Top 5: Most Disappointing Video Game Sequels

Duke Nukem Forever

According to popular wisdom, sequels will never be as good as the original. Although that’s not entirely true, most sequels tend to be disappointing. There’s absolutely nothing worst that waiting for the sequel to one of your favorite video games to come out only to realize that title is absolutely terrible. Sometimes the sequel isn’t terrible, but simply not as good as expected. This article, focuses on the latter. Those games that aren’t necessarily terrible, but simply disappointing. Please note that this is a personal list, so if you don’t find some of your most disappointing sequels on the list, feel free to share them in the comment section of the site.


5. Final Fantasy X-2 (PlayStation 2)

By no means is Final Fantasy X-2 a bad game. But taking into account that Final Fantasy X was one of the best Japanese role-playing games of its generation, a sequel had to be significantly better than the original. Final Fantasy X-2 has a surprising tonal shift (in a sense, it reminds of Jak 2,) so while the original was poignant and somber, this sequel is playful and whimsical. In terms of gameplay, Final Fantasy X-2 is still entertaining, since the job system from Final Fantasy V is extremely gripping. But the J-pop music, corny story and dreadful antagonists make Final Fantasy X-2 a disappointing sequel.

Final Fantasy X-2 Remaster


4. Duke Nukem Forever (PC, Mac, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)

We all knew it wasn’t going to work, but deep down we were still hoping for a solid shooter. Unlike most titles on this list, Duke Nukem Forever has few redeeming qualities whatsoever. Level design feels dated, its shooting is clumsy and the game is simply boring. The main problem with this game is that after being so many years in development, every single person wanted something different out of it. At least it came out, right?

Duke Nukem Forever (Screen)


3. Resident Evil 5 (PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)

How do you make a follow-up to not only one of the greatest survival horror games of all time, but also to one of the greatest video games of all time? That question is hard to answer. Although Resident Evil 5 is a solid survival horror, it simply had a lot of things going against it. Resident Evil 4 was a modern magnum opus that masterfully mixed horror and action. It’s sequel was good, but it didn’t reinvent the genre in any meaningful way like its predecessor did.

Resident Evil 5


2. Super Mario Bros. 2 (NES)

The original Super Mario Bros is, without a doubt, one of the best platformers ever made. Arguably, Super Mario Bros. 2 isn’t even a sequel to Super Mario Bros. In fact, it shouldn’t even be considered a game in the series. Instead of releasing a true sequel, Nintendo decided to release an easier game instead. The game, called Yumi Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic, was a random platformer re-skinned with Super Mario characters and released in the west. On top of that, the story was absolutely ridiculous, the gameplay was flawed, the visuals were nothing special and the list of complaints goes on and on. Nintendo redeemed itself when the company released Super Mario Bros. 3, but Super Mario Bros. 2 will still be remembered as the sequel that shouldn’t have been.

Super Mario Bros. 2 (Screenshot)


1. Devil May Cry 2 (PlayStation 2)

The original Devil May Cry is still remembered as one of Capcom’s best titles to date. Although the game started as Resident Evil 4, it eventually transformed into a game of its own. The result was a refreshingly unique hack-and-slash game that was a blast to play. Planning the sequel should have been easier. Add more combos, improve the visuals, include more difficulty levels and so on. Devil May Cry 2 didn’t do any of those things and on top of that, it broke some of the best aspects of the original. The graphical aspect was poor, the difficulty was toned down significantly, the gameplay was too simplistic for its own good, level design was boring and boss fights were repetitive. A recipe for disaster.

Devil May Cry 2 (PlayStation 2)


These are some of the titles that didn’t make it to the list: Deus Ex 2: Invisible War, Dragon Age II, Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor, Final Fantasy XIV, Prince of Persia: The Warrior Within, Perfect Dark Zero, Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II – The Sith Lords, Driv3r, Bomberman: Act Zero

  • zrye

    How did x-2 have a “feminist tone”?

    • Although I must admit there was a shift in tone from Final Fantasy X to X-2, by no means the latter is a feminist game and I’ll make sure I change the phrasing to reflect that in the article. In fact, I’d say that it was the other way around, since the game incorporated a “magical girl” style and elements from Charlie’s Angels. I guess what I was trying to convey is that for a series that was always considered “masculine” this was the first time that a Final Fantasy title had an all-female cast and that also came with a shift in mood, attitude and even “flavor”. By no means am I trying to say that the fact that X-2 had an all-female cast was detrimental to the game (if anything the problem was with how those characters were written and presented,) but I guess the people behind the game should have taken it more seriously and present the protagonists in a different way.

      Anyway, I’ll make some changes to make my point of view more clear. Thanks for pointing that out!