It's been estimated that roughly half of the video games ever released on the market can no longer be downloaded or purchased. Whether this is exactly correct is not the point. Rather, we think that either way, the video game industry, as a whole, has done a terrible job at preserving video games and making older titles available to play for future generations.
Mind you, we're not just talking about obscure titles that only a few people ever bothered to play and buy.
Below, you'll find a list of games that you can play only if you were lucky enough to get yourself a copy before they fell out of the market, or have features that are no longer accessible to everyone because the developers have shut down support.
So, without further ado, let's get started with our list of the best games that you can't play anymore.
P.T's inclusion on our list feels like a cop-out but we're including it anyway.
Back in 2014, Konami released P.T, which was a demo for Silent Hills. The name literally stands for Playable Teaser. It introduced players to the now-iconic never-ending L-shaped hallway that has players going back to the beginning after reaching the end. However, what really made the hallway special was that it changed all the time. This was capped off with the occasional appearance of a murderous ghost.
So effective was P.T at terrifying players that, to this day, the demo remains the talk of the proverbial town. In fact, PS4s that contained a copy of P.T are often sold at a premium.
Unfortunately, we may never get a chance to see what kind of Silent Hills game P.T could have amounted to after Konami let go of Hideo Kojima.
Way before Deadpool gained mainstream popularity due to Ryan Reynold's masterful portrayal of the wisecracking and fourth-wall-breaking mercenary, a Deadpool game was released way back in 2013. Unfortunately, it wasn't particularly good. It wasn't bad either. Instead, it was just a plain old generic action game that had little replay value. Although we'd have to admit, the game did nail the titular character's dark humor with its brilliant gags and creative writing.
After seeing the game's so-so sales and critical reception in 2013, Activision decided to pull the game off the market just six months after its initial launch. Then, in late 2015, Activision brought the game back again to take advantage of the hype generated by 2016's Deadpool movie, only to take the game off of digital storefronts in late 2017.
So, all in all, Deadpool was available to purchase only for almost three years with Activision all but removing the possibility of the game ever seeing a sequel now that it's been delisted for nearly four years already.
City of Heroes
City of Heroes had the potential to become one of the best superhero games of all time if it already wasn't. The 2004 MMORPG was a true product of its time, borrowing numerous elements from MMORPGs that were released back then. The only difference? It let players create their own superhero and team up with friends, effectively allowing them to produce their own versions of the Avengers or the Justice League.
Years later, City of Heroes' popularity would grow so much that the developers added a City of Villains update that let players create their own bad guys.
Unfortunately, after playing host to nearly a decade of superhero antics online, Paragon Studios shut down City of Heroes' online servers in late 2012 as part of its termination.
It's crazy to think that there was a time when Insomniac Games wasn't synonymous with Spider-Man video games.
Back in the 2000s, multiple studios tried their hands at bringing the webhead to video game platforms of the time. However, one of the few that succeeded was Treyarch, who developed the PlayStation 2 version of Spider-Man 2, which is loosely based on the plot of the film bearing the same name that released in the same year.
But, since the Spider-Man 2 movie only had one villain in Doctor Octopus, its PS2 video game version added in the likes of Rhino and Mysterio, among others, for good measure.
The actual story of Spider-Man 2 is actually fairly short. Yet, surprisingly enough, the game offered far more in terms of gameplay. It was like Grand Theft Auto with Spider-Man as its protagonist instead of San Andreas' Carl Johnson, albeit a little less grand in scale, violence, and mayhem.
Either way, it would have been nice to play the PS2 version of 2004's Spider-Man 2 if only to see how far we've come. Unfortunately, just like every game on this list, it's no longer available for purchase.
Silent Hill 2
Playing Silent Hill 2 today feels like going back in time. On one hand, the graphics definitely haven't aged well. On the other hand, the narrative experience is priceless. A follow-up to 1999's original Silent Hill game, Silent Hill 2 upped the terror, dread, and horror of the first game. It took players to a trip that few games have yet to equal let alone surpass since.
Just a fair warning though, there's no easy way to replay the game today. Konami no longer has the original source code of Silent Hill 2. This means that no remasters are coming unless they plan on remaking the game from scratch.
Your best bet at playing Silent Hill 2 today is to track down a physical copy for the PlayStation 2 or Xbox. The PC port isn't available either nor do we recommend it, as it's full of bugs. Meanwhile, the remasters for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 change so much about Silent Hill 2 that it's not worth playing.
The Simpsons Arcade Game
It certainly seems like Konami has a knack for completely forgetting games that once defined not just their library, but an entire generation.
Another example of a Konami game that's no longer available for purchase or play in 2021 is The Simpsons Arcade Game, which originally released way back in 1991. Although the game was later ported over to Xbox Live (Xbox 360) and PSN (PS3) back in 2012, this version was then removed and hasn't been seen anywhere since.
Apparently, Konami only had temporary rights to The Simpsons franchise, which led to the removal. Still, it doesn't make it sting any less. After all, you'd think that a game based on the most popular animated series of all time, one that is still going, would remain available.
Just as bad movies based on video games are, so often are video games based on other media.
A good example of this is the Transformers video games, the majority of which are half-assed efforts to translate what should have been an easy cash cow. Thankfully, Platinum Games, the same people behind the Bayonetta franchise, did take their chance to develop a Transformers game seriously and the result was a surprisingly fun action game that did everyone's favorite robots in disguise justice.
Unfortunately, while Transformers Devastation was a game that sold well and received high praise from critics, Activision saw no reason to renew its licensing deal with Hasbro. As a result, Transformers Devastation, along with Activision's other Transformers games, was removed from all digital storefronts in December 2017.
Valkyria Chronicles 2 and 3
2008's Valkyria Chronicles for the PlayStation 3 is a cult classic that eventually saw a PlayStation 4 re-release. Unfortunately, its two sequels, Valkyria Chronicles 2 and 3, were exclusive to the PlayStation Portable, with the latter not being made available to the west. As a result, there'll be no way to get your hands on Valkyria Chronicles 2. At least, digitally, once the PSP storefront of the PlayStation Network closes down permanently.