We set up some rules for the purposes of this list to get everything straight from the start. First of all, we wanted to work with franchises, which means there had to be at least two games to be considered as such. Secondly, these games had to have been abandoned for at least five years.
Usually when someone refers to something being retro, it’s in a ten-year difference, but we cheated a little bit by decreasing that level cap. If a game came back as a remaster, like Onimusha this year, we sadly didn’t count it because that at least shows Capcom is trying. Also we didn’t want to count browser games or phone games, since most of those are exclusive to Japan anyway. Got it?
10 Bionic Commando
Bionic Commando first appeared in arcades in 1987. The last game to have come out was Bionic Commando Rearmed 2 in 2011 as a digital download for last gen systems. It was an original sequel to a remake of the same name. During that period the series saw somewhat of a renaissance, but then after three games it dried up once again. The big blame probably goes to how poorly the 2009 Bionic Commando did in the ratings department.
9 Mega Man Legends
The Mega Man brand as a whole was dead for eight years in between Mega Man 10 in 2010 and last year’s Mega Man 11. Hopefully this means we can finally get Mega Man Legends back for another go at a sequel.
The last game, Mega Man Legends 2, launched in 2000. A third game was finally announced for the 3DS in 2010. There was even a public demo. However, the game was canceled in 2011. There has been no word on it since.
8 Dino Crisis
The first Dino Crisis launched for the PS1 in 1999. The last game was Dino Crisis 3 on the original Xbox in 2003. For those unaware, this series was basically a spin-off of Resident Evil. It was also survival horror based but instead of zombies, players had to battle dinosaurs. Since Jurassic Park is once again in the cultural zeitgeist, which also brought dinosaurs back to the forefront, Capcom may take advantage of this opportunity in order to make a sequel or remake.
7 Final Fight
Final Fight first launched in arcades in 1989. The last game, Final Fight: Streetwise, was Capcom’s first attempt to reboot the series. This was for the PS2 and original Xbox in 2006. The characters from this series are now, like Mike Haggar, delegated to star in fighting games such as Street Fighter. Since Sega is making a sequel to Streets of Rage, the basic counterpoint to this brawler franchise, Capcom may also want to produce a successor. They wouldn’t want to get shown up, now would they?
6 Ghosts n’ Goblins
Move over Dark Souls—this is the cry-inducing original. Ghosts n’ Goblins first hit arcades in 1985 and spawned many, many sequels and spin-offs past this point. The last game technically could be considered to be Ultimate Ghosts 'n Goblins for the PSP in 2006, which was essentially a remake. Prior to that, there was the spiritual successor series, Maximo, with Maximo vs. Army of Zin in 2004 for the PS2. Whatever game we consider is the last doesn’t matter as it has been over a decade regardless.
5 Viewtiful Joe
Viewtiful Joe punched onto the scene in 2003 for the GameCube. The last game was Viewtiful Joe: Double Trouble for the DS in 2005. This series burned hot with four games almost back to back. It even received an anime. Then...POOF!...it went away as if it never existed. Part of this may lie on the fact that the developer, Clover Studio, a subsidiary of Capcom, went defunct. Members of that team then went on to make PlatinumGames, which may explain why no one at Capcom wants to touch this franchise.
4 Lost Planet
Lost Planet: Extreme Condition chilled players for the first time in 2006 for the Xbox 360. The final game, Lost Planet 3, released for last gen systems in 2013. This was always a series that seemed like Capcom never knew what they wanted it to be. The first game was a straight up shooter. The second was more in line with their Monster Hunter franchise, favoring multiplayer. And then the last game tried to focus in on a touching narrative, trying to evoke games like The Last of Us. That confusing set of directions may explain why it went away.
Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors battled its way into arcades in 1994. Darkstalkers Resurrection is technically the last game in the series, which was a collection that compiled the first and third game with new HD graphics in 2013 for PS3 and Xbox 360.
In terms of actual original titles, that would be the aforementioned third game, which hit arcades in 1997. It burned as bright as Street Fighter did for a time, before quietly retiring. That hasn’t stopped fans passionately demanding a sequel though.
2 Breath Of Fire
Breath of Fire burned bright when it launched on the SNES in 1993. Technically there was a recent game within the past five years; Breath of Fire 6 was a mobile game that launched in Japan in 2016. A numbered sequel was on a freaking phone which, forgive the editorializing, is simply ridiculous. Prior to that, Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter, the fifth game, was a 2002 PS2 game in North America. Forgetting about the phone game, it has been a long time coming. Capcom really has no other RPGs to speak of unless one counts Monster Hunter.
Strider snuck its way into arcades in 1989. The last game just hit the cut for our rule, with the 2014 Strider game that hit, well, a lot of systems at launch. Since Sekiro brought ninjas back with a bang, isn’t it about time Capcom released their own mighty warrior of the shadows as well? This shinobi isn’t getting any younger.