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Sequel Number Snarl

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"Kingdom Hearts III is the tenth game in the Kingdom Hearts series." note 

A sequel number snarl often occurs when Sequels and Interquels start filling up the chronology, but then gets difficult to understand by the addition of an differently named work or two (or five...) whose title doesn't include a number. Reboots, Alternate Continuities and even Market Based Titles can make even more hard to understand. This is sometimes intentionally invoked if there's been a notable gap since the last one, like with Assassin's Creed III and Kingdom Hearts III. After all, if the number is there, it must be a big deal!

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A subtrope of Numbered Sequels. If the numbering doesn't start with 1, but is otherwise logical, see N+1 Sequel Title. If it's chapters within a single work that are numbered unusually, that's Unusual Chapter Numbers.


Examples:

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    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering has a tradition of creating "Core Sets" which contain all the cards Wizards of the Coast to be in Standardnote . Their first intentional Core Set was 4th Edition — which was the fifth basic set after Alpha, Beta, Unlimited and Revised, but was justified as being 4th by claiming that Alpha and Beta were halves of the same edition. 'Classic' 6th Edition was the first base set to use an expansion set symbol on the cards; prior sets were identified by print quality, border size/color and date. The sets were printed every two years, using ordinal numbering, until 2007's 10th edition (10E), which then shifted to Title by Year (and annual Core Sets) with Magic 2010 (M10), anticipating the year the same way car models do. M16 was renamed with the odd-man-out title of "Magic Origins," the Origins Episode for a continuous Plot Arc concerning the "Gatewatch," the game's Super Team, which lasted until 2019. During this time, there were no Core Sets. Afterwards, Wizards resumed them; M19, M20 and M21 were released as usual, but M22 will be replaced with a Dungeons & Dragons crossover set.

    Comic Books 
  • The Incredible Hulk was originally canceled after six issues. After appearing in various other mags and becoming more popular, the Hulk was given a new solo feature in the Tales to Astonish anthology. When Marvel finally found a better distributor, The Incredible Hulk became its own mag again, but it neither started over with a new #1 nor did it continue the original numbering, it continued that of Tales of Astonish, with #102. This resulted in confusion over whether the revival should be considered a resumption of the original series or a second volume - Marvel's website uses the former interpretation while their trade collections prefer the latter.
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    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Italy, Dawn of the Dead was dubbed under the title of Zombi, spawning two unofficial sequels produced by Lucio Fulci (who was responsible for the Italian dub): Zombi 2 and Zombi 3D. In the U.S., Zombi 2 was retitled Zombie and marketed as a standalone movie with no ties to Dawn of the Dead, but Zombi 3 kept its original numbering, making it seemed as if there was another movie in-between. To add further confusion, two unrelated movies by Zombie 3 co-producer Claudio Fragasso were marketed as Zombie sequels in the U.S.: After Death (aka Zombie 4) and Killing Birds (a.k.a. Zombie 5). In the UK, all four of these movies were released under the title Zombie Flesh Eaters title and were numbered appropriately.
  • The Halloween Films. The series is fairly straightforward at first, with Halloween, Halloween II, Halloween III: Season of the Witch, Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, and Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers. Then things start to go off the rails with a sixth movie titled Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers. Following that, we get Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later, an Alternate Continuity film that totally ignores the last three movies, and then a follow up to that film called Halloween: Resurrection. It then becomes really hard to keep track of things with the 2007 reboot Halloween directed by Rob Zombie, and the followup to that film Halloween II two years later. Then, finally, we got Halloween in 2018, which is a sequel to the Original Halloween that discards all the previous films in the franchise. So, all told, there are three films in the franchise simply titled "Halloween" Two films titled "Halloween II" and a film titled "Halloween" that serves as a direct sequel to a movie titled "Halloween."
  • The Rambo series goes First Blood, Rambo: First Blood Part II, Rambo III, and then Rambo (also known as John Rambo or Rambo IV in certain countries) and finally Rambo: Last Blood. Film critic Roger Ebert pointed out that technically, Rambo III should have been entitled Rambo II: First Blood Part III, which, he supposed, would have caused film executives heads to explode in confusion.
  • The Ring:
    • A 1995 film, named Ring and re-released as Ring: Kanzenban.
    • Hideo Nakata series: Ring, Rasen, Ring 2, which ignores the events of Rasen, and a prequel Ring 0: Birthday.
    • American films The Ring, The Ring Two, and Rings (not to be confused to the short film included in the first movie's DVD).
    • Korean film The Ring Virus.
  • The Hindi-language superhero film Krrish 3, the second film to feature Hrithik Roshan as Krishna Mehra / Krrish, is the sequel to Krrish, the first film about Krishna but the second film in a series begun with Koi Mil Gaya (Found Someone), starring the same actor as Rohit, Krishna's father (who also appears in the sequels).

    Literature 
  • The Alex Rider series consisted of nine books plus an unnumbered prequel. Then a reprint with new covers for the tenth anniversary marked the prequel as the tenth book in the series. Then author Anthony Horowitz decided to bring the series back, meaning the first new book was either the tenth or eleventh, depending on how you counted it, and indeed official promotional material for the book referred to it as both at different points. Then the next book was a short story collection consisting of a mixture of new and previously published material, so nobody is sure if that is the eleventh or twelfth or even if it should be unnumbered. The next "proper" book in the series, Nightshade, is thus the eleventh if you only count the main sequence, the twelfth if you include the prequel but not the short story collection (or vice versa), or the thirteenth if you include both.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia started out in chronological order, but the fifth and sixth books were respectively an interquel (set during the Time Skip at the end of the first book) and a prequel (set before any of the other books). Later editions of the series number the books in chronological order, but many fans still maintain that reading them in publication order is more rewarding, because the prequel contains references that only make sense if you've read the other books first. As for C. S. Lewis himself, he never really cared about the order in which people read his books.
  • The books of Lorien Legacies. We present you (with the actual order in parentheses):
    • I Am Number Four (actually the first);
    • The Power of Six (actually the second);
    • The Rise of Nine (actually the third);
    • The Fall of Five (actually the fourth);
    • The Revenge of Seven (actually the fifth);
    • The Fate of Ten (actually the sixth);
    • United as One (actually the seventh; or the last). Over here, we've already lost it.
  • The numbering of the books in the Relativity series is straightforward until you get to book 7. At that point, the storyline splits off in two directions, with the two different paths referred to as "Book 7" and "Book 7½". Also, the first book of side stories is logically called "Relativity Side Stories Book 1", but its original title was "Relativity Book 4½". For bonus confusion it was released one week prior to Book 4.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who:
    • Season numbering can be quite confusing. Does the revival series start again, which means distinguishing between two Season Ones? (This is the official stance of The BBC, who classifies the classic series seasons as "seasons" and the revival series seasons as "series" - while still being at pains to point out that it's all the same TV show.) Or do you just keep going past Season 26, as many fans do? (This Very Wiki's Recap page lists both.) Steven Moffat confused things further by claiming in Doctor Who Magazine that if Matt Smith's first season wasn't Season 31 (because it's all one thing), then it was Series 1 (since it was as much a split from what had come before as the initial relaunch), before later admitting that he'd called it Series 5 in all practical situations. And then there's the split series 6A and 6B (Not to be confused with Season 6b) ... or season 32A and 32B.
