The Top 7… Sequels that changed everything

1. Dynasty Warriors 2

What it was before: A Soul Edge-inspired, weapons-based one-on-one fighter for PSOne that was based on Romance of the Three Kingdoms, and more specifically on Koei’s RotTK strategy games.

What it became: Not content to stick with one-on-one duels, publisher Koei and developer Omega Force decided to think big for the sequel. Really big. And when the PlayStation 2 launched in late 2000, Dynasty Warriors 2 wowed players by throwing not one but dozens of opponents at them at once. Mixing brawls against enormous crowds with strategic movements on huge, open battlefields, Dynasty Warriors 2 was hailed as a testament to the PS2’s power, and one of the most innovative and interesting games in its launch lineup.

Where it went from there: Well, Dynasty Warriors 3 added elephants, and it’s kind of been downhill since then. Sadly, Dynasty Warriors 2 would mark the last time the words “Dynasty Warriors” and “innovation” were used together in a sentence without being followed by cruel laughter. In the 10 years since its release, the series has churned out some 28 titles, including handheld spinoffs, the splinter Samurai Warriors, Warriors Orochi and Dynasty Warriors: Gundam series, and the two or three different versions that every game since 3 has been produced as.

Above: Screens from Dynasty Warriors 6 and Dynasty Warriors 6: Empires. Can you tell the difference?

This might not be so bad, except that there appears to be very little practical difference between any of them. They might add new stories and tactical features, but in the end they’re all about following the example DW2 set: one player character facing off against a horde of baddies. So, more than any other game on this list, Dynasty Warriors 2 changed everything about its franchise, and forever altered all of the entries to come after. We just can’t help but wish it had changed a little more since then.

Oct 11, 2010

The Top 7… Useless additions to game sequels
The unnecessary new features that inevitably slip into the franchises we love


The Top 7... Sequels that improved nothing
Years of development, stacks of new tech, millions of dollars, no discernable improvement


Essential ingredients for video game sequels
Or how to make a killer sequel when all the best ideas were in the original


Top 7


  • pintofbeer786 - November 19, 2010 12:37 p.m.

    wa'bout just cause 2
  • pintofbeer786 - November 19, 2010 12:32 p.m.

    i think just ause 2 was a massive improvement
  • Kezmer - October 15, 2010 3:18 a.m.

    Actraiser 2... ruined it !!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • RazielArcanum - October 13, 2010 11:04 a.m.

    I don't seem to recall any "memorable" bosses in Zelda II. ... ...okay, I could never finish it. I'm sorry.
  • philipshaw - October 13, 2010 10:59 a.m.

    Great article, I'm playing through Jak 2 again and even though it's radically different to the first game, I still think Jak 2 is the best in the series. I was surprised to not see Resi4 higher up the list
  • BAbaracus1983 - October 13, 2010 9:10 a.m.

    Pretty good list. Too bad that the list isn't for the top 8; then you could add Metal Gear Solid
  • eyeKARUMBA - October 13, 2010 4:25 a.m.

    Couple things; first, shouldn't RE4 be higher than 5? I mean, it revolutionized not only the RE series but the entire survival horror genre, and is one of the highest-reviewed games of all time. Second, and perhaps more importantly: where is Fallout 3? It turned the series from a top-down, turn-based RPG into a 1st-person, open world action-RPG, and did it beautifully (ignoring the glitches).
  • ScrEAMaPiLLar - October 13, 2010 1:34 a.m.

    I'd have to agree with each one. Can't wait to hear the discussion about these on Tdar.
  • AlpineGuy - October 13, 2010 12:39 a.m.

    This ended up being a pretty good list. Nice jorb there, Homesta-I mean, Mikel. Glad to see Prince of Persia: Warrior Within got a mention. Godsmack, anyone?
  • oreopizza47 - October 12, 2010 11:13 p.m.

    I happened to like RE5 alot. RE4 was good, but I stopped caring when it said "escort mission" and haven't yet gone back, although it was beautiful until then. RE5 on the other hand, is amazing in my opinion, because of it's co-op. Single player can feel like one big escort mission, but when you've got a friend sitting next to you helping you rock the zombie world, you know shit just got real. Personally, I prefer local co-op to online, but as long as a game has both I'm good. Can't stand games with only online though.
  • ViolentLee - October 12, 2010 10:41 p.m.

    Way to mention Dynasty Warriors. So few people realize/remember that the original was a 3D one-on-one fighter.
  • TheBoz - October 12, 2010 9:15 p.m.

    Creatures 2 on the C64, the original was a platformer with violent, and I mean violent and bloody torture rooms. The sequel went away from the linear play of the platform levels and concentrated on the torture rooms with bonus levels of bouncing the creatures from one end of the screen to the other. Also FIFA Football, the original game on the Megadrive was a 2d affair but with the illusion of a forced 3d perspective and what that has grown into. Very similar comparison to Duke Nukem as mentioned.
  • soccerclownking - October 12, 2010 8:53 p.m.

    What about Call of Duty Multiplayer? With CoD4 everyone was like Z0MFG CoD4 FTW OMGWTFBBQ!!!1!one!1! Soon after MW2 came out, most people including me called it a stupid campfest for 12 year old n00bz.
  • Cleanser247 - October 12, 2010 4:56 p.m.

    Great Top 7 Mikel! I enjoyed it : D
  • Clovin64 - October 12, 2010 2:56 p.m.

    Dynasty Warriors 3 was the first DW game I played after the first PS1 game. I had no idea it had turned into a battlefield brawler. Oh God, I had so much fun with DW3. Killing swarms of troops in 2 player co op is some of my favourite gamng memories.
  • TheWizard92 - October 12, 2010 2:30 p.m.

    I loved playing Dynasty Warriors 2 when I was younger! And, I am glad to see that Resident Evil was in this because I always hated having to used the d-pad controls for the first one, I died practicaly every 30 seconds. Not my best effort. Lol.
  • Bitchslapthehomeless - October 12, 2010 2:24 p.m.

    and Street Fighter 2! There, I've said my peace... Still a great read, Mikel.
  • Bitchslapthehomeless - October 12, 2010 2:19 p.m.

    Jak II was terrible, and a complete reaction to the Grand Theft Auto craze that was going on... And with that, I think Grand Theft Auto 3 should have REALLY been mentioned along with Metal Gear Solid, Mario 64, Ocarina of Time, Burnout: Takedown and Warcraft II deserve mentions over these games, as they all introduced stuff that really changed games.

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