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Top 10 BEST Franchise Comebacks!

VO: Dan Paradis
Script written by Garrett Alden Everyone loves a good comeback story -> especially when it involves a sweet video game! Welcome to http://WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Best Franchise Comebacks! Special thanks to our user “Mara Steinhardt” for suggesting this topic using our interactive suggestion tool at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 Video Game Franchise Comebacks

Who doesn’t love a good comeback story? Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be counting down our list of the top 10 video game franchise comebacks.

For this list, we’ll be examining the individual games that either revived franchises from the dead, or reinvigorated series that had lost some of their luster.

#10: “Fire Emblem Awakening” (2013)

Although this tactical role-playing series wasn’t necessarily struggling before the release of this game, its home console titles were still relatively niche. “Awakening” took the franchise to another level with its greater degree of accessibility – simplifying the interface and returning the series to a handheld console. The game also featured a lot of nods to older games, plenty of customization, and tons of bonus content. “Awakening” helped remind veteran fans why they loved the series and introduced newcomers to what made the “Fire Emblem” franchise great in the first place.

#9: “Metroid Prime” (2002)

Once a flagship Nintendo franchise, “Metroid” had kind of faded into the background in the late ‘90s. But all that changed with the release of “Metroid Prime” for the GameCube. The game transitioned the series to the third dimension spectacularly, while also switching to a first person shooting perspective. The combat system and interface were also altered with the change in viewpoint; helping add new depth and complexity to the series’ already impressive atmospheric environments, exploration, and puzzle solving. All in all, “Metroid Prime” was the shot in the arm the franchise needed – and hopefully, “Metroid Prime 4” will do the same.

#8: “XCOM: Enemy Unknown” (2012)

Following nearly a decade without a new entry, many fans of the series were worried when “The Bureau: XCOM Declassified” was announced back in 2010, due to that game’s complete departure from nearly everything that made “XCOM”…well, “XCOM.” Enter “Enemy Unknown” which returned to the series’ roots, while also introducing new elements, as well as offering addictive gameplay that’s easy to pick up, but tough to master. Like any good comeback game, it catered to longtime fans, while also drawing in new players and putting “XCOM” back on the map.

#7: “Wolfenstein: The New Order” (2014)

The “Wolfenstein” games have been seminal series in the first person shooter genre ever since “Wolfenstein 3D” way back in 1992, but fans of the series have suffered through several long periods of inactivity and stagnation. Cue “Wolfenstein: The New Order.” Set in an alternate version of Europe where Nazi Germany won the Second World War, the game features a more involved story than its predecessors, as well as offering several variations on the storyline. In addition, and probably most importantly: the combat is intensely satisfying. “The New Order” raised the bar for both the series and for other single-player first-person shooters.

#6: “Deus Ex: Human Revolution” (2011)

After 8 years without a new entry, the “Deus Ex” series appeared dead in the water, but “Human Revolution” breathed new life into the franchise. The game retained the combination of stealth, shooting, and role-playing elements that made the combat so varied in previous instalments, in addition to the diverse paths the player could take in the story; while adding further depth to both. The improved graphics and cyberpunk atmosphere also helped attract new players and turn the series from a cult hit into a mainstream success.

#5: “Tomb Raider” (2013)

The “Tomb Raider” franchise has had a rocky history, with several ups and downs, but it definitely rebounded with this prequel game. Taking Lara Croft back to her beginnings, the game strips away the mystique of the character, along with adding a greater degree of realism to her, the game’s combat, and the graphics. “Tomb Raider” also incorporates more survival and exploration elements in the gameplay. This entry proves that sometimes the best way to fly high is to come back down to earth.

#4: “Resident Evil 7: Biohazard” (2017)

This game put the “residence” back in “Resident Evil.” What’s that? Everyone else has already used that joke? Whatever. After several games in the series ventured into action horror territory, “Resident Evil”’s seventh main instalment brought the franchise back to its survival horror roots. “Biohazard” features a creepy setting, more limitations on weapons and ammo, and a switch from the heretofore standard third person perspective to a first person one, all of which helped bring the game commercial and critical success and making for a truly visceral experience.

#3: “Mortal Kombat” (2011)

The early 2000s were a period of stagnation for the “Mortal Kombat” series, particularly in terms of narrative, and after 5 years without a game, this one brought the series back into the limelight. A soft reboot of the series, “Mortal Kombat”’s ninth main game used a time travel plot device to return to the franchise’s origins. The graphical improvements, signature gore, responsive controls, and well-told story all helped engage new players; while the game’s tributes the series’ past helped older fans want to test their might all over again.

#2: “Donkey Kong Country” (1994)

Although early “Donkey Kong” games in the 80s were among the most influential in all of video gaming, the franchise went without a new entry for over a decade. The series came back with a vengeance with “Donkey Kong Country,” which switched the gameplay to side-scrolling platforming and featured a significant leap forward in graphical quality, with innovative pre-rendered 3D sprites. While we considered choosing “Donkey Kong Country Returns” instead, since it also reinvigorated the franchise after a long absence, ultimately we had to go with the original.

#1: “Doom” (2016)

The follow-up to “Doom 3” this game marked the return of the one of the first franchises in the FPS genre back to the world stage following a long absence. As a reboot of the franchise, “Doom” perfectly blends modern graphics and story telling with the conventions of FPS games of the past, with health packs, lots of ridiculous weapons, and frenetic combat. The last of these is the real meat of the game and “Doom” embraces its past by creating incredibly satisfying, ultraviolent battles that never feel stale. “Doom” may be about hell on Mars, but it’s absolutely heavenly for anyone who enjoys games of the genre.
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