When I say series use the word revived, I mean they were good in the first place and either vanished or died off in quality. A bad example of this would be Sonic the Hedgehog as he had the glory and lost it in the Dreamcast era and still hasn't grabbed it back.
Another situation that doesn't constitute a revival is Ghostbusters, while last years title was excellent no other Ghostbusters title was even remotely good in any shape or form. These are franchises that have reclaimed the gold after falling from grace, these are their stories.
Now Mega Man games come out every year but an addition to the original classic series was last seen in 1998 and we only got that title in English speaking countries in 2003 with Mega Man & Bass. If we go before that it was 1997 when Mega Man 8 was released.
In 2008 the developer behind the Mega Man Zero and ZX series was given the classic bomber to play with. Mega Man 9 offers only old to the table in ways that most gamers forgot such as punishing difficulty, with 9 and this year's Mega Man 10 the blue bomber seems to be back. In another few years gamers will begin wondering what ever happened to Mega Man X, last seen six years ago in 2004.
Sam & Max Hit the Road was a one off title based off the 80s comic series, it released in 1993 and was one of the bigger Lucas Arts hits. A foul mouthed insane rabbit and a calm dog in a detective suit are the Freelance Police. Sam & Max's world is our world turned on its head and the dialogue was hilarious in 1993 and still is today.
Whatever is your preferred brand Atlus long running RPG series about death, religion, demons and high schoolers has been around since 1987. Picture that, Final Fantasy and Megami Tensei have both been around for 23 years. The only difference aside from subject matter is Megami Tensei never found an audience in the states during the 80s or 90s. Dragon Quest suffered the same issue but later on in the series life as early NES Dragon Quest titles were popular.
PC gamers will list off if you let them some of the best games ever and Fallout 2 will always be mentioned. While purists of the franchise will say Fallout 3 is “Oblivion with guns”, the general public has embraced the title. Bethesda mixed apocalyptic humor of the best variety with gun play and the thrill of exploring the truly unknown. The game ends up being as deep as an Oblivion while not turning off those afraid of RPG titles. PC gamers still may want to set the world on fire but most gamers are satisfied with the revival of this franchise. This fall though PC gamers may get their wish as the remains of Interplay return to develop Fallout: New Vegas.
I'm pretty sure a Street Fighter title on some system releases almost every year and yet the series has been dead in the minds of gamers since Street Fighter Alpha 3 in 1998. The EX series took the series into 3D where it didn't belong and Street Fighter III felt too much like Alpha except without most of the series staples. When Street Fighter IV was first shown off gamers were skeptical as the art showed everyone was doing massive amounts of steroids, those fears still kinda accurate but the point was the game was amazing. Instead of moving to 3D where the series didn't belong, Capcom kept the series in 2D and used 3D models. The fighting wasn't as turbolicious as before but was still pretty fast and Capcom wasn't relying on the same sprites they made in 1996.
- Shock: System Shock 2 is respected in the way Fallout is and Bioshock revived this franchise, but Bioshock 2 took the series down a peg as the before hand laughed at multiplayer ended up being the best draw of the title. Prominent and a #6 if you put a gun to my head.
- Monkey Island: While the first two were excellent after that the series starts to pidder off into mediocrity, TellTale again is the helper of its revival remastering the original and launching a pretty well liked new game Tales of Monkey Island.
- Ninja Gaiden: While different from the original NES series the series was revived this past two gens and for a brief period people cared once again about Ryu Hayabusa.