Mega Man was one of the best run and gun platform titles of the 80’s and the 90’s. After the Mega Man series started on the Nintendo Entertainment System it continued to grow in popularity with the X series which started in 1993. While the most of the Mega Man X games up until the fifth one were considered be great games by many fans of the series looked like it was starting to decline sometime between the late 90’s and early 00’s. During the mid to late 90’s the gaming world was beginning to evolve as many companys began to place emphasis on 3D graphics and visuals for purposes of entertainment. While there have been many other popular Nintendo games such as Super Mario, The Legend of Zelda, Metroid and Donkey Kong which made successful transitions into 3D gaming some would argue that the Mega Man series did not fare so well.
During the late 90’s Capcom had released a game known as Mega Man Legends for the Sony PlayStation. Since its release Mega Man Legends has often been criticized by many fans of the series for feeling too different from the 2D side-scrolling run and gun gameplay that they were all familiar with. The idea of having Mega Man in a open world 3D environment might have been something that sounded great in theory but did not play out as well in practice as many people may have hoped. Games such as Super Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog were somehow able to successfully include gameplay elements that made their 2D titles enjoyable into 3D open world gaming format. The original Mega Man Legends game felt slow paced in comparison to its side scrolling 2D predecessors which ended up reducing the quality of the game overall for many people who were fans of the series.
However, the switch that Capcom made from developing 2D to 3D Mega Man games could also be attributed to the fact many people wanted to see something different in the series following the SNES release of the seventh main installment of the series. When Mega Man 7 was released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1995 it looked highly detailed with colorful sprites and fantastic gameplay. But for some reason many people took this game for granted because they believed it was too similar to all of the other Mega Man titles that preceded it. In terms of when the series started to decline in popularity some would argue that it started after 1995 when Mega Man X3 and Mega Man 7 was released. Others would say that it started around the year 2000 since Mega Man X5 was one of the last good titles that Capcom had produced for home consoles worldwide.