PlayStation is known for top-tier exclusive titles, but it also has various franchises – in some form or another – that should make their return as games for PS5. From PS1 onward, Sony’s consoles have been home to various well-received series, whether first-party exclusives or prominent third-party titles.
In Sony’s corner, Sly Cooper is one such dormant PlayStation icon, known for its colorful world, characters, and mix of stealth with action platforming. Meanwhile, despite Capcom’s emphatic return to form, the publisher is still sitting on cult classics like the ingenious Jurassic Park and Resident Evil amalgam Dino Crisis. And with the power of PS5, these games have the potential for grand comebacks.
Though Nintendo’s flagship mascot is effectively synonymous with the genre, there are many excellent platformers outside of Super Mario, and Sony had one with the likes of Sly Cooper. Being one of the faces of the PS2 era, Sly Cooper was a clever combination of game genres. Starring the titular raccoon, players would explore vibrant sandboxes combining stealth with platforming.
The last time the series got a new entry was on the PS3 in the form of Thieves in Time, with all games developed by Sucker Punch, the studio behind Ghost of Tsushima. With other “mascot” games seemingly returning under the PlayStation banner, like Insomniac’s Ratchet & Clank, reviving Sly Cooper could be a great opportunity to reintroduce platformers into the first-party rotation and diversify its overall catalog more. This is especially so given how technically and mechanically beneficial the horsepower of the PS5 was to Rift Apart.
The likes of Doom, Wolfenstein, and GoldenEye 007 paved the way for even more excellent first-person shooter games. However, as far as variety goes, Sony specifically lacks major first-party support for this genre, despite having some like Guerrilla Games’ Killzone. The studio has gone on to do great things in the action-RPG space with Horizon Zero Dawn, but enough time has passed for Killzone to lie dormant.
Admittedly, some modern first-person shooters can feel mundane, but with the strength behind the PlayStation brand and the talent behind Guerrilla Games, revitalizing Killzone could do well to inject some diversity into the genre. At their best, Killzone games have been praised for their stylized sci-fi atmosphere with tight, fast-paced gunplay. And with the hardware in the PS5 and the massive player base it has, the stage could be set for a triumphant resurrection.
When it comes to survival horror, it’s no secret that many of the best games in the Resident Evil series rank among the top of the genre. It’s one of Capcom’s biggest earners, but its forgotten Dino Crisis games were worthy contemporaries in the ’90s. Combining the horror mechanics of Resident Evil and replacing zombies with dinosaurs, they became the horror Jurassic Park games that never were.
At the cult level, there have been fans periodically wondering what, if anything, will happen with the franchise given Capcom’s recent penchant for remakes, but there’s not been anything concrete yet. However, due to the ongoing success of Resident Evil and the technical marvel of the RE Engine it’s built on, now is as good a time as ever to transition those assets into a new Dino Crisis game seamlessly. With how well the recent remakes have been going, remakes of the first two games would be great places to start.
With PlayStation making an effort to expand its multiplayer offerings, namely after expanding its catalog with Sony acquiring Bungie, it couldn’t hurt to tap into other shooter IPs. Aside from Killzone, SOCOM had a handful of successful releases from 2002-2006 across PS2 and the underrated PSP. But what helped set SOCOM apart was being a tactical shooter with single- and multiplayer components.
The tactical-shooter subgenre fills a specific, but still lucrative niche, as Rainbow Six and Counterstrike prove. SOCOM was PlayStation’s exclusive slice of this subgenre, which could benefit from a modern makeover. Since SOCOM was among the first games to pioneer online functionality for PS2, it’d be fitting to make a return on PS5, especially with all the advancements in online play today combined with the series’ multiplayer modes being its highlight.
Jak and Daxter
Ratchet & Clank and Sly Cooper weren’t the only mascots to shape PlayStation’s early popularity. Jak and Daxter was once another notable name, particularly during the PS2’s life cycle. A rather forgotten PS2-era story-driven classic, as the series has been on hiatus since 2009’s The Lost Frontier. The games leaned harder into action-adventure but were action-platformers overall.
