Five franchises we haven't heard a peep from since earlier this generation.
I'm sure we've all seen the various opinion pieces regarding classic franchises we'd love to see make a return (I'm guilty of this), but as much as I'd love to see Crash Bandicoot and co. return, it's getting a little old. This generation has seen a ton of new and unforgettable franchises born - but as is the circle of life, some fall by the wayside. But do they all deserve such a cruel fate? Let's take a look at five games we haven't heard anything about since earlier this gen, that should make an appearance on next-gen consoles:
Don't let the soft, colourful exterior fool you - for Viva Pinata is arguably the Xbox 360's most underrated series. Possessing one of the most unique art directions of the current generation to this day, it's not only one of the most visually-engrossing titles we've forgotten about, but also one of the most engaging.
You may be thrown off by the seemingly-childish nature of the game, but don't let that fool you. The sandbox design of the title is everything we've come to expect from vibrant, open-ended games - sure, it's great for a bit of mindless fun but there's plenty there for those who are willing to dive into the nitty-gritty too.
If Microsoft and Rare could even manage to bring back half as much of a charming and engrossing world as the first two Viva Pinata games, they'd be on to a winner.
Project Gotham Racing
Last seen back in 2007 launching shortly after the Xbox 360, Project Gotham Racing 4 was met with favourable reviews and an in-game world that was certainly on par with the big boys in Gran Turismo and Burnout.
While presumably Microsoft allowed Forza to take the wheel (pun intended) and become the company's premier racing exclusive, it's time for PGR to return and reclaim its coveted position.
There's no reason why PGR5 couldn't be a next-gen exclusive to Xbox. Bring back the killer soundtracks, crisp visuals and the perfect blind of sim and arcade gameplay.
Perfect Dark Zero
Perhaps it was the lofty expectations set by its predecessor that contributed to the mixed reception for Perfect Dark Zero. The original (Perfect Dark) on the Nintendo 64 remains one of the most successful games for the console, if not all time with hardcore fans.
Theoreotically, Perfect Dark Zero's release alongside the launch of the Xbox 360 should have been a killer combo - but despite ultimately being a solid and enjoyable first-person shooter, it didn't meet the expectations developers Rare nor fans had hoped it would.
Though Rare have now been delegated to Kinect Sports games, give them another shot with brand new tech and the benefit of hindsight to make the Perfect Dark game we've been longing for.
Referred to often as the title made to showcase Sony's powerful new hardware, Heavenly Sword was far more than a glorified tech demo. Heavenly Sword gave gamers one of the very first opportunities to explore the new capabilities of the PlayStation 3, and did so in a stylish and original manner.
A sequel was apparently in production at SCE Cambridge in 2008, but was unfortunately canceled. Since the game, Ninja Theory's experience with the hack 'n' slash genre has only strengthened (Devil May Cry), and a fresh next-gen entry could see the series hold its own against the likes of the mighty God of War and DmC.
It's been over four years since we saw the release of the inaugural Mirror's Edge title, a strange outcome considering the generally positive critical reception and unique premise of the game. Rumours of a sequel have been floating around longer than I can care to remember, and while there's been much chatter about the game it still remains unconfirmed by EA.
Back in 2011 EA President Frank Gibeau stated, "We haven't killed Mirror's Edge...we're actively looking at how to bring it back in the right way...we love that franchise", but take this with a grain of salt - its long hiatus could mean it's trapped in development hell - or we could in fact be seeing Mirror's Edge 2 as a next-gen launch title.
It'd be terrific to see such an original and expansive title return on next-gen consoles. A sequel to Mirror's Edge is a true example of a title that could benefit greatly from a next-gen release - think grander environments and skill sets, and even more intense action.
What games do you want to see return next-gen?
By Jake Galouzis