14 abandoned gaming franchises that need to make a comeback

From Double Dragon to Tomba!

  • From Double Dragon to Tomba!, We name 14 long-gone video game franchises that we want to see brought back! Popular video game franchises are rarely abandoned. Usually a series that sells well is milked until gamers finally refuse to give a damn after the 23 sequel. This feature is dedicated to game franchises that, for various reasons, didn't manage to stick around. Here are 14 game franchises that died way before their time.

  • #8: Bushido Blade

    Last Seen:
    Bushido Blade 2 — PlayStation (1998)
    Around the same time Soul Edge was released in arcades, another weapon-based fighting game was released on the PlayStation, Square's Bushido Blade. In the game you could pick from an assortment of pointy-weapons, from katana to rapier. Bushido Blade was unique from other fighting titles in that the concepts of a health bar and timer were scrapped for a damage system where you could actually kill your opponent in a single blow.
    Where'd It Go: Work on a third installment in the Bushido Blade series dissolved as the team behind the games went on to work on Kengo, a game said to be an unofficial sequel to Bushido Blade 2, but in fact turned out to be a poor man's version of the game.
  • #2: Road Rash

    Last Seen: Road Rash: Jailbreak — PlayStation (1999)
    Road Rash was famous as one of the only racing games where you were required to literally punch, kick, and scratch your way to the finish line. Using blunt weapons to take out rival racers was the best part of the Road Rash series, something that continued all way up to its PlayStation debut, Road Rash: Jailbreak. Not only could you upgrade your bike, but you could also earn new bludgeoning weapons for inflicting massive damage.
    Where'd It Go: Electronic Arts is apparently getting their racing destruction quota from series like Need For Speed and Burnout, since Road Rash's only post-1990s exposure has been a couple of bare-boned GBA and PSP ports.
  • #7: Carmageddon

    Last Seen: Carmageddon 3: TDR 2000 — PC (2000)
    If you've never played Carmageddon, perhaps you've seen the film Death Race 2000 and can imagine a video game version of that irreverent movie where drivers race around a pseudo-futuristic track scoring points for mauling helpless pedestrians with their vehicle (and no, not the unholy bastardization remake that came out earlier this year, but the cult '70s flick starring David Carradine).
    Where'd It Go: Let's face it, if Rockstar can barely get away with the violence featured in Grand Theft Auto, how are they going to make another game where you are encouraged to savagely splatter old women with walkers on the hood of your car?
  • #1: System Shock

    Last Seen: System Shock 2 — PC (1999)
    With the tremendous popularity of BioShock (the "spiritual successor" to the System Shock games) it only seems natural to give some serious thought to rebooting the sci-fi horror series that started it all. In the System Shock games, which combine both FPS and RPG gameplay elements, you run around a space station crawling with murderous infected crew members called "The Many," that's reminiscent of the film Event Horizon (which came out after System Shock). Though System Shock and SS2's graphics are dated, the game's still fun to play.
    Where'd It Go: From what we understand, what little work was done on bringing a third System Shock game to life was absorbed into the creation of BioShock. Many fans of the series would kill for a chance to play a new System Shock, but so far there aren't any plans to bring it back this abandoned franchise.
  • #6: Shenmue

    Last Seen: Shenmue II — Dreamcast (2001), Xbox (2002)
    Ah, another unfortunate series that died along with the Dreamcast. While the Shenmue story definitely had legs to run on, it now looks like Ryo Hazuki may never get the chance to avenge his father. After five years, there's been no concrete evidence of a new Shenmue, despite hundreds upon hundreds of fan requests.
    Where'd It Go: While pictures and rumors of an online Shenmue title have been dangling in front Sega fans like a meaty steak, we still haven't heard anything new since a sparse 2006 press release.
  • #9: Dino Crisis

    Last Seen: Dino Crisis 3 — Xbox (2003)
    Capcom's other gruesome survival horror franchise, Dino Crisis, may have failed to quite reach the success of their renowned zombie-smashing series, Resident Evil, but it didn't really get much of a chance. Dino Crisis and the first sequel Dino Crisis 2 had you slaughtering your way through man-chomping velociraptors as a latex-clad Asian babe with red hair (there was a dude you could play as too in part 2 too). The two games were the next best thing to Resident Evil that added their own unique twist to the genre.
    Where'd It Go: Fans of Dino Crisis have been screaming for number 4 for quite some time now. Dino Crisis 3 was a failure on many levels and pretty much put the nail in the coffin of the series. And based on the countless franchises Capcom has in its arsenal that are already still going strong, we don't know how realistic Dino Crisis 4 is.
  • #10: Hexen/Heretic

