When we think of a sequel, we often picture something that brings more than it’s predecessors. They should build upon what was laid out before them while also bringing something new. While many sequels have achieved this, other have seen no such luck. Its times like these that show us how some games work best on their own. They offer so much and play so well that anything beyond them would feel like a let down. It’s with that in mind that we offer our list of five games that are so good that they don’t need sequels.
1. Octopath Traveler
Octopath Traveler initially attracted many with its unique 2.5D story-book aesthetics. Of course, those who dive deeper will realize that there’s more to this RPG than just looks. With eight different characters to follow, Octopath Traveler balances each story extremely well, with each excellently developing the protagonists in an intimate manner. On top of that, the combat plays well, animations are visually stunning, and the music brings nostalgia for classic NES and SNES RPGs. A sequel to such a successful title would equate to capturing lighting in a bottle twice. Attempting to recreate the unique gameplay and premise while also trying to elevate what was already amazing would result in something lackluster. It didn’t work for Chrono Trigger, and it wouldn’t work here.
2. Shovel Knight
If Octopath Traveler acted as a swan song for retro RPGs, then Shovel Knight does the same for platformers of the past. The Indie hit that drew inspiration from kings such as the Super Mario Bros. series took the world by storm, leaving players wanting more. While we have been receiving DLC expansions that extend what makes the game so great, nothing has pushed it to new heights. That’s to be expected, DLC doesn’t necessarily have to exceed the main product. However, maybe there’s not much to improve upon. Shovel Knight brings charm along with precise platforming and well-thought level design unseen in years, so how do you top that? Well, you don’t.
Have you ever had something so unique and different that you could never picture something remotely similar? Bastion exemplifies that in spades. This title pushes the line between games and art with its gorgeous visual style and one-of-a-kind story-telling method. The charisma of the narrator alone gives the game a sense of individuality. Needless to say, the gameplay holds up as well. The chaotic action adds strategy and quick decision-making to another level. This vibrant world with its encapsulating plot takes RPGs to a completely new environment. It just seems that this magic can’t be brought again, and that’s ok – we have some great magic in Bastion.
4. Marvel’s Spider-Man
Marvel’s Spider-Man was nominated for game of the year in 2018 – that enough should tell you about its quality. Super hero games come out of the woodwork constantly with mixed results, but every now and then you’ll get something pretty spectacular. Spider-Man not only captures the thrill and excitement of swinging and crime-fighting as the wall-crawler himself, but also provides a fleshed-out, expansive world to explore long the way. Every nook and cranny of New York City contains something of interest, from a collectible to an extensive side quest. The game also manages to make us care about playing as Peter Parker as well as Spider-man with a developed story that gives the character interesting growth. Obviously, such a large endeavor comes with risks. Luckily, it seems to have paid of for Spider-Man. Will a sequel come? probably so, but it will be a daunting task to surpass this masterpiece. Perhaps its best not to take the chance and leave such a great game as its own little gem.
5. Astral Chain
We all know that PlatinumGames can create amazing action games, and Astral Chain is a testament to that. The combat feels smooth and combos present flash and intensity that keep players engaged for hours. Interestingly though, it seems that what makes Astral Chain such an enjoyable experience comes from not just the combat, but also the crime-solving spread throughout the campaign. Players use clues and investigate different areas in order to proceed, which gives a nice break to the constant battles. Add a satisfying plot that constantly keeps you on the edge of your seat, and you have a game that stands on its own. While a sequel would be welcomed by fans, its safe to say that any continuation would feel unneeded and tacked-on.
What games do you think don’t need a sequel? Let us know in the comments! For more lists, check out our five games that crashed the hype train and our top ten crowd-funded titles. Otherwise, keep it on Culture of Gaming for all things gaming!