I’ve never been a huge fan of sequels, especially when it comes to movies and games. It just seems like the second film or game in a series can never quite capture the same amount of energy or magic that the first one did. Games are obviously a little different and not exactly held to the same standards, but the principles are still there in terms of continuing the story or making something better that wasn’t done right the first time around. Some games nail it and some just fall flat.
The sequel games that I’ve listed below seem to break that cycle, at least in my opinion. While the predecessors to each of these games certainly left their mark, I think that some may be forever shadowed by those that came immediately after. Some of you may agree and some of you may think I’m crazy with the picks I’ve made, which is why I’d like for you to leave me your thoughts in the comments section after you’ve read through this short listicle.
We’ll start the list with an oldie, but a goodie!
4. Spider-Man 2 (2004)
This game goes all the way back to the first Xbox consoles. As I’ve mentioned before in some other posts (Favorite open-world games), I prefer games that give you the freedom to roam and explore large open worlds. Spider-Man 2 was actually one of the first video games I played that allowed you to do just that. In fact, the tagline was, “Take New York for a spin!” I loved that. Just like the first Spider-Man game that came out in 2002, this game was based on the film that was released the same year. However, the one big difference that made an impact on me is how the first Spider-Man game made you stick to the missions and didn’t really give you a chance to explore.
Spider-Man 2 changed that by encouraging players to roam around New York’s most iconic locations and play at their pace. I think this was actually the first Spider-Man game that featured more realistic web-swinging from building to building. Instead of just shooting webs into the sky like the first title, Spider-Man 2 made you use the actual buildings around you to swing around and create more focused swings and jumps. I thought this was a great detail/addition and it seemed to set the precedent for all other Spider-Man titles that came after.
I know I’m probably going to be in the minority here, but when the first Halo came out in 2001 I gave it a try and wasn’t really blown away by it. It was good, but nothing that made me want to completely forget about the other great games I had at the time. So, you can imagine my reaction when a friend of mine wanted to play Halo 2 one holiday weekend. I was hesitant and just figured I would play to pass the time until we were ready to go out for dinner. Little did I know that by the time we were set to go, I wouldn’t want to leave. In fact, we tried to make up excuses for us to stay home, but our parents weren’t buying. “It will be here when you get back,” they said. Well, that wasn’t good enough for me.
After a couple of hours of playing, I had become somewhat obsessed with this game. I didn’t know what it was, but for some reason Halo 2 was different. It just felt better and more fun to play. The graphics were enhanced and the gameplay was faster. I think what stuck out to me the most was it’s new multiplayer, which would be the series’ first entrance into the online gaming arena. Just another example of how everything deserves a second chance. And thanks to this sequel game, I was able to appreciate the first Halo a little more as well.
Better graphics, better characters, better everything in my opinion. I know that I mentioned this in one of my previous listicles (Top 10 Best Star Wars Games), but I thought that it would be good to circle back around to it for this post. The first Battlefront was definitely a groundbreaker in the Star Wars game series, but I think its sequel does a solid job of bringing the galaxy to life. Furthermore, I think everyone can agree that its best feature is the ability to play as some of the most legendary heroes and villains from the series. It appears that other games, both mobile and console, have followed that formula as well.
The battles are much bigger as well and take place in some of the most iconic locations. I think Naboo is probably my favorite. All in all, Battlefront II stands high above its predecessor in terms of gameplay, playable characters and presentation, which is why I have it in my #2 spot of best game sequels. Of course, there are so many great games in the Star Wars series, most of which have great sequels. But I think out of all of them, Battlefront II is the best sequel to date.
This is my favorite sequel game by far, which is why it lands at my #1 spot. Just like the Spider-Man 2 game we talked about earlier. Arkham Knight introduced us to a brand new map and layout that gives players the power to roam around the city and fight crime at their own pace. Now, I enjoyed Arkham Asylum (the first title in the series) very much, but again, I’m not a huge fan of games that restrict you to a closed area/map. I like wide-open maps and big worlds, which is what Arkham City delivers. The ability to fly, grapple and swing through the city is really cool, especially as The Batman!
Beyond that, the story is great and the game seems to pack a harder punch with its action, gameplay characters and setting! Scouring the city for hidden puzzles and riddles is a bit more challenging, but definitely worth the effort. I also like how you can just dive into the streets and take on large or small groups of hoods whenever you feel like it. Overall, I thought Arkham City was a really great follow-up to Arkham Asylum and I’m glad that Rocksteady used the same format for the rest of the games in the Arkham series!
For me, Arkham Asylum and Arkham City are like Batman Begins and the Dark Knight. Begins was good, but Dark Knight was GREAT!
Again, these picks were made strictly on my experience with the games and their originals. Sure, there have been some really great sequel games made from every genre, but these titles really stuck with me over the years. Some game sequels aren’t really sequels at all, even though they come later on and have the number 2 next to it. There are some pretty good prequel games out there as well. Hmmm, I think I feel another listicle idea brewing. We’ll see.
In the meantime, be sure to leave me your thoughts and criticisms in the comments below. I know that I’ll probably take some heat for at least two of the games on this list, but I’m willing to hash it out and find common ground. Also, keep an eye on our blog page for more fun posts. We have some really great topics coming soon!
Until we meet again,
Vince the Prince