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Top 10 Video Game Franchises That Have Lost Their Mojo

VO: Dan Paradis
Script written by Briana Lawrence Sometimes you have to ask: “What happened to our favorite game franchises?” Join WatchMojo.com as we countdown our picks for the Top 10 Video Game Franchises that have lost their mojo. For this list we looked at video game franchises that had that certain je ne sais quoi, only to have that special something fade over time due to mediocre games killing the franchise, too many games being released, or not enough games to support a series. I know what some of you are thinking: Call of Duty? Mario? Not here, while those franchises are long lasting and almost milked out, the fact that they continue to review and sell well will keep them off this list. Special Thanks to our users "Daniel John" "DarraghError404" "Giorgos Nikolakopoulos" For suggesting this topic as "Dying Video Game Franchises" on our suggest page WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Briana Lawrence

Top 10 Video Game Franchises That Have Lost Their Mojo


Sometimes you have to ask: “What happened to our favorite game franchises?” Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be counting down the top 10 video game franchises that have lost their mojo -- get it? Mojo? And we’re WatchMojo... nevermind.

For this list we looked at video game franchises that had that certain je ne sais quoi, only to have that special something fade over time due to mediocre games killing the franchise, too many games being released, or not enough games to support a series. I know what some of you are thinking: Call of Duty? Mario? Not here, while those franchises are long lasting and almost milked out, the fact that they continue to review and sell well will keep them off this list.

#10: "Prince of Persia” (1989-)


This franchise is best known for the “Sands of Time” trilogy from 2003, but these games broke ground back in 1989 (2:01). Later releases after the sands trilogy may have faltered, but not enough to kill the series. Still, for some reason, there hasn’t been anything new since 2010 -- unless you count the iOS game from 2013. Sadly, waiting several years is a norm for this franchise. There’s talk of a title for this generation of consoles, but who knows when that will be.

#9: "Star Fox" (1993-)


It’s been a while since Peppy Hare told us to “do a barrel roll”. Honestly, thanks to “Smash Brothers,” Fox McCloud hasn’t lost his mojo, but his franchise is a different story. After Starfox 64 the franchise seemed to have lost its way, going from Zelda clone, to mediocre third person/vehicular combat, with its newest installment interesting but repetitive tactical strategy game in 2006, not counting the 2011 remaster. Thankfully, Nintendo has heard the cry for the fox and his Arwing, and has plans for the Wii U.

#8: "Bomberman" (1983-)


Whatever happened to this franchise... besides, well... this (Show Bomberman Act Zero) If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, and this fix spelled the beginning of the end. Before things got unnecessarily realistic, there seemed to be a successful game on every platform that the adorable bomber touched. There was something truly addictive about the strategic gameplay, the colorful characters, and, of course, enough bombs to put Michael Bay explosions to shame (0:22). Now? We have memories of something great, a cancelled 3DS title, and his most recent titles being a low key iOS title and a Bejeweled knock off … sigh.

#7: "Crash Bandicoot" (1996-2010)


This blue jean shorts, tennis shoe wearing bandicoot used to provide grand, platforming adventures. He even took the wheel in some race kart shenanigans and was the face of the PlayStation, It seemed like Crash could do no wrong... until Naughty Dog stopped developing the games and Crash went multiplatform. Seven more developers later and Crash has fizzled out... maybe? Both Naughty Dogg and Sony have expressed interest in Crash again, though Activision currently holds the rights to the series. Perhaps they’ll make Crash into a First Person Shooter? Lets hope not.

#6: "Medal of Honor" (1999-2012)


This was once a critically acclaimed, FPS series that essentially gave birth to the World War 2 FPS, but it’s lost its mojo... again. This is the second time that this franchise has lost its spark. Back in 2007, both “Medal of Honor: Airborne” and “Heroes 2” received mediocre reviews, prompting EA to put the franchise on hold. It tried to make a comeback in 2010 by taking a new, modern day approach, but the glitchy “Medal of Honor: Warfighter” seems to have put the final nail in the coffin.

#5: "Resident Evil" (1996-)


This series wasn’t the first in the horror game genre, but it certainly made it mainstream with its haunting environments, terrifying creatures, and unnerving feeling of danger around every corner. Once upon a time the franchise managed to perfectly marry action with survival horror, but lately there’s been too much “action” and not enough “horror.” And even then, Resident Evil 6 wasn’t even a good action game. Fans have definitely noticed and long for the days when the games delivered more scares than bullets, suplexes, and... this (Show RE5 Boulder Punching)


#4: "Silent Hill" (1999-)


(Silent Hill 2 Intro -“In my restless dreams, I see that town...”) losing its luster. This fog infested town used to haunt gamers with creepy monsters, desolate environments, and psychological madness. Then, much like “Crash Bandicoot,” the franchise got a new developer. “Team Silent” was disbanded by Konami after “Silent Hill 4: The Room.” Things haven’t been the same ever since, but after the terrifying “P.T.” demo revealed “Silent Hills,” Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro may be reviving those restless dreams and restoring the franchise’s creepy mojo.

#3: "Final Fantasy" (1987-)


Have you ever had something that you loved and hated at the same time? That’s an abridged version to this particular series. It’s heartbreaking because it was once the go to name for spectacular RPG’s, but it’s hard to ignore mixed reception of unlucky number 13, that highlight linear gameplay, uninteresting characters, dull plot and honestly; a trilogy that no one asked for. Maybe “Final Fantasy Versus 13” -- ahem -- “Final Fantasy 15”... will renew the fire in the franchise. We’ve been waiting since 2006 so it has to be good. Right?

#2: "Mega Man" (1987-)


(“Super fighting Robot Megaman”) He used to be fighting to save the world, but series co-creator Keiji Inafune left Capcom in 2010 and four potential titles were cancelled. Then again, with so many Megaman games released in the late 90’s / early 2000’s to the point where the whole series went stale, it’s not hard to see why it fizzled out. Still Blue bomber has made his way into Smash Bros and Inafune has gone on to produce a rather familiar looking game for 2015. He may not have a future with Capcom, but perhaps his mega buster will live vicariously through “Mighty No. 9”

Before we get to our number one, let’s take a look at some Dishonorable mentions:

"Duke Nukem" franchise (1991-2011)

"Banjo-Kazooie" franchise (1998-2008)

"Rock Band" franchise (2007-12)

"Metroid" franchise (1986-)

"Ninja Gaiden" franchise (1988-)

#1: "Sonic the Hedgehog" (1991-)


This feels like beating a dead horse, or rather, a blue hedgehog. No one can seem to agree on when the decline started, but it’s painful to see such a huge icon fall from grace. Was it arming Shadow with a gun? Princess Elise? The werehog? Sometimes there’s a glimmer of hope, but then something goes wrong and we’re back to clinging to the Genesis days when Sonic was as iconic as Mario. We actually locked Sonic at #1 before Sonic Boom came out, and that game sunk the struggling hedgehog to even lower depths. Honestly it’s probably for the best for Sega to put this guy out of his misery, and end the Sonic Cycle for good.

Do you agree with our list? What video game franchises do you think haven’t gotten past the “Game Over” screen? For more top 10s that haven’tlost their mojo, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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