13 Perfect videogame sequelson August 3rd, 2012 at 12:54 pm
More often than not, sequels today are usually only a lazy, incremental update on the original.
It wasn’t always like this. Back in my day, sequels were often noticeably superior to their counterparts.
A perfect sequel doesn’t have to be a perfect game, although in most cases, it comes pretty damn close. A perfect sequel just has to turn things up to eleven, do things better than its predecessor or offer a totally unique slant on things that build upon the foundations of its roots.
Every single one of the games I have chosen has these traits:
Number 13: Tobal No.2 - PSone
It’s an absolute crime that this little gem never made it out of Japan due to the poor response the first game received. It still stands proud today as one of the most fluid fighting games ever made and graphically, it did some pretty amazing things on the humble PSone hardware.
Number 12: Final Fantasy 7 - PSone
I know, I know. This game usually crops up in almost all ‘top something-or-other’ lists, but the fact remains that this game is everything a perfect sequel should be. The Square of today should look to their past for all future projects.
Number 11: Virtua Fighter 2 - Arcade
Not only a great sequel, but also a damn fine Saturn port to boot.
Number 10: Tekken 2 - PSone
With a huge roster of playable characters, un-lockable extras and a much improved, deeper fighting mechanic, Tekken 2 is a great example of how to do a proper sequel to a fighting game.
Number 9: Panzer Dragoon Zwei - Saturn
The first Panzer Dragoon didn’t receive huge praise upon its release. It was more of a tech demo for the Saturn. This sequel improved on every single aspect of the original and despite its slightly primitive look (by today’s standards) Zwei’s universe is more believable than most of today’s gaming worlds.
Number 8: Soul Calibur - Dreamcast
There’s a lot of fighting games in this list but I’m sure nobody will disagree with Soul Calibur’s inclusion? This was probably the last time I gasped at a game’s graphics. They were unbelievable at the time and still look fairly robust today. Soul Calibur was far more than just a pretty game though. It’s depths were absolutely huge and I have very happy memories of playing this and trying to figure out what to do in the quest mode (due to having a Japanese import version).
Number 7: Resident Evil 2 – PSone
Resident Evil 2 is a fine example of Capcom getting it right.
Number 6: Street Fighter 2 – Arcade
Whilst it’s (probably) been milked more than any other game, the fact remains that Street Fighter 2 is the single greatest fighting game sequel ever. It set the precedence for every single fighter that followed it.
Number 5: Panzer Dragoon Saga – Saturn
The only game on this list to have two sequels featured. Saga did the unthinkable, creating a completely different genre for the franchise.
Number 4: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time – N64
It was a tough call as to which Zelda game to include in this list. A Link to the Past is an excellent sequel to the NES iterations but OOT goes the extra distance and does something more. It makes the bold leap into 3D and pulls it off. It’s the second best example of a 2D game getting a next gen reboot….
Number 3: Super Mario 64 – N64
…and this is the best example of a 2D game being updated to a new generation of hardware.
Number 2: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 – Mega Drive
Simply, the best platformer ever made.
Number 1: Streets of Rage 2 – Mega Drive
Best. Sequel. Ever!
It’s a sorry state of affairs when the newest game in the above list is over 13 years old but that’s today’s games industry for you.
I suspect that some of you will disagree with my choices, but remember, this is my list.