With all the bad games that make it to publication, it's a real shame that that there are so many great ideas that get scrapped mid-development. These were real original titles with selling potential that could have ended up being genre-defining classics, but we'll never get to play them. Let's mourn these brilliant, forgotten souls with a minute of respectful silence and/or reading.

 

1. THQ's The Avengers

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It's pretty insane that - despite the unparalleled massive success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe - there really haven't been any great games made from the titles. Hell, in the time since MCU first took off, the best Marvel game that's come out has been made by LEGO - and that's not even an official tie-in to the movies.

Nope - despite the incredibly-great-for-videogames premise of "a bunch of superheroes fighting together", every Avengers thing so far has been mobile or Free-to-Play. But that wasn't always the case - back in 2011, THQ (RIP) was working on a first person multiplayer co-op brawler game based around The Avengers...in other words, it was basically Left 4 Dead with the Hulk.

Sadly, the years-long implosion of THQ brought down the Brisbane studio working on the game prior to the full closing of THQ, and this damn neat Avengers game was lost along with it.

 

2. Dirty Harry (PS3/X360)

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Dirty Harry had a rough stat in gaming. His debut in the medium was a terrible NES game, in which the developers somehow prioritized sewer levels over badly compressed .wav files of Clint Eastwood asking people if they feel lucky. But all that was supposed to change in 2007, when Warner Bros. Interactive -- as in, the company that brought you Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and the Batman Arkham -- was set to release a game based on everyone's favorite human magnum holster. 

It sounds like a random movie to get a game translation, but remember, the time period had seen successful  movie games like The Godfather and Scarface. Toss in the fact that there are surprisingly few open-world games starring loose cannon cops that still get results, and Dirty Harry was sounding better and better.

Clint Eastwood was even reportedly on board to voice the title character, which would've been absolutely crucial and undoubtedly hilarious. Imagine that gravelly codger growling video game-ass lines like "I should press the X button to reload" or "Leveling up makes my day." 

Alas, the game was never meant to be. Here's hoping WB accepts my pitch on a new co-op platformer, "Any Which Way But Loose."

 

3. Donkey Kong Racing (GameCube)

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Presented as a tech demo in 2001 showcasing the Gamecube's hardware, Donkey Kong Racing would have been the natural sequel to the Nintendo 64's Diddy Kong Racing. The hook here being that, instead of vehicles, the racing would take place on the various animal mounts featured in Donkey Kong Country games. Finally, we'd see who would win in a rhino race: Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, or uh, that huge elephant genie thing.

 

Despite finding success in his bongo career on the GameCube, DK's racer was cancelled and he was doomed to remain a bit player in the Mario Kart series. The general concept of Donkey Kong Racing was picked up again for the Wii's Donkey Kong: Barrel Blast, but by then storied developer Rare was long gone and the game just didn't have that magic. I'm sure ditching Nintendo to make Grabbed by the Ghoulies was worth it.