Whenever a video game series does particularly well during any console generation, the series is usually brought back for another round. It just makes sense really—if a game did well before, why wouldn’t it do well again? And since people are already so into the franchise, you don’t even have to convince them what makes it work—it sells itself! And the simple process of releasing a new iteration of a popular franchise on a next-gen system moves console. People will buy systems if it has games they like; it’s just a simple fact. But sometimes, studios don’t want to continue a franchise. They want to try something new, something different. And because of that, those series’ are left in the dust, only best remembered as a fun experience of the past generation. I don’t know about the rest of y’all, but that upsets me. There’s some seriously great franchises that were forced to forego the last generation of gaming and, in my mind, it’s about time for a comeback. Here are the 5 video game series I want to see do just that.
Rockstar’s hilarious Grand Theft Auto clone (in a good way), Bully is one of those special properties that I will always cherish. Technically I played Bully before I even played a Grand Theft Auto game and, for that reason, I was absolutely amazed what Rockstar was able to do with the open world format. And even after playing GTA, I still found Bully to be an absolute blast, and lord knows I wouldn’t complain for another trip down to Bullworth Academy. And according to Rockstar Lead Writer Dan Houser, it’s not out of the realm of possibility to expect one: ” “I know I want to. Well, hopefully, you never know. There’s a lot of directions I could go with that one, it’s funny.” I certainly hope so, Mr. Houser. I certainly hope so.
Another franchise that I hold dear to my heart, the Jak games contain some of my absolute favorite memories of the PS2 generation. And though Naughty Dog is now known for making big hits like The Last of Us and Uncharted, it would be great to see the team tackle another, next-generation adventure with these two lovable rascals. And Naughty Dog agreed, at least for a while. Because before The Last of Us was in active development, they were seriously kicking around ideas for a new Jak game. According to studio co-founder Evan Wells: ” “Never say never. It could happen. Naughty Dog’s got a long history and I think it’s got a long future so to say we’ll never go back is kind of crazy but right now we’ve got [The Last of Us] that we’re definitely going to be supporting. I guess there’s a possibility that the Uncharted team could move on to Jak and Daxter.” Sadly though, the Uncharted team seems to have moved on to..well, more Uncharted. Still, I’m hopeful we’ll see the return of these two eventually.
Hey, and well we’re talking Naughty Dog franchises I want to see return in the next generation, I’m just going to throw the Crash Bandicoot series into the mix. If Jak defined my PS2 experiences, then Crash Bandicoot certainly defined my original Playstation ones. But the downfall of Bandicoot has been pretty damn depressing, as he turned from Sony’s mascot into pretty much nothing. And though there was technically a Crash game realized this generation (way back in 2008), it’s not nearly good enough to even earn its place with the rest of the revered franchise. I want an actual, full fledged Crash Bandicoot game, and I want it now. But with the property now over at Activision and the company doing absolutely NOTHING with it, I doubt we’ll see a next-generation Crash Bandicoot game anytime soon. But boy I hope I’m wrong. I could use a good platformer in my life again.
Timesplitters is one of the funnest first person shooter franchises out there, even if its a series that really only consists of three games. Still, all three of those games are excellent, and Timesplitters 2 in particular had a huge impact me as a fledging gamer. The tone’s irreverant and offbeat tone was something I hadn’t really experienced in a first person shooter up until that point, but is now a staple of some of the best games in the genre (specifically Borderlands and Portal.) But the real meat and potatoes of the game is the multiplayer, which might be my most played split-screen multiplayer game ever (yes, I didn’t have an Xbox, and thus no Halo for me until the next generation.) I would absolutely love to get an online multiplayer version of what was set up with the offline in Timesplitters, and create even more insane (and super fun) multiplayer matches. I wouldn’t bet on this happening anytime either though—the original developer, Free Radical, is now known as Crytek UK, and put Timesplitters 4 on the backburner after being bought up. Still, like every other game on this list…there is always hope.
Of all the games on this list, this is the one that surprises me the most. Nintendo is a company that banks so much on its established franchises, but is letting this one simply languish on the vine. The Wii didn’t get a Star Fox game of its very own, which is a damn shame considering the legacy of the series overall. But with the Wii U now on shelves and desperate for a killer app, why not bring back the good old Fox? After all, the tablet style controller seems finely suited for a space simulator game, no? Either way, clamoring from fans seem to be doing very little at this point—Nintendo has been mum on more Star Fox for the last few years now. I guess Nintendo assumes the world will never get over Star Fox: Assault or something, huh?
And there you have it, my list of games I want to see come back from the dead for another spin inside my next-generation consoles. Now that you know mine, feel free to one-up me by sharing yours! And keep it tuned to Geek Binge for the rest of the week for more next generation coverage as the next generation of gaming truly kicks off!