Whether it's the movie, television or video game industry, reboots are always a popular discussion amongst those producing and releasing work in each industry. While some reboots seem inevitable and unnecessary, many reboots actually come as a breath of fresh air to the franchises they represent, reinvigorating them and bringing them back for future generations.
Video game reboots are probably the most underrated of them all, with the success-to-fail ratio actually being much more on the positive sides, recent examples such as Doom and the new Tomb Raider series proving to be huge hits for the next-gen consoles and amongst the modern generation. With these reboot successes, as well as upcoming reboots to seasoned franchises, let's take a walk down memory lane and look at some franchises that should get the next-gen reboot treatment.
The True Crime franchise was a very unique franchise when the first game, Streets of LA, came out in 2003. Though the open-world nature had been touched upon in previous games such as Grand Theft Auto III, True Crime was still able to set itself apart with its gritty storyline having a cop as the protagonist, which the player could make be a dirty cop or a good cop through his actions dealing with street crimes and story missions.
Streets of LA received fairly positive reviews upon release and was a commercial success, prompting developer Activision to greenlight a second entry into the franchise, New York City, following a different protagonist in a much bigger setting. Here's the trailer for the Gamecube version of the second game:
Unfortunately, New York City proved to be a critical and commercial failure, critics finding that though the gameplay and plot proved to be positive aspects similar to its predecessor, the game's technical and graphical glitches were distracting and led to speculations of the game's rushed development and release. After attempting to make a third entry in the franchise, Hong Kong, the game was cancelled and later picked up by Square Enix and re-worked as Sleeping Dogs, with Activision dropping the True Crime name in 2014.
Now, though Sleeping Dogs can be seen as an unofficial reboot to the franchise, an official True Crime reboot is definitely still needed for the franchise. Open-world games are still wildly popular with today's gamers, the Grand Theft Auto franchise continue to make their worlds bigger and bigger and becoming more successful with each new installment. By incorporating a fresh cop trying to balance between good and evil in his career into the open-world environment provides gamers with the character development and structuring that can be challenging and thoroughly thrilling.
The NFL Street franchise was one of EA Sports' releases through their studio BIG, which focused on releasing sports games with non-realistic and arcade features, that proved not only to be ridiculous in its gameplay, but also an addicting amount of fun. The franchise started in 2004 after BIG had success with the NBA Street franchise and branched their games out to feature other sports with similar aspects.
In the game, the player could control bigger, more cartoonish versions of famous athletes as they play street football, and in addition to trying to win with typical football rules, they also must try to score style points through taunting opponents and making big plays such as diving catches, large leaps over defenders and running along the walls of the court to get around defenders. Here's a trailer for the bizarre sports game:
The first entry proved to be a critical and financial success, spawning two more entries into the franchise that both earned positive reviews. The franchise would die out, however, after the failure of unofficial successor NFL Tour and the end of the BIG brand in 2008. But with the Madden franchise still proving to be a huge seller for EA Sports, and football fanbases growing exponentially with each new season, now would be the perfect time to bring back the franchise for the younger generation. The ridiculous gameplay and arcade features help enhance the competitive nature of the game and push players to taunt their opponents and take advantage of the big plays in order to score bigger and win more.
While many of you may be saying that there is MLB: The Show, leaving no reason for another baseball game franchise to run alongside it, and to you I say, "Shut up and go to your corner." The MVP Baseball franchise was one of the most fun and well-made franchises during its brief run with EA Sports that was received very positive reviews with each installment in the franchise and saw bigger sales numbers with each release. Here's a trailer for the final (and best) entry in the franchise:
The franchise ended in 2005 when gaming company Take-Two Interactive (2K Sports) signed an exclusive licensing deal with Major League Baseball (MLB) in response to EA Sports' deal with the National Football League (NFL) for exclusive licensing rights. Though EA released two more games in the franchise focusing on college baseball, both of which earned positive reviews, the franchise never felt quite the same after the loss of the MLB license.
Even though the exclusive deal with 2K ended in 2012, and EA expressed interest in reviving the franchise around that time, there has been no news in relation to EA actually moving forward with a revival. With the true final entry into the MVP franchise (2005) being considered by most to be the most fun entry in the series, as well as one of the greatest baseball games ever created, this franchise is just begging to come back right now, especially since EA's attempt to reboot the NBA Live franchise proved to be a major disappointment for fans and critics alike.
