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.

 

 

 

 

 

Die Hard Series Ranked

All of my life, I have heard people rave about the Die Hard movies, mainly the first one. Growing up in the 90’s and watching nothing but 80’s and 90’s action movies, I cannot figure out how I never saw any of them. Heck, I never even saw a movie with Bruce Willis in it until The Expendables came out, with the exception of Pulp Fiction, which I dislike, s the actor never really caught my interest.

But one thing I always thought was that the Die Hard’s aren’t as good as every made them out to be.

Well, I am glad to say I was mistaken. The series, and especially that first one, is definitely not overrated, and is up there next to series’ like Rambo as some of the greatest action movies of all time.

So I will rank all five movies from worst to best in my opinion.

#5

A Good Day To Die Hard

2013

a good day to die hard

The fifth and final movie has John McClane team up with his son to kill some folks, and as an action movie, it’s okay. As a Die Hard movie, it’s pretty lousy. It’s as if the producers wanted to make some extra cash and tossed Bruce Willis into a half-assed movie and slapped Die Hard on top of it, knowing the name itself would make them millions.

It’s very short, it lacks the intense action and story of the others, and ultimately is a big let-down. I’d give it a 6/10.

#4

Die Hard With A Vengeance

1995

die hard 3

The third movie changes up the Die Hard formula. It’s the first one that doesn’t take place during Christmas, and it’s missing the entire cast from the first two except John, who gets teamed up, also a first, with Samuel L. Jackson to solve a bunch of life-or-death riddles.

It’s a clever, action-filled movie, but lacks what the first two were. 8/10

#3

Die Hard 2: Die Harder

1990

die hard 2

These next three movies are in a class of their own, beginning with Die Hard 2.

This movie is one of the best action movies out there. Battling terrorists in an airport is as intense and awesome as you could imagine. Truly a great movie. 11/10

#2

Die Hard

1988

die hard

This movie is just barely better than it’s sequel. My jaw hit the floor when watching this. The characters are all intense and likeable, and the action is top notch. One of the greatest movies of all time. 11/10

#1

Live Free Or Die Hard

2007

live free or die hard

This is definitely my favorite of the series. The fourth entry takes all the action, intensity and…John McClanenyness that made the first two so epic and takes it up a notch, using more modern technology for bigger action than was possible in the 80’s and 90’s. They used this technology to simply improve the Die Hard formula, and it worked out very well. 11/10.

Overall, besides the fifth one, this series is remarkable and I will enjoy these movies until the day I die.

 

My Top 10 Video Games Series

Over the past few years, I’ve been churning out top 10 games on most of the systems I’ve owned, then went outside the box to do other lists, such as the top 10 most occurring years, genres, and developers, to find which were my favorite of those…in a way.

Now I bring to you the top 10 series that most occurred during all those lists, just to find what ones continually impress the heck out of me enough to make the top 10.

And as a bonus, I will even attempt to write up my own personal top 10 list, and see how they compare. So let’s get to it!

*Note that I will be separating some series, such as Mega Man and Mega Man X, as well as the dozens of Mario series like Mario Kart, Mario & Luigi, and Paper Mario.*

As usual with these lists, there are an abundance of ties here…so much so that every game in a series (that I am aware of) will appear on this list, so dig in folks.

#10 A lot

The following games had one game from their series’ appear on my list…

Joe & Mac

Super Mario Maker

Bayonetta

Xeno

Uncharted

Star Wars Battlefront

Dragon Ball Z

Call of Duty

Mega Man Legends

Transformers: War For…

No One Lives Forever

Darksiders

StarCraft

Shadow Warrior

Diablo

Red Faction

Banjo-Kazooie

Golden Axe

Golden Sun

Fire Emblem

Project X Zone

Mario Tennis

Whew that’s a bunch!

#9 A Good Number

The next franchises had two games in their respective series’ makes my lists.

RayMan

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

Final Fantasy

Star Wars: Jedi Knight

Star Fox

Kid Icarus

Viewtiful Joe

Pokemon

Wario

InFamous

#8 Just a Handful

These few had three games in their series’ make my lists.

Yoshi

Mario Kart

Resident Evil

Castlevania

God of War

New Super Mario Bros

#7 Just a Few

These had four…

Paper Mario

Mega Man

Mario & Luigi

Mega Man Zero (That’s the entire series!)

