Games That Deserve A Second Chance

by GregFahlgren

Examining the best games and game franchises that deserve another shot at glory.

Gaming has been a major passion of mine since I was a kid playing Wolfenstien 3D on my Dad’s computer. I can’t explain in words how much video games have meant to me over the years, and will continue to mean for me as I grow old and bitter about how much they cost now (seriously, WTF is with the prices these days?).

However, there have been a host of games over the years that I have played, loved, and then waited patiently for a sequel that never came. I understand the industry is very fickle, with financial concerns often being the deciding factor on if a franchise continues, but there are more than a few games out there that I think should get a second chance at life, be it a sequel, a reboot, a remake, or even just a re-release on a new platform. Today, I will talk about those games, and why they deserve another chance at glory.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

Untapped Power

Starting this blog off with one of my favourite action-adventure games ever, The Force Unleashed was a wonderfully fun, epic adventure. Putting you in the shoes of Darth Vader’s secret apprentice Starkiller the game takes place between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. With amazing sequences and some balls out amazing Force displays, Force Unleashed was a ridiculously entertaining game that was way more fun than I should have ever expected.

Following up on its success, a sequel was released, with better visuals, more seamless game play, and more powers than you could shake a lightsaber at. In my opinion the second game was ever better than the first (albeit with a short campaign), exploring a darker and more personal story Following a close of Starkiller as he journeyed to save his former love and defeat Darth Vader, Force Unleashed II presented some of the best action fighting sequences I’ve ever seen in a game. Ending on a cliff hanger, many fans believed there would be a sequel.

Sadly, there never was. Unfortunately, the sales and critical reception for the second game were not good enough to warrant making another installment. This is shame really, since the franchise had so much potential. Hopefully, we get a conclusion to Starkiller’s story, but until then, we can still bask in the awesomeness of using the Force to bring down a Star Destroyer... seriously, that was awesome!

Battlefield Bad Company

Misfits at War

Battlefield has in recent years become one of gaming’s hottest franchises, its multiplayer becoming nearly as popular as Call of Duty, and that is no mean feat as gamers will tell you. This surge in popularity began with the entry Bad Company 2, which features one of the best FPS single-player campaigns in modern gaming history. The first game was pretty good, and still a lot of fun frankly, but the second game was beyond awesome, it’s single-player and multiplayer incredible to say the least. So one might ask: why did I put Bad Company on this list?

Well, instead of continuing the Bad Company franchise, DICE decided to return to the main series with Battlefield 3, which to be honest was not nearly as good as I had expected it to be. The multiplayer was awesome, no denying that (though the idea of buying a server just to play the maps I want is ridiculous), but the campaign was generic, and felt empty. There was no personal connection with the characters, no real reason to care about what happens to them. In Bad Company, the ragtag squad of misfits were endearing, hilarious, and actually quite likeable compared to the generic, cookie-cutter soldiers of the main series. Why DICE decided to move away from Bad Company I have no idea. The game’s humorous and offbeat tone made it a completely different kind of game than Call of Duty. The new games feel like they were trying to out-COD COD, which you’re not going to able to do no matter how hard you try.

Bad Company and Bad Company 2 were a lot of fun, the second game one of my all time favourite shooters, and I wish DICE would go back to those four loveable idiots going on impossible missions to save cheerleaders. Gaming doesn’t need more Call of Duty clones. It needs more games like Bad Company, and it’s a shame it looks like we’re not getting any.

The Darkness

Evil Incarnate

Another entry that leaves me with a bit of a bitter taste in my mouth, The Darkness came out in 2007, and quickly became one of the biggest hits of the year. Giving a unique feel to an old genre, The Darkness wowed fans with a tragic story, great gameplay, and amazing graphics. Its sequel, The Darkness II, took things even further, following up on the first game’s success, becoming a hit in its own right. However, the ending left a cliff hanger, hinting that 2K Games were preparing for a third installment, much to fans delight.

However, that installment never came, leaving many scratching their heads and wondering why the franchise had been left behind. It’s only been a few years since The Darkness II, but the fact that fans have heard nothing about a third installment leaves many to wonder if it will ever happen.


Where's Gordon?

Now, I am going to preface this by admitting that I know there have been rumours about Half-Life 3 for some time now, but since Valve hasn’t even given us a hint as to when the next installment of the franchise is coming, I’m just going to start this section by saying this: WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU VALVE!? TEN FUCKING YEARS SINCE THE LAST GAME!? SERIOUSLY, DO YOU HATE MONEY!? GODDAMMIT VALVE!?

Okay, now that I’ve got that out of my system, let’s move one.

