After the death of the Atari in the '80s (thanks to the game based on E.T.), the video game landscape was in a state of crisis. That is, until Nintendo had the brilliant idea of marketing the NES as a toy. Thanks to that stroke of marketing genius, consoles blossomed once again in homes around the globe and there hasn’t been a dry spell since. As one of the oldest console manufacturers still around, it goes without saying though that a lot of games haven’t seen the light of day. Let’s roundup some of the most prolific Nintendo games that never were.
10 Kid Kirby
If there were ever an unnecessary idea for a prequel, it would have been Kid Kirby. Just as the name suggests, it was going to star a younger Kirby with younger versions of his classic enemies like King Dedede. The craziest part of this whole thing was that, get this, Rockstar was going to handle it. This was of course back when they were called DMA Design, but that is still a cool fact. Because the SNES mouse accessory didn't make a huge impact, the game was scrapped. Well, that is one cited reason at least.
9 Super Mario 64 2
Yep, would it surprise anyone that Nintendo was going to cook up a sequel to Super Mario 64? They would have been crazy not to. Sadly we have no images to share, but the idea was to have this be on the N64 exposition hardware, the DD.
Since that was a flop in Japan it never made it to the West, which would easily explain why this idea fell through. For those interested to learn a little more, check out this interview with Shigeru Miyamoto at the time.
8 Star Fox Virtual Boy
Speaking of flops, there is no greater bomb in Nintendo's history than the Virtual Boy. It was infamously disastrous and should in no way surprise readers that this list could easily be filled up with ten planned games for the console. The most interesting of which, since we had to pick just one, was Star Fox. Wouldn't it be great to fly through space in 3D? Not on the Virtual Boy thanks to that bleeding red imagery. Here is some shaky cam footage of Nintendo presenting some demos for the system.
7 Skies of Arcadia 2
Skies of Arcadia is a fantastic RPG game, if underrated. A lot of RPGs feature sky pirates like Final Fantasy, but this was all about that, just like Mega Man Legends. Skies of Arcadia had a planned sequel for the PS2 and GameCube, which would have delighted fans, but it never came to light. At the very least Sega added Vyse, Aika, and Fina into Valkyria Chronicles, and that's a start.
6 Kid Icarus Wii
Before Nintendo announced Kid Icarus: Uprising for 3DS, there was secretly a sequel in the works for the Wii. This project went under the codename of Icarus for obvious reasons and was being helmed by Factor 5. Nintendo had a long relationship with them as they handled such dynamic exclusives such as the Star Wars: Rogue Squadron series. A lot of those aerial maneuvers would have translated into this more mature reboot, but somewhere along the way Nintendo didn't like what they saw. Unseen64 actually did a deep dive into the development problems.
5 Chocobo Racing 3D
Chocobo Racing is a pretty decent Super Mario Kart clone for the PS1 starring beloved mascots from the Final Fantasy series. That was strangely the only game to ever come out, but there was going to be a 3DS successor.
The game was even shown off with gameplay when Nintendo was showcasing the 3DS for the first time at E3 2010. It never showed up again though. Based on the footage, it actually looked like it incorporated action elements along with the standard racing.
4 Dinosaur Planet
Dinosaur Planet is more like an example of a game that could have been. Before Star Fox was the hero of Star Fox Adventure, the damsel of that game, Crystal, was going to star in her own game called Dinosaur Planet, along with other friends. It was also originally slated for the N64. Along the way, it was reformatted to include more tie-ins to Nintendo before Rare was asked to shove in Star Fox. Be sure to check out Unseen64 because they have a lot of well-documented footage.
3 Dead Phoenix
To provide a wealth of third-party software for the GameCube, Nintendo made a deal with Capcom early in its life cycle. This deal was called the Capcom 5, which was supposed to include five exclusives for the console including Resident Evil 4, Viewtiful Joe, P.N.03, Killer7, and Dead Phoenix. Dead Phoenix was canned and except for P.N.03, all of the other games received quick ports to the PS2, which helped balance out their sales. And on the subject of sales, that is the major reason why the last game was ultimately canceled.
2 Super Mario Spikers
There are tons of Mario spinoffs where he and his friends (and enemies) join together in one huge sporting event. There is soccer, baseball, golf, and the list goes on. One sport the lovable goof has not joined in on is wrestling, but it could have been awesome. Super Mario Spikers was a clash between volleyball and wrestling and was being handled by Next Level Games who, prior to this, helped make the aforementioned soccer game, Super Mario Strikers. It was ultimately deemed too violent a concept for Mario to be in. Like Icarus, Unseen64 did a deep dive on this Wii game as well.
1 Mega Man Legends 3
Finally, the cancelation that still stings us the most to this very day, Mega Man Legends 3 for the 3DS. For some quick history, Mega Man Legends 2 launched for the PS1 in 2000 and infamously has one of the worst cliffhanger endings of all time. Fans pleaded for a sequel for a solid decade and Capcom finally obliged them with a 3DS teaser. They even released a prototype build, which would have shaped the development of the game through fan feedback. Well, shortly after its debut, the demo was taken down and not long after that, it was canceled. Mega sigh...