This question brings up an interesting secondary one: Is a game ever really “dead” if you can find it online (either as a used book or a scanned copy?) I would say “no.” You can play a game long after it’s out of print. I was regularly running James Bond: 007 which went down in 1988 or ’89, if I recall correctly. It certainly wasn’t dead to me or the numerous players who enjoyed the system. Space: 1889 was defunct in the middle ’90s, but never really died; it was eventually resurrected as a Ubiquity and Savage Worlds setting recently. FASRIP Marvel Superheroes and Mayfair’s DC Heroes still have followings, as does (god, knows why!) FASA’s Star Trek.

As Doctor McCoy once said, “No game is ever dead, Jim, as long as we play it.”

So which game would I like to see resurrected? A few years ago, the answer would have been Space: 1889. Done! I think I would go with James Bond: 007 that Victory Games put out in the ’80s. I was working on it as a project a few years back, but there was a retroclone, Classified, that beat me to the punch. I changed tack and started working on a new version of the mechanics, but I have been waylaid by teaching, raising a young girl, and other projects that could be busted out quicker and cheaper.

I would like to see Castle Falkenstein come back, but I would want to see the combat rules reworked to be more cinematic. (I did a set of house rules that sped play and were more fun for the players almost immediately after buying the game.)

Another good one would be the Marvel Heroic — probably the best application of Cortex Plus. It was an excellent set of mechanics for the superhero genre. Hand-wavy enough to get the job done, less focus on experience and improving characters (you could just build what you wanted), and the use of character and story based milestones for advancement was a great idea, if a bit imperfectly implemented.