The Ten Video Game Series Most Deserving of Next-Gen Sequels
It’s tough to complain about the sequels in the works for PS4 and Xbox One. Next-gen launch lineups may not have packed the oomph many gamers wanted, but with games like Dragon Age 3, Kingdom Hearts 3, Uncharted 4, Fallout 4, Mirror’s Edge 2, Star Wars: Battlefront 3, and plenty more on the way, unsatisfied niches are rare indeed. But if there’s one thing the world—looking at you, Hollywood—can’t get enough of, it’s sequel-y goodness. Video game history is filled with compelling series that deserve the next-gen treatment. Here are ten of the most deserving.
Darksiders and its sequel tell the tales of two of the four horsemen of the apocalypse—War and Death, respectively—and that conceit perfectly tees up a third (and fourth) for the franchise’s new rights holder, Nordic Games. With Pestilence and Famine (or Fury and Strife, as THQ so inaccurately dubbed them) still waiting in the wings, Nordic Games need only find a suitable developer to bring the hack-and-slash goodness of Darksiders to PS4 and XOne.
The Elder Scrolls VI
It’s something of an inevitability given the landmark success of The Elder Scrolls V: Skryim and the growing popularity of the in-progress MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) Elder Scrolls Online, but a new Elder Scrolls adventure with next-gen power behind it is too necessary not to include here. Worlds can be bigger, characters can look better, and there’s even more room for lore. I’d argue that there’s no series more qualified to push next-gen power to its limits than Elder Scrolls. Luckily, Elder Scrolls Online will be coming to both systems to tide us over.
SEGA struck a rare balance with Vanquish, an over-the-top and downright hectic third-person shooter. From the game’s hyper-masculine protagonist to the cliché damsel in distress, the game oozes action tropes—and it’s a blast for it. Having already shredded through one wave of robots and jet-boosting around epic battlefields with a high-tech suit, we’re ready for round two.
Developer GearBox is still pushing the living daylights out of Borderlands 2 with continued downloadable content and a new Game of the Year edition, but anyone who’s played it will tell you that a third romp through Pandora, the colorful planet on which the games take place, is welcome anytime. What’s more, its self-titled “shoot and loot” system is perfectly suited for the online-shooter trend that games like Destiny and The Division have kick-started. If nothing else, Borderlands 3 would give us more of the dark humor and lighthearted profanity that we’ve come to love.
Batman: Arkham … Something
A record-setting movie franchise wasn’t enough for Batman—no, he had to star in a blockbuster video game series, as well. We’re now three games deep in the Batman Arkham franchise, with Asylum, City, and the new Origins. Unfortunately, the latest entry fell flat, as it was unable to live up to the high standard set by its predecessors. However, this has only made a potential next-gen visit to Arkham all the more enticing. Get on it, Warner Bros.
Most of the big boys of first-person shooting have already made their next-gen debut, from Killzone to Call of Duty to Battlefield. However, Resistance, the PS3-exclusive series from Insomniac Games, has yet to find a home on PS4. That’s a problem, because it was only in the most recent core release, Resistance 3, that the series found its footing. By avoiding the regenerating health of modern games and simultaneously indulging in the incredulity of a weapon wheel (e.g., carrying literally a dozen guns at once), Resistance delivered the tense, skill-based shooting that gamers sought. And now, that’s exactly what the next-gen market needs.
So, Insomniac, I know you’re busy with Sunset Overdrive for Xbox One, but you should really have a sit-down with Sony about this one.
Developer Capcom has become addicted to “rebooting” franchises, but their compulsion did the Devil May Cry brand a favor by relaunching it as DmC. Gripe about the protagonist all you want, but the combat of DmC: Devil May Cry is an inarguable improvement over even Devil May Cry 4, which shared platforms with DmC. It’s a no-brainer to bring the good of both—the combat system of the latter and the fan-loved lore of the former—to the next-gen scene. Now, if we can just get Capcom to ease up on all the microtransaction tomfoolery.
PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale 2
Despite facing fierce competition from Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. franchise, Sony’s mash-up brawler found a comfy place of its own in the fighting game world—and that’s a rivalry that needs to continue. Super Smash Bros. 3 is coming down the pipes, and will likely dazzle Wii U and 3DS owners when it hits. However, All-Stars Battle Royale has something Nintendo doesn’t, and presumably never will, have: new characters. Watching characters beat the snot out of each other is much more enjoyable when they’re from games you’ve played recently, and the PS4′s myriad titles bring the new in spades. If given a few years to build around novel characters, a next-gen release of Battle Royale could easily go toe-to-toe with SSB.
Gravity Rush 2
It’s not every day that a handheld franchise makes the jump to console, but in the case of PS Vita’s Gravity Rush, an exception needs to be made. There’s little doubt that the original game was omitted from Sony’s prescient cross-buy system (which allows PS3 owners to earn a copy of a game for their console and handheld with one purchase) in order to promote the handheld’s launch. However, the Vita has a slew of new, strong titles coming its way, and Gravity Rush simply must shine on the big screen. The psychedelic brawler-meets-platformer and its endlessly bubbly heroine are a perfect fit for the immense scope that PS4 and XOne can provide.
The release of Halo 4 was a rocky event, due in no small part to the series changing developer hands from Bungie to 343 Industries. However, 343 took the series to new heights in their installment, capitalizing on a sense of continuity that gave the game’s stagnant canon a shot in the arm. 343 has already proven itself capable by revitalizing the shooting mechanics and visuals of Halo, which makes the release of an Xbox One-optimized Halo—almost certainly an inevitability—something to look forward to.