Video Game Sequels That Blew Away Their Predecessors

Every now and then, a sequel comes out that completely blows the game before it out of the water, regardless of how bad or good the former game was. I am just going to keep a running list of such games.

I will only be comparing them to the game that was released directly before the one that I rate significantly better.

Metroid II: Return of Samus

(Game Boy)

Metroid_II_US_boxart

The first Metroid on NES kinda sucks. This, especially for being on a weaker system, fixes a lot of problems with the first and expands upon the gameplay and environment.

Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins

(Game Boy)

Super_Mario_Land_2_box_art

The first Super Mario Land is a good game, but it’s very short and not that good. This game is much longer (though still short) with creative power-ups and levels.

Mario Kart: Double Dash (GameCube)

mariokart double dash

Oh my goodness, this game is good. Mario Kart 64 is completely flattened by this one, thanks to fun, creative levels, special items for each character, tons of unlockables, a huge character roster and just as many carts to choose from. Not to mention two characters at once!

Sonic Adventure 2: Battle (GameCube)

Sonic_adv_2_battle_box

So I’m cheating a bit on this one, as I’m using the GCN version. But anyway, SA2 is my favorite Sonic game of all time. It takes the formula of the first Sonic Adventure and makes it actually fun and not so sucky.

Super Smash Bros Melee (GameCube)

super_smash_bros_melee_box_art

This game was huge! 13 new characters, tons more stages, lots of other stuff to do in single player. The first game was basically a demo to test the waters. This was the real deal.

Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES)

Super_Mario_Bros._3_coverart

Damn…this game is good. Not only does it blow away SMB2, but almost every other game on the console. More power-ups, huge world, exponentially better and smoother gameplay. It’s baffling how good this game is.

Banjo-Tooie (N64)

banjo-tooie

The first Banjo-Kazooie suffers from a lot of the problems that plagued the N64/PS era…namely the controls and camera and everything else that developers couldn’t figure out when 3D games first came around. Tooie solves most of those issues and thusly, is a pretty stand-up game.

Mario Kart 64 (N64)

mario-kart-64-usa-nintendo-64_1513105811

Despite being crushed by Double Dash, MK64 is far, far better than the original Mario Kart. Mainly because the 3D planes suits a racing game much more. The controls are much better too.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Switch)

super-smash-bros-ultimate-switch-cover

Ultimate lives up to it’s name. An enormous roster, even more stages, and both which are currently still growing, and an actual fun single player campaign, and some other single player stuff that doesn’t really require you to play it through with each and every character. This game has given me just about everything I wanted out of the series and more! Not only does it blow away the Wii U version, but every game in the series.

Dungeon Siege II (PC)

Dungeonseige2

The first game sucks, really really badly. This game does not. It’s quite good, and happens to be the best in the series.

Red Faction: Armageddon (PC)

rf arma

RF: Guerilla isn’t so great. Armageddon happens to be one of the best FPS’ out there.

StarCraft II (PC)

StarCraft II

The StarCraft II games blow away the first couple games. A decade in between them ought to do that.

Tomb Raider (2013) [PS4]

TombRaider2013

This game, a reboot of the series, completely destroys not only it’s predecessor, but every game in the large series up to the point of it’s release.

WarCraft II: Tides of Darkness (PC)

warcraft 2

This brings some much needed improvements over the first game, and is ridiculously larger and more intense as well.

Final Fantasy VII (PS)

ff7

When FF came to PlayStation, it was the greatest thing for the series. Better story-telling thanks to cutscenes and the capability of a much larger world and expanded and flashier gameplay make this series what it was always trying to be. VII successfully obliterates FFVI.

Rayman 2: The Great Escape (PS)

rayman-2-the-great-escape-playstation-front-cover

The original Rayman is ridiculously hard and frustrating, and really not that good to begin with. The sequel switches from a 2D to 3D platformer and quite frankly is really, really good.

Mega Man 7 (SNES)

Mega_Man_7_Coverart

The jump to a new console meant great things for this series. This was a much bigger game than not only six, but all the others as well, thanks to a lot more collectibles, abilities and story elements.