    • Interestingly, this has been introduced in-universe with the Doctor themself. Originally, when regeneration was introduced, it wasn't stated that William Hartnell's character was in fact the First Doctor. The Fourth Doctor episode "The Brain of Morbius" has a scene indicating prior regenerations. However, it was later firmly established that the First Doctor was the original incarnation... until "The Timeless Children" established that the Doctor actually had numerous incarnations prior to the First (with the ones from "The Brain of Morbius" specifically included) who had been wiped from their memory. Then comes "The Name of the Doctor" and "The Day of the Doctor", which introduced a new regeneration between 8 and 9. It was stated that the Doctor doesn't consider the War Doctor to be worthy of the title, so he doesn't count in the numbering. Add in "Time of the Doctor", which stated that Ten's aborted regeneration actually counted, and you have a situation where the Twelfth Doctor could technically be considered the Fourteenth.
    • Played for laughs in a cinema prelude to Twelve's debut, where Strax notes that the numbering of Doctor gets "tricky" as you go on.
      Strax: The Eleventh Doctor... possibly the Twelfth. Technically, the Thirteenth! Who can say?
    • The Doctor themself gets around the whole business by counting personalities and regenerations separately. X Doctors, one incarnation who didn't claim the title, one extra regeneration burned.
  • The Kamen Rider franchise has a similar issue as Super Sentai/Power Rangers below, not with the number of shows, but with the official number of "main character" Riders:
    • The first Kamen Rider series had two main Riders. Takeshi Hongo was orignally intended to be the only Rider on the show, until the actor portraying him (Hiroshi Fujioka) got injured in a stunt gone wrong. The character of Hayato Ichimonji (played by Takeshi Sasaki) was created to temporarily replace Hongo as Kamen Rider's new alter-ego (with a different suit to set him apart) until Fujioka recovered from his injuries. Once that happened, Hongo regained his protagonist status as Rider 1, but Ichimonji stuck around and still made guest appearances as Rider 2, thus the presence of two main characters for the same series.
    • The second series, Kamen Rider V3, featured a secondary character named Riderman, a villain who underwent a Heel–Face Turn. Despite the fact that Riderman was not a main character and was only around for a few episodes, he shows up in many of the subsequent crossover movies and specials, where he was counted as the fourth main Rider.
    • Kamen Rider Stronger, the seventh Rider (who starred in the fifth series), had a female sidekick named Tackle. Unlike Riderman though, she is not counted as an official Rider.
    • The main riders of the eighth and ninth series, Kamen Rider BLACK and Kamen Rider BLACK RX, were originally counted as one Rider since they were different alter-egos of protagonist Kotaro Minami (RX being an upgraded form of the original Black). Thus, RX was counted as the eleventh Rider when the older Riders guest-starred in his show. However, Black and RX were later counted as separate characters when RX guest-starred in a two-part episode of Kamen Rider Decade where he teamed up with an alternate universe version of himself who retained his original Black form.
    • There were also a bunch of Riders that never had their own TV shows. Kamen Rider ZX, the official tenth rider, was a character made for a series of photo stories in magazines and stage shows before getting his own TV special. Kamen Rider Shin (the 13th Rider, if we count Black and RX separately) was intended to be the protagonist of a series of adult-oriented video movies that never made it pass its first installment, while ZO and J (14th and 15th respectively) were also one-offs from different movies. It seems that Toei's official stance was that as long as a Rider was depicted in live-action, he counted as one.
    • All of the shows from Kamen Rider Agito and onward had numerous secondary Riders (including movie-exclusive characters) in addition to the titular protagonistsnote  who now will always attain upgraded forms later in their show without fail. Kamen Rider Decade established the producers' stance on who qualifies as a official main Rider: all of the Riders from the first series to Kamen Rider Kuuga with Black and RX cemented as two separate characters at this point, and then only the titular Riders from Agito onward counted as one character each, thereby protecting the Early Installment Weirdness of both Riderman's main Rider status and the peculiar upgrade nature of Black and RX under a Grandfather Clause.
  • Power Rangers:
    • Mighty Morphin' Alien Rangers, a transitional period between the third season of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers and Power Rangers Zeo. It's commonly considered Season 3b, being too short to be a season in itself and sharing enough with Mighty Morphin' S3 to be lumped in with it.
    • Years later, part of the first season was Re-Cut and presented as a new season in itself. Officially, it was Season 18, but fans were reluctant to name glorified reruns as a full season and generally considered the following span of new episodes, Power Rangers Samurai, as the actual Season 18. Within a few years, official sources followed suit and ignored the Re-Cut in official season counts.
    • Beginning with Power Rangers Samurai, franchise installments began being stretched over two years, with the second year of each having an updated New Season, New Name, leaving fans unsure whether to count each as one two-year season or two one-year seasons. Power Rangers Megaforce complicates things further since each of its two years adapts a different Super Sentai series while the others adapt just one series for the duration. While Saban remained hush-hush on the subject, the franchise's next owner Hasbro settled for two one-year seasons as their official stance, naming 2021's Power Rangers Dino Fury the 28th season in its teaser trailer.
  • Super Sentai itself also underwent a similar situation. The first two Sentai shows, Himitsu Sentai Goranger and J.A.K.Q. Dengekitai, which Toei co-produced with Ishinomori Production, were not counted among the later Super Sentai shows that Toei produced independently starting with Battle Fever J. As a result, the premiere of Kousoku Sentai Turboranger served as the tenth anniversary of the franchise, while Gosei Sentai Dairanger was originally considered the fifteenth series. But during the production of Chouriki Sentai Ohranger, Goranger and J.A.K.Q. were retroactively added to the franchise's count in order to make Ohranger (which aired in 1995) the 20th anniversary show.

    Music 
  • Chickenfoot's second album is Chickenfoot III to spoof Sophomore Slump.
  • The original 1984 version of "Do They Know It's Christmas?" was performed by a Super Group named Band Aid. A cover was made in 1989, whose supergroup was called Band Aid II. However, when a second cover was made in 2004, the supergroup was called Band Aid 20.
  • The debut solo album of Paul McCartney, McCartney (1970), was followed years later by McCartney II (1980) and McCartney III (2020), despite his having released many other albums in between. The three are connected not through sequential order, but by the circumstances of their production: McCartney recorded each album in his own home, playing every instrument, and acting as his own producer, in essence making them truly solo efforts.
  • The Traveling Wilburys named their first album Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1, and their second album Traveling Wilburys Vol. 3 — either as a joke, or to reference their involvement in the charity album Nobody's Child: Romanian Angel Appeal, which featured a track by the Wilburys, as well as two George Harrison songs, as a supposed Vol. 2.
  • While Van Halen II is a Chronological Album Title, Van Halen III is the band's eleventh album, so named because it marked their third singer.

    Software 
  • Microsoft Windows. Internal and external version numbers haven't matched in years. Part of this complexity stems from the different versions being entirely different code bases over the years. Earlier versions were based on the old MS-DOS system (indeed, Windows was originally an add-on program to DOS, not an operating system). This applies to every version up to and including the 95/98/Me versions (DOS-based Windows 4.x, internally). Meanwhile, the NT code base was introduced as a high-end, network-friendly system, released in parallel and aimed at businesses.
