What games did you play which you enjoyed considerably more than you though you would?


Wiki Patroller
Core 'Shroom Staff
While we often can be disappointed in games for various reasons, such as a sequel not living up to the original game, a game with a great concept not using it well, or the trailers being promising only for the game to be of lesser quality, sometimes the opposite can happen. Sometimes a game we play with low or average expectations can be surprisingly good, even great, and may exceed those expectations. What games did you play which surprised you with their quality?

For me, two examples would be Donkey Kong Land and Sonic 3D Blast (Director's Cut). In the case of the former, the level design was surprisingly good with some exception, and I loved how the game introduced new enemies and level themes not in the console DKC, even if the controls were still and the boss were generally very poor. In the case of the latter, exploring the levels was quite fun and dodging the various obstacles the levels presenting was surprisingly fun. I didn't find the isometric viewpoint to be annoying most of the time. It should be noted that I played the Director's Cut, which made some changes to the game.


(she/her) actual spore creature
rayman 3 before playing it i kept being scared like. theres plenty of stuff that makes me uncomfy in there what if i wont like this. but its cheap so what do i really have to lose?
so anyway it turned out i found a really great game and i also managed to simply look past the stuff that makes me uncomfy
also mario + rabbids, i was entirely unsure how much id like it because ive never played any other tactical rpg before, but the gameplay ended up clicking really easily surprisingly!!! im still kinda amazed at that ngl. found it fun enough to start aiming for 100% it
so yea thats the only examples i could think of at the moment and theyre both from this year thats wild
i hope its ok both of these are less so "This game will prob be bad oh wait no its fun actually" and more of "i dont know if ill like this or not?? oh i DID"

Emily the Stirling Engine

A Really Useful Engine
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

I'll be blunt here - I'm really not a Zelda fan. I've tried several of the games and played through them for a good few hours each, but nothing in any of them has ever really grabbed me enough to actually beat them. Like I think they're fine games, but they're just really for me.

Then Breath of the Wild came out and I didn't get it. But, my local library carries/carried video games, typically getting new releases a few months after they came out, and they eventually got the Wii U version of BOTW, so I decided to rent it as one of my two weekly video games.

And I ended up loving the damn game, I didn't beat it or anything, but I spent hours that week just playing the game, exploring, and seeing all the insane shit I could do and find in the game. Easily one of the funnest games I've played ever, really oughta pick it up for the Switch when I eventually get one.


Power Star
Awards Committee
I know that the original Paper Mario duology is almost universally praised among the Mario fandom, but I made the mistake of playing Super Mario RPG before both of them. I had heard not even one negative comment for SMRPG, and yet when I actually played it...it had some good parts, like the writing and presentation, but the gameplay had aged horribly and it was a complete and utter pain to finish. That significantly lowered my expectations for PM64, knowing that a lot of N64 games hadn't aged too well either, but I was pleasantly surprised in that it was a very fun game that's still every bit as playable today as it was 20 years ago.

For TTYD it was a little different, like I knew about how much praise the game got but I was...really put off by how dull the box art was. I had also only seen screenshots of Rogueport Sewers, solidifying my idea that it was a dull and colorless game, and it seemed perfectly in line with the title too. Word about a "dark story" didn't help at all either. However, playing the first Paper Mario gave me more positive expectations for this one, and I'm glad I gave it a chance. Don't judge a book--or a game--by its cover.

Speaking of M&L, I could also list Partners in Time here. I kept hearing stuff like "it's the weakest in the series" and then there's the boxart with more going on than I could process, and that plus more word of a "dark story" basically gave me the same impression I had of TTYD. Ultimately though, when I did play it, despite the fact that I'd probably still call it the weakest in the series, it's still a fantastic game and lives up to the Mario & Luigi name, and similarly to TTYD, that impression of the game being dull and colorless was entirely false.

Besides Mario RPGs, I was pleasantly surprised by how good Mario + Rabbids was (despite the fact that I just can't manage to beat it), Breath of the Wild was pretty great as my first real taste of Zelda, and perhaps most notably it was Kirby Star Allies that first showed me that a game didn't need Mario in it to be amazing.


I can see through time
When the first CoD Black Ops came out the campaign got criticised a lot for introducing a new mechanic every 5 seconds. My sister rented it and I gave it a go expecting it to be a mess. But I had a lot of fun adapting to all the new stuff the game throws at you. And all the mechanics were super polished. I need to go back and beat it one day.

Dark Light

Cherries and Berries
The Sims 4

I've heard about its reputation yes, how Sims 3 fans say it's a lot worse than Sims 4, has a middling Metacritic average at launch and its monetization scheme by siphoning off a lot of content into expensive expansion and stuff packs (there's too many of that to count and the total price of everything and I mean everything sets people back 100+ dollars I mean Jesus Christ


Game's not worth 700+ dollars for the entire thing. It's just not, no matter how much anyone likes it. The expansion packs...forty dollars for Eco Lifestyle...really? It doesn't change the game THAT much.

