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Top 10 Best Video Game Sequels of All Time!

VO: Dan Paradis

Script written by Shane O'Gorman

Second time’s a charm? Welcome to http://Watchmojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Best Video Game Sequels of All Time!

Special thanks to our user “Andy Roehl” for suggesting this topic using our interactive suggestion tool at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Top 10 Best Video Game Sequels

The first instalment was great, but the sequel is where these franchises started to shine. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we will be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Best Video Game Sequels.

For this list, we will be looking at the direct follow-ups to a game (meaning the “numero deux’s” of the gaming world specifically) and ranked them based upon how fun, memorable and exciting they are as well as how significant of a leap in quality that they are in comparison to their predecessors.

#10: “Resident Evil 2” (1998)

The first Resident Evil showed how the survival horror genre could work in gaming, but its sequel is where the world was shown what could really be done with it. For it’s time, the game was praised for having an almost cinematic feel and the impressive graphics helped immerse players into this spooky, horror themed world. The sound design was improved as well, making the simple act of turning a corner a nerve wrecking sensation. Never experiencing a dull moment throughout the entirety of not one, but two unique campaigns starring different characters, Resident Evil 2 is a relentless tour de force of haunting atmosphere and spine tingling scares.

#9: “Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness” (1995)

The original Warcraft helped popularize the RTS genre to a more widespread audience along with giving developer Blizzard their first bona fide hit. But once again, where the first installment broke new ground, it was the follow up that truly took advantage of the material. Warcraft 2 expanded on the ideas of smart resource management and careful strategic planning, encouraging players to efficiently build their armies and vanquish their foes to complete each mission. Additionally, when Blizzard launched their “battle.net” service, it breathed new life into what was an already thrilling game about conquest and domination, becoming a pioneer for online multiplayer and making Blizzard a force to be reckoned with in the gaming world.

#8: “Uncharted 2: Among Thieves” (2009)

The original Uncharted was a solid game, boasting beautiful graphics and introducing us to one of the most likeable video game protagonists in recent memory: Nathan Drake. Once the sequel rolled around two years later, developer Naughty Dog fired on all cylinders, unleashing this masterfully crafted action adventure that was unlike anything seen before. The exhilarating train sequence alone showed off an impressive technical achievement but the show doesn’t stop there. The story was an incredibly engaging, ‘Indiana Jones’ style romp as you traversed through a diverse set of environments and breathtaking set-pieces. The cherry on the cake was the addition of a multiplayer mode, creating a total package and ensuring that the game disc was kept snug inside everyone’s PS3 for quite some time.

#7: “Batman: Arkham City” (2011)

Gamers and critics alike didn’t expect much from Arkham Asylum, considering the typically mediocre quality of licensed video games. But wouldn’t you know it, it was a surprise hit and developer Rocksteady got to work to meet the rising expectations for a sequel. Oh boy, did they deliver. Arkham City was the ultimate “Batman Simulator”, allowing gamers to freely explore an open environment as they prowled rooftops and alleyways defending the denizens of Gotham from a slew of villains such as Penguin and Mr. Freeze. The dark knight is infamous for exclaiming his one liner: “I’m Batman” and now for the first time, we felt like we could say the same thing.

#6: “Silent Hill 2” (2001)

Poor James Sunderland is going through hell in this game, we really feel for the guy. But hey, we did get an awesome video game out of his suffering, right? This sequel benefitted from the added horsepower that the PlayStation 2 had over the original PlayStation, allowing the developers to create truly terrifying settings with the game’s eerie ambience and chilling atmosphere practically oozing off the screen. This isn’t even mentioning the introduction of the now iconic Pyramid Head character, who has since become one of gaming’s most memorable and scariest enemies. The journey through the town of Silent Hill is full of unforgettable twists and turns that lead up to an unforgettable climax. Silent Hill 2 is a nightmare worth experiencing.

#5: “Diablo II” (2000)

Well hello Blizzard, we meet again. After proving their prowess with the aforementioned Warcraft 2, the developer once again showed how much they can up the ante in a sequel with a return to their dungeon crawling world of Diablo. Diablo II was one of the most popular games back in the early 2000’s and still has a dedicated fan base to this day, we feel that speaks wonders about the game’s quality. The epic dark fantasy themes are the perfect backdrop for the action RPG gameplay, only further elevated by levels which were now procedurally generated, ensuring a consistent pace of always fresh surprises. A more robust item management system and more varied character classes only help sweeten the deal.

#4: “Street Fighter II” (1991-94)

While many of the sequels on this list were a substantial improvement on their predecessor, Street Fighter II left the original practically obsolete by comparison. The fast and furious gameplay was only heightened by a wide assortment of characters, all with their own set of skills and fighting styles, and the later rereleases with new fighters helped popularize the fighting game genre. If any more proof is needed of this game’s massive impact, Street Fighter II was such a big deal that it was considered to be a system seller for the Super Nintendo, yes, the same Super Nintendo that was already home to heavy hitters like Mario and Zelda. That’s saying something.

#3: “Portal 2” (2011)

The original Portal was a mere bonus on “The Orange Box” but ended up becoming a sleeper hit. Portal 2 builds upon the foundations of the original with an even bigger adventure and more complex puzzles to tackle. Alongside the already mind-boggling portal gun, Valve incorporated tractor beams, having to redirect deadly lasers and speed enhancing gels to create multistep scenarios that would push our problem-solving skills to their limits. Furthermore, the game’s hilarious script and witty one liners from Wheatley and GLADOS provide some good laughs and ensure that the experience never loses its momentum. Portal 2 also featured an equally challenging two-player co-op story mode, so in terms of bang for your buck, this one will keep you busy for quite some time.

#2: “Mass Effect 2” (2010)

Bioware planned out the Mass Effect series as a three-part trilogy from the get go. From that storytelling perspective, consider the first installment as just laying the groundwork; its with Mass Effect 2 where things really kick into high gear. The more dynamic gunplay ensured far more exciting battles than the previous installment and the beefy amount of added DLC provided gamers with side missions that were just as exhilarating as the main campaign. An even further improved graphics engine, rousing musical score and deeper characterization of the many heroes and villains made for one heck of a thrill ride and set the golden standard for what sci-fi action RPG’s should strive to be in the future.

Before we reveal our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions…

“Pokémon Gold/Silver” (2000)

“System Shock 2” (1999)

“Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy Kong’s Quest” (1995)

#1: “Half-Life 2” (2004)

Wake up Mr. Freeman…and realize what a damn fine video game you are a part of. Half-Life 2 checks off all the boxes for what a sequel should be: bigger, better and tweaked to be as close to perfection as they can come. Critics and gamers alike went absolutely bananas for the game’s impressive physics engine, crisp visuals and lifelike animations; all of which combined helped to craft some truly tense combat encounters and environmental based platforming and puzzle solving. Icing on the cake? Two words: Gravity. Gun. Half-Life 2 was such a monumental achievement that tech magazine “Maximum Gamer” broke the rules and gave it a score of eleven out of ten, sounds about right.
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