Super Metroid (SNES)

Super_Metroid_box

This is far superior to the quite good Game Boy prequel. Like…damn.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past (SNES)

link-to-the-past

After the delightful and experimental Zelda II, this game returns to it’s roots, but in a much bigger and better way.

Medal of Honor Heroes 2 (Wii)

MoHH2BoxArt

The first game was some little, albeit decent PSP game made primarily for online play. MOHH2 is more what you would expect from a MOH game, thusly, it’s far better than the prequel.

No More Heroes 2 (Wii)

no more hereos 2 cover

No More Heroes is a fantastic game, but they clearly had a much bigger budget on the sequel, so there is a lot of improvement in gameplay, visuals and story.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Wii)

smash brawl

Just as Melee vastly improved over the original, the same was done for Brawl. This is a much bigger game with tons more content.

Super Mario 3D World (Wii U)

super_Mario_3D_World

Super Mario 3D Land is a neat game that combines the 2D and 3D Mario formulas, and while it’s a great game, I found myself wishing they had just gone with one or the other. 3D World changed my mind. This game is a masterpiece, plain and simple.

 

That’s all I can think of for now. I’ll add more as I think of them.

 

 

 

 

 

My Top 10 Video Game Genres

Over the years I have been making a bunch of Top 10 lists for games on most of the consoles I own, as well as my out of the norm subjects, such as developers, and ESRB ratings.

Now I will be taking a look at all the games that have made my top 10 lists and finding out what genres occur the most often, for I am curious which genre’s I seem to favor, and this seems like a pretty good way to find out.

I’m gonna go nuts, and even break them all up into sub-genres.

So of all the many, many genres that have appeared on my top 10 lists, here are the most common ones!

#10 First-Person

Games in the view of the player character have made my lists 8 times!

#9- Action RPG

Action games with RPG elements made my lists 11 times.

#8- Japanese-Style, 3D and Shooter

There’s a three-way tie for the number nine spot! Japanese-style, like JRPG’s, 3D games, usually platformers and the like, and types of shooters made my lists 12 times!

#7- Arcade

Anyone over-the-top, crazy fun time games made my lists 14 times.

#6- Open-World

20 games that allow you to wander over a vast world made the lists.

#5- Role-Playing

26 RPG’s made the lists.

#4- Action Adventure

Going on an adventure while killing a bunch of stuff? 33 games did this very well.

#3- 2D

Games played in the realm of two dimensions made my lists a whopping 56 times!

#2- Platformer

Good ol’ jumping around on stuff. This classic genre made my lists 58 times.

#1- Action

Simple, yet effective. If there’s any type of excitement in the game you’re playing, chances are it’s considered an action game, which is why it popped up a massive 83 times among my lists.

And there you have it! Looking at these 10, I am not surprised by the results, and I am certainly pleased with them!

I will update this lists as needed in the future.

My Top 10 Years In Gaming

Over the years I have created top 10 lists for my favorite games on most of the systems I own. Then I did a best of the best list, and a top 10 developer/publisher list. Now, I am going to take a look at all the games that made those lists release years, and see which years happened to produce my favorite games the most often, so I can find out my top 10 favorite years in gaming!

Okay, so as predicted, this one is like the development list, and there is a whole lot of ties. So every year that produced some of my favorite games will be honored in this list…at least for now!

#10

There are three years that tied for the lowestspot, with one game from each year.

1989

1990

1999

#9

Two years tied for the number nine spot with two games from each of these years.

2015

1987

#8

A three-way tie here, three games from these years.

2006

1988

2016

#7

Five-way tie for the number seven spot, four games from each.

2008

1991

1998

1993

2014

#6

Wow! Six years tie for the six spot, with five games from each year!

1992

1996

2004

2001

2003

2007

#5

Pulling back with a smaller three-way tie here, six games from each.

1995

2009

2012

#4

Three years tied for the number four spot, seven games each.

1994

1997

2010

#3

2000

All on it’s own!!

#2

Three years fight for second place with 9 games from each year!

2013

2011

2002

#1

2005

Woo! We have a clear winner folks! 2005 is officially the best year in gaming (judging by my top 10 lists) with a rounded 10 games making the lists.

