Currently hightailing it to the 4th generation, Sony’s PS4 is a force to be reckoned with in the next generation, and so far is considered to be the superior buy in comparison to Microsoft’s Xbox One. These days, exclusives are a rarity, with games like Call of Duty: Ghosts available on both the Xbox One and PS4 on launch, and many other formally Sony exclusive franchises like Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain crossing over both consoles.
But with a new generation comes a new set of franchises and IP’s, both old and new. Given the Playstation’s extensive history, there are plenty of franchises from the first, second, and even third generation of Playstation that just won’t make the cut. While we know franchises like Uncharted and Infamous will be back in action, many other Sony IP’s probably won’t make it over to the PS4. Here’s a list of the top ten IP’s and franchises that follow Sony’s slogan of ‘Make Believe,’ that barring an disparaging act of capitalism we’d like to see, but in all likelihood, probably won’t.
Darkstalkers is the Capcom fighting game pioneer in many ways, as its graphic style and gameplay mechanics paved the way for Capcom’s current cash cows Street Fighter and Marvel vs. Capcom. With a rich and vibrant Gothic horror art style, and a colorful cast of characters to match, Darkstalkers is a franchise worthy of more than just yet another HD remake. However, resurrecting a new IP is a bit of a risk, and fan-favorite Capcom producer Yoshinori Ono said that making a new Darkstalkers would be his “ultimate dream.”
However, according to Ono, the resulting game would require over 1 million requests to make it financially viable to go ahead with in development, so maybe if enough gamers want it, a new Darkstalkers will happen. Still, noted Darkstalkers character Morrigan (noted for her anime-large breasts that is), still makes appearances in modern fighting games, most recently in Marvel vs. Capcom 3, so at the very least, there’s still some fan interest in a resurrection of the franchise.
Ominusha is another venerable Capcom franchise that has fallen by the wayside in recent years. While the game has no set protaganists, the commonality is that they are all skilled swordsmen fighting against the injustices of Japanese history, with added supernatural elements. The famed Japanese warlord Oda Nobunaga , who is known for ruthlessly unifying the warring Japanese states, is the primary antagonists of the first three games, which we think is pretty great in itself.
Barring a browser based title, the game hasn’t received a new outing since 2006, and with plenty more Japanese history to cover, we hope that Ominusha makes a return soon. Yoshinori Ono is also the producer of this franchise, so maybe if there’s fan interest, he can make it happen.
3. Zone of the Enders
Zone of the Enders is a futuristic mecha franchise, similar to Gundam, that is best known as the Konami franchise that famed Metal Gear Solid producer Hideo Kojima cut his teeth on. With two titles (the second one being non-exclusive) a spin-off Game Boy Advance game, an anime series and an HD remake, the Zone of the Enders franchise is pretty clearly established. In true space opera fashion, we like to pretend that some of the games never happened, but Zone of the Enders and Zone of the Enders: The Fist of Mars both create an interesting and detailed universe that easily has the capacity for further stories and adventures.
Maybe if Kojima ever takes a break from Metal Gear Solid, we’ll see another, but given the abysmal success of Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner , it’s unlikely we’ll see a return to the franchise any time soon.
4. Crash Bandicoot
Crash Bandicoot is one of those characters that came to define a generation. A generation that hardly anyone remembers, but a generation nonetheless. In the age of platformers, Crash was king, but now he’s little more than a running joke, a withering mascot of another era. Crash himself never ended up returning in the rumored Crash Bandicoot Returns Crash’s latest outing was in the iPhone/iPad racer Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 2 in 2010, marking a sad fate for the once iconic character.
We’d love to see him return someday, even if it’s him behind a gun in a cartoon first person shooter, but somehow it seems like that’s not going to happen.
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5. Jak & Daxter
Jak & Daxter dominated the playing field in the era of PS2, but the dynamic duo of elf-with-anger-issues and sarcastic furry creature never really made a mark on the current generation. While only the latter two titles of Jak & Daxter set up a true franchise dynamic, the universe and character dynamics were compelling enough, and the adventures and situations wacky enough, to warrant at least a few other titles that don’t involve racing.
Developer Naughty Dog, who now have more pressing matters with the Uncharted franchise, don’t currently have plans to revisit Jak & Daxter any time soon, but this is one duo we’d really like to see make an outstanding return.
6. Arc the Lad
Arc the Lad is one of those classic JRPG franchises that made a bit of a crossover to the West, but is ultimately a Japanese baby. The initial game sold over a million copies in Japan, which in 1995 was a pretty extraordinary feat. Arc the Lad successfully crossed over to the PS2, with great success, but interest wanted in the franchise as the JRPG fell in prominence in the gaming world.
Still, it would be nice to see Arc the Lad make a return, as it really inspired the tactical RPG as we know it.
7. Ratchet & Clank
Not exactly obscure characters, Ratchet & Clank, the adorable bipedal anthropomorphic cat and his wry robot sidekick, are easily rearing for another go. With a feature film announcement on the horizon, Ratchet & Clank are more likely than any other ailing franchise to get another game deal.
Still, no PS4 announcement has been made yet, but with innovative gameplay that combines the platforming of old with the shooting-action of new. But if anyone can make the crossover, these two can.
8. Sly Cooper
Sly Cooper has had it rough lately. With a new game releasing in February to little fanfare, the character may not resurface for some time. But his original trilogy had a certain magic to it that only a robber raccoon with his jovial sidekicks could make. While Sly Cooper probably just doesn’t connect with the current generation of gamers, a downloadable title for the fans would be all that was needed to satiate our hunger for more anthropomorphic burglar adventures.
The initial current-generation shooter, Resistance: Fall of Man was an FPS with a lot of potential, much of which it didn’t live up to. It’s two sequels fared slightly better, but were still not all of what the compelling universe seemed to be capable of offering. Isomniac Games Creative Director Marcus Smith has already said that the company is done with the Resistance franchise, but the established IP could always be handed off to a new developer, who has more enthusiasm for the universe.
Perhaps the true first military shooter outside of the actual military, SOCOM was a franchise so iconic that it was analogous to cooperative shooters and online multiplayer in general. Now relegated to Sony’s handheld PSP and PS Vita, SOCOM was ousted by Call of Duty and Battlefield as the premiere military shooter. Maybe if SOCOM made a return as a way more tactical FPS, it could have a wide appeal for shooter fans looking for a more challenged and nuance experience, where one shot can actually drop someone, and people don’t near-instantly hear from bullet wounds like they’re the proverbial offspring of Wolverine.
It would satisfy fans quite a bit if Sony were to do this, and SOCOM is one franchise that we all truly want to see revived.