This franchise was originally developed by Naughty Dog, of Uncharted,The Last of Us; and Crash Bandicoot fame, back when the developer was largely in charge of the mascot platformers that gave PlayStation a great deal of its identity in the PS1-PS2 era. Jak and Daxter eventually got tonally darker than their contemporaries, but they were still overall praised for being incredibly polished games for their time in terms of gameplay mechanics, as well as their inventive steampunk worlds.
Even with recent refreshing success like Ghost of Tsushima, Infamous can still stand proudly among Sucker Punch Productions’ catalog of games. Infamous 2 might even remain Sucker Punch’s best narrative finale, which makes it a shame that the series has gone quiet for so long. The franchise featured as recently as the PS4, but not since 2014’s Second Son and First Light.
The first two games were especially well-received for their time, partly for pitting a superhuman protagonist in morally ambiguous situations. Gameplay-wise, Infamous was praised particularly for its superpowered combat and how they were used to traverse the games’ engaging level designs. Established superhero IPs are the ones that tend to do the best, but the concept of a morally customizable superhero in a destructible sandbox could succeed in the current gaming landscape, especially with the PS5’s capabilities.
Though it has retroactively featured – and debuted in The Phantom Pain‘s case – on other consoles in the decades that followed, Hideo Kojima’s landmark Metal Gear Solid franchise was a longstanding pillar of PlayStation. The best games in the series easily rank among the greatest stealth games in the genre’s history, and it’s rumored the franchise may return in the future.
Until official word comes around, Metal Gear Solid remains a revered legacy franchise that’s sorely missed on PS5. While Phantom Pain felt half-finished in terms of story, it pushed the stealth-action gameplay formula to new heights. It was more versatile than ever and playable in a variety of sandboxes, making the new technical ceiling PS5 provides an exciting proposition for a modern rendition.
It can be admittedly seen as a technicality, as the PS5 did feature a game in Sackboy’s franchise with Sackboy: A Big Adventure. Even so, that 3D platformer was a spinoff of the mainline series. The major LittleBigPlanet games haven’t seen an original installment since LittleBigPlanet 3 on the PS3 and PS4, which had an emphasis on content creation.
A sort of PlayStation equivalent to Nintendo’s Super Mario Maker games, traditional LittleBigPlanet titles also featured 2.5D-based platforming mechanics as opposed to 3D. But it’s the content creation component that was the games’ biggest selling point. Players could tailor their own levels from start to finish with an incredible level of detail, in addition to sharing and playing others’ levels online. With PS5, the possibilities would be extraordinary for such a game.
Square Enix is unsurprisingly best known for the likes of Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. Such titles have gone on to be among the most influential in the subgenre when it comes to narrative scope and gameplay conventions, in addition to making up several all-time fan-favorite JRPGs. However, then known as Square, the publisher/developer put out exciting smaller titles like Parasite Eve.
It still plays well within the role-playing expertise of the publisher, but it takes a delightfully bizarre spin on RPG premises by mixing sci-fi and horror. The first game follows Aya Brea as she attempts to stop a villainous woman who plans to annihilate the human race through spontaneous combustion, with combat using real-time pausable combat with systems of the Final Fantasy series. It’d be great to see Square Enix once again put forth such effort in its double-A games, and remakes would be a great way to introduce Parasite Eve on PS5.
It’s clear that many AAA studios tasked with making excellent Playstation exclusives were also responsible for some well-received franchises that were lost to time. Insomniac (of Marvel’s Spider-Man fame) was among them, having developed the PS3-era shooter series Resistance. The sci-fi shooter series spawned a trilogy of critically praised games but was left behind once the studio moved on to other projects.
What distinguished the Resistance trilogy from other typical shooters of its time was that it wasn’t just a military shooter, but a post-apocalyptic sci-fi game set in an alternate reality. Players took on the role of characters starting in the early 1950s as they set off to fight an alien invasion, with the campaigns proving to be an exciting twist on Call of Duty formulas. Likewise, the Resistance trilogy’s multiplayer modes were more than enough to keep players occupied in the long run. Whether it will return to PlayStation remains to be seen.
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