14 forgotten franchises we want back

Jumping Flash!

Why we want it back: Yes, this series comes from a time when 3D console gaming was still finding its legs, but bear with us kids, Jumping Flash still has something special to share with you. Remember how much you dug Super Mario Galaxy? Now imagine doing all of that inventive craziness in first-person, playing as a robot rabbit capable of hopping to stratospheric heights untold! Affection runs strong for the proud few early PlayStation adopters who reveled in the dizzying bliss of this puzzley POV platformer and its high time Robbit was promoted from launch-era obscurity and bottle rocketed back into the here and now.

Above: You’re looking down… those white things are you feet 

Sure, the original games are a little slow by today’s standards, but if Mirror’s Edge showed us anything it’s that there are a jillion other aspects of interactivity to experience in first-person beyond just firing an automatic weapon. Besides, some of us are tired of jogging through corridors on dystopian space colonies and war torn battlefields. Why does every FPAnything have to be so goddamned “gritty” anyway?

How we’d like to see it return: We can already see Sonic (Colors) getting the gist of what Mario’s known all along. You don’t need to bother contextualize varying levels with well designed enemies because it frees developers from having to do anything other than design inspired, colorful environments packed with non linear challenges people will remember forever.

A minor resurgence, maybe, but we haven’t really seen it pulled off with HD in mind. Not only is PSN a no-brainer, Sony practically owes it to Jumping Flash for moving its first console when the name “PlayStation” meant zilch.

Mutant League

Why we want it back: Because we miss hyper-violent sports games, especially those with goblins, aliens and multicolored skeletons running the plays instead of Drafty McRoster Update. Mutant League Football came from EA, so the underlying running and passing game was on par with Madden of the day, just contained in a bloody, humorously gritty wrapper. This concept is a fuggin’ gold mine, yet somehow ran dry after just football and hockey.

Above: But they promised us basketball! 

Above: C’mon! You know they’re going to tear shit up! 

How we’d like to see it return: Use the guts of Madden 12 to build a viciously violent Mutant League Football sequel, complete with team name and player in-jokes and murderous audibles. The more ridiculous the act (ref killing, tossing dynamite, arming the ball with a bomb etc) the better, and crank the gore up to “Stupid.” If done right, EA could have another franchise to milk – but we’d hope they’d let it breathe instead of condemning it to annual releases. We love the idea, but don’t need it every single year.

The Lost Vikings

Why we want it back: Action/puzzle titles scratch a very particular kind of itch. You get the satisfaction of killing bad guys along with completing mind-bending riddles, so there’s literally something for everyone. Games like Braid, Limbo and Portal have brought the style back big time, so we’d love to see Blizzard revive its trio of specially powered Vikings for another round of puzzles. The first game was brilliantly devious while retaining a sense of humor about how ridiculous the entire scenario was, plus had some of the best SNES music of its time. More please.

Above: Apparently it’s impossible to find a video of The Lost Vikings gameplay without someone babbling over it like an idiot. Instead, here’s The Cars’ hit single “Who’s Gonna Drive You Home”

How we’d like to see it return: The whole bit was each Viking had a special role – Erik could jump and break walls with his helmet, Baleog could attack with arrows and a sword, and Olaf could defend and float with his giant shield. So, make the new game three player co-op and drop us into a series of increasingly challenging puzzle rooms that require constant teamwork. Obviously we’d need a single-player option as well, as this concept works just as well alone. Maybe the primary game would be solo, with special multiplayer dungeons added as well? Blizzard keeps referencing these guys in WoW and Starcraft, so it clearly hasn’t forgotten them – just ignored, which is kinda worse.

What about you? What long-lost series would you love to see return with a current-gen makeover? Let us know in the comments!

Sep 24, 2010

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  • sactravas - December 23, 2010 6:41 p.m.

    two words - Dungeon Keeper
  • samuralobama - October 1, 2010 10 p.m.

    Screw all those games I WANT A JET SET RADIO FUTURE SEQUEL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SOMEONE HERE MY CRY!
  • Danthelgard - October 1, 2010 2:06 a.m.

