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[[caption-width-right:300:The more bad guys Rambo kills, the better!]]

->''"There are certain rules that one must abide by in order to create a successful sequel. Number one: the body count is always bigger. Number two: the death scenes are always much more elaborate -- more blood, more gore. Carnage candy."''
-->-- '''Randy Meeks''', ''Film/{{Scream 2}}''

Sometimes a sequel is just the same story as the last one (CapcomSequelStagnation), or downgraded by being DirectToVideo (''Film/StarshipTroopers2HeroOfTheFederation''), or a different story set in the same world (''Film/TheGodfather II'', the ''Franchise/StarTrek'' films), or just the next part in an ongoing series (''Franchise/StarWars'', ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'' books and movies), or even a DolledUpInstallment (''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros2'').

This trope, on the other hand, is when a sequel is made to be "bigger and better" than the last film, by taking one or more elements from the first film and expanding upon it. The film makers feel a need to "top themselves" in a sort of way.

Take an action sequel, which has more explosions and fist/gun/martial arts fights than the previous film. Or a slasher sequel, which has more deaths, in [[BloodierAndGorier more gory]] (and [[MadeOfPlasticine less realistic]]) ways. Sometimes what get expanded is the plot: What started as a simple and straightforward plot in the first part may become significantly expanded, deeper and more intricate in sequels.

How often this works depends on if the expanded element is the one the audience liked. Choose the wrong element(s), and it will be at the expense of the right element(s), and the audience will not be pleased. Wrong elements can often be the toilet humor, sexual situations, {{flanderization}} or meaningless action sequences.

However, choose the right element(s), and the sequel [[EvenBetterSequel may even be considered superior to the first film]]. Usually these elements involve the human element, expanding on the characters we care about, telling a dramatic (or hilarious) story, and making the action sequences revolve around that.

Usually, the result is somewhere in the middle, [[DarthWiki/RuinedFOREVER often debated upon by the fans.]]

To avoid just rehashing examples from {{Sequelitis}}, examples here should discuss the expanded element(s) of the sequels.

A SubTrope of {{Sequel}}.

A SisterTrope to SerialEscalation.

Compare ActionizedSequel, SequelDifficultySpike, SendInTheClones, UpToEleven, SortingAlgorithmOfEvil, PowerCreep. BigDamnMovie is this trope applied to a film adaptation of a serial. DarkerAndEdgier often, but not always, accompanies the upping of the stakes in sequels.

Contrast LensmanArmsRace and PlotLeveling (both of which could be seen as symptoms of this trope's presence), SequelDifficultyDrop (difficulty getting lowered, although that doesn't preclude this trope in other ways).



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ZigZagged in the ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha'' franchise:
** The transition from ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha'' to ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaAs'' plays it straight: PowerLevels go even higher, SoLastSeason upgrades are applied, and the entire planet is at stake.
** Going from ''A's'' to ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikerS'', this trope is inverted: the old guard is all grown up but their powers are pretty much the same (except the title character who has actually been {{Nerf}}ed), while the new blood are all newbies whose PowerLevels cannot even approach those of the old cast (physically). There are no reality-shattering villains like before, but instead a QuirkyMinibossSquad, a horde of MechaMooks, and a DiabolicalMastermind, most of whom are eventually taken out by the aforementioned low-level new blood.
** The ''Manga/MagicalRecordLyricalNanohaForce'' manga, the sequel to ''MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha [=StrikerS=]'', plays it straight again, by taking the old notion of AntiMagic and turning it UpToEleven. Where the old villains simply had Anti-Magic Fields, which amortized incoming attacks and made it impossible to cast magic from within (which was already treated as bad enough by the good guys), the new villains have Anti-Magic Beams that aggressively dispel any magic they hit. The {{Doylist}} explanation seems to be that since the heroes have already been established as the strongest mages in the multiverse ''back in season one'', the only plausible enemy the writers can invent for them now is an AntiMagic-wielding one, with a BiggerStick if needed. The fans' reactions were... mixed.
* ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'' does this with its pre- and post-TimeSkip seasons. While the pre-Time Skip episodes were like your typical SuperRobot show, only with bigger explosions and more [[HotBlooded hot blood]], the post-Time Skip episodes show [[spoiler:galaxy-sized mecha throwing galaxies and big bangs at each other.]] And in the second movie, [[spoiler:we get a mech that is not only a hundred times bigger than a galaxy, it's also ''on fire'' and ''designed after the resident MemeticBadass''. Its attack clashing with an identical attack from its EvilKnockoff ''ends and restarts'' the universe.]]
* ''Franchise/DragonBall'' contains one of the most notable examples of this in all of anime. [[Manga/DragonBall The first series]] was a rather light-hearted ScienceFantasy martial arts series vaguely based on ''Literature/JourneyToTheWest'' with a lot of slapstick and [[CerebusSyndrome (at least initially)]] [[IneffectualSympatheticVillain goofy, weak-willed villains]]. Starting with [[Manga/DragonBallZ the sequel]], the franchise routinely featured villains (and heroes) who could [[PersonOfMassDestruction casually atomize planets and even entire solar systems with their attacks]], eventually ending at the point where the heroes and villains ''[[PhysicalGod surpassed the the setting's gods in power]]'' and could destroy the universe if so inclined. With it's two sequels - the non-canon ''Anime/DragonBallGT'', and definitely-canon ''Anime/DragonBallSuper'' - [[UpToEleven this trend continued in both cases]].
* The third ''Anime/RebuildOfEvangelion'' movie is much darker and more complex than the previous two movies, and arguably most of the [[Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion original series]].
* The first season of ''Anime/PsychoPass'' had individual and low-key murders which are instigated by a sociopathic BigBad until the middle of the season has him starting a riot which led him to plan for the destruction of the Sibyl System. The second season had a new BigBad who instigated bigger crimes such as an attempted bombing, a hostage crisis gone bad and a shootout in order to bring the system. Then, [[Anime/PsychoPassTheMovie the movie]] crossed international borders with attempted terrorism and one of the protagonist going abroad to investigate only to get involved with the foreign country's rebellion and coup d'etat.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Borderline example: in the first generation of ComicBook/XMen, the strongest person on the team was Beast, who was just, like, "two-normal-guys" strong. In the second generation, the strongest person is Colossus, the man of steel. Then we got Rogue, who for a long time was just as strong as Colossus, and could fly. Dunno where we're at now, but considering the current lineup includes Namor (who's stronger than the ComicBook/IncredibleHulk so long as he's underwater), Hope (who has AllYourPowersCombined) and Magneto (who once almost ''destroyed civilization''), safe to say that escalation has been maintained.

