* ''JaggedAlliance 2'' surpassed its predecessor in every aspect of gameplay, music, writing and humour. The game is longer, has more tactical features and weaponry, more mercenaries with a myriad of responses and interactions between each other.
* The first ''JakAndDaxter'' game was a fairly respectable and appealing kids collect-a-thon that could have been the PS2's answer to ''VideoGame/SuperMario64''--but like that game, it also suffered from very low difficulty and short length, and a [[ExcusePlot pretty thin story]]. But ''JakII'' took the series in a completely new direction after that, and it turned out all for the better--the story became a million times better, the overworld system of the original was altered to be suited around mission based gameplay rather than just grabbing as many objects as possible, the difficulty was considerably beefed up (for better or [[NintendoHard for worse]]), you had a new power-up where you could turn into a raging killer monster if you collected enough Dark Eco that only gets stronger as it gets more powers, you got to use cool gun weapons, you could hijack vehicles ala ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAuto'', you could compete in races, you got a hoverboard, the levels and bosses were much more elaborate and fun, and the whole game is an example of a DarkerAndEdgier turn done ''right''. And Jak actually became a [[CharacterDevelopment real character]], [[SuddenlyVoiced and learned how to talk, too.]]
* ''VideoGame/RedDeadRevolver'' was a mid-console-life Western-themed shooter that was, while fun and incredibly stylish, seemingly incomplete. This is because Capcom started the production, cancelled it, and sold it off to Rockstar, who finished it and polished it as best they could. The end product is fondly remembered but still only a Pretty Good Game, at best. Its pros outweigh its cons, but it still feels like it's missing something. Then, Rockstar made ''VideoGame/RedDeadRedemption'', which has been hailed by no less than the New York Times as one of the finest games ever made, and a strong contender for the case for Videogames As Art.
* ''VideoGame/JustCause'' was an entertaining yet heavily flawed sandbox game and relatively obscure. However, ''[[VideoGame/JustCause Just Cause 2]]'' was an unlikely sequel with breathtaking graphics, incredible gameplay, and adrenaline-rushing stunts. It enjoyed far more popularity and received far better reviews than its older brother.
* ''VideoGame/TwistedMetal'' for the PSOne was a great game, but it had its share of flaws. It was easy to crash into walls, all the buildings looked the same, controls felt "slippery." Then ''Twisted Metal 2'' came out and many consider it the greatest VehicularCombat game ever made, as well as being the best-selling game of the series.
* The first installent of the ''ProfessorLayton'' series, ''[[ProfessorLaytonAndTheCuriousVillage Curious Village]]'' was a revolution in gaming, opening up a whole new genre. The sequel, ''[[ProfessorLaytonAndTheDiabolicalBox Diabolical Box]]'', built on top of it, with better, more elaborate mini games, an arguably more interesting plot and [[SceneryPorn a wider variety of backdrops]], making the game's world seem bigger. It also introduced the Memo function, which was a big help when it came to puzzle solving.
* ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' was the Xbox's killer app. ''Halo 2'' was it on awesome, rock, more Elites, and a hotter Cortana. ''Halo 3'' has a bit of a BrokenBase on this subject, but the side that thinks this way normally sites the MP as being better. ''Halo 3: ODST'' was a return to the ''Halo 1'' awesomeness mixed with the ''Halo 2'' awesomeness. And it had [[GameBreaker the Halo 1 Pistol.]] And ''Reach'' is being praised as the best ''Halo'' game yet.
** It could be said that even the ''advertising campaigns'' for ''ODST'' and ''Reach'' are an example. While the ads for the first Halo games showed gameplay graphics mixed with a bit of story and suspense, although they were appealing, they were generic video game ads for the most part. ''ODST'' took it UpToEleven with the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jggz2wPnm2o live-action segments]] showing actual (stunt) soldiers in combat in the spirit of the gameplay style with a bit of a {{Tearjerker}} story with the memorials.
* While the original ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedI'' was [[http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/xbox360/assassinscreed generally liked]] by the gaming community, it was notorius for the somewhat repetitive nature of the missions (even the bonus ones) and its long, simplistic combat. The sequel however, ''[[http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/xbox360/assassinscreed2 Assassin's Creed 2]]'', blew it out of the water by having improved dramatically in nearly every way from the original with a much wider mission variety, an improved combat system with more options, a more compelling main character and deeper story, more ways to get to your targets (and take care of them), and lots of fun extras for the completionists out there.
* ''BaldursGate'' was an incredible and incredibly fun game that sold huge numbers and almost singlehandedly saved [[WesternRPG CRPGs]], but was also a flawed game in many ways. ''Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn'' gave its far more sympathetic characters greater depth (even with such simple characters as Minsc (and Boo!), and the development between the first and second), had more complex and varied maps, pitted players against much better designed combat encounters, topped it all off with stunning graphics accompanied by the most epic soundtrack ever, and removed many of the flaws.
* ''VideoGame/{{Warcraft}}: Orcs and Humans'', was somewhat imaginative and creative RealTimeStrategy game for computers. ''VideoGame/{{Warcraft}} II: The Tides of Darkness'', built on that: It added naval and air combat, better graphics, more easy-to-use controls, a more original story, cooler units, and removed [[ScrappyMechanic the need to build roads in order to build your towns]]. The work paid off, and [=WC2=] was BlizzardEntertainment's first game to win "game of the year" awards from several publications. ''Beyond The Dark Portal'', the expansion pack, was one of the first expansion packs, particularly for a strategy game, to feel more like its own game as opposed to a campaign cobbled together from random missions. Years later, ''VideoGame/{{Warcraft}} III: The Reign of Chaos'' managed to avoid HypeBacklash by adding RPG elements that differentiated it from ''StarCraft'', the company's earlier super-popular hit RTS. The story was one of the best told in a strategy game and the very powerful Map Editor allowed the creation of custom maps that are still being made and played today.
** ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' also deserves a mention here, as the second expansion pack (''Wrath of the Lich King'') makes significant improvements over the first (''Burning Crusade''), especially in the way it gets players involved in the plot and makes them feel like they are having an impact in the world (something that's particularly hard to pull off in an {{MMORPG}}). Other improvements include significant revisions to class balance, a return to the high fantasy roots of the game (many considered Outland to be too {{Magitek}} for the game's theme), and a main villain who's tightly integrated into the story. In ''Burning Crusade'', Illidan makes a few brief appearances, but otherwise seems content to sit in the Black Temple and wait for players to come kill him.
* ''VideoGame/{{Diablo}}'' was a fun, quirky game that is still an excellent play, but its sequel ''[[VideoGame/{{Diablo}} Diablo II]]'' and its expansion LordOfDestruction was so huge that many people are still playing it today, nevermind the number of clones it spawned.
* ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorney: Trials and Tribulations''. Even deeper insight to the character's pasts, have the most epic plot of any of ''Franchise/AceAttorney'' games with the added novelty of playing as Mia and [[spoiler: even the chance to play as Edgeworth in the last case]].
** ''Gyakuten Kenji 2'', the [[NoExportForYou Japan-only sequel]] to ''VisualNovel/AceAttorneyInvestigationsMilesEdgeworth'', hits hard and fast with its first case (deliberately trying to set up a "final case" feel to open the game) and then delves into a massive conspiracy that has infected the highest echelons of not just the Prosecutor's Office but an entire nation's government.
* ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'':
** ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros'' was a great game. While its immediate sequel, ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros2'', wasn't particularly amazing in either [[MissionPackSequel the Japanese version]] or [[DolledUpInstallment the American version]] (though the latter is regarded a CultClassic for its offbeat gameplay and canon additions to the series), ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros3'' took the already superb gameplay and level design from the original game, and added all kinds of great new features, such as more power-ups, the overworld map, new abilities, and a much greater variety of enemies and levels. And then came the fourth installment of the series, known in the West as ''VideoGame/SuperMarioWorld''. It went on to become one of the highest-selling video games of all time, and introduced novelties like Yoshi, the Ghost Houses, and a non-linear overworld map.
** ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros'' was also an improvement over the original ''VideoGame/MarioBros''.
** ''VideoGame/SuperMario64'' was also a great game, and the first real 3D platformer to get the gameplay in general right and be the codifier for many future games. ''VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy'' topped ''Super Mario 64'' in the 3D Mario series. It got better reviews from many critics, brought back the airships, had more epic everything and with its 97%+ reviews, even was ranked higher than ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'' for a while, currently ending up being the ''second best game of all time'' review wise on many review aggregate sites.
** Later on, Galaxy got [[VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy2 a sequel itself]], which might have scaled back on the depth of the story somewhat, but more than made up for it with several gameplay-updates (most notably the return of [[TheYoshi Yoshi]]) and absolutely phenomenal level-design. It is forever [[ContestedSequel contested]] as to whether the game is truly better, but it's at least on par with the original.
** ''SuperMarioLand'' was an already-decent Mario platformer on the Game Boy, but ''SuperMarioLand2'' was even better, getting better review scores, having more levels, more interesting enemies and bosses and far better graphics and music. WarioLand (Super Mario Land 3) might be even better than that, getting some reviews of the Virtual Console version saying it's even better than the games starring Mario.
** ''VideoGame/LuigisMansionDarkMoon'' fixed the flaw that was most complained about in the [[VideoGame/LuigisMansion first game]], [[ItsShortSoItSucks the short length]], and gained almost universal praise.
** ''VideoGame/SuperMario3DLand'' was a good, if relatively unambitious, game. ''VideoGame/SuperMario3DWorld'' took all the best elements of its predecessor and ran with them, taking the platforming action of ''Land'' and placing it in bigger, more exciting and adventurous levels on a more expansive and open level map (as well as some other things, like the Captain Toad mini-stages and slot machine bonuses), on top of doubled the number of playable characters to four [[spoiler:later five]]. It received almost unanimously better reviews.
* ''VideoGame/PaperMario'' was a great game for the RPG-starved N64, particularly thanks to its semi-action battle system. ''VideoGame/PaperMarioTheThousandYearDoor'' took that battle system and [[UpToEleven cranked it to eleven]], adding Stylish Moves, the audience mechanic, and Action Commands for the special moves, among other things.
* ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'' was awesome, but ''Melee'' was a HUGE HIT! And not just better than the first: It was the Nintendo [=GameCube's=] BEST Selling Game! Finding someone who actually hates that game is like trying to find a microscopic needle in a country-sized haystack. YMMV BIG TIME for the fans, but generally, the critics liked ''Brawl'' more than ''Melee''. Critics gave ''Brawl'' a very positive review, receiving a 93% score on Metacritic, and 92.7% on Game Rankings. ''Brawl'' was ranked "Fighting Game of the Year" of 2008 by the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. As of March 2010, it has sold a total of 9.48 million copies worldwide, and is the eighth best-selling Wii game. And [[CrowningMusicOfAwesome the music score]] for the game was highly praised as well.
* ''VideoGame/{{Rayman}}'', considered good already, underwent a ''massive'' upgrade for ''VideoGame/{{Rayman 2}}: The Great Escape'', adding a better plot, many interesting or funny characters, extra action, a ton of SceneryPorn, a neat soundtrack and more well-designed levels.
* Citing Lucas Thomas from IGN: ''The original VideoGame/{{Metroid}} established the setting and feel. ''[[VideoGame/MetroidIIReturnOfSamus Metroid II]]'', from the Game Boy, elaborated on the story. But it was this game, ''VideoGame/SuperMetroid'', that pulled together all of the series' previously established elements, embellished them, and polished the experience of exploration, retraversal and power-up acquisition into [[SugarWiki/SoCoolItsAwesome a true masterpiece of game design]]''. There's also the first ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime'', which not only was considered a worthy follow-up to ''Super'', but also became the highest-rated game of the TheSixthGenerationOfConsoleVideoGames.
* ''VideoGame/MegaMan1'' was a revolutionary combination of solid graphics, gameplay and soundtrack, widely regarded as a great game. ''VideoGame/MegaMan2'' improves on every aspect of the original, removes the unnecessary point system, garnering it universal praise typically referring to it as at the very least "better than the original." ''2'', 20+ years and four generations of console gaming after its release, remains securely entrenched as the best-selling installment of the Classic series.
** And then, of course, you have ''VideoGame/MegaManX'', which is another good example of DarkerAndEdgier done right.
* ''VideoGame/StarFox64'' took a fun SNES shooter and increased the variety of missions, balanced out the weapon power ups, actually made your teammates useful for something other than [[strike: human]] anthropomorphic shields, and just seems to run better. Notably, it was ''intended'' as SequelDisplacement, since the designers considered it the definitive remake of the first game.
* ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog'' was a fun platformer for the Genesis that featured the novel concept of rolling into a ball and smashing into enemies at high speeds. Unfortunately, the game required you to accelerate for lengthy periods before you were allowed to do this, and many of the levels were standard platforming affairs, not the rollercoaster-in-the-sky designs the series later became known for. [[VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2 The sequel]] added Sonic's best friend Tails, more varied bosses and enemies, better music, multiplayer, streamlined level design, Sonic's trademark Spindash ability and [[SuperMode Super Sonic]].
** And for many, ''[[VideoGame/Sonic3AndKnuckles Sonic 3]]'' was even better than THAT. Even faster gameplay (unlike past Sonic games, there was no speed cap in play here), [[SceneryPorn richer visuals]] thanks to more elaborate graphics, MUCH larger levels with more interactive environments, a plethora of new additions to the core gameplay (new gameplay additions for Sonic and Tails, boss acts in every level, elemental-themed shields, extra bonus stages, a revamped multiplayer mode, etc.) and a more complex story featuring Robotnik teaming up (albeit through deception) with [[EnsembleDarkhorse Knuckles the Echidna]] against Sonic and Tails, told through in-game cutscenes (which also included transitions in-between levels and interactions between characters). Not to mention [[CrowningMusicofAwesome one excellent soundtrack]] that had the involvement of the freakin' [[MichaelJackson King Of Pop]] himself. What's not to like?
** ''Sonic and Knuckles''. In addition to having Knuckles as a playable character, complete with [[CastSpeciation a moveset considerably different from Sonic's]] and levels designed around said moveset, Sonic & Knuckles also uses its "[[OldSaveBonus digital lock-on technology]]" to combine itself with past Sonic games in the trilogy. Pairing it with ''Sonic 1'' gave you ''VideoGame/BlueSphere'', a minigame that provided a near-endless supply of different level layouts for ''Sonic 3 & Knuckles'''s special stages. Pairing it with ''Sonic 2'' allowed you to play ''[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Knuckles in Sonic 2]]''. Pairing it with Sonic 3 formed ''Sonic 3 & Knuckles'', the "Director's Cut" of ''Sonic 3'' that took the two games and streamlined them as the one big game as they were originally intended, with all features from both games intact along with a few new ones (namely the one-game-only collectable Super Emeralds, which in turn provided a Super form for Tails and the [[strike: Super Saiyan forms]] [[GameBreaker hyper forms]] for Sonic and Knuckles). Many fans fans considered ''Sonic 3 & Knuckles'' [[MagnumOpus the pinnacle of Sonic's career]], even more than ''Sonic 3'' by itself.
* ''VideoGame/SecretOfMana'' for the SNES was a great game, but was sorely lacking in replay value. Its sequel, ''VideoGame/SeikenDensetsu3'', improved tremendously on this aspect with three different potential final bosses, each with their own set of endgame [[TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon dungeons]] and [[TheDragon Dragons]], as well as six unique characters to build a team of 3 out of. The addition of the class change system (4 final classes per character) meant that there were hundreds of different party combinations to try out. (This does make the fact that [[NoExportForYou it was never formally released outside of Japan]] an ''enormous'' sore spot for Mana fans.)
