There are a surprising number of sequels releasing in 2019: while those with even a casual interest in the industry will be aware of major upcoming blockbusters like The Last of Us Part II and Red Dead Redemption II, there are a ton of lesser-known video game iterations launching next year that should have fans equally excited.
Releasing a follow up to a beloved stand-alone title can be a tenuous proposition: while fantastic sequels can help to elevate potentially lackluster first outings, terrible second tries can sometimes damage a series’ legacy as a whole. For instance, Duke Nukem was once an unmitigated FPS triumph until his 2011 outing marred his reputation forever. Similarly, fans of complex mech games praised the Steel Battalion series until From Software essentially destroyed it with their Kinect-exclusive Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor. In some cases, it may be better for a franchise to remain dormant.
That doesn’t mean that we haven’t been treated to some exemplary sequels in the past, and there are plenty of reasons to remain optimistic heading into 2019. Long-promised video game sequels may be debuting in 2019, and near-vaporware titles like Beyond Good and Evil 2 and Capcom’s long-fabled Resident Evil 2 remake may soon be in the hands of gamers everywhere. As summer turns to fall and the lineup of soon-to-be-released games becomes ever more enticing, we count fifteen video game sequels that we can’t wait to play (and fifteen we never want to see).
30 Upcoming: Tom Clancy’s The Division 2
Despite passing away in 2013, Tom Clancy remains one of the most prolific video game designers of our time. Sarcasm aside, his name has appeared on such recent titles as Ghost Recon: Wildlands, The Division, and the ever-popular Rainbow Six: Siege. 2015’s The Division was, unfortunately, made a casualty of its own marketing campaign which pitched the experience to be a great deal more compelling than it actually turned out to be. That said, players will be departing the first game’s frigid New York climate for a sunny romp through the nation’s capital. Perhaps this IP’s second outing can stand as a hallmark Ubisoft experience.
29 Not Interested: Mass Effect Andromeda Sequel
Though the original Mass Effect games were major successes for Electronic Arts and stood as one of the premier video game experiences of the previous console generation, 2017’s Mass Effect Andromeda was a huge misfire which may have spelled the end for the series as a whole. Straying from the narrative presented in previous games, Andromeda elected to allow players to create their own characters and define their own journeys. That said, the game was obviously rushed and completely unrefined. Had it remained in the oven for another year or so, it may have been a fine experience. As it stands, however, many are content to allow this franchise to stagnate lest we receive yet another half-baked clunker.
28 Upcoming: The Last Of Us Part II
Though it initially released in the waning years of Sony’s third PlayStation console, The Last of Us: Remastered was, in many ways, a killer app for the PS4 and one of the best video game experiences available on current generation hardware. Rumors of a sequel had circulated for years, but speculation was finally put to rest during 2016’s PlayStation Experience conference when Naughty Dog finally introduced us to a grown-up version of Ellie playing a guitar to an audience of none save Joel and a corpse. The Last of Us Part II will drop sometime in 2019, and PS4 owners are chomping at the bit—not unlike the game’s zombie-like infected—to play it.
27 Not Interested: Need for Speed Payback Sequel
While EA’s Star Wars Battlefront II caught most of the flak concerning the company’s PR nightmare which spawned from their implementation of pay-to-win loot box mechanics in some of their games, 2017’s Need for Speed Payback featured similar slimy strategies. Yet, contrary to EA’s face-saving pre-release microtransaction abdication for the former title, loot boxes, mini DLC pieces, and pay-to-win mechanics made their way—in all their malignant glory—to the most recent Need for Speed title. The game was reviewed poorly, panned by gamers, and raked the long-beloved NFS name through the mud. While some are still hungry for more fast-paced street racing action, nobody wants another Payback.
26 Upcoming: Doom: Eternal
2016’s Doom was a totally fresh and unique experience in an industry that had long shunned the concept of the run-and-gun, tough as nails shooter genre. With fast-paced, twitch gameplay, it was a heaven-sent piece of software for those longing for some classic 90’s shooting experiences in the modern gaming era. Doom: Eternal, which has yet to receive a definitive launch date but will likely release sometime next year, looks to offer up even more demon-slaying mayhem. Taking the series to planet Earth for the first time in its long history, FPS fans need to keep an eye on this one.
25 Not Interested: Sea Of Thieves 2
24 Upcoming: Beyond Good And Evil 2
2004’s Beyond Good and Evil was a terrific and bizarre mix of a bunch of different styles and genres, and could only really be described rather ambiguously as an “action adventure” game. Though a total commercial failure upon initial release, the game developed a cult following in the years after its release, and this meager attention soon exploded into a worldwide phenomenon. A sequel, appropriately titled Beyond Good and Evil 2 was rumored to be in the works for nearly a decade and a half before we E3 2017 finally outed the project. A major switch in terms of atmosphere and tone, Beyond Good and Evil 2 looks to be a 2019 standout.
