A few weeks after starting the new console generation, we made a top with sagas whose reappearance we look forward to.
It’s almost here. There is less than a month left for Xbox Series X and Series S to land in our country (here you have detailed information about the first, available to the magazine for days), and PlayStation 5 will not take long to follow, so the change will be begins to notice in the environment. Although the transition will have a marked cross-gen character, with the vast majority of titles still shared with One and PS4, the improvements offered in new games and retroactively in old ones, as well as the potential for the future invite you to fantasize. And we are going to do precisely that today, fantasize a little.
Because yes, the beginning of a generation is the time when there are fewer games, but also more hypothetical possibilities. Even without trying to get corny, we could compare it to a still blank canvas that companies start to paint brushstroke after brushstroke, and therefore it takes time to develop the image. There will be – hopefully – many new franchise premieres, as well as other sequels that we just came from playing recently. However, in this top voted by editors and collaborators, we are going to focus on those sagas that have not received a new installment for many years (avoiding remasters / spin-offs) and we miss them. As they say, there are not all who are, but there are all who are.
10. Dead Space
- Last installment: Dead Space 3 (2013)
Released in 2008, the first Dead Space was one of the biggest surprises of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation generation, especially for horror lovers. With many of the classic sagas unaccounted for, Silent Hill far from its best, and Resident Evil fully spinning into action, Visceral Games’ proposal combined the intensity of Resident Evil 4’s combat with a component of horror more prevalent than in Capcom’s game. The dark corridors of the Ishimura, a gigantic ship abandoned in space, interrupted the silence with creaks, sparks of malfunctions and the sudden appearance of grotesque creatures that did not die by shooting the bulge, but by keeping a cool head and dismembering them.
The game was acclaimed by critics and fans of the genre, but its sales did not end up enthusing Electronic Arts. That, and the general tendency to scale the action (see the jump from Mass Effect to Mass Effect 2, or from Uncharted to Uncharted 2 around that time), resulted in a more intense sequel in almost every way but the horror. The fast pace, the noisy set pieces and the increase in shootings made it stand out as another game of great caliber, for many even superior, but they also evidenced the beginning of a mutation that in the long run would leave the third part as a distant echo of the original game . However, it’s been seven years since then, technology has evolved, and Resident Evil has shown that the slowest horror can still be very lucrative. It would be nice to see another try.
- Latest installment: BioShock Infinite (2013)
It’s hard to talk about BioShock without making at least a quick stop at System Shock, a 90s PC saga with two games that offered dystopian and immersive worlds, with first-person exploration, role-playing component and environmental distribution of information to form a narrative puzzle. Both became cult classics, although it was the second, co-developed by Irrational Games, that materialized their ideas in a more agile and practical way. However, even that didn’t make it a bestseller, so the series went into hibernation (until 2015, when the development of System Shock 3 became official). After the turn of the century, the industry grew and somewhat diluted the barrier between PC and console, creating new opportunities for studios specialized in the former to reach the audience of the latter.
It was the context in which Irrational conceived BioShock, a saga that in an unsubtle way winked to the studio’s past both in its title and in its narrative and playable concepts. And this time it was a great success thanks to a masterful staging, a more original setting (Rapture, the city submerged in the ocean) and a still efficient gameplay, but again lightened so that the players were carried away towards the rich tapestry created by the setting and the story. Since then, the game received both a direct sequel in Rapture and a spiritual one in Columbia, the city raised to the skies in which Infinite takes place. Irrational has since ceased to exist as such, but the license remains in the hands of Take-Two and Ken Levine’s team has something going on as well, so it’s hard not to wonder what kinds of dystopian worlds will come to life on the new consoles. .
- Latest installment: Banjo-Kazooie: Potholes and Gimmicks (2008)
Created by the British Rare when it was Nintendo’s best ally, Banjo-Kazooie had the not inconsiderable merit of succeeding Super Mario 64, looking at it from you to you and contributing new ideas that influenced later titles almost as much as the plumber himself. Yes, the game was another 3D platform with a central world that gave access to other themes where we explored and collected the MacGuffins necessary to open more levels. But Rare bet on adventure more than Nintendo, designing wider and denser worlds, populated by many extravagant secondary, tasks and better contextualized minigames, that did not throw us out when we met a goal and that renewed the playable loop gradually increasing the range of instead of squeezing the initial repertoire in different ways.
Since then, names like Spyro, Donkey Kong 64, Jak and Daxter, Yooka-Laylee or the most recent Mario Odyssey (with his transformations and all) have given the collectathon twists and turns, but Banjo still remains one of the quintessential representatives of this sub-genre halfway between adventure and platforming. It is something to which his extreme efficiency in the design and his sense of humor contribute, but also the fact that Baches y Cachivaches, the most recent delivery —and the only desktop one produced under the Microsoft label—, opted for an almost total rethinking in Around the construction and use of vehicles to overcome the missions. While good gameplay and interesting in its own way, it wasn’t the Banjo-Threeie that so many fans expected. And naturally, they are still waiting.