* While the original ''GuitarHero'' was a success, the hammer-ons and pull-offs had a hopelessly tight timing window, forcing most folks to ignore them entirely and strum every note. ''Guitar Hero II'' fixed this, giving the gameplay a much more natural and fluid feeling. Add to this the second game's co-operative game mode (where one player plays lead guitar and the other can play either bass or rhythm guitar) and practice mode (where players could play any individual part of a song as slowly as they wanted until they got it right), and you're set.
** And now that the same team has made RockBand, it's doubly true for them.
* ''CityOfHeroes'' is a successful recreation of the superhero genre in MMO form, featuring exciting combat, an amazing array of choices when it comes to powers and abilities, and a character creation engine that other [=MMOs=] wish they had. Nevertheless, it had problems (repetitive missions, long travel times, unpopulated zones, etc.). The sequel/companion game ''[[CityOfHeroes City of Villains]]'' uses fewer zones (thus avoiding underpopulation), has tighter content, and the storylines are much less repetitive. And best of all, it uses the same amazing character creation software. (And yet, on many servers, ''Villains'' still has problems with underpopulation, because most people play ''Heroes''...)
** And now the the newest sequel/expansion/whatever, Going Rogue, arguably sets the bar even higher in terms of zone design and plot, allowing you to actually seem like you're influencing the world. At least until level 20, at which point you go back to the worlds of CoH/CoV with only a few slight differences.
* ''{{Banjo-Kazooie}}'' was a good ''Super Mario 64'' clone, with the player characters learning various moves to travel through nine separate levels that are accessible via teleportation from Gruntilda's lair. However, the game had little extras, an unnecessary life count and many events and collectables reset if the player died or left the level. ''Banjo-Tooie'' gives even more depth to the gameplay, with even more moves, massive levels that interconnected together (and were all part of the overworld) with a few cross-level puzzles and a wider variety of characters to meet. There's even multiplayer modes and the option to replay mini-games and boss fights, infinite lives, and all events and collectables stayed gone for good when finished.
* Creator/NaughtyDog is known for always seeking this type of achievement with their games:
** The original ''[[Videogame/CrashBandicoot1996 Crash Bandicoot]]'' game started the whole style of gameplay for the games, but the game was too difficult, the controls were too touchy, and collecting the gems was a chore. ''Videogame/CrashBandicoot2CortexStrikesBack'' refined the gameplay a lot. ''Videogame/CrashBandicoot3Warped'' added relics and is widely considered the game where Naughty Dog perfected the gameplay.
** Naughty Dog repeated the same feat with ''JakAndDaxter'' and ''{{Uncharted}}''. Put it this way: ''Uncharted: Drake's Fortune'' was considered a great action-platformer-shooter, a compelling-but-not-perfectly-persuasive reason to get a PS3. ''Uncharted 2: Among Thieves''? Currently ranked as the ninth-best game ''of all time'' on Gamerankings.com.
* ''DCII'' is this for the ''DaCapo'' franchise. The original was a [[SeinfeldIsUnfunny generic]] cuteness Eroge. The second one had some surprising twists and turns and a plot that was actually moving.
* The original ''SpyroTheDragon'' was a creative, if underwhelming, platformer, with a unique premise and decent challenge. The sequel, ''Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage!'', however, managed to take everything good about the first and build on it. Spyro could swim now, instead of [[SuperDrowningSkills dying on repeated contact with water.]] New moves were available, power-ups were invented, levels were expanded and made less linear, and the controls got tightened up considerably. Minigames became important, there were secrets scattered all over the world, and the game rewarded exploration and innovation. The third in the series, Spyro: Year of the Dragon, managed to make it ''even better.''
** Indeed, in yet another shocking similarity between them and NaughtyDog, Insomniac did this with ''VideoGame/RatchetAndClank''. The first was a fun platformer with cool weapons, but had a few complaints about Ratchet being an [[TheScrappy unlikeable]] JerkAss. The second game was a fun platformer with cool weapons that upgraded with use and were modifiable, his health increased with enemies defeated, the incredible Charge Boots were added, there was fun space combat, there were all new gladiator-esque arenas, the "Quickselect" menu paused the game while it was up, and the NewGamePlus (instead of just letting you restart with all your gear as it was in the first game) turned into "Challenge Mode" wherein there were new weapons and upgrades to be purchased, with a "multiplier" money mechanic, and tougher enemies. Plus, Ratchet was RescuedFromTheScrappyHeap and became a DeadpanSnarker. The third game cranked up the weapon upgrading features from one upgrade to four in the main game (and two upgrades to three in the NewGamePlus), added the "Lock-Strafe" control mechanism, added a new and improved weapon-switching mechanic, allowed two rungs on the Quickselect rather than just one, and best of all, added a very good online (and offline) multiplayer mode, while retaining all the pluses from the previous game. Then, the Future trilogy made things even better with a more in depth story and some of the best graphics on the PS3.
* Likewise, the final game in ''The Legend of Spyro'' trilogy, ''Dawn of the Dragon'', is considered vastly superior to the previous two games, some calling it the best ''Spyro'' game since [[FranchiseZombie it left Insomniac]]. A major factor in this is that ''Dawn of the Dragon'' was developed by French studio Étranges Libellules rather than Krome Studios who developed ''A New Beginning'' and ''The Eternal Night''.
* In terms of ''gameplay'' if not in story, ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'' is considered an improvement over the original ''KingdomHearts''.
** ''BirthBySleep'' has been called by some reviewers the best game since the original. It returns the platforming elements that the first game had, retains the flashy and fun battle system from the sequel but ramps up the difficulty, and the story on its own (not including any of the downplayed backstory) is much simpler compared to the KudzuPlot that the overarcing story of the series has become.
* The ''VideoGame/AgeOfEmpires'' games may be a renowned RealTimeStrategy series today, but many reviewers found the first game to be lacking. It was with the second game that all the real acclaim started pouring in.
* The first ''GearsOfWar'' game was a knockout hit with some relatively minor problems. Such as how the story never felt like a complete whole but just a series of things that happens, and it isn't until act four (of five) that anything important gets done. And while that doesn't affect the gameplay much, there were some issues with weapon balance and variety. ''Gears of Wars 2'' openly addresses the concerns and creates a game with a stunning level of scope, a much wider weapon variety (including a supposed shotgun {{nerf}}), and a true sense of a major war going on. While leaps and bounds greater than the first game, it is still with its own problems; the final boss is a joke, although the lead up to it is a lot of fun...
* ''VideoGame/SlyCooperAndTheThieviusRaccoonus'' was a well-liked game, albeit very linear, straightforward, and simplistic. Then ''VideoGame/Sly2BandOfThieves'' comes along and completely ''nukes'' the original with its "job-based" game play and much more emphasis on the GrayAndGrayMorality of a game where both the heroes and villains are thieves.
* The original ''StarWarsBattlefront'' was a excellent mix of strategy combat and shooter game, blessed with complex but recognisible maps and splendid sound effects. The sequel took all that, and added an achivement system that actively rewarded players, as well as a much wider collection of maps, units and game modes. And playable Jedi.
** Taken even further in the PSP games where they let you customize your unit's load-out and stats, before joining battle, and while the battlefields aren't quite as expansive and complex as the PS2 games, (atleast in Elite Squadron) they combined both planet-side and space combat into one battle rather than making them be separate battlefields like Battlefront 2 had done while greatly improving the fighter controls in the process.
* ''TetrisTheGrandMaster'' is a great ''Tetris'' game sure to challenge those who think they're good at ''Tetris''. Then there's ''Tetris: The Grand Master 2'' (and ''[[ExpansionPack TGM2 PLUS]]''), which pushes the challenge even further for a more intense game.
