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Top 5 Worst Sequels to a Video Game

Posted by SolidJake, 06 February 2012 · 130 views

We've all been there. Waiting in eager anticipation for the next installment of our favorite series to be released. It's been teased for years, shown off at multiple E3's, and graced the covers of every video game magazine there is. It's the midnight opening, we rush to our local Gamestop and wait with all of the other sweaty fans panting and raving about how epic this game is going to be. We finally receive our copy from the drone behind the counter and rush home. We put the game in, and after the first hour of playing, we hate it.

I want to look back at the top five most disappointing sequels to great
franchises:

5) Fable III

Posted Image
Source: G4TV

The original Fable was released in September of 2004 on Microsoft's home console the Xbox. It was critically acclaimed for being a unique third person role playing experience brought to life on a console. It received an 85 on Metacritic which is an impressive score that it has held over the years. When the second Fable was released, it was improved upon in several areas.

X-Play actually awarded Fable II it's game of the year in 2008. The Metacritic score for Fable II improved over it's former scoring an 85. Now that we had played the first two in the series, we were beginning to get really excited for the third installment. Lionhead studios, (mainly Peter Molyneux) promised us huge things. Most of them never saw the light of day.

According to Molyneux, the game was to have an online auction house were players could gather and create weapons to sell via Xbox Live. Of course, it was for gold, rather than real money, but the concept was very interesting to gamers. When the game came closer to seeing the light of day, Molyneux said that this feature was going to be removed because of time restraints.

Players were disappointed, but the series still had room to improve, so it was looked over. Personally I was excited to see how they would improve upon the multiplayer, hopefully adding a better co op mechanic then just joining each others game was a ghost person without getting to keep any of your original items. Sadly, they kept the same mechanics for multiplayer and it still fell short of a great experience. Metacritic's score for Fable III sits at an 80, while not bad, but still the worst score in the series so far other than The Lost Chapters. If Molyneux would learn to stop making empty promises, his games may be received better.

4) Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

Posted Image
Source: Nintendo.com

The original Zelda released on the NES on July 1st in 1987. It blew gamers away with it's open world and expansive environments. The player had to solve puzzles and make their way through several dungeons to finally face the Evil Ganon. It was an amazing game with several different action adventure game elements that really set the genre in motion. It was a huge success for Nintendo in obvious need of a sequel. This is where things got bad.

Nintendo was having massive success with their NES console. The most popular games at the time were side scrollers, which the first Zelda was not. With the release of the second game, the big N decided they were going to experiment with how the game would feel, look, and play. What we got was Zelda II: The Adventure of Link.

Zelda II released on December 1st, 1988. This was less than one year after the first game. From the very beginning, players were extremely confused. Zelda was asleep, what appeared to be for a very long time, and Link didn't have any of his original equipment other than his sword. Who is this Zelda? Hell, who is this Link?! Nobody knew.

The gameplay was drastically different. When you entered the overworld, random fights would occur similar to that of Final Fantasy. The side scrolling action was awkward, to say the least. The townspeople made no sense and even outright lied at times, sending you in complete opposite directions, and of course the infamous citizen who could only muster up the incredibly useful phrase, "I am error". All these things really made Zelda II a disappointment, and it is easily one of my least favorite in the series.

3) Super Mario Brothers 2

Posted Image
Source: Nintendo World

...just look at the picture. What in the Shaq-Fu am I looking at?! This is not the Mario that I know and love. It's barely even playable let alone up to the standards of a Mario game! Let's take a quick second here to figure out just what the hell happened to the beloved Nintendo Franchise and mascot.

The original Super Mario Brothers was released on September 13th, 1985. For over 26 years it was the highest selling game of all time, until it was taken down by the Modern Warfare series, but I don't even want to talk about that. Anyways! It was an instant classic, everyone and their mother played Mario. Nintendo had to prepare for a sequel, and they knew it had to be great.

So they began work on the next entry into the series. When they completed Super Mario Brothers 2, it was released in Japan first. After seeing the audience reactions there, and hearing feedback from play testers, they ultimately decided that SMB2 was too difficult for American audiences, setting into motion a shitty ripoff that we all assumed was SMB2, we were far from wrong.

