"Most underrated" is difficult in the context of arcade games because I think it is heavily dependent on release timing. In the early- to mid-80s when arcades reigned supreme, that is when a lot of the trailblazing "household name" games came out. In the later 80s and into the 90s there was just a lot of rehashing the same general ideas only with better graphics, which severely diluted the pool and made it much more difficult for even an extremely well-executed game to earn a lasting "classic" status like Pac-Man et al.
For that reason, to me at least, the tag of "underrated" has a lot more meaning for games that were:
- contemporaries of the more iconic A-list classics (i.e., golden age)
- excellent games
- For whatever reason, never really managed to win (or sustain) much mindshare
By those criteria, top of the list is Bosconian, IMO.
Honorable mentions: Zoo Keeper, Juno First, Lady Bug, Jungler, Black Widow
Don't get me wrong, there are a LOT of excellent arcade games that came out in the 90s. Strikers 1945 comes to mind immediately; an incredible shooter that only ever seems to have name recognition with a niche audience. But calling it "underrated" rings kind of hollow to me. It's not surprising that Strikers 1945 is not a household name because by the time that game came out, arcade games pretty much were a niche thing, having taken a backseat to home console games.
Edited by Cynicaster, Wed Jan 2, 2019 11:45 AM.