#6 A Couple

These two had 5 games from their series’.

Super Smash Bros

Kirby

#5 Two More

These appeared 6 times.

Mega Man X

Kingdom Hearts

Donkey Kong

#4 Metroid

Holy snowsers! We actually have a single game! Metroid has appeared seven times in my lists.

#3 Sonic The Hedgehog

Sonic’s games made my lists 8 times!

#2 Super Mario

This massive series, the ones that start with Super Mario and are his mainline games, made my lists 10 times!

And the most occurring series of them all…

#1 The Legend of Zelda

This wonderful, long-running series trumps them all, with 13 of it’s games making my lists.

And as promised, I bring to you my actual top 10 series. This was pretty tough to do, but I think I’ve got a somewhat true list going on here.

#10 God of War

god of war series

This series redefined action gameplay. I haven’t played the newest one yet, but the rest have all been phenomenal and brutal.

#9 Super Mario

super mario series

This again is only for the game that start with “Super Mario.” Every single one of these games is fantastic, which is pretty amazing to say, given how many there are.

#8 Mario & Luigi

mario and luigi series

Not only are these my favorite RPG’s, thanks to their superbly creative attacks, story, and settings, but they are also hilarious and bizarre.

#7 Donkey Kong

donkey kong series

This is largely thanks to the incredible Donkey Kong Country trilogy on SNES. Those are some of the best platformers to ever come into existence.

#6 InFamous

infamous series

This has some of the most addicting and diverse gameplay, with tons of awesome powers and abilities, great stories and characters, and the best exploration I can think of.

#5 Metroid

metroid timeline

These games are intense, with tons of action, items/power-ups, and exploration to keep you entertained for hours.

#4 Paper Mario

paper mario characters

There is something about this series. They’ve got a certain feel to them that I can’t explain. But I love the stories, the characters, the humor and the gameplay, which nowadays is changed up in every game.

#3 The Legend of Zelda

zelda series

This series always has some charming feel or vibe to them as well. Each of these games are very different, and yet the same, and they are all amazing, with tons of clever items, dungeons and characters to make each second entertaining.

#2 Super Smash Bros

ssb

This series was a dream come true when it originated. Ever since, each game has gotten bigger and better, now by far the most enormous games ever made, with dozens of characters from every notable franchise, and even less notable ones, all duking it out on stages pulled from video game history.

#1 Kingdom Hearts

kh timeline

This series just happens to have my favorite storyline, characters, music, combat, and gameplay of all time. I hit the lottery with this one.

And there you have it. My personal list is a bit different than my other list, but that’s okay, all these games are great and worth noting.

My Top 10 Movies Series

I was recently challenged to make a list of my Top 10 movies of all time. That wouldn’t be very exciting, as most of them would all likely belong to one series or two. So instead, I will do my Top 10 movie series.

So without further ado, here they are!

 

#10 Austin Powers

austin powers series

These movies get better the older I get, probably because I was too young to get half the jokes when they first came out. They do an amazing job spoofing the old James Bond films, and the goofy jokes, and wackiness of everything gets me every time.

#9 Toy Story

toy story

The first three movies are incredible. The fourth is good, but also kind of ruined my childhood. But as a series, it’s truly wonderful story of personal growth, friendship, loyalty and bravery, until the fourth… So many diverse characters and personalities make it fun and exciting to watch.

#8 Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man Trilogy

spiderman series

I can watch this trilogy all the time. The third one took a while to grow on me, but the first two are still two of my favorite super-hero films of all time, and considering they are 20 years old now, and made in a time before technology for such films really got going, that’s a pretty amazing thing to say.

I love the stories, and most importantly, the character relationships. I find them very gripping, and the emotion behind each character is amazing.

#7 American Pie

American Pie-1-8-Complete-8-Film-Series-Collection

I already did a series ranked on these movies. I am only referring to the four main movies. I haven’t seen any of the spin-offs. What I like about these movies so much, besides the incredible humor, is that everyone probably knows someone similar to all the characters in the movies, and can relate to each and every one of them. Not to mention, despite it’s crude, adult humor, there are very emotional issues the characters go through, which are all things people in real life have to deal with, thus allowing us to relate even more.