They decided at the last minute to just slap Mario skins on the game Doki Doki Panic and released it in the states at Super Mario Brothers 2. We were all essentially tricked into thinking this was the real sequel to the game. I'm not sure how people would have felt about it if everyone knew the truth. It would have certainly explained the terribleness that was Super Mario Brothers 2. This and Super Mario Sunshine are my least favorite games in the series, simply because they stray so far away from what makes Mario great.

2) Sonic 2006

Posted Image
Source: QJ.net

Not only is this one of the worst sequels of all time, but it's one of the worst games of all time. I'm a huge fan of the Sonic series, and I picked up this game when I first bought a PS3 and I've never been more pissed off at myself. This piece of shit needs to be buried out in the New Mexico desert with E.T., it needs to be removed from gaming history, it needs to be rocketed to Mars never to be seen again.

I don't have much to say about the history because just looking at this screenshot pisses me off to my very core. The game tried to go for a cinematic experience with cutscenes that looked oddly similar to Final Fantasy. Oh, and by the way, the HUMAN female protagonist is the love interest of Sonic, who I feel like I should remind you is a FUCKING HEDGEHOG. I don't even want to talk about this game anymore. It's flawed controls, stupid story, and terrible voice acting earned it's spot right in video game hell. Only to be trumped by our final entry...

1) Duke Nukem: Forever

Posted Image
Source: G4TV

That's right Duke, crack those knuckles. Get pumped up! Lift some weights! and then proceed to turn around and kick the shit out of yourself because you are so god awful that my eyes hurt from playing you. This is by far the most disappointing sequel I have ever taken part in. It's the biggest piece of shit on the planet, it's almost taken a spot above Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. It's that awful.

This game was in the making for over a decade. Everyone kept waiting and waiting and eventually it's release was played off as a joke, it was never going to come out, we had accepted that. Then they had to go and shit all over that idea and tease the game at PAX 2010 and allow gamers to play it for themselves to prove it was still in the making. Just let it die, Randy Pitchford, JUST LET IT DIE.

But he didn't, he decided to take his crew at Gearbox, hand them a piece of shit, and allow them to uh...finish it? I don't know what the hell they had to work with, but sweet god did this game come straight out of the PS2 era. The graphics are so bad it makes Deadly Premonition look like Uncharted. Did they start from scratch on this game, or just continue it straight from the PS1?

I mean shit, these are the same guys who made Borderlands. BORDERLANDS! That game was fucking fantastic, so what the hell happened here? Duke Nukem is so incredibly boring and it NEVER FUCKING ENDS. Ever! It stretches on and on and on. I'll admit, I thought the game's sex jokes and little innuendos would make up for these dull sequences. Well, I was far from wrong, even the jokes were terrible.

Overall, Duke Nukem just needs to be forgotten. It should have stayed dead, and the team at Gearbox are better than this. They have proved that with Borderlands and all of it's expansions, minus the arena, but we won't dwell on that. The next time a game is in development for 12 years, and the name Blizzard isn't in the equation, let that dead horse be.

Now that I've told you my top five worst sequels, what are yours?




We've all been there. Waiting in eager anticipation for the next installment of our favorite series to be released. It's been teased for years, shown off at multiple E3's, and graced the covers of every video game magazine there is. It's the midnight opening, we rush to our local Gamestop and wait with all of the other sweaty fans panting and raving about how epic this game is going to be. We finally receive our copy from the drone behind the counter and rush home. We put the game in, and after the first hour of playing, we hate it.

I want to look back at the top five most disappointing sequels to great
franchises:

5) Fable III

Posted Image
Source: G4TV

The original Fable was released in September of 2004 on Microsoft's home console the Xbox. It was critically acclaimed for being a unique third person role playing experience brought to life on a console. It received an 85 on Metacritic which is an impressive score that it has held over the years. When the second Fable was released, it was improved upon in several areas.

