Many video game franchises have had a long legacy across gaming history. These series have often had humble beginnings and eventually became some of the most well-known IPs.
This has resulted in titles with expansive lore and background. However, many iconic modern franchises have had prequel entries that don't get as much attention as the franchise itself.
These games add further depth to their respective series' chronology and expand their universes, much to fans' pleasure. Here are five prequel games that not many people talk about.
These games were well received but live in the shadow of their older siblings
1) Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars
Released in 2008 for the PS3, Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars (or SARPBC) is football with RC cars. Players are pitted in arenas against physics-driven skirmishes where players seek to chuck the ball into the opposition's goal.
Sounds familiar? Because it is indeed the predecessor to the super-popular Rocket League. 2015's iconic multiplayer was not Psyonix's first try as it translates over the fundamentals of the PS3-exclusive to a modern successor.
They're both functionally similar games with the same mechanics and floppy physics. But the newer entry improves upon every aspect, including game modes, fluidity, maps, etc. At this point, SARPBC is a novelty at best, a relic of Rocket League and developer Psyonix's mark on the gaming world.
However, Rocket league owes much of its success to its predecessor.
2) Uncharted Golden Abyss
Sony's PS Vita is their least popular PlayStation system, but that didn't stop it from getting some great titles that went overlooked as a whole. Cue Uncharted: Golden Abyss, a launch title for the Vita in 2011. It is also a prequel to the popular action-adventure series Uncharted, which debuted on the PS3 in 2007.
Fan-favorite protagonist and treasure hunter Nathan Drake is back again. This time he's searching for the lost city of Quivira, said to be home to many uncharted ruins and mysteries. Gameplay is pretty much, as expected, a third-person shooter driven by set pieces.
Nathan will run and take cover through lush locales and take down enemies with various weapons. Of course, there are the signature platforming, stealth, and narrative-heavy moments too. Bend Studio indeed succeeded in bringing Uncharted to a portable format.
3) Chronos: Before the Ashes
Gunfire Games brought their Darksiders 3 expertise to 2019's Remnant from the Ashes. The Soulslike third-person shooter was met with a good reception, so much so that it warranted a prequel that further explains the lore.
Called Chronos: Before the Ashes, it takes a step in a different direction while keeping things familiar. The sequel leans towards a post-apocalyptic setting with a rapidly spreading invasion of deadly interdimensional creatures. However, Chronos aims towards more traditional fantasy.
Armed with a sword and shield, a young boy sets out on a journey to defeat an evil dragon threatening the world. It makes up for this lackluster premise with a unique death system; every time the player dies, they will age - which will affect stats and character progression.
The gameplay is similar to Remnant because it is a Soulslike, so parrying and memorizing enemy patterns are key here. While its VR roots may contribute to some flaws, like bland level design, it's still a decent pick for fans of the sequel.
4) Gears Tactics
What happens when you combine XCOM with Gears 5? You get Gears Tactics. The frantic, action-packed gameplay takes a back seat in a first for the popular third-person shooter series. In its place, developers The Coalition and Splash Damage have employed a tactical turn-based system. The game takes place 12 years before the original Gears of War.
Players control Gabriel Diaz, father to Gears 5's Kate Diaz. He and his team come across and had to eradicate the source of the Locust invasion: the evil scientist Ukkon. The game marries together the style and aesthetics of Gears 5 with deep gameplay expected from a more-than-competent SRPG.
Players can access various classes and weapons necessary to take down the Locust forces and fight across different tightly designed maps. No rushing headlong into this battle.
5) Ys Origin
Japanese developer Nihon Falcom may have a small fanbase, but it's also very loyal. That's how the studio managed to make several entries in franchises like The Legend of Heroes and Ys (pronounced Yees). As far as the latter is concerned, Ys Origins is where it all began - 700 years before Ys 1.
The initially PC exclusive dungeon crawler is set in the titular land of Ys, where two goddesses reigned supreme. But when demonic forces cause unprecedented terror across the region, they go into hiding among the mortals.
A handful of soldiers are tasked with seeking out these deities. This leads players through tower dungeons packed with enemies to fight in hectic, action-packed combat. It is a simple but well-executed premise. Fans looking for an addictive RPG brawler should pick this one up.