10 Old Video Game Series That Need a Comeback

10 Old Video Game Series That Need a Comeback

Simon Belmont in front of Dracula’s castle. | Source: Konami

Video game series come and go. With a few exceptions like Mario and Madden (which may vanish some day!), franchises tend to show up, succeed for a few years, and then go into hibernation, where they either die or come back years later in another form. We’re going to focus on old video game series that, for all intents and purposes, seem to be dead. Some of these franchises might come back eventually. Others probably won’t, leaving fans wanting more forever. Here are 10 classic video game series that gamers are dying for a comeback.

1. Jak and Daxter

In the PlayStation 2 era, 3D platformers were all the rage. Three series led the pack: Sly Cooper, Ratchet & Clank, and Jak and Daxter. The first two have seen recent resurrections, with the 2013 release of Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time and 2016’s Ratchet & Clank reboot. The only one missing is Jak and Daxter, a series that followed the adventures of a plucky do-gooder and his furry sidekick.

The series started out with a standard 3D platformer and gradually developed into more action-based open-world games. All of them were a blast to play, which you can still do, thanks to the Jak and Daxter Collection on PlayStation 3 and PS Vita. But the gaming world could use a new entry on PS4.

The problem is that the series’ developer, Naughty Dog, has moved onto bigger and better things with Uncharted and The Last of Us. There’s no way that team will devote its considerable resources to another Jak and Daxter game. That’s why Sony should hire a smaller development studio to bring back the beloved duo. We vote for Sanzaru Games, the makers of the latest Sly Cooper game.

2. Metroid

Seriously, Nintendo? You’re going to let one of your best game franchises wither away like this? The Metroid series contains a number of classic games, from Super Metroid to Metroid Prime. The last installment was Metroid: Other M, an underwhelming game that came out on Wii in 2010.

If not for the upcoming game Metroid Prime: Federation Force, I’d think Nintendo forgot the franchise exists. But instead of making a new installment to carry the series forward, we’re getting a weird spinoff nobody asked for. If the NX launches without a new main Metroid game, Nintendo fans just might storm the castle in revolt.

3. NFL Street

The Madden series is great and all, but its primary concern is realism. What gamers are missing nowadays is an arcade-style sports game. That’s where NFL Street would come in. This series, which lasted three years during the PS2 era, delivered a stylized version of the sport, with amped-up intensity, thanks to its loose interpretation of rules.

NFL Street has no use for inconveniences like uniforms, fouls, or injuries. It’s a video game version of football that emphasizes the video game aspect. Nowadays there’s nothing quite like it, and that’s a shame.

4. Final Fantasy Tactics

When it launched in the US in 1998, the PS One game Final Fantasy Tactics struck a chord with many RPG fans. It told an epic story, had a huge cast of characters, and offered some of the most versatile strategy gameplay of any game around. But for some reason, over the next couple of decades, Square Enix has mostly ignored fans’ pleas for new installments.

We got a couple of spinoff games on handheld platforms, but they didn’t match the quality of the original. Then it got an “enhanced remake” in 2007 called Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions, but that’s the last we’ve heard from it. Now that we’re coming close to the 15th core installment of the vanilla Final Fantasy series, can’t Tactics fans get some love?

5. Twisted Metal

Racing games are fun and all, but why not strap some heavy weaponry on those cars and lock them in arenas until only one vehicle is left? That’s pretty much what you get from the Twisted Metal franchise, a gritty collection of games with a murderous clown as the breakout character.

Sony attempted to bring Twisted Metal back on PS3 in 2012, but the game wasn’t all that great. If a developer could whip up a new installment on PS4, and do it right, longtime fans would be in for a treat.

6. Contra

Konami’s not doing much of anything with video games anymore, which is a shame, because the company has some fantastic franchises under its belt. One of those is Contra, a series of side-scrolling shooters that were teeth-gratingly tough. You play as a muscular soldier who singlehandedly (or cooperatively if you’re playing with a buddy) takes down an army of enemies and aliens. It’s as dumb as an ’80s action movie, and just as fun.

7. Castlevania

This franchise may be getting a spiritual comeback with the indie game Bloodstained in 2017, but most fans of the series would love a true Castlevania game in their lives. The idea here is to slay Dracula, who never quite stays dead. These games are delightfully gothic, with gloomy environments, horror movie enemies, and some of the best music in the history of videos games. Maybe if Konami is done making console games, it could sell the Castlevania franchise to a publisher that still cares.

8. Half-Life

The Half-Life series got off to such a great start, with players taking the role of Gordon Freeman as he fought against trans-dimensional enemies. Two full-sized games came out, followed by two shorter episodes called Half-Life 2: Episode One and Episode 2. Valve said Episode 3 would be out in 2007, but it never showed up. We’ve been waiting for it ever since.

Dear Valve: We forgive you that it’s late, but for the love of all that is holy, make the game already.

9. Mega Man

The creator of Mega Man tried to bring the spirit of this classic franchise back with Mighty No. 9, but failed to capture the magic of the beloved classics. Instead of that, I want Mega Man 11, a continuation of the retro-style games Capcom put out in 2008 and 2010.

A new Mega Man game should look and play identically to the NES games. Just give us a new set of bosses, some slick new weapons, and ultra-challenging platforming. It would hardly cost anything to make, so why won’t Capcom give fans what they want?

10. Golden Sun

Role-playing games are experiencing something of a resurgence lately, with big-name games like Persona 5 and Final Fantasy XV on their way out. Why doesn’t Nintendo take this rekindled interest as a reason to continue the Golden Sun franchise?

These handheld RPGs are about kids going on an adventure to save the world, coupled with a great combat system and Zelda-like environmental puzzles. Come on, Nintendo, bring back Golden Sun.

Follow Chris on Twitter @_chrislreed

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