Star Wars: Knights of The Old Republic
The Knights of the Old Republic franchise is still considered by gamers and critics alike to be one of the smartest and most addicting video game franchises in history. Its character development and balancing between dark side and light side of the Force was widely praised, along with the graphics and gameplay being reviewed as strong, especially for such an early time in the "sixth generation" consoles (Xbox and Windows, 2003). Here's a trailer for the first entry in the franchise:
Following numerous awards and major financial success with the first game, Obsidian Entertainment and LucasArts immediately began working on a follow-up installment released in 2004. While the sequel was still a financial success and earned multiple Game of the Year awards, it was still criticized for being too similar to its predecessor and featured numerous glitches and repetitive graphics.
Following a cancelled third KOTR installment for the franchise, BioWare released The Old Republic in 2011 which, while connected to the first two games in universe, was a vastly different game in both style and gameplay, switching to an MMORPG format similar to the World of Warcraft franchise versus the single-player, offline RPG format from the first two.
This change in format and storyline leaves plenty of room for a rebooted entry into the original KOTR franchise on the next-gen consoles. Not only did The Old Republic come out exclusively on PC, but the strictly RPG format is still a vastly popular genre in gaming today with huge hits such as Fallout 4 and Dark Souls III. With upgraded graphics and new updates to the gameplay style, the franchise could bounce back for the younger generation and offer new life to the critically-acclaimed series.
The Evil Dead
Video games based on movies are never really popular due to the fact it seems like a cheap gimmick for the studio to get money off of something popular. Some of the most infamous examples of being the worst video game adaptations include Aliens: Colonial Marines, Bad Boys: Miami Takedown and Clash of the Titans. However, there are some exceptions to this principle, and the Evil Dead video games are all great standouts for being good adaptations. Here's the teaser trailer for the first game in the franchise:
Truly beginning with Hail to the King in 2000, the horror film franchise spawned three video game adaptations for the fifth and sixth generation consoles that became critically more successful with each installment, ending in 2005 with the alternate-reality entry Regeneration, offering a plot that follows the Deadite-fighting Ash after avoiding being sucked into the time portal in Evil Dead II.
Now while the original games weren't huge financial successes, they did go on to become cult classics amongst fans of the franchise, and with the success of the new Starz TV series that features the return of Ash and star Bruce Campbell, now is as good a time as any to reboot the video game franchise based on the films.
The blend of offbeat humor and horror violence is not only perfect for today's modern audiences on TV, but can also be a huge hit with gamers everywhere, and if the right developer can develop a game with strong graphics and a good story with Campbell voicing Ash, the game series could see a huge hit on the next-gen consoles.
One of the longest-running survival horror game franchises in history, alongside Resident Evil, Silent Hill lives in infamy and in a special place in gamers' hearts around the world. Consisting of 11 games and one remastered collection, the Silent Hill franchise has always been praised for its unique horror elements and jump scare tactics, even if the story around the gameplay wasn't always up to par. The franchise has also spawned two films which, though critically panned, were major financial successes at the box office. Here's a trailer for the first game in the franchise:
Though the later installments in the franchise became less financially fruitful and slowly decreased in reviews, reception for the games always remained fairly positive, with particular praise going towards the graphics, atmosphere and scare tactics. The game initially saw an attempt at a reboot with the widely-acclaimed demo, P.T., which took players on a twisted and disturbing journey through a house that was basically a portal into Silent Hill (aka Hell).
Even though the demo was a major success with critics and gamers alike, behind-the-scenes drama between Kojima and Konami led to the cancellation of the full game Silent Hills, which would have starred Norman Reedus as the title protagonist with the actor's likeness, and was set to be co-directed by Guillermo del Toro alongside Kojima.
Even with the "failed" attempt at rebooting the franchise for the next-gen consoles, the cult following that P.T. received, and the recent announcement that the P.T.-inspired Allison Road is back in production after being cancelled, now is the perfect time to revive the franchise. The survival horror genre has been making a huge comeback over the last few years in the gaming industry, with The Evil Within earning stellar reviews for its haunting gameplay and the Resident Evil franchise returning to its horror roots, the Silent Hill franchise would not only benefit from a return to its roots, but if it could go back to what Silent Hills was doing, we could see one of the most successful survival horror games in next-gen history.
