Lately, more new video games are being released than ever before, ranging from quirky indie titles to popular sequels in blockbuster franchises. While series like Call of Duty and Halo continue to thrive, there’s a nearly endless list of fantastic games that never got their deserved sequels or continuations. Whether it’s an abandoned yet popular franchise or a beloved cult classic that’s simply been forgotten, there are so many games that we’d love to see return with a modern adaptation. To celebrate those fantastic games that have been lost to time, we’ve whipped up a list of the top five games that deserve modern sequels. For this list, we’re doing our best to cover a variety of genres, so if your favorite doesn’t make the cut, don’t worry! Listed in no particular order, here are five top-tier games that deserve some time back in the limelight.
The Timesplitters franchise (more specifically, Timesplitters 2 and 3) represented the best fusion of retro and modern first-person shooter gameplay, with a plethora of gameplay modes for fans to dig their teeth into. The first game was released in 2000, followed by a sequel in 2002 and the most recent game, Timesplitters 3: Future Perfect, in 2005. The main story was goofy and comedic in tone, highlighting a prolonged battle between humanity and time-traveling aliens. Each level was set in a different time period and location, keeping the solo experience refreshing.
In addition to the excellent campaign, later Timesplitters titles included competitive multiplayer, arcade-style combat challenges, and even a custom map creator that let you design your own missions. With the recent resurgence of casual online multiplayer and creative user-generated content in games like Fortnite, it’s a wonder we haven’t seen Timesplitters revived yet. Fans can still hold out hope though, as rumors of a modern Timesplitters game have been passing around since 2018.
While Rockstar Games is incredibly well known for their best-selling game series Grand Theft Auto, they released another fantastic open-world adventure game back in 2006 called Bully. Set at the Bullworth Academy boarding school, this endearing and action-filled game followed Jimmy, a new transfer student with a reputation for bad behavior. The game was surrounded by exaggerated controversy, with parallels being drawn to Grand Theft Auto‘s violent nature. While Bully borrowed similar gameplay features as GTA, it was a different beast entirely, with an emphasis on nostalgia and themes of loyalty.
While Grand Theft Auto lets you live out your wildest fantasies of the criminal lifestyle, Bully was a more subdued story that absolutely nailed its goofy, teen comedy tone. From exploring the nearby city of Bullworth to improving relationships with other students, Bully was full of fun surprises. It has been over 15 years since Bully first released, and it’s high time for a sequel to pop up. We would love to see Jimmy battle his way through college with gorgeous modern graphics and a proper blockbuster budget.
3. Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell
Splinter Cell was first released in 2002, and at the time, was one of the most impressive stealth games around. The game was critically acclaimed and ultra-successful, leading to the development of five sequels and a few spin-off games. Following the story of gruff and deadly special agent Sam Fisher, the narrative and gameplay evolved as the franchise progressed, resulting in a more action-focused experience.
The most recent game in the franchise, Splinter Cell: Blacklist, was released in 2013, but since then, developer Ubisoft hasn’t shown the series much love. Apart from a standalone virtual reality game announced over a year ago, fans of Splinter Cell have been left empty-handed. Considering the significant lack of new stealth games available, now would be a great time for the series to return. Fans have been clamoring for a modern sequel that replicates the slow-burn stealth of the original, and it’s a bit baffling why Ubisoft hasn’t returned to this landmark franchise.
Gex is a retro platformer game that was first released in 1995 and slowly evolved from 2D visuals to a fully-fledged 3D world. Developed by Crystal Dynamics, the game earned two sequels, with Gex 3: Deep Cover Gecko wrapping up the trilogy in 1999. In terms of gameplay, Gex didn’t do a great job distinguishing itself from other popular 3D platformers of the time, which is likely why the franchise died off. However, the lizard protagonist and his obsession with popular television and movies resulted in a hilarious tale of parody.
There’s still plenty of room in the market for platformers, especially games with a quirky style or premise. Since Gex and his journey through the Media Dimension exclusively deals with pop culture, the 20-year hiatus has resulted in some huge targets for humorous parody. It would be awesome to see Gex hop and jump through a world based on Game of Thrones or Breaking Bad, or undertake a Marvel-style superhero adventure. With so much popular media to riff on, we’d love to see a modern Gex game that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
5. Condemned: Criminal Origins
There are so many forgotten horror franchises that we would love to see return, including Konami’s Silent Hill and Koei Tecmo’s Fatal Frame, but Condemned: Criminal Origins stands out as one of the most underappreciated series in the genre. Developed by Monolith Productions and originally released in 2005, Condemned: Criminal Origins told the story of Ethan Thomas, an FBI agent who hunts down a serial killer who kills other serial killers. Played from a first-person perspective, the game combined melee and firearm combat, puzzles, and an exceptional amount of suspense. Although there was a sequel released called Condemned 2: Bloodshot in 2008, this short-lived franchise has since slumped into obscurity.
Looking at the state of horror games today, it’s impressive how far ahead of its time Condemned really was. With major genre staples like Resident Evil: Village pushing further toward an action-based, first-person experience, a third Condemned game would fit perfectly within the modern horror landscape. Unfortunately, it’s pretty unlikely that the franchise will make a return, given the underwhelming sales of Condemned 2: Bloodshot. Rumors of a third game sizzled out in 2015, and with Monolith Productions currently owned by Warner Bros. Entertainment, they likely won’t be able to pursue passion projects any time soon.