They are very powerful movies, propelled forward by outrageous humor.

#6 Jason Bourne

jason bourne

These are probably my favorite action movies of all time. I am excluding Legacy in this. I didn’t really like that one.

I really enjoy the story and characters. This, amplified by the non-stop gun fights, car chases, and assassins fighting each other in hand-to-hand combat, makes for a really thrilling experience.

#5 Rambo

rambo series

Speaking of amazing action films, these are five of the best. What makes these better than the Bourne movies is Rambo. I really like his character. He’s this traumatized victim, struggling to find his way in life. Naturally, he is a quiet, innocent man that doesn’t want any trouble. But when trouble knocks on his door, all hell breaks loose, and he turns into a relentless, unstoppable killing machine. I think 1-3 and 5 are some of the greatest films ever made. And 4 is really good too.

I also like that each one brings awareness to real world problems, and they don’t hold back, showing some rather graphic things from time to time.

#4 Star Wars

star wars series

With 9 movies and 2 spin-off movies, there is a lot to talk about with Star Wars. I like every single film made, and only one did I ever dislike until I saw it three times. I can go on for days talking about what I like, but the whole connecting themes through three trilogies, the characters and how they grow and change, and everything about the force are probably my favorite things about it.

I really enjoy Lucas’ world building, and the technology he’s come up with as well.

#3 Avengers

avengers series

Some of the best coordinated action can be found in these movies. The first two are two of my favorite movies of all time, the third isn’t quite there, but is still incredible, and the fourth…meh…I didn’t really like it all that much.

But thanks to the first three, I can always go back and watch some truly jaw-dropping action.

#2 Captain America

captain america trilogy

The first one is wonderful, the second is mind-blowing and intense, the third is easily the greatest action film ever made and will likely always hold that title in my heart. Steve Rogers is annoyingly likeable and it’s fun to watch how everyone he works with grows to like him, despite his often narrow-minded, tunnel-visiony sense of justice.

#1 Rocky

rocky series

I absolutely love everything about these movies. The emotion in each character can not be found anywhere else. It’s incredible to watch all these down-and-out characters grow personally, as well their relationships with others. The music is just as emotional and does an amazing job enhancing everything that happens.

Not to mention the training montages and fights are always exciting.

I will keep it short, cuz I could probably rant about these movies for a good long while. so let’s just say, it’s like seeing these movies for the first time every time I watch them, which is often.

One of my first posts ranks this series.

 

So ranking these was really hard. Rocky is absolutely my favorite series, and Halloween definitely belongs in the 10 spot, but the others are kind of up in the air as to what rank they place. Truthfully Jason Bourne and Rambo should probably be higher, but I don’t know. All I know is that these series’ have brought mucho goodness in my life.

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.

Why Do Sequels Always Have To Be Better?

If a sequel to anything…book, movie, album, video game…is not better than the previous entry, then it is completely hated by most of the world.

I can understand that people want something to be better, for why make a new product that is inferior to the last? But to expect something to always constantly be better, especially in long running series’ or bands that have been together for decades, it’s just not realistic and not possible.

Say something like the first video game in a series is very good. The sequel is just “good.” This really means, it’s garbage and a stain upon the earth! This sequel should be “extremely good,” then the third needs to be “exceptionally good,” fourth “positively great,” and then the fifth “flawless.” Any made after that is doomed to fail, assuming the series succeeded in the impossible task of making each game better than the last up until that point.

This is a challenging task in itself, but you’ve also have to compete against nostalgia and expectation, two things that doom every product to fail…in one way or another.

If people really like something in a title, then their expectations run wild within their imagination for the next entry. The internet does little to help, by releasing rumors and getting a dozen “hype trains” in motion, so that by the time the product actually releases, fans have these insane delusions of what the product should be, so that it will never be good enough, despite how good it is or not. They never even consider things the creators face, such as time, and budget, and such resources like that.

And nostalgia, that’s it. If someone is nostalgic over something, then it’s over. Every single product is doomed to fail in that series. Nostalgia asks the entertainment business to recreate a feeling or memory that consumer experienced during the the first thing they played, read, listened to, or watched in that series.