    • Consumer versions started off with straightforward ordinal numbers: 1.0, 2.0, 2.1, 3.0 and then 3.1 in 1992, the version where it really got popular. Meanwhile, the first version of Windows NT was NT 3.1 (the same version number DOS-based Windows was on at the time; the user interface of NT 3.1 looked and functioned just like the DOS version).
    • Then the consumer version shifted to Title by Year: Windows 4.0 was instead "Windows 95," followed by Windows 4.1 / Windows 98 three years later. Meanwhile, Windows NT 4.0 was released at the same time as Win 95 (and looked just like it, despite not being internally compatible).
    • In the year 2000, Windows NT shifted to Title By Year too: Windows NT 5.0 was released as Windows 2000 Professional (and Windows 2000 Server). As a result, consumer Windows 5.0 was released as Windows Millenium Edition (or "Windows ME") but was a huge commercial flop.
    • The consumer and NT branches were finally unified in Windows NT 5.1, released in 2001 as Windows XP. As a result, WinXP was also the first to come in "Home" or "Professional" flavors, a distinction that continues to exist today. 18 months later, the Server edition was released as Windows Server 2003.
    • Windows NT 6.0 (released at the turn of 2007) introduced another new naming scheme by taking the name "Windows Vista". A year later, the Server edition was released as Windows Server 2008. However, Vista was poorly received, which may have prompted the new naming scheme of its successor: Windows NT 6.1, released as "Windows 7" (and accompanied by Windows Server 2008 R2). Following in these footsteps, Windows NT 6.2 was released as "Windows 8" (with Windows Server 2012) and Windows NT 6.3 was released as "Windows 8.1" (with Windows Server 2012 R2).
    • Finally, the 2015 release of Windows jumped a bunch of numbers, becoming ver. 10.0 and Windows 10 (with Windows Server 2016) instead of the obvious "Windows 9"... because naming it that would cause a Continuity Snarl where programs would confuse it for Windows 95 or 98. As of 2020 subsequent releases are still "Windows 10", with a YYMM version number added to the "public" name (e.g Windows 10 version 2004 for Windows v10.0.19041.xxx)
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    Tabletop Games 
  • The various Dungeons & Dragons editions are titled Dungeons & Dragons, Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition, Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition, Dungeons & Dragons v3.5 (a minor revision), Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition (plus its Retool Essentials, which isn't counted as a new edition), and Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition. While the relationships between early versions isn't hard and fast (they were considered the same game, just aimed at different audiences, and were largely compatible until the Basic Set was revised in 1981), there's no way 5th Edition is actually the 5th version of the game.
  • The RPG RuneQuest was originally published by Chaosium in 1978. A slightly revised 2nd edition was published not too long after. An expanded 3rd edition was released in 1983, developed by Chaosium but published by Avalon Hill as part of a deal that gave AH ownership of the name (an aspect of the deal everyone later said was a big mistake). So far straightforward, as each edition was just numbered, and fans and creators called them RQ1, RQ2, and RQ3 respectively.

    Then things went off the rails, as Avalon Hill mismanaged the line, and the game went stagnant for some years, as Chaosium didn't have the rights to the name anymore to make a new edition. Eventually Chaosium founder Greg Stafford left management of the company, taking the rights to the Glorantha setting (which he created) with him. Stafford, not Chaosium, was the one to reacquire the RuneQuest name from Avalon Hill (which had been itself bought by Hasbro). He licensed the name to Mongoose Publishing, which finally released a new edition, simply titled RuneQuest like prior editions, in 2006, though they couldn't use the previous texts as a base, as Chaosium still owned that, and had to rewrite it as close to the previous editions as they could. When a revised edition was released four years later, Mongoose titled it RuneQuest II, not to be confused with the actual second edition from the early 80s. These became known as "MRQI" and "MRQII", respectively. Mongoose lost the license just a year later, but the lead authors ofMRQII picked it up and through a new company released a 6th edition, RQ6 for short, which was really just a director's cut of MRQII.

    Re-enter Chaosium. Or more accurately, re-enter Greg Stafford to Chaosium. Although he had left management of it years before, Stafford still was a major owner of the company, and when it ran into financial trouble, he re-took control, which reunited RuneQuest with its original publisher. A new edition was announced (despite the relative newness of the 6th edition). During development they initially referred to it as "RQ4", as it's the fourth edition written by Chaosium, but it's the seventh overall (and ignoring the editions between was seen as something of an insult to their authors), so they dropped that. The full title of the new edition is RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha, which they abbreviate as "RQG". Just so happens that "G" is the 7th letter of the alphabet, so at least it's the right position. So the whole edition order goes: RQ1, RQ2, RQ3, MRQI, MRQII, RQ6, RQG.

    Video Games 
  • Ace Combat:
  • Adventure Quiz: Capcom World was followed by Adventure Quiz 2: Hatena? no Daibōken, the handheld game Capcom Quiz: Hatena? no Daibouken, and Adventure Quiz: Capcom World 2, making the sequel the third game or fourth game if counting the handheld game.
  • The first game in the Assassin's Creed series was simply Assassins Creed, the sequel was Assassin's Creed II, followed by Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood and Assassin's Creed: Revelations. It then went back to numbered sequels with Assassin's Creed III, which is the fifth game. While the snarl was justified with Brotherhood and Revelations for revisiting a previous protagonist instead of presenting an all-new story, Assassins Creed IV was numbered and a prequel to III. Numbering fell apart for good after that. Assassin's Creed: Rogue has a new protagonist and takes place between IV and III. Assassin's Creed: Unity and Assassin's Creed: Syndicate both have completely new protagonists and take place in new time periods but do not get numbers. Then we got Assassin's Creed Origins, the tenth game in the franchise, whose Assassin's story is a prequel to the rest of the games, and Assassin's Creed: Odyssey, the eleventh game in the franchise, is a prequel to that game. If sorted by the order of the modern times framing device instead of the historical time, though, it just follows production order.
  • The Battlefield series has this. Battlefield 2 was actually the third installment, for instance (which makes some sense; Battlefield Vietnam wasn't as well-received as 1942). Battlefield 3, on the other hand, is at the very least the eleventh game in the series. Battlefield 1 is actually the fifteenth entry in the series; the odd title choice is because the game covers the events of World War I.
  • BEMANI games often have spinoff games between numbered versions. The smallest example of this trope is every beatmania IIDX game from beatmania IIDX 2nd Style onwards actually being the n+1st game due to beatmania IIDX substream being released between 1st Style and 2nd Style. Things get even more complicated with other numbered BEMANI games.
  • The Bravely Default series has Bravely Default, Bravely Second... and Bravely Default II. Note that Default II is set on an entirely different world from Default and Second, the latter of which teased another adventure in Luxendarc in its Stinger. (Bravely Third, perhaps?)
  • Bubble Bobble (originally released for the arcades in 1986) was followed by numerous sequels such as Rainbow Islands: The Story of Bubble Bobble 2 (a 1987 arcade sequel that played nothing like the first game), Parasol Stars: The Story of Bubble Bobble III (a TurboGrafx-16 sequel to Rainbow Islands released in 1991), Bubble Bobble Part 2 (an NES sequel to the original game released in 1993), Bubble Symphony (the third arcade game in the series, released in 1994 and also known as Bubble Bobble II in North America) and Bubble Memories: The Story of Bubble Bobble III (the last game in the main series, released for the arcades in 1996).
