The Eight Best Sequels Of All Time

Written by Jon Sutton on Sat, Jul 26, 2014 4:58 PM
System Requirements Optimum 1080p PC Build Low vs Ultra Screenshots GPU Performance Chart CPU List That Meet System Requirements GPU List That Meet System Requirements

Few forms of entertainment are as littered with sequels as the videogame. In a world where creating a huge new franchise can cost upwards of a half a billion dollars, it’s perhaps a little understandable that most publishers aren’t too keen on taking big risks.

You need only cast your eye over the lunacy of Final Fantasy XV (!?) and the nineteen Call of Duty games created so far to understand that publishers like the familiar. Watch Dogs and Destiny are the oddities, not the norm, and in general the world looks forward to a much-loved franchise rather than an unknown nobody. Sequels aren’t all bad though, and some are without doubt the best games in the world, so we thought we’d take a look at what we believe are some of the most improved sequels ever…

Team Fortress 2

The original Team fortress was built as a Quake mod before moving over to the Half-Life engine following its release. It was the epitome of ‘alright’, but it didn’t take long until it was overshadowed by the might of Counter-Strike and the grim heroics of Day of Defeat.

Fast forward nearly a decade and out emerges Team Fortress 2, a total reimagining of Team Fortress Classic built from the ground up by the guys and gals at Valve. Originally a premium release, it’s since become a premium sensation, with thousands upon thousands of players logging in every day in the desperate quest for yet another hat.

Grand Theft Auto V

Make no bones about it, GTA IV was pretty crap. Sporting the personality of a breezeblock on University Challenge, it didn’t have much going for it other than the name. Of course we all put on a brave smile and ploughed through, desperately trying to tell ourselves we were enjoying it. So what if it was nowhere near as funny? So what if the city was dull and uninspiring?

With a few years behind us we know full well it a low point for Rockstar, and then set themselves the monumental task of rejuvenating the franchise and bringing it back to its back. But oh boy did they do that, delivering a gaming phenomenon that swept the world for a few brief months. It did everything that GTA IV should have done and more, delivering a larger, more alive world, engaging characters, and an engrossing storyline. The story’s not even over yet, with the inevitable SP DLC still to arrive and the PC and current-gen versions still in the pipeline.

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag

I nearly went for Assassin’s Creed II on this one because the first Assassin’s Creed was so bad, but on probing my brain a little deeper I realised that is a series that generally gets a little better with each iteration. Yes, even Assassin’s Creed 3. You try telling me I didn’t enjoy hanging people with a rope dart in the snow-covered woods.

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag blew the concept wide open though, delivering an absolutely massive open-world that was like The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker with hidden blades and hulking great armadas. The seafaring battles are awesome spectacles, while the atmosphere in some of the towns is second to none. I was sick of the thing by the time I’d collected every last damn fragment mind, but consider my appetite whetted for Assassin’s Creed: Unity.

Half-Life 2

Close one this one. The original Half-Life was so good that I think Half-Life 2 barely improved, but such was the quality of both of those games that Half-Life 2 deserves a spot on this list. What once seemed a fairly focused adventure through the hallways of Black Mesa all of sudden became this sprawling dystopian epic set 20 years after the events of the original.

The Combine is harvesting the human race like nobody’s business and it’s up for bespectacled scientist Gordon Freeman to set the place right. Cue a cross-city adventure of epic proportions, the mysterious G-man, the incredible striders, and a whole load of questions for which we are still waiting for answers.

Every Final Fantasy

I’ve just endured Final Fantasy I up to the end credits, and I assure you all it makes Final Fantasy XIII look like an absolute masterpiece. This series has sure had its ups and downs but the only way was up from a NES game that unfathomably spawned one of the world’s most recognisable gaming franchises. Here’s hoping Final Fantasy XV can get the series back on track….

Mass Effect 2

The original Mass Effect was great, so it feels almost offensive putting Mass Effect 2 in this list. Despite this the incredible Mass Effect 2 improved on the original in almost every perceivable way, upping the ante and upping the stakes in this intergalactic adventure.

All that Mako driving nonsense was abandoned and everything was just a little more streamlines. The combat was a lot better and felt more tactically diverse, while the unlimited ammo meant you could become a bullet-strewing killing machine without recrimination.

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

Forget everything that happened after this point, because Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was an absolute game changer. Call of Duty 3 had seemingly backed the series into a rut, never to become essential again. Thankfully Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare had it all, including an involving and cinematic single-player campaign the likes of which we haven’t see in the series since.

Couple this with the explosive success of the multiplayer, which got a whole new generation of gamers into mercilessly killing each other online. Batting off the likes of Halo 3, it became an absolute juggernaut that’s still selling millions upon millions of copies with each new iteration.

