The franchise. It’s what separates winners from losers in the gaming industry. While some games like Call of Duty and Pokémon have gone on to become long-running and successful franchises, others have had less luck. The following game franchises all experienced varying levels of success and have all fallen by the wayside and, with the current generation of consoles leading the way, I think it’s time for these ten franchises to step out of retirement.
Yes, I’m aware that there was a Turok on PS3 back in 2008 and that it was a commercial success. Still, outside of a few exceptional reviews, the game received largely mixed reviews and average scores.
While the game looks and plays well enough, like pretty much every Turok game since the original N64 classic, it fails to capture exactly what made Dinosaur Hunter such a good game. So what made the first Turok such a classic?
It’d be easier to identify what prevents the sequels from reaching the same level. Mainly, developers’ insistence on programming Turok games to play just like every other FPS game. When the original Turok: Dinosaur Hunter came out, it quickly became one of the most popular games on Nintendo 64, bolstering console sales and evolving the first-person-shooter genre.
In 2008, surrounded by Call of Duty and Halo titles, Turok generally failed to carry on that tradition of evolving the genre, instead playing it safe and implementing the same mechanics that every other FPS game in the genre is using. It’s been seven years since Turok’s PS3 appearance and I feel it’s time to give it another shot.
9. Pokémon Stadium
Like Turok before it, the Pokémon franchise has enjoyed critical success, primarily on the handheld market, where it continues to dominate, most recently with Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire.
Still, Pokémon has enjoyed lots of success on consoles as well, with Pokémon Stadium taking front and center and followed closely by Pokémon Colosseum. While Pokémon Battle Revolution tried to capitalize on the success of the Stadium games, it notably failed to come anywhere close to the positive reception of Stadium or even Pokémon Colosseum.
It’s been eight years since Battle Revolution was met with the warm embrace of flatulence in church and with the Wii-U currently enjoying a string of much-needed success, it’s time for Pokémon Stadium to make its long awaited comeback.
Ahh, Gex. I look back and fondly remember you, you TV-obsessed, anthropomorphic, gecko with kung-fu skills and a tail of steel.
Not many folks may remember the Gex series, which originated on the 3DO. Now there’s a trip down memory lane. While Gex and its two sequels generally received favorable reviews, the reception wasn’t enough to get the series out of the 5th generation of consoles.
While the games were unorthodox (and more than a little strange) they were extremely entertaining and comedian Dana Gould as the voice of Gex does a fantastic job.
Of all the entries on this list, Gex has been defunct the longest. The last game in the series was Gex 3: Deep Cover Gecko and released in 1999. After taking a 16 year dirt nap, it’s time for everyone’s favorite boob-tube loving secret agent to come out of retirement.
7. Jak and Daxter
I fondly remember renting Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy from Blockbuster on PS2 and spending hours pouring over the game, collecting Precursor orbs and power cells. It was an extremely rewarding experience and exceptionally fun to play.
While the Jak and Daxter franchise continued on with several sequels and numerous spin-offs, it’s been a long time since we’ve seen the dynamic duo appear in a featured game.
Alongside the wildly successful Ratchet and Clank franchise, Jak and Daxter helped pave the way forward for platforming games and was critical in helping establish the PS2 as the definitive console of the 6th generation.
It’s been 11 years since Jak 3 and now seems as good a time as any to revive the franchise and bring some classic platforming goodness to the PS4.
I simply couldn’t compile this list without perhaps the best Super Mario 64 ripoff that has ever been made.
Don’t get me wrong, that’s not a critique. Banjo-Kazooie took an already established and beloved formula, executed it well and did so memorably, which is something that other game franchises can’t always pull off.
With its wonderful storybook-like plot, fun level design, colorful atmosphere, amazing music and fun puzzles, Banjo-Kazooie is still a game that I like to pop into my N64 and play, just for the fun of it.
While the Banjo franchise had a couple of sequels and its characters have appeared in a few crossovers, like Diddy Kong Racing, it’s been seven years since we’ve seen Rare’s lovable odd-couple in Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts and what better platform for a comeback than the Xbox-One?