The PC games that deserve sequels

Not everything needs, nor deserves, a sequel, but if a game is successful nowadays you can bet your boots it’ll be considered for a follow-up or two. With annual updates, paid expansions and the odd superfluous spin-off, though, it’s little wonder the modern gaming landscape can feel a tad saturated at times. 

So what about those games which probably should, nay, deserve a sequel that for one reason or another haven't received one? Maybe they didn’t sell well. Or they aren’t as good as we fondly recall. Perhaps there’s a licensing issue, or maybe, just maybe, they’re secretly being worked on right now and we're just not aware of it yet. Who knows?

Read more: Shenmue I & II review

Sadly we don’t, but that hasn’t stopped the PC Gamer team from pulling together an extensive list of games that deserve sequels.

Hellblade

Hellblade is a terrific self-contained adventure that follows a warrior called Senua on a quest to hell. It’s rare to see a game successfully blend satisfying combat with decent performances and atmospheric storytelling. It’s a nightmarish vision quest that explores loss and mental illness between frantic sword fights. 

There is no need to follow Senua’s continuing journey, but I’d love to see Hellblade’s aesthetic sensibilities developed in a thematic follow-up. The game creatively blends FMV and motion capture, and effectively uses binaural sound to give the player directional audio cues. I’d be excited to see Ninja Theory run with these techniques with a bigger budget and more time. The simplistic ‘find a shape’ puzzle sections could use reworking too.—Tom Senior

Knights of the Old Republic

The old games did a surprisingly good job of evoking a sense of scale, but imagine a KotoR game that takes advantage of modern game engines that can stream massive cities. I miss the time when games were able to expand the Star Wars universe with new stories and characters. Knights of the Old Republic did that better than perhaps any other game series (though the Jedi Knight games totally deserve sequels too, and Star Wars Galaxies... the list goes on).

Star Wars has made a huge return to cinema screens, and games are lagging behind. Visceral were supposed to be working on a Star Wars adventure but that seems to be in limbo. The Star Wars universe deserves more than the beautifully rendered nostalgic merry-go-round of Battlefront 2. I’m sure a large portion of Bioware’s talent is being directed at Anthem at the moment, but surely the time is right for a quality Star Wars RPG.—Tom Senior

Left 4 Dead

Come on Valve, we know you’ve got another Left 4 Dead locked away in the vaults (maybe). The second game expanded on the first with new weapons, levels, special infected and gauntlet sections, but it feels like there is so much more to be done. The first game served up the best co-op experiences I’ve ever had in a game and the AI director is such a clever idea I’d love to see it in more games.

If a new Left 4 Dead was just more levels, prettied up, I would be happy, but there are avenues for experimentation here too. In the excellent audio commentaries Valve developers suggested that originally the levels in Left 4 Dead were going to be much more open, but issues with signpositing and lost players nudged them towards tighter, linear levels. Perhaps a new Left 4 Dead could take on that challenge again. Alternatively: MORE zombies.—Tom Senior

Burnout Paradise

PC is home to numerous racing sims, all of them competing to provide a detailed, accurate representation of how a car goes around a track. I don't care about any of them, though. I want to take a car and smash it recklessly into things for fun and points. Burnout Paradise allowed me to do that, and do it with style. It took the action and destruction of previous Burnout games, and placed it in an open world—adding a welcome feeling of downtime between each race. While Forza Horizon 3 should tickle the Burnout itch when it arrives this September, it's not quite the same thing. I'd love a new, Frostbite enabled Burnout to mess about in. —Phil Savage

Dragon's Dogma

A plain RPG at first glance, Dragon’s Dogma is an oft-overlooked gem with robust movement, entertaining combat, Shadow of the Colossus style creature climbing, and an innovative pawn system for creating and sharing party companions. For anyone who’s enjoyed plucking premade warriors out of the ether to battle cyclopes, the advantages of a sequel are obvious. A modern engine and an art pass could move the game to a more beautiful and unusual open world, and a writing pass could fatten up the lore and fix the strange changeable use of the word “aught” throughout. —Tom Senior 

Valkyria Chronicles

Okay, so Valkryia Chronicles actually did get a sequel. Two sequels, in fact—but neither of them ever made it to PC! We had to wait six years for the first game to come our way, and the second Valkryia Chronicles will have come out for PSP six years ago as of next month. Seeing as the first PC port went from rumor to release in only three weeks, I’m holding out hope that the sequels might do the same. The port quality was surprisingly good, and its weird mix of turn-based and realtime makes it one of the best Strategy games of all time. I never owned a PSP, and therefore never got a chance to play the sequels. I’m hoping Sega’s series of recent JRPG ports means more are on the way. —Tom Marks

Alpha Protocol

Let me name two RPGs that were ambitious, had a bunch of flaws, but gave us great character performances and interesting moral choices: Mass Effect and Alpha Protocol. One of those games got a second chance to fix its awful inventory system, rough combat, and weird vehicle sections, and in the process became one of the most popular and beloved RPGs of the decade. The other game was Alpha Protocol. What could’ve been!

