The video game industry is full of franchises that have been abandoned. After all, there are thousands of games released every year and it takes a special kind of franchise to be able to weather the test of time while releasing new titles. Only a few examples exist that have continued to remain successful, such as Mario, Final Fantasy, and The Legend of Zelda. These series represent some of the best video game franchises and have managed to evolve with the industry and adapt to the tastes of modern players.
However, that isn’t to say that all dormant video game franchises are failures. In fact, there are multiple series that were put aside due to unfortunate circumstances, such as suboptimal market times for a specific genre or a studio's desire to go in a different direction for a while. Regardless, there are certain series that deserve a remake or release for the latest gaming platforms. Check out the games below and vote up the dead video game series you would resurrect for an epic comeback.
Known as Mother 2 in Japan, Earthbound was one of Nintendo’s first successful role-playing games that managed to bridge the gap between Japanese and American audiences. It contained experimental game mechanics that have become the norm in RPGs, plenty of satirical humor, and an emotional and interesting plot.
Since its arrival in 1994, Earthbound has gone on to become one of the most praised titles in history and it considered a pioneer in role-playing games. Unfortunately, neither the sequel or Earthbound’s predecessor ever saw official releases outside of Japan, effectively depriving fans from North American and Europe from being able to enjoy more of the series.
Developer: Ape, Inc., HAL Laboratory
Platform: Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Game Boy Advance
Despite the fact that only two games were ever released in the Chrono series, the franchise is arguably one of the greatest role-playing games of all time. Having launched on the SNES in 1995, Chrono Trigger received near universal critical acclaim and went on to sell millions of copies. In particular, praise centered on its evolution of the genre after the success of Final Fantasy and The Secret of Mana, improving graphics, battle systems, and the cast of characters. It also showcased an amazing open-world exploration, alternate endings, and an interesting skill/combo system.
It was so successful that it spawned a PlayStation sequel in the form of Chrono Cross, which functioned as a terrible sequel, but was a great game regardless. Unfortunately, Square Enix has concentrated on its other properties in the intervening years, only releasing the original games on new platforms rather than developing any new entries.
Developer: Square, Tose Co., Ltd.
Publisher: Square Enix, Square Electronic Arts, Square
Platform: Super Nintendo Entertainment System, PlayStation 3, Nintendo DS, PlayStation, iPhone, + more
No list looking at gaming series that need to make a comeback would be complete without considering Half-Life 3. The third title in the franchise has become synonymous with vaporware as it has seemingly been in development since the release of Half-Life 2: Episode 2 in 2007.
During that time, Valve has kept quiet about the possible sequel and it is not even known whether the company is actively working on the game. With no announcements to suggest otherwise, it looks like players will have to wait a lot longer to see the conclusion of Gordon Freeman’s story.
Developer: Valve Corporation, Gearbox Software
Publisher: Valve Corporation, Electronic Arts, Sierra Entertainment
Platform: GP32, PlayStation 2, DOS, Microsoft Windows, Dreamcast, + more
From its debut in 1991, Road Rash has done its very best to set itself apart from most other racing games. Not only did it feature motorcycles, but it also introduced the ability to fight with the other racers. Add into the mix a police system whereby officers would attempt to chase you down, and you've got the perfect recipe for an action-packed racer.
In total, there were six installments across a variety of platforms, ending with 2002’s Road Rash: Jailbreak. Since then, a number of developers, including Burnout studio Criterion Games, have looked into reviving the brand, but none have taken the mantle.
Developer: Electronic Arts
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platform: Personal computer, Sega Game Gear, 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, Sega Mega Drive, Sega Saturn, + more