As in any relationship, even our most beloved game franchises can end up feeling stale if they don't make an effort to keep things new and interesting. We aren't asking for Prophet to wear a racy new Nanosuit to bed every week, or for Sonic to shave his bristles, but we think the eight franchises below could do with a little bit of a shake-up - perhaps taking advantage of the capabilities of next gen platforms.
You're welcome to add to the list, as always. Just keep it clean.
Shepard's part in the Mass Effect tale is officially over, and a new protagonist calls for a completely new story. Arguably, the reapers and their invasion were the least interesting aspect of the series so far - the best parts were when we got to cruise the galaxy, and wander the cities and settlements in search of interesting characters to meet, helping our crew out of whatever random mess they had gotten themselves embroiled in.
It might also be interesting to experience the world without Shepard's celebrity status hanging over you. Let us explore the world when its entire salvation isn't resting on our shoulders. Make it a more personal, intimate tale, and not an overblown sci-fi blockbuster. And with so many fascinating races to get to know, why focus solely on humans? Perhaps we should get the chance to play as some different races during the main campaign, with characters reacting differently based on our background.
Dead Space 3 was a big step in the wrong direction for the series. It stripped the necromorphs of all their mystique, and made them little more than a series of gruesome jump scares. Their origins, and their ties to weird space cult Unitology - once a shadowy and quietly ominous organisation, now represented by a big, blundering baddie - were given way too much unsatisfying explanation.
The unnecessary additions of a co-op mode and weapon customisation (with optional micro-transactions) were signs of how far the franchise had come from its claustrophobic, classic survival horror beginnings, even before we got to the heavy-handed action sequences, and lengthy shoot-outs with (hawk, spit) human opponents. But even the sections that put us in the familiar, confined corridors reminiscent of the Ishimura ring hollow - perhaps it's Isaac himself and the laboured, uninspired plot we're weary of, or the constant re-treading of themes, or maybe, after three outings, the necromorphs just aren't scary enough any more. Whatever the reason, the Dead Space series needs to adapt if it's to survive.
Crysis is a truly stunning-looking series, but in all other respects - story, gameplay, and a commitment to new ideas - it's about as subtle and refined as a bag of hammers. Any series lucky enough to surpass three instalments really needs its fans to invest in the universe that it's trying to tell, but thus far each new entry to the Crysis series seems to rely a touch too heavily on the strength and pulling power of its multiplayer component.
If the franchise is to live on, give us a stronger, more meaningful plot, intelligent enemies who aren't just Men With Guns or Jumpy Alien Dudes, and a reason to fight other than the fact it just looks cool. More esoteric Nanosuit abilities would be nice, too - super stealth, super armour and super agility aren't exactly novel additions to the formula.