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
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
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)
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)
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)
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)
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.
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)
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)
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)
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: Guerilla isn’t so great. Armageddon happens to be one of the best FPS’ out there.
StarCraft II (PC)
The StarCraft II games blow away the first couple games. A decade in between them ought to do that.
Tomb Raider (2013) [PS4]
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)
This brings some much needed improvements over the first game, and is ridiculously larger and more intense as well.
Final Fantasy VII (PS)
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)
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)
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)
This is far superior to the quite good Game Boy prequel. Like…damn.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past (SNES)
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)
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 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)
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 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.