Half-Life is the game on this list that fans will get the angriest about. The first game, originally released for the PC in 90s, was an instant hit, and is widely considered one of the best FPS of its generation despite never making it to consoles for whatever reason (it was the 90s). It’s sequel, Half-Life 2, outstretched it by miles, becoming one of the best PC games ever, even getting two expansions that made it even bigger and better than anyone could have hoped possible. It was collected into The Orange Box along with Team Fortress 2 and Portal, bringing a horde of Xbox gamers into the Half-Life 2 family. Not a single fan ever thought that Valve would abandon it’s most profitable and beloved franchise.

However, at the end of Episode 2, there was a cliff hanger of somewhat ominous proportions, leading gamers everywhere to think that the finale to Half-Life 2’s story would be coming soon. That was over a decade ago, and since that we have had no clear sign that Episode 3 or Half-Life 3 is coming at all. This is beyond frustrating for gamers, and has lead to many criticize Valve, especially considering that 8 games have been released from the company since then. The future for the series is the longest running flux in gaming history, and with the main writer of the franchise having retired from the industry, it may by that Gordon Freeman’s saga will never be completed. That thought is one of the biggest and saddest injustices in the history of medium, and a shame that no mere words can adequately describe.

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

A REALLY Long Time Ago

Now, I’ve talked about this game before in another blog, so I won’t sing its praises again here, but in short Knights of the Old Republic may be the greatest Star Wars game ever made. Released in 2003, it was one of the best games for the Xbox, and even spawned a sequel, The Sith Lords the next year. Both games huge financial successes, the first helping Bioware further solidify their status as the best American producer of RPGs in the industry.

The ending to the second game left a big mystery to be solved, a launching point for a third and possibly final entry into the series. However, that entry never did come, Bioware moving on to other projects, and leaving fans to wonder what happened to all those characters, and why the wars that were fought had happened in the first place. The games that Bioware came out with in the subsequent years like Jade Empire, Mass Effect, and Dragon Age all had elements of KOTOR, so it remains a wonder why a third game never came out.

A few years ago, The Old Republic, an MMO game, was released, attempting to follow up on the previous games’ events. It was fairly successful, and from everything I’ve heard a great game, but fans were left a little wanting. I for one want a third KOTOR game, no offence to those who worked on The Old Republic and its expansions. With so much story left to tell from The Sith Lords, it would have been nice to see the story finished.

cade ago, and since that we have had no clear sign that Episode 3 or Half-Life 3 is coming at all. This is beyond frustrating for gamers, and has lead to many criticize Valve, especially considering that 8 games have been released from the company since then. The future for the series is the longest running flux in gaming history, and with the main writer of the franchise having retired from the industry, it may by that Gordan Freeman’s saga will never be completed. That thought is one of the biggest and saddest injustices in the history of medium, and a shame that no mere words can adequately describe.

Perfect Dark

Wasted Potential

I’ve spoken at length about my love for Perfect Dark in part III of My Favourite Games EVER so it shouldn’t be much of a wonder that this amazing game made the list. Fact is, Perfect Dark was and still is one of the greatest games ever made, which is why the fact a sequel was never made is one of the biggest head-scratchers in gaming history. The world was well-thought out, the gameplay addictive, the characters likeable (despite the atrocious voice acting), and the story easy to become invested in. There is no clear reason, nor a good one in my view, that Rare hadn’t capitalised on the success they earned with this game by making it into a major franchise. Sure, we got a prequel in Perfect Dark Zero, which was by far the best launch game for the Xbox 360, but it was nothing compared to the first, and prequels generally don’t do a lot for me anyway.

Recently, Perfect Dark was included in the Rare Replay collection, so hopefully it enjoys some new life. The game deserves it, and is a franchise that unfortunately was forgotten before it even had a chance to establish its legacy.


Sadly Exitnct

Another franchise that was very dear to me as a child, Turok was released in 1997, and quickly became one of the N64’s greatest early efforts. Within two years, a sequel followed up on that success, entitled Seeds of Evil. In my view, Seeds is one of the greatest games ever made, and one of my all time favourites (see My Favourite Games Ever III). However, after Seeds, the franchise hit a slight hiccup with Rage Wars, which was an okay multiplayer effort but didn’t wow as many fans as the developer had hoped. Things seemed to get back on track with the third main game, Shadows of Oblivion, which featured an even more in depth story that the second game, two new characters, and one of the best FPS campaigns of that generation. The franchise seemed poised to become a major giant in gaming, but then things took a downturn.

