The Sony PlayStation brand has enjoyed almost unprecedented success in recent years, with the PlayStation 4 being one of the best selling gaming consoles of all time and the PlayStation 5 launching to massive demand. It’s never been a better time to be a PlayStation owner and much of this success can be attributed to their 1st party lineup of games. From Sony staples such as Uncharted and God of War to more recent additions like Ghost of Tsushima and Horizon, their catalog of exclusives has been the fuel that keeps the PlayStation engine running so hot.
But for a longtime PlayStation player like myself, this success is bittersweet as it has come at the cost of favoring newer characters and series as opposed to many of the classic franchises that made me fall in love with PlayStation in the first place. Sony has had a complicated relationship with their legacy in recent years, with a wavering commitment to backwards compatibility and not making their older games easily available, and recent stories that suggest a focus more on big “reliable” hits as opposed to smaller, more niche games. Regardless, I hold out hope for a return to the quirky, diverse lineup of games of their past, and these are the ten franchises most deserving of a return to the spotlight.
With the recent announcement that Sony is developing a Twisted Metal television series from the writers of behind Deadpool and Zombieland, now seems like the time to resurrect this once beloved PlayStation game. The car combat classic helped to launch the original PlayStation and was one of it’s signature series for many years, sadly it hasn’t seen a new installment in almost a decade. With all of the crashes, explosions, and firepower, the game could be a fantastic technical showpiece for the PS5 and we envision the game having a season pass which could introduce new vehicles, emotes, tracks, and more to have a healthy post-launch success.
As great as the modern lineup of PlayStation 1st party games are, one thing that I think that they did better in generations past was have a sense of style. And no game did that better than Parappa the Rapper. Everything in this early rhythm game was just oozing with style, from the music, to the story, to the visuals, it was a one of a kind experience that helped to define the PS1 era. While Sony did port the game to the PlayStation 4, it’s been nearly twenty years since Parappa the Rapper 2. In a landscape so saturated with 3rd person open world shooters, a new adventure featuring PaRappa, Sunny, Lammy, and the rest of the crew would be a breath of fresh air.
Insomniac’s Ratchet and Clank has been getting a lot of love lately, and rightfully so. But when it comes to PlayStation platformers we’ll always have a soft spot for Sly Cooper and his pals. With a satisfying blend of stealth and combat, Sly Cooper was a charming and fun series full thrilling adventures and great characters like Bentley the Turtle and Murray the Hippo. Original developer Sucker Punch has moved on to more “serious” games like Infamous and Ghost of Tsushima, but they handed the series off to Sanzaru Games for 2013’s Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time and that team did an excellent job of retaining the series’ charm and fun gameplay. We really hope that they get another crack at it and we see a Sly game on the PlayStation 5.
It seems like there have been rumors and teases of the return of Ape Escape for years now, but nothing concrete ever materializes. The series enjoyed pretty big success with over a dozen different entries, but it’s been a decade since the pesky primate’s last game, PlayStation Move: Ape Escape. We’ll always cheer on the return of more fun and family-friendly games, and this series would be a great fit in Sony’s PS5 portfolio. We envision a colorful, open world platformer that features support for Sony’s upcoming PSVR 2 headset. Just imagine a mode in which players on the television control the Apes while the player in the VR headset tries to track them down and catch them. Seems like a formula for success to us!
Let’s be real. Aquatic racing games are severely underrepresented these days. There was a pretty solid Hydro Thunder sequel several years back, but Nintendo doesn’t seem interested in reviving Wave Race so there’s a huge gap to be filled with this classic racer. The futuristic setting, the ability to race on ground or water, the magnetic grapple hook for those tight turns, there were so many cool elements to this series that it’s a huge shame that we aren’t continuing to see new installments to this day. The racing genre could use an injection of originality like Jet Moto again.
Okay, I’m going to be real with you. I don’t know if Jumping Flash! was a particularly great (or even good) game when it came out or if I was just enthralled with it’s 3D rendered world on our shiny new PlayStation, but I think that there’s enough nostalgia for that robotic bunny to do something fresh and new with it in 2021. The game featured 3D platforming in a first person perspective and to me, the game seems like a natural fit for VR. Maybe even ditch the 1st perspective and give the little guy his own full blown adventure in the style of Astro Bot’s Rescue Mission. C’mon, he’s a robot bunny, there’s gotta be room for him on the PS5.
If there’s any game in PlayStation’s history that seems perfectly suited for their current philosophy of game making, it’s Syphon Filter. A big budget, action filled spy thriller starring Agent Gabe Logan as he travels the world taking down bad guys. Sony loves to make AAA open world action games and a 7th entry in the beloved series would be sure to be a hit. After the disappointment of developer Bend Studios last game, Days Gone, they could use a fresh start, or more accurately a return to the franchise which put them on the map in the first place. The industry could really use a big budget spy game, the video game equivalent of Mission: Impossible, and it’s sitting right in Sony’s lap.
I don’t know about you, but I really miss the glory days of the extreme sports video game. Skateboarding, motocross, heck there was even a pretty great inline skating game. Snowboarding games though were possibly my favorite. SSX, 1080 Snowboarding, Snowboard Kids, all were great games. Cool Boarders was one though that I think went a little underappreciated. It seemed like a series that never quite lived up to it’s potential, but with there not really being any competition to speak of in the genre, now is right time to reinvent the franchise and deliver a bold new vision of snowboarding. Sony should absolutely go wild with this one and try something radically different. Maybe a more arcade style game with Mario Kart-esque weapons. Imagine speeding down a mountain while launching giant snowballs or rockets at each other, sounds pretty rad to me.
MotorStorm isn’t that old of a franchise, debuting on the PlayStation 3 it was a wild and crazy racing game that had everything we love in the genre. All manner of vehicles from ATVs to Buggies racing against each other in gorgeous environments. The sequels even upped the ante by adding Monster Trucks and setting the game in a post-apocalyptic playground. It was incredibly fun, but sadly never made the transition to the next generation of consoles. We would love to see the series make a return on the PS5 and continue the evolution into something even bigger, louder, and more insane.
Before Nathan Drake, before Joel and Ellie, developer Naughty Dog was known for making one of the best platformers on the PlayStation. The Jak and Daxter trilogy was a fantastic epic with huge, interesting worlds and crazy characters. It stood out in an era that was overflowing with these types of games due to it’s variety and polish. The series was criticized a bit for making a bit of a darker detour midway through the trilogy, but the fun was always there. They even made a combat racing game which is also fairly well remembered. I know Naughty Dog is not likely to make a return to these types of games, but it would be blast to revisit that world one more time.