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, aside from the few that have survived, we don’t see many fuzzy faces and iconic critters on our screens. For some, it was best to leave them behind, but others deserve a second chance at life.
This is not a list of the most forgotten or niche gaming characters or mascots, instead we look at a select few that had some truly entertaining games associated with them at the time. If given the chance again, these five could really shine as long as the time and effort was put into bringing them back into the spotlight.
5. Spyro the Dragon
Kicking off our list is Spyro, who is probably the character with the greatest chance of making a comeback. There have been recent rumors that both Spyro and Skylanders could be coming to our screens as early as this year, and while nothing has been confirmed, this is already something to get excited about.
Spyro’s last outing came out in 2018, which might make you think he’s actually already gotten his second chance, but the Spyro: Reignited Trilogy only remastered his first three adventures. Really, we need another full-fledged Spyro experience to bring us back to the feel of those original games without just redoing them. Spyro remains a recognized face in gaming and fans are always asking for more of the purple dragon. To see him return could give us another great adventure platformer.
Banjo-Kazooie, though technically two characters, would not be seen without each other, and so they are both here as one entry on this list. Again, we’ve seen our favorite bear and bird somewhat lately, as they appeared as DLC characters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. However, the last time we dedicated a game to them was in 2008 with the poorly received Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts &Bolts.
Banjo-Tooie is still remembered as one of the greatest platformers of all time, and rightfully so, which is why it would be foolish to let Banjo-Kazooie die out completely without at least giving them another chance. 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 if we love these characters, it’s clear that money still rules the gaming world.
3. Ty the Tasmanian Tiger
From two (technically three) characters known and loved in the gaming world, to perhaps a creature you’ve never heard of. Ty the Tasmanian Tiger is a 2002 game in which Ty must take on the evil cassowary Boss Cass and collect five artifacts known as Thunder Eggs.
The game sold well and produced three sequels, which even received a remaster release in 2020. Even if Ty may have slipped under the radar compared to a big name like Spyro, another game featuring the boomerang-slinging hero could do well. Although we saw Ty in the remaster fairly recently, remastering a game is not enough to really bring the character back into the spotlight, and it would be exciting to see a proper return for Ty.
2. Earthworm Jim
We haven’t 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 spacesuit has one of the greatest potentials for a new, fresh game. Besides its engaging platform gameplay, Earthworm Jim is most easily recognized for its distinctive brand of humor.
Earthworm Jim’s wacky, surreal approach to comedy combined with its edgy art style gives it such a unique personality that it would stand out even among today’s saturated games market. Earthworm Jim is a strange and recognizable hero to hopefully give us some top-notch platforming when we need it most.
1. Sly Cooper
In 2023, it will be ten years since we last saw our favorite gaming raccoon in Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time. Sly Cooper feels like the character who has been robbed of some of the spotlight he rightfully should have had. In 2016, it was announced that there would be a movie spin-off featuring the character, only to quietly canned that adaptation.
We have no news of a Sly Cooper game coming out, and although leaks have said that every passing year will be the year we will hear more of Sly 5, there is nothing official that ever matches those rumors. As with every other character on this list, Sly Cooper has such a devoted fan base that it would be the biggest crime to leave him without new titles coming out.
There are a few other characters who deserve their own new titles, such as Rayman, Bubsy and Ecco the Dolphin, but unfortunately this list could only contain 5 entries. Do you know of any other video game mascots that need some love? Let us know.