  • Call of Duty had its fourth game named Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Its sequels are named Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Then there's Call of Duty: Black Ops, which went off on its own sequel-numbering scheme on top of being sequels to World at War. Everything else that's not Black Ops since then — Ghosts, Advanced Warfare, and Infinite Warfarehasn't bothered with numbers because none of them follow on from another game's story.
  • The original Clock Tower was never released outside Japan, so when Clock Tower 2 for the PlayStation was localized, they dropped the "2" from the title. The later Clock Tower II: The Struggle Within is actually a spin-off originally titled Clock Tower: Ghost Head, which at least allowed Clock Tower 3 to retain its numbering for its worldwide release.
  • The German version of Command & Conquer: Red Alert was explicitly dubbed the second part of the series (it was actually a prequel, later retconned into something distinct, or whatever). Then the actual sequel to the first game was released as part three. They stopped renumbering the games after that, and consequently released Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars as part three, too (but the public wasn't confused as everybody knew what the deal was by that point thanks to The Internet).
  • Contra:
    • Because Super Contra was already taken by the prior arcade sequel, the 1992 SNES entry in the series was instead titled Contra III: The Alien Wars in North America (the Japanese version on the other hand, went with Contra Spirits). However, the originally announced title was actually Contra IV: The Alien Wars. The reason for this being that Konami intended to release another game on the NES, titled Contra Force, to serve the position of Contra III (although one could be forgiven for assuming that Operation C was filling this position as well, since it was essentially a sequel to Super C, the NES version of the aforementioned Super Contra). But because Contra Force was delayed, Konami released Alien Wars ahead and renumbered it accordingly. This probably worked out for the better though, as Contra Force was really just a an unrelated game that was repurposed as a Contra entry in North America and was really more of a spin-off than a proper mainline entry, with the game being set in modern times and featuring human terrorists as the main adversaries instead of aliens.
    • The Contra series for the most part avoided using numbered titles, but when WayForward produced their own Contra game for the Nintendo DS in 2007, they opted to title their game Contra 4, as it was designed to be a direct follow-up to Contra III. One could assume that were no other Contra games released since Contra III if it wasn't for the fact that the aforementioned Contra Force (1992), Contra: Hard Corps (1994), Contra: Legacy of War (1996), C: The Contra Adventure (1998), Contra: Shattered Soldier (2002), and Neo Contra (2004), were all released in-between.
  • The Corpse Party series suffers from this. You have the original game, now known as Corpse Party (PC-98), and its remakes, which completely revamp the storyline and add the subtitles Blood Covered and Blood Covered: ...Repeated Fear. There's also a Fan Prequel to PC-98 called Corpse Party Zero. Repeated Fear got a sequel called Book of Shadows, the final chapter of which provides the title for its direct sequel, Blood Drive. There's also Corpse Party 2U, a Denser and Wackier side game. Another sequel set some time after that called Corpse Party 2: Dead Patient gets a proper number because it's centered on an entirely different cast while being set in the same universe. Whew.
  • Crash Bandicoot has Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time as the eighth mainline entry in the series, with the name deriving from it being a direct sequel to the original trilogy. All the games released between Warped and It's About Time weren't numbered... at least, not in their native English releases. In Japan, the fourth and fifth games, Wrath of Cortex and Twinsanity, got the Numbered Sequels treatment.
  • Crazy Castle:
    • The series starts with Roger Rabbit on the Famicom, becoming Mickey Mouse on the Game Boy, the first game in the Mickey Mouse series in Japan, and the second Crazy Castle game. Both games were released separately as The Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle in the US.
    • Mickey Mouse II became The Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle 2 in the US and Mickey Mouse and Hugo in Europe. In Japan, the Game Boy Bugs Bunny games were collected as the Bugs Bunny Collection.
    • Mickey Mouse III: Balloon Dreams was released in the US as Kid Klown in Night Mayor World.
    • Mickey Mouse IV: The Magical Labyrinth became The Real Ghostbusters in the US and Garfield Labyrinth in Europe.
    • Mickey Mouse V: The Magical Stick was released as Mickey Mouse: Magic Wands! in the US and Mickey Mouse V: Zauberstäbe! in Europe, being the last game in the Mickey Mouse series in Japan, the first Mickey Mouse in the US, and the second Mickey Mouse in Europe.
    • Bugs Bunny: Crazy Castle 3 was released in all territories as the third Crazy Castle, making it the third Bugs Bunny game in Japan and the second Bugs Bunny game released in Japan due to the game following the Bugs Bunny Collection, the sixth game after Mickey Mouse, the seventh game in the Crazy Castle series, the fourth Bugs Bunny game in the US, and the second Bugs Bunny game in Europe, and was also released in Japan as the separate game Go! Kid! Soreyuke!! Kid: Go! Go! Kid.
    • Bugs Bunny: Crazy Castle 4 is the fifth Bugs Bunny game in the US.
    • Woody Woodpecker: Crazy Castle 5 is the eleventh or twelfth game in Japan, ninth game in the US, and eighth game in Europe.
  • The Deception series goes: Tecmo's Deception (Devil's Deception in Europe), Kagero: Deception II, Deception III: Dark Delusion, Trapt, Deception IV: Blood Ties, and Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess. This gives the impression that Trapt is either, a spinoff released between Deception III and IV, or not even part of the series at all, while Nightmare Princess is just an expanded edition of Blood Ties (due to having the same numbered title) when it's actually a direct sequel. However, the Japanese titles are completely different for each game and the numbering does not match their English counterparts as a result. The Japanese series goes: Kokumeikan (which loosely translates to "Mansion of Engraved Fate"), Kagerō: Kokumeikan Shinshō (Kagerō means "Prison of Shadows" and the subtitle translates "The New Chapter of Kokumeikan"), Sōmatō (loosely translates to "Blue Torch of Evil"), Kagerō 2: Dark Illusion, Kagerō: Darkside Princess, and Kagerō: Mōhitori no Princess. While the last two games didn't have any numbered titles in Japan, the official Japanese sites have "kagero3" and "kagero3-2" on their URLs.
  • The title of the first Dokapon Kingdom translates to Dokapon Kingdom IV. The second one has 3・2・1 in the title. Most games after just don't have numbers. The first game's IV alludes to the fact that four people can play.
  • The Doom sequels consist of Doom II: Hell on Earth, Final Doom (built on the Doom II system), Doom 64 (which is not a port of a prior game in the series despite what the Super Title 64 Advance may imply), Doom 3, Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil (an expansion of the original Doom 3), the 2016 game simply titled Doom (initially announced as Doom IV) and Doom Eternal.
  • Double Dragon:
    • Super Double Dragon, released for the SNES in 1992, was not a numbered sequel to any of the prior Double Dragon games, nor did it really followed the same continuity as the previous games either, but that didn't stop publisher Tradewest from counting it when they made Double Dragon V: The Shadow Falls, a fighting game based on the animated TV show released for the SNES and Genesis in 1994, which also had no continuity with the prior games in the series. Arc System Works would eventually released an official Double Dragon IV in 2017 developed by former members of Technos, serving as a sequel to the NES versions of the first three games (rather than the original arcade games).
