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Oftentimes, the continuous innovation of new games and new features tend to leave older games behind in the dust, but while developers and publishers (*coughEAcough*) might have long forgotten their creations, the gamers never do.
Some of these classic titles might be old, but they’ve made their mark in the realm of video games, and pretty much left a legacy so significant that many gamers still keep them close to their hearts.
Diablo II: Resurrected
While there are plenty of other titles that have seen a revival, modern remake or return in recent times, there are many more game classics that have been forsaken, despite their success. Recently, it has been heavily rumoured that EA would be announcing a new title based on an old IP, and bets are on the Dead Space survival horror franchise, and if that can be revived, then we believe some of these games should be brought back, for the sake of all gamers.
While everyone probably has different titles in mind, we have 12 names on our list. Now, the creation of such lists can be controversial – who makes the cut? Since this list was inspired by the rumour of a Dead Space revival and Dead Space 3 came out in 2013, that was out cut off – if a franchise game saw a release after 2013, it doesn’t make it to this list.
And yes, the keyword here is ‘franchise’, so given the number of spin-offs, reboots and whatnot, the core game must have at least had three entries. Oh, and mobile, arcade. DLCs, remasters and VR versions do not count, which explains why Alan Wake is not on this list. There are also exceptions, which you can see below, and this list isn’t all-encompassing either. Here’s a brief introduction to each of them, and if you think some titles should be on this list, let us know.
When it comes to racing games, you want to get to the finishing line as quickly as possible but in Burnout – you want to hang back, and take your opponents out.
A series of racing games first developed by Criterion Games in 2001 before its acquisition by Electronic Arts in 2004, Burnout was extremely successful because of its unique playstyle compared to other racing games.
Notable for its crash mode, Burnout emphasizes heavily on high-speed racing and making your opponents crash. The slow-motion replay of crashes and high risk “manoeuvers” was what made the game tick.
Throughout its different titles, each game had featured its unique type of modes such as Takedown, Crash Mode, and Road Rage. The 2008 title, Burnout Paradise incorporated elements of an open-world concept where players can decide their routes for races and include even social elements.
While Burnout Paradise eventually got remastered in 2020, there is no news of any possible sequel or reboot of its series. Instead, EA is still churning out Need For Speed games that few want to play. If the Fast & Furious franchise could be described as a video game, Burnout would come very close.
An iconic action-adventure platformer developed by Konami, Castlevania is a name known to all gamers as THE vampire game, probably of all time.
Castlevania was set largely in the castle of the legendary Count Dracula and revolved around a clan of vampire hunters, the Belmonts. Originally released back in 1986 for the Nintendo Family Computer Disk System, the first entry of the game was so successful that it went on to release its most successful sequel Symphony of the Night.
Symphony of the Night was widely known to have popularized the Metroidvania genre with Super Metroid.
The entire franchise has 23 titles and sold over 20 million copies worldwide as of 2006. It even spawned a handful of spin-offs, for example, the latest Netflix animated series, which is one of the most successful original animated shows on the platform.
Hopefully, the popularity of the animated series will give the developers a bump to bring back the classic vampire-slaying game.
If there was one real-time strategy (RTS) that could rule them all, it’s most likely Command & Conquer.
Developed by the same guys who made Dune II, which laid the foundations for many future RTS games, Westwood Studios first released Command & Conquer back in 1995. With two playable factions of the Global Defense Initiative (GDI) and Brotherhood of Nod, players gather resources, build technologies, produce unique troops and battle it out.
What makes the game special beyond its adrenaline gameplay and the story was how it featured full-motion video cutscenes compared to digitally rendered ones – back then, it was considered out of the world.
The game was named ‘Best Strategy Game’ of 1995 by PC Gamer US, and is often considered the title that defined the RTS genre. The sequels that followed soon after each revolved around different settings and often an alternate universe of the real world.
Westwood Studios was acquired by Electronic Arts in 1998 and went on to produce even more titles before it closed down in 2003.
The franchise itself was such a critical success that it was developed into three different series with a total of 23 titles. Throughout the years, every title of the franchise has had a generally positive response and was awarded ‘Biggest Selling RTS Series’ in 2008 by the Guinness World Records.
So if there’s any RTS that deserves a revival, Command & Conquer is first in line. Come on EA, what are you waiting for? We don’t need yet another Star Wars title from you.
A science horror fiction game that has redefined its genre, Dead Space has been giving players the screams since 2008.
The game was a franchise loved by many thanks to its premise, compelling storyline and characters. Set in space, players play as Isaac Clarke, a systems engineer who has to defend himself against hordes of aliens known as Necromorphs.
Developed by Electronic Arts, the franchise has had three titles, several spin-offs and even a few animated adaptations. The original game was critically acclaimed and was often touted as one of the greatest video games of all time because of its survival horror factor.
