What sequel in a series that went downhill should we look at?

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Successful works get sequels, and the amount of things that eventually get run into the ground has spawned any amount of phrases (difficult third album, similar things for TV series, books might not land a trilogy, only as good as your last...). This can lead to people abandoning a franchise while the corporate overlords are content to run it into the ground. Occasionally though the money gets low enough, as does the corporate oversight/meddling, that people responsible for making it, which may well be fans of the "good" entries, can turn out something that merits an actual look. Or for those collecting cool kid hipster points then as they got famous is good, before they got famous is better but being a fan after they were famous... there is the good stuff.

For instance Heroes of Might and Magic, while the author of this piece is one of those dangerous subversives that reckons 2 gold is the height of the series rather than 3 then there are those that tell me the latest entries are possibly worth a look, especially with mods. The Tony Hawk games for many went downhill rapidly after 4, however I can safely say that the classic mode of American Wasteland did pretty well actually and naturally many will be quick to point out the recent remake of the earlier titles was very nice, though those looking to get into the series today I will probably point at the THUG pro mod/collation. Or indeed EA's Skate series which was sadly never allowed to be run into the ground like so many other EA franchises; did any of the more recent Call of Duty titles or Need for Speed titles do anything for those that might have dropped out during the PS3/360 era or indeed PS2 era?

This can include games that never saw sequels appear outside a region, in this case the once popular Wizardry series (one of the foundational games/franchises in dungeon crawling RPG) is a rare case of gaming Big in Japan (normally a fate reserved for musicians). It stopped being made in 1992 in the west but has continued on in Japan to this day (titles on the GB, GBC, GBA, DS, PS1, PS2 and PS3 as well as many mobile phone entries) having not really come outside it save for a few spinoffs.

To that end share a pick or two of games in once popular or influential franchises that got run into the ground, however later sequels actually had something worth considering when most dismissed them. If you are going to include a spinoff then try to make it at least vaguely in line with the base games; Summon Night and Summon Night Swordcraft Story are close enough, Street Fighter to Super Puzzle Fighter is pushing it a bit.
 
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eyeliner

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Quake IV gets too much of an undeserved hate. I liked it enough for what it is. A character driven story that I very much preferred over the generic grunt against them all that Quake and Quake II were. Despite that, Quake is still my favorite.

Descent 3 also was a victim of undeserved criticism. Slower paced and nothing necessarily new, true, but pushed the series to a more modern approach, when it most needed. Descent and Descent II are basically the same game.
 

godreborn

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imo, final fantasy has really gone downhill, and that used to be one of my favorite series. I don't like how final fantasy xi and final fantasy xiv are called that instead of online and online II or something, plus final fantasy xiii was pretty bad. I haven't played xv, but I did download the royal version from psn, since it's part of the psn plus collection. I just keep hoping that they rekindle how I felt about the earlier games some day. I'm now more into dragon quest and tales.
 

such

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Descent and Descent II are basically the same game.
Pretty much mission packs released as sequels. This wouldn't fly in the exact same form right now, and the games changed too much for that, but for Descent, DOOM and probably several others I'm not remembering right it worked out pretty well. I still come back to those two, at least.
 

FAST6191

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imo, final fantasy has really gone downhill, and that used to be one of my favorite series. I don't like how final fantasy xi and final fantasy xiv are called that instead of online and online II or something, plus final fantasy xiii was pretty bad. I haven't played xv, but I did download the royal version from psn, since it's part of the psn plus collection. I just keep hoping that they rekindle how I felt about the earlier games some day. I'm now more into dragon quest and tales.
If we are doing Final Fantasy (whether it went down with 7,9 or 10, or indeed 10-2, for this discussion it does not matter) then I will stand up for Final Fantasy 12. Actually had a really good time with that one. Not sure what mods would be suggested today or what goes for emulator enhancements.

Bomberman might also be noted in this. A far cry from its heyday in the PCE/16 bit and Saturn eras, and nowadays mostly considered part of the scenery for any given console. Bomberman Live on XBLA and Bomberman 2 on DS (Japan and Europe only game) if you can deal with gangly bombers are both exceptional versions of the gameplay style though. That said my word tends not to be worth much when it becomes known I like the N64 efforts.

I was not kidding about classic mode in American wasteland either. Had a copy on my original xbox and played it out of boredom one day, actually had a really good time there where the previous efforts post 4 felt more like an obligation when playing them.
 
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AlexMCS

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First of all, HoMM3 + XPACs is the absolute epitome of the series, no questions asked.
The newest games HAD the potential of surpassing the old entries, however they are plagued by numerous game-breaking bugs and performance issues, and HoMM3's OST is such a masterpiece that I feel it's incredibly hard to beat that + the game's charming graphics.

AssCreed went downhill simply for the sheer amount of title released, turning the series into a new EA sports game.
But I really liked the Ezio trilogy, and I still wonder if the newer games are any good, but I can't be bothered to go and find out with so many damn titles.
 

pustal

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FFX-2(My 1st FF game) I just hope with all the potential FFX-3 talk Nomura learned his lesson.
Nomura? For as much as I think he should have stuck with character design, that's all he was on X-2.

The problem with X-2 was that it was very low budged, had half the writters, and only one of the original ones, and production left Kitase's hand to Toryiama.
 
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