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5 Video Games That Were Ahead of Their Time



Every gaming generation has seen its share of innovations and strides in the industry. Making the way for improvements is often unappreciated in the era they were conceptualized in.  However, there are a select few games that truly transcend the time in which they were released. Whether it is through gameplay mechanics, or genre-melding abilities, or simply being a staple of a particular genre. Below is a list of 5 video games that were Ahead of their time.

5. Silent Hill

Silent Hill is, without a shred of doubt, a cornerstone of the horror genre in gaming. With gameplay and presentation that elevated the game beyond the general jump scares of the time. Silent Hill wished to tell a compelling story as well and deliver a different kind of horror. Whether it be the iconic location of the game or the psychologically torturous nature of it. Silent Hill certainly was ahead of its time in terms of presenting a different kind of horror than gamers at the time were used to.

Perhaps there are many elements as to why the game was not as popular as it should have been for such an innovative title. This is due to the use of creative creatures, which take their names from famous works of literature. As well as its unique take on the horror genre at the time. These striking enemy designs no doubt left an impression on players at the time of release but sadly, the game was said to be a Resident Evil clone. While it may not have garnered the attention it deserved at first, Silent Hill would later become a staple of the psychological horror genre. Becoming One of the 5 Video Games That Were Ahead of Their Time.


4. The Elder Scrolls 2: Daggerfall

Considered by many to be the first true modern RPG, The Elder Scrolls 2: Daggerfall created and simultaneously reinvented the RPG genre. Featuring a procedurally generated world, the game was allowed more space than other titles at the time. This made for a more lived-in feel and a more tangible adventure than what was available upon the release of The Elder Scrolls 2: Daggerfall. Published and released by Bethesda Softworks on September 20th, 1996, the game did not have as much attention as it deserved. While it is true that the game did sell, considering its contribution to the genre of RPGs, it underperformed.

With over 15,000 procedurally generated locations, it was certainly a sizable feat at the time. But as with most technological marvels, people are leery and hesitant to catch on sometimes. The game also featured multiple endings that added to its replayability of the title. One of the features that were novel and game-changing at the time was the ability to create your own spells. However, it is only through the power of hindsight that we can see the influence that this game had on not only the RPG genre but surely One of the 5 Video Games That Were Ahead of Their Time.


3. NieR

NieR is a game that surely leaves an impression on players and is one of the games that was way ahead of their time. Created by the ever eccentric mind of Yoko Taro. NieR merges genres in a way that wasn't seen at the time. Whether it be through the use of shoot-em-up sections that broke up the gameplay or something as simple as farming or fishing. There are also visual novel parts that have a choose your own adventure type feel and a section that reads like a novel detailing Kaine's past.

This doesn't even include the unique way you have to unlock all the endings. NieR is a series where you must beat the game multiple times in order to unlock new content. This means that each time you play through, you will notice changes. These can be subtle or full-on lore bombs, such as the truth behind the Replicants. Even the atmosphere showed that NieR was one of the games that were ahead of their time. When entering Emil's mansion, the game turns to black and white, creating one of the most unique atmospheres of the time.


2. System Shock

System Shock is very reminiscent of the Bioshock series of games. It used an FPS system combined with an RPG system to create a unique experience. It was a non-linear game that used a 3D environment but didn't receive much attention. There also was a lack of NPCs you could meet, similar to the Dead Space games where you unraveled the story through logs. By picking up emails or discs, you could unravel the events that transpired in Citadel Station.

Players wake up from a coma and must comb through the now empty area to figure out exactly what transpired. You must also use cyberspace to help make your way through the game. By interacting with cyberspace, you can help forge forward by completing tasks like opening locked doors. This is all to take down an entity known as SHODAN who doesn't want you to proceed.


1. Eternal Darkness

Eternal Darkness is an interesting game that debuted for the Nintendo Gamecube. The game has since been stuck on the console but has some of the most innovative gameplay you can think of. Eternal Darkness game used psychological tricks to make players think that the game could control their data. The game would threaten to delete their save, known as sanity effects. In addition, the game also forced you to play as several different types of characters.

The game pulled in many awards but didn't do well in sales numbers. It had similar gameplay to other horror series as players would need to deal with monsters, solve puzzles, and use items. There was also a multitude of paths you could take to beat the game. Depending on your choices, the gameplay itself will change.


So, what do you think of these 5 video games that were Ahead of their time? Do you agree with our top five picks? Are there any games we should know about? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.  

Jessica is a resident otaku and Genshin-obsessed writer. Jess is an industry veteran who takes pride in working with JRPG and indie developers. Along with gaming, you can find them collecting anime figures and having too much faith in Isekai anime.