As hundreds of games are released every year, it’s so hard to look into every one of them. Be it an indie game, or a full-fledged AAA game, sometimes their destiny isn’t great and they fall into oblivion, in which they remain forever, in most cases. Believe me, I’ve played games for almost two decades, and I still do, and those underrated PC games are badass, and sometimes better than some AAA efforts. That being said, my task for today is to present those games to you. If that sounds great, the list of the 22 most underrated games for PC is below.
Explaining Underrated Games
The phrase or the term “underrated” truly describes video games that don’t receive as much appreciation as they should. These are video games that may have exceptional gameplay, unique design elements, or even cutting-edge technology, but for a variety of reasons, they don’t find widespread favor with players or garner favorable reviews.
The term “underrated” refers to a game’s quality or worth not being appropriately acknowledged by the gaming community or broader audience. It means that there are components of the game that are usually overlooked or undervalued, which results in an underestimating of its acceptance by critics, sales, or popularity.
Several factors can contribute to a game’s underappreciation. It might be a result of ineffective marketing or promotion, opposition from more popular games, player ignorance, or niche appeal.
Which are the Top Underrated Games for PC?
1. Nier: Automata
Nier: Automata is a proof that we, as a gaming community are sometimes not that smart. I mean, come on! This game deserves a spot amongst the best AAA games ever! At first, I was too hesitant to play it, but once my brother showed it to me, I was straining my eyes like a lunatic and played it on daily basis. This game combines several genres into one.
At first, you’ll get an action-packed sequence where you are flying and destroying the enemies, then you’ll be on the ground, fighting in a classic hack-and-slash manner, and then encounter some 2D sequences. The game is amazing, and believe me, that isn’t an appropriate word for how good it is. If you want a great AAA experience for a cheap price, then grab this one, and thank me later.
- Unique combination of multiple genres
- Action-packed gameplay with flying and ground combat
- Stunning visuals and immersive world
2. The Surge
Many games today draw the inspiration from Dark Souls series, and guess what? The Surge is one of them. The Surge, however, took a different approach by introducing a post-apocalyptic, futuristic world where you have some augmentations and powerups to fight the enemies. The game concept is fantastic, and the graphics are gorgeous, plus the atmosphere is intense, as the combat is hard and punishing. You can’t just hack and slash here, but have patience and think about next move. If you do so, the game is a rewarding and satisfying experience.
- Post-apocalyptic, futuristic setting
- Augmentations and powerups for combat
- Intense and punishing combat mechanics
This 2D game for PC is a true gem of the genre. It’s a bloody hard game, that will punish every mistake that you make. You didn’t read it well? E V E R Y. Cuphead is a run-and-gun game, in which you play as a Cuphead, who made a deal with the devil and is granted a power with which he can shoot from his finger. In this game, not only that bosses will kick your a*s, but also the level design and even some platforming segments. With its cartoonish graphics inspired by 1930 cartoons, the game looks beautiful, but under that beauty the devil hides!
- Challenging 2D run-and-gun gameplay
- Beautiful 1930s cartoon-inspired graphics
- Punishing difficulty and boss fights
What if System Shock 2 and Deus Ex had a follower? Well, Prey it exactly that! Prey combines the futuristic setting, with some of the best RPG elements, and stealth gameplay that is unmatched! It’s a first-person shooter game but isn’t quite a shooter game, you know? You can shoot and kill, but it’s best to use your GLOO gun here. Nevertheless, Prey is a fantastic role-playing game, where you can investigate the space station Talos I, in which the game takes place.
The game is so unforgivable and hard, that you’ll think about letting it pass, but please don’t do that. If you make a little effort, the game will reward you, for sure. There’s a lot to be done here, and I enjoyed every single millisecond of the game!
- Futuristic setting with RPG elements
- Stealth gameplay and exploration
- Unforgiving and rewarding gameplay
5. Titanfall 2
Oh, my God, I’m going to get mad if I write more about this game because it’s so damn underrated that the sales went really poor for this game. This is due to the release date that was overlapping with Battlefield 1, which is, of course, a more popular game than this one. Nonetheless, Titanfall 2 will offer you a classic fast-paced action, where you can play with a human character or with a Titan, which kicks a*s in every sense of that word! Aside from that, Titanfall 2 introduces a singleplayer campaign which left me speechless, for its voice acting, story and of course, the ending which brought tears to my eyes.
- Fast-paced action with human and Titan combat
- Emotional single-player campaign
- Classic multiplayer experience
6. For Honor
For Honor is very hard to get into, mainly because the game isn’t that interesting in the beginning. I mean, the combat is very hard to learn, and that may back some people off. However, as you learn more and more, For Honor will be your true masculine game, to show off your combat skills and chop the enemy’s head off!
Whether you like Vikings, Samurais or Knights, they are all equally badass and posses different fighting styles. I always went with the Vikings, but the other two are great also. It’s up to you how you play it, but be sure to use your weapon wisely!
