I was looking at the guilty pleasures thread, and thinking of some of my favorite games and how they're not guilty pleasures, but games that never seemed to get the attention they deserved. "Underrated" might not be the right term, since some of them were reviewed very well, but nobody I know seems to have played them.
So, what are some of your favorite lesser-known and/or underrated games?
Two of my favorites, both for the current generation of consoles, are Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, and Vanquish.
Enslaved is Ninja Theory's re-imagining of an ancient Chinese story that basically plays as one long escort quest. It's fairly short, at around 9 or 10 hours, but the voice acting and story are really well done, and combat is fun. It's always one of the games I recommend to my friends who are looking for something to play, as you can typically pick it up for fairly cheap. While you'll probably only play through it once or twice, it's certainly worth a rental or used game purchase.
Vanquish is just pure adrenaline. A fantastic third-person arcade shooter, Vanquish features awesome action, weapons, and bosses, as well as an exceptionally cheesy story complete with evil Russians and super cheesy dialog that falls squarely under the "so bad it's good" banner. This one comes in short, as well, probably at around 8-10 hours, but it does have a decent degree of replayability as you can ramp up the difficulty and replay stages you've completed to try for higher scores. This is probably one of my favorite games, and a solid go-to choice when I just want some mindless action, or when I'm in between games.
Edited, Dec 19th 2012 8:06pm by Spoonless