10 Game Franchises That Need To Make A Comeback Source:

In many way, it’s a great time to be a gamer: the market is flooded with games and consumers have more choice than ever in deciding what to play. Still, we’d be remiss if we didn’t admit that there are still some significant holes in the gaming space left by franchises that, for whatever reason, seemed to have dropped off the face of the Earth. Many great game franchises are making a return in 2016, such as Mirror’s Edge, Uncharted, and Gears of War, but there are a number of franchises that we wish could be on the release calendar alongside them. The following franchises are all in a state of limbo as to when (if) we can expect to see a new entry, which means it’s a perfect time for them to make a comeback!

10, Left 4 Dead

For a brief period last generation, the Left 4 Dead series was all the rage. Valve released two back-to-back entries in the zombie survival co-operative shooter from 2008-09, and then things went dark, as pretty much anything Valve touches is wont to do. It’s a peculiar situation, as both Left 4 Dead games sold very well and the zombie genre continues to be popular even in 2016, as evidenced by the continued success of properties such as The Walking Dead.

Left 4 Dead delivered such a satisfying multiplayer experience and the series remains one of the best in its class, so it seems a shame for Valve to let the series remain on hiatus for so long. Recently, some savvy players found demos of both Half-Life 3 and Left 4 Dead 3 in the code of a VR performance test program, but given that the company likes to troll its fanbase with details such as these only to make no formal announcements, it’s likely that Left 4 Dead 3 will remain vaporware for the foreseeable future. Source:

9. Splinter Cell

It’s easy to forget that we actually got a new Splinter Cell only a few years ago, as 2013’s Blacklist arrived very late in the last console generation and was overlooked by many. While it was a good game in its own right, Blacklist just wasn’t as memorable as the standout games in the series. Plus, it replaced Michael Ironside as the voice of Sam Fisher, which didn’t sit well with longtime fans of the series. Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory from 2005 still stands as the pinnacle of the series in many eyes and though it’s admittedly showing its age, if Ubisoft wants to return the franchise to its former glory, it should use Chaos Theory as the blueprint.

Splinter Cell is at its best when it employs Fisher’s high tech gadgetry in compelling stealth scenarios, something that no other game in the series has been unable to do better than Chaos Theory. In truth, a new Splinter Cell game would likely have to find a happy medium between the more deliberate stealth gameplay of that title and the faster, more action-orinted structure of 2010’s Splinter Cell: Conviciton, which will surely be no easy task. Unfortunatley, Ubisoft is likely hesitant to revive the series anytime soon, as Blacklist failed to meet its sales targets, but considering it’s one of the company’s flagship series, it’s probably only a matter of time before we see a new entry. Source:

8. Timesplitters

Timesplitters is a cult-favorite first-person shooter franchise from the PS2 era created and developed by the now-defunct development studio Free Radical Design. Known for its time travel elements and quirky design aesthetic, Timesplitters was easily one of the most inventive shooter franchises of its time, with Free Radical releasing three titles between 2000 and 2005. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been a new entry since 2005’s Timesplitters: Future Perfect; Timesplitters 4 had been in development for close to a year before it was officially declared on hold in August 2009.

The problem was that Free Radical and the Timesplitters property were bought out by Crytek, makers of the Crysis series, who have reiterated continuously that they will only revive the project if they deem there is high demand for it. In a July 2013 interview with TechRadar, Timesplitters series developer Steve Ellis was asked if Timesplitters 4 will ever come out and his answer was very pessimistic, claiming that Crytek’s marketing wing has no idea how to market it, meaning it’s unlikely that we’ll ever get to see Timesplitters make a comeback, which is a real shame. Source:

7. Mega Man

Even if it isn’t really your thing, you have to give props to Mega Man, which stands as one of the most revered franchises in all of gaming. Appearing on practically every gaming platform imaginable, there have been a staggering number of Mega Man titles released to date. Yet there hasn’t been a new one since Mega Man 10 came out in 2010, which is actually kind of mind-boggling when you consider just how many Mega Man iterations and spin-offs there are. The splintering of the franchise is certainly a contributor to this problem, as series such as Mega Man, Mega Man X, and Mega Man Legends, just to name a few, each have their own passionate fan base.

Capcom has cancelled several projects since 2010, which goes to show that the company isn’t quite sure what to do with the franchise any more … but that doesn’t mean they should just throw in the towel and stop trying. Admittedly, it would be extremely difficult to figure out what a new Mega Man game would even look and play like in 2016, but there are surely plenty of fans out there who are anxious to find out. Source:

6. Banjo Kazooie

Mascot platformers used to one of the most popular genres in gaming, but as technology matured along with demographics, “kiddie” franchises such as Banjo Kazooie were largely abandoned in favor of military shooters and more realistic aesthetics. That’s unfortunate, as there’s still arguably a place for 3D platformers in today’s market (just look at Nintendo and their continued success with Mario for proof), meaning that it’s high time we saw the return of one of Rare’s greatest properties.

