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Vindicated By History: Video Games
  • Marathon was a moderately popular Mac FPS by a fledgling game studio known as Bungie. It has earned many more fans because of Halo referencing it so much. Many Halo fans become Bungie fans, and many Bungie fans try out their older games. The fact that it has since been ported to other OSes has also helped.
  • Herzog Zwei was released to very bad reviews from many professional video game critics, who saw it as a "flawed shooter game". Now? Now it's considered as one of the best video games of all time and seen as one of the first Real-Time Strategy games ever created, predating Dune II.
  • EarthBound suffered from a poorly-timed American release, a simplistic cartoony art style which contrasted sharply with the more detailed and serious fare of some of its RPG contemporaries, a then-seemingly different approach to its storytelling and humor, and a marketing strategy that was downright idiotic (the slogan for the game was "This game stinks"). By 1999, mounds of unsold copies of the game could be found in Walmart bargain bins all across the US for $15. Then Super Smash Bros. featured protagonist Ness as a hidden character, prompting people to actually go back and give it a chance, whereupon it was widely (re)discovered to be a fantastic game. These days, it is often hailed as a Sacred Cow, one of the standout titles of the SNES era, and it's rare to find even boxless used copies on eBay for less than $100. When the game was finally re-released on the Wii U Virtual Console, it quickly topped the Wii U's digital sale charts and formed a vibrant Miiverse community.
  • Believe it or not The Virtual Boy gets this to a certain degree. It's still seen as a massive failure and still the butt of many jokes, but the system does have a sizable cult fanbase. It helps that many people have seen that the system did have some good games to the point there is a sizable demand for the games to be released via the Virtual Console.
  • Fire Emblem is another example of a series vindicated through appearing in Super Smash Bros.. Prior to 2001, it had never seen anything resembling an international release (save for the shortlived OVA), and so was obscure, if not completely unheard of, outside of Japan. Then came Super Smash Bros. Melee, which featured Marth and Roy as hidden characters. The two characters clearly sparked an interest in American players, and is widely attributed as the reason why from the seventh game onward, Fire Emblem started seeing international releases... until New Mystery of the Emblem, anyway.
    • The Jeigan archetype got this. Initially, fans would dismiss characters like Jagen and Marcus as 'EXP thieves' and would never use them. When Metagame Tier Lists started placing more importance on overall contribution to the team and availability rather than growth rates, the archetype rose in different tier lists for each game whereas Magikarp Power characters took a hit. The contribution of the Crutch Character to Hard Mode playthroughs and Ranked runs proved to be invaluable and now they're often seen as the best characters in the games.
    • Sheeda from the remake of the first game is a major example of this trope in Fire Emblem fanbase. Sheeda used to be considered as a High tier character by reclassing as a mage, and the Top of the Tier List are dominated by the Magikarp Power Wolf and Sedgar. And then many realized the effectiveness of Forging combined with her Win Spear, and how effective she is when combined with the Warp Staff. Nowadays, Sheeda is widely considered the best character in the game alongside Rena.
  • Castlevania:
    • While it did get very positive reviews, the 2-D PlayStation game Castlevania: Symphony of the Night came out with initially low sales solely because it was 2-D when other series moved to 3-D. It was heavily overshadowed at the time of its release by massively-hyped games such as Golden Eye 1997 and Final Fantasy VII, which cost it many "game of the year" awards for 1997. It would later be placed above both of those games on many "greatest of all time" lists in the years after its release.
    • There's also Castlevania II Simons Quest. When the game first came out on the NES, it was rejected by the fans, because it got rid of the by-level gameplay of the original Castlevania. What they didn't realize until years later, was the innovative gameplay ideas the sequel had - such as side-scrolling gameplay exploration, multiple endings, password system, etc. It wouldn't be until over a decade later that Konami would bring the gameplay back with Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.
    • Castlevania: Circle of the Moon was underrated upon its release for an odd reason: it was a dark-toned game released on the original Game Boy Advance, which had no backlighting. Aside from those who modded their system, it wasn't until the GBASP and later handhelds were released that many players could truly begin to appreciate it for what it was.
    • Castlevania 64 and Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness got this in reverse: They were launched with ratings of 4.5 out of 5, but nowadays they are looked down on with scorn due to the Polygon Ceiling and the dread Camera Screw.
