There's a good chance that many of you reading this have yet to turn 20 years old. And you know what that means? You're younger than PlayStation. As of December 3rd, 2014 (hey, that's today!), Sony's PlayStation brand has been around for two decades, which is pretty incredible to think about. To celebrate the 20th anniversary, Sony even unveiled a sleek new grey PS4 modeled after the original PS1's humble color scheme.
Seeing that juxtaposition of old and new in one console hit us with a tidal wave of nostalgia - a barrage of fond PlayStation memories flashing by like some kind of psychedelic Willy Wonka river tunnel. And even though we're happily enjoying the best PS4 games, there's now 20 years' worth of PlayStation franchises that are in dire need of a comeback. This isn't just a list of the best PSX games, either - we legitimately think that these classic series might stand a chance in the modern market. Well, most of them, anyway - but dammit, don't deny us our wildest dreams. Hey Sony: bring these games back for PS4 (or heck, even PS Vita), please!
There was a time when Square saw fit to make a body horror-themed action game set in New York City - and despite having almost nothing in common with the developer's fantasy-centric pedigree, Parasite Eve ended up being completely awesome. Aya Brea may not get the same mainstream recognition as Samus Aran or Lara Croft, but she's a stellar female protagonist, staying cool under extreme pressure where male leads would fear to tread. And hell, the series even aces the Bechdel Test, seeing as the badass villain Eve is constantly elucidating the ins and outs of horrific mutations before her bouts with Aya.
Despite a strong debut and two sequels, time seems to have forgotten Aya's modern-day adventures, and that's a damn shame. Given how slick Final Fantasy 15 is looking with its near-future setting, Square Enix should have no problem switching gears back to Parasite Eve. And can you imagine how gloriously gross those giant rat transformations and fetus-looking monsters would look on the PS4? We'd never be happier to have our stomachs turn inside out.
Level-5 has become one of the biggest developers around thanks to hits like Professor Layton, but the company earned many of its first fans as a contractor dev for Sony. The companys first full title was Dark Cloud, a Zelda-style adventure that was one of the earliest games of note for the PS2. Its cartoony graphics stood out, as did a clever weapon-leveling system and world-building mechanic, all of which gained a devoted collection of fans.
Those qualities only improved in to the PS2 sequel Dark Cloud 2 (a.k.a. Dark Chronicle), but then the series ended abruptly. Level-5 likely became too high-profile for a game the size of Dark Cloud, but its Sonys series, so they can continue it without Level-5 on the PS4. You could even hand it to the SCE Japan team. They could make something as good as Ico or at least something better than Knack.
Now is the time for Ape Escape to come back and to live up to its full potential. Let the new-gen release be for the PS4's unique mix of inputs what the original was for the first DualShock. Though some releases have shown proper usage of each of the new system's features, were yet to see one that uses them all together without it feeling like a series of gimmicks. What better series to finally do it right than Ape Escape?
It has been over ten years since a new Tomba game was seen - probably, in part, due to the closure of its developer after Tomba 2s release. Most of the people that worked on that game ended up going over to Access Games who, besides developing the criminally underappreciated Deadly Premonition, has also released a fair share of PSP and, more recently, Vita games. Are they close enough with Sony to rekindle this series for next-gen?
PaRappa the Rapper
Given the success of tap-in-time-to-the-beat games like Rhythm Heaven, a PS4 version of PaRappas rhyme-spitting antics should make ample use of the touchscreen. Better yet, the controller's touchpad could mimic the finger-swiping motions of Elite Beat Agents or Theatrhythm Final Fantasy - if those relatively obscure games can make it, then theres no doubt PaRappas cult following would flock to an original PSN download for a new jam session. Remember: you gotta believe!
With next-gen's flashy graphics and a focus on sound design (since we just spent all that money upgrading our sound system), a new Dino Crisis could make dinosaurs legitimately scary again. Better yet, Regina could switch her stance to mimic the intense behind-the-shoulder gunplay of RE4. Jeez, the more we think about it, the more depressed we are that this game will probably never happen. Prove us wrong, Capcom.
Bushido Blade was always best enjoyed when playing with friends, and a PS4 remake would have to take that into account. Perhaps some hectic - but still honorable - 4+ player combat could be implemented over PSN. Or, even better, an open world system where you customize your character and weapon before venturing into an online countryside, filled with player-controlled ronin looking to get their duel on. Get on it, Square Enix!
Jak and Daxter
No matter your stance on Jaks transformation from mute hero to goatee-sporting vagabond, theres no denying that the Jak and Daxter series was the source of some of the PS2s best platforming adventures. The colorful world, tight controls, and pleasantly-placed challenges combined the exciting exploration of Mario 64 with the offbeat cartoon flair of Naughty Dogs Crash Bandicoot. Its a wonder, then, that the pairing hasnt made the jump to modern consoles; the last time we saw this duo in an original game was 2009s barely-noticeable Jak and Daxter: The Lost Frontier.