* ''VideoGame/SimCity'', albeit suffering from SeinfeldIsUnfunny, started off rather exceptional for its day, being the father of the {{Sim}}, WideOpenSandbox, and strategy genres of games to follow, but was even more improved with its first sequel ''Sim City 2000'', which introduced new transportation options, zoning options, and a whole new isometric view, as well as several other perks.
** It was then somewhat topped by ''Sim City 3000'', which kept the same isometric view (but a little more realistic than previously) and added more realistic features such as waste management, aging infrastructure, and neighbor deals. The ''Unlimited'' version of ''3000'' also added [[ThirtySecondsOverTokyo an Asian]] and [[BritainIsOnlyLondon Euro]][[TheOldCountry pean]] tile sets.
** However, despite what some say about ''2000'', all fans agree that ''Sim City 4'' (and its [[ExpansionPack Rush Hour expansion pack]] which then led to ''Sim City 4 Deluxe'') is by far the greatest game to be made of the VideoGame/SimCity franchise for its deeply challenging gameplay and the boosted shelf life thanks to countless {{GameMod}}s, despite being possibly one of the earlier users of the RealIsBrown trope.
* Say what you will about the [[{{Squick}} bisexual knife-throwing Romanian vampire]] and [[AndNowForSomeoneCompletelyDifferent the protagonist bait-and-switch]] and [[RomanticPlotTumor said protagonist's relationship with his girlfriend]] and [[GainaxEnding that ENDING]], but from a purely Tactical Espionage Action standpoint, ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2SonsOfLiberty'' absolutely trumped its predecessor in every single category. It had ridiculously upgraded graphics, tons of new weapons including the nonlethal M9 tranquilizer gun for those who wanted a hardcore StealthRun, a much more realistic damage system, first-person aiming for more precise gunplay, the ability to hold up enemy soldiers for items, vastly improved AI, and much-needed variety in the game's escort and sniping missions. While [=MGS3=] and 4 later proved to be superior titles, they were really just perfecting the huge number of beneficial changes that [=MGS2=] made to the series.
** ''VideoGame/MetalGear2SolidSnake'' was an improvement over the original, but was [[NoExportForYou never released in the US for fifteen years]] and was far from perfect. ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' followed it up with a grand epic story, becoming the KillerApp for the Playstation and [[GenreTurningPoint was really the first game that felt like playing a movie, as well as showing that stories in action games could be far more than just an]] ExcusePlot.
* ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'' (the classic series) was merely a massive excuse to throw a ton of mecha series into the same plot for the lulz, and the plot was not very thick at all (though F/Final somewhat subvert this slightly). ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsAlpha'' was when the storywriting really took off, and the series attained fans for its story, not just its novelty.
** It also helped that the attack animations from Alpha onwards actually looked like, you know, ''animations''. As opposed to static sprites sliding around with some hit effects thrown in.
** VideoGame/SuperRobotWars has gone through this numerous times even from game to game. The original NES game had a clunky (and practically worthless) upgrade system, the inability to select your mission lineup, no limits to overpowered attacks (more of a hindrance than a help, really) and you ''always'' had to counter enemy attacks. 3 changed things up for the better though still had a long ways to go. All in all, each game in the Classic Timeline built on the engine of the previous one, and Alpha brought it all together. Alpha Gaiden finally gave it that little extra polish by finally discarding a few gimmicks that didn't work (double movement) and including new ones (support), and then Advance brought in team attacks.
* Say what you will about its balance, but ''[[CapcomVsWhatever Marvel vs. Capcom 2]]'' is generally seen as better than its three awesome predecessors, enough to still have a tournament scene. If you're counting sequels in gameplay only, ''Tatsunoko vs. Capcom'' is also sometimes seen as even better than that.
** For most people, ''[[CapcomVsWhatever Capcom vs. SNK 2]]'' is the best game of the ''SNK vs. Capcom'' series.
* The first 2 ''PhantasyStar'' games were important as some of the earliest examples of JRPG's, however, they also have a lot of grinding, punishing difficultly and are quite light on story, making them difficult to get into. 3 was rushed and a ContestedSequel. Phantasy Star 4 is styled much more after modern JRPG's with plenty of story and character interaction, a lighter difficulty curve and faster pacing, such that it is still cited by many as one of the best JRPG's ever.
* ''BlinxTheTimeSweeper'' was an overall average game with somewhat innovative gameplay and a rather generic storyline. Blinx 2: Masters of Time and Space [[UpToEleven completely revamps the franchise, adding extremely well-designed (but long) levels, better controls, a better storyline, the ability to play a two-sided story as both the heroes and villains]] [[CharacterCustomization and an amazingly-detailed character customization system (highly unusual for a platformer)]]. It's unfortunate the series ended when the developer, Artoon, went defunct.
* ''VideoGame/{{Pikmin}}'' was a good game, but too simple, and the time limit could be a bit suffocating. ''Pikmin 2'' added far more depth to the gameplay and replaced the scramble to collect all the ship parts with a long adventure to find all the artifacts you can that much better suited the gameplay and overall mood of the game.
* ''VideoGame/PokemonRedAndBlue'' were already popular and still are, but ''VideoGame/PokemonGoldAndSilver'' are still claimed by fans as the best ''Pokémon'' games ever, chiefly due to the staggering amount of cool new features it introduced. ''VideoGame/PokemonRubyAndSapphire'' were even criticized for getting rid of several of those features.
** Thus making ''VideoGame/PokemonDiamondAndPearl'' even better sequels to R/S/E because they brought back many of the features in G/S/C, as well as adding online multiplayer and improving the way moves drew upon attacking stats.
** When they announced that they were remaking the first-generation games for the modern system, it was a BaseBreaker. When they announced that they were doing it again with the second-generation games, the fandom celebrated. Of course, the rather infamous fact that the batteries of the original G/S/C games have been known to die out and prevent game-saving has something to do with that too.
** ''VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite'' (and [[VideoGame/PokemonBlack2AndWhite2 its sequel]]) have also been getting a lot of praise, finally changing the formula a bit by having only new Pokémon until you beat the game and a much more fleshed out plot. It can be said that ''[=HeartGold=] / [=SoulSilver=]'', ''Black'' / ''White'', and ''X / Y'' form a trio of modern-era Pokémon games released in the same timespan that are regarded as some of the best games in the series, receiving less flak and far more unanimous praise from reviewers and fans than previous games after Generation II.
** Despite praise for the mechanics of Black, White and their respective sequels, some of the [[http://cdn.bulbagarden.net/upload/c/c4/569Garbodor.png Pokemon]] [[http://cdn.bulbagarden.net/upload/4/4b/580Ducklett.png designs]] [[http://cdn.bulbagarden.net/upload/c/c3/519Pidove.png were]] met with incredulity from long term fans in particular. However, ''VideoGame/PokemonXAndY'' has seemed to enchanted both old and new fans alike, particularly due to its inclusion of all generations of Pokemon from the beginning, as well as improving on everything fans liked from previous series.
** ''VideoGame/PokemonMysteryDungeon'' made its impact with the Red/Blue Rescue Team series, with fun gameplay and an answer to the age-old question: What if you were a Pokemon? However, it's most noted for its surprisingly powerful story, which seems to be subtly aimed at an older demographic than that of the main series, and its excellent soundtrack. Explorers of Time/Darkness/Sky took everything that was praised about the first series and made it even better, and its story is considered perhaps the best of all Pokemon games.
* ''Franchise/StarWars: [[VideoGame/DarkForcesSaga Dark Forces]]'' was an innovative, successful shooter on its own merits. But each sequel was markedly better, with the apex in terms of story quality coming with ''Jedi Outcast''. The most recent game, ''Jedi Academy'', suffers from a somewhat lackluster story in comparison with its immediate predecessor, but Academy's gameplay and mechanics are best in the series.
