->''"So any belief that Nintendo will make a sequel to ''VideoGame/ZeldaIITheAdventureOfLink'' is deader than shit. They can't even make them follow consecutive order! We have a sequel to the [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaI original]], a [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkToThePast prequel]] to the original, a ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaLinksAwakening sequel]]'' to the prequel, a '''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime prequel]]''' to the prequel, and a [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask sequel]] to the young Link of the prequel's prequel! [-WHAT THE FUCK!?-]"''
-->-- '''WebVideo/TheAngryVideoGameNerd''' on ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda''

Some video games, especially [=RPGs=], do not have a strict sense of a linear {{sequel}}. The game may -- ''may'' -- take place in the same continuity, but not necessarily in the same time period. Occasionally the only thing similar is the system of play or shared tropes and references.

This is because video games, uniquely among media, have another dimension by which installments in a series can be interrelated, other than characters, [[TheVerse setting]], plot, or tone; that dimension being gameplay mechanics. Of course, this also means you might get an installment that [[DolledUpInstallment isn't really one at all]]. Plus, it has the benefit of helping to avoid ContinuityLockOut--with non-linear sequels, it doesn't really matter if you start with, say, An RPG Adventure 1 or An RPG Adventure 10.

This also avoids [[BagOfSpilling the logical conclusion of why the hero isn't at]] [[PowersOfTwoMinusOne Level 255+]] [[BagOfSpilling when he starts the next game]].

Many series of this sort have {{Recurring Element}}s.

Compare and contrast to a ThematicSeries, which is a series that follows themes as opposed to specific characters or settings.
----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Action-Adventure Games ]]

* ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'' is a bit of a mess, as {{fanon}} persists in trying to find some coherent continuity between the games. WordOfGod stated the TimeTravel shenanigans in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'' actually ''split'' the timeline. With the release of ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword Skyward Sword]]'', the official timeline was revealed in the book ''[[AllThereInTheManual Hyrule Historia]]''. It turns out the timeline was split in ''three'' branches in ''OOT''.
* The ''LegacyOfKain'' series plays around with the TimeyWimeyBall and as a result only the first two, ''Blood Omen'' and ''Soul Reaver'', are in normal order. ''Soul Reaver 2'' picked up where ''Soul Reaver'' left off with the main characters travelling back in time to a couple decades before ''Blood Omen'', then they travel forward to several centuries after ''Blood Omen'', then back to centuries before ''Blood Omen''. The fourth game, ''Blood Omen 2'', takes place between ''Blood Omen'' and ''Soul Reaver'' in an altered timeline caused by the fifth game, ''Defiance''. Defiance picks up right where ''Soul Reaver 2'' left off and switches between the two heroes who are in different time periods, one is still in the time period centuries before ''Blood Omen'' and the other is exactly in the same timeframe as ''Blood Omen'', the events of that game occuring unseen at the same time as the events of ''Defiance''. If you followed all that, congratulations, you just mastered one of the most complex time travel plots ever known.
* ''VideoGame/ShadowOfTheColossus'' and ''VideoGame/{{ICO}}'' take place within the same universe, with ''Shadow of the Colossus'' occurring earlier in the timeline.
* ''VideoGame/BubbleBobble'' makes ''no'' sense. You got '''''three''''' second-installments and '''''two''''' third-installments, and chronological orders and release orders don't match.
* The sequel progression in ''Franchise/TombRaider'' is linear (while each is self-contained, stuff like artifacts in Lara's mansion show the progression) until ''Chronicles'', which is based around events at various times in Lara's life, and the position of some scenarios in the overall timeline is very hard to work out (not helped by the way some events seem to violate previous canon). The Crystal reboot makes things much more complicated; while the changes to backstory and canon suggest a ContinuityReboot the majority of the previous games are referenced at points in the new games, suggesting that they DO still exist in the new timeline, which makes it difficult to work out where Legend and Underworld fit in.
* The third ''VideoGame/NinjaGaiden'' game for the NES, ''Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom'', is an interquel between the original NES ''Ninja Gaiden'' and ''Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos'' (since Ryu lost the Dragon Sword at the end of ''II'', but still has it in ''III''). ''Ninja Gaiden Shadow'' is a very distant prequel to the first NES game, while ''Ninja Gaiden'' for Xbox and its sequels (''Dragon Sword'' and ''2'') are set before the NES series (and presumably after ''Ninja Gaiden Shadow'').
* The ''VideoGame/{{Metroid}}'' series isn't a particularly confusing chronology, but the release order of the more recent games still doesn't necessarily match the order in which they take place, so it still qualifies. The order is: ''Metroid/[[EnhancedRemake Metroid: Zero Mission]]'' > ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime'' > ''Prime Hunters'' > ''Prime 2: Echoes'' > ''Prime 3: Corruption'' > ''Metroid II: Return of Samus'' > ''Super Metroid'' > ''VideoGame/MetroidOtherM'' > ''Metroid Fusion'', with OddballInTheSeries page-image-provider ''Metroid Prime Pinball'' being somewhere tangentially related to the first Prime game.
* The games in Creator/{{Falcom}}'s ''VideoGame/DragonSlayer'' series are largely unrelated to each other. While ''Dragon Slayer VIII: The Legend of Xanadu'' is a sequel to ''DragonSlayerIIXanadu'', and ''Dragon Slayer V: Sorcerian'' has tenuous connections to ''Dragon Slayer Jr.: Romancia'', it's perhaps just as well that "Dragon Slayer" was stripped out of the titles of most of the localized versions and the later sequels and remakes.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Adventure Games ]]