That’s all for now. Maybe one day this list will become more clear cut.

My Top 10 Developers/Publishers

Over the past few years I have made top 10 lists for my favorite games on most of the consoles I own. I have recently ranked the #1 games from each list against each other to decided the best of the best.

But now it is time to pick the 10 publishers/developers that most often appeared in those top 10 lists, #1 being the company that most often made it.

I can tell you my top three developers by personal opinion right now, but I won’t. I am curious to see if those three make the list and in what position.

So here we go, the 10 most recurring companies that made games that are on my top 10 lists!

Okay…So there was a LOT of ties, but here goes…

#10 There’s A Handful

These companies made it into the top 10 lists twice.

PlatinumGames

Ubisoft Montpellier

Sucker Punch

Square EA

Raven Software

Game Freak

Blizzard Entertainment

Activision

Clover Studios

Camelot Software Planning

#9 A Few Here Too

The next companies appeared three times in my top 10 lists. This is where the companies really start to shine in my eyes.

Ubisoft

Konami

SCE Santa Monica

#8 Another Handful Here

These next companies appeared an impressive four times on my lists!

Namco Bandai (or Bandai Namco)

Retro Studios

SquareSoft

Alphadream Corportation

Inti Creates

#7 A Few Here As Well

The next companies appeared 5 times on the list. Now we are starting to see the cream of the crop!!

LucasArts

Square Enix

Sonic Team

#6 Intelligent Systems

There’s just this one! The great development team behind Paper Mario is the only company to appear 6 times!

#5 There’s Only Two Here!

These two companies showed up seven times with amazing games!

HAL Labs

Sony Computer Entertainment America

#4 Rare Ltd.

Woo! One more company stands alone! Rare has made the top 10 lists eight times!

#3 Sega

The guys behind Sonic and a few other amazing titles make the number 3 spot due to appearing a whopping 11 times on my lists! As it would so happen, I actually consider them my third favorite developer!

#2 Capcom

The company that brought us Mega Man and Resident Evil has appeared 20 times in my lists! Wowsers!! They would actually be about my fourth favorite developer in my personal opinion, but clearly they deliver more of my favorite games than any other company except…

#1 Nintendo

These guys are absolutely my favorite developers. Practically every game they have ever made has been incredible, and the ones that aren’t are just plain good. This company has destroyed the rest, taking a massive 80 spots on my lists! They are indeed my favorite video game company!

That’s all folks!

I always update these lists if new games make the top 10’s, which really doesn’t happen often, but when it does, I will update this list as well, which has the potential to change this entire thing drastically. Who knows what the future will hold? If this list does change, that just means I have discovered some truly incredible new games!!

nintendo logo

My Top Video Games: The Best of the Best

Over the past few years, I have been ranking the top 10 games on most of the systems I own. Now it is time to rank the game that I chose as number 1 game from each of these, to find out who the best of the best is! I’ve already talked about each game, so I will just attach a link to their respective original posts if you are interested in the games they beat out and such.

 

#15

Sonic & Knuckles

Sonic_&_Knuckles_cover

Sega Genesis

Sonic Team/ Sega

1994

 

 

#14

Metroid II: Return of Samus

Metroid_II_US_boxart

Game Boy

Nintendo

1991

 

#13

Mega Man X4

mmx4

PlayStation

Capcom

1997

 

#12

Transformers: War for Cybertron

War_for_Cybertron

 

PC

Activision/ High Moon Studios

2010

 

#11

inFAMOUS

Infamous-cover

 

PlayStation 3

SUCKER PUNCH/ SCEA

2009

 

#10

Super Mario Bros. 3

Super_Mario_Bros._3_coverart

 

NES

Nintendo

1990

 

#9

Metroid: Zero Mission

Metroid_--_Zero_Mission_(box_art)

Game Boy Advance

Nintendo

2004

 

#8

Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story

Bowsersinsidestorycover

DS

Alphadream Corporation/ Nintendo

2009

 

#7

Super Mario World

Super_Mario_World_Coverart

SNES

Nintendo

1991

 