[[folder: Fan Fic]]
* Creator/PeterChimaera's TrollFic, ''Digimon savez teh wrold'' has a sequel called ''Digimon 2: Return of Digimon''. In the first story digimon has to stop the evil scientist from destroying the road, in the sequel he's up against an evil digimon who wants to destroy all the roads so no one can go on them. Also features FIGHTING IN SPACE!
* The ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' fanfic ''FanFic/{{Windfall}}'' is a short, fluffy fic showing the Mane Cast--all of whom have gone their separate ways and are now OlderAndWiser--reuniting to witness the birth of Fluttershy's first foal. The sequel, ''FanFic/EarthAndSky'', has a much more detailed StoryArc, with multiple interconnected subplots, dealing with somewhat more serious themes and actual antagonists, and even ends up being ''four times'' as long as ''Windfall''.
** ''Pony'' fanfic ''FanFic/PostNuptials'' and its sequel ''FanFic/{{Families}}'' are much like the above ''Pony'' fics in terms of how they escalate, except the first story is about the main cast dealing with immediate emotional fallout caused by [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E26ACanterlotWeddingPart2 Queen Chrysalis' invasion]]--namely by trying to reconcile with Twilight after they ignored her warnings--and the sequel deals with more serious ramifications of the invasion and everyone's actions prior to it, including psychological trauma and a conspiracy to mire Princess Celestia's public image.
** Not to mention how many of the longest MLP fanfics are the sequel to something much shorter. [[note]]All numbers are accurate at the time of writing, they might get bigger in the future.[[/note]] From the first two pages of [[https://www.fimfiction.net/stories/words Fimfiction's "longest" list]]:
*** FanFic/TheChase (2,010,573 words) is the sequel to [[https://www.fimfiction.net/story/203782/the-catch The Catch]] (52,556 words)
*** The ''Fanfic/BloomingMoonChronicles[=/99 Worlds Saga=]'' has some very long sequels, all to [[https://www.fimfiction.net/story/48755/Moonrise a story]] just 76,585 words long (and [[https://www.fimfiction.net/story/130200/glory-be the final installment]] has over a million words). In its sequel series, ''Songs of Lost Children'', the first four books are all between 66,000 and 167,000 words long. The final book, ''Hecate's Orphanage'', on the other hand, has ''1,149,615'' words.
*** [[https://www.fimfiction.net/story/71311/forgiveness-pending Forgiveness Pending]] (997,339 words) is the sequel to Fanfic/MemoryPending (107,946 words)
*** [[https://www.fimfiction.net/story/194448/piercing-the-heavens Piercing the Heavens]] (965,769 words) is a sequel to [[https://www.fimfiction.net/story/177872/flying-sky-high Flying Sky-High]] (106,618 words) which is a sequel to [[https://www.fimfiction.net/story/62367/head-in-the-clouds Head in the Clouds]] (52,752 words)
*** Fanfic/ThisPlatinumCrown (847,983 words) is a sequel to FanFic/TheBestNightEver (53,935 words)
*** And the FanFic/PonyPOVSeries, whose [[https://www.fimfiction.net/story/50139/Pony-POV-Series-Season-Six%3A-Dark-World-Shining-Armor- longest installment yet]] is 825,114 words, all started with [[https://www.fimfiction.net/story/32519/Pony-POV-Series-Season-Zero%3A-Discorded-Ponies a story]] just 9,978 words long.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* The more ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory'' movies get released, the more they become depressing and serious. However, it gets a lot more positive reception than many Creator/{{Disney}} sequels or the other Creator/{{Pixar}} sequels.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Cars 2}}''. [[WesternAnimation/{{Cars}} The original]] is about an [[SmallNameBigEgo egotistical]] race car getting lost in a small town and learning humility, while the sequel is about his tow truck friend Mater being mistaken for a spy and having to stop a large crime ring's evil plan. And one car DIES (off-screen, mind you, but still). And there's lots of explosions and gun fighting. [[WhatDoYouMeanItsForKids This movie is rated G, right?]]
* While the original ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda'' centers on a small mountain valley, and the villain has mostly personal motivation and acts alone, ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda2'' involves a big city and a villain who wants to TakeOverTheWorld and has an army of wolves, gunpowder cannons, and a freakin' river fleet at his disposal.
* The more ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyEquestriaGirls'' movies get released, the bigger and more magical they become.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* The [[Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbeanDeadMansChest second]] and particularly the [[Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbeanAtWorldsEnd third]] ''Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean'' films feature more and more insanely over-the-top CGI and action sequences, epic plotlines and 300-million budgets. The [[Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbeanOnStrangerTides fourth movie]], however, is intentionally scaled back, returning to the more modest and character-driven style of the [[Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbeanTheCurseOfTheBlackPearl first film]].
* Some comic book movie sequels are considered superior by escalating the characterization and themes of the first film, that made the comics hits anyway. When they falter, it's often from adding new villains at the expense of the characterization and themes.
** ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}'' plays it straight -- after all it's living up to five movies' {{Sequel Hook}}s.
** The second ''Avengers'' movie, ''Film/AvengersAgeOfUltron'' is even more bigger and more complex than the first movie, and has a much more global scope (with the action shifting to South Korea, South Africa, and the fictional nation of Sokovia), three new heroes (ComicBook/ScarletWitch, ComicBook/{{Quicksilver}}, and ComicBook/TheVision), three new villains (ComicBook/{{Ultron}}, Baron von Strucker and Klaw), several new supporting players, numerous subplots, way more action scenes, and a climax that involves the villain trying to use an anti-gravity device to try to raise an entire city into the sky and then drop it onto Earth. Most of the frequent criticisms of the film are essentially along the lines of "It had too many things going for its own good." Ironically, director Creator/JossWhedon initially wanted the movie to be smaller than the first one.
* Parodied in ''Film/{{Machete}}'': "Machete will be back in... ''Film/MacheteKills!''... and ''Machete Kills Again!''."
* ''Franchise/TheMatrix'' sequels seemed to choose the right elements: the {{Wuxia}} martial arts and the philosophy. What the Wachowski brothers missed was that the martial arts were mixed with suspense, and the philosophy was mixed into the story, not just spouted out of nowhere.
** In ''Film/TheMatrix'', Neo fights Agent Smith who (almost) kills him. In ''Film/TheMatrixReloaded'', Super-Neo fights dozens of Agent Smiths who almost kill him. In ''Film/TheMatrixRevolutions'', Super-Neo fights Super-Smith who [[MindScrew (almost?)]] kills him.
* Creator/JamesCameron decided to escalate the numbers of ''Film/{{Aliens}}'' when he made that sequel, but since one was dangerous enough, the characters would have to be soldiers just to have some kind of chance. But he did not let that get in the way of the suspense, even with turning it into part action film.
** Cameron also did it with ''Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay'', which had the highest film budget at the time. And is widely considered as good or better than [[Film/TheTerminator the first film]].
* ''Film/{{Jaws 2}}'' ramped up the body count. Also, they tried to increase the shark's "scariness" factor by scarring it with fire. ''Film/Jaws3D'' increased the size of the shark from the still-believable 25 feet of the first two films to an impossible 35 feet. ''Film/JawsTheRevenge'' had the shark be 35 feet long ''and'' have a vendetta against the Brody family as well as psychic abilities.
* The immediate sequels to ''Film/ScaryMovie'' and ''Film/HaroldAndKumarGoToWhiteCastle'' upped the raunchy humor. Fans are split as to whether this was a good idea.
* The ''Franchise/{{Godzilla}}'' series often does this. The first film was dark and down-to-earth (or at least as down-to-earth a movie about a giant dinosaur could get). The sequel added another monster, but the realistic tone remained for the most part. However, ''Film/KingKongVsGodzilla'' not only gave the series a much larger scale, and a bigger budget, but it was a lot lighter than the previous two. ''Film/MothraVsGodzilla'' was bit darker, but the film did explore into fantasy elements. The next two films featured beings from space, and the tone on the two was light. The following two had no space elements, but were still very light in tone, and featured many monsters. ''Film/DestroyAllMonsters'', originally intended as the finale, not only had aliens, but 11 monsters, and a fun, light, tone. The next film, brought the series to a whole new level, gearing it towards little kids, and having Godzilla be portrayed as a fictional character. The films from the seventies were filled with aliens and monster, and had over the top stories, and very light tones. However, 1975's ''Film/TerrorOfMechagodzilla'', while still had aliens, was given a far darker tone, and while the film has been well-received by critics, the film failed at the box-office, leaving Godzilla on a 9-year hiatus. To be continued....
* ''Film/Speed2CruiseControl'' was likely the worst choice of the element to escalate. Did it increase the suspense? The Danger? The velocity of the vehicle? Nope. It escalated the size of the vehicle, and actually downgraded the other elements.
* ''Film/TheKarateKidPartIII'' inverted this, and got a lot of criticism for it, among ... other things. After the [[Film/TheKarateKid first film]] ends with Daniel winning a tournament, the [[Film/TheKarateKidPartII second film]] has him fighting for his life, even including the line "This is for real." Then the third film goes back to ending with a tournament.
* ''Film/HighSchoolMusical 2'' was a bigger and better sequel, and ''High School Musical 3'' went even biggerer and betterer than ''[=HSM2=]'' by getting a cinema budget and a cinema release. The dance scenes become almost absurdly more elaborate, and the sets improve noticeably. It's even lampshaded in the song "I Want It All" when Sharpay notes that "sequels pay better."
* The first follow-up to ''Film/ThePinkPanther1963'', the DolledUpInstallment ''Film/AShotInTheDark'', proved that focusing on EnsembleDarkHorse Inspector Clouseau was a wise move. Once Creator/BlakeEdwards and Creator/PeterSellers revived the series in 1975 (TheOtherDarrin that was ''Film/InspectorClouseau'' went on without them), they in essence picked up where that movie left off and began escalating the best points of ''Shot'' in ''Film/TheReturnOfThePinkPanther'': Clouseau's increasingly thick accent and odd disguises, his battles with manservant Cato, Dreyfus' insanity and murder attempts, and the overall level of slapstick. This worked ''very'' well, and two more films (''Film/ThePinkPantherStrikesAgain'' and ''Film/RevengeOfThePinkPanther'') were similar successes, though they also shaded into {{Flanderization}} and {{Sequelitis}}.
* ''Flim/MissionImpossibleFilmSeries'': The first film excels in how much more subtle it is compared to the other movies, which got more and more action oriented as the series moved forward. In fact, in the first movie, Ethan Hunt only ever loaded, held and pointed a gun in one or two scenes in the movie and never fired it once. You definitely can't say the same thing about the films to come.
* ''Film/TransformersFilmSeries'':
** ''Film/TransformersRevengeOfTheFallen'' had this trope in abundance given that Michael Bay has managed to convinced the [[BackedByThePentagon Department of Defense to provide him not only with top of the line military hardware and personnel]], but managed to get them to sign off on what the DOD is calling the single largest collaboration with a Hollywood movie ever. Case in point, the primary focus of the first film was to just show the robots, make them believable, and make sex jokes. Good and done. For the second movie, there are several times more Transformers, explosions, and deaths, all manner of designs that go ''far'' beyond "car turns into metal human." [[note]]I give you Arcee (one Transformer with three bodies. None of the bodies look particularly humanoid), Demolishor (main body suspended between two giant wheels, one on ground and one in air, and can switch), "Reedman" (the preliminary name stuck 'cause they never bothered giving him an actual name. Anyway... thousands of tiny spheres roll their way through small spaces to get where they need to go, then combine and ''flatten out'' into a robot form that is so razor thin as to be nigh-invisible when seen head-on), and the tiny insectoid spies.[[/note]] Oh, and there's [[CombiningMecha Devastator]].
** ''Film/TransformersRevengeOfTheFallen'' is a great example of both sides of this trope. Michael Bay threw in an ''almost'' impossible amount of robot violence, with half of the new villains being at least four times bigger than any of the heroes, along with much much more of the sex jokes and cool military stuff from the first movie. The people who liked these things had to change their pants at least three times during the course of the movie. The people who didn't like it tended more towards a [[BerserkButton murderous rage]].
** [[Film/TransformersDarkOfTheMoon The third film]] had a)raised stakes, and b)about five million plot twists. [[Film/TransformersAgeOfExtinction The fourth film]] tried to go the same way, and even went more international with a third act in China.
* The first ''Film/JamesBond'' film, ''Film/DrNo'', had the tight budget of $1 million -- and sometimes it's easy to see it. The huge success of that movie allowed the next movie, ''Film/FromRussiaWithLove'' to double the budget, with more action scenes and locales to shoot. And many installments in the series try to top their predecessors since then.
** One of the justifications Sean Connery had for quitting the Bond role after the effects-heavy ''Film/YouOnlyLiveTwice'' was that "after blowing up the volcano, where do you go?"
** The Bond franchise has also inverted this a few times over the years. The best examples are ''Film/{{Moonraker}}'' being followed by ''Film/ForYourEyesOnly'' and ''Film/DieAnotherDay'' followed by ''Film/{{Casino Royale|2006}}''.
* The Franchise/DieHard series is a clear example of this:
** ''Film/DieHard'': In a skyscraper.
** ''Film/DieHard2'': In an airport.
** ''Film/DieHardWithAVengeance'': In New York City.
** ''Film/LiveFreeOrDieHard'': All over the East coast of the US.
** ''Film/AGoodDayToDieHard'': Moscow and Chernobyl.
* Several instances in ''Franchise/StarWars'':
** In [[Film/ANewHope Episode IV]], the Empire pursues Rebels in a Star Destroyer. In [[Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack Episode V]] the Empire pursues Rebels in a Super Star Destroyer that is many times the size of a Star Destroyer and is the flagship of a fleet of Star Destroyers. [[Film/ReturnOfTheJedi Episode VI]] shows dozens of Rebel ships fighting the Super Star Destroyer, even more regular Star Destroyers, and the second Death Star, which is much larger than the first.
** Episode IV introduces TIE Fighters, Episode V introduces TIE Bombers (with two cockpits), and Episode VI introduces TIE Interceptors.
** Each installment adds another climactic scene at the end happening simultaneously. In Episode IV, there is just the battle against the Death Star. Episode V has Luke confronting Darth Vader with the rest of the heroes escaping Cloud City at the same time. Episode VI has Luke against Vader and the Emperor, Han, Leia and Chewbacca taking out the shield generator, and Lando blowing up the second Death Star itself, going on almost all at once. [[Film/ThePhantomMenace Episode I]] then goes a step further, with Padmé infiltrating the palace to arrest Gunray, Anakin blowing up the control ship, the Gungans fighting the droid army to keep them away from the city, AND Qui-Gon and Obi-Van's duel against Maul.
** Even further, [[Film/AttackOfTheClones Episode II]] brings in just about every Jedi turning on their lightsabers all at once and a massive Clone Trooper/Battle Droid War Sequence. Then [[Film/RevengeOfTheSith Episode III]] has a huge Space Battle right off the bat, multiple simultaneous wars, [[LateArrivalSpoiler the extermination of the Jedi]], and almost as many lightsaber battles as the rest of the trilogy combined.
** Once the series was revived, [[Film/TheForceAwakens Episode VII]] harkened back to the original trilogy, and escalated on that too: an attack of massive creatures throwing back to the Rancor and Dianoga; a lot of foot battles; and Starkiller Base, a "Super Death Star" built out of ''an entire planet''.
* ''Film/ANightmareOnElmStreetPart2FreddysRevenge'' was really aiming for this trope, as later described in interviews by the creators. The idea was that, if Freddy is really scary in his victims' dreams, then how much scarier would he be if he were in real life? Though the film had its moments, general consensus is "not very" and its often seen as the OddballInTheSeries.
* ''Film/TheBluesBrothers'' broke the record for most vehicular collisions in a single movie, and its sequel made sure to smash the record again.
* The first ''Film/BackToTheFuture'' movie was fairly low-key compared to its sequels. It's rather obvious they got bigger budgets after the first one became a hit.
* The ''Film/ResidentEvil'' movies. In the first movie, the T virus was confined to the Hive. In [[Film/ResidentEvilApocalypse the second movie]], it had spread to all of Raccoon City. In [[Film/ResidentEvilExtinction the third movie]], it infected the entire world, and there are tougher and faster Super Undead.
* The ''Franchise/{{Rambo}}'' series counts definitely, since [[Film/FirstBlood the first movie's]] action is more about guerrilla warfare, hunting and survival, while the sequels are pretty much just loads of machine gunning, shotgunning, bow-and-arrowing, explosive bow-and-arrowing and knife throwing, with the occasional melee kill. All the strategy of the first movie is shrunk down to a single montage, and even then the kills are more flashy and improbable.
** The best way to measure it is to look at the kill count. Rambo kills one person in the first one (which barely counts since it's an accidental death in self-defense). He kills 58 men in ''Film/RamboFirstBloodPartII''.
** [[http://www.hibbenknives.com/MovieKnives.htm His knives also got bigger and flashier through the first three films]].
* ''Film/{{Crank}}'', [[UpToEleven big time]]. While ''Crank'' was already over-the-top, they pulled all stops on second one and included more [[{{Gorn}} violence]], [[{{Fanservice}} sex]], {{Squick}} and [[RefugeInAudacity general absurdity]] in [[Film/CrankHighVoltage the second one]].
* ''Film/HomeAlone II: Lost In New York'' is very RecycledInSPACE in terms of plot, but the traps are much more brutal. One of them even ending in an explosion!
** The third ''Film/HomeAlone'' movie is even worse about this, with one of the traps being ''a lawn mower falling on a man's face''. They also change the bad guys from petty thieves with big aspirations to terrorists/smugglers and make the traps much more elaborate; at one point the main character has a budgie riding a remote-controlled car strike a match to light some dynamite to blow up the criminal's leader.
* You can tell from the opening disaster alone that the filmmakers intended to take ''Film/FinalDestination2'' UpToEleven. And the sequels kept on growing and growing, to the point where the over-the-top deaths were ''parodied'' in ''Film/FinalDestination5''.
* ''Film/AFistfulOfDollars'' was a fairly low budget movie, with a small cast and a story confined to a single small town. ''Film/ForAFewDollarsMore,'' its sequel, had much more action and featured several locations, as well as a larger cast. The prequel, ''Film/TheGoodTheBadAndTheUgly'' is nothing short of ''epic,'' with a cast of thousands, huge battle scenes, impressive set pieces, more elaborate music, a staggering body count, and nearly double the runtime of either of the previous movies.
* ''Film/NightOfTheLivingDead1968'' was a very low budget, low-key movie about some people in a farmhouse fending off a few dozen zombies. ''Film/DawnOfTheDead1978'' and ''Film/DayOfTheDead1985'' had two more groups of people, in a shopping mall and an underground base, fighting hundreds of zombies. ''Film/LandOfTheDead'' had an entire ''city'' defending itself from ''thousands'' of the undead. Also note that the level of {{gorn}} increases in each movie ... by a lot.
* Here's a little experiment you can do at home: go watch ''Film/TheHumanCentipede'', a film about three people who get sown together by their mouths and anuses. Note that its sequel has the subtitle ''The Full Sequence''. Look at an actual centipede. Then look back at the three sown-together people. This experiment goes out the window for the last instalment in the trilogy, ''Final Sequence'', [[UpToEleven which features a centipede composed of 500 people]]. Even Tom Six himself has stated that upping himself for a fourth movie is all but impossible unless he resorts to stitching up the Earth's entire population.
* ''Film/BillAndTedsExcellentAdventure'' sent the characters through time, but ''Film/BillAndTedsBogusJourney'' sent them through both Heaven and Hell.
* True to the title, ''Film/HellboundHellraiserII'' took a few of the same characters from the first film, which was essentially a haunted house story, and placed them in, well, Hell. The makers of the third film, ''Film/HellraiserIIIHellOnEarth'', tried to get around the problem of topping Hell itself by promising a film where the series' antagonists, the Cenobites, are unleashed in an urban setting. The end result was not well-received, to say the very least. ''Film/HellraiserBloodline'' has not one but three different stories about the Lament Configuration, and the framing story [[RecycledInSpace doesn't even take place on Earth]].
* ''Film/{{Scream 2}}'' lampshades this trope as it pertains to horror movies, providing the page quote in the process. It also tops the original by having, among other things, [[AllPartOfTheShow a murder in a crowded movie theater]] and the killer crashing someone's car.
* Many viewers who watched ''Film/TheTexasChainSawMassacre1974'' forget that, for all the hype and controversy surrounding the film's content (a group of teenagers stumble upon a family of cannibals in the American backwoods), the violence and gore were almost all off-screen. [[Film/TheTexasChainsawMassacre2 The sequel]], however, took Leatherface and his family from the farm into the big city, ramped up the {{Squick}} factor and added in a copious amount of dark humor and over-the-top violence.
* {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d in ''Film/LastActionHero''. Fictional action movie star Jack Slater moans that his adventures seem to get tougher and tougher. Danny comments that the sequels are ''supposed'' to get harder. Jack's not amused.
* The ''Franchise/{{Saw}}'' sequels saw the traps and "games" becoming increasingly elaborate, and the violence much more explicit (most of the violence in the [[Film/SawI original film]] was offscreen: the two most gruesome acts in the film, [[spoiler: Lawrence sawing off his own foot and Adam beating Zepp to death with a toilet lid]], happen almost entirely offscreen). Curiously, the original film's twisty plot structure and use of AnachronicOrder was something also escalated by the sequels, to the point that trying to synopsize the overarching plot structure is a very challenging task indeed.
* ''Film/KingKongLives'' adds a female Kong to the equation, and more destruction.
* ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'' escalates in a way that works quite well with the progression of the story. ''Fellowship'' has a few fights, but focuses mainly on the beginning of the journey and the formation of the titular Fellowship. ''The Two Towers'' has two large battles. ''Return of the King'' has the largest battle of the Third Age, and boy does it show. The number of effects shots for the Pelennor Fields battle alone is as high as the total for the first film.
* ''Film/XMenDaysOfFuturePast'' is an adaptation of one of the most epic and ambitious storylines in the ''ComicBook/XMen'' comic's history, upping up the stakes, action, and the sheer number of mutants.
* ''Film/{{Sharknado}}'':
** ''Film/Sharknado2TheSecondOne'' increases the scope set by the first movie by having the sharknados made by, rather than just a hurricane, a hurricane combined with a blizzard into a superstorm. And instead of just focusing on the anti-shark struggles of a small handful of characters, the sequel sees the sharks fought by the NYC mayor, the police, scores of survivors armed with chainsaws and other melee weapons, and the folks at Creator/TheWeatherChannel.
** In ''Film/Sharknado3OhHellNo'', the heroes are fighting the sharks from Washington to Florida and even in ''[[spoiler:SPACE]]''!
** In Film/SharknadoThe4thAwakens the series adds [[spoiler:a lavanado, bouldernado, electricitynado, cownado, and nuclearnado to the mix]].
* The ''[[Film/TheFastAndTheFurious Fast and Furious]]'' franchise has this in spades, that juxtaposing the original film with any of the sequels highlights just how self-aware and over-the-top it has become:
** The original movie can best be described as "''Film/PointBreak1991'' with cars". It's a fairly small-scale story whose climax is Brian rescuing one of Dom's team from a trucker with a shotgun, and it has barely (if any) CGI. Beginning with ''2 Fast 2 Furious'', the series began introducing more CGI and over-the-top chase sequences, to the point that ''Fast and Furious 6'' involves a tank chase on a highway and ''Furious 7'' has the team outracing a military drone. Lampshaded by Owen Shaw when he first meets Dom, who notes how far the latter has come from simply stealing truckloads of DVD players.
** In the first film, Dominic Toretto is a small-time racer and mechanic who owns a garage and family restaurant, and his major claim to fame is stealing several loads of DVD players. By ''Fast Five'' (his third major appearance in the series), he's built a massive operation that is capable of pulling multi-million dollar scores, and by ''Furious 7'', he and his team are called upon by the U.S. Government to help them stop a terrorist operation.
** The villains. In the first film, Johnny Tran was a small-time criminal. In the second, Carter Verone was a major drug dealer. In the third film, DK was also small time but had a Yakuza uncle. The fourth film has Braga, the leader of a major cartel. The Fifth film has Reyes, who has pretty much everyone in Rio in his pocket. The sixth film has Owen Shaw, who has his hands in almost everyone's pockets, including the CIA and the DEA. The seventh has Owen's brother, Deckard, who's played by Creator/JasonStatham, alongside Thai martial artist Tony Jaa and a terrorist leader played by Djimon Hounsou.
* ''Franchise/JurassicPark'': Isla Nublar goes from hosting a handful of [=VIPs=] taking a preview tour of a few barely-functioning attractions in ''Film/JurassicPark'' to a fully open and populated resort zoo with hundreds of dinosaurs and thousands of guests in ''Film/JurassicWorld''. The effects, action, and deaths scale up commensurately.
* According to Creator/MattDamon, ''Film/JasonBourne'' is said to be even bigger than the first four movies in ''Film/TheBourneSeries''.
* The sequel to ''Film/JackReacher'', ''Never Go Back'', features more shootouts, fights, car chases, and [[StuffBlowingUp explosions]], the last of which didn't occur in the first movie.
* The {{Film/Airport}} series went this way. ''{{Film/Airport}}'' had a bomb go off in the cabin forcing a landing during a snowstorm ''{{Film/Airport 75}}'' had a hole in the cockpit sucking out the crew and the mid-air insertion of a pilot. ''{{Film/Airport 77}}'' had the plane crash and sink into the ocean. Also, in each film, the plane was the most modern jumbo jet. ''{{Film/Aiport 79}}'' used The Concorde.
* In ''Film/{{Halloweentown}}'', Marnie doesn't realize she's a witch until several minutes in, and proceeds to help defeat a threat that remains isolated to the eponymous town. In ''Halloweentown II: Kalabar's Revenge'', Marnie (who now has two years' worth of magical training under her belt) performs witchcraft throughout the story, and helps defeat an enemy threatening both Halloweentown and the mortal world.
* The ''Franchise/StarTrek'' {{Reboot}} films, regarding what happens to the ''Enterprise''.
** In [[Film/StarTrek the first one]], she takes battle damage but is still capable of warp speed and combat.
** In ''Film/StarTrekIntoDarkness'', she's severely damaged to the point of falling out of Earth orbit and nearly crashing before restoring power at the last minute. It takes a year of repairs before she can fly again.
** In ''Film/StarTrekBeyond'', [[spoiler:she's finally destroyed]].
* In the first ''Film/JohnWick'', the titular character was fighting TheMafiya in [[BigApplesauce New York City]]. In the sequel ''Film/JohnWickChapter2'', he's fighting an organization of assassins in [[SequelGoesForeign Rome]].
* ''2-Headed Shark Attack'' is followed by ''3-Headed Shark Attack'' and ''5-Headed Shark Attack''.

