One-Hit Wonder Games are games that generally received good reviews and more often than not had solid gameplay sales. But due to one reason or another, they could never go beyond their first installment to sport a long-running franchise like Assassin’s Creed, Call of Duty, Battlefield, Resident Evil and more biggies like these. Before you start thinking about Alan Wake, I’ve got two words for you – “American Nightmare,” which counts as a follow-up. Also, Beyond Good and Evil. Doesn’t count because as of last June, the sequel is still in the works. Let’s look at some of the Top Ten Games That Never Received Sequels.
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10. Secret of Evermore
“Secret of Evermore” was a great RPG in the dying days of the SNES console. The game was actually completely developed by the square USA office and designed for the North American marketplace. Unfortunately, while the game received lots of acclaim and fanfare, a sequel was never made. According to the game’s lead programmer, a sequel was considered at one point but ultimately scrapped. Responding to the question if a sequel was ever considered, he told Nintendo life – “Yes actually, only briefly though we started looking at what we could do but then the corporate folks cited that the SNES market was on the decline, so we abandoned that.” It’s a shame because it’s sequel probably would have been awesome.
9. Deadly Premonition
Deadly Premonition is a bit of a cheap for this list, more due to its overall “cult” status. In 2012, the Guinness Book of World Records ranked Deadly Premonition as the world’s most critically polarizing survival horror game. First released in 2010, Deadly Premonition was not initially seen as a commercial success. However, over the years, the game has received a strong cult following, thanks to a lot of its comedic weirdness and mechanics that were relatively unique to the survival horror genre at the time. Nevertheless, the game did eventually garner directors cut Wii release in 2013.
8. Alien vs. Predator – The arcade game
Let’s travel back to 1994, when Capcom was still making some of the best arcade games and beat em up experiences ever known. One such game was the standalone beat em up arcade game – Alien vs. Predator. Unfortunately, the game never got ported to consoles and featured great graphics and animation for its time. Great mechanics and controls and lots of blood, violence, and gore that was true to both franchises. The two cinematic abominations called Alien Vs. Predator was not even half as fun as this game. The game remains a popular and beloved arcade classic to this day. So much that in 2013, it was revealed to Polygon that fans have been clamoring for a remake of Alien vs. Predator more than any other game in their library. Unfortunately, while other inferior games sporting the Alien vs. Predator title have been made, an actual sequel to the Capcom version never materialized.
7. Heavenly Sword
This first year PlayStation 3 title actually sold over 1.5 million copies. Unfortunately, it still was not enough for developer Ninja Theory to break even on the game. A sequel to the game was actually in various stages of development. At one point, Sony Cambridge Entertainment was working on the follow-up, and some concept art was leaked online. Unfortunately, that development was later canceled in 2008. Still, the return of Heavenly Sword in the game’s protagonist Nariko would be a welcome return for fans. While it never received another game, there was the 2014 CG animated film.
6. Grim Fandango
Believe it or not, in previous days LucasArts created some fantastic all-time classic games, and one such game was Grim Fandango. This graphic adventure title is yet another classic created by gaming legend “Tim Schafer” – The man responsible for such classics as the Monkey Island series, Psychonauts and much more. Grim Fandango had great music, a unique look, and style all its own. The game received lots of acclaims, and while it seems it did well, it didn’t quite do well enough to get a sequel. However, Double Fine Productions did release a remastered version of Grim Fandango last year.
5. Shadow Complex
Shadow complex was a breakout hit for the Xbox 360 in 2009. At a time when almost all console video games had already transitioned to 3D, Shadow Complex was a throwback to 2D action-adventure games of old. The game received overall fantastic reviews, and it broke sales records for the Xbox live arcade. Still, there was no sequel. The game success actually sparked early development on Shadow Complex 2. However, the Chair Entertainment founder Donald Mustard suspended that development so that the company would work on infinity blade for iOS. Seven years later and Shadow Complex 2 still has not been made, but Mustard has implied it will continue at some point. The good news is that remastered version of the original was released earlier this year for PS4, Xbox One and PC.
4. LA Noire
Rockstar Games released LA Noire on May seventeenth, 2011. By all accounts, the game was a complete success. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, the third person action game with a heavy film noir theme, has yet to continue. In February 2012, Take-Two Interactive revealed that LA Noire had sold almost 5 million copies. There are numerous accounts of the game having a rather troubled development phase, ultimately came to fruition with the launch of a new highly successful IP. During a mid-2011 conference call, Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick said he considered LA Noire to be a strong franchise for Take-Two and a very successful release. While Rockstar and Take-Two have never actually closed the door on the sequel to LA Noire, it’s now been almost five and a half years with nothing new to show for a change.
3. Star Wars – Shadows of the Empire
Does this count? Yeah, you’re damn right it counts. Over the decades, the Star Wars franchise has spawned plenty of its own in-universe video game franchises in series that received sequels. The Force Unleashed, Rogue Squadron, Dark Forces, Starfighter, Knights of the Old Republic, Battlefront, Rebel Assault, etc. All those games set in the Star Wars universe proceed sequels, except for Shadows of the Empire. Well, it might look a little dated now, Shadows of the Empire was a great game that featured real orchestral music from the franchise, and it allowed gamers to take flight in the Battle of the Bounty Hunters Boba Fett. We could even use a jetpack just like Boba Fett. How awesome is that! In 1996, this game was like a dream come true for every Star Wars fanatic who had just gotten a Nintendo 64. Unfortunately, despite the survival of the game’s protagonist Dash Rendar and his droid companion, the game never received the sequel. All we know, Dash Rendar might have been wiped out of Star Wars Canon for good.
Rage was a new IP from Bethesda Softworks way back in 2011. Overall the game received excellent reviews. Regarding sales, Rage apparently did well. In fact, according to Bethesda Softworks, Pete Hines waged a business that was well enough to spawn a sequel, and yet there’s still no sequel. Rage was a solid first-person shooter game putting players into a post-apocalyptic scenario similar to the world of Fallout or Mad Max. However, the game added some unique vehicular combat and racing elements that gave it a lot of extra flavors. Unfortunately, despite numerous awards, good reviews, and solid game sales, Rage has yet to receive a follow-up. So what’s the holdup? All Pete Hines said – “I do think both The Evil Within and Rage did well enough that we could make sequels.” He added, “Personally I loved Rage and had a ton fun playing it, but we have a lot of stuff in the pipeline right now so you will have to wait and see.” It’s already been almost five years since the first game and how much longer Rage fans are supposed to wait?
1. Conker’s Bad Fur Day
Conker’s Bad Fur Day is definitely one of the best starts one could ask for to a video game series, that for whatever reason was never able to spawn a true video game series. Conker was a brilliant subversive at all take on traditional 3d action adventure platform games, of which where was very well known before the games were released. After early feedback on the games rather derivative and cutesy design style when it was being developed as Conker’s Quest, developers ultimately overhauled the game, focusing on more mature themes and humor and Conker’s Bad Fur Day was born. Conker’s Bad Fur Day is pretty beloved across the board and as a legion of fans. Unfortunately, despite numerous attempts, this sequel was never materialized. There was the Xbox remake – Conker: Live and Reloaded. However, after Microsoft purchased Rare in 2002, the first sequel to Conker’s Bad Fur Day – Conker’s Other Bad Day was ultimately canceled. Another spin-off Rare developed was the multiplayer third-person shooter Conker: Gettin’ Medieval, which ultimately was not given the green light. Maybe one day Conker’s story will continue.
Those are the top 10 one-hit-wonder video games that I came up with. What do you think of this list?