23 Not Interested: Agony 2
Here is a brief public service announcement for budding game journalists eager to lump each and every new horror title into the “survival horror” genre. Resident Evil is a survival horror title because a major portion of the experience was centered around inventory management and appropriate bullet-to-face resource expenditure. Hide-and-hope-the-monster-goes-away titles like Outlast and Agony aren’t survival horror. In fact, 2018’s Agony was a great many things, and none of them were good. A totally unfinished, poorly thought out romp through the underworld, the only thing it had going for it was its concept. Agony will almost certainly never get a sequel, and that is perfectly fine with us.
22 Upcoming: Spelunky 2
Derek Yu’s indie classic Spelunky was, along with Edmond McMillan’s unforgettable flash title The Binding of Isaac, one of the pioneers in the now-commonplace roguelike (or roguelite) genre. Tough as nails and addicting as anything, Spelunky invited players to test the limits of their abilities while learning from their mistakes, capturing fabulous treasures, and saving literal damsels in distress. Spelunky 2, which seems to be slated for a release sometime next year, will put players in the shoe’s of the first game’s protagonist’s daughter, who seems to be keeping up the family treasure-hunting tradition. For those who couldn’t quite get enough of the hazardous caves and dangerous dungeons in Spelunky, the sequel is sure to please.
21 Not Interested: Rime 2
In a vacuum, last year’s atmospheric, mysterious puzzle adventure Rime would be a fantastic experience. Unfortunately, it bears the burden of existing in a universe alongside so many other similar titles. We’ve seen this formula seemingly hundreds of times: a small child, a simple yet beautiful artistic style, and an ambiguous quest to find answers or right some kind of nebulous wrongdoing. Games like Shadow of the Colossus, Inside, and The Witness tread this same path, yet each are more compelling than Rime in their own unique ways. A sequel to Rime may, in fact, hold some potential, but most probably wouldn’t be interested enough to pick it up.
20 Upcoming: The Wolf Among Us Season 2
The goodwill Telltale Games once earned as a result of fantastic, industry-defining releases like their Walking Dead and Tales from the Borderlands interactive experiences is beginning to wear thin, and consumers are slowly starting to lament the trite, increasingly uninspired drivel the studio continues to pump out (Minecraft Story Mode—case in point). However, 2019 may see a Telltale revival as a result of the sequel to their well-regarded 2013 episodic detective narrative The Wolf Among Us. These California-based developers may be drawing their cel-shaded choose-your-own-adventure schtick out a little too far, but The Wolf Among Us 2 may just serve as a reminder of what made Telltale great in the first place.
19 Not Interested: Sonic Forces Sequel
The Sonic the Hedgehog 2017 release lineup detailed once again just how poorly thought out and lazily implemented most 3D Sonic games are. That isn’t to say that they are all bad, but Sonic Forces was a completely abhorrent experience which made the already great Sonic Mania look like a total masterpiece in comparison. Sega seemingly can’t grasp what makes Sonic fun to play, instead opting to jam in a bunch of strange customization levels and downright boring “retro” sections into their title. While a far cry from the blue blur’s totally unforgivable 2014 outing, fans likely aren’t pining for another entry into the Sonic Forces canon.
18 Upcoming: Elex 2
The original Elex game launched last year to generally favorable reviews, though it was relegated to relative obscurity thanks to a release window which included major titles like Call of Duty WWII and Super Mario Odyssey. Though it certainly had its flaws, Elex was a competent open-world action RPG which sought to marry the feel of a game in the Witcher series to a more cyberpunk atmosphere. Fans of this overlooked title will be happy to know that a sequel has been slated for release in 2019 and looks to improve upon much of what made the first game a bit of a drag to play.
17 Not Interested: Metal Gear Survive Sequel
Nobody is quite sure what is to become of the historically fantastic Metal Gear franchise now that its creator, Hideo Kojima, has been hastily ousted from Konami. While many are eagerly anticipating the release of his upcoming title Death Stranding, few can say what will become of the franchise which brought him fame. 2018’s Metal Gear Survive was an abysmal spin-off which totally misunderstood the fundamentals of the Metal Gear series, and most are desperately hoping that Konami will mercefully abandon the series rather than continue to pump out a collection of lame misfires which further mar the name of these once-great titles.