7. Grand Theft Auto
- Latest installment: Grand Theft Auto V (2013)
Grand Theft Auto V was literally the first game shown during the PlayStation 5 game presentation event this summer, which has both its grace and its tragic point because it reminds us that we have been since PlayStation 3 without seeing a new installment of the saga. Conceived in the days of the first PlayStation (although it was released weeks before PC), Rockstar’s action-driving saga really exploded during the PS2 / Xbox generation, when Grand Theft Auto III cemented the modern concept of “sandbox”. Liberty City went down in the annals of the medium’s history both for its enormous possibilities when it comes to solving missions and for making the goat in a lively and reactive city, and then it received satisfactory continuity thanks to the eighties style of Vice City and the breadth without precedents of the three cities – and surroundings – that made up San Andreas.
Since then, the demand to create cities with more and more detail and moving parts has slowed the pace of releases, going from two installments on PS3 / 360 to … zero on PS4 / One. Obviously, this does not mean that Grand Theft Auto has not marked the recent times, since the re-release of GTA V has been added the enormous success of GTA Online. It is a social phenomenon still on the rise, which has probably taken a lot of pressure off Rockstar when it comes to conceiving the sixth main installment (the resources dedicated to another behemoth such as Red Dead Redemption II could also influence). But that’s it, right? It is already playing. The question now is to know when, and if they will reimagine Vice City as they have already done with Liberty City and part of San Andreas or if they will surprise us with something new.
6. Perfect Dark
- Last installment: Perfect Dark Zero (2005)
Rare’s double with another saga originating from Nintendo 64. Like so many things in life, the birth of Perfect Dark was a covert blessing, as it stemmed from the loss of the license that prevented the studio from making a conventional sequel to GoldenEye 007. Based In the film of the same name, that title had revolutionized FPS by posing missions where espionage was not a simple label attached to a shooting game, but the concept that supported the importance of stealth and the exploration of levels to find confidential documents, contact other undercover agents or boycott enemy equipment. Although the action was very present, the design was a puzzle that often required a restart to take advantage of the knowledge acquired during the first inspections, and to which the increase in difficulty added new objectives instead of simply recalibrating the damage values.
Without having to be tied to the plot of a movie or respect a pre-established universe, Perfect Dark took those fundamentals and added a story with more fantasy, better staging, more missions, more objectives, more everything. James Bond gave way to the also sarcastic Joanna Dark; the conventional present, to a new futuristic cyber noir world, something with an impact on both the setting and the gadget repertoire; and espionage between countries, to a conflict between alien races that allowed greater creativity with weapons. Unfortunately, its sequel-prequel to Xbox 360 (Perfect Dark Zero) did not work so well and left the series in hibernation, but Killer Instinct and Battletoads have already shown that it can be returned from there. Let’s see if Series X / S has any surprises in store for us in this regard.
5. Dino Crisis
- Last installment: Dino Crisis 3 (2003)
Another heroine of arms that we would love to have back is Regina, protagonist of Dino Crisis and much of Dino Crisis 2. The saga was the brainchild of Shinji Mikami, who, after popularizing survival horror with the first Resident Evil, left half Capcom doing sequels while he went through the formula in his own way, swapping zombies for dinosaurs. The original didn’t reinvent the wheel, with its meager ammo management, backtracking, and puzzles. But of course, dealing with a tyrannosaurus or several velociraptors was quite imposing, since they were much faster and could follow us between stays. The second, without Mikami at the helm, veered more sharply into action, although as in the case of Dead Space 2, it ended with good results and continued to convince many fans.
Note that the sudden reappearance of Dead Space is not gratuitous because, with the third installment, Capcom also took the dinosaurs into space. With a futuristic setting, mutated creatures, jetpack, and a pacing of the action not very compatible with its camera system, Dino Crisis 3 not only marked too great distances, but it did not perform too well on its own. Since then, the saga has remained dormant, although the good results of the last Resident Evil and the willingness of the company to adapt more sagas to the RE Engine – without forgetting the return of Jurassic World to the big screen – leave room for hope. The world deserves to know what a T. Rex would look like with PS5 / Series X graphics.
4. Ninja Gaiden
- Last installment: Ninja Gaiden 3 (2012)
Something remarkable about Ninja Gaiden is how it became one of the benchmark 8-bit action sagas, then disappeared into the shadows for years, changed creative direction, and once again soared to the top in the days of the first Xbox. . The game signed by Tomonobu Itagaki was a prodigy that, together with Hideki Kamiya’s Devil May Cry, redefined what was possible in the field of hack and slash. Faced with Dante’s ostentatious styling, Ryu Hayabusa was cool and efficient. The perfect recreation of a ninja who forced us to play as such, dodging or blocking every attack that was thrown at us, running through walls to get a better position, taking advantage of each opening in the rival defense to stab. It was a demanding game like few others, but equally satisfying.
