Dragon’s Dogma is one of the most unique open world RPGs out there, with a fantastic combat system that combines elements of games like Dark Souls and Shadow of the Colossus. The game cast you as the Arisen, a legendary warrior destined to save the world from the destructive forces of the dragon.
While Dragon’s Dogma has plenty of lore and story to dig into, the ability to climb and grab onto enemies is part of what makes the game so much fun. With such a fantastic combat system, it’s a shame we haven’t seen it iterated on anymore. Capcom released Dragon’s Dogma Online, an action-MMO, in 2015, but sadly the game never saw a western release.
We know that the series’ director was given a green-light to make Dragon’s Dogma 2, but he chose instead to pursue Devil May Cry 5, which obviously turned out incredibly well. Hopefully, Dragon’s Dogma 2 is still in the cards and now that development of Devil May Cry 5 is finished, we can see Itsuno come up with brand new creations.
The cult classic Grim Fandango remains one of the greatest adventure games ever created, hatched from the minds at Double Fine and Tim Schafer. Taking place in the land of the dead you play as Manuel “Manny” Calavera, as he attempts to save a new arrival to the realm on her journey.
Grim Fandango sports that fantastic Double Fine humor and its settings are so unique and vibrant, something we’ve barely ever seen again. From charming voice acting to a thematic soundtrack, Grim Fandango just oozes style from its every pore.
That’s exactly what makes it so disappointing that we’ve never seen the return of Manny and his friends. After the success of something like Coco, you can clearly see that the themes and setting have some serious appeal. Games like Broken Age and Life is Strange have also proven that there’s still appeal to adventure games.
Just imagine a brand new Grim Fandango with a gorgeous cel-shaded art style.
Vagrant Story remains one of the lesser known Square RPGs out there, but it really deserves more credits. Actually set in the world of Ivalice from Final Fantasy, Vagrant Story revolves around Ashley Riot, an elite agent known as a Riskbreaker who has to travel to the ruined city of Lea Monde to investigate the ties between a cult leader and a member of Valendian parliament.
Considering it’s directed by Yasumi Matsuno, the same man behind Final Fantasy XII and Tactics, Vagrant Story is heavy on political themes and heady story. However, the game also sports a fantastic combat system that plays out in real time, involves heavy risk-reward elements, and lets you target individual body parts on enemies.
Vagrant Story received huge acclaim upon release, but sadly it was overshadowed by larger Square titles around the same time, like Final Fantasy IX and Chrono Cross.
Vagrant Story’s fascinating world and story deserves to be expanded upon even more, especially considering its tenuous ties to the world of Ivalice. Unfortunately, Yasumi Matsuno left Square Enix years back, but there’s always the potential he could still collaborate with the company on something.
Square Enix has plenty of old IPs they can draw from, but Vagrant Story should be at the very top of that list.
The World Ends With You
Speaking of overlooked Square Enix RPGs, that brings us to The World Ends With You, a wholly unique little gem on the Nintendo DS. Taking place entirely in the Shibuya area of Tokyo, you play as Neku Sakuraba, a young man who died and has been entered into a cryptic “game” against his will that will determine his fate.
The World Ends With Youhas an immediately striking art style inspired by the youth culture of Shibuya, and an entirely touch controlled combat system. Coming from Tetsuya Nomura, the mastermind behind Kingdom Hearts, it also has a similar look and feel.
While we got a full-fledged rerelease of The World Ends With You on Switch, fans have been begging for a proper sequel for years. Sadly, we haven’t seen any indication that The World Ends With You did well on Switch, which doesn’t translate to a ton of hope for another game.
Still, we can hope that Nomura is given another chance to really flex his creative muscles with The World Ends With You. It’s such a unique gem of a game unlike anything else, and it’d be a pity to never see it again.
Alan Wake is a fantastic psychological horror game from the minds at Remedy, the studio behind Max Payne and Quantum Break. Although it’s a third person shooter, Alan Wake had a brilliant way of looping light and darkness into its actual gameplay mechanics.
The shadowy specters you fight can only be damaged in the light, meaning you have to lure them into light sources or use light creating weapons like flare guns to ward the darkness off, then hit them with regular bullets
It wasn’t just gameplay that Alan Wake did well, however, as the title had a gripping Twin Peaks-inspired story, with some serious twists near the end.
After the original Alan Wake, we got one more download-only game called Alan Wake’s American Nightmare, expanding lightly on the lore and story, what we really need though is a sequel.
Remedy has talked about working on a sequel at multiple points, with things just not panning out. Even though the studio is tied up for a while, Alan Wake is one game we seriously need to see again someday.
Ratchet & Clank (2016)
Ratchet & Clank is a long and storied franchise, but things went in a new direction in 2016. While the feature film definitely sputtered out, the remake of the original Ratchet & Clank was a fantastic new entry for the duo, and probably the best game to date.
Insomniac has, no doubt, been busy with other projects, like the massive Spider-Man PS4, but it’s a real shame we haven’t seen another Ratchet & Clank sequel yet. Yes, there’s plenty of games in the series, but the remake is so impressive that we all hoped Insomniac might do the same with Going Commando, or even create an entirely new game.
Even if it’s not developed by Insomniac, Sony could easily put someone like Bluepoint (the developer behind the Shadow of the Colossus remake) on a Going Commando remake.
Maybe it was time for Ratchet & Clank to take some time off, but it’s been three years since the last game, and at this point, we’d all love to see the dynamic duo again.
Yet another Insomniac title is just begging for a sequel is Sunset Overdrive, the irreverent 2014 shooter. Sunset Overdrive has some of the best mechanics out there for creating a purely fun experience, letting you navigate its expansive city with some crazy traversal mechanics.
There’s also an assortment of absurd weapons that make everything even crazier, like the Acid Sprinkler or TNTeddy. Although Sunset Overdrive definitely suffered from a lack of compelling story and quests, exploring the world and fighting is just so much fun it hardly matters.
These things could be improved greatly in a sequel, and Insomniac has shown with Spider-Man that they can create both brilliant gameplay and a wholly engrossing story at the same time. With the lessons they’ve learned over the last few years, Insomniac could create a fantastic sequel to Sunset Overdrive.
On top of that, Microsoft is in desperate need of strong exclusive games, and Sunset Overdrive 2 could be just that, maybe as a headlining launch title for the next Xbox.
Sleeping Dogs had a troubled development cycle, starting as a new entry in the True Crime series, but the final product was something fantastic with what might be the finest martial arts combat we’ve ever seen. The game casts you as Wei Shen, A Hong Kong police officer who’s gone undercover with the Triads.
The crime drama story is surprisingly engrossing and well-told, and it’s really interesting to see Wei struggle between his identity as a police officer and the newfound life he’s found in the triads.
The real star of the show, however, is Sleeping Dog’s fantastic martial arts combat, which is clearly inspired by the Arkham games. So many elements came together so well in Sleeping Dogs, and it’s disappointing we haven’t seen another game because of that.
Sadly the developer of the game, United Front Games, closed down for good in 2016. Square Enix does, however, hold the rights to the IP, so they could easily put another developer on it.
It’d be great to see a dev like Crystal Dynamics of Eidos Montreal tackle the Sleeping Dogs IP, as it’d be something entirely new and fresh from them. Sleeping Dogs still holds up incredibly well seven years later, but just imagine what a sequel could do on modern hardware,