  • The Internet has been helping classic game consoles to get more recognition:
    • For years, the NES was the oldest system that is still remotely greatly remembered. Consoles such as Sega Master System and well any game console that came before the NES were fading away into obscurity. However, as the Internet became more and more accessible, there was a lot more information on older games. Some may say that retro gaming is still relatively niche but the Internet has definitely made learning about them a whole lot easier.
    • RPGs suffered from this more so. The genre was vastly less popular than it is today probably because the price tag for said games ranged from $70-90. Now, titles like Final Fantasy IV, Final Fantasy VI, and Chrono Trigger, to name a few, enjoy recognition as some of the finest games ever created.
    • Not to mention any number of games and game systems that were never released outside Japan. Back in the 90's, only the truly nerdy or anyone who had been to Japan knew that systems such as the Playdia, the Wonderswan, the FM Towns Marty, or the PC-FX even existed.
  • Street Fighter III and The King of Fighters '98 were both derided as being primitive and having "SNES graphics" when they were released, thanks to the Dreamcast being able to produce competent 3D graphics and fighting games being a genre on the verge of extinction. 10 years later, after being re-released on more mainstream systems, did they finally find an audience with both tournament-level players and more casual gamers looking for an alternative to brown, grimdark FPSes.
  • The tournament scene in general would save the once-forgotten fighting game genre. When Street Fighter III: Third Strike came out, the tournament players showed how deeply tactical the game was, resulting in epic EVO matches, like the famous Daigo comeback video. In fact, EVO tournaments themselves would become more popular and gamers' interest in Street Fighter and fighting games again would result in Street Fighter IV being made, which revived the dying fighting game genre.
  • Many gamers who purchased Final Fantasy Tactics when it was first released were disappointed with it (probably because it was so different from the popular Final Fantasy VII). However, over time, the FF:T fans convinced enough people to try it (or give it a second chance) that it gained a lot of popularity. It was notoriously difficult for most gamers to try it for a long, long time; its initial sales were so poor that it was discontinued soon after release, and thus, once people discovered it and it gained its reputation, used copies sold on eBay for upwards of $150 (USD) until it was re-issued as part of the "PlayStation Greatest Hits" line.
    • In fact, Penny Arcade did a comic about buying a copy of FFT five years after it was released.
    • When it was first released, Final Fantasy VIII developed the dubious honor of being the most base-breaking entry in the series. But with Final Fantasy VII developing Hype Backlash, Final Fantasy XIII being even more divisive, and Squall being featured in more titles, have earned VIII more fans and defenders.
    • Similarly, when Final Fantasy VI was first released, the RPG was still a niche genre, and while it was highly regarded within its niche, not very many people outside heard about it. When RPGs became more mainstream after the release of later FF titles, VI was rediscovered and surged in popularity. To this day, it's often considered one of the finest JRPGs ever made.
    • Final Fantasy X was widely despised by the majority of the fanbase when initially released. But even though it still has some very vocal haters, most fans have warmed up to it and consider it a great game, and now it's gotten an HD release for PS3 and PSVita.
  • The Sega Dreamcast was launched with much fanfare in 1999, but was soon overpowered by the much more successful PlayStation 2 in all areas. Its games were slammed in reviews for not being up to par with what the PS2 was churning out, and Sega's inability to attract third party developers (most notably EA) severely hampered the system (the fact you could pirate its games by just burning them onto a blank CD likely didn't help, either). It "died" in less than a year and a half after its debut and was seen as a failure during the rest of the sixth console generation. However, in recent years, opinions on the system have largely shifted to it being a great system that was ahead of its time. In particular, it is known for its string of arcade-perfect ports of shmups and fighting games, as well as its more solid and obscure titles are often on many top 10 lists. There exists a Homebrew community that still, to this day, makes and releases games for the system (be they from scratch or ports from the arcade).
    • Not even counting the near arcade perfect ports, the Dreamcast also marked one of the best outputs from Sega itself in terms of quality first party games in the form of new IPs. This console saw the rise of soon to be mainstays (even if only in cameos) like Jet Set Radio, Skies of Arcadia, Space Channel 5, Chu Chu Rocket, Shenmue, and a veritable slew of others. Although not necessarily failing now, Sega hasn't hit a string of home runs quite like that ever since then.
    • The NBA 2K series, which became one of their first third-party titles and became so massively popular it defeated EA Sports! That series is now owned by Take-Two Interactive, which bought Sega's Visual Concepts studio and turned it into 2K Games.
