Video games have been around for decades and technology has evolved since the emergence of Pong. Unfortunately that means plenty of beloved game characters and game series have been lost to time and have been buried by more recent, polished and shiny franchises.
With today's gamers very abundant obsession with high-resolution graphics, earth-sized levels, and over the top action, it's created a void for the games that graced the early days of polygons and 8-bit action to disappear into. Of course, there are amazing games coming out today, but there are more than a few characters who have fallen out of view and been forgotten by a large part of the population. Many of these characters still have life left in them and, given the chance, could make a strong and impactful comeback.
Of the 15 following characters, some of them have a drastically better chance then others to actually make a comeback, but all of them have the potential to draw quite the crowd and remind us why they were so popular in the first place. Plus, they would be nice breath of fresh (and familar) air in the industry, showing that anybody can come back and get another chance at success.
Hollywood films are in the midst of a heavy flow of reboots driven by the public’s insatiable thirst for nostalgia. Why can’t the same amount of excitement apply to the golden games of the past years, which many younger gamers of today probably haven’t even heard of?
15 Captain Commando
Essentially a super powered cop, Captain Commando was accompanied by his three friends and together they beat the crap out of super powered criminals in this classic arcade beat ‘em up. Captain Commando has since appeared in only crossover fighting games and has yet to see his own sequel.
Beat ‘em ups are definitely a hot commodity in today’s market and one that has a legacy already could surely come back and be a hit again. Many gamers probably recognize him from Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 and many fans of the series are hopeful that the future cop earns a spot on the upcoming Marvel Vs. Capcom Infinite roster.
From the days of the N64, the adorable, fancy, and dapper white glove known as Glover went on his adventure and soared into the hearts of gamers everywhere. The 1998 platformer featured the delightful and slightly creepy looking white glove known as Glover. The originally planned sequel was cancelled, leaving Glover stuck in video game limbo with almost no chance of ever seeing the light of day again.
He also had a version of his game on the PlayStation and it was a very painful flop, which is probably a strong reason that the sequel was dropped. Who knows, maybe one day we will see Glover grace our consoles again and it will leave a better taste in our mouths than last time.
Geno is one of the most beloved characters to only appear in one game and not even be the main character. He is part of the reason that Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars has such a cult following all these years later.
This living puppet is one of the most intriguing characters in the game, having been brought to life by a child’s wish after being possessed by a Star Road spirit. He is a powerful ally who has a rocket fist for a hand. Due to the fact that's currently owned by Square Enix, it makes it difficult and highly unlikely that we will ever see this puppet again.
Here’s hoping that the fan outcry eventually lands him a spot on the next Super Smash Bros. roster, since it’s probably the best chance we have to ever see him again.
12 Ice Climbers
It’s amazing that a pair of characters, who only had one game back in 1985, are so popular today. Funny enough, most people probably don’t even realize they had a game back in the day.
Today they are known for being a fan-favorite character in the Super Smash Bros. series. The Ice Climbers have earned the right to at least have a second game to their name and maybe the 3D treatment would look good on them, since their game centers around climbing mountains, something a 3D game would probably do well.
They are dangerously close to falling into obscurity with their recent exclusion from the newest roster due to technical limitations. This could be exactly what they need to keep an interest in them.
11 Todd Snap
I guess this is just my way of complaining that there somehow hasn’t been a sequel to Pokémon Snap since its release back in 1999. As the years have gone on and the Nintendo consoles have become more and more sophisticated, the systems are becoming perfect for a more interactive experience and their design is perfect for a photography game.
Pokémon Snap was a hit with gamers and it has an undeniable charm that has stood the test of time. A sequel would be met with plenty of excitement and, with its simple design, is almost impossible to mess up. The days of rail shooters have come and gone, but this is one of those old gems that would be welcomed by the newest generation of gamers. Plus there are over 500 new Pokémon since Snap’s release.
10 Captain Falcon
Your probably asking yourself, why the hell is Captain Falcon on this list when he is one of the most popular fighters in the Super Smash Bros. series? That’s precisely the reason. Captain Falcon has been forgotten as the protagonist of his own series in the same way the previously mentioned Ice Climbers have been. Due to their popularity in the fighting game, he has become known more for that than his own racing games.
With the modern technology available, the series' focus on speed and high-octane racing would be perfect for next-gen consoles. Since Nintendo is pretty short on racing titles (aside from Mario Kart), they could use the series to help bring the Switch back into the console wars and actually give Sony and Microsoft a run for their money.
9 The GGs
The GGs are the toughest guys and girls to ever wear a pair of roller-skates and patrol the streets of Japan, while filling the streets with their particular brand of graffiti. They were last seen in 2002’s Jet Set Radio Future. While the whole GG crew hasn’t been seen in 15 years, the series’ most iconic skater, Beat, has made several guest appearances in Sega All-Stars games, such as Sonic & Sega All- Stars Racing and Sega Superstars Tennis, with the latter also featuring Gum, another GG from the series.
The Jet Set Radio series has some very difficult stages, but the gameplay mechanics and the fluidity of movements allow for very satisfying gameplay. The gang is made up of a very diverse group of skaters and they are screaming to be brought back into today's gaming market.