* Creator/MatthewReilly has this trope as a self-stated aim. In each book, he tries to include more action, MoreDakka, bigger threats... and tries to make it go faster. After ''Scarecrow'', he did a change of genre to escape from this, and immediately started all over again with his new trilogy.
* With a few exceptions, the ''Literature/HonorHarrington'' series sees Honor move up to command a larger navy in a larger plot for larger stakes up to Book 12 at least. [[spoiler:She maxes out in book thirteen, where she commands an allied fleet consisting of Manticoran, Grayson, and ''Havenite'' fleets of ships-of-the-wall.]] The climax of the first book is a duel between a ship that can launch 2 missiles at the time and one that can launch 6. Book 12 features a CurbStompBattle with an opening salvo of 50.000 missiles. From the losing side.
* ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' is this to ''Literature/TheHobbit'', albeit not a deliberate example; it "grew in the telling". ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'' is an even-more-escalated ''prequel'' with a scope that includes the creation of the universe, battles between angels with powers we would associate with gods, the rise and fall of multiple civilizations and the sinking of a couple major continents.
* Inverted in Creator/LSpragueDeCamp's "Johnny Black" stories. In the first story the titular [[UpliftedAnimal uplifted black bear]] saves the world, in the final one he saves his creator from getting fired. In an afterword de Camp apologized to the readers for that, saying he had forgotten while writing them that the next story wouldn't seem as good if it didn't top the previous one.
* The violence and level of dystopia seems only to increase with each ''[[Literature/TheHungerGames Hunger Games]]'' installment.
* [[ZigZaggingTrope Zig-zagged]] in the ''Literature/HarryPotter'' series. The [[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheChamberOfSecrets second book]] downgrades the stakes (it's the fate of the school rather than the entire world), but upgrades the set pieces (encountering one creepy guy in the Forbidden Forest vs. encountering a colony of {{Giant Spider}}s in the Forbidden Forest, for example). The [[Literature/HarryPotterAndThePrisonerOfAzkaban third book]] has the lowest stakes of any book in the series, as the danger is essentially only a threat to one specific individual (Harry) and even that turns out to be an illusion. Then there is a true threat towards only two [[spoiler: wrongfully accused: Sirius Black and Buckbeak]]. After Voldemort returns to power, the stakes remain constant (the entire world, again), but with Voldemort's power constantly increasing. The [[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallows last book]] itself is the biggest and most epic in the series.
* ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'': The scale of just how powerful the people involved in the plot are increases over time. In the [[Literature/StormFront first book]], Harry can channel lightning. [[Literature/GravePeril Third book]], he empowers an army of ghosts to fight for him. [[Literature/DeadBeat Seventh book]], [[spoiler:he raises a ''TyrannosaurusRex'' from the dead]], and in ''Literature/{{Changes}}'', he ''[[spoiler:[[WhamEpisode genocides]]]]'' the Red Court of Vampires.
* Creator/IanFleming's ''Literature/JamesBond'' novels escalated very quickly in the beginning. The first novel, ''Literature/CasinoRoyale,'' essentially boils down to Bond playing a high-stakes game of cards with a communist agent followed by a car chase. By the time the third book, ''Literature/{{Moonraker}}'', came about, Bond was battling Neo-Nazis planning on destroying London with a nuclear missile. Later Bond stories would weave back and forth between fairly mundane crimes like [[Literature/DiamondsAreForever diamond smuggling]] and more extravagant situations like [[Literature/{{Thunderball}} nuclear warheads being stolen]].
* ''Literature/TheHeroesOfOlympus'' seriously ups the stakes from its predecessor series, ''Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians''. Instead of fighting the Titans to stop Olympus from crumbling, the second series involves fighting ''Gaea'', the ''progenitor'' of the Titans aka the ''Earth itself''.
* Inverted by ''LightNovel/SwordArtOnline''. The series ''starts'' with ten thousand people trapped in an online death game. Then the sequel lowers the stakes to just a few hundred survivors of the first incident now stuck in a coma and being used as test subjects by a CorruptCorporateExecutive. The third arc lowers the stakes even further, focusing on a murder mystery with a relatively small body count. The fourth arc is simply a quest to obtain an in-game sword in a perfectly safe MMORPG.
* ''Literature/CharlieAndTheGreatGlassElevator'', the ActionizedSequel to ''Literature/CharlieAndTheChocolateFactory'', has a first half set in outer space as Willy Wonka and the Bucket family wind up in orbit in said elevator and manage to rescue most of the crew of a space hotel from carnivorous aliens. After a HalfwayPlotSwitch, the heroes are back in the factory, but the three still-bedridden grandparents have a misadventure with FountainOfYouth pills that requires an OrpheanRescue of Grandma Georgina. In both halves, the stakes are life-and-death and taken a bit more seriously than in the first book. As well, Willy Wonka is the protagonist this time rather than AudienceSurrogate Charlie, and his eccentric hijinks are given a lot of page time (e.g. a stretch in which he basically ''trolls Earth'' by claiming he and his companions are aliens), and besides three new Oompa-Loompa songs, there are also several songs/poems for Willy Wonka and even one for the President of the United States's nanny/vice president!
* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' just started on the whoddunit (Jon Arryn's death and Bran Stark's crippling) which led to the discovery of Cersei and Jaime's {{Twincest}} and that their three children are illegitimate heirs to the Iron Throne and that escalated to Ned Stark's death and the War of the Five Kings. The third book increased the death count with the Red Wedding and revelation on how the war ''actually'' started. The fourth and fifth book (actually it's supposed to be one book) seemed to downgrade the stakes only that there are new players in the game of thrones, squandering on the aftermath of the war. While majority of the characters are busy with their shennanigans in the south, the army of the undead led by the Others are marching from the North.
* The first ''{{Literature/Madeline}}'' book is a realistic portrait of the little girls' [[SliceOfLife everyday lives]] and of Madeline [[SickEpisode going to the hospital]] [[RupturedAppendix with appendicitis.]] The second and third books are more action-driven, but keep the everyday Paris setting and realistic tone. Then come the adventure-driven fourth and fifth books, which involve traveling with a gypsy circus and taking a trip to London. The Christmas book (the last by original author Ludwig Bemelmans) goes back to the boarding school setting, but introduces fantasy with a magician character. Most of the recent books, written by Bemelmans's grandson, have also kept the adventurous/fantastical tone of books #4, #5 and #6.
* Daniel Arenson seems to be particularly fond of this. Each trilogy in the ''Literature/DragonsOfRequiem'' series starts out with a fairly tame BigBad, but things get darker and more gruesome with each book. Take the ''Song of Dragons'' trilogy, the first written but chronological second trilogy. The villain of the first book is a human with an army of humans and gryphons behind him. For the second a legion of non-corporeal soul-eating shadow creatures is unleashed. The third caps things off with an army of manufactured undead creatures which make Frankestein's Monster look like a children's doll; cutting off a limb results in a disembodied limb attacking you alongside every other body part you've severed, and they include dragon sized amalgamations of human body parts. Only fire effectively kills them, too bad the heroes can't [[ShapeShifting Shape Shift]] into dragons in their presence, because the stone which animates them nullifies all magic in a several hundred foot radius.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Each subsequent season of ''Series/TheWire'' explored a new element of Baltimore (in addition to the cops vs. drug dealers element introduced in the first season) while adding [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters many, many new characters]] each year, many of whom stayed on the show till its end.
* The locales for the first three seasons of ''Series/{{Survivor}}'' became progressively harder for the contestants to live in. During "Borneo", the contestants were merely very uncomfortable. During "Australian Outback", Elisabeth almost died of starvation, Barramundi's camp was completely flooded out, and early on there were wild fires near Ogakor's campsite. During "Africa", which had the most oppressive heat of any season by far, several contestants contracted various illnesses which took them months or even years to recover from, plus the extreme scarcity of water and the very likely chance that one of the players could have been eaten by one of the wild animals roaming around. Season 4, which was supposed to take place in Jordan (apparently it was supposed to be called ''Survivor'': "Arabia") would have continued this escalation, but the events of September 11th stopped this dead in its tracks.
* The first season of ''Series/TwentyFour'' was primarily based around Jack trying to prevent an single assassination attempt. The second season was around trying to prevent a nuclear weapon from destroying Los Angeles. The third was around trying to stop a biological weapon that could cripple the United States (and possibly the world). After that, you can always just assume the stakes are really really high.
* ''Series/PersonOfInterest'' starts off as a relatively low stakes PoliceProcedural, with a [[VigilanteMan vigilante hero ]]gaining information from a mysterious source. It is eventually realized that the source of the intelligence the characters are receiving is [[InstantAIJustAddWater The Machine]]. A [[AIIsACrapshoot second AI, Samaritan]] is eventually developed, with the stakes rising further each season that it exists. The season 4 finale ends with [[spoiler: The Machine going offline.]]