The company did revive the series back in 2008 on the Xbox 360 with Banjo Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts – a game that is actually much better than it gets credit for, but was too different from the original games to be considered a proper sequel. The recent success of the Kickstarter campaign for the Banjo spiritual successor Yooka-Laylee shows that there is still a lot of love for the series; hopefully Rare revisits the franchise after they’ve wrapped up production on this year’s pirate adventure game Sea of Thieves. Via

5. F-Zero

How ridiculous is it that Nintendo hasn’t made a new proper F-Zero game since the GameCube days? F-Zero GX was released in 2003 and other than a couple handheld spin-offs, the series has remained quiet ever since. The futuristic racing series starring none other than Captain Falcon is notorious for being blisteringly fast and difficult, but F-Zero fans wouldn’t have it any other way. Nintendo has surely been reluctant to revisit the series given that GX sold poorly, but that game was also released 13-years-ago in a much different gaming landscape, so a new F-Zero wouldn’t necessarily be doomed.

The fact of the matter is that there are surprisingly few games like F-Zero out there, so no matter what direction Nintendo takes with a theoretical sequel, it’s bound to feel like a breath of fresh air. A June 2015 report from Nintendo Life revealed that Criterion Games, makers of the Burnout series, had been approached to develop a F-Zero game for the Wii U that would have been shown off at E3 2011. Although the project ultimately fell through, this report at least shows that Nintendo is still interested in making more F-Zero games; we’ll probably just have to wait awhile to see one. Source:

4. Jak and Daxter

Some may argue that a series such as Jak and Daxter — a mascot platformer with cartoonish characters  — is played out at this point, but anyone who played through Naughty Dog’s trilogy (the spin-off racing game was okay too) would definitely tell you otherwise. The Jak games were some of the strongest Sony exclusives during the PS2 generation, but when Naughty Dog decided to move onto more sophisticated fare with Uncharted and The Last of Us on the PlayStation 3, the series pretty much went with them.

A PSP title called Jak and Daxter: The Lost Frontier was released in 2009, but it wasn’t developed by Naughty Dog and paled in comparison to what the studio accomplished with the original games. Naughty Dog currently has no plans to make another game (although they haven’t ruled it out completely), though Sony could always get another studio to create it if Naughty Dog doesn’t want to. Either way, it’s unlikely that we’ve seen the last of Jak and Daxter, but we’ll probably have to wait awhile for the duo to return. Source: Giant Bomb

3. Burnout

Burnout 3: Takedown is one of the greatest racing game ever made and the Burnout series as a whole is arguably the most exciting arcade racer in the business. Despite having a good run of titles between 2004 and 2008, things have been pretty much silent since Criterion Games put out Burnout Paradise in 2008. Much of this has to do with Criterion being put in charge of EA’s Need For Speed franchise, which is the more successful of the two. Development duties have since moved to Ghost Games, as Criterion co-founder Alex Ward made an announcement via Twitter that the studio would be steering away from the racing genre in its future projects, which is a simultaneously intriguing and disheartening admission.

It now looks like the only hope for Burnout making a comeback is if EA can give Need For Speed a break and allow Ghost Games to make a new one, which probably won’t be anytime soon considering the publisher has already revealed that Ghost is hard at work on another Need For Speed title. Source: Kotaku

2. Metroid Prime

Of all of Nintendo’s vast catalog of game franchises, none is more deserving of making a comeback than Metroid. Series protagonist Samus Aran remains one of the company’s most recognizable and intriguing characters, yet the last noteworthy title in the series was 2007’s Metroid Prime: Corruption for the Wii. Although a new Metroid game was released in 2010 in the form of Metroid: Other M, it was a largely disappointing entry that drew ire from critics over its sexist depiction of Samus.

Most Metroid fans are hungering for a new entry in the Prime series originally developed by Retro Studios, as Retro’s work represents the best incarnation of the franchise in 3D so far. Unfortunately, Nintendo has decided to take a half-measure approach to reviving the series, announcing Metroid Prime: Federation Force for the 3DS last year. A handheld Prime game focused on multiplayer is definitely not the kind of experience most fans were hoping for, and until Nintendo decides to announce a worthy follow-up to Retro’s original trilogy, the franchise might as well still be considered on hiatus. Source:

1. Prince of Persia

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time stands as one of the best action-adventure games ever made and still holds up over 12 years after its original release. Ever since then though, Ubisoft has had a hard time recapturing the magic of that seminal work, releasing four mainline Prince of Persia titles of varying quality in the intervening years. The last entry in the series, Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, is an underrated entry that actually got closer to the Sands of Time formula than its predecessors, but it didn’t make much of a splash. The game was released alongside the 2010 movie adaptation starring Jake Gyllenhaal and many thought it was just a derivative cash-grab.

Things have been relatively quiet on the Prince of Persia front ever since, but judging by comments made by Ubisoft CEO Yannis Mallat in 2013, the company is still interested in making more titles and stated that, “As soon as we have something to show, we will.” Well Ubisoft, it’s 2016 and we’re still waiting: just let us know one way or the other whether Prince of Persia is coming back this generation.

Source: Ubisoft
Nick Steinberg (@Nick_Steinberg)

Nick Steinberg (@Nick_Steinberg)