After the generational leap, Itagaki and his team left us a second part of also great quality, although the good run had the hours counted: shortly after, the Japanese creative left the company, and neither he on his own at Devil’s Third, nor Tecmo for theirs in the third installment they managed to materialize something that lived up to the bar that they had set years before (not even after reviewing it with some improvements). Luckily since then, Team Ninja has more than regained its pedigree thanks to Nioh, who incorporated some of the Ninja Gaiden philosophy into a Souls-inspired mold. That success was followed by an excellent sequel, which built on and refined established work, but now that we enter a new generation it is almost inevitable to wonder: will it be Ninja Gaiden’s turn to come back and reinvent himself again? We would like to see it, that’s for sure.
3. Viewtiful Joe
- Latest installment: Viewtiful Joe: Double Trouble! (2005)
Before we anticipated the name of Kamiya and now we recover it, because coming from DMC 5 and going towards Bayonetta 3, we cannot forget about the middle brother. Created just after the first Devil May Cry, when another studio was handling the unfortunate sequel, Viewtiful Joe allowed the director to come up with a side-scrolling beat ’em up more akin to the arcade ones he had grown up with. On a superficial level, the result might seem simpler, perhaps childish given the cartoon aesthetic. But sticking to one shot came with another kind of mechanical precision — and exactingness —, greater importance of the scoring system, and the ability to manipulate the tempo of combat, speeding up or slowing down the action with varying results. To this day, it continues to be counted among the best of the genre.
As in the case of Devil May Cry, Viewtiful Joe was followed by a sequel without Kamiya in the direction, since then he was put with Okami – another saga that, already put, it would not be bad to recover either. Still, the result was good thanks to the implementation of Silvia, Joe’s girlfriend and co-star with her own abilities. The game, unfortunately, fell short of Capcom’s sales expectations, which moved the series into spin-off (with Smash Bros.-style fighting) and portability (ending its days on Nintendo DS). About 15 years after the launch of Double Trouble !, we still do not receive a Viewtiful Joe 3 in full. Which is a shame because, without detracting from Devil May Cry and Bayonetta, his gameplay and personality left a gap that his brothers did not fill.
2. Prince of Persia
- Latest installment: Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands (2010)
Prince of Persia is another of those sagas that knew how to reinvent itself and adapt to the new times. Conceived by Jordan Mechner in the late eighties, the original was a 2D platformer inspired by the tales of Arabian Nights that used the rotoscoping technique to transfer real movements to the sprites, giving them a surprising look and weight for their time. . Years later it was followed by a conventional sequel, and later a first 3D attempt (literally called Prince of Persia 3D) that didn’t work out too well due to its Tomb Raider-style tank controls. It was Ubisoft, after obtaining the license, which came up with a concept so attractive as to bring the saga and Mechner himself out of retirement: the prince was now not only much more agile when it came to fighting, jumping or even running around the walls, but could even rewind time to correct their mistakes.
That premise and excellent design made Las Arenas del Tiempo one of the great hits of 2003, which is why it has a remake on the way and was succeeded by multiple installments, including two direct sequels that generation and a couple of reboots. The changes in the tone, the nature of the platform or the predominance of the combat had a more disparate reception – including that of Mechner himself, who separated from the series – and over time the saga ended up eclipsed by Assassin’s Creed within the repertoire of Ubisoft. Of course, the latter has also been recontextualized in recent years, with a total turn towards open-world action RPG, so now seems like a good time to return to Prince of Persia and get more out of both its stunts and its oriental mysticism.
1. Silent Hill
- Latest installment: Silent Hill: Downpour (2012)
A couple of weeks before Halloween, it’s fitting to have a horror saga high on the list. After the success of the first Resident Evil, a team was formed within Konami to put its own spin on the formula with a more ‘Hollywood’ twist. Somewhat ironic considering that, after some frustrated attempts, the later known as Team Silent went in the opposite direction to create a more psychological horror than Capcom’s. In a generation of trained heroes like Chris Redfield, Regina and Aya Brea, the study put us in the shoes of Harry Manson, a desperate father in search of his daughter who wandered into a ghost town and faced intangible terrors with a pipe in hand. Of course, neither the first Silent Hill nor its immediate aftermath rejected conventions such as firearms or puzzles, but during several installments, Team Silent stood as the benchmark of a terror anchored in the deepest and most human fears, even though These take us to other realities or take diabolical forms.
But all good things come to an end and that also applies to Team Silent, which was disbanded at the end of the PS2 generation. From there the saga began to travel half the world, jumping from studio to studio and offering the odd interesting title, but rarely recapturing that original magic that even Team Silent itself had difficulties replicating in the fourth installment. Two years after Downpour – a game with sparkles and fissures in equal parts – Konami surprised with the appearance of P.T., a playable teaser that revealed that the next installment would be a collaboration between Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro. Although brief and without key mechanics of the saga such as combat, the “demo” displayed a kind of terror long lost, although that only served to make the announcement of its cancellation more painful. Since then, six years have passed and Konami does not seem to want to invest in developments of that type, but that has not stopped the wishes and rumors, reinvigorated in recent months. We want more Silent Hill and we want it now. Well, or in a couple of years. But do not come in the form of pachinko.