16 Upcoming: Rage 2
Releasing all the way back in October 2011, id Software’s Rage was touted as being the next great franchise to spawn from the makers of such titanic titles as Doom, Quake, and Wolfenstein 3D. That wasn’t exactly the case, though, and this underwhelming FPS vastly underperformed in sales despite advancing at least a few interesting ideas. Though dormant for just about eight years, the series will return in 2019 with Rage 2, which promises to be a huge advancement in terms of scale and scope. Where the original was relatively restrictive and ended abruptly, Rage 2 promises to be a massive, endlessly-entertaining experience.
15 Not Interested: Arms 2
Arms was a decent game in its own right, but it has been totally overshadowed by subsequent blockbuster Switch titles like Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Though fun for an hour or two, Arms doesn’t offer players much of a reason to return time and time again, and the new IP didn’t seem to earn enough fanfare to warrant a sequel any time soon. Arms was, unfortunately, just a bit too loud and obnoxious for its own good, and Nintendo may want to go back to the drawing board before rehashing this formula.
14 Upcoming: Psychonauts 2
The original Psychonauts was a sixth-generation classic which is often touted as one of the most imaginative video games of its era. Earning a legion of frenzied fans, Tim Schafer—the auteur mind behind industry darlings Double Fine Productions—eventually saw fit to produce a long-awaited sequel to his 2005 masterpiece. Unfortunately, Psychonauts 2 has experienced an unprecedented amount of roadblocks, and the game’s original 2018 release date was moved back by about a year. There’s still plenty of reasons to be excited for this quirky new platforming adventure, we’ll just have to wait a bit longer to get our hands on it.
13 Not Interested: The Order 1886 Sequel
Developer Ready at Dawn’s 2015 Sony-exclusive third-person shooter The Order 1886 was touted as being a must-have next generation title. Though the game was graphically stunning, it was incredibly shallow and could be completed in as little as four to five hours. Launching at a ridiculous retail price of $60, many PS4 owners felt cheated by the game’s anemic offerings. While a sequel may amend some of the original game’s flaws, it is likely too late for another adventure in steampunk 19th century London to reignite the goodwill of most gamers. Most Sony fans would rather move on than trudge through more mediocre digital mire.
12 Upcoming: Ori and the Will Of The Wisps
2015’s Ori and the Blind Forest was a breathtaking 2D platformer which was so incredibly heartfelt and visually stunning that a screenshot from the game might fit on the Sistine Chapel. That may be a bit of hyperbole, but this Microsoft-published sidescroller was perhaps the pinnacle of mid-eighth-generation visual fidelity. Ori and the Will of the Wisps, a follow-up of 2015’s release, promises to be equally as charming as its predecessor. Though it may not pack quite the same punch as other high-profile 2019 releases, this games should be on just about everyone’s radar, though Microsoft seems to believe it to be a standout on the Xbox One in particular.
11 Not Interested: 1-2 Switch Sequel
Nintendo’s Wii Sports was perhaps the most prolific pack-in title to ever be included with any console ever released. The Wii sold so well and was so ubiquitous that your tech-illiterate grandparents probably still have one sitting on their tacky, outdated media center next to their tube TV. It inadvertently set a standard for included-in-the-box Nintendo titles, and while the Wii U’s Deluxe Edition pack in Nintendo Land was a bit of a disappointment, the company sought to right the ship with 1-2 Switch, which was clearly intended to be the first game many Switch owners would experience. Unfortunately, it was less of a video game and more of an aggrandize board game, and it totally failed to show off what made the Switch so good.
10 Upcoming: The Surge 2
The Surge was a cyberpunk adaptation of From Software’s now famous Dark Souls formula which was developed by Lord’s of the Fallen creators Deck 13. While The Surge had its moments, it couldn’t quite live up to the games which it tried so drastically to emulate, and, as a result, was grossly overlooked when it released back in 2017. The game must have at least met sales expectations, though, because E3 2018 saw the reveal of The Surge 2, which looks to expand upon the scenarios set up in the game’s predecessor. Many fans will never accept The Surge as anything more than a Dark Souls pretender, but this upcoming sequel may be able to defy those expectations.
9 Not Interested: Yooka-Laylee 2
Yooka-Laylee was one of a myriad of high-profile crowdfunded games which promised the world and failed to deliver. Attempting to capitalize on nostalgia-blind Nintendo 64 fans, Yooka-Laylee aped the design of such classic titles as Banjo Kazooie and Donkey Kong 64 without realizing that those games hadn’t exactly aged all that well. As a result, Yooka-Laylee was an underwhelming experience which too closely copied the games by which it was influenced. Despite support from many ex-Rare devs and a musical score composed by the fantastic Kirk Granthope, Playtonic Games’ mascot platformer probably won’t again see the light of day.