  • The Sega Saturn. It never really caught on (due to Executive Meddling and botched marketing in the U.S.), but word of mouth through the Internet captured the interest of hardcore gamers looking to indulge in its arcade perfect Shoot 'em Up and fighting game library (in some cases, like Twinkle Star Sprites and Street Fighter Alpha 3, the Saturn versions are considered superior to the Dreamcast versions). There were the exclusives like Panzer Dragoon Saga, Burning Rangers, and other notable titles that still can't be had on any other platform without emulation. As a result, it's seen as much less of a failure and more of a must-have for any hardcore gamer these days, especially those who like arcade games. The Japanese marketing campaign (which had a narrative arc featuring mascot Segata Sanshiro) was also discovered in North America years after the system died out, and was considered to be one of the most effective video game system campaigns of all time. When all the specs are put together, the Saturn may very well have been the greatest 2D graphics console of its time; alas, this was during a period when 3D graphics were being heavily pushed to the forefront — regardless as to how much better the Saturn performed in the prior category.
  • The Nintendo GameCube. It was in third place in the sixth generation (only a couple million units behind the original Xbox), with gamers deriding it as a "kiddie" console (granted, compared to the other consoles of its generation, it did look like a toy). It also suffered from few third-party exclusives, and divisive first party titles. However, several games have become Cult Classics, or have simply been revisited and given the accolades they deserve.
  • The Nintendo DS. The system's launch was anything but spectacular, with many critics deeming the system's dual screen design "gimmicky" and giving its initial lineup of games lukewarm reviews. The impending launch of Sony's technologically superior PSP, meanwhile, led many to pre-maturely predict that Nintendo's dominance in the handheld industry would come to an abrupt endnote . Over the course of 2005, however, tons of stellar titles (both first and third party) were released, and the DS defied all expectations by eventually becoming the best selling portable gaming system in history. Meanwhile, the PSP (despite initially being almost unanimously favored by critics) floundered in terms of sales and, while still having some good games, isn't considered as good of a system as the DS.
  • The 3DS. The system's initially dismal launch line-up (its first real Killer App, Super Mario 3D Land, was released more than six months after the console debuted), coupled with its use of only one thumb stick, caused quite a backlash among game critics and resulted in very disappointing early sales. The impending PSVita, which many critics predicted would trump the 3DS in terms of sales, certainly didn't help. Fortunately, a major price cut and slew of stellar titles during 2012 and (especially) 2013 significantly boosted sales and critical reputation, particularly with Mario Kart 7 and Pokémon X and Y. It's now become a bit of a critical darling, while the PSVita has been floundering in terms of both sales and critical performance. And, with the exception of Gravity Rush, Sony still hasn't exactly established something for the portable console that's a core franchise rather than a spin-off.
  • The SNES. When the system first launched, it received a rather lukewarm reception from critics and gamers alike, who felt its initial lineup offered little beyond what was already available on the original NES. For example, Super Mario World (which is itself an example of this trope) was initially perceived as a stale rehash of Super Mario Bros. 3. And, over the next three years (give or take), the system played second fiddle to the Sega Genesis in terms of popularity and media coverage in the US. Over time, however, it gradually gained mainstream recognition and popularity, thanks in no small part to such revolutionary games as Super Metroid and Star Fox. It is now considered to be one of the greatest gaming systems ever made.
  • I, Robot was considered too complicated for players when it came out in 1983 accompanied with hardware problems of arcade cabinets. However, retrospective reviews are very positive, praising its graphics and overall presentation with innovative gameplay.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • One of the main reasons why Super Mario World's popularity grew over time was because, in 1991, its level of depth was unheard of in a platformer, so most critics and gamers initially didn't know of its many secrets and easter eggs.
    • Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island was critically acclaimed upon release but largely overshadowed by the more hyped-up Donkey Kong Country 2. It's now considered to be one of the greatest games of the 16-bit era.
    • When it originally released, many gamers disliked Super Mario Sunshine due to the voice-acted cutscenes and gameplay that was based more around the use of a water jetpack instead of traditional jumping. Years later, Mario fans have come to embrace the title. It's still not the most popular Mario title around, but its reception is much better, with some even going so far as to considering it better than Super Mario 64.
