When Nintendo games hit dirt, they tend to hit it good. Take the company’s two best-selling Switch games, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Both games have sold over 30 million copies and count. But sometimes Nintendo’s beloved franchises just don’t pay the bills like they used to. When that happens, Nintendo does what any other big publisher would – it puts the series on ice indefinitely.
Despite their lower sales figures, there are many Nintendo franchises that attract a significant number of fans. These fans have been clamoring for new entries in their beloved series for years. Here are some of the dormant Nintendo franchises that fans still hope for a better future.
5. Golden sun
It was quite funny when God of War director Cory Balrog took to Twitter to ask that Nintendo is relaunching the long-dormant Golden Sun franchise. But that was well over a year ago. The laughter died down. Calm the tears. The golden sun was the JRPG series to play on Nintendo’s old Game Boy Advance console. Between the first game and its stellar sequel, Golden Sun: The Lost Age, fans were treated to a sprawling fantasy setting that fit in their pockets. The Lost Age was a direct continuation of the events of the first game. If things had gone better in terms of sales, there could have been a third and final chapter of the original story. Instead, several years have passed and a rather maligned DS game called Golden Sun: Dark Dawn sealed the doom of the series in 2010. It’s been over a decade since that aptly titled episode, but fans are still clamoring for it. more Golden Sun adventures, preferably with Isaac and his GBA era buddies.
4. Child Icarus
Compared to the disaster that was Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, the latest Kid Icarus game was actually pretty awesome. In 2012, Kid Icarus: Uprising gave Nintendo 3DS owners a real boost during its sterile early days. The Kid Icarus franchise itself had long been dormant at this point, with the first and only previous entry being a 1986 game for the NES. Oddly enough, thanks to Nintendo Switch Online, it’s now easier for many people to play the original than to find a 3DS copy of its sequel. Insurgency was a smash hit, however, and warranted a full-blown sequel or two. Directed by the creator of Super Smash Bros. Masahiro Sakurai in his one and only respite between Smash installments, Kid Icarus: Uprising features intuitive gyro controls and unforgettable scenes that do a great job of making players feel like they’re flying right off Pit. It can also be satisfactorily difficult at higher challenge levels. Pit is a staple of Super Smash Bros. since Uprising, but there has been no rumble on other Kid Icarus games. It’s a shame.
3. Super Princess Peach
If an entry in this list is received poorly, it probably will be this one. Admittedly, Super Princess Peach wasn’t the greatest video game in the world. It was good. Hardly a competitor of GOTY by any stretch of the imagination. But what he was offering up front was something that feels even more important now than it was 16 years ago – an iconic Nintendo character in a lead role who just happens to be a female. We’re seeing real progress on this sort of thing, but Peach is such a popular princess that deserves another chance at her own game. A sequel to Super Princess Peach doesn’t need to tread old grounds, either. Rather than being a pure platformer in the vein of Mario’s main courses, the hypothetical Super Princess Peach 2 could be a fun mishmash of several flavors of Super Mario types, like the mini-games in the Mario franchise. Party and free roaming of 3D installments. Peach could even throw her own parties across the Mushroom Kingdom, allowing players to develop their addiction to Animal Crossing decoration. The twist? Peach, well aware that he will not show up otherwise, decides to kidnap Bowser and have him assist.
It’s strange that Nintendo hasn’t released another game in its award-winning Nintendogs franchise since 2011. The first Nintendogs, which debuted on DS in 2005, has sold nearly 24 million copies and got second place in Nintendo’s official list of best-selling DS games. The sequel, Nintendogs + Cats, had the unfortunate distinction of being released alongside 3DS; usually it’s a godsend, but the 3DS started its commercial life slowly. Yet the game has sold millions of copies, and the Nintendogs brand is firmly entrenched in the brains of a certain generation of gamers. With the roaring success of the Nintendo Switch, there must be a hunger to raise beloved dogs and felines in high definition from the comfort of your bed.
Press F for F-Zero. On “hiatus” since 2004, the franchise responsible for claiming Captain Falcon as a perpetual Super Smash Bros. character. seems unlikely to return significantly. What F-Zero gave Mario Kart was intense speed and difficulty hitting hard. Memorizing the myriad of difficult tracks is essential to achieving victory. At its peak with F-Zero GX for the Nintendo GameCube, 1.5 million copies were sold. That’s not a bad thing, but sadly, it’s nowhere near what many of Nintendo’s evergreen products are making. Between that and the uncertain last episode, F-Zero: GP Legend for Game Boy Advance, the F-Zero franchise has stuck on ice despite annual calls for renewal. Right now, the closest thing to F-Zero’s high-stakes speed is via the Mute City track in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
Never say never
While the reality is we may never see a revival of these dormant Nintendo franchises, the industry is filled with surprise resurrections out of left field. Some, like NieR: Automata, even eclipse their predecessors. On Nintendo’s own turf, Luigi’s Mansion 3 is by far the best-selling game in this series. Everything is possible, even improbable. The future is a blank page – a page that should be filled with the other exploits of Lucas, Pit, Falcon, and the gang.