5 gaming franchises Nintendo Switch must revive

Nintendo Switch is on the horizon, and with it comes to opportunity for Nintendo to give its more neglected franchises some time in the spotlight. While the system will certainly be home to Nintendo staples like Mario, Zelda, and Pokemon, there are a lot of properties under the company's umbrella, and a few of them are in dire need of attention. Here are a selection of franchises that should get a revival on Nintendo Switch.

1. Star Fox

Oh, my beloved Star Fox. What have they done to you? Things were so promising back in the days of Star Fox 64, but in the time since then, everything has been slowly unraveling.

That might be a little dramatic, but there's no question that Star Fox has been an underutilized and, in my opinion, an underappreciated franchise. It's true that there are a few post-Star Fox 64 releases that haven't been horrible, but only a small number of them have actually stayed true to what Star Fox is.

Star Fox Adventures gave the series a Legend of Zelda twist it really didn't need. Star Fox Zero was close to hitting the mark, but awkward controls that try to make the Wii U gamepad useful were shoehorned in and ruin the experience for a lot of players. The great thing about Star Fox is that it doesn't need much more than what's present in the original and Star Fox 64 to be good.

It would be excellent to see a Star Fox game on the Switch that doesn't attempt to differentiate itself with pointless gimmicks. That may be a pipe dream, but I have to hope that Nintendo has big things planned for one of my favorite franchises.

2. Metroid

Metroid is another Nintendo franchise that has been subject to some weird design decisions lately. Super Metroid, along with Castlevania, serves as the gold standard for action-adventure games, and nearly every 2D Metroid game ever released has been met with critical acclaim.

Metroid Prime, on the other side of the coin, moved the series into the realm of first-person shooters so flawlessly that it would be difficult for newcomers to believe Metroid was once a 2D, side-scrolling game. Lightning struck twice in the case of Metroid, and for a long time, the series was one of the best examples of just how incredible video games can be.

So how do we explain Metroid Prime: Federation Force, then? An even better question might be: how does Nintendo explain the lack of a mainline Metroid game for the past seven years – ten if we're not counting Metroid: Other M? The series and its fans are long overdue for a game deserving of the Metroid titles, and the Switch would be the perfect place to right these affronts to one of gaming's most cherished franchises.

3. F-Zero

Now we're moving from franchises that have been neglected or unnecessarily tweaked to franchises that have been ignored entirely. F-Zero will always stick out in my mind as an incredible racing game, which is a shame because Nintendo hasn't done anything with the franchise on a worldwide scale since 2004.

That means we're closing in on 13 years since we last heard from F-Zero here in North America. It's a decision that makes me scratch my head, especially considering that Captain Falcon is one of the most popular Super Smash Bros. characters. Why leave a franchise as cool and unique as F-Zero to rot?

Some may argue that Nintendo chose to phase F-Zero out so it could focus on Mario Kart. If that's the basis for the decision to halt development on new F-Zero games, then I would like to have some words with the higher ups at Nintendo. F-Zero and Mario Kart are different enough that they can co-exist on the same console, and that should absolutely happen with the Switch.

4. Golden Sun

This entry may seem a little weird at first, if only because Golden Sun has been a handheld-exclusive franchise its entire life. With the Switch looking to merge the worlds of home consoles and handhelds, though, I see a pretty good opportunity to revive the franchise.

While Golden Sun may not be on the level of Star Fox and Metroid in terms of notoriety, it is a solid RPG series with summoning and spell mechanics that make it stand out in a sea of other games. I can understand why it isn't high on Nintendo's list of priorities, but it would be great to see it make a comeback once the Switch is on the scene.

5. Earthbound

Of all of Nintendo's neglected franchises, this is probably the one that pains fans the most. The main series hasn't had a new release since 2006, while folks in North America have been waiting since Earthbound first arrived on the SNES back in 1995. Fans were hopeful that the third game in the series, Mother 3, would get a North American release, but that never happened.

It's hard to think of a franchise that deserves a revival more than Earthbound. It seems silly that Nintendo hasn't done more to make the series a mainstay in North America, where Earthbound is generally regarded as one of the greatest RPGs ever made.

Nintendo knows that it needs big franchises to make the Switch a success. With all of the esteem Earthbound seems to hold, releasing a new game in the series might help make the Switch a success on the heels of the failed Wii U. It would certainly be a risk, but Nintendo would absolutely win some hearts by announcing a new Earthbound game for the Switch.


I'm hopeful that Nintendo will look to some of its neglected franchises to push sales of the Switch. If there was ever a time to pull out all of the stops, it's now, when people aren't sure what to expect and seem to be a little hesitant given the Wii U's failure. A lot of people certainly seem to be interested in the Switch, and now it's up to Nintendo to drive it home by supporting the console with some great games.