    • Paper Mario 64, while critically acclaimed, had the bad luck of being near the end of a software generation, with people anticipating the Gamecube, and for not being Super Mario RPG, of which fans were waiting for a sequel since the previous generation. Its popularity didn't take off until well into the GameCube era, when used copies started popping up and people decided to try it with the lower price. It became a big enough success (audience-wise, though not sales until the Wii's Virtual Console) to be the first Mario RPG to get a sequel. Paper Mario also launched Nate Bihldorff from a freelance writer who barely got hired for anything to Nintendo's current primary localization writer, now well known enough that he was a host at Nintendo's booth at E3 2012. The Super Mario RPG fans have also since learned to accept it and put Paper Mario on equal standing with it.
    • Super Paper Mario caused a Broken Base due to using real-time battles and being quite a bit easier than the previous two games. It's mostly died down (especially with the release of Paper Mario: Sticker Star), with the game being viewed as different, but enjoyable, and especially appreciated for its storyline (quite uncommon for Mario).
    • Luigi's Mansion, when first released, was criticized by fans for not being a platformer, and for being very, very short, and was overall seen as a weak title for that reason alone. While people still criticize its shortness, which is not without reason or merit, it is more universally praised nowadays. It now has a sequel on the Nintendo 3DS, released in 2013.
    • The Nintendo DS Updated Re-release of Super Mario 64 was an interesting example. While the N64 version is almost universally considered a classic, the DS version got only decent scores, with a great deal of criticism directed towards the control scheme, and the fact that you begin the game as Yoshi and have to find Mario. The "thumb pad" and D-pad were viewed as terrible substitutes for the control stick, and the general consensus boiled down to "it would be an excellent port if the DS had a control stick". Flash-forward about 7 years later, and Nintendo 3DS owners found that Super Mario 64 DS was a far more enjoyable experience thanks to the 3DS's circle-pad, which helped replicate the N64's control stick in a much more intuitive and fun way. The control issues are likely why Nintendo waited until the 3DS was released to do a similar Updated Re-release of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
  • The Legend of Zelda series suffers from a perpetually Broken Base, making the application of this trope problematic due to the lack of clear consensus at any given time. That said:
    • There is an interesting phenomenon known as the "Zelda Cycle," in which any given game in the series will be met with They Changed It, Now It Sucks on release only to be (fully or only partially) Vindicated by History by the time the next major release comes around. For example, Majora's Mask was considered a poor or just average game (see below for more details). When Wind Waker was made, all of a sudden, Majora's Mask fans start crawling out of the woodwork, while Wind Waker, while beloved by critics, was hated by fans, had its fans chased out of boards.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker was near-universally derided before and shortly after release due to backlash against the new art style, two dungeons having been cut from the second half of the game in order to get it on shelves in a timely manner, and the sailing system, which many found tedious. However, that same art style's stylized nature has aged very well compared to the relatively realistic style and muted color palette of games like Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, and Twilight Princess, and nowadays the game is generally remembered as a niche favorite, critical darling, and overall a flawed but worthy entry in the series. Aonuma himself has even said that this reaction is the reason why The Wind Waker specifically was the entry they decided to re-release in HD on the Wii U.
    • Largely inverted, however, by The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, the Trope Namer for 8.8 for how up in arms its fans became when a magazine dared to give it a less-than-perfect score. The general consensus at the time was to praise it as a return to the series' OoT-era heyday. As time wore on, however, it became the target of a certain amount of Hype Backlash and nowadays is as much of base breaking as any other entry in the series. This does however seem to have worn off a bit since the release of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, bringing the fan reception to full circle.
    • On the NES, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link was rejected by the fans initially because of how the game looked and played completely different than The Legend of Zelda I. However, it wouldn't be until years later, that some gamers appreciated the game for its many innovative ideas. Still base breaking and the butt of many a joke, but this trope applies if only in relation to the near-universal hatred it received at the time.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask had the poor luck of being a follow-up to Ocarina of Time, one of the most critically beloved games of all time. Its reception was mostly lukewarm, with the chief complaints about the game being that it recycled graphics from its predecessor and its shortness, with a mere four dungeons, and for a long time it was mostly known as "the weird Zelda". A decade or so later and the fanbase for Majora's Mask has grown considerably, with many people loving the bleak, sinister atmosphere, the creative (if somewhat difficult) dungeon design, and the massive amount of sidequests. note  GameFAQs even voted Majora's Mask the greatest game of The Noughties!