* ''VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountry'' was considered a visual landmark in gaming when it was released, but its sequel, ''Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest'', is largely seen as the better game, expanding and improving on the original.
* ''Franchise/MassEffect'':
** ''VideoGame/MassEffect1'' is seen as a landmark RPG, [[{{Reconstruction}} reconstructing]] eighties-style space operas and combining epic storytelling with Third-Person-Shooter combat and a fluid choice system that allowed players to tell their story any way they want. The game wasn't without its share of problems, mostly in the combat department. It was hampered with such things as an ineffectual cover system, a dice-roll damage calculator, and tedious exploration segments, making it was a gem with a few noticeable flaws. ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' came along and embraced its Shooter side, creating a far better cover system, an aim-and-shoot damage system, and an even deeper choice system (in fact, all of the choices in the ''FIRST'' game count in this one). The story is darker and more mature, and the soundtrack got an epic makeover. Of course, some fans [[TheyChangedItNowItSucks dislike the changes for good reason]], but most enjoy the game anyway.
* ''VideoGame/HalfLife2'' expanded on its predecessor in every way. The original was revolutionary in its use of storytelling techniques in a first-person shooter game, with superb level-design and gameplay insuring it would become regarded as a classic for years to come. The sequel featured a better graphics engine, with realistic physics and lighting granting a whole new level of immersion, and the same attention to polished level-design and fun, intuitive and balanced gameplay made ''Half-Life 2'' live up to the legacy of Valve's debut title.
* ''VideoGame/GodOfWar 2'' was received even better than the already very much loved first game, using the Playstation 2 to even greater effect. ([[ScrappyLevel Although that doesn't excuse the Phoenix puzzle.]])
** ''God Of War 3'' was even bigger, and is widely considered a KillerApp for the PS3. Pity that Kratos went from a revenge-crazed but sympathetic ByronicHero to a [[KickTheDog puppy-kicking]], AxCrazy VillainProtagonist who's almost as bad as Ares in that one, though.
* ''VideoGame/EndlessOcean: Blue World'' takes the basic gameplay (such as it is) of the original game and expands upon it greatly while streamlining several of the more tedious aspects and applying more structure to the previously random chaos. Judging by reviews it's been a major success in doing so, although the game is still [[WidgetSeries quite niche in nature]].
* ''{{Burnout}}'' and ''Burnout 2'' were fun racers with an emphasis on dangerous driving and spectacular crashes. ''Burnout 3'' put the driving and crashes together with the Takedown mechanic and made it even faster than its predecessors. It's regarded by many as the best racing game of its generation.
* ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty: United Offensive'' to ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty''.
** ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty 2'' is a step back from ''United Offensive'', but still an EvenBetterSequel of the original.
** And of course, there's ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty 4: ModernWarfare'', one of the greatest [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome Crowning Moments]] in the history of gaming.
* Rare FanSequel example: ''VideoGame/NexusWar'' took everything good about ''VideoGame/UrbanDead'' and made it better.
* ''ShadowHearts'' was altogether an excellent game. The sequel removed every flaw from the original, doubled the gameplay length (a two-disc game on the PS2 was a rare thing), and improved every aspect of the game. Reviews will tell the same story.
* ''WiiSports'' was a solid pack-in game for the Wii showcasing what the system could do and being extremely accessible to the general public. In turn, ''WiiSportsResort'' would not only serve as an excellent demonstration of the Wii [=MotionPlus=]'s improved control, but it went beyond that by having more than twice as many games, even more individual game modes, more depth, if subtle, to several of the games, and the inclusion of in-game achievements.
* ''VideoGame/GoldenSun'' was considered a great game, if a little bland in terms of [[FlatCharacter characters]] (we have TheHero, the funny best friend, the kid SquishyWizard, and the WhiteMagicianGirl) and plot (bad guys stole the MacGuffin! Let's go kill them before they use it to unleash the forbidden power!). ''VideoGame/GoldenSun: The Lost Age'' gave us a fresh perspective, more interesting characters/CharacterDevelopment, a massive plot twist, multi-elemental SummonMagic, a more developed ClassAndLevelSystem, even more CrowningMusicOfAwesome..., it improved ''everything''.
* ''VideoGame/{{Hitman}}'' series fits this trope quite nicely. ''Codename 47'' was a nice stealth shooter. ''Silent Assassin'' greatly improved the controls and allowed the player to play as an actual assassin in every single mission by including new options and assessment of performance (and allowed the player to save in mid-mission). ''Blood Money'' introduced "accidents", notoriety meter and more captivating story. ''Contracts'', third game in the series also isn't bad, but half of its contents is a pack of refurbished missions from ''Codename 47''.
* ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}'' defined the FirstPersonShooter genre even more than its predecessor, VideoGame/Wolfenstein3D, to the point that, for several years, FPS games were called "''Doom'' clones." ''Doom II'' improved on every aspect of the game, with superior level design, more and deadlier monsters, and removing the episode system that was a relic of the first game's shareware origins.
* {{Cave}} shooters tend to follow this trope.
** ''VideoGame/DonPachi'': A fairly simple VerticalScrollingShooter with few enemies and bullets, and few opportunities to combo things. ''[[VideoGame/DonPachi DoDonPachi]]'': One of the pioneers of BulletHell, and provides more in the way of StuffBlowingUp.
** ''VideoGame/MushihimeSama'': An insect-themed shooter; fun but plagued by oddball scoring systems.
** ''Mushihime-sama Futari'': Revamped shot types, a new character, much better (and more original) scoring systems, and a top-notch {{Xbox 360}} port.
* Mask of the Betrayer was an Even Better Sequel for VideoGame/NeverwinterNights2, containing a smaller band of more developed characters, a much better overarching story, and such complicated literary devices as symbolism and foreshadowing, as well as exchanging the cliched SealedEvilInACan out to destroy the world for a more personal and sensible mission.
* ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'':
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZelda'' was considered a masterpiece of it’s time. The second game (''[[VideoGame/ZeldaIITheAdventureOfLink The Adventure of Link]]'') was something of a LoveItOrHateIt deal. Then on Super Nintendo, ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkToThePast A Link to the Past]]'', returned to the style of the first game, improved the graphics, gameplay and story, as well as making it a lot easier to work out where to go next.
** Then in 1998, Nintendo put out ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'', a game that takes the best aspects of the prior installments and manages to make it even better, while [[AvertedTrope averting]] the PolygonCeiling even harder than ''VideoGame/SuperMario64''. Years after its release, it's still referred to as one of the best games (if not ''the'' best) ever made, even after years that included most of ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'', the real "[[GrowingTheBeard blossoming]]" of ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAuto'', the entry of Microsoft [[{{Xbox}} into the video game business]], and the creation of an untold number of new intellectual properties in gaming. A CrowningMomentOfAwesome for Nintendo indeed.
** Then there's ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword'', which fixes the problems ''Twilight Princess'' had with [[ScrappyWeapon items that were useless after their intro dungeon]], it pushed Wii Motion Plus to its limits with an amazing control scheme, gave Link a personality unseen since ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker The Wind Waker]]'', and it had a stronger, more cinematic plot behind it than most of the past games. And also, it has [[EnsembleDarkhorse Groose]].
* ''[[VideoGame/{{Kirby}} Kirby's Dream Land]]'' was a good game but it was kind of short (only 5 levels plus an unlockable [[NintendoHard Hard difficulty]] with new enemies). ''Kirby's Adventure'' and ''Kirby's Dream Land 2'' (for the NES and Game Boy respectively) addressed this complaint and also gave Kirby his iconic PowerCopying abilities. ''Kirby Super Star'' took it a step further by adding multiplayer co-op, and more than one move per copy ability giving Kirby a completely [[SwissArmyHero different]] power set and appearance for each; it also had a greater emphasis on combat and would go on to serve partly as an inspiration for ''[[SuperSmashBros Super Smash Bros.'s]]'' gameplay.
