ByKen McDonnell, writer at
Now Loading's sentimental Irishman. I can't stop playing Overwatch, please send help.
Ken McDonnell

We live in a world where sequels, prequels, reboots, and remakes are running rampant. There are so many video game IPs that have received sequels over the years which were designed to capitalize on the success and promises of the original. Sometimes it goes horribly wrong. But we'll save that discussion for another article. For now, let's celebrate the developers and publishers that managed to hit the nail right on the head.

15 Video Game Sequels That Surpassed The Originals

1. Red Dead Redemption

Following the relative success of Red Dead Revolver — developed by Rockstar San Diego — the creators of the Grand Theft Auto series decided to take on the challenge of creating a western. Not only did it surpass the original, it's probably the greatest game they've ever made. Do you think we'll see a sequel or prequel to Red Dead Redemption at E3?

2. Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back

There's been a lot of talk about Crash Bandicoot as of late thanks to the release of the remarkable, Uncharted 4. Therefore, I obviously had to include Naughty Dog's sequel; a game that defined the art form for me as a child. My god did I love this game.

3. Star Fox 64

Star Fox has also made his return into the public lexicon, however his heralded revival hasn't been met with the praise that accompanied Nathan Drake's. You'll find that although Star Fox Zero has its charms, it simply doesn't top the Nintendo 64 sequel that is still one of the industry's greats.

4. Assassin's Creed 2

[Assassin's Creed](tag:437814) was often a boring, repetitive mess, but it had serious potential. Ubisoft knew that this franchise could go far and they aroused enough excitement around its core concepts and cliffhanger ending to call for a sequel. Assassin's Creed 2, in my opinion, is still the best in the franchise and an absolute classic.

5. Mass Effect 2

How could I not include the Star Wars of our generation? BioWare took us somewhere that no one had seen before with Mass Effect, and then refined that idea into a remarkable sequel RPG that borrowed from everything the developer had done before. Great visuals, superb writing, some of the industry's best characters and some badass action. Perfect sequel.

6. Half-Life 2

Consistently named as one of the greatest games of all time, Valve's sequel to Half-Life is something that still resonates with gamers and the industry today. But that's mostly because people want Half-Life 3. Still not sure if that's going to happen though...

7. Diablo 2

After World of Warcraft, Starcraft and finally Diablo 2, Blizzard proved that they could get me interested in every single gaming genre out there (they've done it again with Overwatch). This sequel is far superior to the original, so much so that Blizzard didn't even need to make another sequel for 12 years.

8. Street Fighter 2

A game that I still play to this very day, Street Fighter 2 (and the Super Turbo HD Remix Edition) is one of the games that changed the industry. Its impact on the fighting game world still resonates and it has one of the best art styles we've ever seen.

9. Dark Souls

Not entirely a direct sequel, this spiritual successor to Demon's Souls took everything FromSoftware achieved with the first PS3 exclusive and improved on every facet of its design. The world's cohesion was better, graphics were improved (slightly), weapons were more diverse, enemies more complex, and bosses more terrifying. It's still one of my favorite games of all time and it gave birth to the lauded series that has only last month concluded with Dark Souls 3.

10. Dead Space 2

A horror series that desperately needs a new release, 2008's Dead Space was a game that seemingly came out of nowhere for me and its sequel was something that quickly made its way into my top ten. Dead Space 2 is the perfect blend between horror and action, and even though Dead Space 3 suffered a real identity crisis, I guarantee that Visceral Games have another great Dead Space in them.

11. Kingdom Hearts II

Adored by millions and soon to have a direct sequel of its own, Kingdom Hearts 2 was the kind of game that every Disney fan had dreamt of. Everything was streamlined following the success of Square Enix's Kingdom Hearts in 2002 and the amount of content that the developer managed to squeeze into this JRPG is still satisfying gamers all over the world.

12. Batman: Arkham City

Rocksteady endeavored to make a Batman game that would bring you as close as possible to controlling the dark knight. With Batman: Arkham City, they did just that. Moving us out of the confines of the twisted Arkham Asylum, Arkham City gave us the opportunity to explore a whole open world of possibilities with bat-gear, friends and tons of bat-villains to engage with. Is it still better than Arkham Knight?

13. Starcraft II

The real-time strategy genre, you say? Couldn't care less. Starcraft II, you say? Oh hell yeah, I love that shit! Blizzard return once more with a game that simply keeps on giving. Starcraft II is one of the industry's crowning achievements and whether you simply enjoy its campaign, online or competitive scene, this sequel surpasses the original while satisfying so many different kinds of gamers.

14. Super Mario Bros.

How could I not include this? Seriously, this game is basically the face of the art form! There's nothing else that needs to be said about the sequel to Super Mario. NOTHING!

15. Portal 2

Probably in my top 3 video games of all time, Portal 2 is literal perfection. I honestly don't know how Valve got it so right. With an incredible campaign, hilarious dialogue, exceptional puzzles and sublime multiplayer, Portal 2 is everything I could have wanted a video game to be, and it's still giving.

What's you favorite video game sequel?


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