#6

Super Mario 3D World

super_Mario_3D_World

 

Wii U

Nintendo

2013

 

#5

Super Smash Bros. Brawl

smash brawl

Wii

Game Arts/ Nintendo

2008

 

 

#4

Super Smash Bros. For 3DS

smash 3ds

3DS

Bandai Namco Games/ Nintendo

2014

 

#3

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

ocarina_of_time_box_art

N64

Nintendo

1998

#2

Kingdom Hearts II

kh2 cover

PlayStation 2

Square Enix

2006

 

 

#1

Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door

paper mario tyd

GameCube

Intelligent Systems/ Nintendo

2004

 

 

And there you have it!

This isn’t a list of my favorite games of all time, but just my favorite game from each system.

Is This the End of Humble Bundle As We Know It?

For those who don’t know, Humble Bundle is a website that used to give you bundles every couple weeks of 10-15 games for just as many dollars, with part of the money you spend going to a charity of your choosing. Nowadays they have a huge store with some great sales usually, book bundles, software bundles, comics, all sorts of stuff.

But where have the game bundles gone?

For the longest time they have always had two different game bundles available, with a new one replacing the older of the two each week. But for the past month or two, there has not been a single game bundle put up on the site.

Now, most of these bundles are garbage. 90% of the time they are just lame indie titles, but occasionally they do have really good bundles, and I myself indulge in maybe 3 of them a year or so.

I looked forward to seeing the new bundles each week, even though they are almost always disappointing. But when I found that one I wanted, it made all those months of waiting worth it.

So, with the game bundles barren, are they strictly just going to be a game store nowadays like Steam? I certainly hope not.

While we wait for an answer to this sad question, gamers will have to go to fanatical.com for their ridiculously cheap bundles.

How Can People Consider the “Spin Off” Kingdom Hearts Games Not Part of the Actual Series?

In the hype leading up to KH3, I have seen a lot of people argue that the hand held games are not relevant to the series at all. These are mostly those macho “hardcore” gamers who wouldn’t dare play anything on anything other than the shiniest, manly console, thus they say only the numbered titles are the actual series.

I can understand where they are coming from. The three numbered games stick to the same formula (with huge improvements to gameplay as they go on). And they are the 3 best games, as I show in my ranking of them. So in those terms, I get what they are saying. But to just write off the others, which also have superb gameplay, is just ridiculous.

And then many others say the handheld games are not even important to the story, thus the spin off term coming into play.

This is just an unbelievably stupid thing to say and makes those who say it look incredibly ignorant. Yes, we get that you haven’t played the games. Leave it at that. Don’t keep talking about it, because the fact that you haven’t played them takes away your right to talk about them, for how can you judge what you haven’t played?

But if you want to follow the story, you will be woefully lost playing just 1, 2, and 3. I played 2 before Chain of Memories, and while I got the gist of what was going on after a while, it was confusing for a few hours. But that was just from one game. There are 4 games that came out between 2 and 3, all which set up everything that was going on in 3. Playing just the numbered games, you wouldn’t even know who 90% of the characters are. Ventus, Terra, Aqua, half the organization members, the main villain…all not important people at all. And even people you do know, like Axel and Roxas, you would only have a recognition of them and no little to nothing about their actual characters.

I’m sorry, I just get a laugh out of these folks is all.

I Must Contest The Term “Metroidvania”

Metroidvania, for those who don’t know, refers to any video game that resembles the basic formula/ set up of your basic old school Metroid or Castlevania title. More specifically, any non-linear platformer that has an emphasis on item collecting, traversing with the use of a map if needed, exploring, unlocking secrets with your new items to open new paths or find more items…etc. That’s basically the gist of a Metroidvania game.

My issue with this term comes from this…Castlevania basically ripped this formula from Metroid. So wouldn’t it just be considered a Metroid-like game?

Now I haven’t played many of the older Castlevania titles. I played 1-4, and then Symphony of the Night only like a year ago (as far as the older ones go). That is when I realized why people had been saying “Metroidvania” for so long. The game was set up just like Super Metroid, except you use a sword. So the only reason I can see “vania” being tagged on is for games that use close ranged weapons rather than a gun.

