Sometimes video game franchises haven’t had a game in a while, which confirms that they’re dead. However, here are ten dead video game franchises that need another game. It happened to Crash, it happened to Spyro and it happened to Medevil, so it should happen to these game franchises as well.
TimeSplitters is a series of first-person shooter video games developed by Free Radical Design. The games are often compared to Rare’s shooters GoldenEye 007 and Perfect Dark since Free Radical Design was founded by a group of ex-Rare employees who developed these games. As the title suggests, each game features a time travelling element which enables players to battle in a temporal war in a diverse number of locations set over the span of several centuries.
The look of the series is substantially more stylized than most modern first person shooters, with character models and expressions emphasizing more cartoon-like qualities and comic book-inspired design. Many of the characters represent parodies of established pop culture stereotypes (such as the aristocratic English explorer or the suave secret agent). Many aspects of the series also focus on often surreal and self-deprecating humor. The main antagonist in each of the games are the TimeSplitters, a race of aliens who wreak havoc on humanity throughout time as well as their supposed creator Jacob Crow.
On August 15, 2018, it was announced that THQ Nordic had acquired the rights to the franchise. On August 14, 2019, it was announced that series co-creator Steve Ellis has joined THQ Nordic to “plot the future of course of the series”. On August 21, 2019, Dambuster Studios, who consist of several Free Radical Design developers, replied to a fan on Twitter stating that Steve Ellis had assembled a team and is working on an unannounced TimeSplitters product.
2. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (sometimes known simply as Knights of the Old Republic or KOTOR) is a role-playing video game set in the Star Wars universe. Developed by BioWare and published by LucasArts, the game was released for the Xbox on July 15, 2003, and for Microsoft Windows on November 19, 2003. The game was later ported to Mac OS X, iOS, and Android by Aspyr, and it is playable on the Xbox 360 and Xbox One via their respective backward compatibility features.
The story of Knights of the Old Republic takes place almost 4000 years before the formation of the Galactic Empire, where Darth Malak, a Dark Lord of the Sith, has unleashed a Sith armada against the Republic. The player character, as a Jedi, must venture to different planets in the galaxy to defeat Malak. Players choose from three character classes and customize their characters at the beginning of the game, and engage in round-based combat against enemies. Through interacting with other characters and making plot decisions, the alignment system will determine whether the player’s character aligns with the light or dark side of the Force.
The game was directed by Casey Hudson, designed by James Ohlen, and written by Drew Karpyshyn. LucasArts proposed developing a game tied to Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, or a game set thousands of years before the prequels. The team chose the latter as they thought that they would have more creative freedom. Ed Asner, Ethan Phillips, and Jennifer Hale were hired to perform voices for the game’s characters, while Jeremy Soule composed the soundtrack. Announced in 2000, the game was delayed several times before its release on July 2003.
The game received critical acclaim upon release, with critics applauding the game’s characters, story, and sound. It was nominated for numerous awards and is considered one of the best video games ever made. A sequel, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II – The Sith Lords, developed by Obsidian Entertainment at BioWare’s suggestion, was released in 2004. The series’ story continued with the 2011 release of Star Wars: The Old Republic, an MMORPG developed by BioWare.
3. Jet Set Radio
Jet Set Radio, titled Jet Grind Radio on the first North American release, is an action game developed by Smilebit and published by Sega for the Dreamcast in 2000. The player controls one of a gang of youths who skate the streets of a fictionalized Tokyo on inline skates, spraying graffiti and evading the authorities. It was one of the first games to use cel-shaded visuals, giving it a cartoon-like appearance.
A version by Vicarious Visions was released by THQ for Game Boy Advance on June 26, 2003 in North America and February 20, 2004 in Europe. A sequel, Jet Set Radio Future, was released in 2002 for the Xbox. In 2012, a high-definition port was released for multiple platforms.
4. Chrono Trigger
Chrono Trigger is a role playing video game developed and published by Square for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1995 that began the Chrono series. Chrono Trigger’s development team included three designers that Square dubbed the “Dream Team”: Hironobu Sakaguchi, the creator of Square’s successful Final Fantasy series; Yuji Horii, a freelance designer and creator of Enix’s popular Dragon Quest series; and Akira Toriyama, a manga artist famed for his work with Dragon Quest and Dragon Ball.