* The games in the [[AtlantisTheLostTales Atlantis]] series take part, in order: In prehistoric times, in the middle ages, in 2020, in the eary 20th century, and in 1937.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Fighting Games ]]

* Every [=2D=] ''VideoGame/SamuraiShodown'' has been a non-linear sequel since ''Samurai Shodown II''. ''III'' and ''IV'' are set after the original game but before ''II'', ''V'' is a prequel to the first game, and ''VI'' is a "dream match" game with everyone from the previous numbered entries. Oddly enough, the [=3D=] games are all set after ''Samurai Shodown II'', although the [=PS=] version of ''Warriors' Edge'' (which is a different game from the arcade version) takes place in the distant future of the other games.
* The ''VideoGame/StreetFighterAlpha'' series (despite its Japanese title of ''Street Fighter Zero'') is actually set '''after''' the original ''VideoGame/StreetFighter'' (and ''VideoGame/FinalFight'') and before the ''VideoGame/StreetFighterII'' series. The more recent ''VideoGame/StreetFighterIV'' is an interquel between ''II'' and ''III''.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: First-Person Shooter ]]

* The ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' franchise chronologically goes: ''VideoGame/HaloWars'', ''VideoGame/HaloReach'', ''VideoGame/HaloCombatEvolved'', ''VideoGame/{{Halo 2}}'' / ''VideoGame/Halo3ODST'', ''VideoGame/{{Halo 3}}'', ''Halo: Spartan Assault'', ''VideoGame/{{Halo 4}}''. The core trilogy was released first, followed by ''Halo Wars'', ''Halo 3: ODST'', ''Halo: Reach'', ''Halo 4'', and ''Halo: Spartan Assault''.
* The ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty'' games, due to starting out as yet another WorldWarII series, have chronology all over the place. ''Call of Duty 2'' in particular has at least half of its missions taking place before most of the original's - though this also meant they could bring back Captain Price after his death on board the Tirpitz in the first game without having to explain a thing.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Hack and Slash ]]

* In chronological order of the plotline, the ''VideoGame/DevilMayCry'' series goes as follows: ''Devil May Cry 3'', ''Devil May Cry'', ''Devil May Cry 4'', then ''Devil May Cry 2''. Then there's ''[[VideoGame/DmCDevilMayCry DmC: Devil May Cry]]'', which was originally ''another'' prequel (more like ContinuityReboot in some aspects) set ''before'' ''3'' [[FlipFlopOfGod and is now set in]] [[AlternateContinuity a parallel universe]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Platformers ]]

