As a lifelong Nintendo fan, I’ve fallen in love with the Big N’s countless franchises, and I’m sure you have, too. However, it seems like some of our favorite games and franchises have simply been left behind. Here are 10 dead and forgotten Nintendo franchises that need to come back.
What Happened to These 10 Nintendo Franchises? Will They Ever Come Back?
10. Rhythm Heaven
Rhythm Heaven is one of those cult classics that’s stood the test of time, and if you’ve never played it before, you need to stop reading this list right now and play it. As the name suggests, the franchise is filled with fun, rhythm-based games perfect for passing the time if you just want to sit back, relax, and turn your brain off for a bit. We haven’t had an entry in the series since 2015. The Joyce’s would be a perfect fit for this game, too, so just give it to us already.
9. Golden Sun
Surprisingly, Nintendo just gave us Golden Sun on NSO. So, I guess it’s not forgotten anymore, but we still need a new game. That release underscored that fact more than ever. The last Golden Sun game was released in 2012, and I spent countless hours playing these games on Gameboy and DS. They were one of the first RPGs I played that wasn’t Pokemon, and honestly, Nintendo isn’t taking advantage of my nostalgia. If you’re a fan of the genre at all or want to get into it, these are definitely worth checking out.
Ever heard of Chibi-Robo? Unless you’re a die-hard Nintendo fan or remember seeing that Amiibo from years ago, probably not. This is an absolutely adorable platform-adventure game, where you play as a tiny robot. You platform around a home as you complete housework — and trust me, doing chores has never been more fun! The last time we saw our little robot friend was in 2015 on the 3DS, and it’s one of the best 2D platforms on the system.
How did we not get a new Nintendogs entry with the Switch? Almost everyone had a copy of this game with their DS (and I still wonder how everyone’s dogs are doing). With the portability and popularity of the Switch, owning and playing with a second virtual furry friend is a no-brainer. This adorable franchise needs to come back.
Who doesn’t love an underdog? Punch-Out is a fantastic boxing game filled with that Nintendo quirk we all love. Characters like King Hippo and the one and only Mike Tyson make this a must-play for any arcade fan. Little Mac is one of the worst fighters in Smash Ultimate, which is a crying shame since fighting is his schtick. He hasn’t been in the ring since 2011, and it’s about time he gets back in there.
Hot take: F-Zero is a better racing game than Mario Kart. There, I said it. Where anyone has a fair chance at winning in Mario Kart, everyone needs skill to win in F-Zero. The fast-paced speed of these games is next-level, and even now, they exude a futuristic feel. I’ve put dozens of hours into F-Zero 99, and it just makes me wonder what Nintendo could do with a brand-new, full entry in the series. Since the last game came out in 2004, most people only know Captain Falcon from Smash Bros. He needs to get back on the track.
4. Star Fox
There’s nothing cooler than dogfighting in space — unless you’re dogfighting in space with Fox McCloud. The Star Fox games have always been thrilling and adventurous. Flying at high speeds and blasting enemies across systems is always fun. We haven’t seen a mainline entry in the series since 2017 on the Wii U. And although the controls in Star Fox Zero were a bit weird, I loved it. The closest we got was the crossover with Starlink. Did I pretend it was a Star Fox game the entire time? Maybe.
Earthbound, also known as Mother in Japan, is one of the most charming and memorable RPGs I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing. Each character sticks with you after rolling credits, and I always spend most of my time just talking to all the NPCs. If you want a traditional RPG not set in a fantasy world, Earthbound really is what it sounds like. We’ve gotten the first two series entries in West, but we’re waiting on the third.
2. Kid Icarus Uprising
Kid Icarus Uprising is one of my favorite games of all time. The series made its debut in 1986 and is centered around the adventures of Pit, an angelic protagonist, as he battles various mythical creatures and deities from mythology. The series is known for its unique blend of platforming and action elements and charismatic characters. The Uprising came out 10 years ago and it’s about time Pit makes a comeback.
1. Donkey Kong
Other than Mario, Donkey Kong is the biggest character the big N has. However, can you believe that we haven’t had a new Donkey Kong game since 2014?! The series is beloved for its funky characters with fun and unique platforming. For those who love platformers but want something different than Mario, Donkey Kong used to be the go-to. Tropical Freeze was one of the best platformers I’ve ever played, and it’s a shame we haven’t had a follow-up.
Those are the 10 dead and forgotten Nintendo franchises that need to come back. I love each and every one of these series. It’s a shame that we haven’t seen them in so long. With the Switch seeming to be out the door soon, we can only hope they make a comeback on Nintendo’s next Console. Want to see what else you can play on the Switch? Check out our best Switch Games of 2023.