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7 dormant video game franchises that need to be revived in 2024

Published Jan 14th, 2024 12:06PM EST
Titanfall needs to make a comeback in 2024.
Image: Respawn Entertainment

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2023 was such a whirlwind for gaming. It was so packed with new entries in beloved franchises (Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Alan Wake 2, Baldur’s Gate 3) as well as plenty of fresh surprises (Sea of Stars, Dredge, Lies of P) that it was nearly impossible to keep up. Now that the dust has settled, many are declaring 2023 one of the best years for video games on record. As such, it’s hard to imagine 2024 topping it, but one way this year could compete is by reviving some of our favorite dormant game franchises from years past.

Below, we’ve rounded up 7 game franchises we want to see return this year, as well as all their latest entries and any signs of sequels or reboots on the way.

Banjo-Kazooie

Banjo-Kazooie in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Banjo-Kazooie in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Image source: Nintendo
  • Latest entry: Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts (2008)

Two years after Nintendo set a new standard for 3D gaming with the launch of Super Mario 64 on the Nintendo 64, British video game developer Rare blew us away with the equally creative and entertaining 3D platformer Banjo-Kazooie.

Starring the titular laid-back bear and unruly bird, Banjo-Kazooie was incredibly ambitious for its time, with huge levels to explore, hundreds of collectibles to find, complex puzzles to solve, and more than a dozen special movies to learn. Its sequel, Banjo-Tooie, pushed the envelope even further with new playable characters and a multiplayer mode.

Despite its popularity, the series effectively ended after Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, which was released exclusively on Xbox 360 after Microsoft bought Rare. The characters have made a few cameo appearances in other games since, such as Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Minecraft, but we’re fast approaching two decades since they last starred in a new game. Here’s hoping Rare and Microsoft have something planned for the near future.


Jak and Daxter

Jak and Daxter in Jak 3.
Jak and Daxter in Jak 3. Image source: Naughty Dog
  • Latest entry: Jak and Daxter: The Lost Frontier (2012)

Jak and Daxter, Ratchet & Clank, and Sly Cooper. These 3D platforming franchises hold a very special place in the heart of anyone who owned a PlayStation 2 in the early 2000s. Of the three, Ratchet & Clank is the only franchise that never went away. Meanwhile, fans of the other series have been clamoring for a revival for over a decade now.

Jak and Daxter was unique in the way that it seemed to grow up alongside its players. The first game was an inventive and colorful platformer with a simple story and a sense of humor. Jak II was much edgier, with a GTA-inspired open world full of violence and carjacking. Finally, Jak 3 combined the best of both worlds, shaving off some of the rough edges while retaining a more mature backbone as the story of Jak and his ottsel friend Daxter wrapped up.

Developer Naughty Dog has had its hands full with Uncharted and The Last of Us over the past decade and a half, but Uncharted’s story is over, and Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us multiplayer spinoff has been scrapped. Wouldn’t now be a great time for Jak 4?


Portal

Portal 2 launched in 2011.
Portal 2 launched in 2011. Image source: Valve
  • Latest entry: Portal 2 (2011)

Portal and its sequel are two of the most celebrated puzzle platformers of all time. In the whole history of gaming, there are few fictional tools more iconic than the Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device (aka Portal Gun), which players use to transport objects and themselves through inter-spatial portals in order to solve puzzles for despotic robots.

While the puzzles take center stage, there is an alternatingly hilarious and engrossing sci-fi story lurking beneath the surface about a research facility that exists in the same universe as the Half-Life games. That story was still unfinished by the end of Portal 2, and as with Half-Life, fans are dying to know what happens next.

There hasn’t been any substantive news about Portal 3 in years, but if you’re desperate for more puzzles, the fan-made mod Portal: Revolution is free on Steam for players who own Portal 2. It’s set between Portal and Portal 2 and features over 40 new test chambers.


Rayman

Rayman Legends came out in 2013.
Rayman Legends came out in 2013. Image source: Ubisoft
  • Latest entry: Rayman Mini (2019)

The story of Rayman is a tragic one. Despite starring in some of the most creative and amusing platformers of the last several decades, the limbless hero now plays second fiddle to a group of loud, obnoxious rabbits. Save for a few mobile games, the last Rayman game to star the titular magical being was Rayman Legends in 2013.

The thing about Rayman Legends (and Rayman Origins two years earlier) is that it ruled. To this day, there have been few sidescrolling platformers that have topped it, and I am including recent standouts like Super Mario Bros. Wonder and Celeste.

Origins and Legends are two of the tightest, fastest, and most replayable platforming games of the early 2010s, but for some reason, the series has been dormant for over a decade. Instead, we get Rayman DLC for Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope. Let the Rabbids take a break and give Rayman another adventure this year.


Sly Cooper

The Sly Collection was released in 2010.
The Sly Collection was released in 2010. Image source: Sanzaru Games
  • Latest entry: Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time (2013)

While Ratchet & Clank was all about the weapons and Jak and Daxter changed its identity with every entry, the Sly Cooper series focused on stealth. Instead of blasting his way through levels, Sly had to sidle across ledges, leap across rooftops, and sneak up behind enemies to pick their pockets before knocking them out and jumping behind cover.

The first game had strict, linear levels, but after that, developerSucker Punch Productions threw Sly and his crew into an open world they could explore while completing objectives. Navigating those open environments with Sly’s unique moveset was always a blast.

Sucker Punch eventually left Sly behind for the Infamous series and, more recently, Ghost of Tsushima. Sanzaru Games took over for the fourth game but has since been acquired by Meta, where it’s working on Meta Quest games like Asgard’s Wrath 2. We’d love to see a Sly Cooper reboot, but we’re not even sure who would make it at this point.


SSX

SSX came out in 2012.
SSX came out in 2012. Image source: EA Sports
  • Latest entry: SSX (2012)

There have been a handful of great snowboarding games over the years, but in the early 2000s, SSX was the franchise to beat. SSX, SSX Tricky, and SSX 3 featured eccentric characters with plenty of boards to collect, crazy tricks to perform, and thrilling courses to race down filled with ramps, rails, and obstacles for players to avoid.

The series peaked with what would sadly be the final entry. SSX (2012) was the first entry in the series to feature real locations mapped by satellites. Players could race down the Himalayas, the Alps, the Rockies, and beyond. The reboot also introduced equipment players needed to survive avalanches, darkness, lack of oxygen, and freezing temperatures. But the terminal title’s biggest upgrade was its fully-fledged online system, which allowed SSX players to compete in real-time events with other players around the world to win prizes.

At this point, there’s no real evidence of SSX making a comeback any time soon.


Titanfall

Titanfall 2 launched in 2016.
Titanfall 2 launched in 2016. Image source: Respawn Entertainment
  • Latest entry: Titanfall 2 (2016)

Many believe that Titanfall 2 has the best single-player campaign of any first-person shooter of the last decade. The movement was fluid and dynamic, the levels were brilliantly designed, and the Titans were as fun to pilot as they were destructive. Plus, multiplayer was no slouch, and a few thousand players are still battling to this day.

Fans have been clamoring for more Titanfall since 2016, but developer Respawn Entertainment has shifted focus to its best-selling Star Wars Jedi games and the smash-hit battle royale game Apex Legends (technically a spinoff of Titanfall).

There have been signs of life in recent months. Respawn rolled out the first significant update for Titanfall 2 in years last September, which has given some fans hope that the franchise isn’t dead yet. But Titanfall 3 is still nowhere to be found.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.

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