* The ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' series is the reigning king of bouncing around in the timeline, though the games all take place in the same continuity. Games have been set as far back as the year 1094 and as far forward as 2036. Konami didn't even wait till the series left the NES before starting this habit -- ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaIIIDraculasCurse'' was set more than 200 years before the first game.
* Though the various ''VideoGame/MegaMan'' games are released roughly in chronological order within their own series, the ''VideoGame/MegaManZero'' series which takes place after the end of the ''[[VideoGame/MegaManX X]]'' series and before ''[[VideoGame/MegaManLegends Legends]]'' began and ended years after the last ''Legends'' game came out. The newer ''VideoGame/MegaManZX'' series takes place after ''Zero'' but still before ''Legends''.
* Franchise/{{Sonic|TheHedgehog}} fans have had more than a few arguments trying to sort this one out.
** ''Sonic CD'' was developed at the same time as ''Sonic 2'', but takes place either before it or after ''Sonic & Knuckles'', and ''Sonic 4'' is a direct continuation of it.
** The ResetButton ending of ''Sonic '06'' officially removed it from the canon. However, the game says that Blaze the Cat is from the same future as Silver the Hedgehog. ''Sonic Rush'' and its sequel directly contradict this saying that Blaze is from AnotherDimension. Also, Silver's future is perpetually doomed by something entirely different, and Eggman Nega is somehow from both the Future and another dimension.
** ''VideoGame/SonicChronicles'' then takes place two years after the last game of the series. However its ending [[spoiler:has Robotnik take over the world.]] This doesn't sit well with the next game in the series, ''VideoGame/SonicUnleashed''.
** In ''VideoGame/SonicBattle'', Shadow has his memory back, or at least remembers the events of ''Sonic Adventure 2''. ''VideoGame/SonicHeroes'' contradicts this, with Shadow having contracted amnesia thanks to his fall at the end of ''[=SA2=]'' ([[LaserGuidedAmnesia and maybe some other factors]]) and he still doesn't have memory of ''[=SA2=]''[='s=] events by the end of ''ShadowTheHedgehog'', making ''Battle'''s place in continuity very iffy. ''Battle'' occurs after ''Shadow'' (as Shadow clearly remembers his past) but was released slightly before ''Heroes''. Where it falls into the overall timeline is unknown, but it is referenced heavily in ''Chronicles''. Really, when it comes to the Sonic canon, everything is canon, though every game is in NegativeContinuity unless another game feels like providing a sequel to a story.
* ''SuperMarioWorld2YoshisIsland'', although numbered, is a prequel to the main ''SuperMarioBros'' games.
* [[WarioLand Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3]], the two previous games feature Mario as the main character but you play as Wario in this one. [[spoiler: Mario doesn't appear in the third game until the very end.]]
* ''VideoGame/WonderBoyIIIMonsterLair'' and ''VideoGame/WonderBoyIIITheDragonsTrap''. The former is a ShootEmUp platformer hybrid spinoff, while the latter is an Action RPG set immediately after ''VideoGame/WonderBoyInMonsterLand''; with the prologue taking place in the VeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon of that game.
** ''VideoGame/MonsterWorldIV'' has mostly the same gameplay as the previous ''Wonder Boy'' / ''Monster World'' titles, but a completely unrelated story.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Role-Playing Games ]]