This is simply not possible, mostly because that feeling is caused because it is the first time becoming part of that series. These feelings may have nothing to do with the product itself, even, but from something happening in their life at that time that makes them very happy. These feelings can’t be replicated, they just can’t. Especially if they were first experienced as a small child, versus now being an adult.

I made a post going a bit deeper with nostalgia, so I won’t say too much now.

The point is, people need to stop comparing sequels to the other entries in their series’ and simply look at them as they are. Sure it can be fun to compare them, but just because an older one is better, doesn’t mean the new one isn’t good.

I have long learned that going into anything with any personal wishes, hopes, or expectations of any kind, will destroy your experience and you will be sorely disappointed. The likelihood of something meeting someone’s exact expectations, or even some of them, is the equivalent of winning the lottery.

But going in with an open mind, with only entertainment as your goal, then you’ll experience the product with an unbiased vision, and therefore judging it as it is, not by what it should be or what it was, or what you wished it was.

 

Final Fantasy IX: This Is What I Missed

At long last, my Final Fantasy marathon ends here…for the time being anyway. And I have to say, it ended with a great game, bringing me back to my early days when I first played FF 8 and 7, as I described in my post about the first game.

After playing through this game, I have come to the conclusion that Final Fantasy didn’t truly become great games until the PlayStation. I really enjoyed 7-9. The more advanced system with it’s “powerful” hardware allowed for some great story telling visually with the beautiful cut scenes, and the bigger space spread out on multiple discs allowed for more in game story told through a much larger world as well.

FF9 was also void of any annoying things that plagued the series from 6 downward. There were only 2 cheap instant death encounters I met the whole game, and it was mainly due to overpowered counter attacks. For once, I could go through the whole game without wanting to pull my hair out.

Gone too are the obnoxious amounts of random encounters. Most games had you fighting endless amounts of battles for little experience. FF9 reversed that by having less battles with more experience, and that is just fine by me!

The skill system is great in this game as well. Each equipable item has skills attached to them that can teach one specific character something, or multiple people. This is truly great, for by the end of the game, all your characters know a vast amount of skills that you can equip to fit your needs at any time.

The story isn’t great, but it’s enjoyable enough, and there is great character development. The ending, however, is very weak and unnecessarily long for such a disappointing  payoff. But the character development sort of makes up for that though.

The only real complaints I have about the game is that the encounters take way too long to start…like over 10 seconds you have to wait before the battle begins. First it kind of loads, then you are forced to watch as the camera unnecessarily scrolls through your environment, as if the developers were so proud of the world they created. Then your party and the enemies magically fade in to existence and then finally the fight begins…which brings me to my second complaint.

The fighting seems so delayed. It is so slow moving. Sometimes you just are sitting there waiting for something to happen. Even when you have given each member something to do, everyone just kind of dances around for a while, then the enemies go, then one of your characters attack, then the enemy might go again after waiting, then wait some more for one of your guys to go. Honestly, if you tell all four of your characters to do something, it might take close to 2 minutes for your fourth character to finally go. By the time they do, the other 3 have already refilled the battle meter thing and have new commands already inputted. When that fourth character finally goes, you had forgotten what you told them to do and a lot of the time, the flow of the battle has shifted by then so that their attack or whatever is more or less useless.ff9 battle.jpg

But other than that, it is a fun game that I really enjoyed. Now I can finally understand why these games have some kind of following. It only took 9 games and 15 years.

As always, I will rank the games from best to worst. This time though, I will include 7 & 8, though it is a little unfair since I never beat them completely.

FFIX

FFVIII

FFVII

FFVI

FFII

FFIV

FFV

FFIV: The After Years

FF

Series Ranked: Warcraft Video Games

In honor of the awesome looking Warcraft movie coming out on June 10, I decided to do another “Series Ranked” about the games that are responsible for getting me to have any interest in the movie at all.

As usual I will be ranking them from worst to best, and this is entirely my own opinion.

Before I begin, I want to note that I will not be including Warcraft II Battle.net edition, because it’s more or less the same game and irrelevant to add here. Also Hearthstone will also not be included, because it’s not actually a real Warcraft game.

Ok, there are eleven games by my count, so let’s get started!

