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Gauntlet is a simple game, but it penetrated our pop culture with cheesy phrases about how “Warrior needs food badly” back in the ’80s. After some forgettable sequels and ports, we got great arcade updates of the series in the late ’90s.
Outside of those games being ported, though, there hasn’t been much interest in Gauntlet, and the 2014 attempt to reboot the series really fizzled out. With franchises like He-Man and the Masters of the Universe making a comeback, this is the perfect time for more of this classic hack’n’slash style game.
Rygar is a quirky franchise. The arcade game was a perfectly serviceable action platformer. But the NES version added RPG elements that gave this game a surprising amount of depth.
Since that NES game, all we have gotten is a 2002 remake of the arcade game and a later Wii port of that. Given the direction of modern Final Fantasy games, now is the perfect time for this series to come back and embrace its console action/RPG roots.
3. NBA Jam
The secret NBA Jam's success is simple: players don’t always want ultra-realistic sports simulations. Sometimes, players just want to relive the over-the-top fantasies they had while clutching trading cards in middle school.
NBA Jam had a series of forgettable sequels followed by an attempted reboot on the Wii, PS3, and Xbox 360. Two console generations later, we’re ready to see what a modern NBA Jam will look like.
Klonoa was one of the best platforming series on the PSX and PS2, and it even had a decent remake on the Wii in 2008. But for all its success and fun, this cute mascot never captured the public imagination as other gaming icons did.
Which is a damn shame! This character nearly had a recent film adaptation, but the project got scrapped. We recommend Klonoa return to its roots with a new game.
Zaxxon made history in arcades with its pseudo-3D design. And it inspired a forgettable sequel in the form of Super Zaxxon.
This series would be ideal for a modern update, but attempts to do so on both the 32x and mobile devices were lackluster. Now, nearly four decades after the original game came out, we are due for a new entry.
6. Ikari Warriors
With its Rambo influence and Cold War sensibilities, it kind of makes sense that the Ikari Warriors franchise never received new games after the 1980s.
However, the top-down action of this game is very addictive, and the arcade game and even home ports remain top-tier two-player experiences. Honestly, this would make for a natural series on the Switch for gamers who want to channel First Blood on the go!
7. Gunstar Heroes
Gunstar Heroes is more than another fun franchise. To many Genesis fans, the original game was nothing short of the best 16-bit title ever made, and it holds up incredibly well.
With that in mind, it’s bizarre to think that the only sequel this game ever got was a Game Boy Advance game in 2005. Now, 16 years later, fans are hoping to experience this iconic and fast-paced world once more.
The Gex franchise came from a time when everyone wanted their own cute gaming mascot. And for three games and a half dozen consoles, Gex won us over with surprisingly solid platform gaming.
Unfortunately, the franchise never made it out of the 1990s. But now that retro streamers are rediscovering it, this may be the perfect time for Gex to return.
Descent the game (not to be confused with the great movie) is a real product of its time. While the gameplay was fun enough, this game’s real claim to fame was giving us 3D gameplay and freedom of movement way back in 1995, when both of these things seemed revolutionary.
In an age of sizzling graphics cards and VR headsets, we could really use a new Descent game. And we almost got one, but a successful Kickstarter led to issues with a development studio that kept this game from being finished.
For a weird moment there, it looked like Darkstalkers might exceed the Street Fighter series in popularity. Once you get past the weird aesthetic of horny catgirls and other strange characters, this series offered slick fighting and even a decent story.
However, outside of remasters and compilations, we haven’t had a new entry in this series since 1998. And one look at the weirder parts of the internet will tell you people are ready to play as catgirls now more than they ever were before!
11. Cyber Sled
Cyber Sled was an arcade game that came out in 1993 but felt like it came from the far future. The 3D designs of futuristic tanks were iconic, and the twin-stick controls made it feel like you really were piloting a heavy tank on a life-or-death mission.
It had a forgettable sequel a year later and the franchise never really made it out of the ’90s except for ports. But with a good twin-stick home controller, this franchise could absolutely be reborn on next-generation consoles.
12. Bubble Bobble
Bubble Bobble is one of the most popular games in the world. However, many fans don’t realize that with its 21 sequels and spinoffs like Puzzle Bobble, it is also one of the biggest franchises in the world.
The game actually had a truly forgettable entry on the Switch that tried to make 3D graphics and four-player gaming happen. That game was pretty bland and most players spent their time playing the original arcade version within this game.
Given the popularity of retro gaming and aesthetics, it’s time to get this franchise back to its 2D, two-player basics for another trip to the world of monsters.
13. Battle Arena Toshinden
Gamers with long memories might remember Battle Arena Toshinden as Sony’s secret weapon against Sega. While Sega was wowing the world with Virtua Fighter, Toshinden was Sony’s way of showing that they could also create killer 3D fighting games.
The game had several okay sequels, but it became forgotten over time due to the popularity of rival series such as Tekken. And there was a Wii spinoff in 2009 that nobody really played (probably because it had the bland title “War Budokai”).
Long story short, it’s time to bring Toshinden back properly to give the PS5 a decent fighter!
VectorMan is basically the hit franchise that almost was. This run-and-gun game was so impressive back in the 1990s that it nearly got its own movie and TV show.
Unfortunately, that never happened. We simply got two hit games and then, much later, endless ports of these games. But it’s time for us to see VectorMan in the fully 3D action game he has always deserved.
15. A Boy and His Blob
A Boy and His Blood started as a franchise on the NES. The premise is simple: it’s a puzzle-solving game where feeding your pet blob special jellybeans will transform them into useful tools for getting past tricks and traps.
The game had a high-definition port in 2016, but it never made quite the splash that it should have. And this take on the puzzle game genre remains fresh enough that we really need to return to Blobolonia for a few more games.
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