X-Play actually awarded Fable II it's game of the year in 2008. The Metacritic score for Fable II improved over it's former scoring an 85. Now that we had played the first two in the series, we were beginning to get really excited for the third installment. Lionhead studios, (mainly Peter Molyneux) promised us huge things. Most of them never saw the light of day.

According to Molyneux, the game was to have an online auction house were players could gather and create weapons to sell via Xbox Live. Of course, it was for gold, rather than real money, but the concept was very interesting to gamers. When the game came closer to seeing the light of day, Molyneux said that this feature was going to be removed because of time restraints.

Players were disappointed, but the series still had room to improve, so it was looked over. Personally I was excited to see how they would improve upon the multiplayer, hopefully adding a better co op mechanic then just joining each others game was a ghost person without getting to keep any of your original items. Sadly, they kept the same mechanics for multiplayer and it still fell short of a great experience. Metacritic's score for Fable III sits at an 80, while not bad, but still the worst score in the series so far other than The Lost Chapters. If Molyneux would learn to stop making empty promises, his games may be received better.

4) Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

Posted Image
Source: Nintendo.com

The original Zelda released on the NES on July 1st in 1987. It blew gamers away with it's open world and expansive environments. The player had to solve puzzles and make their way through several dungeons to finally face the Evil Ganon. It was an amazing game with several different action adventure game elements that really set the genre in motion. It was a huge success for Nintendo in obvious need of a sequel. This is where things got bad.

Nintendo was having massive success with their NES console. The most popular games at the time were side scrollers, which the first Zelda was not. With the release of the second game, the big N decided they were going to experiment with how the game would feel, look, and play. What we got was Zelda II: The Adventure of Link.

Zelda II released on December 1st, 1988. This was less than one year after the first game. From the very beginning, players were extremely confused. Zelda was asleep, what appeared to be for a very long time, and Link didn't have any of his original equipment other than his sword. Who is this Zelda? Hell, who is this Link?! Nobody knew.

The gameplay was drastically different. When you entered the overworld, random fights would occur similar to that of Final Fantasy. The side scrolling action was awkward, to say the least. The townspeople made no sense and even outright lied at times, sending you in complete opposite directions, and of course the infamous citizen who could only muster up the incredibly useful phrase, "I am error". All these things really made Zelda II a disappointment, and it is easily one of my least favorite in the series.

3) Super Mario Brothers 2

Posted Image
Source: Nintendo World

...just look at the picture. What in the Shaq-Fu am I looking at?! This is not the Mario that I know and love. It's barely even playable let alone up to the standards of a Mario game! Let's take a quick second here to figure out just what the hell happened to the beloved Nintendo Franchise and mascot.

The original Super Mario Brothers was released on September 13th, 1985. For over 26 years it was the highest selling game of all time, until it was taken down by the Modern Warfare series, but I don't even want to talk about that. Anyways! It was an instant classic, everyone and their mother played Mario. Nintendo had to prepare for a sequel, and they knew it had to be great.

So they began work on the next entry into the series. When they completed Super Mario Brothers 2, it was released in Japan first. After seeing the audience reactions there, and hearing feedback from play testers, they ultimately decided that SMB2 was too difficult for American audiences, setting into motion a shitty ripoff that we all assumed was SMB2, we were far from wrong.

They decided at the last minute to just slap Mario skins on the game Doki Doki Panic and released it in the states at Super Mario Brothers 2. We were all essentially tricked into thinking this was the real sequel to the game. I'm not sure how people would have felt about it if everyone knew the truth. It would have certainly explained the terribleness that was Super Mario Brothers 2. This and Super Mario Sunshine are my least favorite games in the series, simply because they stray so far away from what makes Mario great.

2) Sonic 2006

Posted Image
Source: QJ.net

Not only is this one of the worst sequels of all time, but it's one of the worst games of all time. I'm a huge fan of the Sonic series, and I picked up this game when I first bought a PS3 and I've never been more pissed off at myself. This piece of shit needs to be buried out in the New Mexico desert with E.T., it needs to be removed from gaming history, it needs to be rocketed to Mars never to be seen again.

