10 hard-to-find classics that deserve a second chance

Good games can be hard to find, especially if they’re more than a few years old. Maybe they’re out of print and sell for $200 on eBay. Maybe they won’t work on modern systems. With services like the Virtual Console, PSOne Classics, Game Room, Steam, Good Old Games and disc-based compilations, plenty of old favorites have become easily playable on modern hardware, but there are still plenty of games out there that have simply fallen through the cracks, making them painfully difficult (and in some cases ridiculously expensive) to play now. But that doesn’t mean they’re not worth your attention.

Some of the games we’ve listed here still have hope for a rerelease. After all, awesome old games like Syndicate keep making their way back to us through various means. For the time being, though, playing them legally is going to require you to sacrifice some time and money (and perhaps your firstborn son) to the eBay gods.

1. Uniracers (Unirally in the UK)

Before Rockstar North was known primarily for the Grand Theft Auto series, it went by another name: DMA Design. It was already making awesome games, though. Uniracers, for example, is by far the best side-scrolling racing and stunt game featuring unicycles ever to be released for the Super Nintendo.

Above: Uniracers ran into legal trouble stickier than this track

The game already feels pretty fast, but doing tricks in midair gives you a speed boost if you land them, so you’re constantly encouraged to flip like a madman (or madunicycle). This can get really tricky when the tracks are throwing you crazy loops and constantly changing which direction you’re supposed to be going. You could play split-screen with a second player or even set up an eight-player tournament, making it a fast and fun party game.

So why aren’t we still playing Uniracers every day? Because back in 1987, Pixar released a four-minute-long short film called Red’s Dream, which starred an autonomous, computer-generated unicycle. Apparently this gave Pixar the idea that any later appearance of a rider-less CG unicycle was stealing its concept, and it sued DMA Design shortly after Uniracers was released. Unfortunately, the court sided with Pixar, forcing Nintendo to stop production on copies of the game and ensuring we’ll never see it again. So next time you’re thanking John Lasseter for directing Toy Story, take a moment to curse him for indirectly taking Uniracers out of the world.

2. Lunar 2: Eternal Blue

The original Lunar: The Silver Star has been remade in different ways quite a few times, most recently for the PSP. Lunar 2, originally on the Sega CD, saw one remake on the Sega Saturn (in Japan) and the PlayStation, but since then has been lost to the eternal blue oceans of time. Like its predecessor, Lunar 2 boasts a fantastic story and likeable characters, as well as solid RPG mechanics. Both iterations of the game are considered to be among the best RPGs on their respective platforms, and they won’t come cheap if you want to buy them now.

Above: Lunar 2 is one of those gems that’s hard to get these days

It might be difficult to license a straight port of either version of Lunar 2, especially with original US publisher Working Designs out of business. However, it would be worthwhile for Game Arts and Xseed to release an Eternal Blue remake the same way they released Lunar: Silver Star Harmony for the PSP: Rebuild it, touch it up and redub all the voice work. Some nostalgia would be lost for old fans, but at least a new audience could experience the story. It would be far better than nothing.

We would personally be happy just to see Eternal Blue again, but fans of the series have long been hoping for an English release of Lunar: Magic School as well as the long-rumored Lunar 3. Unfortunately, the powers that be are too busy porting the original Lunar for the thousandth time, this time to iOS. The last time we were promised something different, we got the immensely disappointing Lunar: Dragon Song on the DS, and nobody was happy about that.

3. Snatcher

Shortly after finishing Metal Gear, Hideo Kojima created a cyberpunk detective story not unlike Blade Runner. The game, Snatcher, was a first-person adventure with a cool noir style, and its protagonist, Gillian, had a robot sidekick named Metal Gear long before we saw Old Snake nab the technology.

English-speaking gamers are probably most familiar with the Sega CD release, which is the only time the game escaped Japan. Sadly, the game sold poorly in North America, possibly because it was on the Sega CD, which Americans only used to play Kriss Kross: Make My Video. Nowadays you’d be hard-pressed to find a copy of Snatcher for under $150, if not much more.

If we could just pry Kojima away from Metal Gear for a while, maybe he could convince Konami to remake Snatcher. While they’re at it, they could go ahead and do an English release of Policenauts, another Hideo Kojima adventure game that has never been released outside of Japan.

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  • ObliqueZombie - February 8, 2012 5:27 p.m.

    Great list, and I'll be checking most of those out (especially the free System Shock!). But in yours and anyone's opinion who may be listening, which is better: System Shock 1 or 2? I've read great things about System Shock in general, but I'll be hard pressed to not look for 2 if I play through the first one and learn that it's sucessor is, somehow, better. Also... about Mega Man Legends... it was too soon. :( I'm still reeling from the cancellation. There was hardly a game series I think deserved so much attention, and got it all in the worst of ways.
  • kor2disturbed - February 8, 2012 5:27 p.m.

