games / Columns

The Top 8 Abandoned Sony Franchises

May 15, 2024 | Posted by Marc Morrison
Jak and Daxter Image Credit: Sony IE

Welcome all to another edition of The 8 Ball! This week I’m here to talk about dormant, or even abandoned Sony franchises. Since Sony has been in the game longer, they have a bit more history when it comes to creating interesting franchises and then casting them aside, so I have a bit more to pull from. For something to be on this list, there generally has to be at least three games in a franchise. So, sorry all you Gravity Rush fans, that wouldn’t quite make it. Let’s begin:

#8: Killzone/Resistance

I’ll be honest, I’ve never actually played a mainline Killzone or Resistance game, since I largely skipped the PS3 generation. The only Killzone game I’ve actually ever played was Liberation, which was the PSP one. So my placing these two on here isn’t really an indication of their quality but my own ignorance of them. Still, both series are largely dormant these days, which is kind of a shame. There actually aren’t that many good, cinematic, FPS games being made any more, so more competition in the landscape would always be welcome.

#7: Wipeout

I have a real love/hate relationship with Wipeout. I love the general look of the game, the soundtracks of the games, and just the whole vibe of the futuristic racing franchise. On the other hand – I hate actually playing Wipeout. I really dislike the air-brake system, or having to use that in conjunction with actually turning your vehicle around corners. If they got rid of that, though, I imagine purists would scream their heads off, even though I’d enjoy it more.

#6: Jak & Daxter

Back in the PS2 days, you were either a Ratchet & Clank guy or a Jak & Daxter guy, and those two camps didn’t interact much. I was nominally in the R&C group but I didn’t go beyond the first game. Honestly, the Jak franchise didn’t go much past the PS2, there was a PSP game a bit later on and a HD collection on PS3 but that was about it. I know they tried to bring it back during the PS4 era with a “realistic” version of Jak, which sounds horrible. I honestly miss the days of mascot platformers.

#5: Jumping Flash

It’s really shocking that Sony has had TWO different VR systems and no one bothered to think of making a Jumping Flash game for either of them. The whole point of Jumping Flash is to place you in the role of the Robbit (robot rabbit) and letting you do things from that perspective. Imagine if you have to do the triple jump to reach an objective and you could actually look down with the helmet to see what you are going to land on? That would be fantastic. It wouldn’t save the PSVR 2 device or anything, but would at least be one interesting game for it.

#4: Jet Moto/Twisted Metal

I’m lumping these two together since they were, at the time, pretty synonymous with one another. Jet Moto was a bit like Wipeout also since it had the leaning/braking stuff but it wasn’t as required as in Wipeout. Jet Moto didn’t even make it past the original PS1 days but Twisted Metal got up to the PlayStation 3 but that was about it. There were some later attempts to make another Twisted Metal game on PS3 but those didn’t come to fruition. About the only thing that involves Twisted Metal these days is the Peacock series, which is a bit weird, to say the least.

#3: Vib-Ribbon

Calling Vib-Ribbon a “franchise” is a bit of a stretch since only the first game barely made it to America, and that was decades after it first came out. But yes, Vib-Ribbon did actually have some sequel games, only in Japan (obviously), that barely had anything to do with the first one. A new Vib-Ribbon could be great now, obviously it wouldn’t have to read CD audio, since you can’t even play CDs off a PS5, but tie it in with Spotify or iTunes, or let it read MP3’s and that would be more than enough for me and most people.

#2: Sly Cooper

The jettisoning of Sly Cooper is still a real shame. While Sly would never reach the peaks of a Mario or a Sonic, he is still a cool character with a very inventive game type. Sly even has a little gang of side characters that pulls off heists and helps him do bigger stuff. There should have been plushies, or a cartoon series or like 5 other ways the Sly Cooper franchise could have kept going. There was some talk about either doing a movie or a series but nothing came from it. And since 2013, nothing has come from the Sly Cooper franchise either, since that was the last entry in the series. The Sly series could have been Sony’s version of Kirby but it never came to pass.

#1: Infamous

Since I didn’t play much on the PS3, I actually skipped both Infamous 1 and 2. However, I did get Infamous: Second Son on PS4 and really had a blast playing it. Having the four power sets was a lot of fun and they did some great things with combat and locomotion to make them feel distinct. I enjoyed the game so much that I even bought the First Light DLC just to play more. And that was my last experience with the Infamous franchise since it has been dormant ever since. Look, I get it, Sony is now making Spider-Man games, which probably out-sell all the Infamous games 100 to 1. Plus, it’s an established character, more production values, longer history, etc. But they could actually make a new Infamous game, if they tied it to the morality system the previous games had. In Spider-Man, you are always the hero. In an Infamous game, you can either be a hero or a villain. They should really lean into that, if they can bother to make a new one.

For comments, list the Sony franchises you’d like to come back and why.

Next Issue

Top 8 Abandoned Nintendo Franchises

article topics :

Playstation, Sony, Marc Morrison