Top 5 video game sequels that exceeded all expectations

Video game sequels that surprised the gaming community (Image via Batman: Arkham City and Half-Life 2)
Video game sequels that surprised the gaming community (Image via Batman: Arkham City and Half-Life 2)

Companies usually announce a video game sequel within two years of the release of a successful title. But even though there are countless examples of video game sequels that come off as being no more than a cash grab at best, some games do improve on their predecessors considerably.

Poster of Mass Effect 2 (Image via EA)
Poster of Mass Effect 2 (Image via EA)

A video game sequel with a good story and better gameplay mechanics that complement the original game can breathe new life into the franchise and keep it around for a long time.

In this article, we look at the top five video game sequels of all time.

Note: Opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the writer.


5 video game sequels which were better than expected

5) Batman: Arkham City

Rocksteady Studios decided to release Batman: Arkham City just two years after Arkham Asylum, but it managed to improve on every aspect of the previous game and then some.

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With improved gameplay mechanics and shinier graphics, Arkham City built on Asylum's dark atmosphere with some of the best sound designs in video games.

Batman: Arkham Asylum was more faithful to the source, unlike its sequel, but the latter made up for it by being one of the best games in the franchise.


4) Mass Effect 2

Like Batman: Arkham City, Mass Effect 2 also focused heavily on the gameplay rather than the story of its predecessor. Even though both Mass Effect games are from the same universe, they feel distanced from each other, with different tones and stories.

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The first game served as a strong introduction to the Mass Effect franchise, and even though we got to see only a few familiar faces in the sequel, the latter made up for it by adding a dozen new characters who introduced new missions and quests in the game. Mass Effect 2 was more action-based compared to Mass Effect, which had more RPG elements.


3) Portal 2

Portal might seem like a normal puzzle game at first, but Valve made history with the game. With its fluid gameplay mechanics and enigmatic story, it's a game that everyone should experience at least once, and with Portal 2, the same experience was made even better.

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Portal 2 is an improved version of Portal in every way - gameplay, story, character arcs, humor, and multiplayer. The first game did a good job of keeping the story simple and original, and it was certainly a work of art, but the video game sequel is simply the better game of the two.


2) Halo Infinite

2001's Halo: Combat Evolved laid the foundation for the highly popular Halo game series. This first-person shooter franchise can certainly be ranked among some of the best in the entire history of gaming.

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Halo Infinite is the latest title in the Halo franchise, succeeding 2015's Halo 5. Although Halo Infinite may not have a long and diverse story, it improved on its predecessor and restored the faith of long-time fans of the franchise.


1) Half-Life 2

Half-Life was one of the best games of the early 2000s, with gameplay mechanics and level design that no one thought possible at the time. Even NPCs feel very human-like in their behavior as they react to the player’s movements and actions. Even though the first game was not too plot-focused, the video game sequel changed that in 2004.

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Half-Life 2 is still considered one of the best video games of all time. The plot is still regarded as one of the best in gaming history, with truly unexpected twists and mysterious events that set new standards for all other first-person shooters. It hooked gamers and treated them to an experience so unique that even two decades later, fans still lament the lack of a sequel.