While the game is as generic as it gets, Quest 64 is one of the best RPGs to be released on the N64. Brian’s coming-of-age tale was a great experience for any gamer, but unfortunately many gamers today may never get the chance to live it out again due to the need for a memory cartridge, which are almost extinct at this point.
The game had a planned sequel, but it was ultimately cancelled by Imagineer. I think a sequel would find some form of success in today’s market, but it would need to be accompanied by an increase in complexity, as the original is as simplistic as an RPG can get. This doesn’t necessarily make it a bad game, just one with room for improvement.
Everybody’s favorite purple dragon is part of a small group of iconic classic gaming characters and, of all of them, only Spyro seems to have completely fallen of the rails.
While I am completely aware that Spyro was technically in the Skylanders games, we all know that it wasn’t really the Spyro we know and love. He was used more as a selling point, where he was just thrown in with the rest of the batch of characters.
He should be granted another shot as his old days of platforming and breathing fire all over the Ripto and the Rhynocs. He has fallen far from what he once was and his incredibly enjoyable supporting cast of characters has fallen out of view as well. Honestly, it hurts that there is an entire generation of gamers who know Spyro as a SKYLANDER and NOT as his own protagonist. Tragic!
6 Zitz, Rash, & Pimple
Here we have the protagonists of one of the most infuriating retro beat ‘em ups of all time, Battletoads. The three toad brothers have made a few random cameos in recent years, with them appearing as a boss battle in the Xbox version of Shovel Knight and Rash appearing as a guest fighter in season 3 of Killer Instinct. They are holding on with these random appearances, but a new game is more than something that should happen; it needs to happen.
Today’s gamers are obsessed with being challenged and overcoming overwhelming odds. Exhibit A: Dark Souls. Battletoads was one of the first games to push gamers to their mental breaking point and they are still remembered today for having what is perhaps the hardest level in all of gaming with the “Turbo Tunnel” level. An HD makeover would bring the series back without ever missing a beat and the more masochistic gamers may finally be sated.
5 The Imperfects
The relatively unknown Marvel fighting game Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects, featured a 3D battle arena where you battled it out as one of Marvel’s famous heroes and villains or as one of the villainous science experiments gone wrong, known as the Imperfects.
The team of villainous characters: Wink, Brigade, Solara, Hazmat, Johnny Ohm, Paragon, and their creator, Niles Van Roekel, appeared in this title, as well as a few comic issues telling the teams backstories and connections. However, they haven’t been heard from since.
While the game may have received pretty mixed reviews, it was a rather unique fighting game and it at least deserves some form of re-release on the PSN Store. They are too unique to lose to time and, in the unlikely event of a sequel, the polished gameplay could create a more pleasant game and maybe bring the Imperfects into the mainstream Marvel limelight.
Not many games have used Australia as their backdrop and even fewer have done it to the degree that the Ty the Tasmanian Tiger games have. As a member of an extinct race of Tasmanian tigers searching for his family, Ty is forced to pick up arms, using a pair of boomerangs to defeat an evil Cassowary.
Ty had a few titles in the early 2000s, with his most recent outing being a side-scroller. Ty deserves to adventure throughout the outback again with HD graphics and allow us to explore the wilds of Australia all over again. The varying types of boomerangs weren’t too bad either, making sure that the game always felt fresh and that there was something for every occasion.
3 Viewtiful Joe
This is one loudmouth, filmgoer that needs to come back for all our sakes. Viewtiful Joe had two of his own games and also made an appearance in Marvel Vs. Capcom 3. This side scrolling beat ‘em up featured awesome mechanics that allow Joe to either speed up or slow down time depending on the situation at hand. These unique mechanics allowed players to handle things at there own pace to some degree.
Viewtiful Joe is special because he was just a everyman before being sucked into his favorite film, where he had to defend himself. He’s a great character and has an awesome game series that deserves to be revisited, at least one more time.
The adorable seemingly child-friendly squirrel is anything but that. Conker had his glory days back on the N64 with Conker’s Bad Fur Day and Conker is not a character that one can easily forget. He made his first appearance in Diddy Kong Racing for the N64 and followed it up with his own title that strayed far from what he was seen as at first.
This odd title where you literally see teddy bears being ripped to shreds and it kind off leaves you a little scarred. Conker has character and he is a character that we don’t see enough of. His adorable exterior, combined with his foul mouth and drunken antics, make him an incredibly unique, controversial character and one that people love to see.
1 Earthworm Jim
Without a doubt, Earthworm Jim is the most missed character on this list. Earthworm Jim is a unique character and has a fantastic game with a cult following. Somehow Earthworm Jim managed to fall out of the public’s eye after his sequel in 1995. The games did so well they led to an HD remake in 2010, but somehow this titular character hasn’t earned a third game in his name.
His games feature very odd boss fights, engaging platforming elements and satisfying gameplay. Earthworm Jim is the one character on this list that needs to comeback the most and is by far the most deserving of one. Bring back Jim , let us get back into the space suit and let us remind ourselves why this Earthworm was so beloved.