[[folder: Newspaper Comics]]
* Parodied in the ''[[ComicStrip/TheFarSide Far Side]]'' cartoon "Psycho III" depicted a showering woman being [[ItWasHisSled suddenly attacked]] by a ''tank''.

* ''Pinball/TheGetawayHighSpeed2'' takes the HotPursuit of [[Pinball/HighSpeed the original]], then adds a Supercharger accelerator, a {{Determinator}} cop, more cars, and police helicopters authorized to use ''lethal force.''
* Occurs with Creator/WilliamsElectronics' "rollercoaster" pinball series (''Pinball/{{Comet}}, Pinball/{{Cyclone}},'' and ''Pinball/{{Hurricane}}''):
** ''Pinball/{{Cyclone}}'' is ''Comet'' with a circus, a ferris wheel, and '''two''' rollercoasters!
** ''Pinball/{{Hurricane}}'' is ''Comet'' with '''two''' rollercoasters, '''two''' ferris wheels, and a '''LOT''' of clowns!

[[folder: Video Games]]
* '[=ExaPico=] might be one of the best uses of this trope; in the first game you fight a single rogue Reyvateil that caused the end of the world, the second one has you create a [[spoiler:floating continent]], the 3rd one has you [[spoiler:restoring the planet to it's past self]]. And in Ar Nosurge you [[spoiler:create a PLANET]]. However, it's also partially subverted in Ar nosurge's prequel Ciel nosurge, as you do nothing but keep an amnesic girl company and restore her memories.
* ''Franchise/AssassinsCreed'':
** The series Zig-zags this. ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedII'' was a major improvement over the first one, but Brotherhood and Revelations, while adding some cool new weapons and mechanics, were more or less [[MissionPackSequel Mission pack sequels]] to II. ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedIII'' added even more to the map, and offered some new mechanics, such as crafting. IV followed on III's footsteps by having even more map, but much of it was water to sail on, and a few on foot weapons were removed. While ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedUnity'' didn't restore everything that IV threw overboard, it focused more on the smaller details, greatly improving the graphics, Parkour animations and cities.
** Inverted with the Hidden Blade. In the first game, it offered one hit counter-kills even on bosses, having a very small countering window, and blocking and normal attacks weren't possible with the blade. The sequel allowed blocking and attacking, as well as one hit-counter kills, but not on bosses anymore. Brotherhood expanded the countering window, as did revelations... From ACIII to ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedRogue'' it was just an another weapon, losing it's uniqueness. From Unity forward, it lost it's combat abilities, as became an assassination-only weapon.
* ''VideoGame/{{Portal}}'' started out as a simple proof of concept with some witty writing and some brand new game play. In other words, a test. Now look at ''VideoGame/{{Portal 2}}'': the full length single-player campaign is 3-4 times longer than the original, has a lot more areas to explore, a lot of new gameplay mechanics[[note]]laser redirectors, propelling platforms, roads made of light, bouncing gels, accelerating gels, gels that create surfaces where you can shoot portals[[/note]], a very well written story without saying outright what happened, some very memorable characters, and some scenery that will make any other laboratory feel insecure (admit it, Lower Aperture Laboratories took quite a few elements from fictitious 1960s nuclear bunkers, the Modern Laboratories have bottomless pits [still above the older labs] and testing rooms that might remind some people of the floating mountains from ''Film/{{Avatar}}''.) Now this is just single player, the co-op missions have two players with two portals of their own to shoot, and as a result, the puzzles are a lot more complicated.
* ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil2'' ups the scale from one mansion to the whole town.
* ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil2'' mostly takes place in the city's police station, but ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil3'' allows you to visit more places such as the Downtown and Uptown portions of the city, a Hospital, and a Park.
%%* ''[[VideoGame/HouseOfTheDead House of the Dead 2]]''.
* ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAuto'' started a Sequel Escalation after taking the jump to full 3D. ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIII'' and ''[[VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoLibertyCityStories Liberty City Stories]]'' take place in a very small Liberty City, ''[[VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoViceCity Vice City]]'' and ''[[VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoViceCityStories Vice City Stories]]'' take place in a larger Vice City, and ''[[VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoSanAndreas San Andreas]]'' finally ups the ante and places the action in ''an entire state''. Then it seems to have crossed something akin to the BishonenLine and shrank back down to a DarkerAndEdgier version of the small Liberty City with ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIV''. ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoV'' is bigger than the maps of ''San Andreas'', ''IV'', and ''VideoGame/RedDeadRedemption'' ''combined'', however. The ''[=GTA4=]'' version of Liberty City is of comparable size (but not quite as big) as San Andreas, though, but with greater detail in the area depicted.
* The first ''VideoGame/GranTurismo'' had at least 150 cars. Then ''Gran Turismo 2'' came out and they added a whooping 500 cars to the list. ''Gran Turismo 3'' however inverts this due to the Generation Jump, but ''4'' does it again. Then ''5'' came up and managed to have a total of ''[[UpToEleven 1000 cars]]''. AND THEN ''6'' got released and had 1200 cars. There are some drawbacks of this, such as in ''5'' they imported a lot of the cars from the previous games with no change at all and [[CreatorProvincialism most of the cars being Japanese and from Nissan.]]
* Creator/HideoKojima did this semi-purposely in the ''Franchise/MetalGear'' series to keep it from getting stale. The villains in the games up to the original ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' were basically just extraordinary soldiers. In order to keep fans interested he gave the villains in ''[[VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2SonsOfLiberty Sons of Liberty]]'' super-powers. In the next installment, ''[[VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3SnakeEater Snake Eater]]'', the player fought World War legends, one of which [[BeeBeeGun attacked the player with bees]]. This maybe an accidental subversion as well since in ''Snake Eater'' the player takes control of the future Big Boss, the antagonist of ''Metal Gear'' and ''Metal Gear 2'', meaning that Solid Snake has already beaten the toughest character in the series all along.
** There were super-soldiers in the first game too, in fact if anything FOXHOUND were more impressive than Dead Cell, as only Vamp had genuine super-abilities (and Fortune isn't technically a "boss fight" in any meaningful sense). In FOXHOUND, Vulcan Raven is a giant Shaman, Psycho Mantis is a powerful psychic, and Liquid is a literal super-soldier genetically engineered for the purpose (Solidus, from the second game, is also a such a person but Liquid was designed to be the superior). You also have to take on a cyborg ninja version of another legendary soldier, whereas in the sequel a lesser version of this character actually helps you out. As far as the villains go, the first lot were superior to the second, in terms of supernatural abilities.
** The latest model of Metal Gear itself was always the penultimate boss in each game up until ''Metal Gear Solid''. In ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2'', Raiden fights not just one, but a whole bunch of them that were built to overpower the last model from the previous game. In ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4'', Old Snake fights a pseudo-Metal Gear model called Gekko as a common enemy in the very first level.
** In ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'', Solid Snake fights a [=HIND=] helicopter piloted by Liquid Snake. In ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2'', Raiden fights a ''Harrier Jet'' piloted by Solidus Snake.
** ''VideoGame/MetalGearRisingRevengeance'' throws logic to the wayside and has Raiden fight armies of cyborg mooks, plus a Metal Gear RAY, and near the end of the game, Metal Gear EXCELSUS, a [[HumongousMecha Metal Gear]] [[UpToEleven big enough to eat other Metal Gears for breakfast]]. [[spoiler: EXCELSUS's pilot, The final boss, is in short, the most absurd and over-the-top thing in the Metal Gear series: a fusion of man and nanomachines]]. However, this could be excused due to this game being partially developed by ''Creator/PlatinumGames'', who is used to developing over-the-top games.
* ''VideoGame/GearsOfWar'' did this to phenomenal effect, largely because the first game was already over-the-top, but it also left many fans wanting so much more. For example, the first game hinted at a major boss battle featuring a bipedal dinosaur-like creature called a brumak, but you never got to fight it until the [[UpdatedRerelease PC version.]] In the sequel, one level has '''five''' of these ... ''at once''. But they not only ramped up the scale, they also included a surprisingly powerful character story with Dom searching for his wife.
** ''Gears of War 3'' keeps things rolling by fleshing out an entire new faction only previously mentioned (the Lambent Locust). It also shows humanity to be in widespread disarray and on the verge of collapse with no real government remaining. The final parts of the campaign are the resolution of the question of which of Sera's three sentient species will annihilate the other two -- and it's a ''very'' close race.
* ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'':
** Pretty much every game, in one way or another, ups the scale of the combat; for example:
*** ''VideoGame/{{Halo 2}}'' gave you one Scarab to fight, which already took half a level to defeat. ''VideoGame/{{Halo 3}}'' gives you ''four''.
*** A vehicle combat example; in ''VideoGame/HaloCombatEvolved'', you're the only good guy who can drive, there isn't much dog-fighting, and even in a tank you're mostly fighting scattered infantry and a few vehicles. In ''Halo 2'', there are a few allied vehicles fighting besides you, some extended dog-fighting moments, and vehicle sequences where you're taking on small armies. In ''Halo 3'', you're often leading your army of vehicles against theirs, with massive vehicle battle sequences (both on the ground and in the air) that can flow right into each other.
*** ''VideoGame/{{Halo 4}}''[='s=] ''Spartan Ops'' was an effort to one-up ''VideoGame/HaloReach''[='s=] Firefight by turning the four-player-vs-environment mode into an entire campaign. People ended up missing Firefight, but ''VideoGame/Halo5Guardians''[='s=] Firefight made up for it by dramatically upping the scale even compared to ''Spartan Ops'', with tons more players, weapons, enemies, while still keeping the traditional Firefight format.
** [[VideoGame/HaloCombatEvolved The first game]] was a straightforward and relatively small-scale story about the Chief preventing largely impersonal enemies from taking one ringworld in an obscure corner of the galaxy. ''VideoGame/{{Halo 2}}'' widens the scale of the plot considerably; it has fighting in multiple worlds ranging from Earth to a giant alien city-ship to ''another'' ringworld, the politics of an entire alien empire, massive scale battles going on just in the background, two galaxy-saving protagonists, two galaxy-ending {{Big Bad}}s, and galaxy-shaking events where NothingIsTheSameAnymore.
** The scale of threat was practically exponential in the original trilogy. Your main threats in the first game are a single small Covenant fleet and an early stage Flood infestation, and no one (except you, really) comes close to destroying the galaxy. In ''Halo 2'', you're fighting a massive combined Covenant fleet and an advanced Flood infestation on the verge of breaking out, and Earth itself comes under attack. In ''Halo 3'', you're fighting the personal fleet of the Covenant's head honcho and a space-capable Flood infestation, with both on the verge of killing every one; as one character points out, "The fate of every sentient being in the galaxy rests in your hands." But y'know, no pressure.
** Creator/{{Bungie}}'s final two games may be on a slightly smaller scale compared to the main series, but they still have this trope going on relative to each other: ''VideoGame/Halo3ODST'' is a LowerDeckEpisode focusing on a squad of {{Badass Normal}}s fighting against an already weakened Covenant, and taking place in a single city over the course of the day. ''VideoGame/HaloReach'' focuses on a squad of {{Super Soldier}}s fighting against the full might of the Covenant across an entire planet (and in space) over the course of an entire month.
* ''Turrican II'' took the first ''VideoGame/{{Turrican}}'''s already large levels and made them [[MarathonLevel ludicrously enormous]]. It worked amazingly.
* ''VideoGame/TetrisTheGrandMaster'' peaks out in speed and difficulty when pieces start dropping instantly. ''Tetris: The Grand Master 2'' made the game even faster and more NintendoHard than its predecessor by gradually decreasing the delays for piece appearance and piece lock delay, shortening the line clear animation after you reach instant-drop speed, and adding an invisible credit roll challenge to get the titular Grand Master rank. ''Tetris: The Grand Master 3'' shortens these even more, and scores you on finesse during the credit roll challenge, in addition to requiring you to get a Grand Master-worthy score 4 out of 7 games before giving you the Promotional Exam in which you can actually earn the rank.
* ''VideoGame/SupremeCommander'' was fairly involved in terms of creating and managing your army, with the final mission putting you up against one of the Aeon experimental units as a sort of BossFight. The ''Forged Alliance'' standalone expansion sics a Serphim experimental on you in the very first mission, and it only gets more intense from there.
* The console installments of the ''VideoGame/FZero'' series crank up the maximum speed with each new installment. In the first installment, you normally can't go faster than 478 km/h, but dash arrows allow you go up to about 970 momentarily. ''F-Zero X'' sets the norm to 700-800 km/h, with boosts enabling you to reach about 1,300-1,400. ''F-Zero GX'' brings average speeds to the 970-1,100 range, with boosts speeds going beyond 2,000.
* ''VideoGame/KidIcarus'' is the story of Pit the angel fighting to defeat the evil goddess Medusa. ''VideoGame/KidIcarusUprising'' features more-or-less the same story ... for the first third of the game. [[spoiler:After Medusa's defeat, the BiggerBad Hades promises to make Medusa look like "a cute, cuddly bunny" compared to him. From there, Pit must butt heads with a nature goddess with an arsenal of [[FantasticNuke Fantastic Nukes]] at her disposal, an alien race determined to consume the world, an ancient monster that possesses his goddess Palutena, and various members of the Greek pantheon of Gods on his way to fight Hades.]] It's almost like they crammed the stories of several games into one to make up for the 25 year SequelGap the series had.
* ''VideoGame/AceCombat'': The first superfighter, the XFA-27 in ''2'', didn't have anything particularly OTT apart from being able to launch four missiles in one salvo. If we skip over the planes from ''3'', the X-02 Wyvern from ''4'' is next, still not OTT in weapons although it has switchblade wings now. The ADF-01F Falken from ''5'' was the first (ignoring ''3'', as aforementioned) to mount a laser weapon. The ADFX-01 Morgan from ''Zero'' added the nuke-like MPBM. Then the CFA-44 Nosferatu from ''6'' swaps the MPBM out from the cluster missile ADMM. ''X'' may fit in there somewhere...
** It does, the Fenrir has the ungodly LSWM, which if you hit the missile at a specific target, the blast radius will be enough to destroy all the targets and win you the match, in theory...
** When it comes to the amount of enemies and the scale of battlefields, the series has zig-zagged all over the place, but ''[[VideoGame/AceCombat04ShatteredSkies 04]]'' and especially ''[[VideoGame/AceCombat6FiresOfLiberation 6]]'' both played this trope straight (being the first installments for the [=PS2=] and the Xbox 360 respectively is no coincidence), and both also had the [[VideoGame/AceCombat5TheUnsungWar following]] [[VideoGame/AceCombatAssaultHorizon installment]] heavily inverting the trope. However, when it comes to the amount of flyable aircraft, they invert it, particularly ''6'' which has the ''lowest'' amount of aircraft in the main series.
* ''VideoGame/GigaWing'': [[PinballScoring 14-digit scores]]. ''Giga Wing 2'': 17 digits. ''Giga Wing Generations'': [[UpToEleven 20 FREAKING DIGITS.]]
* ''VideoGame/Left4Dead'' [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UF1HVlcXBmA intro video.]] ''VideoGame/Left4Dead2'' [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u39KZJIJ7VA intro video.]]
* Sony's ''VideoGame/{{Resistance}} 2'' and ''VideoGame/Uncharted2AmongThieves'' are bigger than their originals in every way.
* The first game in the ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsOriginalGeneration'' sub-series deals with civil war between TheFederation and a WellIntentionedExtremist, while throwing in an extraterrestrial invasion in the second half of the game. The sequel throws in the first again, but adds in an AlternateUniverse faction deciding to perform WarForFunAndProfit and an EldritchAbomination bent on committing a KillEmAll scenario on a planetary scale.
* The first ''VideoGame/{{Glider}}'' was a 15-room adventure (1 room = 1 screen). "The House" of ''Glider 4.0'' went on for 62 rooms. Finally, ''Glider PRO'''s "Slumberland" filled 403 rooms, including outdoor areas which previous games had nothing like.
* {{Rhythm game}}s tend to do this with their "boss" or "extra" songs:
** ''VideoGame/GuitarHero II'' had "[[Music/LynyrdSkynyrd Free Bird]]". ''Guitar Hero III'' upped the ante with "[[Music/{{Dragonforce}} Through the Fire and Flames]]".
** ''VideoGame/DanceDanceRevolution'' started with a difficulty scale from 1 to 8 footprints. Then came the escalation:
*** ''DDR 3rd Mix'' introduced 9-foot ratings.
*** ''DDRMAX'' (6th Mix) introduced the Extra Stage system, with MAX 300, a song with a tempo of 300 BPM (beats per minute) with 555 steps (18 of which were jumps, and 2 Freeze Arrows) in a minute and a half, which initially had to be played at 1.5x Reverse scroll and a life bar that wouldn't replenish, and was later assigned a 10-foot rating. Completing MAX 300 with a grade of AA or better would earn you the One More Extra Stage, which was Candy, a normal song but played on 3x Reverse, and you fail if you get less than a Great on any step or release a Freeze Arrow too early.
*** ''DDRMAX 2'' (7th Mix) added [=MaxX=] Unlimited with 555 steps 45 jumps, and 56 Freeze Arrows, which started at 300 BPM and would speed up and slow down many times, eventually screeching to a halt before jumping to 320 BPM and staying there for the rest of the song, and was to be played on 1.5x Reverse Dark (couldn't see the gray arrows that told you when to step). The One More Extra Stage song became Kakumei, which was slightly significantly more complex than Candy.
*** ''DDR Extreme'' set the bar even higher with The Legend of MAX, at 333 BPM and 1.5x Reverse, plus a faster-depleting lifebar. One More Extra Stage was a song titled Dance Dance Revolution, which was actually not any harder, but rather a tribute to previous DDR songs.
*** ''DDR [=SuperNOVA=]'' had Fascination MAXX and Fascination -eternal love mix-, both of which went up to 400 BPM and would repeatedly halve or double its speed, down to 100 BPM, in addition to pausing briefly at certain points. Extra Stage retained 1.5x Reverse. The One More Extra Stage was CHAOS, which turned the InterfaceScrew UpToEleven with its pauses, in addition to disallowing modifiers (no 3x Reverse, either), which actually made CHAOS ''harder'' to read.
*** ''DDR [=SuperNOVA 2=]'' changed the Extra Stage to use the Oni Mode lifebar, where you lose one segment every time you get less than a Great on any step or release a Freeze Arrow too early, and you fail when you lose the last segment. In addition, the Extra Stage system was slightly overhauled - you actually have to EARN lifebars for it![[note]]If you just barely earned the Extra Stage, or you're only getting to play Extra Stage because the other player earned it, you get the Encore Extra Stage lifebar - break your combo and fail instantly. You also had to get an A or higher on a stage before your final stage to get Extra Stage, although this is a piece of cake for anyone who could get Extra Stage at all with the old requirement.[[/note]] (However, it does allow picking mods.) And of course, there's Pluto, Pluto Relinquish, and Dead End Groove Radar Special.
*** ''DDR [=X=]'' made a well-needed adjustment to the difficulty scale by re-rating every chart on a scale that goes up to 20. Thanks to how it was done, existing "non-flashing" 10's were ranked around 15 and 16, and the harder "flashing" 10's now got actual difficulty counts, usually either as 17's or 18's. No songs had been introduced that rate as a 19 or 20 yet.