Wed like to see the series resurface on PS4, with a tone akin to the first game. Open world games arent the cats pajamas anymore, putting more emphasis on focused, reflex-testing platform jumping would be much preferred to the faux-badass styling of Jak IIs GTA 4 Kidz setting. With the right approach and accessibility in a PS4 title, Jak and Daxter could regain the same renown as their console cousins Ratchet & Clank.
The PS4 would allow for the Jet Moto series to come back in full force, going after both the niche crowd with fond memories of the series and gamers anxious for new titles. Magnetic grappling could be tied to the controller's touchpad to allow for more accuracy, and the analog sticks (remember, the original PlayStation didnt have them at first) would make a PS4 Jet Moto the most precise Jet Moto yet.
Arc the Lad
But Arcs story doesn't have to end that way. Sure, games like Disgaea or Fire Emblem might hold the majority market share for Japanese tactical RPGs, but theres always room for more on a system like the PS4. Wed actually prefer a return to the PS1-era visuals over the generic graphics in the PS2 Arc the Lads; it's a look that brings us back to the days of 16-bit sprites in a 32-bit era.
Super Mario 64 may have defined what a 3D platformer is, but several developers experimented with the concept before that, including the first-person platformer, Jumping Flash! When FPS games were still having trouble on consoles, Jumping Flash! and its sequel put players into the eyes of a cybernetic rabbit named Robbit as he explored Crater Planet. Though rough around the edges, it took gamers to dizzying heights until Sony dropped the series when the PS2 rolled around.
After games like Portal and Mirrors Edge spent the last console generation reminding us of the power of first-person jumping, the next-gen should see the return of the originator. Clearly itd need to be rebooted for todays audience, but it wouldnt need much of an update for PS4 - and hey, maybe it could even find a nausea-inducing place on Morpheus VR.
Breath of Fire
That is, until Capcom suddenly stopped making them over a decade ago. Since then, the publisher has cited increasing development costs as the rationale behind the series absence, but were not content with that excuse, particularly when there's a planned, Japan-only mobile sequel coming soon. Sure, creating a Final Fantasy XIII-sized game would cost a huge amount, but a more reasonable PSN downloadable release could be just the thing Breath of Fire needs to come back into the spotlight.
A PS4 revival could be as basic as an HD collection, or as involved as a completely new entry. The next-gen system could enhance the PS2-era graphics with ease, and wed be happy with fixed or free camera angles as long as the swordplay felt solid. Single-player samurai games seem to be on the decline lately; its time their glorious grandfather made his return.
The Mark of Kri
The PS2s lifespan began with cute, would-be mascots, and ended with bloodthirsty stars like Kratos. The Mark of Kri struck an interesting balance: It looked like a Disney cartoon, but protagonist Rau could be just as murderous as Kratos. The vibe may have confused some gamers (likely why the series ended after the unpopular follow-up), but we would have loved to see Kris style continue on to the PS3.
Now that the PS4 is here, were seeing would-be mascot Knack has a similar mix of cartoony people and real danger. But, it lacks Kris heart. The Polynesia-flavored world of Mark of Kri deserves to be remade in next-gen graphics, whether starring Rau or his younger sister Tati. It could even deliver on the online multiplayer promise of its sequel, Rise of Kasai.
When the PS3 was as brand new as the PS4 is now, Heavenly Sword was one of the few promising titles for Sonys expensive machine. The game was the creation of UK team Ninja Theory and boasted a strong melee combat and gorgeous graphics. But its real claim to fame was cutting edge performances from its digital stars, including a tour de force by Gollum himself, Andy Serkis.
After Heavenly Sword launched to good (but not great) reviews, Ninja Theory moved on to new games like Enslaved and the DmC reboot. Sony still owns the series, but hasnt done much with it beyond a cancelled game from one of its internal studios. But now that the series is getting a CG film (at some point), that means its way overdue for a PS4 sequel.
Grand Theft Auto III changed the industry with its open-world approach to crime, while films like Snatch and Lock, Stock, & Two Smoking Barrels made Englands criminal underworld cool again. That set the stage brilliantly for The Getaway, a gorgeous PS2 game that took place in a carefully reconstructed London. The game prided itself on a filmic look and a realer look than GTA, which people still remember it for years after Sony shelved the series following the lesser-loved sequel.
Getaway is still one of the best-looking PS2 games, so the series would make a fine transition to the PS4 as a graphical showpiece that the system really needs. Wed love to see what Sonys top devs could make London look like this time around. That said, we also wouldn't mind a trip to other international hotspots, like Paris or Minsk. Let GTA stick with the States while Sony could give us a European vacation on the PS4.
While EA had current-gen consoles locked down with SSX, Cool Boarders could likely find a good home on the bold new frontier of the PS4. The touchpad could make creating tracks a breeze, and motion controls could be implemented tastefully to create a wholly unique experience that still feels distinctively... cool. Plus, the developers have spent the last few years making HD remakes and PSN games, so it's not like they're too busy.
What else do you want to see revived?
There are, obviously, plenty of other games that would make for great PS4 experiences, and we're sure you have a few dozen of your own that you'd like to see brought back on Sony's latest consoles. Tell us all about it in the comments below!