I don’t know, it’s really not relevant in the slightest, but hey, I thought I’d just point it out. It’s almost like Castlevania is riding on the coat tails of Metroid’s more successful type of platforming, not that Castlevania needed any help I guess…

My Top 10 PlayStation 3 Games

Of Sony’s consoles, the PS3 is by far my favorite…sort of. They are all so similar, it’s hard to truly judge, but in terms of games, this one takes the cake for sure. Looking into my top 10 was super difficult, because there are a TON of amazing games on the console. I couldn’t easily pick 10 of them, and the ten that I did, I’m not even sure if they are truly my top 10 or even ordered correctly…but whatever.

I’ve got a whopping 89 games for the console, and of those I have so far played 77. So here are the ten I struggled to pick out.

#10

diDante’s Inferno

Visceral Games/ Electronic Arts

2010

 

 

This is a shameless rip off of God of War, but it is actually better than almost every game in the God of War franchise. I couldn’t put this game down. It is so much fun. It was left wide open for a sequel that never came…which is nothing short of heartbreaking, because I couldn’t wait for it.

#9

re5 coverResident Evil 5

Capcom

2009

 

 

This game is so much fun. The enemies are awesome, the co-op is great, (but make sure you don’t give Sheva any bullets if playing alone) playing as Chris again is awesome. The story involving him, Jill and Wesker coming to a close is even more awesome, the intense action and real time inventory management make this a endlessly fun, intense action game.

#8

Uncharted-2-Among-Thieves-Detail-CoverUncharted 2: Among Thieves

Naughty Dog/ SCEA

2009

 

 

I don’t know why I love this game so much, but I do. The action, the settings, the characters, the story were all so perfect. I couldn’t put this game down, which is weird because the other 2 games in the trilogy (haven’t played 4 yet) I find to be just okay at best. But 2 is so stinking good.

#7

Resident_Evil_6_box_artworkResident Evil 6

Capcom

2012

 

 

Combining elements of all Resident Evil styles, having multiple campaigns with old and new characters interacting in the same interesting overall story that is fun to see how they affect each other and crossover one another, intense, yet tense gameplay, nuts bosses and just an overall amazing experience make this one of the best games out there. It is one of the few games I have ever played that made me sad to beat it.

#6

StarWarsfuStar Wars: The Force Unleashed II

LucasArts

2010

 

I didn’t really like this game the first playthrough, but when I came back to it, I loved it the second time around. The gameplay is so much fun and very satisfying. The story, however, is what is truly amazing about this game. It’s a shame they never finished the originally planned trilogy.

#5

forceunleashedStar Wars: The Force Unleashed

LucasArts

2008

 

I was hoping for a game with gameplay like this my whole life, and finally received it when this came out. I played through this game like 3 times in a row because it was so much fun. And being able to change costumes after you beat it is cool, especially when you can play as a whole slew of different Jedi. The story is amazing, the different planets look incredible. This one manages to slip by as the better of the two games by a small margin.

#4

God_of_War_III_cover_artGod of War III

SCE Santa Monica/ SCEA

2010

 

This completely blows away all other games in the series. This is taking the already perfect gameplay of the previous games and somehow perfecting it even further. I loved it from beginning to end.

#3

Castlevania_Lords_of_ShadowCastlevania: Lords of Shadow

Mercury Steam/ Konami

2010

 

This is another game I enjoyed from beginning to end. It borrows heavily from God of War, but does it better. The story is excellent, the gameplay is wonderful, the puzzles are fun, the scenery gorgeous, the music only adding to it’s allure. I just wish the second one came somewhat close to the glory of this game.

#2

Infamous_2inFAMOUS 2

Sucker Punch/ SCEA

2011

 

 

This game is incredibly fun. It’s got a very interesting story, all sorts of crazy characters, a bunch of areas to climb and explore, crazy enemies to take down and a whole slew of new powers. Top notch.