* The ''FinalFantasy'' series, with a few exceptions centered around ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' and ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'', making its use of [[NumberedSequels numbers]] somewhat strange.
** Square Enix's Ivalice realm is a consistent world visited by the player at various different point in history, each time centered on completely unrelated protagonists. The titles are non linear; the ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics'' games, ''Vagrant Story'' and ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII''. But even Ivalice's continuity is a little haphazard. Back when they were new, the only indication of a connection between ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics'' and ''VagrantStory'' was a few small references; FFT's own sequel later on, ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTacticsAdvance'', also had ''very'' little to do with its predecessor. Making Ivalice a more explicitly consistent setting was a later development, and it's [[ContinuityDrift still a bit different than it started out]] since it took some {{retcon}}ning to fit things together.
** Only afterwards, some games are now getting sequels, probably inspired by the success of the ''Compilation of VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII''. For example, ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV'' has a cellphone[=/WiiWare=] game sequel, ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyIVTheAfterYears Final Fantasy IV: The After Years]]''.
** As of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX'', the entire series takes place in a larger [[TheMultiverse Multiverse]], as did ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyX2 Final Fantasy X-2]]''. The [[AllThereInTheManual Ultimania]] notes that [[spoiler:Shinra, the kid genius of the Gullwings, was the ancestor of [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII Rufus Shinra]]. He even babbles about a concept remarkably similar to that of TheLifestream at one point in the game.]]
** A Japanese guide for ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV'' (''[[AllThereInTheManual Final Fantasy IV Settei Shiryou Hen]]'', [[http://www.sceneryrecalled.com/trans/ff4comp.htm for those curious]]) states that the Blue Planet is the same world as that of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyII'', only 100 years later. It also states that the Deathbringer that King Fabul gives to Cecil was left to him by Leon from ''II'', who then renounced his status as a Dark Knight to become a priest (as a parallel to Cecil's own class change from Dark Knight to Paladin). However, this is possibly shot down ''[[ShrugOfGod again]]'' in ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyIVTheAfterYears The After Years]]'', which reverts the whole "Kain being Ricard's son" thing back to a RetroactiveLegacy MythologyGag; there, Kain says that he was roughly the same age as Ceodore (17) when he heard news [[spoiler:of his father's death against an evil empire]], while the Kain seen in ''II'' is a young boy (not to mention that a difference of 100 years makes it difficult for the 21-year-old Kain to be the son of the already middle-aged Ricard).
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'' was the first game in the series to be envisioned with other games (''VideoGame/FinalFantasyType0'' for example) sharing a continuity in mind, although from the get-go that "continuity" was outlined as a theme involving crystals steeped in mythology and nothing else, for the most part. While it eventually gained direct sequels, ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII2'' and the upcoming ''VideoGame/LightningReturnsFinalFantasyXIII'', the original vision changed quite a lot over the years, with ''Type-0'', originally sharing the XIII title as ''Agito XIII'', renamed before its release, and with the third game--the very well-anticipated ''Versus XIII''--announced way back in 2006 along with the other two changing into a large, separate verse so much that it's finally been renamed '''''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXV'''''. The end of the E3 trailer that announced this even implies that, as "a world in the Versus epic" (quote), Noctis will have his own saga in ''Fabula Nova Crystallis'' (its title can be faintly seen at the beginning of the trailer), as Lightning has had.
* There are only two continuities in the ''Franchise/{{Tales|Series}}'' series, non-canonical {{crossover}}s ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheWorld'' notwithstanding. The first is the "Aselia" timeline, encompassing two ''[[VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia Symphonia]]'' games and ''[[VideoGame/TalesOfPhantasia Phantasia]]''. All of them have different protagonists (the ''Symphonia'' sequel has a different protagonist, and both are set around 4000 years before ''Phantasia''). The second is the ''[[VideoGame/TalesOfDestiny Destiny]]'' timeline, the second game being about the son of the heroes of the first. In all cases, no BagOfSpilling is invoked.
* Due to an unusual twist of plot [[spoiler:involving Lezard time traveling from the end of the first game to the past of the sequel]], ''[[VideoGame/ValkyrieProfile2Silmeria Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria]]'' comes both before and after ''VideoGame/ValkyrieProfile''. And ''[[VideoGame/ValkyrieProfileCovenantOfThePlume Covenant of the Plume]]'' is a prequel.
** Things become even more confusing during the Seraphic Gate portions of ''Covenant of the Plume'' (i.e. the post-game), where [[spoiler:recurring character Arngrim shows up. That Arngrim is the one from the ''original, unaltered'' version of the ''[=VP2=]'' timeline (the one that leads into ''Covenant of the Plume'' and ''Lenneth''), where the time-traveling Lezard wasn't there to bail Alicia, Rufus, and Dylan out of Dipan Castle and thus change the sequence of history. Like in ''[=VP2=]'', Arngrim still ended up as one of Hrist's Einherjar, but was sent back into the cycle of rebirth as punishment for calling out Odin about what he did to Alicia, thus explaining how he can appear in the original ''Valkyrie Profile'' when it's (chronologically) set hundreds of years after ''Silmeria''.]]
* ''VideoGame/BreathOfFire'' has a remarkably similar situation going to ''Zelda'', only complicated by two, possibly three, ''canonical'' AlternateUniverse scenarios:
** ''VideoGame/BreathOfFireI'', ''[[VideoGame/BreathOfFireII II]]'', and ''[[VideoGame/BreathOfFireIII III]]'' are canonically (per [[WordOfGod Word of Capcom]] and storyline) in the same universe but separated by millennia between games.
** ''VideoGame/BreathOfFireDragonQuarter'' is (per [[WordOfGod Word of Capcom]]) in its own AlternateUniverse completely unrelated to other games in the series. The gameplay is also radically different, to the point it actually resulted in a BrokenBase within that fandom.
** The real mess comes in sorting out where ''VideoGame/BreathOfFireIV'' fits, because there ''is'' no [[WordOfGod Word of Capcom]] where the game fits, the game was rushed to production to outrun AuthorExistenceFailure, and subsequent [[AllThereInTheManual supplementary material]] (like the artbook, a {{Novelization}}, a second ''Breath of Fire'' Complete Works artbook, no less than two side-stories that were released for [[NoExportForYou Japanese smartphones]], and finally a [[ComicBookAdaptation manga]] that relied ''heavily'' on info from the artbook and Capcom's production staff) have done ''absolutely nothing'' to clarify this. As a result, a ''lot'' of {{Fanon}} and occasional FanWank occurs as to whether ''IV'' is an AlternateUniverse or a NonLinearSequel (with the most popular {{Fanon}} Timeline going towards it being a NonLinearSequel that is a prequel to ''I-III'').
* The first two ''{{Lufia}}'' games where placed in reverse order, with ''VideoGame/LufiaIIRiseOfTheSinistrals'' happening before ''VideoGame/LufiaAndTheFortressOfDoom''. The first game even ''started'' with ATasteOfPower that eventually became the final conflict in the second game, creating a nice little loop of continuity.