    • Double Dragon II could refer to the arcade game Double Dragon II: The Revenge or its console adaptations (most notably the NES version), as well as an original Game Boy sequel to the first game. The Game Boy version was actually repurposed from a canceled sequel to the Technos arcade game Renegade that was titled The Renegades, but the story and graphics were redesigned when the publisher shift from American Technos to Acclaim in order to fit into the Double Dragon canon. The game would be released in Japan as a Kunio-kun spin-off, but with chibi-style graphics similar to River City Ransom instead of the more realistic style of the original Kunio-kun.
  • Dragon Slayer includes:
    • Dragon Slayer, the first game of the Dragon Slayer series.
    • Dragon Slayer II: Xanadu, the second game of the Dragon Slayer series, and the first game of the the Xanadu series, followed by Xanadu Scenario II, Faxanadu, The Legend of Xanadu, The Legend of Xanadu II: The Last Dragon Slayer, Xanadu Next and Tokyo Xanadu.
    • Dragon Slayer Jr: Romancia, the third game.
    • Dragon Slayer IV: Drasle Family, the fourth game, known as Legacy of the Wizard.
    • Dragon Slayer V: Sorcerian, with add-ons Sorcerian Utility Vol. 1, Sorcerian Additional Scenario Vol. 1, Sorcerian Additional Scenario Vol. 2 – Sengoku Sorcerian, Sorcerian Additional Scenario Vol. 3 – Pyramid Sorcerian, Sorcerian New Scenario Vol. 1 – The Visitor from Outer Space, Selected Sorcerian 1, Selected Sorcerian 2, Selected Sorcerian 3, Selected Sorcerian 4, Selected Sorcerian 5, and Gilgamesh Sorcerian.
    • Dragon Slayer: The Legend of Heroes: The sixth Dragon Slayer game, and the first game of The Legend of Heroes.
    • Lord Monarch: Real-time strategy spin-off, considered the seventh Dragon Slayer game.
    • Dragon Slayer: The Legend of Heroes II: The eighth Dragon Slayer game, second in The Legend of Heroes series. Did not have an English release.
    • The Legend of Heroes drops Dragon Slayer from the title, and continues with The Legend of Heroes III: Shiroki Majo, The Legend of Heroes IV: Akai Shizuku, and The Legend of Heroes V: Umi no Oriuta. The localized titles are The Legend of Heroes II: Prophecy of the Moonlight Witch, The Legend of Heroes: A Tear of Vermillion, and The Legend of Heroes III: Song of the Ocean.
    • The sixth entry in The Legend of Heroes consists of The Legend of Heroes: Sora no Kiseki First Chapter, The Legend of Heroes: Sora no Kiseki Second Chapter, and The Legend of Heroes: Sora no Kiseki The 3rd, respectively localized as The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky, The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky - Second Chapter, and The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky - The 3rd.
    • The seventh entry of The Legend of Heroes is The Legend of Heroes: Zero no Kiseki and The Legend of Heroes: Ao no Kiseki, not localized into English.
    • Nayuta no Kiseki is an action spin-off in the same universe as The Legend of Heroes, not part of the main series.
    • The eighth entry in The Legend of Heroes consists of The Legend of Heroes: Sen no Kiseki I-IV, localized as The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel I-IV.
  • Koei Tecmo's Dynasty Warriors series has a less severe version of Final Fantasy's original problem in that the Japanese and English numbering are skewed by one. This is because the series started with a game called Dynasty Warriors that was a Fighting Game under the name Sangoku Musou in Japan. The "sequel" underwent a dramatic Genre Shift into the One-Man Army Hack and Slash style that is the Warriors signature and was thus titled Shin Sangoku Musou. Every subsequent game in Japan has been numbered in accordance with that. However, in English territories, Shin Sangoku Musou continued the Dynasty Warriors name by being called Dynasty Warriors 2. So Shin Sangoku Musou 2 is Dynasty Warriors 3, SSM3 is DW4, and so on.
  • Fatal Fury: The attract sequence of Real Bout Fatal Fury 2: The Newcomers markets it as the "7th Episode of Fatal Fury", the previous ones being Fatal Fury: King of Fighters (first), Fatal Fury 2 (second), Fatal Fury Special (third), Fatal Fury 3: Road to the Final Victory (fourth), Real Bout Fatal Fury (fifth) and Real Bout Fatal Fury Special (sixth). Out of these seven games, only Fatal Fury Special was an updated version of the previous game (Fatal Fury 2). The original Real Bout Fatal Fury carries over the character roster from Fatal Fury 3, but has a completely different combat system than the one used in previous games, while Real Bout Special and Real Bout 2 are each substantially different from the last as well. The pattern seems to be that numbered sequels were focused on introducing new characters, while the Special entries brought back previously retired characters. But then along came Garou: Mark of the Wolves, which wiped the whole slate clean by bringing back only Terry Bogard. Between Real Bout 2 and Garou, there was also Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition, a retelling of the original Fatal Fury with the addition of characters from later titles (plus two newcomers and Ryo Sakazaki, "returning" from Special, as Mr. Karate II), and Fatal Fury: 1st Contact, a portable version of Real Bout 2 for the Neo Geo Pocket Color.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy IV was originally released in North America as II, and Final Fantasy VI as III due to the lack of English versions of Final Fantasy II, III and V on their original platforms. Synchronizing the sequels as of VII confused westerners briefly who were not informed of the regional changes, but the numbering has caught on. The Virtual Console releases of Final Fantasy IV and VI in western regions, being straight emulation of the SNES versions, kept the earlier westernized numbering, although there were already localized ports of those game for the PlayStation and Game Boy Advance that kept the original Japanese numbering.
    • Up until Final Fantasy IX, every entry in the franchise was a stand-alone game, but after that Square released Final Fantasy X, they decided to make a direct sequel to that game under the rather awkward title of Final Fantasy X-2 (that's "Ten Two"). Since then, they have went to do sequels and spinoffs to prior and even later entries (most notably the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII line), but they all avoided using double numerals... at least until Final Fantasy XIII-2 (Thirteen Two). Final Fantasy XV itself was repurposed from an abandoned spin-off titled Final Fantasy Versus XIII.
    • Then you have Final Fantasy XI and Final Fantasy XIV, which are MMOs and have more in common with each other than with any of the other numbered entries or than the direct sequels have in common with the numbered entries that spawned them.
  • Despite consisting entirely of Numbered Sequels, the continuity in Five Nights at Freddy's is rather confusing (and that is before you add FNaF World, which is most likely in an Alternate Continuity to begin with). What we know for sure, though, is that 2 definitely takes place before 1, 4 may be set either before 2 or at the same time at 2, 3 is set after 1, and Sister Location is set before 3.
  • The third Gauntlet game could refer to Gauntlet III, a PC game, Gauntlet: The Third Encounter for the Atari Lynx, or Gauntlet Legends, which was the third proper arcade game in the series. To add to the confusion, there was also a Gauntlet 4 for the Genesis released after both, Gauntlet III and Third Encounter, even though it's really just a port of the first Gauntlet game with an added quest mode.
