Sony have really been on a tear this generation with their PS4 exclusives following a slow start. As well as adding to beloved franchises like God of War, titles like Horizon Zero Dawn have also spawned brand new IPs with plenty of scope for a future franchise. They aren’t even close to done yet, either: Death Stranding, Dreams, and Days Gone are just a few of the PS4’s upcoming games that could be spun out into a new series.
However, it doesn’t appear as if there’s room for all the PlayStation properties with some being notably AWOL this generation. Medievil, revealed and then quickly taken out of the limelight, was remade for release in 2019 and so too was Crash in 2018 as a timed exclusive before he went multi-platform. Despite that, Sony have plenty of IPs in their portfolio that are either in limbo or deserve a second chance and are nowhere to be seen.
To remind Sony to flick through their archives, we’ve compiled some suggestions on dormant PlayStation properties for them to consider continuing or starting over with. A quick qualifier: as much as we all want new Killzone and inFamous titles, they’ve received brand new entries on the PlayStation 4, so we’re excluding them. We’re going for a blend of the obscure and the obvious here with franchises that we would love to see on the PS4 and beyond.
Last seen: Jak and Daxter: The Lost Frontier – PSP, 2009
The Jax license would fit Sony’s current methodology of releasing expansive single-player open world games like a glove. It lost its way with its last few games with Naughty Dog stepping back after the release of Jak X, but with the amount of money Sony are sure to be throwing at the studio for delivering hit after hit, surely they could be tempted to return?
That’s the big question here: would Naughty Dog even really want to come back? Their output has been Very Serious Games For Serious People as of late, though a bit of levity might do them some good. The warm reception to the series being remastered for PS4 might convince Sony to take a chance on commissioning a new Jak game in the vein of Jak II, but if they can’t get Naughty Dog involved, it might not cut it.
2. Syphon Filter
Last seen: Syphon Filter: Logan’s Shadow – PSP, 2007
Stealth games have had a rough time of it lately. Emily and Corvo underwhelmed in sales, Snake has gone into retirement, and Sam Fisher has seemingly been relegated to cameo appearances in other Ubisoft licenses. With so many of the big boys now gone, maybe it’s time for Gabe Logan to step forward from the shadows?
It’s wild that a franchise that’s been with Sony since the original PlayStation hasn’t had a new iteration in over a decade. So-so sales might have contributed to that, but that might be because it was only found on portable consoles for its last two games. With Bend working on Days Gone, how about they make a return to their roots and give Syphon Filter a fresh lick of paint once they’re done?
Last seen: SOCOM 4 U.S. Navy SEALs – PS3, 2011
The SOCOM series was revolutionary if rough when it first launched, a tactical shooter with a heavy emphasis on kicking your ass. Utilising the PlayStation 2’s limited online capabilities and voice support, it was really ahead of its time and beloved by those who knew what an unpolished gem they had on their hands.
Now the time is right for SOCOM to make a return, either as something akin to Wildlands or the same brutal realism it made its name out of. With Rainbow Six abandoning what it used to be, there aren’t really any realistic tactical squad-based military shooters (Christ, what a mouthful) on console, which leaves the door wide open for a SOCOM return. The technology is now there for Sony to properly deliver on the franchise’s potential, but just don’t turn it into a battle royale.
Last seen: Resistance: Burning Skies – Vita, 2012
While the Resistance series may never have been the Halo killer that people desperately wanted it to be, it still remains one of the most underrated FPS franchises in history. Thanks to its unique weaponry and surprising plot, it was a series that actually improved the longer it went on, which makes it a surprise to not see a new entry of any description over the last half-decade.
There’s a big gap in Sony’s line-up for exclusive FPS games with Killzone: Shadow Fall being the only one they’ve released in years and years. The conclusion of Resistance 3 tied the story up neatly, but just like Shadow Fall, there’s no reason why things can’t go to shit for humanity once again. Perhaps it can be set in the far future, Horizon style, with civilisation slowly forming again before the chimera make another appearance? That’s a post-apocalyptic game I’d play.
5. Ape Escape
Last seen: PlayStation Move Ape Escape – PS3, 2011
If efforts like A Hat In Time and Yooka-Laylee are any indication, people love throwing money at throwback collectathons. The Ape Escape franchise may have never made money quite like Spyro and Crash, but it’s certainly deserving of a reboot or remake of some kind, especially considering how ignominious its last outing was as a half-baked party game.
To make a new Ape Escape game a success, the recipe is simple: an open world connected by different biomes with different monkeys to catch in each. That’s it. No bells and whistles required. Whoever remembers the franchise fondly will lap up its return to a simple ethos and also a new generation can be introduced to a platformer worth caring about, because Knack ain’t it (though we do have a soft spot for its sequel).
6. Twisted Metal
Last seen: Twisted Metal – PS3, 2012
Leave a gap in the market and someone will fill it. That’s been evidenced a lot in recent months with the likes of Vroom Kaboom, Wreckfest, Fractured Lands, and even ONRUSH trying to capture the magic of the likes of Twisted Metal: a vehicular combat series with a bad attitude that’s something of a cult classic. If you’re of a certain age, you no doubt remember the edgy appeal of the original PlayStation game.
In fact, Twisted Metal has been with PlayStation for every console iteration except for the PlayStation 4 and Vita. You’d have to question how well it would do in the current climate, so Sony may be forced into either releasing it at an AA price or free-to-play, but if they can get David Jaffe back aboard, there will certainly be people who will play it and unleash mayhem. Failing that, a follow-up to WWE Crush Hour will suffice.
7. PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale
Last seen: PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale – PS3 & Vita, 2012
While PlayStation fans may look over slightly jealously at the Switch this December, Sony have a competitor just waiting in the wings. The original PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale wasn’t quite as refined as its Smash brethren, but still good fun for anyone who didn’t want to wavedash their fingers into oblivion to get a single hit in. A fun party game that unfortunately went overlooked.
With the PlayStation 4 in the ascendancy this generation, the market is huge for a game that collects of PlayStation’s biggest heroes once again, especially now they have even more iconic characters to play with. Imagine Dad Kratos versus a Bloodborne hunter, or Aloy going up against a Death Stranding baby? The match-ups are mouth-watering, so you know what to do, Sony.