* ''VideoGame/{{Final Fantasy|I}}'' was a landmark RPG, marred by certain technical limitations and poor balancing. [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyII The first sequel]] [[TheyChangeditNowItSucks changed the system completely and wasn't widely liked]] and also wasn't released outside of [[NoExportForYou Japan until much later]], but it did swap out the [[HeroicMime personality]]-[[FlatCharacter less]] player avatar's for actual characters. ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV'' (released as "II" in the US), however, marked the real GrowingTheBeard moment for the whole franchise. One could argue that there are even better games after that in the series, but considering Final Fantasy's [[UnpleasableFanbase fanbase]]... that wouldn't be a [[ThroughTheEyesOfMadness wise thing to do here]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Mother|1}}'' was well-received when it first came out in Japan and sold pretty well, but has attracted some criticism over its flaws, like an insane amount of grinding, unbalanced level design and a battle system ripped straight from ''DragonQuest''. ''VideoGame/EarthBound'' received better graphics and sound capabilities due to the upgrade from the NES to the SNES, cut down on the grinding by implementing an "instant win" maneuver for weaker enemies, polished the design noticeably, and revamped its characters somewhat (truly establishing Giygas as the horror we all know and fear). And for good measure, it's the only game in the series to officially make it to the USA.
** ''VideoGame/{{Mother 3}}'' made several gameplay improvements over ''VideoGame/EarthBound'' and its story and characters are more well-written overall, however, since it takes place hundreds of years after ''Earthbound'' it has its own theme and setting rather than the EagleLand that the first two games were famous for, it is more of a ContestedSequel; in Japan, the majority opinion is that TheyChangedItNowItSucks; the [[GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff international fanbase]] loves them both in their own ways, not really having a strong opinion on which of the two is better.
* ''Macross Ace Frontier'' was a pretty good game, though it sorely lacked many things (like ubiquitous {{Mecha Expansion Pack}}s and missing a lot of songs). ''Macross Ultimate Frontier'' picked up the slack, kept most of the things that was in ''Ace'' and added ''tons'' of new stuff. For example: giving ''MacrossZero'' a full scenario, split the original ''{{Macross}}'' between series and movie, the various packs were added, more characters and mecha, and added a shop which allowed people to buy some of the harder-to-get items (like some of the titles).
* ''Franchise/StreetFighter'' and ''Franchise/MortalKombat'' both have this. The original ''VideoGame/StreetFighter'' was a somewhat popular, if RIDICULOUSLY hard fighter that was a nice change from ''VideoGame/KarateChamp''. ''VideoGame/StreetFighterII'' came out, and launched the fighting game craze of the 90's and has been the inspiration for every fighter made since. For ''MK'', the first one was popular [[FinishingMove (for obvious reasons)]] but the second game introduced the series' signature dark tone, and is widely considered to be the best 16-bit MK game, and possibly the best of the series.
* The ''VideoGame/AdventuresOfLolo'' was a classic NES game, but as the series went along, the games got better and better, expanding upon the concept and adding more puzzles, bosses, and such. In the third game, you can even play as Lala!
* ''VideoGame/TecmoBowl'' was a hit in the arcades and NES, but come 1991, ''Tecmo Super Bowl'' would earn the hearts of many. While there were only a handful of playable teams in the original ''Tecmo Bowl'', every NFL team (and most of the players) were playable in ''Tecmo Super Bowl''. ''Super'' took the gameplay of the original and made it more lenient, even adding different modes of play, making it the ideal football video game of its time.
* ''Team Fortress'' (and its pseudo-remake ''VideoGame/TeamFortressClassic'') was very innovative and created a FPS sub-genre, but was very lacking thematically. After 9 YEARS in development out comes ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'', with 9 distinct characters recognizable by silhouette or voice alone each with their own nationality, personality and unique weapons, not to mention the [[NiceHat hats]] and the constant patches and fixes both major and minor valve keeps handing out. For free! Unless you own the Xbox version, in which case you don't get them at all. [[ExecutiveMeddling You can thank Microsoft for that.]]
* The ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' games for Windows are generally considered an improvement on the PC-98 games, but many Touhou fans still agree that the PC-98 games weren't exactly shabby to begin with. A lot of fans are still hoping for [[ChuckCunninghamSyndrome certain PC-98 characters]] to return in future Windows installments.
* Croc for Game Boy. Quite emphatically so.
* The original ''MotorStorm'' was a great game, but plagued with LoadsAndLoadsOfLoading, punishing RubberBandAI and a general lack of content. ''Pacific Rift'' improves on everything that was problematic with the first while enhancing what was already good.
* ''VideoGame/SinAndPunishment'' is a great rail shooter, only marred by the analog stick controls (although the game is designed around it). ''VideoGame/SinAndPunishmentStarSuccessor'' takes full advantage of the Wii's pointer functionality for more refined controls, succeeds in being significantly longer and more epic without resorting to FakeLongevity (an impressive feat considering [[ShootEmUp the genre of the game]]), cranks up the intensity of enemy combat and boss battles, and boasts smoother visuals and framerate.
* ''StarControl'' was a fairly good TurnBasedStrategy[=/=]ShootEmUp game based on ''SpaceWar''. ''StarControl II'' took the combat mechanics and the AllThereInTheManual backstory and added an extremely well-written ActionAdventure story mode, and quickly became a beloved CultClassic.
* Opinion on which is the best ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' game mostly depends on whether you prefer the [[PlatformHell Classicvania]] or {{Metroidvania}} style of gameplay. ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaIIIDraculasCurse'' featured improved graphics and the inovations of selecting different routes through the game and other playable characters, although it [[NintendoHard was much harder than the original]] and was more frustrating to play. Not only did ''VideoGame/SuperCastlevaniaIV'' feature improved graphics and sound, but featured better and more fluent controls. ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight'' is considered a big highlight of the series, as it finally perfected the {{Metroidvania}} style that was attemped in ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaIISimonsQuest Simon's Quest]]''.
* ''VideoGame/HarvestMoon'' was a cult classic SuperNintendo game. It was full of [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome awesome]] and HeartwarmingMoments, excellent characterization for its system, and bright graphics; it was well-recieved though released too late in the systems lifespan to get any proper love. ''VideoGame/HarvestMoon64'' is considered one of the best video games the ''Nintendo64'' had to offer and upped everything that made the first game to eleven. It's also one of the only direct sequels to a previous game in the series.
* ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}'' was an excellent, intelligent game combining tried and true RPG devices with an intriguing social simulation system. ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'' greatly improved the battle system, provided even better artwork, smoothed out the pacing and writing, and generally provided a more cohesive gaming experience. However, there are people who think ''Persona 4'' was vastly inferior to the third.
** And there are also people who think both of them are inferior to ''VideoGame/{{Persona}}'' and ''VideoGame/{{Persona 2}}''. Looking at them all, however, most agree that the original was the worst, so many argue over which of the later three games are the best and giving all three of those games this status.
* ''VideoGame/PacMan: Championship Edition'' received positive reviews, praising the successful reimagination of the franchise. ''PacMan: Championship Edition DX'' received even more positive reviews. Eating a ''train of 30 ghosts'' for a massive score jump, anyone?
** How could the original ''PacMan'' get even more addictive? How about randomized mazes, ghosts with unique movement patterns, and more power-ups? Slap a bow on it and you've got ''Ms. PacMan''.
