• Naughty Dog could consider developing a first-person shooter game, drawing inspiration from titles like Resident Evil and Call of Duty Zombies.
  • Turn-based tactical gameplay could be a new direction for Naughty Dog, with games like XCOM and Mutant Year Zero providing a mature and methodical combat experience.
  • Point-and-click adventure games could be a genre for Naughty Dog to explore, focusing on narrative-driven experiences like Siberia and Telltale’s The Walking Dead. The comedic elements of games like Sam and Max could also be incorporated.

Often considered some of the best storytellers in games, Naughty Dog has proven time and again that they are worthy of the gaming industry’s praise. The studio has created some of the most engrossing settings, from Jak and Daxter’s ruin-soaked fictional world to The Last of Us‘s post-apocalyptic take on the United States.


The 20 Best Post-Apocalyptic Games of All Time, Ranked

A post-apocalyptic setting adds a certain uniqueness to a game. These titles left an everlasting impression on gamers.

Since Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune’s release in 2007, the focus at Naughty Dog has been on cinematic blockbusters with massive set pieces, dramatic stories with an emphasis on character building, and some solid 3rd person action to seal the deal. Understandably, this has left players yearning for other types of games with which the developer could put their many skills to use.

First-Person Shooter

A New Opportunity to Perfect Gun Play

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 Zombies Players Want a Reconnect Feature Added to the Game

Games To Take Inspiration From:

  • Resident Evil 7 & 8
  • Call of Duty Zombies
  • Titanfall 2

First and third-person games share much of the same DNA, which is why a lot of third-person games of late get an FPS mode through official channels or fan-made mods. It’s probably also why Capcom decided to prove the FPS’ validity in the survival-horror space with the latest mainline Resident Evil entries. Regardless, it’s proof that a game like The Last of Us would also probably work in much the same way. At the same time, games like Titanfall 2 show that layered, impactful stories can still be told in the format.


The 16 Best PS5 First-Person Shooters, Ranked (January 2024)

The best FPS games on the PlayStation 5 find ways to set themselves apart, either through their unique mechanics or their unparalleled online support.

Where the Call of Duty Zombies influence comes into play would be either a mode or a potentially smaller, standalone game, a la The Last of Us Part 2 Remastered‘s Grounded mode or Uncharted: Lost Legacy. It would just be a different way to frame the excellent gunplay that we have all come to love about a Naughty Dog game.

Turn-Based Tactical

Zero In On Combat And Atmosphere

Mutant Year Zero: Road To Eden combat encounter

Games To Take Inspiration From:

  • XCOM
  • Mutant Year Zero
  • The Lamplighters League

From the light melee encounters in Crash Bandicoot to the light, stealth-based, third-person gunplay in The Last Of Us, combat in Naughty Dog’s laundry list of titles is ever-evolving. But what if a new title were to hit the gas hard, changing the entire formula into something like The Lamplighters League, or any other turn-based tactical game where combat is at the forefront of the project?

The studio’s interest in mature stories, settings, and themes that have become synonymous with the developer since the release of the first Uncharted doesn’t have to go away either. XCOM: Enemy Unknown or Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden are two mature-rated, gritty games that drop players in some hairy world-threatening situations. In fact, they’re shining examples of how well The Last Of Us would work in the genre, as players would be able to take care of infected at a more methodical pace.

Point-And-Click Adventure

Narrative Is King In A Naughty Dog Game

characters choosing whether to steal from car

Games To Take Inspiration From:

  • Siberia
  • Sam and Max Series
  • Telltale’s The Walking Dead

The Last of Us director, Neil Duckman, is one of those auteur developers that will only continue in the world of his beloved creations if he can tell a good, meaningful story. Luckily, there are genres like point-and-click adventure that deal almost exclusively with story. Siberia, for example, has players solve puzzles in a mostly linear story-telling experience. Or, if the studio wanted to stay in the bloody realm of the apocalyptic, games like Telltale’s The Walking Dead are perfect examples of well-told stories that have players making some harrowing choices.


7 Adventure Games That Should Become Movies

These adventure games are just begging for a Hollywood adaptation.

Naughty Dog might want to take a lighter approach to a new genre, though. The right idea, then, would be to look back to their experiences in the development of Jak and Daxter, one of gaming’s best-known buddy comedies. The last step would be to follow the blueprint created by an adventure game like Sam and Max that already deals in the comedic antics of its titular duo.


A Great Opportunity To Focus On Exploration

Hollow Knight - City Of Tears

Games To Take Inspiration From:

  • Hollow Knight
  • Metroid Prime
  • Star Wars Jedi Series

The folks at Naughty Dog are no strangers to exploration, often filling their games with tantalizing collectibles. That exploratory spirit could be channeled into a Metroidvania-style game, and to great effect. It’s an incredibly popular genre, with takes on this type of game varying greatly. For instance, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and Star Wars Jedi: Survivor are both fairly stripped-back takes on the genre, holding extremely minor secrets back behind ability gates that are easily surmounted with straightforward story progression.

However, if jumping into the deep end is more their style, a look at Hollow Knight and Metroid Prime would be in order. These are two masterclass entries in the genre that make the inevitable act of backtracking less of a chore. They also do a very good job at developing worlds that draw players in, holding them in their sweet embrace for hours. Something a good Naughty Dog story can do with ease.


An Experience Built From The Ground Up


Games To Take Inspiration From:

  • Rust
  • The Long Dark
  • Valheim

While The Last of Us has many survival elements in its gameplay, it’s not a survival game in the truest sense. Players aren’t scrounging for every bit of crafting material to make weapons, houses, or even clothes to better survive the game’s elements. They aren’t defending their home from NPCs and other players that wish to do them harm. And yet, these elements would fit right at home in a world made by Naughty Dog.


7 Best Survival Games Set In Cold Climates, Ranked

Survival games are typically set in a harsh environment, but few settings pose a greater challenge than cold climates where food and water are scarce.

Survival games like Rust thrive in the simple ask of players learning their systems inside and out in order to fare better in their worlds. Whereas a game like Valheim provides some challenging combat that the player has to get used to in order to further explore its interesting setting. Then there’s The Long Dark, which is a great illustration of how much further a game’s ambiance can take a survival game, and exactly what Naughty Dog should take with them in their attempt.


The 20 Best Naughty Dog Games

From the Crash Bandicoot games on the PS1 to the Last of Us duology on PS4, these are the greatest games Naughty Dog ever released.


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