Red Dead Redemption

If you were going to pick the most improved sequel of all time Red Dead Redemption would have to be it. The original Red Dead Revolver was developed by Capcom, who upon realising the game was destined for mediocrity dropped the game like a hot turd. Rockstar published it to little fanfare, just a lone ball of tumbleweed drifting along in front of HMV.

When we heard Rockstar was working on a sequel we dared to dream. GTA set in the Wild West you say? Rockstar did all that and more, delivering what many have deemed the game of the generation. Still no word on a PC release all these years later, but here’s hoping Rockstar sees the light one day.

There's a little taster of some of the greatest sequels of all time, but no doubt there'll be plenty of you out there that disagree. We want to know what some of your favourite sequels are, games which improved on their predecessors in every way and delivered a definitive experience!

What do you think is the most improved sequel of all time?

Login or Register to join the debate

Rep
219
Offline
admin approved badge
12:26 Jul-28-2014

GTA V :)
What about The Elder Scroll - Skyrim. :)

1
Rep
14
Offline
09:35 Jul-28-2014

i can confidently say mass effect 2 is the greatest sequel ever made,ya u heard that.been gaming since a looong time,ps one,ps 2,xbox 360,pc...the award must go to me2.still playing it for a 10 th time,never repeated a game so much

0
Rep
3
Offline
23:19 Jul-27-2014

Far Cry 3 was a huge step up from far cry 2 imo. Played it through so many times!

2
Rep
285
Offline
admin approved badge
16:23 Jul-27-2014

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eateeeeerrrrrrrrr! with it's camoflage system, and stamina bar!

2
Rep
460
Offline
admin approved badge
16:21 Jul-27-2014

Half Life 3 was also a fantastic sequel... Oh wait a minute...! :(

0
Rep
107
Offline
admin approved badge
15:53 Jul-27-2014

I agree with the list for sure.


I do have to say thought that GTA IV didn't suck...teh story was phenomenal, and it was so fun to screw around in. It was just so freaking hard, no checkpoints made it worse, something TLAD and TBoGT saw and fixed. You may say San Andreas didn't either, but, it wasn't nearly as hard as IV, imo. IV was easily the hardest GTA, I believe.

-1
Rep
319
Offline
admin badge
12:30 Jul-27-2014

well i am not saying that black flag wasnt a very good game but i think the improvement from assassins creed 1 to 2 was the biggest in the series although black flag is a close second. It really was improved and i am glad about it since the previous games showed minor differences except for the change of scenery in some. Oh and as somebody below said, Portal 2! very big improvement in the complexity and variety of the puzzles.

3
Rep
55
Offline
12:35 Jul-27-2014

I agree of AC II being the best in the series, but I think the thread is referring to the best sequel only. What I mean is, I think the step forward from AC III to AC IV was bigger than the one from AC I to AC II, knowing that III was the worst.

0
Rep
319
Offline
admin badge
12:40 Jul-27-2014

well i was talking about the improvement too not the game by itself. I didnt say that ac 2 was the best in the series (although i may agree on that) but that it was a big improvement from 1. even bigger than 4 from 3. in my opinion of course :)

0
Rep
250
Offline
admin approved badge
12:47 Jul-27-2014

The step up from AC 2/B/R to AC 3 was rather big according to me. Even more than AC 1 to 2 and 3 to 4. They changed the engine so graphics were improved and the parkour mechanics were improved a lot too.

0
Rep
319
Offline
admin badge
12:50 Jul-27-2014

hmm. it is a strong competitor too i suppose.

0
Rep
54
Offline
15:37 Jul-27-2014

They improve every game so no argument on which is best

0
Rep
55
Offline
08:28 Jul-27-2014

I would've said Skyrim but actually every single TES game is the best in its way :)

0
Rep
4
Offline
06:26 Jul-27-2014

Assassin's Creed Black Flag was IMO the worst in the series. All you had to do was sail and sail and that became boring and the fact that the protagonist did not become an assassin till the very end made it even worse for me. I did not like Edward even in the slightest. The best AC game for me was AC Brotherhood. The storyline was just amazing and Roma was wonderfully shown in the game.

0
Rep
132
Offline
04:09 Jul-27-2014

I have played a bit of GTA V on PS3, and it was really good, and I was enjoying it much more than GTA IV.


But as soon as R* confirmed the release of the PC version, I just stopped playing, I want to play it, and finish it for the first time on PC.

0
Rep
0
Offline
02:24 Jul-27-2014

I think Portal 2, AC Brotherhood and Saints Row 3 should be on the list... but the most important one missing in my opinion is, SKYRIM :D

0
Rep
12
Offline
02:15 Jul-27-2014

Devil May Cry 3 anyone?

