In the ever-changing video games industry landscape, it’s easy for classic franchises to be left behind or forgotten. Some characters have been adapted and changed, such as Rare’s foul-mouthed mascot, Conker, who appeared in the recent Project Spark and Sony’s Spyro the Dragon, now featuring in the much-loved Skylanders series. Other games are often left in the dust, and never get the sequels that they deserve. Here’s our list of the top video game franchises that desperately need sequels for the modern generation of gaming…
Earthworm Jim (1994 – 1999)
This beloved 90s platformer series first appeared on the Sega Genesis, and featured the titular earthworm as its protagonist, as he fought off an alien horde. While the premise may seem bizarre, the games were beautifully crafted and totally unique. Earthworm Jim became known for its fluid animation and distinct brand of humor, and even spawned an animated series. Despite its popularity, the initial game only received one true sequel – Earthworm Jim 2 in 1995. Featuring a similar premise to the first game with improved graphics, and new mechanics, it, like the first game, received much praise. Following this entry were two lackluster sequels developed by Interplay and Crave Entertainment, which effectively ended the franchise and its success. While there has since been a high definition remake of the original Earthworm Jim, the franchise has yet to make the full return that it deserves.
Pandemonium! (1996 – 1997)
Pandemonium! and its later sequel were platforming video games developed for the Playstation where the player took on the role of either Fargus, a joker, or his partner Nikki, on their quest to undo an evil magic spell. Featuring 2.5D gameplay and CG rendered graphics, both games were unique entries into the world of platformer games. While the game has dated badly, it could still be reinvigorated with a further sequel to round out the story of Lyr. Featuring an intricate story and beautifully crafted worlds, a new sequel would be a welcome addition to the Playstation 4’s current line-up, and an opportunity to showcase the graphic capabilities of the next generation of gaming.
Gex (1994 – 1999)
Inspired largely by pop culture, the video game series, Gex, followed the adventures of pop-savvy lizard Gex, as he attempted to defeat his foe, Rez, who was trying to overthrow The Media Dimension. Cleverly written and brought to life by the voice of Dana Gould, it’s Gex himself that makes the series so enjoyable. The initial 1994 game received two sequels, Enter the Gecko and Deep Cover Gecko. Riffing off the spy genre, action-adventure movies and other popular Hollywood feature films, another Gex game would be a welcome addition in a market saturated by pop-culture.
Crash Bandicoot (1996 – 2008)
The Crash Bandicoot series has received multiple sequels, sidequels, spin-offs and more, including several party and racing games, but the series never quite felt done. With the widely derided sequels Crash of the Titans in 2007 and Mind Over Mutant in 2008, the series received its last major entries. These games largely failed because they changed too much of the classic Crash formula, alienating many of its former fans. Since then, the Crash franchise has languished in relative obscurity, despite the obvious support for a new game. A return to the original formula that made the first three Crash Bandicoot games such a success would be a sure way to continue the franchise and maintain its legacy.
Diddy Kong Racing (1997)
This kart racer was initially introduced for the Nintendo 64, and was later re-released for the Nintendo DS. Developed my Rare and Nintendo, it boasted a huge cast filled with both company’s best and most loved characters, including an appearance by Conker the Squirrel and Banjo the Bear. Unfortunately in recent years, many of Rare’s characters have faded in popularity, and Diddy Kong Racing has been overtaken by the Mario Kart series. Both planned sequels eventually fell through, but a further entry to the series could be a hit, especially considering the popularity of the recently released Rare Replay, which showcased some of Rare’s most popular characters.
Dragon Valor (1999)
This hack and slasher was the third game in the Dragon Buster series, and the first to be released on Playstation One. The game followed a family of dragon slayers in their quest to rid the world of dragons, and its intricate story made it a unique and highly replayable game. Featuring a vast array of choices, the game presented players with multiple storylines and had three different endings. Despite its sweeping story and fun gameplay, the game never saw a sequel. A further entry into the series that continued the quest of the Dragon Valors would make a brilliant follow-up.
Mischief Makers (1997)
This Nintendo 64 game is often forgotten, but it still remains a classic gem. Players take on the role of Marina, a robotic maid, as she attempts to rescue her creator across a range of levels. The game’s simple mechanics and unique 2.5D level design makes it a highly memorable game, and Marina makes for a strong, interesting protagonist. Revisiting Mischief Makers with a sequel would give this hidden classic a much-needed boost in popularity, and would showcase the innovation and uniqueness of the original.
Medievil (1998 – 2005)
While this series received both a sequel and a remake, neither lived up to the expectations and popularity of the original Medievil. Throughout the series, players took on the role of undead knight, Sir Daniel Fortesque, as he vanquished Zarok’s evil forces and earned his right to die peacefully. Sir Dan, however, did not rest for long, and Medievil 2 saw him battling Jack the Ripper in Victorian London. The sequel is very different to the first game, which had a rich story and unique tone. The later remake, Medievil: Resurrection put the final nail in Dan’s coffin, and the series was put to rest after dismal reviews. If any game on this list is ripe for a sequel, it’s the Medievil franchise, and with enough support, it may just happen.
While many of these games may return at some point in the future, in an industry where remakes, sequels and reboots are rife, for now, we’ll just have to wait and see.