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Classic PlayStation franchises that deserve a comeback

Arc the Lad

This JRPG franchise is about as niche as they come, but depending on your personal PlayStation history, you might remember it just as fondly as Final Fantasy or Wild Arms. These turn-based strategy games revolved around the heroics of the titular Arc, who ventured through vast worlds filled with gigantic dungeons, FF Tactics-style combat, and fulfilling character development. Though it arrived late in the PS1s lifecycle, the three-game Arc the Lad collection was a six-disc JRPG extravaganza. Sadly, by the time Arc the Lad: End of Darkness rolled up in 2005, the series had dried up almost completely.

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.

Jumping Flash!

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

In the first few generations of games, every Japanese developer had some sort of RPG it championed. For Capcom, it was Breath of Fire. The series followed shapeshifter Ryu (not to be confused with Capcom's other Ryu), who has the awesome ability to transform into dragons. Though the Breath of Fire games have never been the most ambitious RPGs, they were all solid, and continued to get more experimental over the years.

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.

Onimusha

Some might remember Samanosuke and his samurai associates as the tank to Dantes motorcycle, but we think Capcom needs to give this seemingly-forgotten series some love. The games pacing struck a satisfying balance of play - somewhere between the methodical tempo of early Resident Evil games and the speedy sword slashing of Devil May Cry - in a quaint feudal setting filled with hideous demons. The combat instilled discipline in the player: mashing buttons versus the tougher enemies would get you nowhere. Alas, this franchise seems to have faded into the sunset after 2006s Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams.

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.

Heavenly Sword

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.

The Getaway

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.

Cool Boarders

Cool Boarders enjoyed yearly releases from 1996 until 2000, with seven titles releasing in the span of 6 years. Fatigue set in, however, and the nonstop assault of new iterations caused the series fans to grow tired of the snowboarding franchise. Now, ten years later, things have changed; SSXs reboot proved that people are ready for more extreme sports, so its obvious everyone is ready for retro sports games to make their comeback.

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!

And if you want to look at more awesome PlayStation games, check out the best PlayStation 4 games and our PS4 review.