#11 World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor

Now this isn’t fair, for I have never played this game, so really, I guess you can just disregard this. The only reason I am including it at all is because I guess I can say there was nothing about it that caught my interest to even have a single thought to want to play it, which I guess is a first in the series.

That is the only reason I place it at #11. It could honestly be a great game for all I know.

 

#10 Warcraft: Orcs and Humans

Now I am serious about the rest of this list, as I have played every other entry in the franchise.

Orcs and Humans is the game that started it all, and pretty much all of Blizzard’s success. For the time, this game was absolutely amazing, pitting two races against each other, each with different units and campaigns.

While the game has not aged well at all, it is still fun, and I would recommend it to anyone who has played either Warcraft II and/or III. Not really because it is good compared to its successors, but just to see where they got their start and how things have evolved. The most irksome parts of this game are the fact that you must build roads for your buildings and that you can only select one unit at a time, making everything go on for much longer, something that real time strategy games definitely do not need.

 

#9 World of Warcraft: Cataclysm

I never played this game when it was new, but only when the expansion to it came out and I had to play my way through, so I never got the full effect of WoW’s third expansion. I dove into this after not playing WoW for around four years, and the very first area I was in I hated and almost quit the game again because it was so bad. None of the areas were really that great at all.

The quests were a bit more unique then I had previously experienced, so that was always nice. The game also added two new races; the Horde got Goblins, which makes no sense, since they were always a neutral faction throughout the World of Warcraft series. The Alliance found themselves with Worgens, wolves that walk on their hind legs. These were pretty cool looking, though also kind of didn’t make sense, for veteran players most likely have slaughtered hundreds of these in their time in the game. Players can also increase their level from 80 to 85, marking the first time there was not a 10 level increase in caps per expansion.

The story, if I am thinking of the right one, involves killing Death Wing, an orc hero that was killed in Warcraft II, somehow resurrected. I don’t really know. The story line in the Warcraft series eventually just flies off the handle and all old characters resurface and continuity is just an afterthought. The whole world is just too expansive to really make any sense of it, but then again, no one plays these games for the story anyway.

 

#8 World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King

wrath of the lk.jpg

The second expansion to World of Warcraft takes us to Northrend to take on the Lich King, continuing the story of The Frozen Throne randomly.

This was a neat area with a dark theme and was sort of fun to explore. I came back to play this game after about 8 months after I quit the last game and about two months after this was released. They kicked up the design of dungeons and quests in this game, and it also had some of the more memorable raids in my opinion. What fans of the original games didn’t want to face off against the Lich King? Though this is also when Blizzard started making the game really easy to level, which was my favorite part of the games, and just completely focused on heroics and raids. Once I raised my character to 80 from the previous cap of 70, I found they were taking forever releasing raids, spacing them out in huge intervals, and I lost interest, quitting again after just four months.

Something unique about this game was the addition of the first new class since the games creation, the Death Knight. This is also the series’ only “hero class” which really just meant you started at level 55 instead of 1, going right along with the whole fast leveling theme started in this expansion.

#7 World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade

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The world crapped itself when this game finally came out. The very first expansion of the ever growing, popular game that took the world by force. After being stuck at level 60 for what seemed like forever, players were finally allowed to move up to level 70 after stepping through the Dark Portal into a new land. We found tons of new gear, with ridiculously huge stat increases, making the lowest leveled gear completely dominate the best gear in the original game. Lots of new abilities were also included, and best of all…

Flying Mounts

This was something everyone was dying to have included, and we all got our wishes.

Another first was the expansion of races, introducing Blood Elves for the Horde, and Draenai for the Alliance.

The only trouble with this game, in my opinion, was that the entire area was pretty bland and uninteresting, the dungeons and raids stunk, and it all became boring very quickly. The main city, the first time to join Alliance and Horde in one place, meant horrible, horrible lag inside, or even flying near it. I think I quit within a month or two upon reaching level 70.

 

#6 World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria

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The fourth expansion brought players to a whole new world and me out of a four year retirement of the game. Besides additions to both race and class, with monks being the new class and Pandarians being the new race, for the first time, the areas were truly enticing and filled with interesting scenery and characters. The dungeons and raids were unique and fun. The gear looked awesome, having a samurai-ish look to it.

