The gaming industry is more prolific than it has ever been, even with the increased length of development times and things like COVID-19 causing delays. This is because there are so many different developers out there making games that there are games coming out nearly every day or two all year-round. Even with so many different games coming out, there are countless franchises that are laying dormant and just awaiting a revival. Nintendo alone has plenty of them and we have narrowed it down to out Top 10 Nintendo Franchises Due For A Revival, which we have placed in alphabetical order below.
The Advance Wars series as we know it debuted back in 2001 on the Game Boy Advance, though it was technically around since 1988 under the general Wars name based upon the platform it was on at the time. Following the success of the first entry on Game Boy Advance, the game received a sequel a couple years later, followed by two sequels on Nintendo DS and two spinoffs on the GameCube and Wii. However, the turn-based strategy series has been dead since the release of Advanced Wars: Days of Ruin for the Nintendo DS back in 2008. With the success of Fire Emblem: Three Houses on the Nintendo Switch, it is the perfect time for Intelligent Systems to get another crack at and revive Advance Wars.
With Captain Falcon being such a fan favorite in the Super Smash Bros. series since the very beginning on Nintendo 64, where he was an unlockable character, those who aren’t huge Nintendo fans may assume the F-Zero series is a big property for Nintendo still. However, that couldn’t be any further from the case, as we haven’t seen a new entry for this racer since 2004 on the Game Boy Advance. For big console entries, you have to go back to 2003 with F-Zero GX, which was very highly praised at the time of its release. While there is no way it would sell as well as Mario Kart, it’s crazy that Nintendo has not done another racer like this with how different they are, especially after the crossover in Mario Kart 8 itself. The fast paced style of F-Zero is something that would shine with the more powerful systems today and hopefully we’ll see Nintendo finally do something with it again.
RPGs that are exclusively published by Nintendo are pretty rare overall, with series like Xenoblade Chronicles and sort of Fire Emblem being some of the few out there right now. We’ve seen plenty of other ones make it to Nintendo Switch like Octopath Traveler, but that has since been released on other platforms. If Nintendo is looking back into their catalog of properties for another RPG series that could do really well today, they really should give the Golden Sun series a look again. Coming from Camelot, who is known for doing many of the Mario Golf and Tennis spin-offs, they released a trio of RPGs in the Golden Sun franchise between 2001 and 2010. Since Golden Sun: Dawn Dawn on Nintendo DS, the series has not been touched whatsoever. Whether they wanted to try something more retro in the style of the old games or something brand new with the IP, this would definitely be something worth exploring on the Nintendo Switch.
Like a few others on this list, Kid Icarus debuted back on the NES and was a very popular game on the system. This led to a sequel five years later on the Game Boy, but then the series laid dormant for a couple decades before it came back in style with the fan favorite Kid Icarus: Uprising. This came after Pit’s introduction in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, which fittingly led to him getting his own game again on the Nintendo 3DS from Masahiro Sakurai himself. The game featuring unique controls that did turn some people off, which likely led to less sales than hoped for the game. With Super Smash Bros. later added Palutena and Dark Pit into the mix, people have hoped that meant a sequel was on the horizon at some point, but we have not gotten any word on that as of this point. Perhaps when Sakurai wraps up his work on Super Smash Bros. Ultimate he will decide to take on another passion project like a new Kid Icarus game.
What even needs to be said about this one at this point? People have been clamoring of a brand new 2D Metroid game for a long time now. While Metroid Prime 4 is in development, fans have been desperately asking for a new 2D Metroid. We did get the surprise Metroid: Samus Returns back in 2017, which was a remake of Metroid II for the Game Boy. Not including remakes like it or Metroid: Zero Mission, the last time we’ve gotten a brand new 2D Metroid game is 2002’s Metroid Fusion, which is a very long time ago by now. The Metroid Prime games are fantastic, but there’s something completely different about the 2D style of Metroid games that really need to come back. The good news is that it probably has the most rumors of a revival compared to the rest of the list, so hopefully we will get something announced at E3 this year.
The West once only knew this series as the cult classic Earthbound that was brought to prominence for many later with the inclusion of Ness as an unlockable character in Super Smash Bros. However, people have really become invested in this series over the years, which led to the localization of Mother 1 as Earthbound Beginnings on the Wii U. Mother 3 for the Game Boy Advance was never localized though and people have been begging for this to happen forever, rather as a straight up localization or a remake. It’s not like we haven’t had exposure to this game in the West either, as Lucas has been in Super Smash Bros. for years now. For this part of the list, we are saying we’ll take a Mother 3 localization to the West, but we would also love to see a brand new game in the series that would undoubtedly get a worldwide release with how people have come to love the franchise at this point and how Nintendo’s strategies have brought games outside of Japan that may have never done so in the past.
Not quite as dead as some entries in the franchise, it’s still been a long time since we’ve last seen a new Punch-Out! game. In fact, the last one we got was Punch-Out! for the Wii, which was a really fun take on the franchise that fans greatly enjoyed. That was the first entry in the series since the Super Nintendo, which showed Nintendo had no forgotten about it. This was followed by the addition of Little Mac into Super Smash Bros. as well, where he has continued to be a big favorite for players. With the success of Ring Fit Adventure and the Nintendo Switch also having other releases like Fitness Boxing, there is no question that a new Punch-Out! for Nintendo Switch would do very well both as a fun boxing game and as an exercise product if done right.
While having the most recently released game on the list besides Metroid: Samus Returns, the Star Fox series almost feels as dead as any of them. This is because of the major failure of the last entry in the series with Star Fox Zero. A lot of people had hope for this entry on the Wii U, but the specialized controls really killed it for a lot of people, on top of the game basically being another take on Star Fox 64. This series truly needs a strong revival that starts from scratch, but also maintains some of the core elements that people love about the classic entries in the franchise. Technically we did get Star Fox 2 release on the Super Nintendo Classic as well, but that was just an unreleased old game that Nintendo knew would be attractive to long time Nintendo fans. Hopefully there’s still some fuel in Fox McCloud’s tank and we can get a new Star Fox that turns out much better than the last few.
We decided to cheat a little bit with this entry on the list by including two game series that are really completely different. Wario Land is the one that has been sitting dormant for the longest, having last received an entry with the 2008 release of Wario Land: Shake It! on the Nintendo Wii. This series dates back to the Game Boy and has featured some stellar platformers that have been some of the best that Nintendo has had to offer over the years, albeit quite underrated. This wouldn’t even have to be a major release either, but give us a budget Wario Land game and we’d be happy. Wario Ware hasn’t been out of the game quite as long, with a new WarioWare Gold coming in 2018, but that was a compilation game on a dead Nintendo 3DS platform. Before that, the different style Game & Wario game out in 2012, but really the last full scale one was even prior to the last Wario Land with WarioWare: Smooth Moves for Wii back in 2006. This series is always a ton of fun and is a great party game that would be perfect for the portable Nintendo Switch.
The Wave Race series got its start on Game Boy, but didn’t really get big until Wave Race 64 on the Nintendo 64. This was followed by Wave Race: Blue Storm as a launch title for the GameCube, but the series has not been seen at all since. As a result, this makes it the game on this list with the longest time since the last release in the series. The fast moving jetski racing was a blast back in the day on Nintendo 64 and GameCube and, like F-Zero, would be a perfect fit on a modern platform with modern visuals and performance. This is probably one of the more unlikely revivals on the list just because it’s not as well known to a lot of people today, but it was always made directly by Nintendo and I think it’s just about time to see it come back.