The Top 7... games that need prequels

Contributors: Charlie Barratt, Henry Gilbert

Every time a game is successful, critically or commercially, folks start speculating about sequels. Will there be a sequel? How many sequels? When will we see the sequel? What will happen in the sequel? Who shows up in the sequel? Sequel?

That’s too obvious. A truly compelling game deserves the exact opposite. If the story is masterfully written, players will want to see how it actually started. If the world is deeply designed, players will insist on seeing how it first formed. And if the characters are fully realized, players will demand to know how they grew into their now beloved personalities and roles. In other words, the existence of a prequel – not sequel – is how you judge a game’s real impact and staying power. Look at Halo: Reach, Metal Gear Solid 3, Street Fighter Alpha or Super Mario World 2 for proof.

Some famous franchises, however, still lack that badge of honor. They may have prequel novelizations, prequel multiplayer or prequel rumors, but we want the actual game. These beginnings can definitely support one.


How the story begins: After four long years in an extraordinarily dark and grimy prison, Marcus Fenix is freed by his BFF, Dominic Santiago. No gentle reintegration back to society for our butter-faced protagonist, however… humanity still needs saving from the creepy crawly Locust and, despite being incarcerated by military leaders, he is apparently now the only man who can now pull of their half-assed plan.

What the prequel would cover: The beginning of the war, rather than the end. The novel Aspho Fields covers some of this, but we want to see what the world of Sera looked like before it was ravaged by battle. We want to experience the terror and panic of Emergence Day for ourselves. We want to know why Marcus would be incarcerated for simply trying to save his father, as well as how he got all those hideous, hideous scars (teenage acne?).

Really, though, we’re just tired of watching our heroes screw up over and over. In the first game, they deployed the Lightmass bomb and everyone got sick with “rust lung.” In the second game, they destroyed a big radioactive monster… and humanity’s greatest city in the process. Both times, the Locust survived and we were left questioning the good guys’ motives. For just one game – the prequel – it’d be nice to believe you were fighting for the right side.


How the story begins: “Soap” MacTavish, a young and inexperienced member of the British Special Air Service, shows up for his first day of training. After proving he is capable of murdering a watermelon, commanding officer Captain Price whisks him away on a thrilling around-the-world tour of hijacked cargo ships, nuclear silos and disabled arms dealers.

What the prequel would cover: Call of Duty 4’s best dialogue comes from Captain Price: he calls you a “muppet” and likes throwing the word “arse” around a lot. Call of Duty 4’s best missions are the ones in which you play as Captain Price: sneaking through the grass in a ghillie suit, sniping a dude’s arm off from a hotel window and outrunning a crashed helicopter are the greatest and most defining moments of the single player campaign. Heck, even Call of Duty 4’s best fashion is displayed by Captain Price: who else could pull of that cigar, that bush hat and that awesomely unapologetic mustache with such grace and lack of irony?

You can see where this is headed. We want more than those two flashback missions - we want a whole game starring Captain Price. Since he’s obviously not available after Modern Warfare (spoiler?), a prequel will have to do; fortunately, his previous life could be the perfect time period for Infinity Ward to tackle. They’re clearly exhausted by World War II, and it’s only a matter of time before they’re tired of going ultra high-tech, so why not use the adventures of Captain Price to cover conflicts in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s? Why not build an entire game of flashback missions, diving into different wars and different countries? We’d play for the different styles of mustache alone!


Top 7


  • holic237 - April 27, 2012 3 a.m.

    "The path from good to bad is just as compelling, if not more so, than that from bad to good." <-- Second that. Also love the idea of co-op Mirror's Edge, and Rapture falling apart while our protagonist looks on in shock, horror and utter confusion. Oh hey, whatever happened to Andrew Ryan's girlfriend, you know, the one who got stood up in the first recording we find in BioShock? Give her a wrench and some plasmids and let her get to it.
  • ashleymenvielle - November 20, 2010 2:01 a.m.

    Great article. I, too, would love to see a prequel to Gears of War and Bioshock. I would really love to see a prequel to Enslaved: Odyssey to the West; just how did the war start that 150 years later leaves the world a beautiful jungle full of murderous mechs? How did Monkey survive on his own and get so ripped? Questions, questions. Of course, it's not looking like Enslaved will get a sequel let alone a prequel but I hold out hope that it could all still turn around for that game and it's awesome storyline.
  • FanofSaiyan - December 4, 2009 11:20 p.m.