* The ''{{Suikoden}}'' games all take place in the same world (except for ''[[SuikodenTierkreis Tierkreis]]''), but all take place in different regions and, more importantly, different times. To be specific, the first game to occur chronologically was ''VideoGame/SuikodenIV''. One hundred and fifty years later, we experience the events of ''VideoGame/SuikodenV'', then we get the original ''VideoGame/SuikodenI'' five years later, with ''VideoGame/SuikodenII'' following it up with the shortest time span between games (a mere three years), then we get ''VideoGame/SuikodenIII 15'' years after that. One strange thing about this series is the character Viki, who is well-known for not only teleporting to different regions, but through time as well (though this is not intentional, as she just has very bad luck and is a huge klutz). What's interesting is that she teleports through the games in ''numerical'' order, rather than chronologically. In other words, she teleports from the events of ''SuikodenI'' to ''SuikodenII'', then to ''SuikodenIII'', and so on. Also, there are events that occur in Suikogaiden with Viki that, if she moved in numerical order, would imply her having knowledge of events that occurred (or knowing people she met) in earlier games. Her lack of knowledge of who Lorelai is in SuikodenV, even though they are both members of the Hero's army in [[SuikodenI I]] and [[SuikodenII II]], is telling. ''And'' there are two different versions of Viki in ''[[SuikodenIII III]]''.
* The ''Franchise/{{Grandia}}'' series developed by Game Arts is similar to ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' in that the games share little except for the battle system.
* The ''{{Wild ARMs}}'' games were assumed to be non-linear at first, but WordOfGod says that they all take place on the same planet. This doesn't make much sense because, if that's the case, the games take place at least multiple millennia apart with FridgeLogic mass-reconfiguration of the planet's continental crust fragments. But hey, if the planet's center is filled with supernatural blue mud, you can HandWave just about anything.
* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' series all take place in the same world and are roughly chronological, but have different locations and, for the most part, characters. Except for the spin-offs. ''Battlespire'' takes place just before and during the first game, while ''Redguard'' takes place roughly 300 years before the first game. ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]'' is going to take place two centuries after Oblivion, but has been announced as a more direct sequel, events-wise.
* ''VideoGame/DragonQuest'': Several titles take place in the same universe with similar past events. ''VideoGame/DragonQuestIII'' is the prequel of the first two games, which are collectively known as the "Loto Trilogy" or "Erdrick Trilogy" (depending on your translation).
** The [[VideoGame/DragonQuestIV fourth]], [[VideoGame/DragonQuestV fifth]], and [[VideoGame/DragonQuestVI sixth]] games are also part of their own saga (the loosely-connected Zenithian trilogy), albeit in AnachronicOrder.
** To date, only ''VideoGame/DragonQuestVII'' and ''VideoGame/DragonQuestIX'' seem to be standalone titles, as ''VideoGame/DragonQuestVIII'' hints at a multiverse due to [[spoiler:the Godbird Empyrea actually being one and the same as [[SpellMyNameWithAnS Ramia/Lamia]] from ''III''.]] Torneko Taloon from ''IV'' also cameos as an opponent in Morrie's Monster Arena in ''VIII''. Just to complicate matters, ''IX'' features character cameos and cosplay gear from all eight previous games and the ''VideoGame/DragonQuestSwords'' spin-off, which may mean something or may just be {{Mythology Gag}}s. Then there's the early ''VideoGame/DragonQuestMonsters'' games -- one's a prequel to ''VI'', another had a ''VII'' character wind up in the Erdrick Trilogy world long after the events of ''I - III''.
* The continuity between the ''VideoGame/WorldOfMana'' games is rather loose. At least one game, ''VideoGame/LegendOfMana'', has been declared non-canon by WordOfGod, and the mobile phone game ''Friends of Mana'' takes place in a totally different world.
* ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' does this. Not counting ''Gold and Silver'', which were direct sequels to the first games, ''Red and Blue'', every iteration since has been part of a jumbled up timeline that can only be explained by in-game functions. ''VideoGame/PokemonRedAndBlue'' start off the series. At the same time that these are happening, the events of ''VideoGame/PokemonRubyAndSapphire'', games released six years later as part of the third generation, take place. Three years later, the events of ''VideoGame/PokemonGoldAndSilver'' take place. Starting around when the red Gyarados business goes down, the events of ''VideoGame/PokemonDiamondAndPearl'' occur. (It helps if you consider the remakes; ''Ruby and Sapphire'' and ''[=FireRed and LeafGreen=]'' are part of the same generation and take place at roughly the same time, as are ''Diamond and Pearl'' and ''[=HeartGold and SoulSilver=]''.) And then, some unknown, as of right now, time later, (likely multiple years) the events of ''VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite'' take place, followed by ''VideoGame/PokemonBlack2AndWhite2'' (2 years later). ''VideoGame/PokemonXAndY'' then takes place around the same time as ''VideoGame/PokemonBlack2AndWhite2''. ''VideoGame/PokemonColosseum'' and ''[[VideoGame/PokemonColosseum Pokemon XD]]'' go wherever you want them to.
* [[WordOfGod Hidetaka Miyazaki]] (who served as director on ''Demon's Souls'' and ''Dark Souls'') has stated that despite taking place in the same world, there will be no story connections between ''[[VideoGame/DarkSoulsII Dark Souls II]]'' and its predecessor.
* Most of the ''Franchise/ShinMegamiTensei'' sequels are like this, the major exceptions being ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiII'', ''VideoGame/{{Persona 2}}'', ''[[VideoGame/DigitalDevilSaga Digital Devil Saga 2]]'', and ''[[RaidouKuzunohaVsKingAbaddon Devil Summoner: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. King Abaddon]]''. Some other games are hinted/confirmed to take place in the same continuity as their predecessors, such as ''[[VideoGame/SoulHackers Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers]]'', ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiIIINocturne'', and ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}'' and ''[[VideoGame/{{Persona 4}} 4]]'', but feature completely different plotlines and characters, with only a handful of [[CallBack Call Backs]] connecting them.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Shoot Em Ups ]]

