When video game critic Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw proposed that developers should be banned from ever making a sequel to their games, many people would have nodded at their screens in quiet, contemplative agreement. By not allowing studios to create a franchise, you force them to come up with original ideas for each title. Ergo, video game sequels become a thing of the past.
It’s a good idea in principle, as it prevents the market from being saturated with a series of games that are either hit and miss or just don’t add anything to the original story. When a game has three, four or even more sequels under its belt, the gaming world ceases to be amazed and may even look at the franchise as nothing more than a cash cow that everyone thought had dried up two final bosses ago.
But in that bland, stale bowl of gaming cereal, there are a few tasty bits of sequel marshmallow that are not only met with huge praise, but can even outdo the original in terms of fan appreciation and sales.
See, developers can’t always be sure that their games are going to succeed. Once a title has been released, it’s up to the public and the press to decide its ultimate fate. If a studio is relatively new, it’s going to be difficult to know how well a product will turn out. A sequel allows them to appease fans by continuing a story, adding features based on feedback or even just using the success of the original game to create something more spectacular.
The following list is testament to games that utilize the sequel as a force for good rather than using the generic formula: title + number = easy profit.