In the video game industry, just like the film, music, and book industries, there are franchises and there are one hit wonders. Every year a great game is released that, for different reasons, never receives a sequel. The game may not have sold well, been poorly received, or creative differences led to the demise of a potential franchise. Indeed, even some games which were part of a franchise are left behind in the dust for a new take on the game and its future. There are plenty of gems that deserve sequels, but will likely never receive one. Below are my top 9 games that will never receive a sequel. Note: I don’t give a **** about Half-Life, so don’t even get me started.
The most recent game on this list, and talked about frequently on this blog, Sunset Overdrive released to critical acclaim in 2014, featuring a large open-world, unique gameplay mechanics, colourful art and enemies, and a genuinely funny story the heights of which haven’t been reached except for South Park: The Stick of Truth. Unfortunately, developer Insomniac is currently working on Spider Man for Sony, and a sequel to Sunset Overdrive is unlikely given that it would likely need to remain a Xbox exclusive.
Frontlines: Fuel of War
I’m an advocate for this game for a lot of reasons. It’s the game that Homefront should have been. Frontlines was just fun – and it attempted something unique in it’s story with a postmodern scenario where the last drops of oil are being fought over by the last powerful factions of the globe. Futuristic gadgets, large campaign maps and scenarios, as well as a big multiplayer mode that was the first of its kind back on the 360/PS3 days made for a fun, but needing polish, gameplay experience. I truly believe that if this game was to receive a sequel/reboot and it was given the proper treatment that it could mimic a Battlefield-like experience and capture a large player base.
Halo 3: ODST
The story of Halo 3: ODST had you follow a squad of ODST’s through the events of Halo 2 when the Covenant use slip-space to escape Earth, leaving an entire city ruined in it’s wake. The characters were interesting, the mechanics were solid, the atmosphere and mood was absolutely perfect, and the soundtrack is one of the best gaming soundtracks of all-time. Little do most people know, there is a book called Halo: New Blood that follows the events of these ODST’s through the game, as well as what happens afterwards and the story it tells is quite fascinating. I think that Halo 3: ODST and it’s characters deserve more time in the spotlight, and a ODST 2 would be an awesome addition to the series. Follow the demise of the squad, and the rise of how Buck becomes a Spartan.
Conker’s Bad Fur Day and Conkers: Live & Reloaded deserve another entry into the series. Reviewed extremely well, hilarious writing, and gameplay similar to the Banjo series in it’s movement and platforming, but with guns and crude humour, Conkers is truly a special series that hasn’t seen the light of day (minus the Project Spark reboot). Conkers Bad Fur Day 2 needs to happen – there are a lot of games that missed out on this franchise and it deserves the spotlight again.
Will a Banjo Threeie ever happen? According to Rare, they won’t revisit an old franchise unless given a great reason to (i.e., they can innovate where it left off). Nuts & Bolts, a great game in its own right, should have never been a Banjo game and ultimately was the downfall of the franchise. Yooka-Laylee which released this year proved that a Banjo-style collectathon game still has a market in 2017. It’s unfortunate that we will likely never see a true sequel to Banjo Tooie.
Battlefield Bad Company 2
I’ve never been a big Battlefield fan, except for the Bad Company franchise. The first Bad Company caught me off guard with it’s unique story and writing, interesting characters, and innovative “Gold Rush” mode. Finally, you weren’t fighting the bad guys because you’re ‘Merica and your General told you to. You’re a squad of misfits looking to make bank after you find gold caches. Bad Company 2 went back a tiny bit and became more militaristic, but still ultimately held much of the charm and premise of the first game. With the recent success of Battlefield 1, as well as the massive sales of Battlefield 3 & 4, I doubt that a Bad Company style Battlefield will ever see the light of day again, which is a massive shame because this was Battlefield at it’s best.
Rainbow Six Vegas 2
Ubisoft’s shift to games as a service with Rainbow Six Siege being the prime example unfortunately means that we will likely never see a traditional Rainbow Six game ever again. Too much money is being made and too many players are still playing Siege – a game that started out as Rainbow Six Patriots (a more Vegas style of game) and became a multiplayer phenomenon. Luckily, Siege is still very good and retains much of what made the originals great, but part of me still yearns back to the days of playing campaign with friends, taking on enemies and objectives rather than just playing quick rounds of 5vs5.
One of the most obscure games on this list – I-Ninja released in 2003 to favourable reviews but not many sales. The game on appearance looks like it’s a simple kids action game, but in reality it is anything but. There is an immense amount of challenge as well as charm and unique mechanics that keep this game very interesting and makes it a joy to play regardless of age. A game like I-Ninja in 2017 would perform much better in my opinion, as it is designed as a room-clearing style of game where you can pick up the game, complete a challenge, and then save to return later. This game would excel on Switch, but unfortunately a sequel to this obscure game will very likely never see the light of day.
I spent an obscene amount of time playing Gladius with a friend when I was growing up. The XCOM-style game designed in a fantasy universe instead of a sci-fi universe had a great deal of depth. Different classes, equipment, abilities, stats, and traits for every character, that you were able to further customize by leveling up and picking up gear led to hours of gameplay and a different campaign every time you played. Ahead of it’s time in many ways Gladius would be a treat to play in 2017, be it remastered or a full-blown sequel. The game had plenty of challenge, and required careful thinking and strategy as you moved your squad around the grid of each battlefield. It was ranked “one of the top 20 best games on the original Xbox that you never played,” which is a perfect descriptor of this game and why it deserves a new light shed on it.
What games can you see never getting a sequel, even though it deserves one? Let us know in the comments below!