It can be both frustrating and sad to watch a video game franchise in dire straits, especially if it's something you have spent most of your life following. You contrast the unbelievable highs of yesteryear with the unfortunate reality, that the series you love has found itself spinning its wheels.
It's seemingly quite easy for a franchise to become mired in mediocrity, with entries that do little to please longtime fans or series newcomers. The longer in the tooth a series gets, the harder it is to both grow the brand and satisfy a hardcore audience. It's a tricky balancing act that many franchises have not quite mastered.
Sometimes, however, a developer will do more than just go "back to their roots" and instead, will produce something remarkable. They'll find the heart of a beloved franchise and tap into it, healing the long-neglected wound and allowing it to flourish once more.
The scars of yesterday begin to vanish, breathing new life into a series that once felt lost.
So let's take a look at ten franchises that dusted themselves off and found new life. Sound off down below and let us know which franchise returned the best, or which one you'd like to see come back with a vengeance.
8. Final Fantasy XV Recaptures The Magic Of JRPGS
For nearly five straight years, the ongoing Final Fantasy XIII trilogy dominated the discussion surrounding Square-Enix's iconic JRPG series. Whether it was criticising the linearity of the games or Square's obsession with the character of Lightning, it seemed like the next numbered entry couldn't come soon enough.
Which made Final Fantasy XV's protracted development cycle even more frustrating, as the game began its life as Final Fantasy Versus XIII. It was intended to be another game in the FFX13 sub-series Fabula Nova Crystallis, but ended up switching platforms from the PS3 to the PS4 and became its own standalone FF title.
In the time between FF15's announcement and release, Square had launched the divisive Final Fantasy XII and the XIII trilogy. Other companies had also jumped in to pick up the JRPG slack, with games like Ni No Kuni hopping in to fill the void. In that sense, FF15 had a lot to live up to.
By dropping the players into the sprawling world of Eos, Square brought back the sense of wonder that JRPG's are so good at. You're able to get lost in this beautiful, but dangerous world. The evolving plot mixed political intrigue with a tale about fate and lineage, all of it wrapped up in a fantastic presentation with composer Yoko Shinomura providing her best work to date.