10 Best Video Game Sequels, According To Ranker

10 Best Video Game Sequels, According To Ranker

There are few games with more excitement behind them than Marvel’s Spider-Man 2. Given how fantastic the first game was — thanks to a dynamic combat system, a fully fleshed-out New York City, and engaging villains — it seems like the sequel will be bringing everything fans are looking for and more.

If it does manage to exceed the expectations of fans, it would be a miracle. Yet, it wouldn’t be the first game to do it. As some fans have been discussing on Ranker, there have been many sequel games that managed to take everything good about their predecessors and still somehow improved them. Spider-Man 2 would have a lot to live up to, of course, because those games happen to be some of the greatest sequels of all time.

Note: Ranker lists are live and continue to accrue votes, so some rankings may have changed after this publishing.


10 Silent Hill 2

James Sutherland in an empty room in Silent Hill 2

When Silent Hill 2 was released in 2001, there weren’t many horror games available. The game was a smash hit that introduced many critics and fans to the idea that games could be more than just shooters and RPGs — they could also be artistic stories with defined beginnings and endings.

The game also managed to encourage replayability, despite the difficulty horror games often have, thanks to repetition decreasing suspense. But with six different endings, it’s incredibly rewarding to replay in the hopes of seeing one of the other potentially canon endings to the narrative.

9 Halo 2

The game that turned Halo into a true franchise and helped push it towards becoming the juggernaut it is today, Halo 2 absolutely deserves the acclaim it’s received through the years. After the Covenant lands on Earth in one of the best Halo missions of all time, every moment of the game feels as if it has incredibly high and pressing stakes.

Even the choice of protagonists was compelling. Stepping into the shoes of the Arbiter made the game feel fresh and unique, as opposed to a standard reskin of the original Halo. Few moments are more shocking in the series than opening the game to find that the main character is not Master Chief alone, but also a member of the Convenant.

8 Resident Evil 2

Gameplay from the remake of Resident Evil 2.

One of the scariest games of the 1990s, Resident Evil 2 is a standard zombie survival game today, but there’s a reason for that. As one of the first games to offer branching paths and storylines in a zombie series, it helped to provide the template that decades of games would be built on.

The game was incredibly replayable, as actions taken in the first playthrough played a role in subsequent versions of events. It made every choice feel harrowing as, once it was made, there was no going back. In that way, stakes were as high for the players as it was for the characters, which is always where suspenseful games should want to be.

7 Half-Life 2

Half-Life 2 Ravenholm acid zombie

A game that spawned a million and one Half-Life 3 memes and half of the fully released mod games on Steam, Half-Life 2 took everything that fans loved about the first game and added a dozen more. Puzzles taking full advantage of the game’s then-new engine made the environment feel versatile and fully interactive.

If video games are beloved because they allow players to control their own destinies through a narrative, a game that involves unprecedented control over the map certainly provides that control. The game also rarely breaks immersion with cut-scenes, as players are able to just slowly move throughout the game and learn backstory from other characters or from the environment.

6 Portal 2

Portal 2 Key Art

More puzzles, more features, and more story than the preceding game offered, Portal 2 has proven to be one of the best puzzle games of all time. Dynamic portal systems that follow clear and objective rules made each puzzle less of a slog and more of a brain teaser.

With new and entertaining characters like Wheatley, the game also adds humor to help keep settings from getting stale. The game also has clear conflict and an excellent antagonist that makes it feel less like a preset narrative and more like a tense match of wits between AI all around. Besides, it also has a great ending song that really sets the tone.

5 Batman: Arkham City

While it isn’t always the easiest thing to turn Gotham City into an interactive and realistic setting. It’s even harder to take a man who dresses like a bat seriously for hours at a time. One of the things Batman: Arkham City did perfectly is taking the whole of the Batman mythos and condensing it into a game.

By introducing some of the best Batman side characters, like Robin, Nightwing, and Barbara Gordon, the game manages to include many elements that even his movies fail to honor. It makes the game feel like a true love letter to the franchise, even as Batman is soaring across the city to punch his villains in the face.

4 Assassin’s Creed 2

Assassin's Creed 2 Showed Ubisoft's Problems First With Its Bloated Open World And Repetitive Mission Structure

The game that introduced Ezio Auditore da Firenze, Assassin’s Creed 2 presented a much more personable protagonist than the first game did. Unlike the unstoppable Altaïr, Ezio often made considerable mistakes, making him more realistic and considerably more palpable as a character.

Assassin’s Creed 2 also introduced new mechanics like disarming, armor, and even boats the users could control. Players were also given the chance to explore all across Italy, while furthering the game’s narrative, making it an incredibly large world — especially for the time. Besides all that, the game also manages to further Desmond’s plot, which seemed to be building to something incredible.

3 Mass Effect 2

Shepard fighting with Soldier build in Mass Effect 2

Few games have ever taken actions in preceding games as seriously as Mass Effect 2. For players who were concerned that their actions would be ignored, it quickly became clear that the branching paths of Mass Effect 2 fully allowed for previous saves to make a huge difference in the game.

The varying weapons in Mass Effect also helped advance that combat never stagnated, as players were encouraged to try out new arms along the way. Side missions also felt more important than ever, as players were encouraged to explore them along with the main story. To make matters even better, it felt like a practical guarantee that actions in the game would carry on to Mass Effect 3, making every step even more suspenseful.

2 Uncharted: Among Thieves

Uncharted 2 Among Thieves

One of the more popular adventure games of all time, Uncharted was practically guaranteed to earn a sequel. So, when the second game came around, the fact that the game managed to be even better proved that it was a smashing success.

The game took everything great from its predecessor and managed to add a multiplayer mode, fantastic cut scenes, and out-of-this-world settings that made Nathan Drake feel like a true action hero. The acting and art in the game were also incredible, thanks to technological developments (like motion-capture suits) that helped to translate each actor’s performances right into the in-game reality.

1 Red Dead Redemption 2

Rockstar never misses, and they certainly didn’t with Red Dead Redemption 2. A much more down-to-Earth game than Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto series, Red Dead draws inspiration from Western films while depicting a tragic and heartbreaking story of an outlaw trying to make it in a world he can no longer quite fit in.

The game is a fully open-world experience, letting players explore all across the map on foot or by horseback. The game also offers a multiplayer mode, incredible voice acting, and a story that took Red Dead fans by storm and turned Arthur Morgan into a household name. But it’s the fact that the game lets Morgan’s fate vary so much, based on player decisions, that makes the game so replayable, while also remaining tense all the while.

Next: The 10 Saddest Things About Arthur Morgan

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About The Author

Lukas Shayo
(108 Articles Published)

Lukas is a recent graduate of the Macaulay Honors College in New York City. A lover of somewhat obscure Marvel comics, Lukas is also a fan of books, films, and TV shows, and writes most of his articles with a cat on his shoulder.

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