  • The first game in the Gex trilogy is simply called Gex, and the last one is called Gex 3: Deep Cover Gecko, but the second game is called Gex: Enter the Gecko, no "2" involved.
  • The Gorky series began with Gorky 17 (also known as Odium), then Gorky Zero and then Gorky 02.
  • Gradius:
    • The original Gradius had its fair share of direct sequels. The first of these was Salamander in 1986 (known in the U.S. as Life Force), which began development as a Gradius sequel, but was ultimately released under a different title when it was deemed too different from Gradius and is nowadays treated as a spin-off. Konami's MSX division then ended up making their own Gradius sequel titled Gradius 2 (spelled with an Arabic numeral) in 1987, which was not based on any prior arcade game. The "true" arcade sequel, Gradius II (spelled with a Roman numeral), was eventually released in 1988 and all the mainline Gradius sequels from that point on used Roman numerals.
    • In Europe, the MSX version of Gradius 2 is known as Nemesis 2, which was taken from the export title used for the arcade and MSX versions of the first game (the NES version kept the Gradius title everywhere), while the arcade version of Gradius II was retitled Vulcan Venture. Gradius 2/Nemesis 2 would have its own sequel, which is known as Nemesis 3: Eve of Destruction in Europe and GOFER no Yabō Episode II in Japan (which is derived from the subtitle of the arcade's Gradius II).
    • Since the Famicom port of Gradius II was never released outside Japan, many people at the time (particularly in the U.S.) assumed that Life Force was being counted as the second game in the series when the SNES port of Gradius III was released in the west with its numbering intact.
    • Note that the original Gradius itself, much like Salamander, began development as a sequel to another Konami game, Scramble (which was released in 1981). However, this connection was not obvious to many people until Scramble was featured in the pre-title sequence of Gradius Galaxies for the Game Boy Advance. Scramble had another sequel prior titled Super Cobra.
  • Grand Theft Auto has a total of seven mainline entries on PC and consoles. The initial sequel was naturally Grand Theft Auto 2, which retained the top-down format of the first game. It was followed by the revolutionary Grand Theft Auto III, which brought the series to 3D and pioneered the open-world action genre. Then came the two prequels, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, which were standalone games based on the GTA III engine. For a while it was speculated that Rockstar Games were going to stop numbering newer titles and simply title each game after the location they took place in. This was later proven false when the next game, Grand Theft Auto IV, resumed the numbering from where the third entry left off. This was followed by Grand Theft Auto V, making it the seventh mainline game. Of course, this isn't counting the few expansion packs that were made (the two London Mission Packs for the original game and Episodes from Liberty City for GTA IV), nor the four portable games (with the two City Stories games, originally for PSP, getting ports on PS2).
  • Guilty Gear started off simple enough, with the first game (subtitled The Missing Link in certain regions), and then X and XX (and the latter's many retoolings). But then Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus ended up being a sequel plot-wise to the original XX, and then there was Guilty Gear 2: Overture (which made a Video Game 3D Leap and underwent a Genre Shift in addition to jettisoning most the cast by means a Time Skip), and all the X and XX games were declared to be Gaiden Games (albeit in-canon Gaiden Games). Fair enough, but then came the next game in the main continuity: Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-, which was followed by Guilty Gear Xrd -REVELATOR- and Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2. The next installment would then drops the Xs completely, being titled Guilty Gear -STRIVE-.
  • The Guitar Hero and Rock Band series have this as well.
    • First we have Guitar Hero I-III, simple. Then we have World Tour, which is counted as the official fourth game in the series. Then 5, yes 5, no Roman numerals, and Warriors of Rock, which is counted as the sixth entry in the main series. Then we have the band-centric games. The Aerosmith game was released in between III and World Tour, weirdly the same year as World Tour, but built on III's engine, Metallica's game was released between World Tour and 5, followed by Van Halen's game. Then we have expansions! Rocks the 80s was made after II but before III, Smash Hits was released before 5 and after Metallica, and Band Hero was released only a few months after 5. Then we have the portable games for the DS, 3 in all, and various mobile games! To say Activision milked the franchise would be an understatement. Then there's the reboot, Guitar Hero Live, which was a revamp to the series. If we were only to count the titles released to consoles, it'd be 13.
    • Rock Band, luckily, has a more manageable list of games. They have Rock Bands 1-4. In 2009, 2 games were released in between 2 and 3; The Beatles: Rock Band and Lego Rock Band. In 2010, they released Green Day: Rock Band several months before 3 came out. There were also some mobile games and even track packs (which were just DLC packs put on a disc with a download code to export them to the main series), the only one of any real worth being the AC/DC Live pack, which you couldn't buy through the regular DLC store due to the band's stance on how they want their music sold. They also had Rock Band Blitz out in 2012, which is more of a revamped version of their previous Amplitude and Frequency titles that was more like the track packs, since the main songs in the game were available to get through buying it before they eventually came to the DLC store. Altogether, it's 9, with the main games, band-centric games, spin-offs, and the AC/DC track pack, not counting the mobile games.
  • The Half-Life series started with Half-Life, but then three subsequent Lower-Deck Episode games taking place at the same time chronologically, Half-Life: Opposing Force, Half-Life: Blue Shift, and Half-Life: Decay, were released. Then we get into Half-Life 2, which is followed by Half-Life 2: Episode 1, despite the fact that it's technically the second part if we count Half-Life 2 as the first HL2 episode. Half-Life 2: Episode 2 is similarly the third part of the HL2 story arc. Half-Life: Alyx is an interquel set five years before Half-Life 2 but it also presents itself as the fourth part of the HL2 story arc by dropping a Late-Arrival Spoiler about Episode 2 in its very first screen, getting the player back on track about what previously happened in the series during a real-life Sequel Gap of 12 years because Alyx ends with a Cosmic Retcon on said event in Episode 2, The Stinger jumping back forward to a retconned Episode 2 ending. There's also the bonus level demos Half-Life Uplink and Lost Coast.
  • The 2016 video game simply titled Hitman is the sixth entry in the Hitman series, making Hitman 2 and Hitman 3 the seventh and eighth game respectively. The reset numbering gives the impression that they're part of a rebooted trilogy of games, but in reality they're still in-continuity with the older Hitman games.
  • The Homeworld franchise consists of Homeworld (1999), Homeworld: Cataclysm (2000), Homeworld 2 (2003), and the prequel Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak (2016), originally announced as Homeworld: Shipbreakers.
  • The Data East arcade game Joe & Mac was originally subtitled Tatakae Genshijin (Fighting Caveman) in Japan. The first sequel to the series, Tatakae Genshijin 2: Rūkī no Bōken (The Adventure of Rookie), was released for the Super Famicom and did not starred Joe and Mac (hence the different subtitle) , so it was retitled Congo's Caper overseas. When Tatakae Genshijin 3 brought back the original duo, that game ended becoming Joe & Mac 2: Lost in the Tropics in North America. Simple enough? However, the European version went back to the original numbering and became Joe & Mac 3, likely due to the existence of a separate arcade sequel titled Joe & Mac Returns that was released during the same year.
