Top Ten Franchises Nintendo Needs to Resurrect

Nintendo Characters

Nintendo is synonymous with the video game industry. For decades now, lots of folk have been calling video games in general Nintendo games, despite the games they’re sometimes referencing are exclusive to consoles other than Nintendo’s. You don’t become that iconic without a handful of recognizable and influential series’ and characters under your belt. Nintendo’s got tons of big hitters, not the least of which being the red capped Mario and pals, Pikachu and the other hundreds of Pokemon, and the epic adventures of a young boy named Link, but they’ve also got some other franchises that for whatever reason just don’t get enough love. Included in this list are the games that Nintendo seems to have forgot they made. For every one of these games we got 10 Mario’s. With the 3DS and Wii U bringing back a good amount of old classics like Star Fox and Fire Emblem, here’s hoping the ten following entries will see some love from Nintendo in the near future.

10. Metroid

Metroid Prime Trilogy Logo


Let’s get this one out of the way fast, because most anyone will call out Samus Aran and the Metroid franchise as the one Nintendo needs to bring back ASAP. While I’m not arguing about seeing a new adventure for the intergalactic bounty hunter, I have to think that someone at Nintendo is making sure we get a steady stream of new Metroid titles. That might not be as frequent as fans want, but it’s definitely more frequent than other entries on this list. Hell, there was a Metroid game, for better or for worse, announced at this year’s E3. The same can’t be said for the others on this list.

9. Ice Climbers

Ice Climbers Super Smash Bros

While the Ice Climbers might be iconic enough for Nintendo to include them in Super Smash Bros. Melee and Brawl, I’m sure many of you (myself included) really never played that original NES game all too much. Or if you did then perhaps it wasn’t enough to throw Nana and Popo into the same category of greatness as Mario. I think that means Nintendo needs to resurrect this franchise to give it new legs for a new generation. The Wii U is primed for this new game: Two player co-op using the Wii U’s GamePad as a screen for one player and the TV for the rest. Each Ice Climber would have access to unique and useful tools to climb the mountain. The goal is speed, finesse, and accuracy as you also have to dodge familiar enemies and brave the weather! Come on Nintendo, this game would be so cool 😉

8. The Legendary Starfy

Legendary Starfy Art

The Legendary Starfy has seen five releases in Japan, but only that final fifth installment ever made it’s was to the states in the form of The Legendary Starfy for the Nintendo DS. While that game was pretty easy considering the brethren Starfy keeps at the House of Nintendo, it was still a gorgeously fun and enjoyable game that I would love to see more of. Instead of being another Mario clone, this game would carve it’s own path with unique abilities of Starfy, colorful, imaginative worlds like the ones back on the NES/SNES, and a lighthearted story to appeal to everyone. Nintendo makes these artistic games all the time and they turn out to be gold, so why not have one with a totally fresh franchise for the fans?

7. Duck Hunt

Duck Hunt Art

Nintendo really dropped the ball on making this game: it so easily should have come out for the Wii it’s almost a sin that Nintendo passed on it. But all can be amended with an upcoming Wii U or even NX sequel for the game! There’s not even a need to introduce anything too drastic to the series: just let us accurately and enjoyable shoot ducks and skeet with a mocking dog in the background and millions of people would buy it! The absurd inclusion of Duck Hunt Dog in the recent Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS makes this re-imagining so much closer to actually happening!

6. Punch-Out!!

Punch Out Logo

Admittedly I still haven’t played the Wii’s Punch-Out!!, but I played and greatly enjoyed the original NES game as well as the stellar Super Punch-Out!! on the SNES. If I recall the Wii game received positive reviews and good sales, and the inclusion of Little Mac in the newest Smash should be a telling sign. Look at it this way: If you’re including characters in your brawler that features your most recognizable and influential characters, shouldn’t they have some new games to keep them relevant and grow your own sales? Let me box as Little Mac, let me beat up Bald Bull and Dragon Chen again, and let me play another Punch-Out!! dammit!

5. Earthbound

Earthbound Logo

This one has been in the same ballpark as a new Metroid game, but while the Big N sometimes gives into the Metroid fanbase, they never seem to relent on the holdup of games for the Mother/Earthbound crew. There could be hope though: last year Nintendo did re-release the original Earthbound for the Virtual Console, and at this year’s E3 they announced you could download Earthbound Beginnings, a fully translated version of the original Mother on the Wii U Virtual Console previously unreleased outside of Japan, at the end of the conference. Signs look better than ever for those psionic kids to make s full return to the limelight of the next generation of video gaming!

4. F-Zero

F-Zero GX Art

Are you seeing a pattern here? If you are a character in Super Smash Bros. and you haven’t had more than one game released since those games came out, you’re likely going to be on this list. Captain Falcon and the rest of the F-Zero crew are no exceptions. Nintendo actually has a couple of racing franchises they seem to have forgotten about in the wake of the unparalleled success of the Mario Kart series. F-Zero offers up a different type of racing experience than Mario’s go-karts ever did, bringing a much faster, much more exciting race to its players. Here’s hoping we get a new game in this series sometime soon! Show me your moves, Nintendo and make it!

3. Wario

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It’s been over 7 years since we’ve seen a “proper” Wario game. Before he was making micro-games and driving motorcycles he was doing pretty much the same type of stuff as Mario but in a much different way. Part of the reason I really enjoyed the Wario Land games was because it was a Mario game without Mario. Wario could use his head to hit stuff, he had different powers, and he just felt different enough that it didn’t feel like a rehased version of the plumber’s adventures. Wario Land: Shake It for the Wii game out half a decade ago, and since then we’ve seen nothing from Mario’s nemesis. Let’s change that with a proper Wario Land 5 for 3DS please!

2. Wave Race

Wave Race Art

After we had F-Zero and Mario Kart, Nintendo’s racing franchise was with jet skis and on water. Wave Race should have a fond place in many a gamer’s heart if they owned a Nintendo 64: Wave Race 64 is one of the greatest games on that console, and still holds up today as a competent racing game with excellent gameplay. Even the Gamecube sequel was pretty decent. But since then the water’s been calm with this franchise. It’s been 14 years since we had a new Wave Race, which is a criminally long time to be off the waters. With new courses, that same sublime control and maneuvering of jet skis, and awesome visuals and sound, a new Wave Race could be a true rival to Mario Kart.

1. Advance Wars

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The last release of the Advance Wars series (oftentimes simply referred to as the Wars series) was back in 2008 for the DS, and it was great. Pretty much every entry released in the West of this series has been critically acclaimed. It’s developer, Intelligent Systems, has been busy pumping out another popular Nintendo franchise as of late: Fire Emblem. While those games are arguably at the peak of their popularity, and the developers have plenty of new experience and ideas for the real time strategy genre thanks to Fire Emblem, the time is perfect to resurrect the Advance Wars series! Taking the basic concepts behind Fire Emblem and putting a more tactical and war-game spin on it, a new Advance Wars game would not only be the coolest thing ever, but would also bring back another oft-forgotten and under appreciated gem from Nintendo’s history for a new generation of gamers.



I've been writing about video games for years and playing them even longer. You'll find me playing all types of games, old and new. Mega Man III is greater than Mega Man II.