What canceled game do you wish you could have played?

digitally rendered Norman Reedus looking over shoulder
(Image credit: Konami)

A little while ago I wrote about Troika Games' canceled post-apocalyptic RPG prototype, a cool-as-hell spiritual successor to Fallout from some of the best who ever did it. That article (and Chris' helpful suggestion) had me wanting to hear about the PCG community's Lost Lenores.

Could be a ghost of a concept that just wasn't meant to be, like Troika Games' pitch for Arcanum 2: Journey to the Centre of Arcanum, or something more substantial, like Troika Games' demo for a Lord of the Rings CRPG. Could even be something not by Troika Games, but I'm not sure I'd recommend it.

What canceled game do you wish you could have played? Here's our answers, as well as a few from our forum.

Robin Valentine, Senior Editor: There's a whole bunch of cancelled Star Wars games I would've loved to play. Especially tragic are the ones that got canned basically just for being in the wrong place at the wrong time when Disney bought the franchise. 

Everyone knows 1313, LucasArts' answer to Uncharted, but the one I still think of ruefully is Battle of the Sith Lords. It was supposed to be an action game starring Darth Maul, with footage showing him gleefully lopping off the heads of a bunch of Mandalorians. 

According to GameInformer, there really wasn't much more there beyond that idea - they hadn't even figured out what the story was - but really, what more do you need than a double-bladed lightsaber and a load of mooks to use it on? And man, the concept art is amazing - Maul and his brother in kickass Sith armour, Maul chucking people into the Sarlacc pit, Maul totally pulling off a shoulder cape accessory, etc. We missed out on gold with this one. 

(Image credit: Disney, GameInformer)

Harvey Randall, Staff Writer: Anyone else remember Gigantic? I sure do. Action-heavy moba style games feel like they've been cursed by an angry and spiteful god, what with the fall of games like Battlerite (which I've written about before), Paragon, Monday Night Combat... the one I always wish I'd played however was Gigantic. 

It still looks gorgeous, with fighting-game tier combat mix-ups I still hear its fanbase praising to this day, and I never got my hands on it. For some reason, the client just didn't work on my clunker of a machine back in 2017, so I decided I'd give it a whirl when I got an upgrade. It shut down in like a year. The need for better game preservation gets thrown into really stark contrast when you can figuratively blink and miss a MOBA that most active players seemed to jive with. Rest easy, Gigantic, I hardly knew ye.

(Image credit: Motiga)

Katie Wickens, Hardware Writer: Does Polybius count as a cancelled game? This dark, mysterious, vaguely conspiratorial arcade game may or may not have ever existed at all. It's believed by some to have been a sick CIA experiment, having appeared in arcades for around a single month at the peak of the hobby, before disappearing without a trace—no boards or game roms have surfaced, but there are those who claim to hold them.

As for gameplay, Polybius was reportedly a kind of fast paced series of puzzles that, while addictive, had a tendency to cause "sickness, amnesia, night terrors, and behavioural changes." Okay, I take it back. That one can stay locked in the ether.

Joshua Wolens, News Writer: For me it's gotta be Rhapsody, the idea that Hangar 13 came up with after the studio put Mafia 3 (which, despite everything, I really liked) to bed. It was going to be an '80s thriller where you played a Jewish Russian spy as he got up to subterfuge and espionage in the waning days of the Cold War. 

(Image credit: 2K)

You'd be passing back and forth between East and West Berlin all the time, your inventory restricted to whatever you could smuggle through Checkpoint Charlie. There'd be gadgets, politics, vengeance, and—you'd hope—a lot of lessons learned from the successes and failures of Mafia 3. It sounded like someone sat down and decided to make a game just for me, basically.

It eventually got transmuted into a, uh, superhero game? Where you fought villains with the power of music? Before it just kind of disintegrated as a project. I hope some dev out there is still carrying a torch for it, though. The world needs more taut spy thriller videogames and I need more opportunities to pretend to be Stierlitz.

Mollie Taylor, Features Producer: Back when I was a full-time console gamer, the first game I ever played when I got an Xbox 360 was Kameo: Elements of Power. It's one of my favourite Rare games where you play as a badass fairy who can transform into all sorts of different monsters, like a blue yeti who can climb ice walls and a boxing venus fly trap. 

(Image credit: Microsoft)

That game already had its fair share of development woes, and its never-announced sequel was no different. Disappointing sales of the first game and a shift in focus to the Kinect meant that all we ever got from a Kameo 2 was a tiny bit of concept art. I'm not sure if you can technically cancel a game that was never known to the public until it was gone, but I'm still sad about it to this day. Kameo had so much potential, and I would've absolutely loved to have seen where a sequel could have taken the series.

From our forum

Brian Boru: Oh Command and Conquer Generals 2 is my #1 for sure. Generals Zero Hour was such a fantastic game, my fav of all the C&C games—yes, even above the legendary RA2!

Mind you, my vote is only for a successor to 1-ZH—the monetization shenanigans they were talking about, after shelving the successor idea, was EA at its worst a decade ago.

Zloth: A second Prey game. The first one was great fun, and the baddies were interesting aliens. Unfortunately, Arkane has gone a different direction, and many of the folks central to making Prey have been scattered around the gamedom.

(Image credit: Bethesda)

A real Crysis 2. The one that got made dumped almost all the first game's story and re-did the technology so the consoles could run the game. I wish we could have a proper Crysis 2 that continued the story from the first game (and its DLC).

It already looks unlikely that we'll get a second Midnight Suns game, despite in-game indications. That's a shame - I'm really having fun with that game.

Hmmm, Ted's is a 2, Brian's is a 2, all three of mine are 2's...

Pifanjr: As a fan of action-stealth games, I really liked the idea of Starcraft: Ghost. Getting some more Starcraft lore would be a nice bonus as well.

Kaamos_Llama: Someone has to say it, Half Life 3 (or even HL2 episode 3)

As that ones pretty much a gimme, probably Baldurs Gate 3 as it was originally intended. Larians BG 3 looks like its going to be great, but I would have played the hell out of that game 20 years ago or whatever it was.

Interesting fact, Arkane didnt want to call the 2017 game Prey, Bethesda Zenimax management basically forced it on them because they owned the IP and wanted to use it.

(Image credit: Blizzard)

McStabStab: As a fan of horror and Kojima games, I wonder what Silent Hills could have been. PT made its mark in video game history. Hopefully the upcoming reboot as well as Silent Hill f will live up to the hype.

Smellincoffee: SimVille. Around the time that SimCity 3000 and The Sims were such great successes, Maxis was working on a game between those two scales -- one where the player managed a neighborhood, essentially. No choosing between different power plants, no "Bob unplug the toilet", but something in-between. 

Part of the appeal was the shared universe: at the time, Maxis was allowing for crosspollination between its games, so that Sims from TS1 could be imported into SimCity 4, and SimCity 4 maps could be used to create TS2 neighborhoods, etc.

Associate Editor

Ted has been thinking about PC games and bothering anyone who would listen with his thoughts on them ever since he booted up his sister's copy of Neverwinter Nights on the family computer. He is obsessed with all things CRPG and CRPG-adjacent, but has also covered esports, modding, and rare game collecting. When he's not playing or writing about games, you can find Ted lifting weights on his back porch.