    • Phantom Hourglass was heavily criticized for several aspects such as the Temple of the Ocean King, the touch controls and especially the way the overworld was structured. When it turns out that even this game has gotten a lot of retroactive praise (with some people even preferring the central temple over the said-to-be-better Tower of Spirits in Spirit Tracks), the Zelda Cycle is so obvious that denying it is overlooking a galaxy-sized elephant in the room.
    • In September 2013, Eiji Aonuma and Satoru Iwata expressed their awareness of this phenomenon.
  • System Shock 2 was the sequel to a moderately-successful cyberpunk First-Person Shooter (that unfairly received comparisons to the original Doom). The sequel, which had players step into the role of a hacker trying to stop a viral infection and insane AI on a now-deserted spaceship, was plagued with development problems. Although the game did receive several awards and some positive reviews, it failed to meet sales expectations and appeared to be an inferior Half-Life knockoff. Fast forward a decade later, and SS2 is regularly quoted on "best game of all time" and "scariest game of all time" lists, to the point of almost every major gaming website giving it accolades and the game itself creating a Spiritual Successor in the form of BioShock and Dead Space over the years. Both System Shock and its sequel have also continued to receive significant support from the fan community in the form of mods and graphic upgrades, moreso than most other older games.
  • Back in 1998, Mega Man Legends wasn't exactly the most loved iteration of the franchise. Its sales (at the very least, the sales of the sequel) did not satisfy Capcom, many veteran fans (who grew up with the classic and/or X series) were unsupportive of it for being a completely different kind of game and critical reception was average (ScrewAttack even included it in their "Top Ten Worst 2D to 3D Games" list). With time, though, its fanbase grew strong, especially since Keiji Inafune declared the Legends series to be his favorite part of the Mega Man series, and now finding anyone brave enough to admit disliking the series has become a daunting task.
  • When it was first released, Psychonauts didn't get a lot of notice, had horrible promotion, and consequently its sales were no great shakes. It's now near-universally recognized as one of the greats (getting the Colbert Bump from Yahtzee probably didn't hurt), with fans clamoring for a sequel.
  • Copy and paste the above entry, but replace Psychonauts with Beyond Good & Evil (unlike Psychonauts, Yahtzee never actually reviewed it, but he has said on multiple occasions that he liked it).
  • For some reason or another, Suikoden II is a very popular RPG that easily carries triple digit values for a used copy. Unfortunately, while the first game is released on PSN, the second has yet to be released. And possibly due to the obscurity of the series (an RPG made by Konami), they're really rare.
  • Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines tanked hard despite good reviews on release, to the point where the developer went out of business. The biggest blame is probably its release a day after Half-Life 2 in concert with a rushed, extremely buggy release. As time went on and word of mouth about it spread, the game became increasingly popular after the fact, particularly among RPG fans with fond memories of Deus Ex and bad memories of being let down by Deus Ex: Invisible War. Today, years after release, the game still receives unofficial patches and mods from the community, which have collectively rendered the complaints about bugs a moot point and restored large amounts of content that was Dummied Out.
  • When Shantae originally came out, most people thought it was one of the many shovelware games for the Game Boy Color due to its wide release with little promotion, gimmicky-looking and unorthodox protagonist (A cute Purple-Haired Genie Girl in an E-Rated game?), being released near the end of the GBC's lifespan, and that it came from a developer company no one had heard of (WayForward). People who DID buy it were pleasantly surprised, and character designer Matt Bozon is now a well-respected man. Copies of this game now sell for at least $100, far more with the manual and box.
  • MoonBase Commander suffered from being too far behind its time, and had little to no marketing when it first came out, leading to Humongous Entertainment's bankruptcy. However, once interest in Humongous' older games grew, many fans decided to give MoonBase Commander a second chance, and it's now been seen as a well-designed and simplistic strategy game. It's not the most popular game out there, but the fanbase is certainly much bigger than it was initially.
  • The first two Harvest Moon games. The original game was one of the last games to be released for SNES - way back in 1996 - and was overlooked (the "farming sim" premise didn't help). Nowadays the game is considered one of the best games on the console, and a Cult Classic. Harvest Moon 64 was originally overlooked in favor of the Playstation ''Harvest Moon: Back To Nature" but in recent years has become widely considered the best game in the franchise - and one of the best on the 64.
  • Late-life PS2 Beat 'em Up God Hand was met with poor sales and mixed reviews at the time of its release, but in the ensuing years, has developed a vocal and passionate online fanbase on account of its deep and challenging combat system, Crazy Awesome moves and general unrestrained wackiness.