    Hail to Battletoads and Battletoads with Double Dragon. I want to Double Dragon and Cadillacs and Dinosaurs.
  • lizhiyong60 - September 28, 2010 1:29 p.m.

    Wonderful. Share a website with you , ( ) Believe you will love it. We accept any form of payment
  • shinigamiDude - September 28, 2010 8:52 a.m.

    I totally enjoyed the days when I used to play 2 levels per day on PS2 Shinobi. I'll end up breaking the controller if I have to play more than 2 levels in one day.
  • luckyseven - September 28, 2010 6:14 a.m.

    i dun think War of the Monsters qualifies as a franchise but it definitely deserves a next gen sequel...great list btw
  • Romination - September 27, 2010 9:38 p.m.

    So this list kind of sounds like "What the hell, Rare, dig up some of these franchises already"
  • Samael - September 27, 2010 8:20 p.m.

    I will always love you guys for mentioning Legacy of Kain whenever you get the chance. It remains my favorite game series of all goddamn time. I would do terrible, terrible things to get an HD remake of Soul Reaver 1. You don't even have to update the combat! If you're a true fan of the series, you love it the way it is! I can recite the entire opening of SR1 by heart! "Kain was deified. The clans tell tales of him. Few know the truth. He was mortal were we all, but his contempt for humanity drove him to create me and my brethren. I am Raziel, first born of his lieutenants. I stood with Kain at-" Yeah I should probably stop there...
  • Bitchslapthehomeless - September 27, 2010 8:13 p.m.

    More Leagacy of Kain and Raziel please!
  • d0x - September 27, 2010 6:44 p.m.

    Legacy of Kain: Defiance was not a proper end to the series. In terms of the entire storyline it was just the start and im pissed it has never been concluded. As far as gaming stories goes its the most well written and well acted. The only crap thing is the lead writer Amy Hennig moved onto Naughty Dog after Defiance came out but I still want the series to continue. Look at my profile icon, fans of the series will know what it means!
  • tankman232 - September 27, 2010 5:54 p.m.

    flashback dammit!
  • big0jeff - September 27, 2010 2:41 p.m.

    I agree with aequitas13 about remake Flashback. One of the best games of the 16 bit era. However, a remake of the Kain series without Blood Omen, the one with the best story? Hell no!!!!
  • RedAppolyon - September 27, 2010 6:09 a.m.

    Star Wars: Dark Forces or the Jedi Knight series. I have been dying for another Star Wars FPS for years now.
  • Erebus - September 27, 2010 5:27 a.m.

    Wing Commander for sure. Sadly Origin died and EA owns the IP now I think :( Wing Commander Prophecy introduced a new character for you (the son of a great pilot in the Wing Commander 1 I believe), Blair disappears and then....nothing. First 3D WC game which looked great back then (should reinstall it to see how it looks now). Loved those games. (going on Origins...some may want a new Crusader game too) X-Wing vs TIE Fighter also. I feel that game was way ahead of its time since it was purely a multiplayer game in the 90s when multiplayer was basically just LAN. Imagine now. There could be some epic space battles nowadays with all human controlled fighters on both sides blasting away at each other whilst one side tries to protect a frigate. Why have space flight sims died :(
  • sleepy92ismypsn - September 27, 2010 4:35 a.m.

    @reaperskull No need. The king of car combat is back baby!
  • theintellectual - September 27, 2010 3:25 a.m.

    star wars battlefront. i died a little when i heard #3 was canceled.
  • AuthorityFigure - September 27, 2010 2:52 a.m.

    Shinobi was always better than 'Gaiden. Blizzard have forgotten how to make game-type games, and so Lost Vikings would require some sort of massively multiplayer BS, right?
  • cheezitmonster - September 27, 2010 2:16 a.m.

    where's Earthbound
  • Darkmessiah24 - September 27, 2010 12:15 a.m.

    Battletoads, Jumping Flash, Shinobi and Legacy of Kain sounds good but I'd like to see more Power Stone, Tech Romancer, Viewtiful Joe, Jet Set Radio and (hopefully) Zone of the Enders.
  • reeperskull - September 27, 2010 12:09 a.m.

    id love a reboot of carmageddon with modern graphics it would be epic