* ''[[VideoGame/{{Contra}} Contra 4]]'' was titled as such to indicate its placement as a sequel to ''Contra III: The Alien Wars''. It is actually the eleventh original installment in the series and the second one specifically made for a portable platform (following ''Operation C'' on the original GameBoy). The game got away with this due to the fact that none of the other ''Contra'' sequels between ''III'' and ''4'' were numbered (the actual game that followed ''Contra III'' was ''Contra: Hard Corps'' for the SegaGenesis).
* The ''{{Aleste}}'' series kept a few main characters constant in its earlier installments, most of which could probably be linked together in order. Then there's ''Power Strike II'' for the SegaMasterSystem and ''Robo Aleste'' for the SegaCD, each of which is set in a different historical time period with different characters.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Simulation Games ]]

* ''VideoGame/WingCommander'' had a few of these. ''VideoGame/WingCommander II'' was set ten years after the end of the second [[ExpansionPack addon]], the XBox Live game ''VideoGame/WingCommander Armada'' was set 20 years after the events of ''VideoGame/WingCommander Prophecy'', and ''Privateer 2: The Darkening'' was... well, its own little world, for the most part, with subtle hints of a connection to the "main" games dropped throughout the game.
* There's really only two linear sequels in the ''[[VideoGame/{{X}} X-Universe]]'' series. ''X-Tension'', the ExpansionPack to ''X: Beyond the Frontier'', continues Kyle Brennan's story by having him found a corporation to help him develop a way to get back to Earth. Meanwhile ''X3: Reunion'' continues the story of the [[AlienInvasion Kha'ak invasion]] from ''X2: The Threat'': though the Kha'ak planet-killer has been destroyed, the invasion continues and ''X2's'' player character Julian Gardna-Brennan has been hired to train new pilots to replace the Argon military's losses.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Stealth-Based Games ]]

* All the numbered ''Franchise/MetalGear'' sequels followed a linear chronology with one notable exception: ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3SnakeEater'' serves as a prequel to the entire ''Metal Gear'' canon, being set decades before the events of the very first ''VideoGame/MetalGear''. ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolidPortableOps'' and ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolidPeaceWalker'', both for the PSP, serve as sequels to the plot of ''[=MGS3=]'' and follow Big Boss' further adventures before the first ''Metal Gear''. ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolidVThePhantomPain'' is another game starring Big Boss set years before Metal Gear Solid, or even the original Metal Gear for that matter, but is the fifth game in the MGS series to be numbered. Strangely, it is the first one to use a roman numeral instead of a numerical digit. It's also been confirmed by Kojima that ''Peace Walker'' was to be called Metal Gear Solid 5 at one point during development, but the number was removed mainly on the basis that the game was a handheld release.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Survival Horror ]]