    Last Seen: Heretic II — PC (1998)
    id Software isn't a company that gives up on its franchises (even the ones that it only produces). New games in the Doom, Quake, and even Wolfenstein series are still being made and they're not going away any time soon. So why hasn't there been another game in their demon-filled, fantasy-infused FPS game in ten years?
    Where'd It Go: Heretic, Heretic II, Hexen, and Hexen II were never anywhere as popular as say a Doom or a Quake, but they were still pretty badass in their own right.
  • #3: Chrono Trigger

    Last Seen: Chrono Cross — PlayStation (2000)
    No, releasing Chrono Trigger on the DS doesn't count as reviving the franchise. If Square Enix put half as much effort into making new games as they did into making ports, we'd be playing Final Fantasy XIII by now. We're not denying that the SNES port is a good thing (after all, our Chrono Trigger review rated a 5) we're still waiting for an honest sequel to Chrono Cross.
    Where'd It Go: Plenty of fan sites have been clamoring for a new Chrono game, even going as far as making their own mods -- until Square Enix starts handing out legal letters.
  • #14: Battletoads

    Last Seen: Super Battletoads — Arcade (1996)
    If you owned a Nintendo, you probably had a copy of Battletoads stacked with your NES cartridges. This series was meant to be Rare's answer to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise, complete with super-violent combat, insane difficulty and huge boss battles. In fact, the original Battletoads regularly ranks among Contra and Ghosts 'N Goblins as one of the hardest games of all time.
    Where'd It Go: The Battletoads haven't been seen in action since the mid-1990s, making their over-the-top arcade title, Super Battletoads, their de facto swan song.
  • #12: Killer Instinct

    Last Seen: Killer Instinct Gold — Arcade (1996)
    Most fighting games pride themselves on their eccentric rosters, but in the 1990s, few casts could claim to be as wacky as Killer Instinct. With a scantily-clad Amazon, a genetically engineered velociraptor-human hybrid and a possessed skeleton rounding out the group, Killer Instinct games are immediately recognizable at first glance. Of course, this series is also responsible for one of gaming's greatest battle cries: "Ultra Combooooooooo!"
    Where'd It Go: Aside from a small cameo in Viva Pinata, the KI cast is still long overdue for a next-gen appearance, something that Rare studio manager Mark Betteridge says he would like to fix.
  • #11: Double Dragon

    Last Seen: Double Dragon Advance — GBA (2003)
    It's no doubt that Double Dragon was one of the series that defined the early Nintendo. Despite its other embarrassing releases on the Super Nintendo, Double Dragon's crossover game with the Battletoads still ranks as one of the most memorable SNES titles ever. However, like the Battletoads, Billy and Jimmy haven't been seen in a new game since the 1990s.
    Where'd It Go: Technos, the original developer behind the series, went bankrupt in 1996, dropping some of their properties to the now-defunct Tradewest and Acclaim — Dragon Dragon may be permanently dead.
  • #13: Primal Rage

    Last Seen: Primal Rage II (Never Released)
    Primal Rage has the rare distinction of having a hotly-anticipated sequel that never saw the light of day. This fighting game was as gory as Mortal Kombat, and every aspect of the brutality was meant to shock and gross out anyone within eyesight of your TV set. Actually, it's more honest to say that it was Mortal Kombat with dinosaurs and urine-related fatalities.
    Where'd It Go: After Atari canceled production of Primal Rage II due to a perceived risk in sales (what the hell where they thinking?), no mention was ever made of the series again -- lame.
  • #5: Tomba

    Last Seen: Tomba! 2: The Evil Swine Return — PlayStation (1999)
    If you've never played a Tomba! game, you're not alone. The now defunct Whoopee Camp's whimsical side-scrolling adventures where you jump on the backs on pigs (not in the way that you're thinking) as a pink-haired caveman named Tomba were nothing short of awesome. Tomba could have easily risen to the fame of modern game mascots like Crash and Jak & Daxter.
    Where'd It Go: Despite the fact that both Tomba! and its sequel sold well and received overall great review scores, Whoopee Camp went under and Tomba! 3 was never made.
  • #4: Blood

    Last Seen: Blood II: The Chosen — PC (1998)
    The original Blood, as its name suggests, took the traditional FPS gameplay of the time featured in games like Doom and cranked up the blood and guts. In many ways though, Blood, was far more than just a Doom-ripoff. On top of sporting some really cool enemies like axe-wielding zombies and cloaked Jawa-lookalike cultists, Blood allowed you to rip off zombie's heads with a pitchfork and kick them around the level like a soccer ball and set other foes ablaze by firing a flare into their bodies.
    Where'd It Go: Blood II didn't feel like a true sequel and failed to meet the expectations of fans.
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