  • Kingdom Hearts: The series features Kingdom Hearts, Kingdom Hearts II, and Kingdom Hearts III, which are all native to home consoles, feature a similar "Command Menu" gameplay style, and follow Sora, Donald and Goofy. However, the series also features several unnumbered games and prequels originally released on a mix of handheld games (Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days, Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance), mobile phones, and in one case, internet browsers. These unnumbered games have significant differences from the numbered games, often featuring unique gameplay and/or different player characters, which may explain why they don't get numbers, but this tends to confuse newcomers since the lack of a number implies wrongly that they aren't totally necessary to understand the overarching plot. This naming convention has created a situation where, in release order, Kingdom Hearts is the first game, Kingdom Hearts II is the third game, and Kingdom Hearts III is the eleventh.
  • The first installment of FromSoftware's first-person dungeon crawler series King's Field was only released in Japan, being a launch game for the original PlayStation over there. As a result, King's Field II dropped the numeral for its western release, while King's Field III was renumbered King's Field II. The fourth entry avoided this whole numbering conundrum somewhat by being titled King's Field: The Ancient City in the U.S., but it was still titled King's Field IV in Japan and Europe.
  • The Legacy of Kain series started out with Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain. The sequel shifted the subtitle to the forefront and was titled Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver. This was followed by Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver 2 and then by Legacy of Kain: Blood Omen 2, the reasoning being that they were sub-series, the Blood Omen games featuring Kain as protagonist and the Soul Reaver games following Raziel. The developers finally did away with the "numbered sub-series" idea when they released the fifth and currently final game titled Legacy of Kain: Defiance which follows both.
  • LittleBigPlanet only counts the console games with numbered sequels. This means that LittleBigPlanet 2 is actually the third game in the series (or fourth, if you count spin-off Sackboy's Prehistoric Moves), because of the release of the PSP LittleBigPlanet in between the original PS3 LittleBigPlanet and LBP2. This also means that LittleBigPlanet 3 can be anywhere from the fifth to the eighth game in the series due to the release of LittleBigPlanet Vita between LBP2 and LBP3, plus the release of two more spin-offs, LittleBigPlanet Karting and Run Sackboy! Run!
  • The 2014 edition of the Madden NFL series was titled Madden 25 after the 25th anniversary of the original Sega Genesis entry before resuming to the standard numbering for 2015 edition. It remains to be seen what they'll do when they eventually get to the 2025 edition.
  • Metal Gear:
    • The original Metal Gear Solid got its title due to the fact that it was the third (canonical) game in the series following the original Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, both on the MSX2, as well as the first game in the series to be in 3D (note the pun on a three-dimensional object being a "solid"). But because of the obscurity of the first two MSX2 games due to their lack of North American releases (Solid Snake in particular was never ported to any other platform outside the MSX2 at the time), the next mainline in the series was not Metal Gear 4, but rather Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, giving the impression that the first Metal Gear Solid was a more successful spin-off to the MSX2 games rather than a direct sequel to them. The remaining members of the canon, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (actually a prequel), Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker note  and Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Painnote , followed suit. The sole exception to the naming scheme is Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, a Spin-Off whose title is somehow even weirder than the rest.
    • While the MSX2 Metal Gear games were never released in North America back in their day, Konami did end up making two games in the series for the NES. The first Metal Gear on the NES was a reworked port of its MSX2 counterpart, but the second one was a completely different sequel titled Snake's Revenge that actually started development before Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, which technically makes Metal Gear 2 the third installment and Metal Gear Solid the fourth one, although Snake's Revenge was never localized in Japan (despite being developed there). While the in-game plot summaries in Metal Gear Solid makes it clear that it's a sequel to Solid Snake and not Snake's Revenge, it was still common to make the mistaken assumption that they were different titles for the same game or even refer to the MSX2 entries as "the first two NES games."
    • Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops for the PSP was initially counted as the sixth canonical entry in the series, being developed between the release of Metal Gear Solid 3 on the PS2 and Metal Gear Solid 4 on the PS3. But the game was developed with very minimal involvement from series's director Hideo Kojima. When Kojima himself later directed Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker (the seventh game in the series he directed), which was also on the PSP, he demoted Portable Ops to a broad strokes side-story status, going as far as to throw in a Discontinuity Nod within the game's script. In fact, Peace Walker originally had the working title of Metal Gear Solid 5 in an attempt to drive the point that it was a legitimate follow-up to Metal Gear Solid 4 in spite of the switch from the advanced PS3 to the more limited PSP hardware. And while the game was ultimately released without a numbered title, it would later be given a remastered release on the PS3 and Xbox 360 (a privilege that was not given to Portable Ops) and the actual Metal Gear Solid V would eventually serve as a direct sequel to Peace Walker.
    • Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain were originally intended to be portions of a single game (Metal Gear Solid V), but a prolonged development period resulted in Ground Zeroes being sold by itself as a stand-alone game a year before The Phantom Pain was released in order recoup production costs. Because of this, it is unclear whether Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain should be counted as two separate entries or as a single work divided into separate episodes. While Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain were eventually re-released as part of a single bundle, they still function as separate applications within the same disc, with the option to switch from one title to the other from the main menu.
  • Metroid: Super Metroid and Metroid Fusion were called "Metroid 3" and "Metroid 4", respectively, in their opening sequences. Metroid Prime came out the same time as Fusion, and was intended to be just an aside between the original and Return of Samus. But then the Prime series was a runaway success, creating two sequels and three spin-off titles. And then, there's Metroid: Other M, an interquel between Super and Fusion, that came out in 2010. This may prompt Nintendo to drop the classic system of numbering if the 2D sequel to Fusion ever comes out.
  • Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe started development as the eighth mainline installment of the Mortal Kombat franchise before Warner Bros. got involved with the project and turned it into a crossover with their DC Comics characters, which led to the company buying the IP and forming NetherRealm Studios after the original developer Midway went out of business. Despite this, the next entry, an in-continuity reboot simply titled Mortal Kombat, was still referred to as "Mortal Kombat 9" by Ed Boon on social media, suggesting that Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe still counted as a mainline entry. This would be reflected by the naming choices for the two entries afterward, Mortal Kombat X (which is officially meant to be the letter "X", but was obviously chosen to invoke the image of a Roman numeral ten) and Mortal Kombat 11 (the first numbered title in the series since Mortal Kombat 4).
  • The Mother series is straightforward enough... in Japan. Outside of Japan, Mother 2 was the first game released, as EarthBound. However, the first Mother game was initially considered for release in the United States, and a nearly finished prototype to this end, titled Earth Bound (spelled as two words), was found in the late 1990s. For the purposes of keeping things straight, this English version of the game was commonly referred to as "EarthBound Zero" in fan communities until its official release on the Wii U Virtual Console as EarthBound Beginnings in 2015. Mother 3, which still remains officially unlocalized, is mostly called by its Japanese title and never as EarthBound 2.
  • The arcade sequels to OutRun consist of Turbo OutRun (1989), OutRunners (1993), OutRun 2 (2003), OutRun 2 SP (2004) and OutRun 2 SP SDX (2006).
  • Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures is more like the tenth Pac-Man sequel.