* The first ''{{DJMAX}} Technika'' is a great and innovative RhythmGame, breathing new life into the arcade rhythm game scene. Its sequel, ''DJMAX Technika 2'', boasts a streamlined user interface, an unlock system that no longer requires you to complete missions (you simply go onto the Platinum Crew website and make your purchases there), and a less annoying way of unlocking alternate boss songs in Club Mixing sets.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTacticsA2,'' the sequel to the already well-received ''FinalFantasyTacticsAdvance.'' The graphics are better, the story is darker and more mature, the characters (especially the protagonist) are better-defined and more likeable, the gameplay has been polished and refined, the class system has been expanded, and there's enough content to easily last you over 150 hours.
** Although it bears mentioning that both get compared poorly to [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics the original]], due primarily to the seriousness of the first game's plot compared to the rather mundane plotlines of the sequels.
* ''VideoGame/SilentHill2'' is widely considered superior to its [[VideoGame/SilentHill1 predecessor]] due to its more original and complex narrative, which to this day is regarded as arguably the greatest achievement in video game horror stories, and one of the greatest for video game storytelling in general. Not to mention, its excellent soundtrack.
* ''VideoGame/SpaceChannel5'' was an awesome game. Then Part 2 came out, and took everything in the game and made it even better. Some people consider it to be "The near perfect sequel." The main improvements were larger variety of songs and better control response.
* In ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' series, ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsArena Arena]]'' was good, ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIDaggerfall Daggerfall]]'' was considered even better, and many agree that ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind Morrowind]]'' topped that, in terms of graphics, gameplay, and story. ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion Oblivion's]]'' combat system is widely considered to be better, and it received a 94% from both Metacritic and Game Rankings, compared to Morrowind's 89%, although many Morrowind fans believe that Morrowind was still the best game overall. Also, there are quite a few people who think the the Shivering Isles expansion is better than the actual game.
** Based on the reactions from the public, ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]'' could be seen as this to Oblivion, having taken practically taken over every aspect of the gamer community, casual, hardcore, or professional alike, for months after its release, due to the expansive nature of the game. Fans of the series may feel otherwise though, as many consider the older games better for various reasons.
* ''VideoGame/{{Overlord}}'' introduced novel gameplay features and a likable cast of extras, but never really developed the third-person slasher beyond a few puzzles to be solved by those novel features. ''Overlord II'' shipped with the mandatory visual and audio upgrades. It also expanded the cast of personalities and the personality of the cast, upgraded the previous features seamlessly with new, presented maps that put them to ingenious use, and most ballsy and brilliant of all, let the minions (the fan favorite) take the spotlight in gameplay and story without taking away control or credit from the player.
* ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamAsylum'' has been called by many the best superhero game of all time, and a good all around game in general. Its sequel, ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamCity'', took everything that was awesome about the original UpToEleven and added Catwoman as a playable character.
* ''VideoGame/{{Suikoden}}'' was one of the PlayStation's first great [=RPGs=], with [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters a boatload of colorful characters]] to gather and play with. ''VideoGame/SuikodenII'' retains this aspect, revamps the turn-based war sequences, adds several plot twists and {{player punch}}es, and introduces the player to one of the most deranged villains in all of RPG-land.
* ''VideoGame/{{Portal 2}}'' is considered by many to be even more awesome than ''VideoGame/{{Portal}}'', as the second game vastly expanded upong the first, giving us new characters, a new story, and more gameplay features. It all adds up to about 6 or 7 hours of gameplay as opposed to the first game's 3 to 4 (or around 30 minutes if you've already beaten it), plus a co-op mode that's about the same length and filled with all-new puzzles.
* ''VideoGame/BatenKaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean'' was a cult hit for the Gamecube, and a great RPG for a system sorely lacking in that category, but it suffered from several flaws: bad, ''bad, '''bad''''' voice acting, a battle system that was overly complicated and relied heavily on luck, [[ScrappyMechanic an irritating level up system]], and several infuriating GuideDangIt moments. ''Baten Kaitos Origins'' revamped the battle system to be quicker and simpler while still maintaining the strategic elements that made it fun, replaced the FakeDifficulty with ''[[SequelDifficultySpike real]] [[NintendoHard difficulty]]'', got competent voice actors, and had an even better soundtrack.
* ''VideoGame/{{SSX}}'' was widely regarded as the best launch game on the PlayStation2, with incredible graphics for its time, easy to learn but surprisingly deep gameplay, and awesome music. ''SSX Tricky'' added smoother, faster gameplay, much improved load times, a boatload of new characters, tweaked tracks, and more awesome music.
* ''VideoGame/MasterOfOrion'' was considered an excellent strategy game for its time. Its sequel, however, is considered one of the quintessential [[FourX 4X]] games.
* ''VideoGame/{{Oddworld}}: Abe's Oddysee'' was an excellent game, but its sequel ''Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus'' is generally agreed to be better, with better maps and areas, new features (such as Flying Sligs and being able to have multiple mudokons follow you), and more challenging puzzles.
* ''VideoGame/{{inFAMOUS}}'' was considered a solid, fun sandbox game for the PS3 with an interesting premise. VideoGame/{{inFAMOUS 2}} upped the ante with more and varied powers, a more versatile city to run around in, bigger differences between the good and evil paths (as well as 2 separate endings), improved graphics (now utilizing facial mocap), improved physical combat, and a more emotional and dramatic story.
* Sega's cel-shaded skating/platforming/"tagging" hybrid ''VideoGame/JetSetRadio'' was, and still is, unlike anything gamers were playing at the time. This {{Dreamcast}} gem, while having some flaws, is regarded as one of the system's stand-out titles. ''JSRF: Jet Set Radio Future'' blew everyone's mind (and the bar set by the first game) when it was released on the Xbox. Impressive (if a bit flashy) visuals, refined gameplay removing the tagging commands while re-vamping the trick system, an improved story (even if it was a re-telling of the original's), improved character designs (making Gum and Cube HotterAndSexier, and Yoyo a favorite amongst the female gamers), and a huge world to explore put it leagues ahead of its predecessor. One thing it didn't improve was its music. [[CrowningMusicOfAwesome Then again,]] [[AwesomeMusic/JetSetRadio not like they needed to anyway.]]'' [[EarWorm The music just turns me on]]'' [[EarWorm indeed...]]
* ''FancyPantsAdventures'' was a solid platformer, with smooth animations, and a few neat extras. It was a bit short, but that wasn't that much of a problem. Enter ''The Fancy Pants Adventures: World 2'', with even better animations, smooth platforming that had solid controls, with tons of bonus levels, trophies, and pants. Then ''Fancy Pants Adventures'' was released on consoles (alternately called ''World 3''), which upped the quality even more with achievements, [[VirtualPaperDoll headwear and pants]], many, many minigames, and multiplayer.
* ''[[VideoGame/{{Fallout 1}} Fallout]]'' was a landmark in the [=CRPG=] genre, with more freedom of action than any before it. Though you were given a broad goal, you were free to choose where you wanted to go and when, could interact with almost anything, and had numerous means of dealing with challenges based on your skills, abilities, prior knowledge, and personal morality, including [[TalkingTheMonsterToDeath defeating the final bosses with dialogue]]. ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 2}},'' despite the bugs and cut content thanks to its rushed deadline, is an EvenBetterSequel and widely considered superior because of it. And then ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'', despite the stylistic change, is widely considered to be an [[SerialEscalation even better game than the first two Fallouts.]]
* ''AirCombat'' was a pretty cool game, ''AceCombat2'' was even better, but it was ''AceCombat3Electrosphere'' that really got the ''AceCombat'' series going (too bad [[BadExportForYou nobody outside Japan saw the original product]]). ''AceCombat04ShatteredSkies'' is the best-rated ''AC'' game to date, while ''AceCombat5TheUnsungWar'' easily tops it in the story, characterization, and gameplay variety departments. Unfortunately, the trend stopped there and it remains to be seen whether the ContinuityReboot with ''AceCombatAssaultHorizon'' will change it.