* The ''Franchise/ResidentEvil'' games release order mostly matches the chronology of the series, except for the prequel ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil0'' and, weirdly, ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil3Nemesis'', which takes place both before and after ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil2'' (''VideoGame/ResidentEvilCodeVeronica'', despite not having a numbered title, is the true continuation to the events of ''Resident Evil 2'').
** The spin-offs are a bit looser with chronology -- the two ''[[VideoGame/ResidentEvilOutbreak Outbreak]]'' games take place roughly concurrently with ''2'' and ''3'', the final chapter of ''[[VideoGame/ResidentEvilTheUmbrellaChronicles Umbrella Chronicles]]'' takes place a year before ''[[VideoGame/ResidentEvil4 4]]'', and the main story of ''[[VideoGame/ResidentEvilTheDarksideChronicles Darkside Chronicles]]'' shows Leon in South America two years before ''4'', which shows what happened between Leon and [[spoiler:Krauser (before his FaceHeelTurn)]].
** The 3DS game, ''VideoGame/ResidentEvilRevelations'', is set before ''[[VideoGame/ResidentEvil5 RE5]]'' and ''VideoGame/ResidentEvilOperationRaccoonCity'' takes place just before and during ''[=RE2=]''.
* ''{{Trapt}}'' was released in Japan as a sequel to ''{{Deception}} II: Kagero'', but is closer to a loose remake of ''Deception: Invitation to Darkness.''

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[[folder: Third-Person Shooter ]]

* ''DeadToRights'' was released in 2002 and follows Jack Slate, a cop in Grant City. ''Dead to Rights 2'' was released in 2005, and despite it being a numbered actually takes place before the original game. A third game ''Dead to Rights: Reckoning'' was released for the PSP shortly after #2. It also precedes 2. And then the fourth game, ''Retribution'', is a re-imagining of the first game. So, four "sequels" and we haven't even got past the first storyline. Whoopie...
* The ''VideoGame/ArmoredCore'' series is a great example of this. Each successive game takes place several years, sometimes even decades after previous one and casts the player in the role of a new {{AFGNCAAP}} with no connection to the previous one. Usually [[CapcomSequelStagnation the presence of a number in the title indicates]] a ContinuityReboot. So far, ''Armored Core'', ''Project Phantasma'', ''Master of Arena'', ''Armored Core 2'' and ''Another Age'' take place in one continuity. ''Armored Core 3'', ''Silent Line'', ''Nexus'', ''[[FanonDiscontinuity Nine Breaker]]'', and ''Last Raven'' take place in a second continuity. ''Armored Core 4'' and ''for Answer'' take place in a third. And ''Armored Core V'' takes place in a fourth continuity. There's also the GaidenGame ''Formula Front'', which uses elements from the ''Armored Core 3'' universe, but it clearly not set in it. It's really just a FightingGame [[HumongousMecha with Robots]]... [[VideoGame/VirtualOn No, not that one]].

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[[folder: Turn-Based Strategy ]]

* The ''Franchise/FireEmblem'' series has five different [[TheVerse Verses]], each with their own characters, settings, mythologies, and plots. The MacGuffin in each universe is almost always the titular Fire Emblem, although it's called something completely different except for one line thrown in about how some people (who you'll never meet) call it the Fire Emblem. ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'' [[CanonWelding seems to tie everything together]]. The game definitely takes in the same universe as the [[VideoGame/FireEmblemAkaneia Archanea]] games, but several thousand years later. From this we can assume that the [[VideoGame/FireEmblemJugdral Jugdral]] games are also in the same universe due to WordOfGod. One downloadable character is a descendant of Ike from the [[VideoGame/FireEmblemTellius Tellius]] games, and the DLC confirms that the [[VideoGame/FireEmblemElibe remaining]] [[VideoGame/FireEmblemTheSacredStones two]] verses exist at least as legends within ''Awakening''[='s=] world, if not explicit history that just hasn't been placed yet.
* ''Franchise/{{Disgaea}}'', though there are a few recurring characters. The fact that all the games take place in different Netherworlds helps. Though Infinite messes some stuff up, most fans agree that Mao and Beryls appearance are before D3, but the canon best ending of Infinite doesn't match up with why Etna was in D2.

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[[folder: Wide Open Sandbox ]]

* The [=PS2=]-era ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAuto'' game chronology goes: ''Vice City Stories'' (set in 1984; released 2006), ''Vice City'' (1986; 2002), ''San Andreas'' (1992; 2004), ''Liberty City Stories'' (1998; 2005), ''Grand Theft Auto Advance'' (2000; 2004), ''Grand Theft Auto III'' (2001; 2001). From ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAuto 4'' onwards, the games are effectively set in [[AlternativeContinuity Another Dimension]].

