10 Video Game Franchises That Need to Be Revived
Sometimes game franchises are like the tides of the ocean, there one minute before eventually hiding away never to be heard of ever again. For the following franchises it’s a shame, with each having the potential to live again for old fans alike as well as new generations especially in the modern world of genre comebacks and indie developers. Here’s our list of the top 10 video game franchises that need to be revived sharpish, make it happen gaming gods!
Underappreciated, original and downright hilarious, the Timesplitters franchise fully embodied it’s early 2000’s style and aesthetic to be the less serious choice for those who wanted something a little more fun instead of the much grittier Call of Duty franchise or much more serious Halo series. Placing you in the role of time-hopping bad ass Cortez, Timesplitters tasked you to save the world by journeying through time albeit in quite a campy fashion.
Since Timesplitters’ third instalment Future Perfect was released in 2005 the series has remained dormant despite having an original tone, interesting characters and some mind-blowing plot twists. This may be partially due to the fact that developers Free Radical had been absorbed by the now defunct Crytek UK, and although early promotion conveyed plans for a fourth entry nothing has yet to surface.
Although being treated with some love in the near future with a few PSOne remasters, the Crash Bandicoot series has stayed trapped in limbo ever since publisher Activision essentially killed it with a few bland and uninspired entries in the late 2000’s. Crash Bandicoot was an icon for PlayStation during the video game mascot wars in the 90’s and is just begging to be given a revival.
Whilst looking back some may see the gameplay as being quite shallow, simply requiring you to run towards or away from the screen as fast as possible, Crash Bandicoot is ready and primed to be reinvented during this 3D platformer revival we are currently experiencing. Games such as Ratchet & Clank and the upcoming Yooka-Laylee have proved that an audience still exists, so let us her Aku-Aku’s “Rutabaga” one more time!
The original top-down toy car racer, Micro Machines first appeared on the NES before spreading to almost every platform imaginable thanks in part to it’s addictive and tight racing style that was like nothing that came before it. Although multiple games in the Micro Machines series have been re-released and remade a few times, we haven’t seen a new Micro Machines game since 2006 – No I’m not counting this year’s IOS version (see video above), shame on you!
Micro Machines was so original and iconic because it made even the most boring of household settings such as kitchen tables and desktops into exciting courses that kept us on the edge whilst racing friends on the couch. Publisher Codemasters is still in business, so let’s hope we something new soon.
Why do you continue to taunt us Nintendo? Metroid Fans have been craving a true, side-scrolling Metroid game since the release of Zero Mission in 2004 – That’s over 12 years! Being somewhat eclipsed by the equally as impressive Prime spin-off series, Metroid was originally known for its mysterious exploration, back-tracking and compelling sense of discovery and it’s these gameplay elements that we most want to see revived.
Thankfully the commonly dubbed Castlevania genre is undergoing a bit of a renaissance at the moment with games such as Guacamelee and Axiom Verge helping to scratch this itch, yet it’s more than time for the original franchise to return and once again enthral us all with its world.
A charming and playful 3D platformer from one of the 90’s most prestigious game developers, Banjo-Kazooie took the template set by Mario 64 and ran with it, introducing an impressive draw distance and solid frame rate which further helped to immerse you in its world. At the time it seemed like Banjo-Kazooie’s world was endless, and at the time was a technical achievement.
Not seeing a true new entry since the 2000 sequel Banjo-Tooie, fans look set to have their appetites’ fulfilled with successor Yooka-Laylee that is set to hit consoles sometime next year, but for those wanting to experience a new adventure with these particular lovable characters a revive is essential.
Tony Hawk’s Underground
The original spin-off series of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater (we all saw how that turned out), the Underground series in its time developed a dedicated following all its own by placing greater emphasis on customisation and a core central storyline. It’s the perfect mix of the skating mechanics players were used to, this time letting you experience your own journey from street skater to fated skateboarder stardom.
Dubbed by critics at the time as being “one of the best skating games around”, using the Underground series would provide a unique opportunity to breathe new life into the Tony Hawk IP whilst managing expectations also. If the devs take their time, Tony Hawk’s Underground 3 could be the perfect way to save the series – providing it has a stellar soundtrack of course!
Final Fantasy Tactics
Originally released on the PSOne back in 1997, Final Fantasy Tactics was a unique off-shoot of the mainline Final Fantasy series that used a turn-based grid combat system from an isometric perspective that is much more evocative of what you’d find with a Fire Emblem game. It was a refreshing take on how to balance strategy with insightful characters and storytelling, providing just the right amount of challenge.
Whilst the game has developed a strong legacy thanks in part to the far superior version subtitled. War of the Lions which added animated cut scenes, fans have been begging for a true sequel for well over a decade. Although turn-based tactical RPG’s might seem somewhat of a niche, there is an audience for it, and a follow up to the lauded Final Fantasy Tactics is pretty much a guaranteed success.
Streets of Rage
So what if we all fooled ourselves when we were younger that 16-bit games like Streets of Rage, Golden Axe and Vector Man were all pretty decent? News flash: turns out they might not have been so! Although incredibly stiff and a little janky to look back on it now, Streets of Rage was a game with attitude and a stellar soundtrack that’s simply begging to be revived.
Similar games have attempted to translate their central idea to a new generation in the past, Altered Beast famously gave us a not quite successful third-person action game, yet Streets of Rage could quite easily make a return if handled by a talented indie developer. Sega currently have an animated series planned (you heard that right!), but gives us the goods with a genuine beat em up title.
There simply aren’t enough inventive and original fighting games any more, hear me out! Sure you have your competitive and deep fighters with Street Fighter and over the top gore fests with Mortal Kombat, but the Bloody Roar fighting series was something that just oozed with the craziness of the 90’s, letting you transform into giant beats which ranged from Lions, Wolfs and even Rabbits.
Although seeming shallow on the surface, the Bloody Roar series delivered just as much substance as style, offering players a deep combo-heavy system that also catered for casual fighting game players also. The animal designs are bizarre, the story is pretty irrelevant but by god did Bloody Roar provide one hell of a good time for all gamers.
Command & Conquer
Most games simply don’t do real-time strategy as well as Command & Conquer and although the series hasn’t stayed dormant for too long (Tiberium Wars released back in 2012), we’re a far cry from the days when we received an entry almost every year – not too dissimilar from the modern annualisation of say Assassin’s Creed.
Command & Conquer largely introduced real time strategy in the console space, with games such as the original for the N64 and even fab-favourite Red Alert for the PSOne, handling user intetrfaces expertly whilst allowing you to easily build, recruit and disperse all in the effort to defeat neighbouring warring factions. It’s unlikely that Command & Conquer will never rear its head again, but for the time being we’ll have to settle for Halo Wars 2.