The '90s was a time when every video game company on Earth was trying to give us the next big gaming mascot that could compete with Mario. Sonic was the first mascot to truly give the Italian plumber a run for his money, and eventually characters like Crash found a foothold in the gaming market as well. However, the oversaturation of video game mascots meant that many sadly fell to the wayside, left to rot in mascot hell never to be seen again. For this list we rank the greatest forgotten video game mascots that desperately need to make a comeback, including '90s video game mascots and 2000s characters that didn't get the respect they deserved in the long run.
If you grew up playing video games in the '90s, you're probably very familiar with Earthworm Jim. Released as a Sega exclusive in 1994 before being ported to other consoles, Earthwom Jim was a 2D side-scrolling platformer that saw a regular earthworm in a "super suit" gunning his way through levels with unique designs and enemies who were often very funny or bizarre. A sequel was released a year later in 1995, and although the game was praised by critics, there has never been a true sequel in the series since then. An HD remake of the original was released in 2010, but think of how great a brand new Earthworm Jim would be in present day. Jim is probably one of the most famous video game mascots of all time, and could easily see success on this generation of consoles as a $20 virtual title.
We're giving you two characters for the price of one here with honey bear Banjo and his breegull pal, Kazooie. Banjo-Kazooie seemed to pick up the baton where Super Mario 64 left off, bringing us a challenging platformer with greatly expanded worlds, a catchy soundtrack, and brand new abilities, all wrapped in a very vibrant and obviously Disney-inspired package. There was something immensely satisfying about majestically soaring through the air collecting musical notes, and the overworld theme was to die for. Although the spiritual successor to the Banjo games, Yooka Laylee, is being released in 2017 for multiple platforms, Nintendo 64 fans are dying to see Banjo and Kazooie back in action one more time. For the love of God, at least include them in the next Smash Bros. game!
Who didn't love Conker's Bad Fur Day on Nintendo 64? The game was way ahead of its time, with its ironic, mature content wrapped up in a colorful, seemingly kid-friendly package. Conker drank, partied, and killed his way across the Fairy Panther Kingdom in a quest to rescue his girlfriend Berri (and make some cash on the side.) In many ways, Conker is extremely similar to the Marvel Comics character Deadpool, as they are both crude and love breaking the 4th wall. Do we smell a crossover? In any case, a brand new Conker adventure in 2017 could be just what Rare needs to put themselves back on the map in a big way.
The Viewtiful Joe franchise took the fantasy of every sci-fi geek and made it a reality. Obsessive movie watcher Joe is sucked into one of his favorite films and must become a superhero to save his girlfriend, Sylvia. The highly acclaimed games featured gorgeous cel-shaded animation and awesome beat 'em up gameplay with time travel mechanics to create an extremely memorable experience. Joe has since appeared in the popular fighting game Marvel Vs. Capcom 3, but VJ hardcores all agree that a brand new stand-alone game is long overdue.
Appears In: Viewtiful Joe