    Some other games that need prequels: Sly Cooper, Metroid series, Ratchet and Clank, Jak & Daxter, and Wild Arms to name a few.
  • w40kfanatic - November 27, 2009 6:52 p.m.

    Im pretty sure that bioshock 2 IS a prequel. You play as the first big daddy during the rapture civil war, dont you? Also, i would love a gears prequel!
  • CARLINNIT - November 26, 2009 1:06 a.m.

    Grim Fandango = simply the greatest videogame of all time.
  • ReaperD23 - November 23, 2009 1:05 a.m.

    "Since he’s obviously not available after Modern Warfare (spoiler?), a prequel will have to do; fortunately, his previous life could be the perfect time period for Infinity Ward to tackle." what? Last time I checked, That BAMF was still alive.
  • Vader999 - November 22, 2009 2:47 a.m.

    How has KOTOR not been mentioned? from the Mandalorian Wars to the rise and fall of Exar Kun, to the even onlder fall of the Sith Empire, there are a lot of backstory in Kotor that would make great games.
  • AaronTheGamingGeek - November 8, 2009 8:22 p.m.

    i would like to see a Uncharted Prequal
  • deathrebellion - November 6, 2009 1:24 p.m.

    u guys didn't mention DMC3 as on of d best prequels??!!! Mirrors Edge DEFINITELY needs a prequel AND a sequel (abt the ppl who hired Jacknife) it has soooooo much potential and anyway the game wuz waayyyyy short -_-
  • franklin11 - August 24, 2009 2:07 p.m.

    CPT. Price isn't in MW2 the new CPT. int that game is CPT. (SOAP) McTavish CPT. Price died at the end of the first MW
  • lorchan - August 24, 2009 1:26 a.m.

    I think Mirror's Edge needs both a prequel and a sequel. I hear a small team is working on Mirror's Edge 2... but I don't know anything more. It needs a prequel for all the reasons listed in the article, but, if those looking to avoid spoilers would stop reading this comment right now, everyone Faith knew was either killed or betrayed her, as far as we know, except Kate. Sure, it's all because of Icarus, but if Faith had just let Kate go... would things be so bad? There's a lot of potential for a sequel story wise... minus the fact that we have a grand total of two characters left over: Faith and Kate. I wouldn't mind seeing Celeste brought back as a villian, though!
  • blademage20 - August 23, 2009 7:33 p.m.

    if Too Human wouldn't take years to make one game in the trilogy, a prequel would be nice. Too find out how the war began and how the "gods" came to be. One can only dream though...
  • Woods - August 21, 2009 5:13 p.m.

    he has got one hell of a point
  • Anbu204 - August 20, 2009 7:01 a.m.

    I want prequel for Left 4 Dead. It would be awesome to see how the infection went around instead of being put straight in the middle of the infected planet. But i guess the developers chose so that you don't know how the infection happened and you are meant to feel confused as to what is happening. But saying that. i love consistency and i would REALLY love to know how it happend :)
  • CountFenring - August 20, 2009 4:39 a.m.

    I always wanted a Quake II prequel. NOT QUAKE WARS. I want the attack on Station Armstrong. You'd play as the same guy as Quake IV.
  • Zeipher - August 20, 2009 3:35 a.m.

    Do you guys really need to pump 4000 characters into these comments? No one reads them. Keep it concise, kids. I'll agree to any Infinity Ward creation. Secondly, the reason Kingdom Hearts is great is because its a hybrid. Sacrificing that makes it into another average series.
  • adadadad - August 19, 2009 7:04 p.m.

  • wcatdoor - August 19, 2009 4:58 p.m.

    wow now that i think about it, bioshock before the havock could be like a underwater GTA, or oblivion
  • adadadad - August 19, 2009 8:20 a.m.

  • magicwalnuts0 - August 19, 2009 2:06 a.m.

    I would only play the Grim Fandango prequel, otherwise the only reason why you want a prequel is because the the stories were presented crappily.

Showing 1-20 of 104 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000