*** ''DDR [=X2=]'' adds Replicant-D-Action on top of the usual extra stage system for even more boss song unlocking goodness, including the nasty ''New Decade'', which is a 17 on expert and runs at 400 bpm. After you're done with all 6 of those boss songs, you immediately take on ''Valkyrie Dimension'', which is an 18... on expert. Yes, Challenge difficulty was DDR's first ''19''! Plus the requirement to get Extra Stage was increased to getting a AA rank on ''every'' stage, not just the final stage.
*** ''DDR [=X3 vs 2nd Mix=]'' adds ''Paranoia Revolution'' and ''Tohoku Evolved''. In the former, it had to be unlocked in 2nd Mix mode, which meant 1x, Flat (no colour difference between 4th and 8th notes etc.) and difficulty unheard of in the source game. A NostalgiaLevel with its Expert chart made of the hardest parts of older boss songs, it doesn't seem to warrant an 18, until you notice that it ends with the steps of Challenge ''Fascination Eternal Love Mix'', ''Pluto Relinquish'' and ''Valkyrie Dimension''. It's Challenge chart is the only other 19 footer and breaks the DDR record of fastest interval between notes - 16ths at 360bpm! The latter breaks the record for highest reading speed - a random corner jump at ''1020 bpm''.
** ''VideoGame/{{Beatmania}} IIDX'' started with a 1-7 difficulty scale. ''5th Style'' had the kanji for "forbidden" for some harder 7's, which were later displayed as "flashing 7's" and even later named as "7+". Eventually, the 7+ difficulty became an 8, and the 8+ was introduced. The scale now ranks up to ''12''.
** For most of the series' history, ''VideoGame/GuitarFreaks'' and ''VideoGame/DrumMania'' have had a scale with a 2-digit number for difficulty, with the boss songs usually having a rating in the 90's on Extreme difficulty. In [=V5=], performing well on the Extra Stage earns you the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zS5EdxIZ31c Infinity Stage, with the song Rock to Infinity]], which is rated ''infinity'' on Extreme and gives "Through the Fire and Flames" a run for its money.[[note]]For those only familiar with ''Guitar Hero'' or ''Rock Band'', a note on how ''Guitar Freaks works'', which will help appreciate the video: even though there are only three buttons on the guitar, you must never be holding extra buttons, even for single notes (forget about hammer-ons and pull-offs). Also, those white icon things on the rightmost side of the track are where you are required to raise your guitar neck into the air. Finally, there is no star power equivalent, and your accuracy is graded in a similar manner to Beatmania or DDR, adding another level of difficulty to the game.[[/note]]
** ''VideoGame/RockBand 2'' ups the ante by having more metal than the first game, pushing the boundaries for drums and guitar, but the maximum difficulty is really pushed in ''Rock Band 3'', which introduced the pro modes (while keeping the normal ones). The number of buttons on the guitar fretboard jumped from 5 to ''102'' (68 for bass), with the other hand handling six (four) 'strings' instead of one. Drums just added cymbals, jumping from 5 inputs to 8, and Keyboard, which was new anyway, jumped from 5 keys to 25. Moreover, some of the drum charts in ''[=RB3=]'' (pro or not) are just insane. The main ''Rock Band'' games also present an inversion of this trope storyline-wise. The final challenge (barring the [[FinalExamBoss Endless Setlist]]) in the first game has you playing to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, whereas the second has you playing to be featured in ''Rolling Stone'' magazine.
* The ''VisualNovel/AceAttorney'' series keeps upping the odds and the drama with each case.
** The first of the Phoenix arc is simply rescuing your long-lost best friend from a false murder charge, the second involves intrigue in show business and [[spoiler:the kidnapping of your assistant/friend Maya as insurance against the (guilty) client being found guilty]], and the third has Phoenix facing off against [[spoiler:the vengeful spirit of his serial killer ex-girlfriend]] before the true murderer is even found. Apollo Justice deals with a seven-year-old BatmanGambit and pushing through a completely new trial system, while ''Investigations'' puts Edgeworth against a smuggling ring that [[spoiler:is responsible for or connected to every murder in the game.]]
** ''Investigations 2'' starts off with [[spoiler:the assassination of the Zheng Fa president.]] It ends with [[spoiler:a successful one. Of a body double, that is, who pulled a successful one on the ''real'' president years ago. And you get to solve that case too.]]
** This goes UpToEleven in ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorneyDualDestinies'' thanks to a transfer from Nintendo DS to Nintendo 3DS. It ''starts'' with a courtroom bombing and gets bigger from there.
** ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorneySpiritOfJustice'' starts with Phoenix taking on trials in a country that made ''being a lawyer'' '''punishable by death''', and deals with a full-on revolution. Oh, and who's the BigBad of the game? [[spoiler:The current ''Queen'' of said country, who controls the entire legal system and can re-write the law whenever she wants. By the end of the trial, everyone is held up at gunpoint by her guards. And yes, you ''do'' get to take her down.]]
* ''VideoGame/DonPachi'':
** Each game progressively gets crazier with even more BulletHell and a TrueFinalBoss that takes BulletHell to [[SerialEscalation progressive levels of insanity.]]
** The combos. Getting a 100 combo in ''[=DoDonPachi=]'' is an achievement, while in ''[=DoDonPachi=]'' it simply takes some effort. ''[=DoDonPachi=] dai ou jou'''s [[SuperMode Hyper]] system makes that trivial, and in ''[=DoDonPachi=] Dai-Fukkatsu''? Come back when you get a 10,000 combo.
** In an inversion of this trope, most players regard ''Dai-Fukkatsu'''s first loop as easier than those of its predecessors. [[PublicMediumIgnorance No one's listening, though.]]
* ''VideoGame/FinalFight 2'', the straight-to-Super NES sequel to the original ''Final Fight'', changed the setting from Metro City to various cities around the Eurasian continent. Despite this, the game is barely that different in terms of gameplay compared to the original game and was mostly made to make up for the lack of a 2-Player Mode in the original SNES port.
* In the first ''VideoGame/DoubleDragon'', the player's mission is to [[SaveThePrincess rescue]] [[DistressedDamsel Marian]]; in the second game, the objective is to [[Film/RevengeOfTheSequel avenge]] [[DisposableWoman her]] [[SuddenSequelDeathSyndrome death]].
* ''VideoGame/MassEffect1'' features cool teammates, [[CutscenePowerToTheMax action cutscenes]], [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome epic]] [[BadassCrew badassery]], [[TearJerker emo]][[SugarWiki/HeartwarmingMoments tion]] and [[OneOfUs geek]] [[SugarWiki/FunnyMoments humor]]. ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' features more teammates, more [[CutscenePowerToTheMax action cutscenes]], MoreDakka, more [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome epic]] [[BadassCrew badassery]], [[TearJerker more]] [[SugarWiki/HeartwarmingMoments emotion]] and more [[OneOfUs geek]] [[SugarWiki/FunnyMoments humor]]. You may guess [[EvenBetterSequel the results]]. ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' is taking this [[DarkestHour even]] [[ApocalypseHow further]] by ''starting'' the game with the massive invasion of [[spoiler:a race of EldritchAbomination AbusivePrecursors by the thousands who have wiped out all galactic civilization countless times before]], who are ''very'' angry with the player character.
** ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' is kind of an aversion: the first game has the fate of all organic life in the Milky Way at stake, whereas the second focuses on attacks that only target humanity; sure the Collectors kill hundreds of thousands of people, but if Sovereign had succeeded, the death toll would have been at least in the hundreds of billions. Played straight when comparing 3 to its predecessors: while the threat to the galaxy is the same throughout the series, it's much more direct, and the odds of success much worse, in the third game.
* In ''VideoGame/DevilMayCry 1'', the [=Kick13=] move was a single roundhouse and its [[SuperMode Devil Triggered]] version was a punch-kick combo. In ''4'', the combo is now standard and the DT version has even more hits. In ''3'' the Drive move was a single, somewhat slow shockwave, while in ''4'' it comes out faster and Dante can use three in a row. In ''3'', the YouWillNotEvadeMe move was only available as a situational part of the StanceSystem, while in ''4'' it becomes integral to the combat
* The "Meet the Team" videos in ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' become a lot more ambitious as they go. Compare [[http://www.tf2.com/heavy.htm Meet the Heavy]] and [[http://www.tf2.com/spy.htm Meet the Spy]] for the best example. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36lSzUMBJnc Meet the Medic]] takes it to new heights. And then there was [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUhOnX8qt3I Meet the Pyro]].
* In going from ''VideoGame/ModernWarfare'' to ''Modern Warfare 2'', the killstreak rewards got bigger and better. There's also the fact that [[spoiler:America]] gets invaded, you get to play as more people and the plot takes you to locations all around the world. And of course, the TwistEnding.
* In the first ''VideoGame/MetalSlug'', basic enemies were limited to the usual Rebellion Army soldiers, the only Slug you used was the basic tank, and the final boss was Morden in a helicopter. By the time ''Metal Slug 3'' rolls around, that very same final boss and level are only the ''halfway'' point of the game, and you've already fought zombies, mummies, man-eating plants, and the Mars People. The final fight of ''3'' takes you to space to battle the Mars People mothership, and to even access the interior you have to fight ''Metal Slug 2'''s final boss again. The actual final battle is a free fall to Earth versus Rootmars, the alien commander.
* ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'':
** In [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyI the first game]], the main characters had about 30 HP to start, which grew to about 500-750 by the end. The final boss here had exactly 4000 HP. In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'', the starting HP is about 500 and it's about 2500-3500 HP near the end. This game's final boss has [[MarathonBoss over A QUARTER MILLION HP]], and you can only hit four digits of damage. And that's not even counting ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'' -- there are trash mobs with health in the millions.
** The magic and summon animations also have gotten flashier and longer as the series progresses. What used to take nothing more than a few seconds to watch Bahamut blast every enemy on the field in the earlier games evolved to an extended sequence showing Bahamut flying up high in the sky, charging his attack, and then watching the attack shoot down to the ground and explode on all enemies. Depending on the game, some players may find it easier and faster to level grind and just smash everything with swords than to use powerful magic that takes a while to finish its animations.
** In terms of sheer content: ''VideoGame/TheatrhythmFinalFantasy'' has just over 70 songs, not including DLC. Its sequel, ''Curtain Call'', has more than ''three times'' that number at 221.
* ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'' does this to a smaller extent than ''Franchise/FinalFantasy''. The first game has bosses that have about 300-1500 HP (according to the Guide) which are represented by bars. A boss with ''four'' was considered a lot, and the BonusBoss Sephiroth has about six. Meanwhile in ''[[VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep Birth By Sleep]]''? There are enemies with a ''lot'' more than just four health bars, even if the health bars deplete faster after ''II''. (this includes ''[[VideoGame/KingdomHeartsChainOfMemories Chain of Memories]]'')
** Compare any of Sora's limits from the KHI or KHII to what Ven, Terra, or Aqua can do with their normal fighting styles. Sora's Trinity Limit almost pales in comparison to some of their attacks, and it was the strongest move in the original game and took all Sora, Donald, and Goofy to use, the BBS trio travel alone all the time, and perform moves that make the Maleficent dragon boss battle seem like a cake walk compared to her [[ThatOneBoss first dragon encounter]] from the first game. This is at least {{justified|Trope}} since Aqua is a Keyblade Master, Terra is only a few good deeds short and all three got training from an actual Keyblade Master, where as Sora learned from his own experience.
* ''VideoGame/StarWarsStarfighter'':
** The game is all about destroying a single battle droid construction factory and then moving to help out at the Battle of Naboo. ''VideoGame/JediStarfighter'' is about shutting down all production of a synthetic virus that could wipe out beings in mere seconds, and then moving to prevent the Separatist scientist who invented it from using it in the Battle of Geonosis or after.
** You can't destroy the Trade Federation landers no matter what, and the last level revolves around the battle against the Droid Control Ship, the only capital ship in the game. In ''Jedi Starfighter'', you destroy one TF Lander in the first level, and several capital ships over the course of the game, including three in the last level alone.
* During Creator/{{Nintendo}}'s E3 2010 Presentation, while Reggie Fils-Aime mainly placed emphasis on the social element of ''VideoGame/DragonQuestIX'', he does have this to say about the rest of the game's content:
-->'''Fils-Aime:''' You could describe it just by the numbers: with 120 [[{{Sidequest}} mini-quests]] and additional wi-fi mini-quests, over 300 monsters, over 900 items to customize your character, and an infinite number of randomly generated treasure maps. But that would be selling it short.
* The ''VideoGame/SimCity'' series was originally developed with this in mind. While the games share a lot of the same core gameplay elements, the range of facilities that could be built and the size of land at the player's disposal grew exponentially, peaking in ''[=SimCity 4=]'', where utterly large regions containing significant numbers of connected cities could be created. Creator/WillWright would later comment that the series has ended up being inaccessible to new players due to its sheer complexity, which led to the reformulated but simplified ''[=SimCity Societies=]''.
* ''VideoGame/TheSims'' changes significantly with each sequel. Even customization options and the way the Sims can change themselves is dramatically different: in the first game, there are adult Sims and child Sims, and never the twain shall meet. In the second game, your Sims age and die, and can also gain and lose weight in a "pop" effect. In the third game, your Sims can age and die and changes due to weight gain and loss, muscle gain and loss, and pregnancy are subtle and incremental. And that's not even including the expansion pack options...
* ''VideoGame/BioShock'' is an interesting case. [[VideoGame/BioShock2 The sequel]] has an equally good story, but the villain has the opposite philosophy as [[VideoGame/BioShock1 the first one]]. The combat, on the other hand, is so far escalated to be ridiculous. DualWielding, playing as a Big Daddy with equally scaled up weapons (from crossbow to spear gun for instance), and the plasmids... The Incinerate alone goes from tossing fire, to tossing ''exploding fire'', to being able to shoot a solid stream of fire. WordOfGod even states that Jack wouldn't have survived Rapture if he came at this time.
* ''VideoGame/WeCheer 2'' in terms of the VirtualPaperDoll and CharacterCustomization.
* ''VideoGame/MegaMan2'' upped the number of bosses and special items, but also gave a massive increase in the size and variety of the regular enemies you fought. Compare the Mooks of [[http://spriters-resource.com/nes/mm/sheet/32924 Mega Man 1]] to [[http://spriters-resource.com/nes/mm2/sheet/32920 Mega Man 2]].
* ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'':
** Back in ''VideoGame/PokemonRedAndBlue'' and ''VideoGame/PokemonGoldAndSilver'', the villains were a bunch of common thugs, with the focus of [[ExcusePlot what little plot the games had]] being on beating the Elite Four in [=Gen1=] (and [[PreviousPlayerCharacterCameo Red]] in [=Gen2=]). The Legendaries generally stayed OutOfFocus in favor of the ToBeAMaster/GottaCatchEmAll messaging of the marketing, except for Suicune in ''Crystal''. Then we hit ''VideoGame/PokemonRubyAndSapphire'', where the villains were out to expand the land or sea, and where the [[OlympusMons Legendary Pokémon]] played a role in that plot. But it wasn't over yet: Cyrus, head of ''VideoGame/PokemonDiamondAndPearl'''s Team Galactic, was actively out to destroy the universe and remake it in his own image. Beating him involved, depending on your version, catching either the god of space, the god of time, or an EldritchAbomination personification of antimatter that had a few parallels to {{Satan}}. And then you could catch {{God}} Himself, if you attended a Nintendo event or used a [[VideoGame/GameShark cheating device]]. Every generation after than has since zig-zagged in the level of world-ending disaster that the villain's schemes will cause, from ''VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite'' wanting Pokémon and humans to be forever separated, to ''VideoGame/PokemonUltraSunAndUltraMoon'' having ''the entire multiverse'' at risk of destruction.
** Each generation adds new mechanics to gameplay, but most notably, the number of Pokémon that are catchable greatly increases as well. ''VideoGame/PokemonRedAndBlue'' started it off with a total of 151 Pokémon. ''[[VideoGame/PokemonGoldAndSilver Gold and Silver]]'' upped the ante with 100 new mons. ''[[VideoGame/PokemonRubyAndSapphire Ruby and Sapphire]]'' began the trend of starting the player with a Regional Pokédex of over 150 mons, the majority of which being new additions to the franchise, with all other Pokemon from previous generations being catchable during the post-game. To date, the installment to add the most new Pokemon was ''VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite'' with 156 brand new monster, while ''VideoGame/PokemonXandY'' has the largest regional at a whopping '''''450''''' Pokémon. Oh, and the total number of Pokémon in the series? '''''807'''''.
* Not necessarily a "sequel", per se, but the continuation of the Franchise/SpiderMan set of games: In ''VideoGame/SpiderManWebOfShadows'', the final mission revolves around [[spoiler: blowing up a single S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier, an aircraft roughly the size of a small building, to take down Venom once and for all.]] In ''VideoGame/SpiderManShatteredDimensions'', the Carnage level has [[spoiler: one Helicarrier pre-crashed as an integral part of the first fight with Carnage, and Ultimate Spidey has to outrun another crashing Helicarrier later in the stage.]]
* [[ZigZaggingTrope Zig-zagged]] in the ''Franchise/DragonAge'' series:
** ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' depicts an epic struggle against TheLegionsOfHell led by an insane dragon god bent on wiping out all life on the planet.
** ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOriginsAwakening'' has a smaller scope story-wise than the original game (the Wardens are mopping up the stragglers from the already-defeated hellish legions), but the PowerLevels of ''everything'' are through the roof--regular bandits in ''Awakening'' have more HP than endgame ''Origins'' bosses.
** ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'' is decidedly smaller-scale (rumor has it that it was originally planned as a GaidenGame), with a more personal quest that revolves around the protagonist Hawke finding a place in the world after Lotharing was destroyed. The horrible things that happen in this game have little to do with ancient evils and dark gods [[spoiler:except for the lyrium idol though things would have gone to hell even without it]] -- [[GreyAndGrayMorality they happen because different people with different ideas of right and wrong]] [[WellIntentionedExtremist are unable to let go of their inner demons for the sake of peace.]]
** ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition'' takes it right back to the epic lands, with the new protagonist building up an international power base (the eponymous Inquisition) to uncover the mystery of why every major faction on the continent suddenly stopped taking its meds and went to war against everyone else all at once.
* ''{{VideoGame/Diablo}}''. Your most powerful attack is a fireball followed by a magical sword and Nova is forbidden magic relegated to scrolls only, while a mob of six enemies is trouble on the highest difficulty. In the sequel, multishot arrows, chain lightning spear attacks and screenwide frost spells are commonplace. And in ''{{VideoGame/Diablo III}}'', even warrior characters are capable of causing avalanches and earthquakes, and you get rewarded for killing 50 demons in a few seconds. Meanwhile the scope of the hostilities escalates from a cursed cathedral in the first game, the entire world in the second game, and the High Heavens in the third.
