What Is Your Favourite Game Sequel?

There are great sequels. And then there are all the crappy ones that seem like little more than cynical cash grabs. I’m going to focus on the former.

Sometimes, the best sequels take a classic formula and evolve on them. I loved Final Fantasy II (IV in Japan), Uncharted II, Mass Effect 2, Super Mario Galaxy 2, and Phantasy Star II. Other times, they take the series in a completely different direction, giving it new life as with Resident Evil IV, Super Mario Bros. 2, and Grand Theft Auto III.

From a developer’s perspective, sequels can be a lot more work than they might seem on the surface. I’ve had the chance to work on multiple sequels, from the Medal of Honour games, to movie sequels, like Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2. It all comes down to planning; how much to reuse, and how much to adapt to new technology?

In all the games and films I’ve worked on, it’s always been important to keep in mind that older iterations used older tech and modernising them can take a lot more time. How to satisfy fans and stay true to the spirit of the original while also innovating enough so that it actually adds to the original?

I like how every main Final Fantasy is a standalone game without any real connection to the previous games (aside from character and thematic ties). Dragon Quest does a good job of tying to the legacy of the series while weaving a new story with each entry.

And then, there’s Chrono Cross. I wrote about Chrono Cross a few years back and called it “a bad sequel, but a brilliant game.” The interesting thing was, that was by design.

Chrono Cross Was A Bad Sequel, But A Brilliant Game

In many ways, the reason Chrono Cross is one of the most underrated JRPGs in gaming is because of the comparisons to its predecessor, Chrono Trigger.

Read more

As director Masato Kato stated: “In my view, the whole point in making Chrono Cross was to make a new Chrono with the best available skills and technologies of today. I never had any intentions of just taking the system from Trigger and moving it onto the PlayStation console. That’s why I believe that Cross is Cross, and NOT Trigger 2.”

If you take Cross more as a thematic link to Trigger, rather than a sequel, you start to see Chrono Cross’ unique brilliance. It’s about different realities, the choices characters makes, and how circumstances give people varying lives based on those decisions. Serge is one of the most dramatic examples, being dead in one universe, and alive and thriving in another.

Following those threads to their ends and seeing the way their fates are interlinked is in some ways deeper than the genealogy of time with Trigger. And the soundtrack is nothing sort of sublime.

So the question today is, what is your favourite game sequel?


Comments

    Dark souls 2 - one of my favourite games ever. And yes I like it better than the first game!

    Resident Evil - many great sequels or instalments.

    Doom 2 - waaaaay better than the first one.

    Armored Core 4A. It took the best elements of 4 and turned them up to 11.

    Probably Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest, though Metroid Prime 2: Echoes comes a close second.

    Mass effect 2 for sure. Mechanical improvements on the first and the perfect blend of space adventuring mixed with overarching universe ending drama.

    Majora's Mask was great and I really want to go back and explore it again in a remaster. Please Nintendo!

      The did a remaster with the 3DS version.

        They did and I missed that one. I'm still holding out hope that they'll do it again at some point for the Switch or successor.

    I’d say Assassins Creed 2. I really liked how it took the gameplay and lore of AC1 and then just ramped it up 1000%. Chasing down some of those puzzles were the high point of the series, particularly
    assembling the video of the escape from the garden of eden. That was just amazing.

    The Diablo sequels. The first Diablo essentially created a genre, but it was the second and third ones that really raised the bar. Without them, and in particular D2, I doubt games like Torchlight or Path of Exile would have ever been created.

    So many to choose from, so i'll give a list lol
    Battlefield Bad Company 2
    Modern Warfare 2 - multiplayer portion only
    Uncharted 2
    Dead Space 2

      I'm with you on Dead Space2
      Amd I'll add Fear2. They both managed to blend horror and action really well.

    Assassins Creed 2, Mass Effect 2, Street Fighter 2, Marvel vs Capcom 2 and Capcom vs SNK 2

    Mass Effect 2 as it's probably my favorite game of all time. Although does it count if I never played the original? Also Sensible World of Soccer '96/'97 as they perfected the game.

    2s are often very good.
    Borderlands 2, Red Alert (shut up it's a sequel), Kirby's Dream Land 2, Pocky & Rocky 2, Diablo 2, Warcraft 2, Starcraft 2, Shining Force 2, Syndicate Wars, Dungeon Keeper 2, Streets of Rage 2, Mortal Kombat 2, Sonic 2, Road Rash 2, Dark Forces 2: Jedi Knight, Jedi Knight 2: Jedi Outcast (What? Shaddup, it has a 2 in it!), HALF-LIFE 2 FITE ME, Crackdown 2, Infamous 2, Settlers 2, Resident Evil 2, Portal 2, Mechwarrior 2: Mercenaries (2.75?), Nier: Automata, Far Cry 2, Street Fighter 2, Doom 2, Quake 2, Age of Empires 2, Baldur's Gate 2, Call of Duty 2, XCOM 2, Fallout 2, Lords of the Realm 2, Lost Vikings 2, Guild Wars 2, Freespace 2, TIE Fighter (it's x-wing 2, alright?! It needs to be to get a mention), Deus Ex (Mankind Divided! Put the torches away!), Earthworm Jim 2, Middle Earth: Shadow of War, Myth 2, System Shock 2/Prey (what? They're the same thing), Thief 2, Virtua Cop 2, Kane & Lynch 2, Unreal 2,

    3s can be better!
    Super Mario Bros 3, Urban Strike, Mass Effect 3, Wario Land, Super Bomberman 3, , Final Fantasy 3 (6 if you're nasty), Fable 3, Max Payne 3, Red Faction: Guerilla, Monkey Island 3, Galactic Civilizations 3, Hexen 3, Quest for Glory 3, Wing Commander 3

    4s are twice as good as 2s are twice as good as 1s!
    Assassin's Creed 4, Halo 4, Zelda 4 (awakening=best), GTA 4, Saints Row 4, Hitman: Blood Money, Fallout 4, Europa Universalis 4, Sims 4 (look, I know it's taken years, but it's really good, now!), Ultima 4, God of War 4 (2018 - COUNT IT)

      You get upvote for Shining Force 2. I have so many very fond memories playing Shining Force on the Megadrive with my brother until the sun came up, while not a co-op game, we both enjoyed the story and working out strategies to clear the stages. Loved it so much we bough the sequel as soon as we could. Within moments we were both heartbroken at how silly and childish it was, playing with wooden swords, we both hated it so much we cast it aside for about a year before giving it a second chance.... and I'm so glad we did. Had so much more character than the first game, just those first 30 mins or so gave such a bad impression for us...

    Suikoden 2.
    It improved on the first in all the right ways. It also continued the stories of several characters and even nations from the first one in a way that made it really feel like both games shared the same world and that events from the first - While not central to the seconds story - had wide reaching affects on all of that world.

    Need for Speed Underground 2

    Greatest racing game ever.

      Hmmmm you seemed to have misspelled Wipeout 2097

        Wipeout doesn't have Japanese imports and neons.

          Just going thru some old replies and wanted to thank you for replying to my division 2 face palm about starting a mission! Ha i figured it out and was too embarrassed to go back and see if someone had spelled it out like "Hey Homer, have you tried just letting go of the cans?"
          Also yes but wipeout has air brakes and peak chemical brothers damn it!

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