- Intense and challenging combat system
- Play as Vikings, Samurais, or Knights
- Skill-based gameplay and strategic weapon usage
7. Outlast 2
The horror games for PC often don’t get the attention they deserve. The attention is focused on the game trailer and when it comes out, nobody has the courage to play it. Outlast 2 is such game. This horror will send shivers down your spine and make you sweat like you are in a Sauna! It’s a nerve-wracking horror game, that is played from the first-person perspective, as you investigate the desert environment of Arizona, and escape the sick cult members. The only “weapons” you’ll have here are the camera and your journal, so try to survive if you dare.
- Nerve-wracking horror game
- First-person perspective with limited resources
- Intense survival and escape gameplay
8. Styx: Shards of Darkness
When talking about the stealth games, Styx: Shards of Darkness is a worthy addition to the genre. Sure, it’s not exactly an AAA title, but it doesn’t have to be, to be a great game, right? The game puts you in a role of Styx, who is a Goblin on a mission to infiltrate Dark Elven city. Here, you’ll have the very punishing stealth experience, crafted just for true stealth fans.
No, you can’t go slashing everything in your way, so just drop the ball down and be stealthy! Styx: Shards of Darkness will test your patience and your brain and is a great experience, highly recommended in this genre.
- Stealth-focused gameplay as a Goblin character
- Punishing stealth experience for hardcore fans
- Infiltrate Dark Elven city and complete missions
Hitman: Codename 47 was the first game I ever played in 2001, and it was quite harsh for me, as a little kid. Now, Hitman (2016) is one of my favorite stealth games, and although I’m not a kid anymore, it still manages to punish me every single time I play it. The game is set before every other game in the series, and puts you in a role of Agent 47, as he is just beginning to work for the agency.
The missions are open-world, and let you complete them in various ways, which is a contrast from the previous Hitman game. The game is extremely punishing and force you to go stealthily, but it’s rewarding and enjoyable to play at the same time.
- Open-world, stealth-based gameplay
- Multiple ways to complete missions
- Engaging and rewarding gameplay
10. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
It’s not quite the most underrated game on PC ever, but RE7: Biohazard surely deserves more attention. This horror game has everything it needs to scare you and haunt your dreams every single night after you play it. It’s a claustrophobic experience, set mostly set in the house of Baker family, which are the main villain here. Aside from being spooky, this game will disgust you, because of tons of blood, gore, dismembering and chopping heads off. It’s a terrifying experience, but you’ll be damn wrong if you say that the game is bad!
- Claustrophobic horror experience
- Spooky and intense atmosphere
- Gore and survival-focused gameplay
11. Rise of the Tomb Raider
Rise of the Tomb Raider is one of the most popular games for benchmarks on YouTube, but aside from that… I feel it’s underrated. This game offered my tons of fun with its singleplayer campaign, and although there is a multiplayer component, I suggest not wasting time on it. The graphics here are stunning, and it’s not strange if your card struggles with it, even on medium or low settings. The environments are beautiful, varied and its open world offers lots to be explored, making it a superior adventure game, full of action sequences.
- Stunning graphics and adventurous gameplay
- Varied environments and open-world exploration
- Action-packed single-player campaign
12. Condemned: Criminal Origins
I wrote about this game in the past article, but I felt the need to mention it here. Have you ever heard about this game? Well, if not, now it’s time to introduce yourself to Condemned: Criminal Origins. It’s a horror game, that draws the inspiration from movies like Silence of the Lambs and similar.
So, you are a detective that works on a case of the serial killer, and as the story is culminating, the game gets terrifying and harder, which is really challenging. Although the game is more than decade old, it will scare the hell out of you and make you pause the game in order to reduce your heart BPM!
- Horror game inspired by movies like Silence of the Lambs
- Investigate a serial killer case
- Terrifying and challenging gameplay
13. Spec Ops
Specs Ops left quite a mark on me, and I’m impressed by how well this game is crafted, but disappointed with the attention it got. It’s easily one of the best TPS games ever! From the beginning, the game puts you in Dubai, which is torn apart, dry and ruthless. From that moment, the protagonist is undergoing some serious pressure from both of his teammates and the bad luck that follows him. The game packs some explosive action parts, and the story is amazing.
I still remember every level of that game, especially the one with phosphorus b*mb, that wipes everything away, including the innocent civilians and leaves everyone mutilated and screaming in terror. The game is made to screw with your mind, and will do it until the very end.
- Third-person shooter with intense action
- Gripping story and emotional impact
- Challenging and thought-provoking gameplay
14. GTA IV
GTA V is great and all, but why GTA IV is forgotten? I mean, there’s everything to be desired here, and the game boasts a more realistic physics than GTA V. Our main character here is Niko Belic, with Slavic roots, and it’s interesting to see how the American actors do that kind of language, as it’s really funny at some moments. Aside from that, the game’s world isn’t that pretty like in GTA V, but the game does a solid job of telling a story, and letting you do stuff in the world. The game is overlooked probably because it’s poorly optimized, but with the newer machine, you can play it smoothly.
