It’s pretty much expected that any successful game, whether it be financially or critically, will get a sequel. However, unlike movies, more often than not video game sequels are actually better than the original. Obviously this is not always the case, but fan expectation for video game sequels can be more optimistic than films. While expectations are often met or even surpassed, when a game fails to meet lofty expectations, it can be a huge disappointment. The following 10 games are my personal most disappointing sequels. Keep in mind, this isn’t the worst sequels, as I consider many of these games to be decent or even good; this list is all about expectations and living up to the standards of the game’s predecessor, and none of these games, even the good ones, were able to do that. As with any list, it is limited to the games I have played, and I’ll just say right off the bat, I haven’t played some of the more egregious sequels like Metroid Other M or Deus Ex Invisible War, and things like Zelda II and Mario 2 came out before I was born, so even though I’ve played them, I was never in a position to be disappointed by them.
10. Halo 2 (2004)
Now, you may be confused by this selection if you’ve seen my Top 10 Games of All Time video, because Halo 2 made number 10 on that list. However, it made that list almost solely because of the multiplayer, and my experiences playing it with my friends in high school. The campaign on the other hand, was a huge let down. It was very short, only half the game was spent as Master Chief, and it ended on one of the biggest anticlimaxes in video game history. I admit, calling one of my favorite games of all time, and my possible most played game ever, disappointing is a little odd, but I think of Halo 2 almost as two games, the multiplayer which I loved and the campaign which was very disappointing. Even so, Halo 2 just barely squeaks onto this list at number 10.
9. Battlefield 3 (2011)
I was a big fan of the Battlefield Bad Company games, and I played a ton of Battlefield 2 multiplayer in high school, but Battlefield 3 just didn’t do it for me. Instead of having likeable characters and a lighthearted story with great sense of humor like the Bad Company games, Battelfield 3 opts for an entirely generic modern military campaign that couldn’t possibly be more boring and cliché if it tried. The multiplayer is a return to more classic Battlefield in the style of Battlefield 2, but honestly I played much more Bad Company 2 online than I have Battlefield 3. The multiplayer is definitely good, I just haven’t been grabbed by it the way I was expecting to be.
8. Fable II (2008)
I was looking forward to this game so much at the time, and while I did like it, it didn’t turn out as good as I was hoping. I tried not to buy into Molyneux’s hyperbole and promises of “the greatest role playing game ever made”, but unfortunately I was sucked in like so many others. The game did play okay, the combat was good and the weapons and magic were fun to use, but it failed miserably as a role playing game. The choices were meaningless, the story was uninteresting, and the ending was a slap in the face. Not to mention the game has no real role playing to speak of, with really your only means of interacting with other characters being to burp, fart, or do any number of other stupid expressions.
7. Perfect Dark Zero (2005)
If you happened to check out last week’s list, you’re aware that I absolutely loved Perfect Dark on the N64, but Perfect Dark Zero failed to live up to the original. There was pretty much nothing about the game that even remotely resembles the original, and while it was a decent shooter, especially for a launch title, it was not a Perfect Dark game. The story had pretty much nothing to do with the first game, and the multiplayer just didn’t feel at all like Perfect Dark. It was clear at that point that Rare was no longer the developer they once were, and probably never will be again.
6. Star Fox Assault (2005)
I don’t care what people say, I loved Star Fox Adventures, and I of course loved Star Fox 64 as well. Star Fox Assault was the next game in the series after Adventures, and while it wasn’t the sequel to Adventures that I was hoping for, the concept was a very intriguing one, and one that I think could still work well for a Star Fox game in the future. The game was basically half space combat a la Star Fox 64, and half on foot third person shooter. This seems like the perfect choice for a modern Star Fox game, but it was unfortunately not done very well. The on foot portions didn’t control as well as I would have liked, and overall the game lacked the humor and story quality of Star Fox Adventures. The series has been dormant for a while, but I still have hope for a great third person shooter/space combat focused Star Fox game at some point; maybe on the Wii U?