Even if you disagree with how strong the violence was in the franchise, Rockstar offered something new and unique with the Manhunt games. The series started in 2003 with the first entry in the franchise, in which players controlled a death row inmate forced to participate in snuff films after prison officials faked his execution to force him into a snuff ring.
The game earned favorable reviews from critics for its nihilistic tone and violent nature, but also received much controversy for the level of graphic violence throughout the game. Here's a trailer for the first game:
After the success of the first installment, Rockstar took the next few years to develop a sequel to the stealth-driven action game and released it in 2007 to positive reviews and even stronger controversy thanks to its initial 'Adults Only' rating and cuts for an 'M' re-rating. It was nominated for GameSpy's "Game of the Year" award and, as of 2008, helped the franchise get to over 1.8 million copies sold.
Now would be a great time to see this franchise return to shake up the stealth and psychological horror genres. The dark nature of the game's kills and tone really is still a unique nature in how serious it treats each one, while semi-similar games such as Madworld makes the game feel more cartoonish. If the franchise were rebooted with updated graphics, which was one of the common complaints with the second game, it could be an intense and stylish experience that would offer something different from the usual releases.
The Stuntman franchise may not have set any records with its sales, but the reviews for both games were fairly positive, and it deserved those good reviews. The games were fun and innovative in their gameplay as a stunt driver in a variety of movies ranging from a disaster film to a spy film to a comic book film. Here's a review/trailer for the second game in the franchise, Ignition:
Though the first games saw more mixed reviews than its successor due to its overly difficult gameplay, after five years and an exchanging of hands, THQ developed and released a sequel that was better structured, more user-friendly and featured a stronger engine for what was at the time considered next-gen consoles (Xbox 360, Playstation 3). Though it's been nearly 10 years since the previous installment in this franchise, now would be a great time to bring back the Stuntman series.
With some more fine tuning on its gameplay and some stellar graphics for current next-gen consoles, the destructive and fast-paced nature of the franchise would prove to be very inviting and enticing to gamers today.
Even if you're not that big of a gamer, chances are you've played one of the greatest multiplayer video games in history: 1997's GoldenEye 007 for the Nintendo 64. The 12th game in the franchise based around the infamous Ian Fleming character received large marks for its stealth elements, engrossing multiplayer deathmatch mode and single-player missions.
Following the huge success of the game, there were 13 more entries into the franchise, with the majority of games being based around a specific movie, while some were based around original stories. Here's the trailer for one of the more recent entries into the series, Blood Stone:
While some of the follow-ups to GoldenEye weren't quite as critically successful, there were a lot of truly entertaining and thrilling entries including Everything or Nothing and Agent Under Fire. While the series has seen a change in developer ownership numerous times since its inception in 1983 with Parker Brothers, the franchise saw its biggest success with developer EA Games, who published eight games in the James Bond franchise over the course of six years, beginning with Tomorrow Never Dies and finishing with From Russia with Love before the rights were sold to Activision.
Though many people ponder the life of the Bond film franchise (despite increasing box office numbers), the game franchise would be perfect to reboot right now. Though the latest entry to the franchise came out a mere four years ago, Activision no longer holds the rights to the James Bond license, giving way to other publishers (ahem, EA, ahem) to purchase the license for new entries. Though Activision's entries weren't terrible games, they weren't nearly as successful as previous entries and with a different developer and an engine for consoles such as the Xbox One and PS4, the 007 game franchise could see a strong return in a big way.
The TimeSplitters franchise still remains one of the most unique — and my personal favorite — first-person franchises out there. Its self-deprecating humor, cartoonish stylings, fast-paced action and solid graphics have impressed critics and gamers alike for years. Praise for the second game in particular has been for its multiplayer modes, being called by many as the best split-screen multiplayer game in history. Here's a trailer for the second game in the franchise:
All three entries into the TimeSplitters franchise earned rave reviews from critics, and though there was some interest in the early 2010s to make a fourth entry, the latest installment was shelved due to struggles selling the idea to publisher's because of Future Perfect's disappointing sales compared to previous entries.
With games such as Battlefield 1 and the Call of Duty franchise still proving that first-person multiplayer shooters are a huge draw, there's no better time than the present to reboot this franchise for the next-gen. Now, while cartoonish graphics may be initially tough to transition onto next-gen, games such as the LEGO and Saints Row franchises prove it is possible and can be successful.