With the release of Turok: Evolution in 2002, the franchise scored is lowest critical and commercial success thus far, putting the franchise in jeopardy of being scrapped. A new game was released in 2008, simply entitled Turok, in an attempt to reboot the franchise. It was a pretty good game, I will say that, but many fans were disappointed by the change of direction. First of all, the game felt very small in comparison to the first three, Turok no longer a hero stopping a galactic menace, but now an outlaw space pirate trying to stop other outlaw space pirates. Yeah, there were dinosaurs, and a pretty interesting cast of characters (that felt like the crew from Aliens to me for some reason), and it was fun, but it didn’t feel like Turok, leaving many fans with a bitter taste in their mouth. The game was also not much of a financial success either, effectively killing the franchise, and there hasn’t been a new game since.

Late last year, the first two games were released and remastered on Windows, with console versions rumoured to be on the horizon. I’m hoping this will garner some renewed interest in the franchise, possibly launching a new series or flat remaking the original games for a new generation. Those hopes are aiming high I realize, but I find it a shame that a franchise that had once been such a hit went out with such a whimper.

Prince of Persia

Lost Royalty

In my teens, I played the Sands of Time Trilogy, quickly fell in love with it, easily becoming one of my favourite gaming trilogies of all time. So, in 2008, when the Prince of Persia franchise was rebooted, I was interested to see what direction they were taking it in, and what it would be about. What I got was an absolutely GORGEOUS game, with a massive world to explore, and two characters that made themselves very easy to love and be invested in. The adventure they took me on was epic to say the least, their fight against the darkness one of the best gaming experiences I’ve ever had.

However, it ended on a massive cliff hanger, and the expansion that was released on Xbox Live didn’t hold a satisfying conclusion, leaving on another cliff hanger (this one even more foreboding for the Prince). It has been eight years since, and fans have heard NOTHING about a second game that would conclude or continue this story. Instead, there was a fairly weak entry into the Sands of Time universe to coincide with a very weak movie, and since then, the franchise has laid dormant. Given, Assassin’s Creed has taken its place, and those games have been nothing short of incredible, but it’s sad that a game with so much potential was left alone like that.

There have been rumours recently of a new game, but for the moment, they are just rumours. I hope that we get a sequel one day, and re-enter that incredible world, but for now, it seems that Prince of Persia fans shall be left wanting.

Legend of Dragoon

Legend's Faded Glory

Another game from the late 90s/early 2000s, Legend of Dragoon was an incredible RPG for the original Playstation. I spoke about its awesomeness at length in the first episode of My Favourite Games EVER as some of you may recall, and I will reiterate here: This was an AMAZING game that deserve way more accolades than it got. RPG fans around the world agree that it was one of the best RPG’s of its generation, possibly of all time. With all that in mind, one must beg the question: why didn’t it get a sequel?

Short answer: sales. The game was not well reviewed at the time (retrospective reviews have garnered it some major praise), and back then people paid attention to reviews more than they do now. The game was also not marketed particularly well, many not even hearing about until sometime after it came out by word of mouth. This was a symptom of the 90s gaming industry unfortunately, as many companies didn’t know how to market particularly well, and the industry at large was still fairly small compared to what it is today. This all translated to the game only getting meager sales, enough to consider it a success, but not enough to warrant a sequel.

This is also the attitude of gaming from that time period. Sequels and series were often not considered even with the most successful games, often spiritual successors taking their place. Today, we are used to games getting full trilogies or more like movies will, even if the game is a moderate success. Back then, the game had to really play the market out of the water to justify making a sequel, and even then they were rare.

The fact that Legend of Dragoon suffered this fate is incredibly sad considering how good this game was, the concepts and execution so unique that there was and still is nothing quite like it. Maybe something will happen one day, but like many of the games on this list, the more years pass, the more it seems like Legend of Dragoon will continue to be a one-off, and that is a simple tragic fact of the world world of gaming.


Hope Runs Deep

Video games are one of the world’s biggest boom industries, one of the last ones that are still growing exponentially. More and more people play games every year, each one eager to play the next big hit in gaming. Sometimes though, even the greatest games fade away, as is evidence by the games I’ve talked about today. It is an unfortunate fact of entertainment that even the best produced content can get thrown to the wayside, remembered only by a few that truly loved it. This can be because of marketing, drop in quality, change of direction, and any number of other factors, but the end result is nearly always the same.

Will any of these game franchises return? Maybe. There is always the hope as I stated throughout this blog. But I think as gamers we have to accept when our favourite franchises fade away, and move on to the next one. It doesn’t do to dwell too much on the past.

Anyway, hope everyone had fun reading this, and maybe even check out a few of these games I’ve listed using the ads above. Until next time, HAPPY GAMING EVERYBODY!

Updated: 02/19/2016, GregFahlgren
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