I assume most of you reading this have played at least a few video game sequels in your life and while you might have enjoyed them all, this week at Kotaku we want to know: What do you think is the best video game sequel of all time?
2023 is already being called one of the best years in the history of video games. Taking a look back at the last 11 months or so, it’s easy to see why this year has received so much praise. This is the year that gave us Alan Wake II, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Spider-Man 2, Baldur’s Gate 3, Super Mario Bros Wonder, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, Diablo IV, Street Fighter VI, and many more. But wait…notice something about all these great games of 2023? They’re all sequels.
Video game sequels are quite different than those of movies. Most film follow-ups tend to be lesser, inferior. Exceptions exist, sure, but usually when a movie has a “2” or a “3” slapped onto the end, you’re in for a lesser experience that won’t reach the heights of the original. But games are different. Plenty of the “Best Games Ever!” are sequels. This year alone has probably added a few game sequels that will go down as all-time greats.
There are a lot of possible reasons for this discrepancy, such as games being more focused on gameplay mechanics that can be tuned and improved, or that gaming is a younger medium which still has a lot to learn when it comes to storytelling and creating characters. Technology advances quickly, too, so sequels can leverage new tools and hardware to create experiences not possible even a few years prior, and featuring characters folks already know and love.
So, game sequels are often good. But today we ask: Which video game sequel is the best of the best?
Me? That’s easy: My favorite video game sequel is Half-Life 2. The number of hours I spent in that game, and then later all the time I spent in HL2 mods and community-made maps, is so large and embarrassing that I’ll never reveal it publicly. But it’s a lot. A LOT.