A curious blend of traditional fantasy and an industrial revolution in progress, Arcanum draws heavily from the Steampunk subgenre of fiction to create one of the most unique worlds in gaming history. Similar in style to Balder's Gate, players create a character and attempt to sneak, speak, or slay their way through various and sundry quests in search of loot, story progress and experience points. Though perhaps too ambitious for it's time, Arcanum holds a fond place in the hearts of many (several?) gamers.
#9: Golden Sun (GBA)
Hands down, one of the best handheld RPG's ever, Golden Sun is truly an amazing series. Both games featured a rich soundtrack and lively graphics, a rarity on the system. Moreover, engaging puzzles involving out of battle applications of kinetic powers served to flesh out game time, whereas many of its contemporaries relied largely on frequent and repetitive random battles to serve the same purpose. A true gem, many fans would love to see the franchise continued on the DS.
As one of the most played online games, both ever and currently, Counter-Strike has done astoundingly well for a game with such humble beginnings; originally a mod for Valve's classic FPS, Half-Life, this game is now one of the most recognized in the industry. After two lackluster overhauls (Counter-Strike's "Zero" and "Source," respectively) the series remains almost identical to the original game, including identical levels, objectives, and weapons. With the continuing press on Counter-Strike's sister game, Team Fortress, hope blossoms for a true sequel.
One of many great games by Rare for the Nintendo 64, this series was both loved and hated by critics. They praised its style, sense of humor, and general high quality, even while lambasting it as a clone of Mario 64. While the criticism is legitimate what matters most, is that Rare's commitment to quality, combined with Nintendo's sense of innovation led to a masterpiece. Though the topic is still hotly disputed, many players place the Banjo games as the best 3D platformers of all time.
Also known as "Tactics Ogre" for some titles, this series contains some of the best strategy RPG action ever to grace consoles. The Playstation installment "Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together," is still loved by cult fans as possibly the best in the genre, even compared to modern masterpieces such as Disagea. Even the oft forgotten the GBA edition is considered by many to be superior in many ways than Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. Strategy fans of this generation would do well to pray for a new installment.
An amazing 2D platformer released at a time when 3D was still new and fresh, Mischief Makers is largely forgotten by fans of the genre. Levels range from ghost hunting, to playing dodgeball with a cat-assassin, to riding said cat while fighting a transforming motorcycle boss. A unique art style and a tongue in cheek sense of humor are evident from the game's outset, and make the experience all the more enjoyable. "Grabbing is where you must begin. Shake for treasure from within. Throwing far is how to win!"
Though perhaps not as well known as some of Rare's other games for the N64, Jet Force Gemini is at least equal in quality to Perfect Dark and Donkey Kong 64. Jet Force Gemini is a third person shooter that is both serious and whimsical at varying intervals. Excellent level design, controls, and co-op gameplay keep players coming back for more. If Rare can revive Perfect Dark on the Xbox 360, why not this series?#
A beautiful RPG, both the Dreamcast original and the Gamecube directors cut scored awards and praise from the gaming press. The game is at once lighthearted and free spirited without sacrificing difficulty. Moreover, multiple and frequent literary and historical allusions are to be found by astute players, which adds a sense of depth to the game. Rounding out the package are the game's legendary airship battles, in which players trade fire with iron clad behemoths and colossal beasts using an intuitive turn based grid system. Overall, a fantastic game, and one of which many would love to see a sequel.
A very non-traditional RTS series where you play as the evil overlord and design dungeons, train monsters, and build traps all with the end goal of slaying all those pesky do-gooders and becoming master of the realm, all topped off with a droll and sardonic sense of humor. The lack of a third game in the series is especially unbearable due to the second game's cliffhanger ending. Unfortunately, Bullfrog, the studio behind the series, was purchased by EA not long after the second game was released, and production of Dungeon Keeper III was canceled.
The Jet Grind Radio/Jet Set Radio series, consisting of the Dreamcast original, an Xbox Sequal, and an oft forgot GBA port of the original game is one of the most unique and interesting series ever to be conceived. The fast action and beautifully cell shaded graphics lend themselves well to a game designed around graffiti, slick skate stunts, and escaping law enforcement. Moreover, the soundtracks are simply, amazing; don't be surprised if you later find yourself "Humming the Baseline." If you've never played any of the Jet Set Radio games, they come highly recommended.
Though there are many great dead and forgotten franchises, as far as I am concerned, the above are the 10 most deserving of a revival. If you disagree, fantastic; the industry needs internal dissent among it's fans to maintain a fine balance of originality and continuity. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed.
List by Zelcron (07/02/2007)
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