    Wow, I own both Megaman Legends games. I bought them at a garage sale back in 06. I didn't know they were rare.
  • IceBlueKirby - February 8, 2012 5:29 p.m.

    I remember paying $70 for Earthbound, which is the most I've payed for a single at the same store it goes for $100. I had a copy of Lunar 2 for a while too, but I never played it because I never finished the original Lunar. I would definitely like to play some of these other games though, particularly Snatcher and Panzer Dragoon Saga...also, while not on the list, I would like to see re-releases of Cannon Spike and Castlevania Chronicles (assuming there's not already one floating around that I'm unaware of) because those go for a lot on ebay.
  • Baron164 - February 8, 2012 5:36 p.m.

    I really want Fallout 1 and 2 remade with a playable battle system and HD graphics, or remake it in 3D like Fallout 3.
  • CrashmanX - February 8, 2012 6:24 p.m.

    Fallout 1 and 2 remade in HD with some nice graphics would be cool. However remade like 3 and I'd probably kill someone. The thing that made Fallout 1 and 2 so unique was the combat system and the way they were played. I really enjoy them both still. I have copies of them on Steam. However an HD upgrade with some voice acting could be really really cool. However, we'll have to wait until 2013 before anything can even happen with Fallout again.
  • festerblatz82 - February 8, 2012 9:39 p.m.

    This would be appreciated.
  • scr34m555 - February 8, 2012 5:40 p.m.

    There's an amazing game out there called Spartan: Total Warrior made by the same people who made the Total War series. It was so good and I never saw saw a sequel to it, probably because it was way too similar to God of War. I personally think it was better in so many ways. I can't be the only one who remembers that game, am I?
  • RedHarlow - February 8, 2012 6:42 p.m.

    I have it on gamecube. The hack and slash was really fun, but the boss fights were kind of meh. Still, an overall awesome game.
  • Metzero - February 8, 2012 5:45 p.m.

    I came onto this article hoping Panzer would be on it. Glad it made the list. I was lucky enough in the fact that my dad had a copy when I was little(mine now). I get mad at my friends who are avid gamers and have never even heard of it.
  • ThePrivateer - February 8, 2012 5:51 p.m.

    Mega Man Legends I itself isn't terribly hard to find/expensive, but the sequel is. I've been trying to get my hands on a copy less then 40$ for years now. Same with Tomba! 2, but eventually I caved and got one for 45$. Great game, I'd like to see those on the PSN.
  • Fhiend - February 8, 2012 6:23 p.m.

    I have been saying for years that snatcher needs to be remade. I would buy three copies on launch day. One of the best games ever made. It doesn't have much gameplay, but the story and detective stuff is second to none. Love snatcher.
  • NightCrawler_358 - February 8, 2012 6:25 p.m.

    One day, the Mother series will be mine...
  • Net_Bastard - February 8, 2012 6:38 p.m.

    Drill Dozer should be in here. It was one of the few non-Pokemon related games Game Freak made and it was awesome. Sadly barely anyone knows about it, which I foud out by seeing that the most viewed Youtube video about the game was under 10,000 views when I checked. A 3DS e-shop rerelease or a sequel would be amazing.
  • RedHarlow - February 8, 2012 6:41 p.m.

    I still have copies of NiGHTS and Panzer Dragoon Saga. Sega Saturn is the shit.
  • ShowMeYourKitties - February 8, 2012 6:48 p.m.

    This list could probably be called "10 classic games I am going to emulate" Oh, with the exception of Earthbound, already did that one
  • shawksta - February 8, 2012 6:50 p.m.

    I REALLY dont get Nintendo, People know who Lucas is now, its perfect to release Mother 3, hey who knows, they might just translate it and release it on the 3DS's Virtual console. The fact that they decided to keep ness for smash, let alone ADD LUCAS cant just be made for nothing. Im still hoping, Luigi's Goddamn mansion got a sequel, many things can happen now. Oh my fond memories of NIGHTS, those were good times...
  • Brutalicus - February 8, 2012 7:03 p.m.

  • ElDudeorino - February 8, 2012 7:20 p.m.

    Not only is this a "Top 10" list, but it goes from #1 to #10? You've changed Gamesradar.
  • shawksta - February 8, 2012 9:07 p.m.

    Hey, Learn to read, it CLEARLY states "10 hard-to-find classics" Nowhere does it say "The Top 10 hard-to-find classics" There's a difference between the 2, fix yourself next time.
  • jmcgrotty - March 4, 2012 2:36 a.m.

    Umm... Shawksta, that reply wat a bit over-the-top, don't you think? It's like you took offense at him thinking/implying it was in a ranked order. It's an easy mistake, and evey then, it's not really a significant one. Calm down, little boy.

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