VG Resurrection
L-R Star Wars: Battlefront, Donkey Kong Country Returns, Street Fighter & Deus Ex.EA / Nintendo / Capcom / Eidos

Easter, as we all know, is about the resurrection of some middle-eastern bloke by a giant anthropomorphic bunny rabbit.

With that in mind and to celebrate the impending four-day weekend that has spurred us all on these past couple of weeks, let us take a look at some of the most notable video game franchises to have been resurrected over the years.

Not all of the following succeeded upon their return, one has yet to prove whether its return will be grand at all, but the rest proved that no matter how dead a series might appear - there's always a hope it may return to remind the world why it was so loved in the first place.

Deus Ex
The original Deus Ex's protagonist JC Denton and Human Revolution's lead Adam JensenEidos

Deus Ex

Ask the PC master race what the best game ever made is and a large proportion of them will champion Deus Ex, Ion Storm's truly open classic that spun its tale of augmented human and deception around the actions of its players. Said players could approach any level how they pleased, with their decisions impacting the story on micro and macro levels.

The sequel Invisible War was released in late 2003 and failed to live up to its predecessor having made the transition to Microsoft's Xbox home console. Some reviews were positive but it did not build on what had been before it, instead watering it down.

The third Deus Ex game came eight years later. Developed now by Edios Montreal, Human Revolution reinvigorated the franchise and delighted longing fans of the original PC classic. Four years later and the wait for a sequel is still ongoing.

Street Fighter
Iconic fighter Ryu in the Street Fighter II and Street Fighter IVCapcom

Street Fighter

The seminal fighter series Street Fighter is the yardstick by which all other beat-em-ups are measured. Street Fighter II is still the pinnacle, becoming a smash hit in arcades and on consoles. It is the purest fighter there is. Countless follow-ups and spin-offs followed (the Street Fighter series throws more superlatives at its titles than the Mario franchise) but nothing had that same impact until Street Fighter IV in 2008.

Until then, the fighting genre was stagnant, flitting between Soul Calibur games that also failed to live up to the second title and Dead Or Alive games sold on their questionable and somewhat creepy jiggle physics. What fighters needed was the return of the king, and that was SF IV, which propelled the genre to new-found popularity, kick-starting a new boom period.

Donkey Kong Country
A screenshot from the original Donkey Kong Country and artwork from Donkey Kong Country Returns.Nintendo

Donkey Kong Country

In 1994, Donkey Kong Country was the smash hit that cemented the Super Nintendo as a classic console for the ages. Perhaps its most enduring legacy is as Nintendo's "other" platformer series, which at any other company might be seen as derogatory.

With Super Mario, Nintendo created the pinnacle of a genre, then with DKC it managed to give it a new spin and still create a classic. Two sequels followed on the SNES, followed by various ports on Nintendo's GameBoy handhelds. Then, in 2010, Retro Studios released Donkey Kong Country Returns.

Hitting the Wii with the force of a thousand barrels, it became one of the system's most popular games and was a classic platformer. A remake followed for the Nintendo 3DS in 2013, then a sequel – Tropical Freeze – in 2014.

Prince of Persia
The original Prince of Persia and 2003 reboot The Sands of Time.Ubisoft

Prince Of Persia

The precursor to Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed series was its Prince Of Persia reboot. The original was a side-scrolling adventure game famed for its difficult jumps, which spawned two sequels in the early and late 1990s.

Sands Of Time rebooted the series, giving it new life by making it a third-person sword-fighting game with athletic traversal platforming and a time-rewinding mechanic. The result was nothing short of a classic, spawning three follow-ups, a film and later another reboot that – while beautiful – sadly failed.

Rayman
Artwork from Rayman 2: The Great Escape and a screenshot from Rayman Origins.Ubisoft

Rayman

Some of these resurrected franchises rekindled old passions, others turned well-known series consisting of not-so spectacular games and turned them into classics. Before Rayman Origins in 2011, the straight-laced 3D Rayman platformers were ordinary pretenders to the thrones of its kin – Mario, Ratchet & Clank, Jak & Daxter, etc.

But Rayman Origins was a stunning platformer in of itself. The key was boiling it back down to a simple 2D style, absolutely nailing the gameplay and then lavishing gorgeous visuals on top. Origins and sequel Rayman Legends boast some of the finest art in recent gaming history.

Sim City
A screenshot from the original SimCity and the 2013 game.EA

SimCity

Not every resurrection on this list was a success. The latest SimCity was a pipedream not so long ago appearing as it did 10 years after the last mainline entry in the city management series. It was a rare case of EA giving the people what they wanted but the imagined needs of modern game design ended up crushing any semblance of what SimCity once was.

Upon release the game's online servers dissolved into dust, leaving thousands of players completely unable to play the game EA designed to be always connected to the web. Throw in a plethora of other misguided attempts at "redefining" SimCity, or whatever PR spiel it was vomiting at the time, and what was left was an unmitigated disaster that has killed the franchise.

Good thing Cities: Skylines appears to be filling the void admirably, then.

Wolfenstein
Fighting mecha-Hitler in Wolfenstein 3D and action from The New Order.Bethesda Softworks

Wolfenstein

Wolfenstein 3D gave us the first-person shooter genre as we know it today but since the 1992 game-changer, the series has not really caused a stir. During the late 1990s and early 2000s when Second World War shooters were all the rage, Wolfenstein's B-movie shtick could not compete with Call Of Duty and Medal Of Honor.

Few of the games were truly terrible, but neither set the world ablaze... until MachineGames came along with Wolfenstein: The New Order in 2014. Delightfully old school but fitting with modern design, The New Order was not just fun to play, it backed that up with a well-written and exciting story.

Star Wars Battlefront
Urban warfare in Star Wars: Battlefront 2 and a shot from the new game's teaser trailerEA

Star Wars Battlefront

It has been 10 years since Star Wars Battlefront II was released and fans have been clamouring for a third game ever since. Star Wars games have been ten-a-penny for as long as the hobby as existed, so the games that standout tend to be unique in of each other.

What Battlefront offered was large-scale warfare on foot and in vehicles in classic locations from the franchise. If there was one dream developer to bring the franchise back it would be Battlefield developers DICE, and so it will later in 2015.

When LucasArts sadly died and LucasFilm gave the Star Wars rights to EA, this was the first game people wanted, and it will be the first game they get. Expectations are high.