* ''Bug Too!'' to the original ''VideoGame/{{Bug}}!''. It did take out certain elements (especially the zap cap) but added many new ones in, such as curved platforms, ability to run and hover for the characters, and level selection for each world. It may not have been a good thing, [[{{Sequelitis}} though]].
* ''VideoGame/SwordOfTheStars II: Lords of Winter'' will start in the Cruiser-Fusion era and have a "tech forest", multi-planet systems, even bigger ships and generally lots more options to play with.
* ''VideoGame/PaperMario'' has enemies with HP averaging from 10-20 points for most of the game while bosses hovering around the 50s more or less and the FinalBoss and BonusBoss having 99 HP. Mario's HP and FP can only max out (without the use of badges) to 50. The sequel, ''VideoGame/PaperMarioTheThousandYearDoor'', ramps this up greatly; Mario's HP and FP can reach higher than 50 thanks to the level cap being raised, but boss enemy HP is beefed up as well, pushing near 70 by the last quarter of the game. The FinalBoss has 150 HP and the BonusBoss has 200 HP! By ''Paper Mario'' standards, that's a crapton of HP. It's stretched even ''further'' in ''[[VideoGame/PaperMarioStickerStar Sticker Star]]''. All bosses after the first have at least 300 HP, and the final boss has 500 HP!
** The plots of the game are also escalated. The original has a fairly standard Bowser-kidnaps-the-Princess plot, and other than Mario none of the characters are in much danger (though the Star Spirits are concerned this might change if Bowser [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity keeps the Star Rod for too long]]). ''Thousand-Year Door'' features a group of scientists trying to release an EldritchAbomination, believing she will reward them with money and power, but who really just wants to TakeOverTheWorld ([[ICanRuleAlone and can rule alone]]). ''VideoGame/SuperPaperMario'' features a villain who wants to destroy the entire {{multiverse}}.
* The ''VideoGame/SaintsRow'' series:
** In the first game, you're a nobody in a downtrodden neighborhood who gets caught in a gang fight, joins a new gang and buys a pistol to "clean up the hood".
** The [[VideoGame/SaintsRow2 second game]] features lots of explosives, radioactive waste, chainsaws, a gang boss with a minigun, and eventually you fight a private military contractor.
** The [[VideoGame/SaintsRowTheThird third game]] features regular mooks with miniguns, airstrikes, hoverbikes, battles against entire enemy platoons of tanks, laser guns everywhere and you blow up two aircraft carriers, including a flying one that's bombing the city into rubble.
** The [[VideoGame/SaintsRowIV fourth game]] features a full-scale alien invasion where you play as the president of the United States who gets kidnapped by the aliens, is put in Franchise/TheMatrix and then fights them with superpowers.
** The [[VideoGame/SaintsRowGatOutOfHell stand-alone expansion after the fourth game]] features your character (now GodEmperor of the Universe) kidnapped by Satan, with Johnny Gat and Kinzie Kinsington diving into the depths of {{Hell}} to save him...with [[FlamingSword flaming swords]], [[SuperWheelChair weaponized recliners]], and [[StockSuperpowers super powers]] of their own.
* Generally speaking, FightingGame sequels -- especially those created within a couple of years of each other -- like to increase the number of fighters from one game to another. ''VideoGame/StreetFighterAlpha'' is a perfect example. There ''are'' exceptions -- the ''VideoGame/SoulSeries'' seems pretty consistent at around 20 characters per game, and the ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom'' series stayed between 15 and 16 non-pallete swap characters for the first 3 games -- but an increased headcount is usually on the menu for a sequel.
* The original ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'' features only twelve characters. The sequel, ''Melee'', features over double that number, with the third game, ''Brawl'', having 39 characters, including third-party [[GuestFighter Guest Fighters]] Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog and [[Franchise/MetalGear Solid Snake]]. The fourth game has 50 characters, or 52 if you count each Mii fighter type as a different character, with more characters released as {{DLC}}.
* ''[[VideoGame/BanjoKazooie Banjo-Tooie]]'' is this compared to its predecessor ''Banjo-Kazooie'': The latter was a kind of enhanced ''VideoGame/SuperMario64'', with more transformations, more collectibles, the ability to shoot eggs, and some other moves. Then ''Banjo-Tooie'' retained (almost) all the old moves of the first game ''since the beginning'', introducing more new moves than the total number of moves in the previous game, five new types of eggs, transformations in ''every'' level, and these aren't even all the new gimmicks of the game. The size and scale of each stage also increased dramatically, making the first game's stages feel claustrophobic by comparison.
* The second ''VideoGame/DevilSurvivor'' game is this. While the first one started its gameplay with the protagonists suddenly being attacked by demons spawning out of their [=COMPs=], the second one kicks off the main storyline by having a ''subway de-rail and nearly kill off the main characters'' (after showing them their horrific deaths before it happens). The second game also has FAR more on-screen deaths (one instance being the EldritchAbomination-[[MonsterOfTheWeek of-the-day]] ''incinerating'' four bystanders), a more epic scope (complete with a shadowy underground organization dealing with Japan's paranormal issues over the years and {{Eldritch Abomination}}s wreaking havoc), [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters more characters]], more locations (taking place in multiple cities as opposed to the first one's single place), more cursing, [[NintendoHard more difficulty]], and [[WorldOfBuxom bigger cup sizes]].
* ''VideoGame/DevilSurvivor2'' got an UpdatedRerelease that includes a full-fledged second campaign taking place after the first. Where the original campaign ended with the protagonists taking on [[KingOfAllCosmos the Administrator of the Akashic Records]], the second campaign has a being of identical power as only the third boss, with the final boss being [[BiggerBad the system that created the Administrators and the Record]], which involves turning the main characters into gods as ''step one'' for fighting it.
* The ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'' series: ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros1'' and ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros2'' (Mushroom Kingdom and Subcon, respectively) --> ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros3'' (multiple kingdoms). There's also ''VideoGame/SuperMario64'' (a castle) --> ''VideoGame/SuperMarioSunshine'' (an island) --> ''VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy'' and ''VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy2'' ([[ExaggeratedTrope the entire universe]]).
* Present and accounted for in the ''VideoGame/QuestForGlory'' series:
** ''Quest for Glory I'' has few particularly powerful threats for you to deal with. There's the Kobold Wizard and Baba Yaga, but the ominous Brigand Warlock [[spoiler: turns out to just be the local ''court jester'', who has little real magical power and left the castle to find the Baron's missing daughter]]. There's not even really a Big Bad to speak of, unless you count Baba Yaga, as the Brigand Leader [[spoiler: is the Baron's enchanted daughter, and is "beaten" with a dispell potion]].
** In ''Quest for Glory II'', the Hero must square off against four powerful elementals, each of which can destroy the city of Shapeir, before confronting the [[ManBehindtheMan wizard]] attempting to release an [[SealedEvilinaCan evil djinn]] on the world.
** ''Quest for Glory III'' raises the stakes even further, with the plot of the game being manipulated by a demon attempting to cross its master over into the world (the Quest for Glory series is RIFE with Sealed Evils attempting to be released). Notably, the Coles have specifically said that Wages of War was not part of the original story, and was added ''specifically'' because the Hero would not have been strong enough to face the enemies of the next game.
** ''Quest for Glory IV'', in which the Hero now faces undead in spades, the resurrected [[spoiler: Ad Avis]] and his Dark Master, the vampire [[spoiler: Katrina]]. Oh, and now he's trying to stop a full-blown ''EldritchAbomination'' from being freed! Notably, Baba Yaga, who in the first game pretty thoroughly outmatches the Hero, by the fourth is no longer quite so menacing.
** ''Quest for Glory V'' at first seems like it's going to be an inversion, as the Hero arrives to effectively investigate a murder plot. At least until the world-destroying [[NamestoRunAwayFromReallyFast Dragon of Doom]] is unleashed by the BigBad (have we mentioned the series' love of Sealed Evils?)
* ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamAsylum'' and its sequel ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamCity''. From the scope of the plot to the cast to the playable area to the combat mechanics to the sidequests, everything got bigger and more complex. ''City'' even started Batman out with almost all of his gadgets from the end of ''Asylum'' before throwing even more his way. ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamKnight'' has at least triple the playable area City had. ''Asylum'' had two ([=PS3=]) playable characters; City had four; Knight has eight, with one being a PaletteSwap of Batman with harder challenges and less gadgets.
* There are exactly two things which New World Computing did not escalate between ''VideoGame/HeroesOfMightAndMagic I'' and ''II'': the number of campaigns (four to two -- but see below) and the scale of the war (the sparse story of ''I'' was a free-for-all war over the throne of Enroth between four contenders, ''II'' was a war over the throne of Enroth's succession with two claimants). ''Everything'' else -- the number of towns, how many artifacts there are, how much actual ''story'' there is in the campaigns, how different the campaigns are from each-other (''I's'' were literally the ''same'' except for your starting town and each campaign lacking the map about attacking your own stronghold), the number of creatures, the complexity of the skill system, how many spells there are, etc -- gets escalated.
* ''VideoGame/ZombiesRun'': We'll let the developers explain.
-->The story’s even more tense, the risks even greater, and the rewards higher -- if things go right you, Runner 5, might just save the world.
* The ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'' series:
** In the UsefulNotes/SegaGenesis era we started with a super-fast hedgehog freeing his animal buddies from a mad scientist, which went to preventing Eggman from ruling the world with his Death Egg station in three sequels that expanded the scope of the world and introduced more characters. Come the [[UsefulNotes/SegaDreamcast Dreamcast]] and modern eras, Sonic is facing [[VideoGame/SonicAdventure a gigantic deity made of water]], [[VideoGame/SonicAdventure2 an out-of-control space colony controlled by the prototype of the ultimate life form]], [[VideoGame/SonicHeroes his evil robot double's super transformation]], [[VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2006 an insane god of time and space]], [[VideoGame/SonicUnleashed a continent-sized manifestation of the Earth's dark side]], [[VideoGame/SonicColors Eggman enslaving five planets to create a mind-control weapon]], and [[VideoGame/SonicGenerations a being that can destroy time and space]].
** ''VideoGame/SonicLostWorld'' takes a step back by returning to Sonic saving animals and maintaining the beauty of the world, but still manages to escalate that by having Sonic now saving animals in the hundreds and thousands per zone instead of dozens and magnifying the threat to the planet from Eggman building resource-destroying factories to [[spoiler: the entire world being sapped of its life energy by the Zeti, killing it and everyone on it including Sonic's friends, [[DarkestHour and the plan actually goes off without fail to the bitter end before Sonic can fix things.]]]]
* ''VideoGame/XenobladeChronicles'' featured a massive world, but planet Mira from ''VideoGame/XenobladeChroniclesX'' is five times as big. It's so massive, there were doubts as to whether it would all fit on a Wii U disk.
* ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands}}'':
** The first game had a lot of neat boss fights, decent story with an OK villain, an intimidating final boss, and a neat Bonus Boss in Crawmerax. Then ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands 2}}'' came along and... totally blew it out of the water. The boss fights were more intense, often had hazards littered about them with extremely inventive fights, a story that plays out amazingly (so much so you'd swear they purposely wrote everything very basic in the original just to expand it further with its incredible plot twists, a BigBad to top all Big Bads, Handsome Jack, the manipulative sociopathic monster who is always two hundred steps ahead, a final boss that is far harder to kill and is NOT a GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere, and a new bonus boss in Terramorphous, who makes Crawmerax look like a chew toy. They increased the guns, increased the areas, and total went balls out on making everything new.
** This applies to the DLC as well. General Knoxx, Island of Dr. Ned, Moxxi's Underdome, and the Claptrap invasion were okay, but Captain Scarlet's, Campaign of Carnage, Big Game Hunt, and Assault on Dragon's Keep clearly had way more effort put into them, and the last one especially seems to be taking the game engine and what they can do with it as far as they can, playing with the characters themselves and just having fun exploring how nuts the gameplay can get when they go all out on it, along with trying out how silly objectives can get. Additionally, the four campaigns from two seem to be more generally received by critics on websites like IGN and GameInformer, whereas General Knoxx had the unfortunate inability to make multiple fast travel stations in the DLC, forcing you to painstakingly make your way back to where you were every time you needed to get there, and Moxxi's underdome was often far too difficult for a solo player to handle, giving an individual much less incentive to play it unless with friends... and they dragged on and on.
* The ''VideoGame/MetroidPrimeTrilogy'' invokes this trope in regards to the scale of the adventure. In ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime'', Samus must contain the threat of [[TheCorruption Phazon]] and the mutated Metroid Prime on Tallon IV and prevent the SpacePirates from exploiting it, but the planet itself is mostly scenery. In ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime2Echoes'', Samus must [[BackFromTheBrink reverse the outcome of a war]] and save Aether itself and its inhabitants from its Phazon-created [[DarkWorld dark twin]]. ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime3Corruption'' involves the rescue of several such corrupted planets from Phazon itself, with the fate of ''the entire galaxy'' at stake. Gameplay-wise, ''Echoes'' shifts the balance between puzzle-solving and action towards the latter, and ''Corruption'' introduces [[ExplosiveOverclocking Hypermode]], with represents both a [[PurposelyOverpowered significant power boost]] for Samus and a [[GameplayAndStoryIntegration personal stake in the outcome]], as she has been corrupted as well.
* A meta-example with Creator/BlizzardEntertainment games -- with every new game, the game engines' capacities have increased, and thus the LevelEditor has gone from Map Editor (''VideoGame/WarCraftII''), Campaign Editor (''VideoGame/{{Starcraft}}''), World Editor (''VideoGame/WarCraftIII''), to Galaxy Editor (''VideoGame/StarcraftII''). For the games themselves, ''[=WarCraft=] II'' featured CosmeticallyDifferentSides, a Good/Evil divide, missions consisiting of "kill the enemy base", and IsometricProjection. ''[=WarCraft=] III'' had four completely different factions, some murkiness on the good/evil, extremely varied missions and a lot more dungeon crawls, cutscenes, leveling hero units, mercenaries, and was in 3D.
** Each ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' expansion has pushed all conceivable limits of stat escalation. In classic, with a level cap of 60, even the absolute best geared raiding tank had only a few thousand HP, the hardest raid bosses had a couple million HP, and individual raid geared DPS was measured in hundreds (800 was considered good for Patchwerk, classic's preeminent DPS check). By the end of the 4th expansion, level cap 90, non-tanks were breaking 1 million HP, bosses were dancing around a billion, and individual DPS was easily several hundred thousand and could burst into the million range. Things got so bad the servers couldn't handle crunching all the numbers involved and Blizzard was forced to implement a "stat crunch" which cut everything for current content to roughly 10% of what it had been (though you could still pull the same DPS against legacy content). Two more expansions later, level cap 110, and things went and surpassed the pre-stat crunch levels once again. Tanks pushed past the 3 million HP mark and everything else just increased to keep up.[[note]]Gets funny when you remember that during classic Blizzard claimed Arthas to be the most powerful being in Azeroth, a PhysicalGod, and he would require 40 players at a minimum of level 90 to face him. He was released at level 80 and fought by 10/25 players. By the time players were level 90 anyone decently geared could solo him.[[/note]]
* The ''VideoGame/{{Shockwave}}'' games increase in scope with each installment:
** ''Invasion Earth'' is a defense of Earth against an invading force; the ''Omaha'' does not go further than the moon.
** ''Operation Jumpgate'' sees the ''Omaha'' traversing the solar system to go on the offensive and fight the aliens back through the jumpgate before they finish preparing for a second invasion.
** ''Shockwave 2'' opens twenty years after the ''Omaha'' has been lost been lost through the jumpgate, and has the crew of the ''Cortez'' exploring other solar systems, searching for the jumpgate code that will send them home.
* The first ''VideoGame/KamenRiderBattrideWar'' gave almost all the Riders the ability to access their [[SuperMode final forms]] temporarily; the sequel takes it a step further with "Ultimate State", which grants some Riders access to their movie-exclusive {{Eleventh Hour Superpower}}s, such as Series/KamenRiderOOO' Super Tatoba Combo or Series/KamenRiderFourze's Meteor Fusion States.
* ''VideoGame/{{Pikmin}}'' series:
** The second game has five types of Pikmin that need to be managed, a far larger array of enemies, much longer gameplay in the form of caves, introduces powerups in the form of sprays, and removes the day limit. The number of collectable items shoots up from 30 to ''201''.
** The third game increases the number of Onion-grown Pikmin the player has to manage, has a more flexible day limit than the first game, balances out the usefulness of the types, and has areas so large that even the Distant Spring from the first game (the biggest map of the first two) feels claustrophobic by comparison. However, it also removes some of the additions from the second game, toning down on the enemy types and axing the caves.
* Every game in the ''VideoGame/FiveNightsAtFreddys'' made the animatronics worse and worse. The first were (mostly) normal-looking, and all their creepiness came from their behaviour and murderous intent. The second had the new, shiny "Toy" versions as well the old ones -- who have been used as sources for spare parts and are mutilated as a result. The third had Springtrap, who looks like he literally ''rotted'' [[spoiler:as well as "Phantom", hallucinatory versions of past animatronics]]. The fourth features nightmare-esque corruptions with more mutilations and sharp teeth.
* ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}'' and ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'' run off [[MissionPackSequel the same basic engine framework]], have no proper cutscenes (all dialogue sequences consist of the characters GoingThroughTheMotions with a camera angle that rarely changes) apart from the rare, 2D-animated ones, and are simplistic in their exploration, with randomly-generated dungeons that have few setpieces or puzzles. Fun, but rather basic and very obviously held back by limited budgets. ''VideoGame/{{Persona 5}}'', which is almost certainly going to be Creator/{{Atlus}}' biggest game yet, is a completely different beast, with proper cutscenes, a larger overworld with minigames and masses of [=NPCs=], a protagonist that seems to have a real personality, and actual dungeon designs with new methods of traversal like stealth and platforming.
* The ''[[VideoGame/{{Nectaris}} Neo Nectaris]]'' campaign is 50% longer than that of the first game, which it [[EmbeddedPrecursor also includes]].
* The original ''VideoGame/NexusWar'' was one battle in an [[EternalRecurrence eternal cycle]] of universes ending and beginning anew. The second game made the death and rebirth of the universe a repeatedly occurring event in game mechanics terms.