  • Metal Gear Solid 2 seems to do better now that people have gotten over the fact you don't play as Snake for most of the game. The understanding of the themes and structure of the story gives the game a warmer reception than when it was first released. Another help that the game's Replacement Scrappy Raiden Took a Level in Badass and became more prominent in the franchise which make his role in this game more acceptable.
    • MGS2 is a rather odd example, in that the game was universally praised upon release, garnering 9's and 10's across most major gaming publications, and being one of the top 10 best-selling PS2 games (7 million copies sold). Hype Backlash started setting in around the time MGS2: Subsistence was released a year later, with Gamespy even ranking the game #2 on their 25 Most Overrated Games Of All Time list. Over time, however, the game regained most of its popularity (thanks in no small part to Metal Gear Solid 4's serviceable explanation of the game's weird ending) although it's still considered the weakest entry in the main series by most.
  • Kid Icarus. Back in its day, it got a lukewarm reception and was considered a poor man's Metroid. Nowdays, Kid Icarus is regarded as a Cult Classic due to its surprising difficulty and vibrant cast. The inclusion of Pit in Super Smash Bros. Brawl sparked a new interest in the Franchise which lead to Kid Icarus: Uprising being made. 21 years after the last game Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters (Which wasn't released in Japan).
  • When Square-Enix (Squaresoft at the time) announced they were making a side-scrolling shooter, fans didn't take them seriously. Back then, Square-Enix had a track record of making awesome RPG's but mediocre games in other genres. When Einhänder came out, majority of gamers didn't play it at first. However, years later, word-of-mouth spread about how really good the game was and soon a cult following happened. Today, Einhander is considered one of the greatest side-scrolling shooters ever made.
  • The Elder Scrolls: Arena missed its Christmas 1993 release date and was eventually released in March 1994, which was at the time one of the worst times of year to release a game. Distributors were concerned about its Contemptible Cover, leading to an initial distribution of less than 10,000 copies. Combine this with the initially poor reviews and the fact that the original, unpatched version of the game was nearly unfinishable due to game breaking bugs, and you've got a disaster of a release. However, the (patched) game's eventually gained a good reputation mainly through word-of-mouth, and sales continued through the months. Before long, it had gained a cult following. 18 years later, The Elder Scrolls series is one of the most popular WRPG series of all time.
  • When Asura's Wrath was initially released in early 2012, the game didn't sell well, and while the Japanese gaming press nearly unanimously praised the game, the critical response across the rest of the world was mixed at best. In spite of controversy concerning the DLC final part of the game, the game has gone on to become one of the most underrated games of the year, and has cult following to the point that it's considered to be one the the best games Capcom has ever made or published since the disbandment of Clover Studios, which is saying a lot.
  • For years Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire (along with Emerald) were seen as the Dork Age of the franchise, as it, by some counts, took out as many features as it added. It was constantly bashed both by long time fans and fans who came back into the franchise with Pokémon Diamond and Pearl. Within the last two or three years the games have been constantly praised, even garnering a hardcore fanbase, while Diamond and Pearl is now considered the lowest point of the franchise. When the remakes for 3DS were announced, reception was almost universally positive.
  • Pokémon Snap: Released for the Nintendo 64, Pokémon Snap saw limited popularity at its release for two reasons: it was short, and it wasn't like Pokémon Red and Blue. Fast forward about ten years later and suddenly people now want for a Pokémon Snap 2 to be licensed, especially since five generations and over five hundred Pokémon have come out since then. With the Wii U's release, demand couldn't be greater from people believing the controller would suit the game well.
  • When Um Jammer Lammy was initially released, it got lots of praise from critics, but with the general public, it didn't gather as much attention as its predecessor, PaRappa the Rapper, did. This was mostly due to bad American advertising that had nothing to do with the game, and because people were instead expecting the PaRappa 2 that was promised at the end of the first game. Years later, when PaRappa 2 finally did came out, and Lammy played a supporting role in it, the game received a huge increase in popularity and interest, and it's now considered one of the best games of the first Playstation. A lot of people agree that it's even better than the two PaRappa games.
  • Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts was exactly the kind of crazy, technically inventive game that Rare's fans had clamored for. However, the angry backlash against its change of style and low sales led to Microsoft cancelling sequels to Conker and Killer Instinct to restructuring Rare to focus solely on creating mini-game compilations for Kinect. Today the game is gaining a following for its excellent creation tools and standing apart in an era of grey-brown FPS games; and is now regarded as the last "traditional" Rare game from the company prior to its restructuring at the end of the decade. It's generally regarded as a good Rare game, but an awful Banjo-Kazooie game.
