The Most Disappointing Video Game Sequels Ever

Over 1.4K Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Most Disappointing Video Game Sequels Ever
Voting Rules
Vote up the games that are unforgivable letdowns.

There are few things worse than disappointing video game sequels that fail to live up to the hype set by their predecessors. Even some of the best games of all time have led to terrible video game sequels that leave fans with a bitter taste in their mouths. The most disappointing video games can actually kill entire franchises, as was the case with Mass Effect: Andromeda in 2017.

Plenty of factors can lead to a followup title that isn't quite as good as the original. It could drop the ball and deliver a plot that doesn’t have a satisfying ending, or it could fail to bring anything new to the table, choosing instead to stick with what worked in the first entry. When combined with a myriad of other factors, i'ts easy for a sequel to not be as good as it should have been. 

  • There was basically no way that Duke Nukem Forever could have been anything but a disappointment. A 15 year development cycle meant that the game had to be rebuilt from the ground up several times, and even then it failed to compete with more modern titles. By the time the game finally came out in 2011, gaming standards had evolved to a point where the childish jokes and lack of distinct gameplay could only be seen as boring.

  • Bomberman: Act Zero is the perfect example of everything a sequel should not do. Departing from all the things that the series was known for, the 2006 game featured a generic cyborg character fighting in an apocalyptic future. Whereas the previous puzzle games were generally light in tone, this new installment was a darker, more adult orientated experience. The repetitive stages look almost identical to one another, and a lack of basic features — such as a save function —caused the game to receive nothing but criticism. 

  • The Mass Effect series is one of the biggest RPG franchises in recent memory; the original trilogy dominated the last generation of consoles. Despite a few missteps in terms of gameplay and storytelling, the first three games are remembered as a new evolution in role-playing adventures.

    The much anticipated followup, Mass Effect: Andromeda, came out in 2017, and was the first game from the franchise to be released on PS4/Xbox One. While fans were super excited prior to the game's release, a lack of new alien species to encounter, a stale plot, and a huge amount of bugs lead to an experience that's anything but epic. The game was so disappointing that EA has since put the series on an indefinite hold.

  • 4
    370 votes

    Resident Evil 6 tried to expand upon everything that made the series great, but ended up with far too much fluff. With a wide range of characters and separate storylines, the 2013 game had little direction, and everything felt overly complicated. There's also little in the way of survival horror elements, and the game more closely resembled a generic shooter. With over 30 unlockable weapons, ammo is rarely scarce, and enemies felt more like temporary hold-ups than monstrosities. The plot lines feature few genuinely scary moments, and challenge players' patience more than their abilities. 

  • In the '90s and early 2000s, Banjo-Kazooie and its immediate sequel established a new standard for platformers. When Rare announced that they were making a brand new entry for the Xbox 360, excitement quickly began to build. However, 2008's Nuts & Bolts isn't a classic platformer; instead, it's sort of hybrid between a racer and collection/building game. It's nothing like the other titles in the series, and this departure caught the majority of fans off-guard. While the game is still pretty fun, most were confused as to why the Banjo name had been tacked onto a title that seemingly had nothing to do with the franchise.

  • The original Perfect Dark was one of the first great FPS titles to be made specifically for consoles. Like GoldenEye before it, the game was created by Rare, and found huge commercial and critical success. In particular, the game was praised for its innovative design, wide array of weapons, and excellent enemy AI. 

    In 2002, Microsoft purchased Rare and announced that they were creating a Perfect Dark prequel to serve as a launch title for the Xbox 360. The hype for the new game was bolstered by the excitement of a new console generation, and hopes were understandably high. Unfortunately, the result disappointed the vast majority of fans and critics when the game released in 2005. 

    Compared to other 360 launch titles (such as Call of Duty 2 and Condemned: Criminal Origins), the game was visually unimpressive, and the gameplay was far less revolutionary than its predecessor. Technology that was super impressive in 2000 failed to wow people five years (and two console generations) later.