#1

Infamous-coverinFAMOUS

Sucker Punch/ SCEA

2009

 

 

That’s right, my favorite game on the PS3 is actually the first game in the inFAMOUS series. While the gameplay isn’t as good, I just liked the story and overall simplicity better. It was fun to stay in one city, obtaining your powers as you progress, trying to figure out what the heck was going on with you, and just killing hordes of gang members. A lot of the time, simple is better.

My Top 10 PlayStation 2 Games

PS2 is the best selling console of all time, and really is a much better console than the PS1, though still far from my favorite, but I do love it anyway. I have 55 games for the sequel console and have played 41 of them so far. So which are my top 10? Let’s take a look!

#10

Mega_Man_X8_Coverart

Mega Man X8

Valuewave Co., Ltd/ Capcom

2004

The last game in the X series is pretty solid and a huge step up from 7, bringing back more of the roots of the series.

#9

king kong

Peter Jackson’s King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie

Ubisoft Montpellier/ Ubisoft

2005

I was gifted this randomly by someone and I thought it was going to be terrible like most movie games are. But it turned out to be an exciting, unique mostly first person shooter, and you even get to play as Kong on occasion which were great segments. A very solid and fun game. Now I know why…I had no idea it was made by Ubisoft.

#8

ps2_call_of_duty_2_big_red_one_gh_se

Call of Duty 2: Big Red One

Treyarch/ Activision

2005

This is by far my favorite Call of Duty game. It was made in the height of first person shooters, a few years before their decline. So in addition to that, what really set this one apart for me was the story, or rather the character development of your group of soldiers. You actually get to learn about the people in your squad and develop an attachment of sorts to them, making you actually feel like part of the team. This has never been done before and never has again…as far as I know anyway.

#7

DBZ_Tenkaichi_3_Cover_2

Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 3

Spike/ Atari SA

2007

This is easily my favorite Dragon Ball game of all time, and mainly because of the enormous roster. I can always sit and play a few matches thanks to the endless amount of characters, crazy attack moves and transformations.

#6

khcom

Kingdom Hearts: Re:Chain of Memories

Jupiter Corporation/ Square Enix

2008

A full remake of the original GBA game, this version of the first sequel to Kingdom Hearts is quite impressive. Thanks to the clever use of cards, this is one of the best strategy games out there. But it’s easily the worst game in the KH series, mainly because it’s very slow moving, grindy and getting your cards broken all the time is super annoying. But it has a great story and introduces a butt load of important characters.

#5

bf2

Star Wars: Battlefront II

Pandemic Studios/ LucasArts

2005

This is definitely my most played game on PS2. I played the crap out of it. Alone or with a friend, this game is so much fun. There’s nothing like whittling away a few hours by blowing up space ships or slaughtering armies of droids or troopers.

#4

gow

God of War

SCE Santa Monica/ SCEA

2005

This game set the standard for all future action games. Smooth, responsive controls, exhilarating combat, light puzzle solving, banging chicks, killing gods…this is the most macho game ever, and Kratos is easily the most bad ass character ever created. Such a fun game. Oh, and a good story.

#3

gow2

God of War II

SCE Santa Monica/ SCEA

2007

This game doesn’t F around. You start with everything you had in the first game and just get stronger. All the perfection from the first game is brought back and somehow improved upon, making this one of the best games ever made.

#2

kh cover

Kingdom Hearts

Squaresoft

2002

I was hooked the moment I played this game. This was the best RPG I ever played at the time, because it took all the good stuff from the genre and left out all that complicated crap. The gameplay is excellent, the game satisfyingly challenging, and the start of the best story ever. Oh and the incredible wacky idea of combining Disney and Final Fantasy is geniusly bizzare.mIt’s hard to believe that 16 years later, we still have not seen the conclusion of said story.

#1

kh2 cover

Kingdom Hearts II

Square Enix

2006

And here is my favorite PS2 game of all time! This game makes the first one look crappy beyond belief when compared to this one. It is hard to believe just how much they improved this game over it’s prequels. It’s just so good…the story, the world’s, the gameplay…my god the combat is so much fun. This is the only game I can think of that I would willingly grind just because it’s so much fun to kill stuff. It’s just a masterpiece…sniff…