For once, it’s been a good week to be a Cyberpunk 2077 fan. The game has seen a new wave of success that even CD Projekt Red probably didn’t expect, suddenly becoming the best-selling game on Steam. This comes after the anime Cyberpunk: Edgerunners renewed interest in the series, with updates to the game making that return to Night City all the more palatable.
It’s not often that we see a game turn its fortunes around like this, so that got us thinking: what is the best video game comeback story?
Dragon Age 2
Rhiannon Bevan, News Editor
This is a weird pick, I know. Unlike say, No Man’s Sky and Cyberpunk 2077, Dragon Age 2 didn’t make a grand comeback through big updates and flashy graphical improvements. But it has endeared itself to the community over the years, and I think that’s worth celebrating. When played through a modern lens, already knowing that Dragon Age 2 is hardly a sequel to Origins, the story of Hawke really shines. A lovely, self-contained tale of a refugee rising to become one of the most important figures in Thedas, Dragon Age 2’s premise has only gotten better with age. Chuck in some fun, fast-paced gameplay and some of the best companions in BioWare history, and it quickly becomes apparent that the awkward middle child of the Dragon Age series isn’t so bad after all.
Star Wars Battlefront 2
George Foster, Lead News Editor
They removed microtransactions. That's it. That's the entry.
Vaspaan Dastoor, News Editor
I remember when vanilla Destiny 2 launched. The campaign was so drab that I'm fuzzy on the details. The Cabal attacked, put a massive chastity belt on the Traveler, and forced you through the worst thing possible in a video game – a slow-walk section. The rest of the campaign, and the game overall, was pretty unremarkable, until they killed Cayde-6.
Forsaken was a huge shake-up for Destiny 2. It introduced a whole new dynamic to the game – hunting down Fallen scum in vengeance, instead of being a beacon of Light. It even gave you a hit-list of the most wanted vermin in the sector, quite a big change from Zavalla's goody-goody ways. The upward trajectory for the game can clearly be traced back to that expansion.
Final Fantasy Tactics
James Kennedy, Specialist
People may not realize this, but Final Fantasy Tactics was not met with adulation and praise upon release. Sure, it was well-enough liked, but it wasn't a "big release" for Squaresoft. No one rolled out the red carpet for Final Fantasy Tactics. But while it may have been largely ignored on release, appreciation for this classic has only grown with each passing year. These days, when people talk about the best Final Fantasy games, it isn't rare to find it near the top. Where it belongs. Unlike its bigger budget brethren, Final Fantasy Tactics's simpler aesthetic, which still leaned greatly on sprites, has aged magnificently. Pair that with Matsuno's legendary script, Sakimoto's breathtaking score, and Yoshida's iconic designs, and you have a game that is essentially timeless.
The Elder Scrolls Online
James Troughton, News & Photo Editor
It’s hard to imagine that one of the biggest Western RPG series could fail to deliver an MMO, but that’s exactly what happened with ESO on launch. It didn’t manage to transition like Warcraft to World of, instead turning a dedicated audience of hyped fans into sour players who quickly dropped off. It was a generic, middling mess, with a so-so main story that mostly rode the coattails of the far superior Oblivion. Then came huge updates that let you explore Tamriel with anyone regardless of faction or level, opening the borders to complete freedom. Chuck in expansions that revel in having some of the best stories in TES to date and it’s no wonder ESO picked up steam post-launch, becoming an MMO juggernaut.
The Entire Industry
Matt Arnold, Specialist
This isn’t exactly an unknown story, but the early eighties were a rough time for video games. Piles of unlicensed Atari titles being shovelled into stores led to a huge drop in consumer confidence, culminating in the infamous E.T. adaptation disaster in 1982. The entire industry nearly collapsed like a house of cards as people just stopped buying games.
Nintendo’s decision to market the Famicom / NES as a toy rather than a product for grown-up hobbyists, coupled with their strict system of quality control measures, turned the entire industry around. While a few unlicensed carts still made their way to shelves, the company ensured that most developers couldn’t make games for their consoles by forcing them to buy all their empty cartridges directly from Nintendo, and only if the game met a certain standard. The success of the NES turned video games around, launching the industry as we know it today.
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