As the world collectively prepares for the initiation of the next decade, now is the perfect time to look back and reminisce over the last ten year. Sticking solely to gaming, the 2010s contained the debuts of multiple consoles, the rise of VR, and various discussions surrounding the industry's monetization practices.
All things considered, this decade delivered some truly fantastic games, be it from established franchises (Red Dead Redemption and Persona) or new IPs (The Last of Us and Splatoon). There is a lot to be grateful for, but that does not mean the 2010s did not produce its fair share of awfulness. In the era of reboots, remakes, and cash-grabs, the 2010s was hardly lacking in lackluster sequels that sought to capitalize on an existant license.
Here are the ten worst sequels of the decade, according to Metacritic. For this list, remakes of sequels (Double Dragon II: Wander of the Dragons) and spin-offs (Umbrella Corps) will not be considered. Handheld ports of home console games will also be given a pass.
10 Risen 3: Titan Lords (36)
Piranha Bytes' Risen franchise never really recaptured the magic of the early Gothic titles, and the third entry is arguably the most disappointing. While the PC version is serviceable, the same cannot be said about the Xbox 360 and PS3 releases, especially the latter.
Titan Lords does improve slightly over its predecessor, even if the combat and graphics continue to leave something to be desired. On the last generation consoles, Risen 3 launched with a myriad of technical issues that ruined what could have been an enjoyable action RPG.
9 Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn (36)
More of a joke than an actual game, Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn could only exist in an era of memes. A sequel to 1994's Shaq Fu, Shaq's big comeback was funded by an Indiegogo campaign, although a beat 'em up hardly seems like the most appropriate followup to a fighting game.
Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn is not even worth playing ironically, as this is simply a boring game that offers little in the way of innovation or effort. The gameplay is sluggish, the character and enemy designs substitute creativity for stereotypes, and the visuals are more fitting of mobile devices than home consoles.
8 Transformers: Dark Of The Moon: Stealth Force Edition (34)
Along with being a movie tie-in game and a sequel to Revenge of the Fallen, the Stealth Force Edition is also a prequel to the Dark of the Moon movie. The 3DS version has a worse Metacritic score than its Wii counterpart, but the latter is just as bad. The Stealth Force Edition's standout "gimmick" is that vehicles are the only playable models.
Yes, this is a Transformers game without any actual transforming. Missions boil down to destroying enemies in forgettable maps until the game finally puts you out of your misery. The 2010s produced a couple of decent Transformers games, but this wasn't one of them.
7 Giana Sisters: Dream Runners (32)
2012's Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams was a surprising return to form for the platformer franchise; however, the momentum proved rather short-lived. 2015's sequel, Dream Runners, tried to cash-in on the multiplayer craze by shifting the franchise away from its single-player roots.
Honestly, co-op is a great fit for Giana Sisters, but Dream Runners is basically a racing game. The game pits four players in a last sister standing contest, with those who cannot remain within the screen being eliminated. This could have worked as an additional mode in a game with a traditional campaign; as a stand-alone concept, it is lacking in depth and relies too heavily on maintaining an active playerbase.
6 Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 (32)
The most infamous (and heartbreaking) blunder on this list, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 was Activision's final attempt to cash-in on this once revered license before the publisher lost its rights.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 launched in an unplayable state, with bugs running rampant through the entire package. While a bit of polish might fix some technical issues, nothing could salvage the awful base game. The gameplay was shockingly stripped back compared to the previous iterations, while the environments would not have looked out of place in any of the hundreds of asset flip games on Steam.
5 Kung Fu Panda 2 (31)
While nothing particularly amazing, the first Kung Fu Panda was a competent action game that offered enough variety to entertain young children and older gamers looking to kill a couple of hours. The sequel would struggle to keep toddlers engaged.
Putting aside some short platforming sections, Kung Fu Panda 2 is an action game featuring enemies that refuse to put up anything resembling a challenge. Consequently, the already repetitive missions quickly become mind-numbingly boring.
4 Postal III (24)
Approximately a decade after the second game, Postal III hit the scene to little more than an uninterested shrug. Abandoning its predecessor's first-person camera for a third-person perspective, Postal III drops players into the town of Catharsis, the setting for the Postal Dude's next rampage (or not, depending on which path is chosen).
Unlike the previous game, Postal III is linear and offers little in the way of exploration. The humor is tired and the sequel cannot rely on shock value to get by, as Postal's brand of irreverence had grown thin by 2011. More importantly, the gameplay lacks the punch to make up for the more streamlined story.
3 FlatOut 3: Chaos & Destruction (23)
FlatOut used to be a name that meant something in the world of demolition derby games; sadly, those days are long gone. While a slightly better but still mediocre sequel followed in 2015, 2011's FlatOut 3: Chaos & Destruction's stench was too rancid to be washed away. In fact, the franchise is unlikely to resurface in the 2020s.
Helmed by Team6 Game Studios rather than Bugbear Entertainment, FlatOut 3 handles about as well as a shopping kart with only one wheel, especially with a gamepad. Considering this is a game that pivots around high-speed driving, terrible mechanics and controls are a death sentence.
2 Afro Samurai 2: Revenge of Kuma Volume One (21)
A sequel so bad, it was removed from shelves and refunds had to be issued. Putting aside some camera issues and a lack of polish, 2009's Afro Samurai is a more than decent hack n' slash game. 2015's sequel was meant to be split into three parts, but the first volume did so poorly that any subsequent releases were canceled.
Revenge of Kuma is a tour de force of incompetence, so much so, it is astonishing anyone thought that releasing the game in this state would be acceptable. The combat mechanics cover the basics seen in most Devil May Cry copycats, but the torrid framerate and clunky animations make even the most basic of actions feel sluggish.
1 Alone In The Dark: Illumination (19)
Alone in the Dark was treated rather poorly over the last two decades. 2015's Illumination could very well be the last nail in the coffin for this storied horror franchise, an innovative series that went from defining the genre to mimicking popular trends in a desperate ploy to snatch a piece of that Resident Evil pie.
A co-op game, Illumination abandons any traces of the strong storytelling found in the earlier games. In its place, Illumination offers pathetic enemies, dull environments, and an online scene that was dead on arrival. Goodbye Alone in the Dark, you deserve better.