In the 12 years that separated 1997 and 2009, Rockstar Games developed six mainline Grand Theft Auto titles, four sizable expansions, and four spinoff games. In the 12 years since 2009, however, there has been only one: GTA V. It's a game that has now sold more than 150 million copies and will soon have been released across three different console generations. With no clear news regarding the game's sequel though, fans are beginning to get a little frustrated.
It's now been almost eight years since the release of GTA V, and although GTA Online continues to receive regular updates, many Grand Theft Auto fans are chomping at the bit for a new game. It could always be worse though, as Elder Scrolls fans can likely attest, though fans of both series will no doubt be hoping that they're not made to wait quite as long for a new game as the fans of these other big gaming franchises.
Pikmin 3 (9 Years)
Despite Nintendo's enthusiasm for the series, Pikmin's impact on the gaming industry was nowhere near as dramatic as some of the company's other big-hitting IPs. That said, it still sold well enough to warrant a sequel, which was released for the GameCube in 2004 some three years on from the original.
Though the first two games were re-released for the Wii under the New Play Control! banner, series fans were made to wait nine years for a true sequel to Pikmin 2. Things haven't gotten any easier for Pikmin fans since then either, with eight years having now passed since Pikmin 3 and no clear signs of a fourth game being imminent.
Fallout 3 (10 Years)
Just 384 days separated the North American releases of the first two Fallout games, both of which were incredibly well received by players and critics alike. A couple of Brotherhood of Steel-inspired spinoff games followed over the course of the next six years, but a true sequel to Fallout 2 took quite a bit longer.
Fallout 3 was eventually released on October 29, 2008, which just so happened to be the day before the ten-year anniversary of its predecessor's release. Given the myriad of changes that the title brought with it, it's perhaps understandable why it took so long to make. Reviewers responded well to the new style, with the title going on to win several Game of the Year awards.
Star Fox Zero (10 Years)
Nintendo has accrued a fantastic library of first-party exclusives over the years, but not all of them always get the love that they truly deserve. Pikmin, Donkey Kong, and F Zero have all been neglected in recent times, as too has Fox McCloud and the rest of his Star Fox team.
Given Shigeru Miyamoto's personal connection to the series, it's a little surprising that so little has been done with the franchise since it barrel-rolled its way onto the scene in the early nineties. Releases have been sporadic, with a full decade separating the launches of Star Fox Command and Star Fox Zero. The latter was released five years ago now, and there's still no sign of a sequel.
Street Fighter IV (11 Years)
Modern fighting games owe an awful lot to Capcom's Street Fighter series. Together with the likes of Virtua Fighter, Tekken, and Mortal Kombat, Ryu and co played a pivotal role in shaping the genre, especially during the nineties. When updated versions are taken into account, there are scores of Street Fighter games. As far as mainline entries go though, there have been only five in just under three and a half decades.
With an average wait of around seven years between entries, those hoping to receive news regarding Street Fighter VI anytime soon may well find themselves disappointed. It could always be worse though, with fans once made to wait 11 full years for Street Fighter IV following its predecessor's 1997 release.
Doom (12 Years)
Much like Street Fighter, Doom is a genre-defining series that's still going strong today. id Software's 1993 title laid the groundwork onto which many future first-person shooters would build. This includes the game's own sequel, which was released less than one year on from its predecessor. After that, however, things went a bit quiet.
It took ten years for a true sequel to Doom II: Hell on Earth to arrive, with Doom 3 releasing for Windows in 2004. Another long wait followed for fans, as despite a number of spinoffs, re-releases, and mobile titles, it wasn't until Doom (2016) that a new mainline Doom title saw the light of day.
Flight Simulator (14 Years)
Microsoft Flight Simulator is one of the longest-running video game franchises of all time. The series' first entry, which was released in 1982, actually predates Windows and ran on its own custom operating system. Since its release, there have been 13 more Flight Simulator titles, with the most recent coming in 2020.
It's worth noting, however, that of the 14 Microsoft Flight Simulator games, all but one were released between 1982 and 2006. The 14-year gap between Flight Simulator X and Flight Simulator (2020) shows just how much work went into the latest release, which also happens to be the first MFS game to make its way to consoles.
Pilotwings Resort (15 Years)
Pilotwings may not be Nintendo's most popular IP, but that's not to say that it doesn't still have its fair share of fans. The series started life on the SNES in the early nineties, before returning to serve as one of just two North American launch titles for the Nintendo 64 some six years later.
It was perhaps the N64's limited library around the time of its release that helped Pilot Wings 64 to become as popular as it did. Unfortunately, however, despite selling more than a million units, fans of the flight simulation game had to wait until 2011 for a new Pilot Wings game, which was finally released for the 3DS after a 15-year gap.
Killer Instinct (17 Years)
There was a brief window in the mid-nineties when Killer Instinct was the undisputed king of the arcade. Its high-octane combat and stunning visuals were incredibly impressive for the era and subsequent releases for the SNES and N64 were equally impressive.
After Microsoft's acquisition of Rare, however, the series slipped into a long hiatus, with 17 years separating the releases of Killer Instinct Gold and Killer Instinct (2013) for the Xbox One. The latter went on to receive a Windows release in 2016, but since then, there's been very little news about the franchise's fate.
Shenmue 3 (18 Years)
When legendary Japanese developer Yu Suzuki took to the stage at Sony's 2015 E3 presentation, it felt for a moment as if the stars had finally aligned. At that point, fans of the Shenmue series had been waiting 14 long years for a sequel to Shenmue 2, a game that itself took a while to make its way to North American shores due to the death of the Dreamcast.
Four years and a record-breaking Kickstarter campaign later, Shenmue 3 was released for PS4 and PC: 18 years on from its predecessor's European and Japanese Dreamcast debut. A lukewarm critical response to the game has once again left the future of the series in doubt, though that hasn't deterred Suzuki, who has vowed to stop at nothing until his epic saga is complete.
Streets Of Rage 4 (26 Years)
Companies like Nintendo and Konami often catch a lot of criticism for neglecting their IPs, but Sega is arguably just as guilty in this regard. The company currently holds the rights to countless beloved franchises, yet aside from releasing the occasional Sonic or Yakuza title, does very little with them. Thankfully, the developer is at least willing to license its IPs out, which is exactly what happened with Streets of Rage 4.
The original Streets of Rage trilogy was released between 1991 and 1994 and made a name for itself as one of the best beat 'em up series out there. As the popularity of the genre began to wane, however, the franchise slowly faded away into obscurity. That was until Dotemu approached Sega about licensing the IP, anyway, with Streets of Rage 4 ultimately arriving more than a quarter of a century on from the series' third entry.