  • Technology Marches On causes this in general with PC games. Oftentimes, a game will be released but will have extremely high system requirements only achievable through current top-of-the-line equipment. As years pass on, the technology once considered expensive and power-hungry becomes the norm in low-end machines, and soon enough the game that was once complained about for being too resource heavy becomes looked back on as a fantastic game.
  • Vanquish had awful retail sales, because it was heavily Screwed by the Network: The game magically popped up on store shelves without any announcement or advertising, and it quickly fell under the radar. Then, in 2013, the game was released on Playstation Network's Games on Demand (and as a free download for Playstation Plus subscribers), and it has been far more successful on there.
  • Kirby's Dream Land 3 was one due to coming after the Tough Act to Follow Magnum Opus Kirby Super Star, and undoing many of the new mechanics from that game, such as multi-attack abilities, minigames, and a more elaborate Boss Rush. Instead, the slow-paced gameplay and Animal Friends from Kirby's Dream Land 2 made a comeback. This was because the games were made by different development teams. It also was overshadowed by the release of the Main/Nintendo64, and the "coloring book" art style. Now, it's seen as much of a classic as that game, especially due to it improving the Kirby series' Minimalist Cast with Gooey and the Animal Friends, being surprisingly Darker and Edgier to most games in the series.
    • Similarly, Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards was disliked for many of the same reasons. Now, it's enjoyed for giving Kirby an Implied Love Interest, and, once again, being Surprise Creepy. However, the Kirby series switched back to Super Star-style after that due to the initial poor reception of these two games. Many fans are eager to see another game like them.
  • Killer7. Sales were very poor, advertising was non-existant, and critical opinion was quite mixed. But over the years, due to positive word-of-mouth from the very few that had played it, and SUDA51's further works becoming more well-known, the game has experienced a huge surge in popularity, and now it's one of the most sought-after games on the Gamecube.
  • The PlayStation 3 had a very rocky start at the very beginning. It was notoriously difficult to design for, which turned a lot of developers away, leading to an initial lack of third-party support and spawning the meme, "The PS3 has no games". It wasn't until 2008 when hits such as Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots and LittleBigPlanet were released that more people started to take notice. Nowadays, it is looked upon far more favorably.
  • When Super Smash Bros. Brawl was released in 2008, the consensus was almost overwhelmingly negative towards the Subspace Emissary mode, especially the cutscenes. When it was announced in 2013 that Smash Bros 4 will not have cutscenes, suddenly fans of the Subspace Emissary mode started crawling out of the woodwork. In 2008, you would not find people defending it.
  • Doom 64, a Nintendo 64 update to the Doom series, had the unfortunate luck of being released when first person shooters were moving away from the classic "shoot everything that moves while flipping the occasional switch" style of gameplay in favor of the more sophisticated play mechanics seen in games like Turok and the soon-to-be-released GoldenEye. On top of this was the change of name from The Absolution leading people to believe it was yet another straight-up port of the original. Thus, the game was written off as "derivative" and "behind the times" by most (a matter not helped by the fact that you still couldn't jump, crouch or look around). Fortunately, thanks in no small part to a 2002-released Doom 2 total conversion mod called Doom 64: Absolution (which was later superseded by Doom 64 Ex), the game has gained a second wind and is now seen as one of the best games in the whole franchise (including user-made WADs).
  • The NES and Sega Master System are starting to get more popular in the UK. Earlier in their lifespan, they were dropped in favor of microcomputers (like the Commodore 64 and Sinclair ZX Spectrum) because many of them thought they had primitive graphics compared to microcomputers. As the internet started to become more and more available, many people in the UK realised that the assumption that their microcomputers had better graphics was wrong and now the NES and Sega Master System are more popular.
  • The Blinx series was heavily disliked by both gamers and critics back when it was first released due to the slippery controls (which were mostly fixed in the second game), the first game being too hard, and the second one being too easy. Nowadays however, the games are looked back more fondly upon by gamers, and are somewhat of a Cult Classic.
