These 4 Underrated Video Game Devs Deserve More Praise Than They Get

Some of the best underrated developers with games often overlooked.

Story Highlights

  • Nihon Falcom is a highly underrated Japanese gaming studio with compelling titles like the Ys and Trails series.
  • For horror fanatics, Chilla’s art has some underrated gems, including parasocial and the closing shift.
  • Supergiant Games also has phenomenal titles, like the Pyre, for indie enthusiasts.

In the realm of gaming, some AAA game developers, including Naughty Dog, Bethesda, and Nintendo, get all the recognition and profit that they undoubtedly deserve. However, in this process, many exceptional gaming studios are often overlooked, and even with outstanding games, they fail to get the recognition they truly deserve from the gaming community.

Nihon Falcom’s Turn-Based Titles Deserve More Love

Founded in 1981, this Japanese video game development studio is one of the oldest in the gaming industry, with a lot of action RPGs and JRPGs under its belt. It would be safe to say that they deliver quality similar to ATLUS titles but are more narrative-driven. This might also be the reason Nihon Falcom is not well known in the West, where gamers prefer heavy combat over subtle yet impactful dialogue.

Trails Of Cold Steel IV
The stellar environment in Trails Of Cold Steel IV | Source: Steam

The Ys series from this studio are absolutely phenomenal. While I haven’t tried much of their games, playing the Legend Of Heroes: Trails Of Cold Steel IV made me a fan of the Trails series. Another game by Nihon Falcom that you should definitely give a try is Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana.

This addictive RPG has engaging combat and a very interesting storyline to keep you hooked. The best part about it is that you can play it on your phone well. I would recommend playing The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie, which, despite its aged visuals, has rich storytelling.

What went wrong that Ys never became a well known series?
byu/Swings_Subliminals inJRPG

If you are someone who enjoys narrative-heavy RPGs with sentimental value to them, then the Ys series, especially the Ys: Origins from this studio, is worth trying out.

Chilla’s Art Has Mastered The Retro-Horror Vibe

If you’re a retro Japanese horror game fanatic like me, this studio has titles that can and will satisfy your horror cravings. My obsession with Chilla’s art started with Jacksepticeye’s playthrough of the Closing Shift. Since then, I have played almost all of the titles by Chillas Art, and each time, I was impressed with the plot and the haunting scares.

The subtle horror and the amazing story are highly applaudable, making it one of the best-underrated developers for me.

Blurry but terrifying visuals in Okaeri | Source: Steam

Comparing it with a puppet combo (which is also another great studio, by the way), Chilla’s art focuses more on building suspense instead of loud and in-your-face jump scares. If you are planning to try out their titles, I recommend Okaeri, Parasocial, The Closing Shift, Night Security, and the Bath House.

The unsettling yet calm and eerily beautiful atmosphere in these games will make you a fan of the Japanese retro horror genre.

Arkane Studios Barely Gets Recognition For Its Artistic Masterpieces

The creators of Dishonored 1, Dishonored 2, and Prey, Arkane, simply do not get the recognition that they deserve. While Dishonored and Dishonored 2 did fairly well, Prey unfortunately did not. Not only did it fail in the sales department, but it also did not get much recognition from the gaming community despite its outstanding gameplay.

Deathloop’s amazing gunplay | Source: Steam

The old titles by this studio, including Arx Fatalis and The Dark Messiah Of Might And Magic, are highly remarkable as well. Additionally, the most recent titles from Arkane Deathloop and Redfall are fairly engaging. Despite the mixed reviews these titles have, Deathloop seems to be doing quite well, thanks to its epic combat with a unique time loop mechanic, which makes it a lot more interesting.

Supergiant Games’ Titles Like Pyre Deserve More Spotlight

Supergiant Games is one of the best-underrated developers that produce titles that are often overlooked by gamers. Best known for being the creators of Transistor, Hades, and Bastion, this studio has several other phenomenal titles under its belt as well, with unique gameplay, narrative, and amazing music scores.

The stunning graphics and art style of Pyre | Source: Steam

When it comes to Supergiant games, each of their title is better than the last one, and the best thing about them is each of these titles is completely different from the other as the studio keeps experimenting with various genres. Personally, I feel like their title, Pyre, is criminally underrated.

This incredible masterpiece is a fantasy sports visual novel with one of the most sublime music scores I have ever witnessed. From the art direction to the combat, Pyre is rich in atmosphere, lore, and amazing characters. I highly recommend trying out both my favorites, Pyre and Hades, as well as their other titles.

Supergiant Games’ Pyre is an underrated masterpiece
byu/DarkLordSchnappi inCharacterRant

There are many other studios as well with worthy titles that often fly under the radar. Unfortunately, the work of these unsung heroes often gets overshadowed by major developers, taking away their well-deserved spotlight. If only they had gotten a chance, I feel their titles would have made hefty profits and would have left AAA games behind with their craft and dedication. Hopefully one day they will get all the credit they deserve. 

Did you find this helpful? Leave feedback below.

Thanks! Do share your feedback with us. ⚡

How can we make this post better? Your help would be appreciated. ✍

Subscribe to our newsletter and get up-to-speed gaming updates delivered to your inbox.

We don’t spam! Read more in our privacy policy.

Kashaf is an RPG and Battle Royale enthusiast and can be seen spending most of her time battling other players in Naraka Bladepoint or improving her skills in Diablo 4. She loves to curate builds based on her own expertise and writes guides to help the audience become pros in no time. She kicked off her writing career on eXputer with several years of experience. You can follow Kashaf's gaming activity on her Steam profile.

Experience: 3+ Years || Education: Bachelors in Journalism.

Related Articles

Join Our Community

Enjoyed this article? Discuss the latest gaming news, get expert help with guides and errors, and chat about all things gaming on eXputer Forums and Discord Server. Connect with fellow gamers who share your passion by becoming a part of eXputer's community.