Just like Hollywood, sequels are a pretty common practice in the world of video games these days, where almost everything has to have the potential to turn into a franchise.
After all, the sequel to an established IP is bound to draw more attention and more money, and at the end of the day, it’s money that makes this industry go round. Mostly because nobody wants to work for free, to be fair.
Except for modders, apparently. Poor souls.
Unfortunately, while there are certain games that should never have been given sequels, there are even more games that were truly deserving of a sequel, but for whatever reason never got one.
Here are our top 10 video games that never got sequels. Pour one out for these unfortunate ‘one hit wonders’.
Star Wars: Republic Commando
Star Wars Republic Commando is an excellent first-person tactical shooter, and depending on who you ask, also one of the finest Star Wars games ever to have existed.
The game’s first-person view and focus on the more grounded elements of Star Wars made for a truly immersive experience, but a sequel never got off the ground.
It turns out that a Republic Commando sequel was being worked on at one point, and would have had you controlling a squad of Stormtroopers tasked with hunting down the last remaining Jedi, post Revenge of the Sith.
Yeah, the fact we never got that breaks my heart.
Diddy Kong Racing
Diddy Kong Racing is the best kart racing game on the Nintendo 64, don’t even @ me, Mario Kart.
With bright, vibrant graphics, some of Rare’s best characters, and imaginative vehicles that worked on air, land, and sea, Diddy Kong was doing things the Mario Kart franchise wouldn’t attempt until the 3DS era.
Sadly, a jealous Mario clearly used his clout at Nintendo to make sure Donkey Kong’s sidekick would never get another kart racer for as long as he lived, although we did get a remake for DS, years later.
Conker’s Bad Fur Day
Another Rare IP, Conker’s Bad Fur Day was basically Banjo Kazooie for grown-ups – a foul-mouthed, brilliantly puerile 3D platformer that featured – among other things – a giant singing turd as a boss battle.
Alas, as with most things Rare, things fell apart after the N64 glory days. A number of sequels were planned, but most of them were shot down.
The most promising sounding involved Conker escaping from prison after spending all his money on hookers and beer, but it was scuppered after Microsoft bought Rare in 2002 and shut the project down.
At least we have that bang average Xbox remake of Bad Fur Day though. Thanks for that, Microsoft.
Shadow Of The Colossus
Shadow Of The Colossus, as we’ve probably said a number of times before now, is an absolute work of art. Team Ico’s PS2 classic is a breathtaking, emotional epic, and belongs in the pantheon of all-time great games.
So why did it never get a sequel?
The obvious answer is that it never really needed one. Shadow told a pretty perfect story and the entire adventure wrapped itself up in a neat – if depressing – bow.
There’s also the fact that Team Ico then proceeded to spent the next thousand years working on The Last Guardian, but with that game finally out of the way, I guess a sequel to Shadow isn’t impossible. Very, very unlikely – but not impossible.
Rockstar’s LA Noire was an incredible game, and arguably the most immersive and complete detective adventure game of all time. Interrogating suspects, chasing down bad guys, and cracking cases was all brilliantly done.
Given just how popular L.A Noire is among gamers, it seems crazy that we still haven’t had a sequel. Thankfully, it looks like L.A Noire 2 is much more likely than many other potential sequels on this list.
Rockstar has spoken previously about a follow-up game at some point, revealing that they’re certainly open to the idea.
Of course, Rockstar famously takes their time on games – you only need to look at the eight years between Red Dead Redemption and Red Dead Redemption 2 for proof of that. L.A Noire 2, coming sometime in 2025. Maybe.
One PS2 era shooter that everyone seems to have a lot of time for is the Criterion Games developed Black, a gorgeous, detailed FPS that saw players take on the role of a CIA agent in the fight against terrorism.
I’d argue that Black was truly ahead of its time, thanks to some brilliant sound design and realistic destructible environments. Criterion Games – who developed the Burnout franchise – hoped that Black could do for shooters what Burnout did for racing games.
Despite the game’s popularity, a sequel never did arrive. A follow up was scheduled to land on PS3 and Xbox 360, with refined gameplay and a completely new story, but Criterion and publisher EA allegedly never could agree on a direction, and Black 2 simply faded out of existence.
Gun was an underrated western-themed action-adventure game for PS2, Xbox, and GameCube.
The Neversoft developed game had a lot in common with Red Dead Revolver, including an open world, hunting side quests, poker mini-games, and even a bullet-time slow down move for intense shootouts.
But while Red Dead would go on to become a well respected and beloved franchise, a sequel to Gun never saw the light of day.
It’s not clear if there ever actually was going to be a Gun 2, as nobody at Neversoft or Activision has ever really spoken about it since. It’s likely that Red Dead Redemption created such a definitive Western experience a few years later, that they felt a potential Gun sequel would never quite match up.
When The Warriors came out to play on PS2 and Xbox in 2005, many agreed that it was one of the finest video game adaptations of a movie ever to exist, second only, perhaps, to Spider-Man 2.
That was over a year ago, and very, very few video game movie adaptations have yet to match the level of quality we saw in Rockstar’s brutal beat ’em up take on the cult film.
The reason we never got a sequel to The Warriors is kind of obvious really. The movie never got a sequel. It’d be kind of hard to adapt what doesn’t exist, even for a developer as skilled as Rockstar
Bully is yet another Rockstar game that has yet to receive a sequel.
The 2006 game launched to critical and commercial acclaim, with many praising the unique gameplay, witty script, and whimsical open world gameplay.
In the years since, those selfish gits at Rockstar apparently decided we’d rather have multiple new Grand Theft Auto games and two Red Dead Redemptions instead of a Bully 2.
While I’m sure we’re all eternally grateful for the games Rockstar has released since Bully, I think we’re all ready to return to Bulworth Academy for another year.
Rumours have been flying around for a while now that Bully 2 will be the next game from Rockstar now that Red Dead Redemption 2 is out, but who can really know what they have up their sleeves? Besides Rockstar themselves, obviously.
The Simpsons: Hit & Run
Of all the video games in all the world that people feel deserve a current-gen remaster or sequel, Simpsons: Hit & Run will usually be at the top of the list by some way.
Casual and hardcore gamers alike fell in love with the game, exploring various open-ended levels that represented different sections of Springfield.
Hours were spent exploring famous locations from the classic TV series, driving around in ridiculous vehicles that referenced classic episodes, and causing havoc as Homer, Lisa, Bart, Marge, and Apu for… some reason.
Despite the fact that fans have been clamouring for a sequel for years – even starting a petition in 2017 to try and make it happen – a Simpsons: Hit & Run 2 seems like a pipe dream, simply because official sources have never opened up about the possibility of it.
It’s also likely because it’s much cheaper and easier to make quick licensed games for mobile these days, rather than release AAA standard console games. We can still daydream about Simpsons: Hit & Run 2, though…
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.