* ''VideoGame/HeroesOfMightAndMagic: A Strategic Quest'' was regarded as having good gameplay, but lacking in the story department (IE, it didn't ''have'' much of one in the actual game). ''Heroes II'' corrected that (it might not have been the world's most ''original'' story, but it was well presented), enhanced the graphics but kept the same style, added two more towns, more creatures, the creature upgrading concept, skills learned as the hero gained levels...
** Heroes III ''would'' be a clear example, but there is a fraction of the fanbase that disagree with some of the decisions made for that game (mostly the graphical style -- the first two games had a colourful style carried over from the ''VideoGame/MightAndMagic'' series, while Heroes III went for a more RealIsBrown palette).
* ''GuildWars'' made for a popular and well-received MMORPG that didn't have a monthly fee whatsoever, in part thanks to dividing the world up into instanced zones. However, this had the effect of making the game feel sparsely populated, as each map could only support a limited number of players. ''GuildWars2'' upped the ante in every conceivable way. It played more akin to a traditional MMORPG, with a seamless and persistent world that could support thousands of players at once, five races to play as, and multiple crafts to take up. It replaced the traditional quest system with cyclical dynamic events that would unfold in real time and could result in small changes on the world depending on if they succeeded or failed. World vs World [[PlayerVersusPlayer PvP]] was added to allow for hundreds of players to duke it out. And it was also released without the need to pay a monthly fee.
* ''VideoGame/{{Klonoa}}: Door to Phantomile'' was a decent platformer, but ''Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil'' made it even better. Better story, better level design, better soundtrack, better graphics, etc. Only downside was that the difficulty was easier.
* VideoGame/HotelDuskRoom215 was a fun adventure game with some neat character interaction, animations and puzzles with a compelling storyline. VideoGame/LastWindow improved on all of that, as well as providing more insight and development into the returning characters.
* ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands}}'' was little more than an IndecisiveParody with an ExcusePlot. It was GunPorn the Game. ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands 2}}'' is a [[DenserAndWackier full blown parody]], retains the GunPorn, and has a legitimate plot that takes what little elements the first game gave it and makes it work.
* ''VideoGame/ZoneOfTheEnders'' only sold well because of the demo for ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2SonsOfLiberty''. The game was decent but it suffered from repetitive battles, criminal shortness and [[{{Wangst}} whiny]] and cliched characters, leading to a somewhat mixed reaction. As such, many people who liked the original concept were happy to see the sequel, ''The 2nd Runner'', tighten up the controls, give you twice as many options in battle and include a long and interesting plot to follow. They were even more surprised to see whiny and annoying characters in the first game return in style, having [[TookALevelInBadass leveled in badass]] in the intervening time between games.
* ''EpicBattleFantasy 1'' was nothing special. ''2'' added save points, some basic customization, and an ExcusePlot. Then along came ''EBF 3'', which quickly became one of the top-rated [=RPGs=] on Kongregate, thanks to a challenging, interesting combat system, excellent graphics, and [[CrowningMusicOfAwesome even better music]]. ''EBF 4'', released two and a half years later, then proceeded to unabashedly top all of its predecessors with a bunch of balance refinements, more customizability, a new player character, and ''more'' pretty graphics and music. [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking Plus it nerfed]] [[BossInMookClothing Monoliths]].
* ''SaintsRow'' was a fairly standard GTA clone. However, when GTA 4 decided to get all serious about things, ''VideoGame/SaintsRow2'' decided to have fun, gave the player much more to do, and as a result is much better than the first one. ''VideoGame/SaintsRowTheThird'' was a ContestedSequel, although it was generally regarded to be a good game in its own right. Then came in ''VideoGame/SaintsRowIV'' which totally blew ''The Third'' out of the water by adding in super powers, a more intricate story mode, coupled up with a story line which does not take itself very seriously, and generally making everything from ''The Third'' better in some way or another. Even detractors of ''The Third'''s DenserAndWackier turn on the franchise liked it.
* The NES version of Konami's ''Track and Field'' was a well-received [[ReformulatedGame conversion of the early 1980s arcade game]]. ''Track and Field II'', released the following year to coincide with the Summer Olympic Games in [[UsefulNotes/SouthKorea Seoul]], was a huge improvement, with better music and more realistic (for the time) graphics, and the addition of several new events such as fencing, the high dive, and the pole vault. It also included a password function to save the player's progress after every three events in Olympic Mode ("Championship Mode" in the North American release).
* ''VideoGame/QuestOfYipe''. The first game is very simplistic, has a ridiculous amount of LevelGrinding, and has only two tasks to complete. The next game has slightly better graphics and further advances the gameplay. With the third game, the graphics improve massively (by late-90s Macintosh standards at least), and the game introduces a much, ''much'' larger world with far more side quests.
* ''VideoGame/BattlefieldBadCompany'' 2 is a much better game than the 1st, and the second was released on PC whereas the first was not.
* ''Hexagon'' is a great game in and of itself, but ''VideoGame/SuperHexagon'' makes it even better with the addition of more stages and more music.
* ''VideoGame/{{Myst}}'' was an interesting game that, at the time, looked great, and helped bring point and click adventure games further into the mainstream. However, [[SeinfeldIsUnfunny the game itself can seem a bit dated]]--the plot can be confusing at times, the world feels very empty and dead, the puzzles can be needlessly obtuse, and the visuals don't hold up as well. On the other hand, ''{{VideoGame/Riven}}'' is essentially an improvement over everything that made ''Myst'' good at release--the plot is much more engaging, with the player having a more personal role in it, the world feels alive and interesting, the puzzles (while still fiendishly difficult) are at least somewhat sensible, and most importantly the visuals (even at such low resolutions) still look pretty damn impressive. Many fans wondered how ''Riven'' would be topped--then, along came ''Exile'', with fascinating and sympathetic characters, much more logical approaches to puzzles, breathtaking environments, a ''hauntingly'' beautiful soundtrack, and visual design that still looks incredible to this day.
* ''VideoGame/AreaFlat'' was a pretty neat Java ShootEmUp with polygonal graphics but otherwise didn't stand out too much. ''Area Flat 2'' improved on the first by adding in more interesting bosses. ''Area Flat 3'' topped both of them by adding in a background, more new mechanics like a ChargedAttack and {{Smart Bomb}}s, much better (but still polygonal) graphics, and multiple boss fights that were better than the previous two games.
* ''VideoGame/TransformersWarForCybertron'' is a decent third person shooter, taking the concept to a beloved 80's franchise and doing well enough by taking it through a path very similar to the comic books, revolving around deep political intrigues amid the firefights. As a game, it's mostly known for its interesting boss fights and the fact that, well, you're [[Franchise/TheTransformers Transformers]]. Then came ''VideoGame/TransformersFallOfCybertron'', regarded as one of the best Transformers-based games ever, with a strong central plot traveling through the viewpoints of both factions and a dozens of well-known characters, including fan favorites like Optimus Prime, Megatron, Soundwave, Starscream, Jazz, Grimlock, Bumblebee, and more. It offers enjoyable sections for everyone, including big brawling fights, (optional) stealth gameplay, and high-speed vehicle combat sections to bring it above its predecessor. The final level even goes as far as to play like an episode of the 80's cartoon, complete with the faction-symbol transition as players switch viewpoints from Autobots to Decepticons and back again. Between Generation One inspired visuals, well known names providing voice acting, and many, many nods to famous moments the franchise's history, the game pays off the anticipation of fans in a big way.
* ''VideoGame/LunarTheSilverStar'' was a charming if somewhat derivative [=JRPG=] with memorable characters and a fun story. The sequel, ''VideoGame/LunarEternalBlue'', improves upon the game in almost every way with a more mature storyline, better developed characters, a better soundtrack, and an improved menu system that does away with the more cumbersome aspects of Silver Star Story's system.