I don't have much to say about the history because just looking at this screenshot pisses me off to my very core. The game tried to go for a cinematic experience with cutscenes that looked oddly similar to Final Fantasy. Oh, and by the way, the HUMAN female protagonist is the love interest of Sonic, who I feel like I should remind you is a FUCKING HEDGEHOG. I don't even want to talk about this game anymore. It's flawed controls, stupid story, and terrible voice acting earned it's spot right in video game hell. Only to be trumped by our final entry...

1) Duke Nukem: Forever

Posted Image
Source: G4TV

That's right Duke, crack those knuckles. Get pumped up! Lift some weights! and then proceed to turn around and kick the shit out of yourself because you are so god awful that my eyes hurt from playing you. This is by far the most disappointing sequel I have ever taken part in. It's the biggest piece of shit on the planet, it's almost taken a spot above Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. It's that awful.

This game was in the making for over a decade. Everyone kept waiting and waiting and eventually it's release was played off as a joke, it was never going to come out, we had accepted that. Then they had to go and shit all over that idea and tease the game at PAX 2010 and allow gamers to play it for themselves to prove it was still in the making. Just let it die, Randy Pitchford, JUST LET IT DIE.

But he didn't, he decided to take his crew at Gearbox, hand them a piece of shit, and allow them to uh...finish it? I don't know what the hell they had to work with, but sweet god did this game come straight out of the PS2 era. The graphics are so bad it makes Deadly Premonition look like Uncharted. Did they start from scratch on this game, or just continue it straight from the PS1?

I mean shit, these are the same guys who made Borderlands. BORDERLANDS! That game was fucking fantastic, so what the hell happened here? Duke Nukem is so incredibly boring and it NEVER FUCKING ENDS. Ever! It stretches on and on and on. I'll admit, I thought the game's sex jokes and little innuendos would make up for these dull sequences. Well, I was far from wrong, even the jokes were terrible.

Overall, Duke Nukem just needs to be forgotten. It should have stayed dead, and the team at Gearbox are better than this. They have proved that with Borderlands and all of it's expansions, minus the arena, but we won't dwell on that. The next time a game is in development for 12 years, and the name Blizzard isn't in the equation, let that dead horse be.

Now that I've told you my top five worst sequels, what are yours?
1. Duke Nukem Forever
2. Yoshi's Story
3. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chaos Bleeds
4. Manhunt 2
5. The Incredible Hulk (2008)

Dishonorable mentions: Guitar Hero: World Tour, Gears of War 2, Assassin's Creed: Revelations, Perfect Dark Zero, Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow, Halo 2 , Resident Evil 5, Syphon Filter: Omega Strain, Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex, Jak & Daxter: The Lost Frontier, All Sonic games after Sonic & Knuckles, Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee, & Deus Ex: Invisible War.
The first two that popped into my head were Jak II, the sequel to Jak and Daxter, and Prince of Persia: Warrior Within, the follow-up to PoP: Sands of Time. Not terrible games per se, just games that went in an unwanted (at least by me) different direction from their predecessors. Both of those sequels tried to be darker and "edgier", and both killed my interest in the two series, after I had loved the originals.

Oh, just thought of another one- Toejam and Earl in Panic on Funkotron. Ugh. What a letdown. I would still happily play the original TJ&E today, but I put the sequel down after a couple hours and never went back.
Darn shame about Fable III not living up to its original expectations and promsies. Nevertheless, it was definitely an enjoyable experience for me. As for that "Super Mario Brothers 2", it was actually one of my favorites in the series. I was kinda shocked later on when I found out about it, but it was absurdly fun.
Zelda II & Super Mario Bros. 2 are classics. I simply don't get the hate for these games.

As for truly terrible sequels, I'll second Prince of Persia: Warrior Within. I couldn't bring myself to finish the game the first time I played it on the Gamecube, but I decided to give it another chance with the HD remake. That is a bad game. I hated the characters and the emphasis on the bland combat over the acrobatic platforming, and you have to backtrack way too much in that game.

Devil May Cry 2 was a huge disappointment, though not technically a terrible game. It just kind of felt like one.