However, all things aside, this being my first Sims game I ever played, I absolutely adore it, it's easily in my Top 10 list of all-time favorite games. I enjoy spending a huge amount of time in Create-A-Sim, making human versions of my characters as well as Simifying a whole lot of others, as the Sim creator is very well done and extremely user friendly to boot, and it's one of the few things people agree that the Sims 4 does much better than the previous Sims games, thanks to its pull mechanic to adjust face shapes. You can make beautiful humans or you can make intentionally hilariously ugly Sims.

The game itself is surprisingly deep and complex, and more expansions do add a bunch to the experience. There's a bunch of ways you can play the game, either through playing it legit or just CTRL + C -> testingcheats enabled and go crazy with what you can do with console commands. It's sandboxy as well, and how you tell a story is entirely up to you (you can follow what YOU want or you can follow your Sims whims or you can just mess around or you can just try to kill them or you can be sadistic and make everyone hate you or you can torture them in a lot of hilarious ways...gosh there's a lot you can do for your digital humans), and I adore the amount of freedom I get, as there's no "wrong" choice, no "wrong" way to play the game, and nothing you do is inherently bad, as there's no "lose" state in the game. And if you don't place as well as, in, say, social events or if you fail flirting with the girl of your life, the game doesn't make a big deal out of it (the game even has hilarious flavor text when you have a positive romance relationship but a negative friend one).

I love the general flavor text of the game, btw. It never takes itself too seriously, and it's always charming to read through any of it. Even something mundane like patchnotes are a joy to read through.

Build Mode is also very well made and extremely easy to understand, and it's also very in-depth, with a lot of hotkey controls you can do such as disable grid snapping or placing couches on walls. You can make a regular house or a crazy, intentionally hideous one.

Did I forget to mention that the Sims was always pro-LGBT+ and highly progressive? It introduced proper gay marriage way before it was legalized in the US, and gay marriage used to be an unintentional feature that the devs actually decided to keep? Gender expression is also handled aptly (though I wish females had access to facial hair option by default), where you can practically make any gendered character you want, the options for them is called "being able to use the bathroom standing or not" or you can change their ability on how they impregnate, whether they can be pregnant or if they can impregnate other people. Plus, you can change their gender any time you like through Create a Sim (or mods).

And yes the mod support. It's massive. There's a bunch of must-have mods such as MC Command Center (which is a general cheating utility that you can play a lot around with) or Slice of Life or Meaningful Stories or violent sadistic torture mods that give you the option to brutally kill Sims or much more quality of life improvements you can do. And yes, plenty of Create a Sim and Build Mode modes that you can actually expand the amount of furniture or Create a Sim items (such as hair and clothing) you have rather than replace anything, giving you so much more options to play around with.

S'yeah. I love it, despite all of its flaws. I haven't even scratched the surface with this post on how much I appreciate the overall game and the vast slew of options and stuff you can do in it.

Trab Pu Kcip

Is Dark Allison
FIFA Football 2005.


Marioboards' biggest (maybe only) bup connoisseur
i remember being hyped for kirby star allies ever since it was first announced. i consider myself a kirby fan, and the trailers for the game looked really promising. however when i heard some bad things about the game, like it running at 30 fps, being too easy AND too short, i was worried. however when i got my hands on the game, i wasn't disappointed. i had a lot of fun with it, the music is fantastic, and the postgame like heroes in another dimension and the ultimate choice were tough, which is a good thing considering how easy the game is.

Score Creeper

So spooky!
  • Super Paper Mario (MUCH more)
  • Minecraft (much much much much times a million more)
  • Bowser's Inside Story (quite a lot more)
  • Partners in time (a bit more)
  • Super Mario 3D World (somewhat more)
  • Super Mario 3D Land (a lot more)
  • Super Mario 64 (a bit more)
That's all I can list of the top of my head.


Justice is not limited, it is a universal quality
Poll Committee
The first Splatoon: the game has a very novel concept and it's a new type of game produced by Nintendo, plus it has some promising concepts like the usage of motion controls to aim and roller as a (non-shooter) weapon. Despite this, it was still unproven until they released a Global Testfire. I only played one of the sessions but I really loved it. The motion controls to aim felt more rewarding than I thought it would, and painting the stage is actually quite fun. It is one of the most played games and I am glad to give it a go when it started.

In recent memory, I think it could go to ToeJam and Earl: Back in the Groove. Basically it's a roguelike, which is a genre that I am not particularly interested in because of its randomness and how progress can be lost if the player loses. However, the game has a strong sense of style and most of its game modes are on the easy side (unlike the Genesis original, from what I heard), which makes it quite accessible.

Thank you for reading.