5 great games that deserved a sequel

5 great games that deserved a sequel

author image Wahid Sami |

June 10, 2024 at 7:00 PM BST

The gaming world is awash with sequels, often milking successful franchises for all they are worth. But sometimes, truly amazing games stand alone, leaving a void in the hearts of players who crave more. Here, we explore some of the best video games that never received the sequels they rightfully deserved.

L.A. Noire (2011)

L.A. Noire is a critically acclaimed neo-noir crime game featuring gripping narratives and interconnected cases. Players take control of detective Cole Phelps, a war hero, rising through the ranks of L.A.P.D in 1947 Los Angeles. As Phelps develops his investigations, he uncovers a web of corruption, deceit, and personal struggles within the city and his own life.

Although the game was a wowing success in its heyday, its gruelling 7-year development period was laden with countless delays, numerous staff complaints, and a change in platform and publisher. These would come back to haunt them as producers Team Bondi went into liquidation just 5 months after the game’s release, putting the whole project in jeopardy. That’s why even after selling 7 Million copies and winning every single accolade under the sun, L.A. Noire still awaits a real sequel.

Vanquish (2010)

Vanquish is a fantastic action packed third-person shooter directed by Resident Evil creator and horror-fiction icon, Shinji Mikami, developed by Platinum Games, and published by SEGA.

The epic futuristic shooter was a bombastic display of eye-popping visuals and exhilarating action. It was packed to the brim with style, combining all the right elements from various other action games and movies. Unsurprisingly, its release was met with a horde of gold stars for its fast-paced action and stylish presentation among other factors.

However, the game did not perform well commercially despite being a critical darling. Its sales paled in comparison to Resident Evil 4 or Platinum's other flagship title, Bayonetta. This might be why SEGA never considered investing in a sequel. While there's always a chance for a Vanquish Part 2 in the future, the current circumstances make it unlikely.

Sleeping Dogs (2012)

Starting off as a true crime sequel, United Fronts project was reworked into a spiritual successor called Sleeping Dogs. Though GTA copycats are a dime a dozen, this Hong Kong based crime saga is anything but a cheap imitation. In fact, in certain ways Sleeping Dogs surpasses Rockstar North’s defining brand.

The gameplay moved at a steady pace giving characters plenty of time to be fleshed out. The slow-motion shootouts and Arkham Asylum inspired combat is so dynamic, GTA’s action pales in comparison.

However, upon its release, the odds were not in Sleeping Dogs’ favour since it was a new IP and was in direct competition with the likes of Borderlands, Far Cry, and Fifa. Although the game sold an impressive 1.75 Million copies, it was still regarded as a failure by Square Enix as they had hoped for a larger sales figure.

Bloodborne (2015)

Bloodborne, although distinctly unique in comparison to From Software’s other brutally hard games, never got a sequel in the nine years since its release. It wasn't a commercial failure in any way, selling over 7.4 million copies as of 2023. On the contrary, the game was praised for its gothic-victorian setting of Yharnam, and the Lovecraftian themed monsters that made it one of the developers most unique creations.

A big reason Bloodborne may not have been poised for a sequel is the director Hidetaka Miyazaki himself. In the past, Miyazaki has expressed a preference for creating new experiences rather than direct sequels. He enjoys exploring new worlds and mechanics, and feels that sequels can be creatively limiting.

Secondly, legal barriers also exist as a a sequel would require collaboration and agreement between both Sony Interactive Entertainment and FromSoftware. So while a direct sequel may not be in the cards, at least Bloodborne's legacy continues to inspire and influence the gaming world even today.

Bully (2006)

Bully, released in 2006, received generally positive reviews in its day, with praise for its unique and controversial premise. The game's focus on playing as a high school bully may have turned a few heads and raised a few eyebrows, but it still offered a different perspective on school life and teenage dynamics.

But while the open world nature of the game offered variety, some repetitive elements could be found in missions and activities. The game's portrayal of bullying and violence also sparked debates about its potential impact on young players. Coupled with Rockstar’s shift in focus to other major franchises like Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption, these might be why the story of Jimmy Hopkins was never expanded.

These are just a few examples of the many great games that never received sequels. While the reasons for this vary, it's a reminder that sometimes, a single, well-crafted experience can be more impactful than a series of continuations. These "lost gems" continue to be cherished by fans, serving as a testament to the power of a well-told story and innovative gameplay.