There are plenty of great franchises in the gaming realm with dedicated fanbases eagerly anticipating each new entry. There are sequels, reboots, and sequels to those reboots. But then there are the groundbreaking games which had the potential to become successful series and never got the chance to do so. Here are five games that deserve a sequel as soon as possible.
5. L.A. Noire
Rockstar’s L.A. Noire became an instant classic in 2011 not only because of its mature storytelling, but also because of its realistic character facial expressions. The MotionScan graphics were ahead of their time and allowed the player to feel fully immersed in the 1947 Los Angeles setting. The game follows Detective Cole Phelps as he solves a number of cases across five divisions of the LAPD. Many of the cases you were tasked with solving were based on actual cases reported in newspaper articles from the game’s time period.
The game sold more than 5 million copies, remastered in 2017 for newer consoles, and will be 10 years old as of this year. Since we know Rockstar likes to take their sweet time, we shouldn’t expect a sequel anytime soon, but thinking of the many possibilities is an exciting exercise. What if the sequel didn’t take place in Los Angeles, but rather a different city with historical significance? It could be Chicago in the ‘30s with Al Capone, or San Francisco in the ‘60s with the Zodiac Killer, or Miami in the ‘80s with the drug war. Personally, I think N.Y. Noire has a nice ring to it.
4. Freedom Fighters
This is by far the oldest game to grace this list. Originally released in 2003, Freedom Fighters is an action-packed third-person-shooter that takes place in an alternate timeline in which the Soviet Union ended World War II by dropping the first atomic bomb on Berlin. You play as a blue-collar plumber named Christopher Stone who starts a resistance movement to save his brother from the Soviets, who have seized New York City. It’s like if one of the Super Mario Bros. games overdosed on patriotism.
Although the resistance movement is able to liberate New York from the Soviets, the game ends by implying the fighting is far from over. Christopher, our battle-hardened plumber, will continue to fight for as long as necessary. So far, he’s been fighting since 2003, so we’d better give him a proper Freedom Fighters sequel soon.
3. Brutal Legend
Tim Schafer used his game design wizardry to create a mystical landscape full of demons, warlocks, and heavy metal music. Jack Black stars in Brutal Legend as a roadie named Eddie Riggs who gets transported to this fantasy world. Armed with a Flying V guitar equipped with magical powers, he has to save the human race from being enslaved by a race of demons led by an evil emperor voiced by Tim Curry. The voice cast features a fair amount of heavy metal juggernauts, including Ozzy Osbourne as the Guardian of Metal, Lemmy Kilmister as the Kill Master, Lita Ford as the Amazonian Rima, and Rob Halford as General Lionwhyte.
Besides the engaging real-time strategy gameplay of Brutal Legend, the voice cast garnered the most praise for the game. Because Lemmy Kilmister is no longer with us, it’s best to get the ball rolling on a sequel to ensure we can still capture the other vocal talents from a legendary generation of rock n’ roll.
2. Alan Wake
Remedy’s Alan Wake came out as a unique psychological thriller critics had trouble categorizing with a proper label. There are elements of survival horror and cinematic action throughout the protagonist’s journey through eerie areas of Bright Falls, Washington. You play as a thriller novelist named Alan Wake who attempts to uncover the details of his wife’s mysterious disappearance while events from his latest novel start coming to life as murderous shadows.
As Alan Wake, you fight off the sentient darkness with different light sources such as headlights, flashlights, flashbangs, and flares. Also causing you trouble are flocks of possessed ravens and poltergeists. Every facet of Alan Wake is refreshingly innovative. The whole game is structured like an episodic television series, and each episode ends with cliffhangers. The idea of a sequel has been kicking around for years, and there are reports Remedy is planning on returning to Bright Falls for another Alan Wake adventure. Or maybe they’ll just scrap that idea and end up making a Quantum Break sequel no one asked for.
Bullying is not okay. However, anything not okay in real life makes for great video games. Rockstar Games knows this better than anybody, which is why they achieved incredible success with their Grand Theft Auto series, their Red Dead Redemption series, and their 2006 game Bully.
Jimmy Hopkins is a juvenile delinquent who aims to rise the social ranks at Bullworth Academy in order to eradicate bullying at the school. Equipped with slingshots, stink bombs, spud guns, and firecrackers, you control Jimmy through the open-world environment of Bullworth Academy with the intention of asserting dominance over the Bullies, Greasers, Jocks, Preppies, and Nerds. Over the course of the game, Jimmy becomes less of a ruthless bully and more of a righteous hero as the social cliques wage war on one another.
When it first came out, Bully sold over 1.5 million copies and received a number of positive reviews and year-end accolades. The game has been re-released and remastered in the past, Rockstar has said nothing about a sequel to the beloved game. After GTA 6 is developed in the next eon, a sequel to Bully should be Rockstar’s next priority.
Although there are a number of other games which could’ve been mentioned, I believe the ones on this list most deserve of a sequel. Each one of these games was a breath of fresh air when it first came out, and it’s about time the developers all got their act together and gave their beloved properties a well-deserved expansion.