Players could increase to level 90 from 85, really giving you that sense of closeness to level 100. There was a lot of cool new mounts as well. This expansion was the first to hold me in end game, and I believe I played it thoroughly with 4 characters for over a year before finally quitting the game for good. Ironically, it wasn’t because I was bored, like it was for all the other expansions, but because I was sick of spending so much time and money on the game, despite wanting to still play it.

 

#5 World of Warcraft

The game that took the world by storm and the lives away from many gamers. I remember getting the game when it was a month or two old, and quit within a month because I hated it. But I think it was because I mostly never knew what I was doing. I decided to give the game another chance about a year later and that is when I got hooked. In that year, a lot more people joined in too.

Why I like this one the most is simply because it was so humongous. There were countless places to go to, leveling took FOREVER to reach 60, and there was just an endless amount of things to do.

It also had actual skills trees that eventually were taken out later on and a bunch of other features and what not that also eventually disappeared. As the expansion came out, they seemed to simplify everything, no doubt to make it more appealing to newcomers and to quicken leveling for new characters made by veteran players. But to me, this took away the charm and adventure of the game, but it really does make perfect sense that they did this, as everyone always is focused on end game. But eventually, people were even beating all of that too quickly, and now they complain expansions are not coming out fast enough.

I don’t know…I just think the original build was the best. Though, that is not to say that there weren’t plenty of things wrong with the game that have been improved as the years went by. The “Looking For Group” channel comes to mind. Just to do any dungeon back then was like a five hour commitment, and half of that time was spent trying to find five party members, before dragging yourself through the long dungeons. This, along with many other things, has been greatly improved.

 

#4 Warcraft II: Tides Of Darknesswarcraft-ii-tides-of-darkness_7.png

With all the World of Warcraft games out of the way, it is now time for the games I obviously find much better. The original RTS styled games, (besides the primitive original of course.) And all I can say about this game is HOLY CRAP!

It is an absolutely massive improvement over the original. The game speed is kicked way up. Tons of new units yielding tons more strategy, custom stages pre-built, or you can make your own, resulting in endless hours of gameplay. This game and its expansion basically sucked up my childhood. I played it endlessly.

Another amazing addition is the beautifully orchestrated music, something pretty much unheard of back then.

The only thing about this game, is it is really, really hard in the later levels.

 

#3 Warcraft II: Beyond The Dark Portal

The expansion to Tides of Darkness, the games difficulty picks up right where it left off, making this quite possibly the hardest game I have ever played. Most of the levels are impossible without cheating, which thankfully, like the two games before it, there are plenty to choose from.

There isn’t too much else different, except you get a lot more hero’s running around to fight with you or fight against you.

Great game, endless hours of fun.

 

#2 Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne

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The expansion to Warcraft III continues the story, taking it to all new kinds of places, where you meet many new heroes.

To be honest, I don’t remember much about this game, as I have only played it through once, having been burned out on RTS’ by this time in my life. I just remember enjoying it immensely. They added new units, I believe, always a plus!

But yeah, it was an extremely polished game, and I would absolutely recommend it to any RTS fan.

#1 Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos

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And here we are at number 1! This is my favorite Warcraft game of all time. After spending so many hours on WC2, it was great to finally experience something new, and Blizzard did not disappoint. This game was as much of an improvement to 2, as 2 was to 1. The graphics got an extreme overhaul, instead of just playing as orcs and humans, Night Elf and Undead were added, doubling the campaigns! Each race had completely different units and buildings, each requiring different strategies to master.

Best of all were the inclusions of heroes that you had with you every level, instead of just random ones. They also created buildings that could resurrect them if they died. This was most welcome to me, who always wished in 2 that there was something like this. I never, ever used my heroes in that game because if they died, the mission failed. But this game fulfilled my wish. And on top of it, you could level the heroes from 1-10, upgrading and learning new spells and abilities along the way.

To me, this game had by far the best and most solid story too, before World of Warcraft flipped it on its head and made it all convoluted. In fact, the story is probably why I prefer this over its expansion. It is truly a masterpiece.

 

 

 Images from blizzardwatch.com, eu.battle.net, http://www.engadget.com, wall.alphacoders.com, wallpapermade.com, downloads.phpnuke.org, http://www.myabandonware.com, fr.wikipedia.org, portforward.com, http://www.kinguin.net