However, the last title of the series, Dead Space 3, had disappointing sales and failed to meet the company’s expectation, resulting in the cancellation of its sequel. Fans have long been asking for a remake or revisit to this incredible franchise, and it wasn’t until recently that the game is rumoured to be finally making its return.
Things are still not officially confirmed yet, so we can only wait until EA Play Live this 22 July to find out.
Not everyone knows how to play the guitar, well not at least until Guitar Hero came out.
Originally released back in 2005 by Harmonix and RedOctane, Guitar Hero revolutionized music rhythmic games thanks to its guitar-shaped game controllers. It was the jam back in the days, where you didn’t have to play the guitar… to play the guitar.
The guitar controller comes with several buttons that players must match and strum with what’s displayed on the screen. While it was nothing close to playing an actual guitar, the controller was greatly applauded for its simplicity and ability to mimic similar guitar features such as hammer-ons, pull-offs, and the whammy bar.
The game included a single-player, versus, and cooperative multiplayer mode where friends could gather and jam out to their favourite tunes. While the guitar controllers add a lot of fun to the game’s experience, Guitar Hero can still be enjoyed with normal controllers.
In 2006, the series underwent a massive acquisition change which some would argue, was the decline of the series. While RedOctane was acquired by Activision, Harmonix was acquired by MTV Games, which the latter went on to create their own rhythm game, Rock Band.
After which, the series continued to release several more sequels, expansions, and even a new rendition titled DJ Hero, which revolved around turntablism. However, some of the expanded games didn’t do as expectedly well for the series and the titles soon fall short of their projected targets, and everything went downhill from there.
The latest title that Activision released was Guitar Hero Live, which tried to reboot the series for next-gen gaming with new guitar controller designs and full-motion video gameplay for the players. Unfortunately, it didn’t fare any better than the previous titles and the game was ultimately killed off.
Activision officially shut down their online servers for Guitar Hero Live on all existing platforms except Xbox 360 in 2020, and the rest is history. Now, we can only dream of rocking stages and slaying riffs like we were true guitar heroes.
One of the defining franchise’s for PlayStation 2, Jak and Daxter, was a unique platformer that managed to encompass several genres in its gameplay. Developers of the game, Naughty Dog, has been praised for their innovation with the game’s character and gameplay styles.
The game follows Jak and Dexter in their adventure to return Daxter to human form after he was being transformed into an ottsel. As players progress throughout the game, they begin to discover secrets of their world and mysteries left behind by the ancient race of Precursor.
Inspired by both Eastern and Western culture, the game successfully created a wonderful fictional world that captures the essence of sci-fi, steampunk, cyberpunk and even mysticism. It was also notable for its diverse gameplay that mixed action, racing and puzzle-solving.
The last release of the franchise was a remastered collection and bundle of the games back in 2012 and 2017.
While it has been revealed that Naughty Dog initially explored ideas to make a reboot of the series, and a new title after working on various concepts before the development of The Last of Us, nothing was ever confirmed or announced by the studio.
Now that Naughty Dog is finally done with The Last of Us and its sequel, perhaps it’s time for them to pick up those ideas and give the fans what they want.
Publisher EA is mentioned a lot on this list, and it’s either because they have a lot of popular games in its library, or that they have been sitting on them, not knowing what to do with it all.
One of the longest-running first-person shooter franchises, Medal of Honor was an incredibly popular shooting game mainly set in World War II.
Developed by DreamWorks Interactive and published by Electronic Arts, the original game revolved around the Office of Strategic Services and its espionage missions during World War II. The games eventually evolved into front-line combat and modern warfare as the series progressed and had spawned a total of fifteen titles with ongoing developer changes.
The first few games were notably directed and produced by Steven Spielberg and were heavily inspired by his movie Saving Private Ryan. The franchise’s music was also composed by remarkable composers including Michael Giacchino, Christopher Lennertz and Ramin Djawadi.
Because of its long-running success, the series was awarded by Guinness World Records for ‘Best-selling FPS franchise’ in their 2008 Gamer’s Edition.
However, the series died soon after its 2012 title, Medal of Honor: Warfighter due to its commercial failure. It wasn’t until recently that a new virtual reality game was released titled, Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond, which had surprisingly won an Oscar for its short documentary.
It would make every FPS lover’s day if they brought back Medal of Honor, along with Spielberg.
An action role-playing game released in 1998, Parasite Eve was developed and published by Square, a Japanese video game company that becomes the current Square Enix.
Paradise Eve is a sequel to a Japanese horror novel of the same name written by Hideaki Sena. It follows a New York officer Aya Brea and her horrifying encounter and attempts to stop Eve, a woman who’s trying to destroy the world through spontaneous human combustion.
The game was also SquareSoft’s first M-rated game. While some claimed the game was too short and had no replayability, it was generally favoured upon for its visuals, cinematic sequences and music, which was composed by Yoko Shimomura. Till today, the scores for the game series are still regarded with high acclaim.