In addition, Kazuhiko Aoki produced the game, Masato Kato wrote most of the story, while composer Yasunori Mitsuda wrote most of the soundtrack before falling ill and deferring the remaining tracks to Final Fantasy series composer Nobuo Uematsu. The game’s story follows a group of adventurers who travel through time to prevent a global catastrophe.
Chrono Trigger was a critical and commercial success upon release, and is frequently cited as one of the greatest video games of all time. Nintendo Power magazine described aspects of Chrono Trigger as revolutionary, including its multiple endings, plot-related side-quests focusing on character development, unique battle system, and detailed graphics. Chrono Trigger was the third best-selling game of 1995 in Japan, and shipped 2.65 million copies worldwide by March 2003.
Square released a ported version by Tose in Japan for the PlayStation in 1999, which was later repackaged with a Final Fantasy IV port as Final Fantasy Chronicles (2001) for the North American market. A slightly enhanced Chrono Trigger, again ported by Tose, was released for the Nintendo DS in North America and Japan in 2008, and PAL regions in 2009. The Nintendo DS version sold 790,000 copies by March 2009, after about a year of sales. Chrono Trigger has also been ported to i-mode mobile phones, Virtual Console, the PlayStation Network, iOS devices, Android devices, and Microsoft Windows.
SSX is a series of snowboarding and skiing video games published by EA Sports. It is an arcade-style racing game with larger-than-life courses, characters, and tricks. While the general focus of the series is racing and performing tricks on snowboards, the underlying gameplay of each edition alters slightly; for example, while the original SSX relies on a working knowledge of speed and trick boosts, SSX On Tour requires players to complete different “phat” combos and “monster tricks”.
SSX is intended to be short for “Snowboard Supercross”, but the complete title has almost never actually been referred to in any way in the marketing or promotion of the games or within the games themselves. According to 2012’s SSX the acronym in Team SSX means: Snowboarding, Surfing, and Motocross.
The franchise has been critically acclaimed, with the first three installments receiving over 90.00% on GameRankings. Initial sales for the game have been kept a secret by publisher Electronic Arts. Most of the games have been released only on Sony and Nintendo consoles, with the first game being released on the PlayStation 2 and the fifth installment on the Wii.
In 1999, EA revealed the series was being developed with the Sega Dreamcast in mind, but once they made the decision not to support the console, it was moved over to the PlayStation 2. The original SSX sold close to three million units in its lifetime, spurring sequel titles SSX Tricky and SSX 3.
Portal is a puzzle-platform video game developed and published by Valve Corporation. It was released in a bundle package called The Orange Box for Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in 2007. The game has since been ported to other systems, including OS X, Linux, and Android.
Portal consists primarily of a series of puzzles that must be solved by teleporting the player’s character and simple objects using “the Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device”, a device that can create inter-spatial portals between two flat planes. The player-character, Chell, is challenged and taunted by an artificial intelligence named GLaDOS (Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System) to complete each puzzle in the Aperture Science Enrichment Center using the portal gun with the promise of receiving cake when all the puzzles are completed.
The game’s unique physics allows kinetic energy to be retained through portals, requiring creative use of portals to maneuver through the test chambers. This gameplay element is based on a similar concept from the game Narbacular Drop; many of the team members from the DigiPen Institute of Technology who worked on Narbacular Drop were hired by Valve for the creation of Portal, making it a spiritual successor to the game.
Portal was acclaimed as one of the most original games of 2007, despite criticisms of its short duration and limited story. The game received praise for its originality, unique gameplay and dark story with a humorous series of dialogue. GLaDOS, voiced by Ellen McLain in the English-language version, received acclaim for her unique characterization, and the end credits song “Still Alive”, written by Jonathan Coulton for the game, was praised for its original composition and humorous twist. Portal is often cited as one of the greatest video games of all time.
Excluding Steam download sales, over four million copies of the game have been sold since its release, spawning official merchandise from Valve including plush Companion Cubes, as well as fan recreations of the cake and portal gun. A standalone version, titled Portal: Still Alive, was released on the Xbox Live Arcade service in October 2008, which added 14 puzzles to the gameplay, and a sequel, Portal 2, which was released in 2011, adding several new gameplay mechanics and a cooperative multiplayer mode.
Burnout is a series of high-speed racing games for the PlayStation 2, GameCube, Xbox, PlayStation Portable, Nintendo DS, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 game consoles. A Microsoft Windows version of Burnout Paradise, was also released.
