Nowadays it usually doesn’t take long before a new IP is turned into a franchise all it’s own complete with sequels, prequels and spin-offs. But what happens when a game is released, becomes a hit either commercially or just with fans and then… that’s it – no sequels, no follow-ups but just… ends? Well then you get lists like this! We scoured the history of gaming and came up with the 10 games that were either big hits or cult classics but which never got a sequel and here they are.
A few rules before we get going…
- The game can’t be part of a larger series.
- It can’t be a sequel itself.
- Spiritual successors are ok as long as they clearly in their own universe.
- If the game got a remaster or remake it can be on the list.
- No current generation games are included.
10 – The Guardian Legend
One of the very first game’s I’ve ever played. The Guardian Legend is a great NES hidden gem that plays like a mix of Zelda and Raiden. Released during a time when many obscure third party NES games bordered somewhere between bad and unplayable this game managed to deliver tight, gripping gameplay that felt right at home on a console that featured Link and Samus. To top it all off the game even managed to make it’s vastly different play styles work seamlessly together.
9 – Vagrant Story
What?! Square made an RPG and didn’t make a follow up? Nooo…(/sarcasm). Set deep within the catacombs of Leá Monde, you played as Ashley Riot, who despite his name was not a 80’s punk signer but a knight out to investigate a plot that could tip the scales of a large civil war. While it’s setting and story were unique and grand for the time the real treat was the game’s combat system which featured a mix of real-time and strategy elements that helped set the game apart from its PlayStation brethren.
8 – Killer 7
Oh Suda 51, we love you and your crazy-craziness. And nowhere was this crazy-craziness more on display than in the classic game – Killer 7. Here you you take on the role of an assassin with multiple personalities (seven to be exact) and must constantly switch between these in order to solve puzzles and complete your objectives. It’s a shame that Goichi Suda’s games don’t usually get sequels (apart from No More Heroes) because we would love a chance to revisit the (messed up) world of Killer 7.
7 – Comix Zone
One of the most visually interesting games on the Sega Genesis, Comix Zone is a 2D beat ’em up style game that takes place within the pages of a comic book. And while I remember playing this game as a kid and hating it (it was hard ok?) replaying it now just makes me want more Comix Zone. Just imagine it, a HD sequel with sharp, colorful visuals complete with the game’s sense of humor and 4th wall breaking antics. I would pre-order that right now!
6 – The World Ends With You
Another Square Enix RPG without a proper follow up. The World Ends With You is a pretty fun and stylish RPG set in modern Japan. You are Neku a pretty angsty-teen on a quest to regain his lost life – literally. It’s a pretty trippy concept even by RPG standards but players who dove in were not disappointed (except maybe with the controls – those aren’t great). Over the past few years Square Enix has hinted that they would be interested in bringing back The World Ends With You but so far nothing’s come of it except a couple of ports to mobile devices.
5 – Kameo: Elements of Power
One of the best Xbox 360 games from the system’s launch, it’s actually not that surprising that Kameo: Elements of Power has not received a sequel. The game had a difficult development cycle, going from the Nintendo 64 to the GameCube, Xbox and finally Xbox 360 and the game didn’t light the sales charts on fire either. But for those that did experience Kameo, it’s easy to see why many call this ‘Rare’s last great game’. From the interviews included in Rare Replay we found out that a sequel was in development but ultimately cancelled. Right that wrong Microsoft!
4 – Jet Force Gemini
Wait Rare! Don’t leave yet, we’re not done with you. Jet Force Gemini was a game that, in many ways was ahead of it’s time. Featuring three different playable characters (one of which is an armored dog), large, branching levels, cover-based (if you play right) shooting and a fun multiplayer suite the game would be right at home in a modern game library. Not to mention that the Xbox One version found in Rare Replay is so much better thanks it’s improved controls that it would be a shame to never blast some bugs with Juno, Vela and Lupus again.
3 – Xenogears
Ok, this is it, the last Square Enix game on this list. This PlayStation classic was a critical hit upon release and even sold fairly decently but sadly a sequel seems unlikely to ever happen as the series’ creator has moved onto working on the Xenoblade Chronicles games and Square Enix continues to hold this IP. Using a battle system that is both part Chrono Trigger and part Final Fantasy VII and a deep, sweeping narrative, Xenogears is often considered one of (if not the best) RPG on the PlayStation. Hopefully Square Enix realizes what they have an gives us more of this fantastic game.
2 – Skies of Arcadia
Ah the Sega Dreamcast. Arguably one of the most tragic stories in video game history. This little system was packed full of great features and games but sadly couldn’t compete with the bigger and flashier consoles on the market. However like other notable ‘niche’ systems (Wii U, Saturn) the Dreamcast also has a fair bit of stellar games, the best of which is Skies of Arcadia. In this RPG you join a band of air pirates (so cool) to stop a madman from using an ancient weapon to destroy the world. Now who doesn’t want to play a game where you’re a sky pirate?!
1 – Shadow of the Colossus
I debated whether this game belonged on this list at all because technically all the games in the ‘Ico’ series are interconnected in some way, shape or form. In the end though the differences in setting and gameplay were enough to seal it for Shadow of the Colossus. This PlayStation 2 masterpieces constantly places high on ‘best games of all time’ lists and with good reason. From it’s stellar gameplay, haunting world and of course daunting colossi this is a masterpiece in almost every way and, of all the games on this list, if we wanted one sequel, it would be for Shadow of the Colossus.
What game do you wish would get a sequel? Let us know in the comment section below!