The original game received two video game sequels Parasite Eve II in 1999 and The 3rd Birthday in 2010. Unfortunately, both were not as successful as the first, but a modern take on this unique J-horror game would be a refreshing addition to the RPG genre. Hey, if Fatal Frame can make a comeback, why not Eve?
When it comes to platform action games starring an anthropomorphic animal, there are the three held in high regard – Ratchet and Clank, Jak and Daxter, and Sly Cooper. With the recent release of Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, there’s never been a better time to revisit the thieving racoon.
Developed by Sucker Punk Productions, Sly Cooper is a third-person stealth focused platform game that revolved around a racoon named Sly Cooper.
An iconic video game series for PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita, the franchise itself has spawned, several comics books and a variety of other spin-offs games thanks to its great reception.
Despite poor sales, the original game that came out in 2012 was critically acclaimed and widely praised for its animation, style and design. It was considered one of Sony’s “Greatest Hits” back then, because of that, Sony wanted to create a film and television series based on the games.
Leaks of the Sly Cooper film came out in 2012 before it was officially announced a few years after. However, following poor box office performance by Ratchet & Clank’s adaptation, the movie was eventually abandoned.
The television series that was also set to premiere in 2019 had been pushed back constantly and there are still no updates on when it’s ever going to be released.
The last title of the series, Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves came out in 2013 and ever since then, fans never saw Sly Cooper and his schemes again.
The other stealth game that has made its name as one of Ubisoft’s flagship franchises – Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell, is a series of stealth shooter games that was originally released back in 2002.
Following the world of espionage and black-ops, players control Sam Fisher, a highly trained agent within the NSA tasked for covert missions. Instead of taking enemies head-on, players must remain hidden, sneak or utilize diversions to sneak past enemies.
Each of the games in the series has its unique feature like the fourth game’s Double Agent feature, where there’s a morality factor introduced for players to balance gaining the trust of the enemies and fulfilling their true mission assignments.
The franchise has had seven games so far and had sold over 31 million copies by 2011. It also spun over seven novels that follow closely to the story and often tie in directly with the games.
The last time we had a Splinter Cell game was back in 2013’s Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist. While an announcement for a VR title has been made, there are still no updates relating to any proper upcoming sequel or remasters of the franchise.
While there is no new game in sight, fans might be happy to learn that an anime series was announced by Netflix in 2020 and is currently in the works.\
If you’re a fan of open-world RPGs, you must have heard of Ultima.
Created by Richard Garriot, Ultima is considered one of the most significant video game series in its genre, where it has been widely praised and recognized for its story, gameplay and game innovations.
Ultima took place mainly in a world called Sosaria (before it became Britania) and follows the player’s quest as “the Stranger” to defeat evil wizards, sorceresses and monsters. Each title of the Ultima franchise has its own unique narrative and often introduced new features to the game.
In the fourth sequel of the franchise, Ultima IV introduced an iconic alignment system based on the Eight Virtues and reinvented its previous combat-focused titles. This left a monumental impact on many other RPGs in the near future.
One key deployment in the series considered the player’s code of conduct, and stops them from acting however they want without considering the consequences. This system would ultimately influence many popular RPGs including Dragon Quest, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Fable.
The franchise has a total of 11 games with the latest being Ultima IX released 22 years ago.
Because Garriot’s company Origin Systems was sold to Electronic Arts back in 1992, neither party can create a new Ultima title without each other’s permission. This ultimately killed the franchise and stopped any hopes of a remake.
Much to the dismay of all RPG fans, Garriot has announced that he was unfortunately turned down by Electronic Arts with his attempts to revive the franchise.
It looks like we’re likely never going to see a modern take on Ultima anytime soon.
Blizzard’s most successful franchise, Warcraft is a series of RTS games that eventually spawned arguably the number one massive multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) of all time, World of Warcraft.
Warcraft revolved around the war between humans and orcs and made two direct sequels, Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness and Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, with the latter being the most successful title of its trilogy. Reign of Chaos has been praised for its compelling narrative and character development.
The entire franchise is set in a high fantasy world of Azeroth, where two factions, Alliance and Hordes are pitted against each other in an everlasting battle. The series has created an expansive world of lore that also spawned comic books and several novels.
Even though Warcraft III: Reign of Chao received its remake ‘Reforged’ recently, technical issues and lack of features left many fans disappointed.
While World of Warcraft is still an ongoing MMORPG that’s considered one of the best, what fans can never forget is the time when we could control hordes of orcs or human footmen and throw them against our enemies – militias, call to arms!
Zheng Yi is perpetually looking for the Time Stone to juggle his love for toys, anime, comics, gaming and photography. He probably needs the Space Stone next for his collection…
Burnout castlevania classic games command & conquer dead space Guitar Hero jak and daxter Medal of Honor parasite eve sly cooper Splinter Cell Ultima warcraft