8 Upcoming: The Talos Principle 2
2014’s The Talos Principle was a unique little gem which seems to have taken major influence from games like Portal and The Stanley Parable and paired these concepts with a delightfully difficult set of puzzles. Mainstream puzzle games are few and far between these days, and compelling, well-thought-out experiences in this genre are even more difficult to come across. Fans of brain-busting mechanics and intuition-testing design will be all over this game, and those who missed out on the original release will almost certainly want to pick it up before The Talos Principle 2 drops in 2019.
7 Not Interested: Agents Of Mayhem 2
Volition’s 2017 pseudo-hero shooter Agents of Mayhem was a strange title which sought to bring the outlandish humor of the Saints Row franchise and combine it with a single player version of something like Activision Blizzard’s Overwatch. However, much of the comedy fell flat, and a majority of the experience played like an extremely grind-heavy RPG. Though it had a few unique ideas to share, Agents of Mayhem was mostly forgotten soon after it released, and few would be interested in a sequel. The original title received mixed reviews, and it’s hard to imagine that this formula could be developed into anything more than a mediocre shadow of the titles it would seek to emulate.
6 Upcoming: Freedom Planet 2
2014’s indie darling Freedom Planet was a deliberately retro attempt at copying the glory days of fast-paced side-scrolling action. Beginning life as a Sonic the Hedgehog fan game, it quickly spiraled into something entirely unique, and it inadvertently pays homage to the sometimes well-regarded wannabe Sonic platformers of the 90’s like Gex and Jazz Jackrabbit. A sequel was originally announced in 2017, but things are pointing to a release in either late 2018 or early 2019. Sonic Mania was a revival of sorts for games of this type, and those looking for more modern examples of great retro-style platformers may want to check this out when it goes live.
5 Not Interested: Ghost Recon Wildlands 2
Montreuil-based publisher Ubisoft has slowly built up a reputation for releasing extremely similar games, and it’s now rare to see their hand in a title that isn’t some sort of open world third or first-person shooter. Loaded with expansive maps, lookout towers, and littered with collectibles and side quests, titles by this French developer are just about as homogeneous as they come. While a sequel to 2017’s Ghost Recon Wildlands feels like an inevitability, more and more gamers are rolling their eyes and holding their noses as Ubisoft continues to dress the same core game in different outfits. Wildlands wasn’t a terrible experience, but it was far too uninspired, and we don’t need another of these samey titles in the near future.
4 Upcoming: Evil Genius 2
The original Evil Genius title, which released back in 2004, was an overlooked, underrated resource management game which tasked players with developing the most advanced evil lair possible. The game was a bit overly-clunky and failed to capture much of the magic which made similar games so successful, but a full fifteen years of industry innovation may benefit the game’s unprecedented sequel, the upcoming Evil Genius 2. It’s unlikely that there are all that many players chomping at the bit to get their hands on a sequel nobody really asked for, but great things can sometimes come in small, unassuming packages. What’s more, the series’ first outing is currently available for purchase on steam and comes with overwhelmingly positive reviews.
3 Not Interested: No Man’s Sky 2
Hello Games’ No Man’s Sky was one of the most hyped games to be released in 2016, and yet, two years since its initial release, the public’s toxic ill will toward the game is gradually beginning to dissipate. While Sean Murray and company may have made amends with the massive overhaul that was the No Man’s Sky Next patch, the game will forever be marred by its abysmal launch. As nice as it may be to finally have a fully-realized version of this space exploration sim at our fingertips, the announcement of a sequel would be met with almost universal skepticism. Hello Games have permanently added their names to many gamers naughty lists, and they’ll need to tread very lightly if and when they ever produce another unique title.
2 Upcoming: Mount And Blade II: Bannerlord
2008’s Mount & Blade was a unique PC exclusive which combined visceral medieval combat with tactical military strategy, and, though something of a niche title, its status as a beloved late-2000s gem remains unwavering ten years after release. Plenty judged it to be a great game, but there is no denying that the title’s visuals were pretty lacking, even for the time. That said, the upcoming Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord promises to maintain the game’s time-honored core mechanics while updating the visuals and modernizing the experience. Casual onlookers probably won’t see the appeal, but that isn’t likely to perturb the game’s developers.
1 Not Interested: Mirror’s Edge Catalyst Follow-up
2008’s Mirror’s Edge proved that EA and Dice were at least willing to try a few new ideas before trotting out yet another set of Battlefield and Star Wars Battlefront titles. Though fluid, exciting, and utterly unique, Mirror’s Edge received relatively mixed reviews when it first launched. After that, the game drifted into obscurity and was considered to be a one-off experiment from the publisher until a sequel, titled Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, was revealed at 2015’s E3 conference. Unfortunately for fans of the series, Catalyst suffered from a host of technical issues, and the gameplay on offer was hardly worth wading through Dice’s faults. While it may have been a great idea on paper, few are likely to ask for a third entrant in this rocky franchise.