originals\ Sep 27, 2011 at 3:58 pm

Top Five Retro Franchises That Need to Make a Comeback


Mega Man, NBA Jam, Contra, and countless other classic video game franchises have been faithfully revived over the past several years. These IPs seemingly returned to their old school glory to provide some more enjoyment to both longtime fans and newcomers alike. Now more than ever, it's very evident that retro's not dead, and these are just a few of the series that prove that. If that wasn't enough, games like New Super Mario Bros. and Donkey Kong Country Returns also adequately provide a nostalgic thrill with solid gameplay and classic level design. But what other franchises deserve a revival in the modern era of gaming? Lets take a look at five retro series that are due for a comeback.

5. Wonder Boy

Some of you may think that the inclusion of Wonder Boy on this top five list is a bit strange. This may be especially true considering the fact that Wonder Boy isn't exactly one of the most popular franchises as far as old school gaming goes. That said, it's still an enjoyable series nonetheless, and if you've had the opportunity to play a Wonder Boy game on the Sega Master System, TurboGrafx-16, or Wii Virtual Console, you're aware of just how delightful these games can be. The Wonder Boy series consists of a collection of platformers, but underneath their run-and-jump exterior are some quaint RPG elements sprinkled throughout for good measure. The Wonder Boy games feature colorful environments and charming characters, and there's no denying the fact that a nice return to form would be pretty exciting.

4. Zombies Ate My Neighbors

Zombies Ate My Neighbors is easily one of the most talked about titles among SNES owners. The game was, for all intents and purposes, a total blast from start to finish. One or two players could go around a 16-bit neighborhood, blasting zombies in the face and helping poor, hopeless individuals. The game was pretty quirky, and it was aesthetically stylish and incredibly polished in terms of its gameplay. For years, Wii owners were waiting for the game to land on the Virtual Console. Well, it has, but how about a real comeback? And I'm not talking about that Ghoul Patrol crap. We want Zombies Ate My Neighbors 2: The Return of the Zombies Who Ate My Neighbors!

3. Streets of Rage

Did you play Streets of Rage Remake? If not, you really should, because that's probably as close to a Streets of Rage revival as we'll ever get. For some reason, Sega doesn't feel the need to bring back this outstanding beat 'em up franchise (with the exception of those crummy iPhone ports). Back in the days of the Sega Genesis, Streets of Rage offered a gritty action romp that was easy to get into and totally addictive. Even if you check out the games today, they're still a total blast. There's nothing quite like seeing 16-bit characters wearing clothes that's too tight, all the while sporting the best haircuts of the '90s and cleaning up the city one street at a time.

2. Double Dragon

Another outstanding beat 'em up from the retro gaming years, Double Dragon holds a special place in many gamers' hearts for its wicked urban themes and no-nonsense brawling gameplay. The series became a hit in arcades, and the NES housed its own successful ports. Additionally, a couple of SNES originals would soon follow. Admittedly, Double Dragon 3: The Rosetta Stone was a ridiculously difficult, damn near unplayable mess, and like so many others, I never want to play that title again. That said, if we were to someday see a revamp of the series for modern consoles (most likely as a downloadable offering), fans would surely rejoice as they prepare to fill the boots of Jimmy and Bimmy ... uh, I mean ... Billy!

1. Mother (Earthbound)

Easily one of the most enigmatic franchises in all of gaming, Mother (or Earthbound in North America) has managed to captivate the imaginations of gamers everywhere since its debut on the NES. Even with the solid experience that the first Mother game had to offer, however, it wasn't until Earthbound hit the SNES that the series really left its mark on gaming. To call Mother a revolutionary RPG series would certainly be fitting, as it offered its own spin on the genre and delivered some offbeat quirks that weren't expected at the time such as enemy hippies and baseball bats instead of swords. No, this wasn't your typical RPG, but that's what made it so special. These days, the Mother series is a beloved cult classic, and it doesn't seem like Nintendo will ever resurrect it. Hopefully the company comes to its senses, though, and gives us a new entry in this wonderful franchise. If not, at least we have the fan-made Mother 4 to look forward to.

When a classic series gets revitalized and offers one more ride in the modern era of gaming, it's often a nostalgic ride for gamers who played the series during its origins. For those who may have missed out on it or were too young to enjoy it during its heyday, on the other hand, a comeback provides a glimpse at the story, gameplay, and art that made that particular franchise so awesome back in the day. Games like River City Ransom and Earthworm Jim are being prepped for a comeback, but there are still countless other franchises that could sure use some time in the current generation's spotlight. Of these, no games deserve it more than Wonder Boy, Zombies Ate My Neighbors, Streets of Rage, Double Dragon, and Mother.

About The Author
David Sanchez David Sanchez is the most honest man on the internet. You can trust him because he speaks in the third person.
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