Video game sequels aren’t going away. For developers, sequels are the perfect way to make money, at the same time that they can recycle ideas, assets and mechanics. So if a game is moderately successful from a financial perspective, a sequel is extremely likely to come out eventually. But there are multiple reasons why a sequel may not work out: maybe the team involved changes some of the core ideas of the game, they rush its development and sometimes, replicating the success of the original is pretty much impossible. Without further ado, here’s my list with ten of the worst sequels ever made.
10. Super Mario Bros. 2 (NES, SNES, GBA, Virtual Console)
This sequel departs from the original’s style and gameplay in a significant way. For the uninitiated, Super Mario Bros. 2 is a random platformer (called Yume Kojo: Doki Doki Panic) that was used as a template for a Mario game. So at the last second, Nintendo decided to include Super Mario characters in it and slap the name Super Mario Bros. 2 in the box. As a platformer, Super Mario Bros. 2 isn’t that bad, but then again, this isn’t Super Mario Bros.
9. Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (NES, GameCube, GBA, Virtual Console)
Although a direct sequel of The Legend of Zelda, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link is a side-scrolling role-playing game that looks and feels completely different to the original. At the time of its release, the game was extremely successful, but some questionable design decisions and confusing structure makes Zelda II: The Adventure of Link a game that you either love or hate.
8. Turok Evolution (PlayStation 2, Xbox, PC, GBA, GameCube)
Turok might not have revolutionized the genre like other Nintendo 64 titles did back in the day (such as Perfect Dark and GoldenEye,) but still, the first-person series felt unique. At least until Evolution came out. Turok Evolution had technical issues (such as a poor frame rate, bad artificial intelligence and terrible graphics,) dull weapons, the story was terribly inconsistent and full of plot holes and so on and so forth. Turok Evolution was so bad that it almost ruined the series forever.
7. Driv3r (PlayStation 2, Xbox, PC, GBA)
During the PlayStation era, Driver was one of the best titles available. Unfortunately, the third entry in the series has a bad story, focuses on on-foot sequences (which sounds ironic because the game is called Driver 3, oh forgive me, Driv-three-er) outdated mechanics and boring combat. Did I happen to mention that the name sucks? The name sucks.
6. Shadow the Hedgehog (PlayStation 2, GameCube, Xbox)
Shadow the Hedgehog eschews almost everything that makes Sonic good. Here’s Shadow the Hedgehog’s premise: the main character (a hedgehog) gets a weapon and a motorcycle and sets out to learn about his past. The dark storyline takes itself too seriously, which is ironic because in the game, you assume the role of a hedgehog who rides a motorcycle and uses weapons. A lot of people were genuinely interested in another Sonic game (take into account that Shadow followed the trend of the Sonic Adventure and Sonic Heroes series,) so the game sold well enough. After playing this, I think fans of Sonic will think twice before spending their hard-earned money on an incompetent platformer.
5. Bomberman: Act Zero (Xbox 360)
How do you ruin Bomberman? You make the game 3D and remove absolutely everything that makes the series good. Bomberman: Act Zero is a reinterpretation of the Bomberman series which omits every iconic element of Bomberman. It felt weird and wrong is so many ways. Gone are the colorful, cartoony visuals so characteristic of the series and those were replaced by some gloomy, dark and depressing visuals that no one liked. On top of that, the game has lengthy load times, limited game modes, the gameplay lacks depth and the lousy camera is infuriating.
4. Resident Evil 6 (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC)
Resident Evil 4 is one of the greatest games of all time. So when the fifth iteration in the series came out, everyone had unrealistic expectations about the game. In the end, Resident Evil 5 felt like a solid survival horror game that tried some new ideas and executed them with confidence. Resident Evil 6, on the other hand, is a train wreck. Moving from campaign to campaign feels disjointed, the controls are antiquated and the story is nonsensical and uninspired.
3. Devil May Cry 2 (PlayStation 2)
Devil May Cry 2 was a tremendous success which isn’t necessarily a surprise. After all, the original Devil May Cry was a terrific combo-driven adventure game that felt refreshingly unique and vastly entertaining. Unfortunately, Devil May Cry 2 did everything wrong: the difficulty was significantly toned down, the overall structure felt repetitive and unnecessary and the environments looked absolutely terrible.
2. Duke Nukem Forever (PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Mac)
We all knew this was going to be on this list. Duke Nukem Forever is a dreadful title that has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. The game is utterly sexist, the platform sequences are antiquated, the jokes are boring, the levels are marred by poor design and the writing is bad. The only good thing that can be said about this title is that it came out.
1. Sonic the Hedgehog 2006 (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3)
Is Sonic the Hedgehog a reboot? Should this game be on this list? I don’t think a platformer a simple as Sonic can be rebooted. Similarly to Shadow the Hedgehog , Sonic 2006 tries to make the main character human-like and the result is hilarious. Now here are all the problems with Sonic the Hedgehog: gameplay, story, characters, controls, camera system, level design… well, I guess you get the idea.
These are some of the titles that didn’t make it to the final cut: Dragon Age II, Star War: Knights of the Old Republic II, Super Mario Bros. 2, Deus Ex II: Invisible War, Prince of Persia: Warrior Within, Force Unleashed 2, Fear 2, Steel Batallion: Heavy Armor, Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two and Final Fantasy XIV.