(ThyBlackMan.com) Having been part of the gaming industry since the 1970s, Nintendo has racked up a number of highly respected franchises which spawned acclaimed games. However, the company’s main consoles and handhelds have also spawned some titles that were respected but ended up not being followed up or lost to time entirely. Here are the top ten series that Nintendo should bring back.
1. Super Mario RPG (1996, SNES)
Yes, Nintendo still does the Paper Mario series that first landed on the Nintendo 64. And yes, the Mario & Luigi series that debuted on the Game Boy Advance still gets attention from Nintendo. They’re both extremely fun series but Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars was truly amazing.
Debuting on the Super Nintendo in 1996, Super Mario RPG really established a defined world in the Mario canon. Areas of the Mushroom Kingdom were defined, characters were introduced—including Geno and Mallow who never really appeared again, and the gameplay was ridiculously strong.
In essence it was Final Fantasy with a Mario skin and story and it holds a place as one of Squaresoft’s (now Square Enix) best role-playing game offerings on the Super Nintendo. That’s saying a ton because Square had a ton of hits on the console. After the two long time partners split after Square opted to release Final Fantasy games on the first PlayStation, they have been on good terms throughout the GBA period.
That relationship seems better now and who knows we might actually see this amazing game get a sequel in the near future. With Final Fantasy X appearing on the Switch, Square Enix is definitely able to work with the hardware.
2. Ogre Battle (1993, SNES)
I enjoyed this game and my brother swears by it. It was the first in Enix’s Ogre Saga and had a distinct gameplay approach for consoles at the time. The only other game that was similar to that on a Nintendo console were Ogre Battle 64 and a few PC ports.
This franchise has two distinct gameplay styles with the games all existing in the same canonical timeline. The Ogre Battle games—all two of them—are real-time strategy with RPG elements while the Tactics Ogre games are tactical RPGs. It’s the Tactics Ogre style that had one final entry in 2001 on the Game Boy Advance.
After that, the second game (the first Tactics game) was ported to the PlayStation family of systems. I always felt this should’ve made a modern return, especially with real-time strategy having a following now and tactical RPGs always being popular. It doesn’t have to return to a Nintendo console but the last game was made in 2001 and was a side story.
3. Lufia (1993, SNES)
Lufia was a really good RPG series that honestly should’ve remained turned-based as far as combat goes. It was one of those franchises that always hovered below the likes of Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, and the Mana series but delivered on gameplay and a great story.
Lufia really should’ve kept going as a series but the main storyline stopped in 2001. There was a re-imagined game and a side story after that but the series was pretty much done.
4. Fist of the Flying Dragon (1985, NES)
This was one of the very early fighting game series and was released at a time when fighting games just weren’t as exciting as they would become in the early 1990s. That said, its best-known game is Flying Dragon which debuted 1998 on the Nintendo 64 in the U.S. Flying Dragon was a good intro to the series for a western audience.
The good thing about Flying Dragon is that it spanned other genres that bolstered the overall storyline. Since the franchise has been in the grave for years now, it could make a return in the next generation and be extremely fresh.
5. Chrono (1995, SNES)
Chrono Trigger is one of the greatest RPGs of all time. It needs little to no introduction. This game delivered on gameplay, music, visuals, and the storyline at ridiculously high levels. It was just that great. Unfortunately, it wasn’t really followed up. It got a text adventure game in 1996 and a sequel in 1999 then that was it.
To say that the Chrono series died would be true but also an insult. While Square did nothing else with it, there is still a ton of love for Chrono Trigger and appreciation for Chrono Cross. If it returned, it would likely available on Switch, PlayStation, and Xbox.
6. Pokémon Colosseum (2003, GameCube)
I really enjoyed Pokemon Colosseum, it was in this place between the main games and the Pokemon Stadium titles. Fans have been longing for a new Stadium game as well as a dedicated console title. I feel that Colosseum was a decent compromise between the two. You could battle against others with your pokemon or just do the solo story.
If released today, it would probably implement more Stadium to it but it would work. At the minimum, the class ranking from the Stadium games should be applied to the online battles in the main series.
7. Robotrek (1994, SNES)
I’ve said quite a bit about Robotrek before. While I did put it as a Pokeclone, Robotrek was Pokemon before Pokemon. It focused on robots that you can create and battle against other robots controlled by an evil gang. Sounds familiar? At any rate, it would be moot to bring it back since you have Pokemon in-house but it had a fun story that could’ve been continued.
Developers don’t usually make budget versions for fans who can’t afford the A-tier offering but this would cool for those who want something different but still familiar.
8. 1080 Snowboarding (1998, N64)
1080 Snowboarding is the franchise that went up against the SSX series which was at home on PlayStation at the time. It held its own for two games and was so much fun. As a matter of fact, it was the first N64 demo I played and I fell in love with it. However, after a while there just wasn’t a need to keep it around. Bringing it back would work as a launch title to showcase what the console could do while taking time with the heavy hitters.
9. Goemon (1986, NES)
While it made its debut in arcades, the Goemon series mainly had a home on Nintendo systems. This platformer put you in control of the legendary thief across several adventures. Honestly, Goemon came across as more of ninja but whatever. As a matter of fact, my first exposure to the series was 1997’s Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon on Gameboy. This version was extremely fun as was the N64 games.
The series pretty much ended in 2003 but Goemon’s got a couple of adventures left in him. Also, it might lead to a Super Smash Bros. entry. I mean, the series has characters from games that weren’t on Nintendo consoles. Show Goemon some respect!
10. Rushing Beat (1992, SNES)
Developed by the now-defunct Jaleco, the Rushing Beat—Rival Turf!, Brawl Brothers, and The Peacekeepers in the U.S—would come off as a knock off of Double Dragons, Final Fight, and Streets of Rage. To be honest, the side scrolling beat ‘em genre in the 1990s was similar to the sports and racing game genres of the time—ultra similar.
It all came down to how fun of a game it was. The Rushing Beat games were very fun but I wouldn’t put them against Final Fight or Streets of Rage.
There was one problem with the franchise: the player characters moved kind of slowly. As if they were just stalking through the stage before enemies popped up for you to beat up. That said, this is a franchise that could be revived on Nintendo exclusively.
The last game came out in the U.S in 1994 and is old enough to be considered a new franchise if revived. As a matter of fact, it wouldn’t even need to go 3D, a 2D beat ‘em up return would be well received by retro enthusiasts—like yours truly.
Staff Writer; M. Swift
This talented writer is also a podcast host, and comic book fan who loves all things old school. One may also find him on Twitter at; metalswift.