One of the hardest things for a games studio is to release a successful sequel to a video game. Not only do they need to improve on what they’ve already done, but somehow make it larger than the original, be that in story, gameplay or graphics. Today, I’m going to list my top five sequels!
Now, in order to make the list, the game must be a sequel and not a spin off or remaster. I’m also not going to include any major Final Fantasy games, unless they are direct sequels, as most aren’t linked. With that said, let’s jump to my list!
5. The Sims 2.
Kicking off the list, we have a bit of a PC classic. The original The Sims proved to be a hit with gamers, as it allowed people to play god and control the lives of virtual people, the Sims. So when The Sims 2 was released, the question was how could it beat its successor? Well, it didn’t really alter the gameplay that much. You still controlled the Sims but now they could age, rather than forever be stuck at a certain life stage. Generally, just more detail was added. There were days of the week, genetics and rewards for career progression. The Sims 2 is a great example of ‘if isn’t broke, don’t change it’ and it proved to be quite successful!
4. Total War: Warhammer II.
Moving from a simulation sequel to a RTS one, is Total War: Warhammer. when the first Warhammer Total War game was released in 2016, it proved that combining Total War’s RTS forumla to the grim fantasy setting of Warhammer was a successful idea. So how could the sequel top that? By going bigger. The sequel moved the setting over to the High Elf island, the Dark Elves’ Naggaroth and the jungle lands of Lustria; along with the races of the High Elves, Dark Elves, Lizardmen and Skaven (rat men). The tutorial was improved to help newcomers and the campaign was given a bit of a narrative. But the big feature that was introduced was the Mortal Empires update that combined the maps of both games, to allow players to fight for total global domination. Sometimes to beat the original, you just have to be bigger!
3. Mass Effect 2.
Similar to Total War: Warhammer II, Mass Effect 2 improved on the original by going bigger. The story was more epic, making the player feel like more is at stake and the characters were, in my opinion, far more engaging. But it was the improvements to the gameplay that made Mass Effect 2 stand out. Mass Effect’s controls were clunky and a bit of a mess, which ruin the impression that Commander Shepard is some sort of sci-fi badass. Fortunately, Mass Effect 2 rectifies this and the end result is a truly epic sci-fi RPG.
2. Assassin’s Creed II.
At the penultimate spot, is a game that was a vast improvement on its predecessor, I’m talking about Assassin’s Creed II. Now the original Assassin’s Creed game had a great premise that was unique at the time; however the gameplay was incredibly repetitive, to the point where a lot of players didn’t even finish. Ubisoft took the criticism on board and released the sequel two years later. And it was an improvement. The protagonist was incredibly likeable and the story was engaging but the biggest improvement was the controls and gameplay. The controls were a lot smoother and the actual tasks in the game were not the same three missions repeated over and over again. Assassin’s Creed II shows that sequels are great opportunity to improve on a concept, if the developer’s give it a second shot.
1. Pokemon Gold/Silver.
And at number one, as my favourite video game sequel, is Pokemon Gold and Silver. In my case, it was Silver, but these two games sort of come in a pair. The original Pokemon games were a solid gaming experience but Gold and Silver just took the concept and made it even better. First there’s the introduction of another 100 Pokemon, before the designs got a little weird; a vast improvement on the graphics and visual style; the introduction of Steel and Dark type Pokemon; the day/night cycle and of course Eevee’s two new evolved forms. But what was the icing on an already delicious cake, was what happened after you defeat the Elite Four…
And that was my top five video game sequels! There are plenty of fantastic sequels that didn’t make this list, so let me know in the comments which are your favourites and I’ll talk to you soon!