Clock Tower 2 (though it's the third game in the series) on the PS1 was almost unplayable.
Soul Calibur 5. Feels like it was rushed out the door. Weak single player, extremely limited extras and modes especially compared to previous games. Certain character styles like Talim & Zasalamel were completely axed(no pun inteded). Story mode was laughably bad and amatuer.
I'm also surprised that Zelda II and SMB 2 keep getting crapped on so much. I loved both of those games. I really enjoyed the RPGish elements and liked the variety of characters in SMB 2.

My most disappointing sequel is every new Madden that comes out. Charging $60 every year for roster updates and minor tweaks in gameplay is robbery.
Loved Zelda 2 and SMB 2 (would love it without the Mario Skin as well).

Fable 3 is more of the same and DNF is only disappointing because everyone had way too high hopes for it in my opinion.

Worst Sequels.
Madden 2006 (first one on 360) Was a F'n Awful POS.

GTA San Andreas (VC was perfect, SA decided to shit on it all.) I could also Include GTA IV here instead of SA as it was a true "sequel" and just boring as all shit.

Star Wars The Force Unleashed 2

Marvel vs Capcom 3

Tekken 6
No mention of Dragon Age II? Really? Plus it feels like every Sonic game that's mostly in 3rd person and not just a pure side scroller is disappointing. Otherwise some others I can think of include Dead Rising 2 since outside of the weapon building and co-op it was the same game as the first, but with problems that are more evident in this day and age.

Def Jam: Icon. First game was a fun wrestling game, second became something more original and awesome. The third was just clunky with an awkward DJ environmental control tossed in.

Final Fantasy XIII. Outside of the graphics and battle system, WHAT HAPPENED? I Wish I could be a fly on the wall when they were literally tossing ideas (or tossing out). It's not an awful game, it's just the characters, story and the feeling that you're just literally going through the motions and restricted so much was aggravating.

GTA IV. Just didn't feel like as big a leap forward as it was cracked out to be in my head. It just felt like every other PS2 GTA game except with better graphics and animation, otherwise nothing about it wow'd me.

Jet Set Radio Future. The level design was just terrible. TERRIBLE! Overwhelmingly disappointing.

Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. The 3D MK games have always been clunky, but this one was SUPER clunky and it just felt like a bad imitation of a Mortal Kombat game.

Super Paper Mario. Tacked on Wii controls ruined this game. RUINED!

Perfect Dark Zero. Rare without Nintendo and...yeah.

Soul Calibur III and onward. Mostly because it kinda just felt like it was getting cheaper and cheaper and they literally have no idea how to make Ivy's playstyle. DRIVES ME INSANE!

Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Online is just atrocious and just lacked the fun in the last two.
As a couple other people already said, SMB2 and Zelda 2 are both awesome games. Yes, they were BIG departures from their predecessors, but they were both still amazing.
Devil May Cry 2 always comes to mind, and I was personally very disappointed with Metroid Prime 2.
Phantasy Star Online Episode III: C.A.R.D. Revolution

After playing the hell out of Phantasy Star Online Episodes I & II, one of my favorite games I've ever played... I bought the sequel day one at full price.

What. The. Fuck.

Two others off the top of my head:

Super Smash Bros Brawl - Big letdown from me coming from SSB:Melee.

Resident Evil 5 - Was not impressed after loving the shit out of RE:4. I really didn't like the forced co-op, it took out most of the tension from the game.
Devil May Cry 2 is the worst sequel of all time.
All the Final Fantasy games after the SNES.

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Here is a revised list:

1. Socom 4
2. Socom 4
3. Socom 4
4. Socom 4
5. Socom 4
Guitar Hero: World Tour, and every one after that (if it weren't for the Tool songs, I'd have burned my copy of WT).
GTA IV.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 and every one after it besides Underground 1.
Halo 3: ODST.
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask.
I also have to say I really liked Zelda 2.

Gran Turismo 4 was a big letdown to me. And I'll throw in votes for Brawl, Super Paper Mario, and FFX-2.
It's not a concidence that SMB3 looks & plays alot like SMB2 (US version) Nintendo clearly realized that the US version was a better game & not the Japanese version which was essentially SMB 1.5