0
Rep
1
Offline
01:36 Jul-27-2014

IMO AC 2 is the best amongst the AC series.It was something that revolutionised the series.The only new thing AC 4 offers is naval warfare ,

0
Rep
35
Offline
admin approved badge
01:34 Jul-27-2014

GTA 4 IS F0---- AWESOME

0
Rep
66
Offline
admin approved badge
01:32 Jul-27-2014

When I saw that Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag made it on the list, I though to myself, maybe it worth getting. But then I read "I nearly went for Assassin’s Creed II on this one because the first Assassin’s Creed was so bad", what a joke, Assassin's Creed was the best in the series. Well so much for considering Black Flag.


As for my opion on the best sequel, without a doubt Red Dead Redemption, it's the best game Rockstar has ever made(although I haven't played GTA V... yet).

0
Rep
60
Offline
admin approved badge
01:24 Jul-27-2014

Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Splinter Cell : Pandora Tomorrow/Chaos Theory (personally Pandora is my favourite but chaos seems to be the more recognised of the two so...), Dead Space 2, The Witcher 2, Burnout 3: Takedown, Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast, Star Wars: Battlefront 2, Diablo 2, Aliens vs. Predator 2 (probably still my favourite game ever), take your pick from TES III, IV & V


Just to name a few I feel were missed :-)

0
Rep
0
Offline
00:30 Jul-27-2014

Witcher 2

0
Rep
262
Offline
admin approved badge
23:28 Jul-26-2014

TES V: Skyrim

7
Rep
7
Offline
00:19 Jul-27-2014

Still playing it today :)

1
Rep
3
Offline
16:35 Jul-27-2014

Morrowind! :D

1
Rep
89
Offline
16:38 Jul-27-2014

Have to agree with that it was the biggest jump from 2D daggerfall to fully 3D world.

2
Rep
262
Offline
admin approved badge
17:08 Jul-27-2014

That one was great to ;)

0
Rep
55
Offline
12:31 Jul-30-2014

I think Morrowind is the best. It has some unique magic and enemies which make it damn epic

0
Rep
169
Offline
21:46 Jul-26-2014

I'll judge GTA V when it comes out on PC, so Mass Effect 2 takes the cake, in my opinion.

0
Rep
23
Offline
20:33 Jul-26-2014

I'll probably get hated but the 2 sequels I'm most rooting for at the moment are The Last of Us 2 and Fallout 4.
But from the listed I think I'm for GTA V :D

0

Can They Run... |

Ryzen 7 5800H 8-Core 3.2GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1440p
Ryzen 9 3900X 12-Core 3.8GHz GeForce RTX 3070 EVGA FTW3 Ultra Gaming 8GB 32GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Low, 720p
APU A8-7410 Quad-Core Radeon R5 7410 8GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Core i5-11400 6-Core 2.7GHz GeForce RTX 3050 Ti Mobile 8GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Ryzen 5 3600 6-Core 3.6GHz GeForce GTX 1080 MSI Gaming X 8GB Edition 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 30FPS, Low, 720p
Ryzen 5 3400G 4-Core 3.7GHz Radeon RX Vega 11 6GB
| 30FPS, High, 1080p
Core i5-11400 6-Core 2.7GHz GeForce RTX 3050 Ti Mobile 8GB
0% No [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Medium,
Ryzen 5 3500U 4-Core 2.1 GHz Radeon RX Vega 8 8GB
| 30FPS, Low,
Ryzen 5 3500U 4-Core 2.1 GHz Radeon RX Vega 8 8GB
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Core i5-10400 6-Core 2.90GHz GeForce GTX 1650 16GB
0% No [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Core i7-7700K 4-Core 4.2GHz GeForce RTX 2080 Super 8GB 16GB
100% Yes [2 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Core i7-7700K 4-Core 4.2GHz GeForce RTX 2080 Super 8GB 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Core i5-10300H 4-Core 2.50GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB
0% No [1 votes]
| 30FPS, Low, 720p
Athlon II X2 245 GeForce GTS 250 4GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Core i9-10900X 10-Core 3.7GHz GeForce RTX 2070 Super Gigabyte Gaming OC 3X 8GB 32GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 30FPS, Medium, 1080p
Ryzen 5 3500U 4-Core 2.1 GHz Radeon RX 540X 2GB Mobile 8GB
100% Yes [2 votes]
| 30FPS, Low, 1080p
Core i5-4670 3.4GHz GeForce GTX 1050 Ti EVGA Gaming 4GB 8GB
100% Yes [3 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 1440p
Ryzen 7 3700X 8-Core 3.6GHz GeForce RTX 2080 EVGA XC Ultra Gaming 8GB 32GB
100% Yes [5 votes]
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Ryzen 7 4800H 8-Core 2.9GHz GeForce GTX 1650 Ti 4GB 8GB
| High,
Ryzen 7 2700 8-Core 3.2GHz Radeon RX 5600 XT Gigabyte Gaming OC 6GB 16GB
100% Yes [3 votes]