[[folder: Web Animation]]
* The ''Litigation Jackson'' movie franchise in the ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'' universe. The poster for the first movie shows the main character diving out of an exploding building with a box that says "legal documents." The sequel's poster shows a similar poster only now the box says "'''important''' legal documents." Clearly the stakes have been raised.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* The first anniversary of Website/ThatGuyWithTheGlasses was a gigantic crossover brawl involving WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic, WebVideo/TheAngryVideoGameNerd, [[WebVideo/AtopTheFourthWall Linkara]], [[WebVideo/TheAngryJoeShow Angry Joe]], [[WebVideo/TheSpoonyExperiment Spoony]], WebVideo/TheNostalgiaChick, and many, many other popular internet personalities. So how did they top it for the second anniversary? Why, they got even ''more'' people together and ''invaded the micronation of Molossia,'' [[http://www.molossia.org/article202.html of]] [[http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/videolinks/thatguywiththeglasses/video-updates/21528-two-year-anniversary-trailer-kickassia course,]] in a six-party mini-series spanning about ''[[TheMovie 90 minutes.]]'' Then, for the third anniversary, they make a [[UpToEleven 2 hour and 10 minute]] fantasy film called Suburban Knights, with roughly the same amount of people, but with more plot. And the Forth (To Boldly Flee) is even longer and with even more plot, more character development and more references.
* In the first ''WebAnimation/LlamasWithHats'', Carl killed a man. In the second, he sinks a cruise ship. In the third, he topples a South American government (after pushing [[LaResistance the resistance leader]] into a giant fan... for trying to stop him from pushing ''other'' people into a giant fan). In the fourth, he [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking tracks mud on the carpet]]. [[spoiler:And nukes an entire city.]]
* ''WebVideo/TheCartoonMan'' is a live action comedy with some animated effects near the end. The sequel has a more complex plot, animated effects throughout, and an over-the-top cartoon chase scene as its climax. [[spoiler:The third is a straight-up epic that mostly takes place in an animated world, and concludes with the biggest cartoon battle yet.]]
* A series of [=YouTube=] videos that takes [=YouTube=] comments that criticize [[Creator/TheKingOfHate Dark Side Phil]], particularly his run on the Metal Gear Solid franchise, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZfxcLMN8r0 the first one is only a mere 57 minutes long]]. The second one, centered around ''Metal Gear Solid 3'', [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSH39aiTx2A was around 2 hours]], and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1ziXMBuqOQ the third one]] is around 20 minutes longer, and demonstrates what the poster feels are Phil's most prominent flaws.
* ''WebVideo/PONIESTheAnthology''. The first one was conceived as an epic compilation of WebVideo/AMVHell-esque sketches, to the point of releasing its own intro scene ahead of time as a teaser. It's 24 minutes long. The second is almost an hour longer, including an extended parody of ''Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey'' at the end. And this was coming on the heels of the show's own hard-to-top second season finale.

