Many great video games come out every year and this year is no exception, so much so, that it was nearly impossible for us to narrow down our 20 most anticipated games of 2011. Unsurprisingly, a vast portion of these annual releases are sequels, remakes and spin-offs. A low percentage of worthwhile games are actually completely original new IPs.
While it is great to see creative developers pushing expectations with new IPs, a good sequel that improves upon the acclaimed original is always a treat. That isn’t to say that sequels and remakes can’t be overdone either.
Somehow, even with the constant onslaught of sequels and remakes, there are certain game series that seem like they will never be brought back to life, or at least, brought back the proper way. Often, these games are classics, yet for one reason or another they haven’t had an appropriate modern follow-up. Some of these games had sequels that weren’t any good and some had their successor change up the original’s formula too much, to the point where it just didn't work.
Because of this strange phenomenon, we have compiled a list of games from earlier console generations that are long overdue for a proper sequel. There are more recent games that deserve sequels, but we focused on titles that we've been waiting a relatively long time for. This list won’t include fantastic games like Mirror’s Edge, Half-Life 2, Okami, or Psychonauts. Also, games are automatically excluded if they currently have a sequel in development, no matter how uncertain. This knocks out Knights of the Old Republic, Pikmin, Star Fox 64, and Beyond Good and Evil.
Check out the list below which ranks the top 10 games that need sequels from “needs a sequel” to “make me a sequel now or I’m going to hurt somebody”.
#10. Comix Zone (Sega Genesis)
Comix Zone was released late in the Sega Genesis’ life cycle and not unlike Shantae on the Game Boy Color, was missed by most gamers. Those fortunate enough to play it, got to experience a completely unique world. The game is based on the premise that a comic book creator, Sketch Turner, gets transported into the world of his own comic, Comix Zone.
At its core, Comix Zone is a side-scrolling beat’em up, but there are many touches that take this game to the next level. It is a blast to traverse the comic book panels and fight crazy enemies. Throughout the game Turner has the opportunity to pick up many different items, which open up multiple pathways to complete each level. The game is brimming with style and it would be amazing to see a modern sequel.
#9. Killer Instinct (SNES)
C-C-C-Combo Breaker! Almost all great fighting games have been given a number of sequels. Soul Caliber, Mortal Kombat, and especially Street Fighter have had many sequels and given newer gamers a chance to see what they all the fuss is about. Killer Instinct is the exception.
After the success of the original, Killer Instinct 2 came out, but it has been 15 years since then and there hasn’t been a peep about it. Killer Instinct has always stood out from other fighting games because of its awesome characters and fun combo system. Rare needs to take notes from Capcom and develop a true sequel to Killer Instinct.
#8. Star Wars: Rogue Squadron (N64)
Star Wars games as a whole are hit and miss, but when they do hit, they hit big. Such is the case with the Rogue Squadron series, which sports fantastic airborne combat and a couple of the best Star Wars games ever. The first two titles in the franchise, Rogue Squadron and Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader, are classics and even Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike is a solid game — not counting the ground missions. Where are the sequels?
Good flight combat games have been sparse lately and there hasn’t been a Rogue Squadron game in over seven years. Quite frankly, it is time for the X-Wing to make a comeback. At the very least, this would give gamers enough of a Jedi-fix to hold them over until Bioware releases Star Wars: The Old Republic.
#7. Mutant League Football (Sega Genesis)
Madden and NCAA football games are released every year like clockwork. What ever happened to the more arcade style of football games like NFL Blitz, NFL Extreme, and Mutant League Football? These games were really fun and gave football fans (and non-fans) a more lighthearted alternative.
Maybe EA is content with their two existing football franchises, but a third series based on Mutant League Football would be out of this world. EA had a decent run with the NFL Street games, but there is so much more potential for a successful franchise with a gritty yet fantastical sequel to Mutant League Football.