The game series was developed by Criterion Games and published by Acclaim Entertainment for the first two games and later Electronic Arts from the third game onwards. Burnout and Burnout 2: Point of Impact received critical acclaim and a large fanbase in Europe, as well as an underground following in the US.
It was not until the release of Burnout 3: Takedown that the series gained mass appeal to US players. In April 2013, Alex Ward said that Criterion was steering away from the racing genre, placing the future of the series into question.
Banjo-Kazooie is a series of video games developed by Rare. The games feature a male bear named Banjo and his friend, a large female red bird called Kazooie, who are both controlled by the player. Throughout the various games, they are tasked with thwarting the various evil schemes of a witch named Gruntilda. The first game Banjo-Kazooie was released on the Nintendo 64 in 1998. Subsequent entries in the series have appeared on different platforms.
Banjo-Kazooie’s critical and commercial success led Rare to begin development of a sequel titled Banjo-Tooie, also for the Nintendo 64. Banjo-Tooie was released on 20 November 2000 to very positive reviews, and largely adopts the gameplay mechanics of its predecessor. Upon release, Banjo-Tooie was critically acclaimed and sold more than three million copies worldwide. The characters Banjo and Kazooie proved to be popular and made cameo appearances in subsequent Rare games such as Conker’s Bad Fur Day and Grabbed by the Ghoulies.
Bully is an action-adventure video game developed by Rockstar Vancouver and published by Rockstar Games. It was released on October 17, 2006, for PlayStation 2. A remastered version of the game, subtitled Scholarship Edition, was developed by Mad Doc Software and was released on March 4, 2008, for Xbox 360 and Wii and on October 21, 2008, for Microsoft Windows.
Bully was re-released for Playstation 4 available via PlayStation Network on March 22, 2016. An updated version of the Scholarship Edition, titled Anniversary Edition, was developed by War Drum Studios and was released for Android and iOS on December 8, 2016.
Set within the fictional town of Bullworth, the story follows a student and his efforts to rise through the ranks of the school system. The open world design lets the player freely roam Bullworth. The game is played from a third-person perspective and its world is navigated on foot, skateboard, scooter, bicycle or go-kart. Players control teenager James “Jimmy” Hopkins, a student who is involuntarily enrolled at Bullworth Academy.
He discovers that the school is filled with bullies, and becomes determined to bring peace, ultimately becoming more respected among the town groups. Jimmy is expected to attend class, which is a main gameplay aspect. In Scholarship Edition, a two-player competitive multiplayer mode lets two players compete for the highest score in different classes.
Despite initial controversy for its expected violence and homosexual content, Bully received positive reviews, with praise directed at the game’s missions, narrative as well as the characters and their development. Criticism was reserved for its presentation and glitches. The original version of Bully sold over 1.5 million copies, and received multiple year-end accolades.
Half-Life is a first-person shooter video game developed by Valve Corporation and published by Sierra Studios for Microsoft Windows in 1998. It was Valve’s debut title and the first in the Half-Life series. Players assume the role of Gordon Freeman, a scientist who must find his way out of the Black Mesa Research Facility after an experiment with an alien material goes wrong.
The core gameplay consists of fighting alien and human enemies with a variety of weapons and solving puzzles. Unlike many other games at the time, the player has almost complete uninterrupted control of Freeman, and the story is told mostly through scripted sequences seen through his eyes.
Valve co-founder Gabe Newell said the team aimed to create an immersive world rather than a “shooting gallery”. Half-Life received critical acclaim for its graphics, realistic gameplay, and seamless narrative. It won over fifty PC “Game of the Year” awards and is considered one the most influential titles of the first-person shooter genre, as well as one of the greatest video games of all time. By 2008, the game had sold over 9 million copies.
Half-Life received the expansion packs Half-Life: Opposing Force (1999) and Half-Life: Blue Shift (2001). The game was ported to the PlayStation 2 in 2001, along with another expansion Half-Life: Decay, as well as to macOS and Linux in 2013. The game’s engine, GoldSrc, is a heavily modified version of the Quake engine, licensed from id Software, the framework of which would become the heavily utilized Source engine. Half-Life itself was remade as Half-Life: Source in 2004.
Half-Life sparked numerous fan-made mods, several of them becoming standalone games, notably Counter-Strike, Day of Defeat and Sven Co-op. A sequel, Half-Life 2, was released in 2004. An unofficial remake of Half-Life titled Black Mesa was released in 2012 as a mod of Half-Life 2.