In a world full of reboots and revivals, some stellar game franchises are left behind unjustly. These classic gems and fan favorites deserve new games to carry their legacies and honor the hours of entertainment they provided. If your favorite games didn’t make this list, don’t despair! This list ballooned so fast I had to break it into two parts.
Jak and Daxter
Anyone who knows me already knew Jak and Daxter would be at the top of this list. This puzzle-platformer turned third-person shooter/action-adventure title had three main games, a racing game and a PSP spinoff. When developer Naughty Dog decided to walk away from the cartoonish stylings of games like Crash Bandicoot, our boy Jak got left behind too.
While there was technically a fourth installment of this series, it was handled by a different studio, and the feelings about it are mixed. The efforts of the last game culminated in the mistreatment of the source material, abandoning the carefully crafted backstory and casting new voice actors. All this left a bad taste in many fans’ mouths and made it a poor substitute for a natural continuation. It wasn’t a bad game, necessarily. It just wasn’t a good Jak and Daxter game.
The Pokémon Rangers games are ones fans either hate or love or love to hate. I’m on the love side and was genuinely surprised that they never came to the Wii U or Nintendo Switch (so far). There were three installments of the Pokémon Rangers series for the DS, and the anime featured different characters.
These games weren’t perfect, but they were exciting and different in concept from the regular Pokémon lineup. You played as a ranger rather than a trainer, and the games were more puzzle adventures than RPGs like the main series games. Now that they have brought over Pokémon Snap, I have high hopes this one could be revived too!
Kirby Air Ride
Kirby is another Nintendo property that has a lot of content. Kirby Air Ride was a spinoff from the main feature for the Gamecube and was beloved. The game sold over 1.2 million copies and still has a decent fanbase to this day, similar to Mario Kart Double Dash for the same system. The whole game is based on a mini-game that you can find in the main games!
This game is fun with its bright visuals, easy-to-learn controls and peppy soundtrack. The star vehicles handle well and support up to four players as long as you have enough controllers. I think this one has a lot of potential to come back with new courses and riders.
There are five of these games for the PC, and the last one came out in 2011. If you haven’t heard of this life simulation series by developer Last Day of Work, you aren’t alone. This game is a community/life manager where you select features in villagers and build your society to solve puzzles. All of the games are on the same island, but the communities you play as are separate.
Each villager has likes/dislikes and things they are good at that you have to factor into their job assignments. They can master activities, collect items and fall in love. I think these games have a lot of potential to come over to consoles, and a new game would do well with the surge of simulation players we have seen!
Plants vs. Zombies
Specifically, I want a new installment of the main puzzle game to come back on consoles and not the just shooter it evolved into. There is nothing wrong with Garden Warfare, of course, but there was something special about the original Plants vs. Zombies.
Developer PopCap Games did bring this one over to mobile, but main console games have been restricted to shooters. It certainly works in mobile format, but the paywall isn’t ideal, and the story seems to have been pushed aside.
I don’t even need to explain this one. Banjo-Kazooie is a fan favorite from the developer Rare, released initially on the N64. This one has been ported over, remastered, and given the spinoff treatment, but we haven’t heard a peep of a new game in ages. Sure, we got Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts in 2008, but that was more of a kick in the teeth than a revival of the beloved franchise. The characters also keep appearing in crossover events, so I hope they haven’t forgotten the fans.
Cubix Robots for Everyone
These games were a spinoff of a Korean animated kid’s show that held their own. I didn’t see any of the show, but I was still completely hooked on this open-world robot repair game. The visuals were appealing, the world was fascinating, the humor was there and the characters were interesting.
I know this sounds like nostalgia talking, and it very well might be, but I’ve never played another game like it. I think a new version of this game is long overdue, even if I’ve never met anyone outside of my family who has even ever played it. It’s unique, and I think that uniqueness deserves preservation.
The Sims 2: Castaway
The Sims 4 has seen a lot of well-deserved success, and for a good reason. The development team at EA is doing an excellent job creating new content at a reasonable pace and listening to the community’s wants. People love The Sims because you can pick how you want to live, there are no restrictions, but I think some structure is missing.
People online create unofficial challenges that others try to complete in their games, so I think a revival of mission-based Sims games would be well received. It doesn’t have to be castaway-themed exactly, though I’m a big fan of the deserted island setting; it just needs to have a linear story with The Sims 4 graphics.
There were five Freddi Fish point and click mystery games for the computer that I played obsessively as a child. I’ve been yearning to show these games to my children for years, and the third one was added to the Nintendo Switch e-shop. The best part about them is that several solutions to each mystery randomize when you start a new game.
So that’s a small victory for this computer game that consumed my youth and good news for fans of Humongous Games in general. I hope it does well enough for them to justify adding the rest of the series and even make a new mystery for Freddi and Luther to solve!
Tak and the Power of Juju
Tak and the Power of Juju was set up to be a powerhouse, and then it disappeared. It was an action-adventure platformer that was common to the early 2000s. There were two sequels and a TV series before fading into the night. I knew many people who played the games and had fond memories of them, so I’m not sure why it was abandoned! The jungle setting was reminiscent of Donkey Kong, the humor solid and the puzzles were good. This one is another series I think deserves to be brought back into the light!