#6. Ristar (Sega Genesis)
Ristar was an off-shoot of the design ideas that would eventually lead to Sonic the Hedgehog. The game didn’t sell well, but it is nothing short of a platforming masterpiece. The gameplay mechanics are unique for a platformer game in that Ristar can’t jump very high, but instead uses his long arms to grab things from far away, grab enemies, and fling himself high into the sky. A Ristar sequel would be perfect for a handheld like the 3DS or NGP.
#5. Dino Crisis (PlayStation)
Capcom keeps a steady flow of releases coming from its big series like Street Fighter, Mega Man, and Resident Evil, yet some of their, perhaps more obscure, series have been left alone for quite some time. Dino Crisis originally came out in 1999 and was Shinji Mikami’s first game following his success with Resident Evil and Resident Evil 2.
The game implements a survival-horror atmosphere packed with dinosaurs and places a heavy emphasis on puzzle solving. An updated sequel to Dino Crisis has huge potential considering dinosaurs are a somewhat untapped game element. The last sequel to Dino Crisis was 2003’s Dino Crisis 3 for the Xbox. It was a terrible game and may be part of the reason we haven’t seen another Dino Crisis game since then. Capcom needs to get working on Dino Crisis 4 and make up for the mess of a game they released on the Xbox.
#4. Banjo-Kazooie (N64)
Banjo-Kazooie was one of Rare and Nintendo’s biggest hits to come out of their partnership. Inspired by the success of Super Mario 64, Rare created a 3D platformer not only on par with Super Mario 64, but arguably better in some departments. Travelling through the worlds in Banjo-Kazooie and collecting items is incredibly fulfilling and doesn’t ever get old. The direct sequel, Banjo-Tooie, was good, but all of the games in the series since then haven’t even come close to recreating the original’s atmosphere. A true sequel to Banjo-Kazooie could rival the fun of Super Mario Galaxy.
#3. Crash Bandicoot (PlayStation)
Before Naughty Dog was known as the team behind the Uncharted games, they created a little series about a marsupial named Crash. It was a hit right off the bat, and was a contributing factor to Sony’s success with the PlayStation. In fact, Crash was their poster boy in mainstream marketing and we've missed him for a long time.
Crash Bandicoot has had many sequels, but none of them have compared to the ones created by Naughty Dog, which include the first three Crash Bandicoot games and Crash Team Racing. It has been over 10 years since the last great Crash Bandicoot game. Naughty Dog needs to do fans a favor and return to the series that made them who they are.
#2. Conker’s Bad Fur Day (N64)
Conker’s Bad Fur Day was one of the strangest games to see on the Nintendo 64. For a console and company known for being family friendly, the mature content in Conker was not something anyone expected. That being said, the adult nature of the game sometimes steals the spotlight from what is a thrilling and hilarious experience.
The action and story are a perfect marriage and smacking enemies with a frying pan never gets old. Besides the remake, Conker: Live and Reloaded, gamers haven’t had the chance to revisit the colorful world of the original. Rare, give us more Conker!
#1. Earthbound (SNES)
Earthbound is one of the greatest RPGs ever. Period. It takes typical RPG elements and applies them to a hyper-realistic world with charming characters and unmatched style. The entertaining story is match with solid gameplay, which creates a game that is hard to put down.
The series wasn’t a hit outside of Japan, but after all the appearances in the Super Smash Brothers games, it is time to see Nintendo give the series another chance. A Japan only sequel was made, but even that was five years ago. Fans outside of Japan, are begging for a sequel to EarthBound and that is why it’s ranked number one on this list.
Well, that does it for the list. Hopefully, developers are listening and some of these games will get sequels in the near future. We'd love to see these games get proper sequels no matter what the platform. In fact, many of these would make great handheld or downloadable titles. The bottom line is, the world needs more of these great games.
Even with a list this big, many games get left out. There are numerous other games worthy of a sequel, including but not limited to Eternal Darkness, Dynamite Headdy, and Golden Axe. Leave comments below and let us know what other games you'd like to see sequels for.