter, that's it. You were able to go everywhere on the map, had to find everything out on your own. Loved that.
  • Like
Reactions: Rynwar
There was a game called Hypnosis that I came across during a deep dive during a Steam sale. It seemed utterly ridiculous from the description and there were only a handful of user reviews, but the game was dirt cheap and I decided to give it a try.. I thought I'd play it for 10 minutes and never come back to it, and I ended up finishing it in one sitting. The story was like a Sweary story, odd and humorous, and the game had a minigame to it that I got briefly hooked on which could be played outside the main game.

I still don't know whether I would really recommend the game to anyone else. It was incredibly weird and there was almost no difficulty whatsoever. And to this day it only has 19 user reviews. But I thoroughly enjoyed it anyway
  • Like
Reactions: 190pja and Rynwar
Civ4. I'd played 1, 2, & 3 when they came out, but they didn't grab me. Civ4 grabbed me and then some, it's definitely the game I've got most hours on—probably ~2,000 as I played a lot before getting the complete on a Steam sale. The wonderful BAT/BUG mod collections extended the life a lot with all their QoL improvements.

Far Cry 1 was a flyer, as all the hype at the time was Half Life 2. I ended up enjoying it way more than HL2, the open world and freedom of operatioal choices made all the difference.
Far Cry 3 is maybe another, although I was aware of the great reviews. FC2 had totally disappointed me, so I was wary. Loved FC3, dropped the main annoyances of FC2 and recaptured the charm of FC1—only drawback being the horrible UI from a console port.

An indie I didn't expect much from was Her Story—nothing but a woman sitting in a police interview room answering questions, all in full video. Hooked me in and I finished it, really liked the style—kudos to the devs for something refreshingly new.

Another indie which exceeded expectations considerably was War Robots Planet Defender. You have a very strong command tank and build supporting infantry robots in a mix & match way—this weapon, that armor, the other upgrade. It's short but I found it very fun, replayed it twice and will again. A mix of strategy, RPG and Tower Defense—amazingly it still only has 6 reviews on Steam.
  • Like
Reactions: JSimenhoff
Eador. Masters of the Broken World is another game that was surprisingly more fun than I expected. I put 70 hours in in a few days when I first started playing it, until I hit a game breaking bug and couldn't continue.

I picked it up again a while ago and it's still fun, but it's also a very long game and I don't have as much time to pour into a game like this any more.

Another game that surprised me with how fun it is is Railway Empire. It was free on Epic a while back and I got it because my wife absolutely loves trains, but it was a lot more complex and fun than I expected.
Elex . I've always been a fan of the original Gothic games (1-3) and Risen 1 & 3 (2 was somewhat disappointing), and I like the way Piranah Bytes makes games. Looking at reviews and videos for Elex, I wasn't quite sure what they were trying to do, but I finally got it on Steam, and it's been one of my favorite games of the past 2 years. It was a great take on a different type of apocalypse, instead of the standard nuclear. Exploration was awesome, combat challenging, and different factions to play against each other. Can't wait for Elex 2.
  • Like
Reactions: Pifanjr and Zloth