- Realistic physics and open-world gameplay
- Compelling story and characters
- Immersive world to explore
15. S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat is a very underrated game, based on the real events when the nuclear catastrophe hit the Russia in 1986. Now, local Stalkers and other factions invaded the place and live there as they fight the mutants and each other over the various artifacts.
You are sent to investigate a helicopter crash in Pripyat, and as you do that, you are able to explore the world in the game, which is perfectly portrayed. It’s torn, colorless, bland and unforgiving, just like it should be! The game is very cheap now, so I recommend getting it if you like open world games, RPG, and shooting games.
- Open-world RPG set in a post-nuclear catastrophe
- Explore a torn and unforgiving world
- Factions, mutants, and artifact hunting
16. Crysis 3
Many say that Crysis is the best game in the series, but I’m gonna go with Crysis 3. This game will torch your GPU and CPU so get ready to buy a fire extinguisher alongside this game. Seriously, Crysis 3 has amazing graphics even on lowest graphical settings, but that’s not the main reason it’s the best game in the series. Crysis 3 offers a great stealth gameplay, but also memorable action-packed levels, where you’ll fight both versus CELL soldiers and Ceph creatures, resulting in a satisfying and compelling ending.
- Graphically impressive game that pushes hardware limits
- Stealth and action-packed gameplay
- Memorable levels and satisfying ending
17. A Plague Tale: Innocence
The compelling adventure game A Plague Tale: Innocence is set in mediaeval France during the Black Death. You take on the role of Amicia, a teenage girl attempting to defend her little brother Hugo from the Inquisition and hordes of rats carrying the plague. The narrative of the game is excellent, providing a gripping plot that covers themes of family, survival, and sacrifice.
Well-designed stealth-based gameplay and puzzle-solving components produce stressful and compelling gameplay moments. A Plague Tale: Innocence is a hidden gem that merits more attention because of its breathtaking visuals, eerie soundtrack, and endearing characters.
- Compelling narrative set in mediaeval France
- Stealth-based gameplay and puzzle-solving
- Breathtaking visuals and eerie soundtrack
18. Dark Sector
Dark Sector is a quite old game, released in 2009, but oh boy, it packs some great gameplay and visuals for the time. Immediately upon beginning the campaign, the game will show you how ruthless it is, by exposing you to the human, as well as the enemies infected by Technocyte, which are various monsters. Oh, and the game features some memorable boss fights that you’ll love, but also hate because they’ll take every single piece of strength from you.
- Intense gameplay and visuals for its time
- Tense encounters with infected enemies
- Memorable boss fights
19. Need for Speed: The Run
Wait, how did NFS game make it on this list? NFS: The Run is one of my favorite entries in the series, but the reviews say otherwise. This game has the best handling in the series, offering a fine balance between realistic and arcade car handling. On top of that, the game looks dope! The car selection is fine, although you can’t really buy them, so you must change the car on the run. Also, there is a great story which culminates into a great final race, full of action and heart-stopping moments. Don’t miss this game, folks!
- Best handling in the series with a balance of realism and arcade
- Beautiful graphics and intense car races
- Gripping story and action-packed final race
20. Mad Max
If you watched Mad Max movies, you know about Max Rockatansky. He might not be the most interesting protagonist ever, but that doesn’t matter, as the game is very good. Here, it’s all about that car combat and melee combat, that resembles the mechanics similar to Batman game series. Mad Max is a cheap game, but offers so much fun, and it isn’t short either! That open world of Wasteland is full of places to explore and things to do.
- Car combat and melee combat gameplay
- Open-world wasteland to explore
- Fun and engaging gameplay experience
Coming from Pyranha Bites, ELEX is a great role-playing game, and it’s not strange because that developer worked on Gothic series as well. What can I say? The open world and the constant conflict between tech and the magic are interesting, and the whole setting combines that high-tech world with the less-urban part of the game. There is a lot of talking and decision making here as well as combat, so if it seems interesting to you, then go on!
- Open-world RPG with a blend of tech and magic
- Interesting setting and conflict between factions
- Meaningful decision-making and combat mechanics
22. Outer Wilds
A puzzle game called Outer Wilds that focuses mostly on exploration will take you on a surreal adventure through a really tiny solar system. You learn the secrets of a long-extinct extraterrestrial culture and the impending destruction of your own planet as an astronaut caught in a time loop. Outer Wilds is really unique because of its open-world design, which lets you help explore the planets at your leisure and also solve the interrelated mysteries at your own pace.
This game does have the most magnificent visuals, an eerie music, and a really dynamic and an immersive world. The experience of Outer Wilds is mostly one-of-a-kind and thought-provoking, and it will leave a lasting impression.
- Puzzle game focused on exploration
- Surreal and tiny universe to discover
- An engaging and immersive adventure