Third Is 3D

For a period in the Eighties, it was not uncommon for the third film in a series to be released in 3D. With the current flood of 3D film releases, this has once again become common practice. It may or may not also be set in a foreign country.

Also, a common trend in the times of the first Video Game 3D Leaps, was to have two 2D games, and make the third a 3D one, with titles such as:

Compare Super Title 64 Advance.



Video Games
  • Duke Nukem 3D
  • Earthworm Jim
  • Grand Theft Auto III, while not the first three dimensional game in the series (as the first two also had a height dimension), was the first to feature three-dimensional camera angles, in contrast to its forerunners' top-down views.
  • Variation with the third Kojima-designed Metal Gear game, which was titled Metal Gear Solid instead of Metal Gear 3D.
    • According to Kojima, "Solid" was chosen as the name in reference to the "solid" 3D graphics, as well as their rivalry with Square. Additionally, "solid" is pronounced "soriddo" while 3D is pronounced "suriidii," so it's possible that the pronunciation was based on a pun, as well.
  • Prince of Persia 3D
  • Splinter Cell, for the 3DS remake of Chaos Theory, the third game in the series.
  • Wolfenstein. First there were the two Apple games, and then id Software bought the rights to the title and released Wolfenstein 3D (even though the Apple games don't really belong to the Wolfenstein series.)
  • The official title of Doom 3 is actually Doom³, the "cubed" is interpreted by some as meaning "3D". This one is interesting, as it announced a switch from "fake" 3D to "true" polygon-based 3D.
  • The Catacomb series: Catacomb, Catacomb II... Catacomb 3-D.
  • Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves parodied this by giving the game 3D sections to be used with the glasses included in the case. Effectively making it the game that followed the movie method.
  • Marvel vs. Capcom 3 has 3D visuals. The play mechanics and hit-boxes still remain 2D.
  • Simon the Sorcerer 3D
  • Bubsy is actually a subversion; the actual third game in the series was Bubsy in Fractured Furry Tales, released on the Atari Jaguar.
  • Fallout and 2 were isometric... and you can guess where this is going... Like Duke Nukem, however, there were a few Gaiden Games between 2 and 3.
  • RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 was in full polygonal graphics, unlike the first two games. It even allowed to ride a coaster in first-person view.
  • Dangeresque 3: The Criminal 3D!, though that one changed medium from web toon to graphical adventure game.
  • Worms 3D wasn't anywhere close to being the third game in the series, but since Worms 2 was the only one to have a number before it...
  • Puzzle Bobble 3 was titled Bust-a-Move 3DX in some countries.
  • If you consider the light-gun game Ghoul Panic as part of the Point Blank series, then it marks the spot where the games switched from 2D to full 3D characters and environments.
  • Micro Machines V3 and Sonic 3D Blast are aversions, as they weren't actually the third game in the series.
    • Played straight with Sonic 3. While it wasn't a 3D game, the title screen actually used pre-rendered 3D as opposed to the pixel art tile screens in the first 2.
  • The third DJ Hero game would have been a Nintendo 3DS spin-off entitled DJ Hero 3D. The game appears to have been cancelled, however. You have Warriors of Rock to blame for it (although Activision has acknowledged that had DJ Hero not existed to begin with, Guitar Hero may still be up and running).
  • The 3DS itself, if you take the DS as the first and DSi as the second (and dismiss the Lite and XL as revisions).
  • Nintendo 64: While not stereoscopic 3D and did not have 3D in its name, it was Nintendo's third non-handheld console and the first with Polygonal Graphics.
  • PlayStation 3: Not at first, but eventually gained 3DTV support via a firmware update.
  • Paper Mario might be an example or inversion depending on if you view Super Paper Mario as a spinoff or not.
    • Super Paper Mario might be an inversion, as normal gameplay is in 2-D, and 3-D is instead an optional feature only Mario can use.
    • Alternatively, Paper Mario: Sticker Star for the 3DS is the third game if you consider SPM to be a spinoff considering its change of gameplay.
  • Guilty Gear Xrd, kinda. It uses 3D models to imitate 2D sprites and is the third "X" game in the series, though it's technically the fourth game since the original Guilty Gear didn't use an X in the title, and 6th if you count Isuka and Overture (it is the first non-spinoff after Overture, which was explicitly numbered 2, though).
  • Semi-subverted with Rayman, which has a game called Rayman 3D, a 3DS Updated Re-release of Rayman 2, which is arguably the last one you'd expect from that title.
  • Warcraft III was fully-3D, after the first two and their expansions were isometric.
  • The first two Age of Empires games were barely isometric, while the third blew away its competition in the 3D graphics part.
  • Command & Conquer, the third games in both the Tiberium series and the Red Alert series used a 3D engine. There's also a more meta example involving Generals, the first fully-3D RTS in the series which started a third continuity to Command & Conquer. Also, if you consider Dune 2000 as a separate game instead of a remake of Dune II (which was technically the first game, being entirely unrelated to the other Dune game from 1992), then Emperor: Battle for Dune counts as well.
  • The third Gabriel Knight game, Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned, was in 3D. In hindsight its creators call jumping on the 3D bandwagon a wrong decision. Same as Full Motion Video for the second game.
  • A third Jazz Jackrabbit game was planned to be a 3D platformer, but was cancelled.
  • The third RoboCop Licensed Game for Atari ST, Amiga and DOS was in 3D, though it was simply titled RoboCop 3, and Ocean also made 2D games with the same title for other systems.
  • Data East's Side Pocket series became a "3D Polygonal Billiard Game" for its third and last installment.
  • After using sprite graphics for the first two Corpse Party titles, the third game in the series, Corpse Party: Blood Drive, switched to the Unity Engine to render the previous games' environments in 3D.
  • The first two Trine games used polygonal graphics for its backgrounds and characters, but gameplay was strictly on a two-dimensional plane. Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power brought the game into full 3D.
  • Subverted with the Kingdom Hearts franchise. While there are two primary games in the form of Kingdom Hearts I and Kingdom Hearts II, Kingdom Hearts 3D is not part of the sequence. It's instead more of a Gaiden Game on the Nintendo 3DS, while the actual third game is simply Kingdom Hearts III.
  • Excitebike 64 is the third game in the Excite series and the first with full 3D graphics and gameplay (the second game was a Japan-only Mission-Pack Sequel of the first).
  • Sniper Elite III: The series was in 3D from the start, but the third game can be played in stereoscopic 3D if you have the right sort of TV.