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[[folder: Non-video Game Examples ]]

* ''ChaosFighters II'' has nothing to do with Chaos Fighters except with the magic and weaponry system.
* ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfNarnia'' was written with each story assumed to be the last (as admitted by the author) so as such several of the later ones answer questions rather then continuing the story. As such The Magician's Nephew was written and published 6th but takes place first. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe which was first is second. A horse and His Boy was written fourth, published fifth, and set during a timeskip in LW&W. Though with those three sorted out the rest follow order of publication: Prince Caspian (Which is set centuries after LW&W), Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Silver Chair, and Last Battle. Plus in world the time shifts because Narnia is a parallel world [[NarniaTime not perfectly synced with ours]].
* ''TheScorpionKing'' is a prequel to ''Film/TheMummyTrilogy'', the second film of which introduced the scorpion king and showed his final fate. They then made ''The Scorpion King 2'', which was a prequel to the prequel. There are also plans for ''The Scorpion King 3'' which will be a sequel to the prequel of the prequel.
** There's also a video game of dubious canon that serves as a prequel to the prequel. Perhaps confusing things even more is that WordOfGod is that the Scorpion King featured in the prequel series ''is not'' the same Scorpion King featured in ''The Mummy Returns'', but rather his IdenticalGrandfather. While this makes sense given their wildly different characterizations (the prequel Scorpion being far more heroic), it's never actually established in series.
* The "[[RoadTo Road Pictures]]" of BobHope and BingCrosby. Hope, Crosby and DorothyLamour play different characters with different names in each, and at least one is set in a wildly different time period, but they all have the same cast, the same style of madcap humor, and much the same formula. It is common for there to be references to their past adventures, albeit usually during one of the many instances of BreakingTheFourthWall.
* ''Series/KamenRiderAgito'' explicitly takes place in the same universe as ''Series/KamenRiderKuuga''; the only on-screen references to this are a couple of off-hand mentions of the Grongi (Kuuga's enemies) and the G3 suit being built by the police based off of data taken on "Unidentified Lifeform #4" (the Tokyo Police's callname for Kuuga). There was also said to be a GreatOffscreenWar where the Grongi were killed off by the Lords, Agito's enemies.
** This all gets referenced in ''Series/KamenRiderDecade'', where the AlternateUniverse Agito World they visit is also an alternate Kuuga World, with the GreatOffscreenWar actively happening and an alternate version of Decade!Kuuga's CoolBigSis mentor showing up as the head scientist behind the G3 Project.
** ''Franchise/KamenRider'' is thought to do this because of how SupermanStaysOutOfGotham was law for the first ten years of its revival, to the degree that aside from the occasional mention of "#4" in ''Agito'' (in ''Kuuga,'' "Unidentified Lifeform #4" was the mundane authorities' name for Kuuga, as they didn't know him from the monstrous Grongi.) there was no sign in any series that any of the others had ever taken place; the incoming season seems to replace the outgoing one rather than follow it, with no sign that monsters and Riders ever were a thing. Then ''Series/KamenRiderDecade'' comes along and presents {{Alternate Universe}}s based on its predecessors (all but ''Den-O'' being different from the original series and ''very'' clearly not the worlds of the originals) and this somehow led to the assumption that the true series were also parallel universes (everything pre-revival going into one, Kuuga and Agito going into another, and everything from Ryuki through Kiva each having its own.) However, with and after ''Decade,'' we enter an age of {{Massively Multiplayer Crossover}}s, smaller {{Reunion Show}}s, and future Rider characters and concepts debuting in the final episodes of the outgoing series. This has led to EpilepticTrees such as "Each series really is its own universe, but there's also a Summer Movie Dimension and a Movie Wars film dimension and an All Riders film dimension!" You laugh, but stuff like this is taken as canon by ''many,'' and ''much'' discussion goes to explaining what fits where dimensionally; it's similar to the Zelda timeline debate (including the part where the soundest theory never survives the next installment. You're back to square one when a powerup from a ''Movie Wars'' film shows up in the series!)
* ''TheFastAndTheFurious'' film series is bookended by the original movie and ''Tokyo Drift'' (the third installment). The second movie (''2 Fast 2 Furious'') is a direct sequel to the first and the fourth (''Fast & Furious''), fifth (''Fast Five'') and sixth (''Fast & Furious 6'') follow that one [[spoiler: and the post-credit scene of ''Fast & Furious 6'' sets things up for the plotline of the eventual seventh film potentially beginning during ''Tokyo Drift'' and carrying on from there.]]
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