  • Fallout: New Vegas initially received mixed reviews, thanks to Bethesda rushing the game to release in an unfinished state. Reviews criticized the game for its numerous bugs and for using the same engine as Fallout 3. To this day, New Vegas is now heavily praised for its open-ended choices, its Grey and Gray Morality, and its excellent writing. Many RPG fans consider it one of the best modern role playing game of the last ten years.
  • The western releases of the King's Field series garnered mediocre sales and a decent, but not great critical reception in great part due to their unimpressive graphics and high difficulty level. The release of Demons Souls and Dark Souls by the same developer (with the director of both games citing King's Field as a key inspiration) has lead to a notable resurgence of interest in the series.
  • Games in the Sonic the Hedgehog series have a tendency to gain a lot more respect about 8 to 10 years after they come out. Games bashed by reviewers and Sonic fans alike, such as Sonic Adventure, Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic Heroes, Sonic and the Secret Rings, Sonic and the Black Knight, and Shadow the Hedgehog have since had more vocal defenders who compare them favorably against any newer Sonic game that comes out. These are largely people who grew up on or were otherwise first exposed to Sonic through these games and thus think fondly of them, even with their shortcomings. They became particularly vocal from 2008 and onwards, as games made since then have a more comical tone to them, who want Sonic back on a Darker and Edgier path. People who defend even Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), near universally hated upon its release, are now not hard to find. That being said, most of these Sonic games are still bashed by a lot of people, but they no longer hold anything close to a consensus.
  • The original Quake. While the game was almost unanimously praised for its then-amazing polygonal graphics upon releasenote , a lot of reviewers complained about its gameplay being redundant and too similar to Dooms 1 and 2. For the next year or so, Quake was the poster child for a game getting a massive amount of prerelease hype but failing to live up to it.

    This started to change when QuakeWorld was launched in late-1996. QuakeWorld was revolutionary in that, thanks to John Carmack's programming wizardry, players with dial-up modems could play the game's deathmatch mode online without worrying too much about lag or server problems. A month later, GLQuake was released, making Quake one of the first games to use hardware accelerated graphics. Throughout 1997, numerous multiplayer mods were released, including the now-seminal Team Fortress. Today, thanks to its excellent post-release support, Quake is regarded as one of the most innovative and influential first person shooters ever made, which is particularly ironic when you realize that the main complaint critics had when the game was released was its lack of innovation.
  • Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness was blasted by fans and critics alike for adding RPG elements (determines whether or not Lara can move certain objects or can jump great lengths), having a secondary playable male protagonist, and massive amounts of glitches. Over time, fans of the franchise began to warm up to the game and appreciated the darker storyline, the characters, and the dialogue system that lets you decide on how to respond to certain characters.
  • Take a look at any game you played when you were younger and thought how stupid it was or how difficult it was to play. Most people who decide to give a game they didn't like a second chance start to see how the good the game was back then.
  • The Legend of Zelda CDi Games were used as YouTube Poop material for years due to the laughly bad voice acting, the Uncanny Valley of the cut scenes, and the bad controls. As time passed, people have eased up on the games; while people still view the games as bad overall, they saw the potential the gameplay had and noted that having animated cutscenes and voice acting for a video game console released in the early 1990s was pretty impressive at the time. Some people also believe that the Zelda CD-i games could have been great if more time was spent to polish up the games.
  • To this day, Command & Conquer: Generals keeps getting played by people world-wide, because of its gameplay which differs a lot from other Command & Conquer titles. Said gameplay and the conenctions to the War On Terror originally got the game a lot of strong negative criticism. The fact is has many popular Game Mods helps a lot.
  • Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney followed similar game mechanics to the previous Ace Attorney games (cross examinations in the courtroom, investigations in various areas, etc.), but it starred Apollo Justice as the main character while Phoenix Wright, the main character from the last three games, was punted off as a hobo that had his license to practice law revoked due to forged evidence. People and critics alike panned the game just because Apollo and the rest of the cast replaced Phoenix Wright and his crew. However, years later, people gave the game another chance and have seen just how deep the background of Apollo and his sidekick Trucy go, and Apollo makes a comeback as a playable character in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies .
  • The Nintendo Wii is becoming this among professional critics and hardcore gamers, now that the Nostalgia Filter is setting in, and many are discovering some overlooked-at-the-time gems in the system's game library that are themselves in the verge of becoming Vindicated by History. It is also now recognized as the system that in many ways helped video games break out of the video game age ghetto by appealing to people of all ages without relying too heavily on the Rated M for Money trope.
TheatreVindicated by History    

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