These famous critters didn't get enough time in the limelight.
Gaming mascots were the thing back in the day. You were team Mario or team Sonic and wars were fought over which side was superior. Now, apart from the few that have survived, we don't see many fuzzy faces and iconic critters on our screens. For some, it has been best to leave them behind, but others deserve a second chance at life.
This isn't a list of the most forgotten or niche gaming characters or mascots, instead we're looking at a select few that had some really entertaining games tied to them back in the day. If given the chance again, these five would be able to really shine so long as the time and effort was put into giving them the spotlight once more.
5. Spyro the Dragon
Kicking our list off is Spyro, who is probably the character with the highest chance of making a comeback. There have been recent rumours that both Spyro and Skylanders could be coming to our screens as early as this year, and while nothing has been confirmed, already this is something to get excited about.
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Spyro's last outing came out in 2018, which might make you think he's actually already been given his second chance, but the Spyro: Reignited Trilogy only remastered his first three adventures. Really, we need another, fully-fledged Spyro experience to bring us back to the feeling of those original games without just rehashing them. Spyro continues to be a recognised face in gaming, and fans are always asking for more of the purple dragon. To see him come back could give us another great adventure platformer.
Banjo-Kazooie, while technically two characters, would not be seen without one another, and so they're both here as one entry on this list. Again, we've seen our favourite bear and bird somewhat recently, as they appeared as DLC characters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. However, the last time we got a game dedicated to them was in 2008 with the poorly received Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts.
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Banjo-Tooie is still remembered as one of the greatest platformers of all-time, and rightly so, therefore it would be foolish to let Banjo-Kazooie die out entirely without at least giving them one more go. Unlike Spyro, we wouldn't even mind seeing some modern remakes of the first two games so that studios can test the waters and see if the IP is still profitable. Because, even as we might love these characters, it's clear money still rules the gaming world.
3. Ty the Tasmanian Tiger
From two (technically three) characters known and loved throughout the gaming world, to perhaps a critter you've never heard of. Ty the Tasmanian Tiger is a 2002 game that sees Ty have to face down the evil cassowary Boss Cass and gather five artefacts known as Thunder Eggs.
The game sold well and produced three sequels, even getting a remaster release in 2020. Even if Ty may have slipped under the radar compared to a big name like Spyro, another game with the boomerang-slinging hero could do well. While we've seen Ty fairly recently in the remaster, again just remaking a game isn't enough to truly try and push the character back into the spotlight, and it would be exciting to see a proper return for Ty.
2. Earthworm Jim
We've not seen the wacky, incredible Earthworm Jim since 2010, and that was in Earthworm Jim HD, which again was just a remake. The worm in a space suit has some of the greatest potential for a new, fresh game. Beyond its engaging platform gameplay, Earthworm Jim is recognised most easily for its distinct brand of humour.
The wacky, surrealistic approach Earthworm Jim has in its comedy combined with its edgy art style gives it such a unique personality that it would stand out even among the saturated games market today. Earthworm Jim is a strange and recognisable enough hero to hopefully give us some top-tier platforming when we need it most.
1. Sly Cooper
2023 marks ten years see we last saw our favourite gaming raccoon in Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time. Sly Cooper feels like the character who has been robbed of some of the spotlight he rightly should've had. In 2016, it was announced there would be a film spin-off featuring the character, only for that adaptation to be quietly canned.
We've no news of a Sly Cooper game coming out, and though leaks have said each passing year will be the one where we hear more of Sly 5, there's nothing official ever matching those rumours. As with every other character on this list, Sly Cooper has such a dedicated fanbase that it would be the biggest crime to leave him without any new titles coming out.
There are a few other characters that deserve their own new titles like Rayman, Bubsy, and Ecco the Dolphin, but sadly this list could only squeeze in 5 entries. Know of any other video game mascots in need of some love? Let us know.