Alpha Protocol’s contemporary setting and spy thriller setup were a perfect match for the moral ambiguity of the ‘branching RPG.’ Alpha Protocol’s stakes aren’t ‘the end of the universe,’ which made its moments of levity much more natural. Likewise, the relationship network that spy Mike Thorton maintains with his handlers, fellow spies, and shady international figures is a natural fit for playing the game like a manipulative, sneaky agent or a straight-laced boy scout. I like the way Phil Owen put it: “player character Mike Thorton has three tones: super dull and matter of fact, humongous impatient asshole and smarmy piece of shit. It’s incredible.” —Evan Lahti

Far Cry 2

HEAR ME OUT. Yeah, I know there’s been Far Cry 3 and Far Cry 4 and Far Cry Caveman, but none of those were really sequels to 2. I just want to go back to Africa again, Far Cry 2’s Africa. I miss the heat, the dust, the brittle trees and flammable grasslands, those guns (the ones that work, not the shitty ones that don’t), the extreme violence and oddly peaceful moments. I miss that map you actually hold in your hand and look down at while you’re driving a smoldering Jeep and look up from just in time to see yourself drive off a goddamn bridge into a river. Maybe it doesn’t need a sequel. Maybe I should just go play it again right now. 

And NO I don’t miss the malaria. I don’t like the malaria, no one likes the malaria, so don’t even bring that up like you always do. —Chris Livingston

Her Story

This superb little detective game deserves a sequel with new characters and a new mystery—and, although without much to go on just yet, it might very well be in for one. The game’s powerful core conceit—a search bar that lets you explore a library of interview clips—is easily transposed into different settings, and it would be exciting to see the continued use of actors to tell stories. The concept is easily expanded with multiple characters. I was recently struck by similarities between Her Story and the BBC series Murder, which confronts the viewer with fragments of to-camera confessions, forcing the audience to assess the facts and judge the crime from various angles. It feels like a natural extension of the Her Story idea, though it might be a nightmare to plot. —Tom Senior

 Fez 

We came close, but Fez creator Phil Fish was, it seems, incompatible with gaming's most vocal enthusiasts. After years of increasing tension, Fish cancelled Fez II only a month after it was announced. It's a great shame, because Fez was excellent. A charming, beautifully evocative platformer that managed to feel engaging without combat. Instead, you had a trove of puzzles, from basic block collection to much deeper mysteries that required the game's community to work together to solve cryptic glyphs and ciphers. All that we have of the sequel is this trailer, but even that oozes charm, mystery and another fantastic Disasterpiece soundscape. —Phil Savage

 Brutal Legend

All 10 hours of Brutal Legend’s campaign were great, but mechanically, they only just scratched the surface of the RTS hidden within. But the writing, characters, and heavy metal concept were as charming and creative as Double Fine has ever been. I’d love to see a return to an open world that wraps in more subgenres. Give me rural pagan black metal (Wolves in the Throne Room), give me trendy metal (Deafheaven), give me more silly cameos akin to Ozzy’s underworld appearance. Hell, maybe even throw out the RTS and just make it a chaotic, cheeky open world action game. Imagine Far Cry 2, except you have to skin chrome hellbeasts to craft new guitars. I can dream, at least. —James Davenport

Space Marine

In Space Marine you are a big blue warrior lord who kills smaller green things with outrageous weapons. The good news is the big blue guy is already cool, the weapons are great and the act of hitting small green things with said weapons also feels great. However, a bigger budget could give us the scale and spectacle to match, something worthy of the tabletop dioramas and artwork that Games Workshop has produced over the years. I want to wade into a huge battle with a big hammer as flaming drop pods strike down on the horizon. —Tom Senior

 Endless Legend 

Endless Legend challenged many conventions of the 4X strategy game with a vivid fantasy world and inventive factions. Endless Legend and Endless Space have boldly taken on giants GalCiv and Civilization by smartly refining the classic Sid Meier formula. A sequel could give the series a chance to outshine the legends that inspired it. Developers Amplitude have been wisely snapped up by SEGA to do just that. Endless Space 2 is in the works. We may see an Endless Legend follow-up after that. —Tom Senior