In many ways, video games are like movies. Publishers experimenting with new ideas and when they hit on a popular one, they milk it for all its worth. It’s why we see annual releases of popular titles like Call of Duty and why companies like Take-Two have so much riding on blockbusters like Grand Theft Auto.
Sequels are an important part of the video game industry as they provide a more certain level of return on investment than untried and untested titles that stem from completely original ideas.
But just like in Hollywood, some sequels are flops that fail to live up to the original (or even get released at all) while others are huge hits that can even overshadow their predecessor. Of this latter category, here are some of the greatest.
Grand Theft Auto Vice City
Grand Theft Auto III was already a sequel to the original 1997 game and it made some major strides forward. However, Vice City went even further, adding the ability to fly, ride motorbikes, and run a business empire.
Combine that with its killer 1980s soundtrack, bright Miami colours, and gripping storyline, and you have one of the greatest video game sequels ever.
There are thousands of video slot games available in online casinos today, covering just about every imaginable theme. One popular genre of slots is space, and the Reactoonz series is a leader in this genre.
Following the success of the original, players were treated to Reactoonz 2, a single payline slot with futuristic graphics.
Keeping with this classic approach, Dr. Toonz is the second sequel in the series, offering a similar RTP from its one payline. Players can watch in awe as the out-of-this-world symbols that adorn the six reels and four rows, including eight different aliens, spin in this extraterrestrial setting.
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
Today, the Call of Duty series is one of the most successful first-person shooters on the market. But when it was first released, there wasn’t much that set it apart from the crowd. The first three main releases were all based around the events of the 1940s but this meant that the creators were going to soon run out of content.
So they created CoD 4 and brought it into the 21st century. It resulted in the rebirth of the franchise, helping it to become one of the most successful gaming brands of all time.
Mario Kart Wii
Mario Kart is one of the most popular racing game series ever made, thanks to its inclusion in the Mario universe and the fact that it appeals to players of all kinds.
So, when Nintendo released the Wii console in 2006, it was only a matter of time before the Italian plumber and his pals would be racing on this new hardware. The Wii took the game to a new level, allowing players to use the Wiimote’s motion tracking to steer their karts instead of a traditional D-pad, leading to a more natural experience.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Counter-Strike is a video game series that started out as an indie-developed mod for Half-Life. Two talented players of Half-Life disliked the game’s multiplayer mode so put their heads together to create their own.
It was so successful that Valve, Half-Life’s developer, bought the rights to Counter-Strike and turned it into a stand-alone game.
The most successful title in this spin-off series is CS:GO, a game that continues to attract millions of players a decade after it was released thanks to a continual stream of updates.
RollerCoaster Tycoon 2
In 1999, Chris Sawyer released RollerCoaster Tycoon, a business simulation game where players were tasked with creating a successful theme park while channelling their creative energies to design exciting roller coasters.
Just a few years later, Sawyer released the first sequel in this series. RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 built on the successes of the first version to add new rides, tools, and challenges. Players could also create their own scenarios, making the game infinitely more fun.
Even today, with several newer releases in the franchise, RCT2 remains the most popular.
Mass Effect 2
Mass Effect first made it to the Xbox 360 in 2007, taking players to distance parts of the Milky Way in the year 2183 where humans are at risk of attack from the Reapers, an intelligent race of machines.
The creators always planned to create a sequel, but after the original game sold 1.5 million copies in less than three months and received hugely positive reviews from critics and players, a second release was a guarantee.
Mass Effect 2 is, arguably, the best game in the trilogy. It saw a string of major changes to the mechanics and made the third-person shooting element more exciting. The optional missions also got more attention from the developers, creating a more detailed and engaging storyline for players to immerse themselves in.
Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins
While we’ve talked about Mario already, his appearance in more than 100 video games means there were good odds of him showing up again.
Super Mario Land was one of the first games to be created for the first Game Boy. Nintendo developed it to show off the power of this tiny (for its time) gaming machine, essentially cramming in an entire platformer into a few kilobytes.
However, Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins took this to a whole new level with better graphics, distinct zones, and more varied gameplay.
Mini Metro was a hit puzzle game created by Dinosaur Polo Club in 2015 that challenges players to build efficient mass transit networks to help different shapes move around the map.
Sticking with the transport theme, Mini Motorways takes the same concept but adds a motor vehicle twist.
Players are challenged to help the cars get from the houses to the shopping malls through a series of interconnected roads. Things get a bit out of hand after a while though, with the road network becoming overwhelmed.
Fortnite Battle Royale
Today, Fortnite Battle Royale is typically just known as Fortnite. However, it’s actually a sequel to a game titled Fortnite: Save the World.
Created by Epic Games in 2017, Save the World is a cop-op defensive survival game where players are forced to defend their base from zombies.
But following the success of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds in late 2017, Epic Games switched focus for Fornite to make it a battle royale style shooting game, hence the creation of this sequel.
Today, Fornite has become one of the most played games in the world and has begun to morph into an entire platform for everything from gaming to watching concerts.