[[folder: Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TotalDrama'' is an example of season escalation. The first season was a parody of reality shows, and the cast did standard ''Survivor''-style challenges on an island. The second season, ''Total Drama Action'', put them on a larger abandoned film set where the challenges were based on movie genres. The third season, ''Total Drama World Tour'', was about (you guessed it) the contestants going around the world, and every episode had a no-excuse rule that contestants had to break out into song spontaneously, since Chris wanted to piggyback on the success of ''Series/{{Glee}}''. The fourth season, ''Total Drama Revenge of the Island'', had a new cast on the same island as before, but this time everything was radioactive and there were mutant animals all over the place. Chris [=McLean=], the host of the show, also gets gradually more sadistic as the series goes on. Case in point: Season 1's eliminated contestants left the island by boat. Season 4's left by ''catapult''.
* In ''WesternAnimation/BlinkyBill'' (The series done by Yoram Gross) the series got grander and more plot focused. The first series was mostly self contained episodes which could be watched in any order save the last few. Series 2 had more a storyline with the gang lost but again you could watch most episodes in any order. Series 3 meanwhile was even bigger. Blinky traveled around the world in what was easily the most arc based (characters regularly left the group once home so one could easily miss such episodes) and there were actual villains for the first time since the original movie.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* UsefulNotes/WorldWarII: Although calling it a sequel might be a bit disrespectful, World War II followed as a consequence of UsefulNotes/WorldWarI, which itself had the Franco-Prussian war as a background precursor due to France's involvment in both conflicts, and was fought on a scale that will hopefully never be seen again. Most of the world had a connection to a conflict during the time period, be it by way of occupation, direct involvement in the primary conflict, resuming old rivalries, or simply having colonial garrisons reinforced to protect against other colonial powers' opportunism. World War I, by comparison, was mostly fought in Europe.
* UsefulNotes/EvelKnievel, famed daredevil of TheSeventies, built his career on this trope; each successful RampJump he performed would inevitably be followed by another, bigger one.