  • Resident Evil:
    • Resident Evil – Code: Veronica, despite being essentially a sequel to the first three Resident Evil games on the original PlayStation, specifically Resident Evil 2 due to its focus on Claire Redfield and her search for her brother Chris, as well as the return of antagonist Albert Wesker to the series, it was not given a numbered title (in contrast to Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, which was more of a parallel sequel to the first Resident Evil, with the first half of the story actually taking place before 2). The reason for this being that Code: Veronica was co-developed by Capcom and Sega with the intent of being a Dreamcast-exclusive. When Sega left the hardware race and discontinued the Dreamcast, the game was quickly ported to the PS2 in the form of an expanded edition with additional cutscenes. Ironically the next numbered entry in the series, Resident Evil 4, underwent a similar situation: it was originally designed as a GameCube-exclusive, but was quickly ported to the PS2 due to the underwhelming sales of the Resident Evil remake and its prequel, Resident Evil 0, which were both intended to bring fans of the series to Nintendo's console.
    • The next subtitled entry in the series was Resident Evil: Revelations for the Nintendo 3DS in 2012, which was released a few months before Resident Evil 6 during the same year. Originally it was meant to be a standalone side-entry, but its success led to the game being ported to various home HD consoles and PC, eventually getting a sequel in the form of Resident Evil: Revelations 2, which was released on multiple platforms from the get-go. Both games take place between numbered entries (the original Revelations is set between Resident Evil 4 and 5, while Revelations 2 is set between 5 and 6) and involve characters from the mainline titles, but they're marketed as part of a spin-off line separate from the mainline series.
  • Similar to Hitman above, Samurai Shodown opted for its 2019 installment to share its title with the very first entry in the series, giving the impression of, at the very least, a Soft Reboot. The reality is that, as of this writing, it's the second game chronologically, coming between V (known as Samurai Spirits Zero in Japan) and the original. Looking at the rest of the series timeline (as seen here) only complicates matters, as the games are in Anachronic Order (I > III > IV > II, followed by the 64 titles, Sen/Edge of Destiny, and Warriors Rage) and SamSho VI (the tenth installment, released after V and its Special update but before Sen) isn't even canon to begin with.
  • Serious Sam: The Second Encounter (or "TSE") and Serious Sam 2 (sometimes referred to as "SS2"" or "II") are actually two different games. The former is a Mission-Pack Sequel to the original, while the latter is a completely new installment—released well after The Second Encounter—with its own art style, setting and story line. Both of these were followed by Serious Sam 3: BFE ("Before the First Encounter") a prequel to the original game (referred heretofore as "TFE", or "The First Encounter"). And that's not counting Serious Sam HD and Serious Sam: The Second Encounter HD which are Updated Re-releases of TFE and TSE, respectively.
  • The webgame Shaun the Sheep: Home Sheep Home had a sequel, with the same basic gameplay but slightly different graphics and more of a story, called Home Sheep Home 2: A Little Bit Epic: Lost in London. The following two games, having the same graphics, were apparently seen more as Expansion Packs to the second game, so they were also called Home Sheep Home 2: A Little Bit Epic, with the third subtitles being Lost Underground and Lost in Space.
  • In addition to the numbered games, Shin Megami Tensei has three other games officially recognized as mainline titles: Shin Megami Tensei if..., Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey, and Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse. Beyond those three, there are other games that are treated as mainline in certain cases, but not given the same standing or consistency as the aforementioned three, most notably the Famicom games based on the Digital Devil Story novels and the Xbox title Shin Megami Tensei NINE.
  • Shinobi:
    • Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master happens to be the third Shinobi game for the Sega Genesis. However, the first two Shinobi games on the Genesis were both sequels as well. The Revenge of Shinobi, was a direct sequel to the original Shinobi released for the arcades and Master System, while Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi was marketed as the sequel to The Revenge of Shinobi in western territories, making it unclear which games Shinobi III is counting in its numbering. However, the lineage is much clearer with the Japanese titles: The Revenge of Shinobi and Shinobi III were originally known as The Super Shinobi and The Super Shinobi II respectively, making them a distinct line from the more arcade-inspired Shadow Dancer (which was loosely based on the arcade sequel to Shinobi of the same name). It helps that the Mega Drive version of Shadow Dancer was never actually part of the same continuity as The Super Shinobi series in Japan — it branches off completely from the original Shinobi and stars Joe Musashi's son Hayate — but the plot and the protagonist's identity were changed in the English localization in order to avoid confusing western players with an alternate timeline.
    • The Master System also had its own exclusive sequel to Shinobi titled The Cyber Shinobi in 1991, which was subtitled Shinobi Part II on the title screen.
    • A Game Gear game titled Shinobi II: The Silent Fury was released in 1992 (just a year before Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master), but this was actually a sequel to the first Shinobi game on the Game Gear, which was an original game and not a port of the arcade version. The in-game titles for both games are The G.G. Shinobi and The G.G. Shinobi II: The Silent Fury.
  • Silent Hill had three numbered sequels, a prequel (Origins/Zero), a subtitled sequel (Homecoming), and a reimagining of the first (Shattered Memories). Silent Hill: Downpour was tentatively titled "Silent Hill 8" until someone realized the problem.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
  • Soul Series:
  • An Older Than the NES example of this is Atari's Sprint series of arcade games. Sprint 2 started the series in 1976, followed by Sprint 4, Sprint 8, Sprint One (switching from Arabic numerals to words), Super Sprint, Championship Sprint, and finally Badlands (which is Sprint in a post-apocalypse setting). The confusing thing is that the numbers in the first four Sprint titles do not indicate the game's order in the series. It actually indicates how many human players can race at the same time. So Sprint One got its name for being a one player game, even though it was the fourth in the series chronologically.
  • StarCraft was initially released on 31 March 1998. By 2009 the franchise included various novels, add-ons, etc., as well as a major Expansion Pack, Brood War. When Starcraft II came out in 2010, there was a noticeable Double Take by some fans at the fact that it was "only" the first sequel. As though to confuse things further, it came in three parts (Wings Of Liberty, Heart of the Swarm and Legacy Of The Void), and it's difficult to know whether to consider each of them separate video games or expansion packs or what.
  • The Star Wars: Dark Forces series continues the movies' approach at long chains of subtitles. The games include Star Wars: Dark Forces, Star Wars: Dark Forces II - Jedi Knight, Star Wars: Jedi Knight - Mysteries of the Sith (an expansion pack), Star Wars: Jedi Knight II - Jedi Outcast, Star Wars: Jedi Knight - Jedi Academy.
  • Street Fighter:
    • Each numbered Street Fighter title since Street Fighter II is treated by Capcom as it was its own series of games. This was because rather than working immediately on Street Fighter III after completing Street Fighter II: The World Warrior (the first iteration), Capcom decided to do reiterations of the same game before working a full-fledged sequel. It started simple enough with Street Fighter II: Champion Edition (the second iteration), which turned the CPU-only boss characters into playable fighters and allowed for mirror matches, but then they made three more upgrades after that: Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting (third entry), Super Street Fighter II (fourth entry) and Super Street Fighter II Turbo (fifth entry). Even after Super Turbo, Capcom ended up working on a bunch of other Street Fighter installments, such as the Street Fighter Alpha prequel series, Street Fighter: The Movie tie-in game, the polygonal Street Fighter EX series and crossovers such as X-Men vs. Street Fighter and Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter, before eventually releasing Street Fighter III: New Generation. Naturally, Street Fighter III would have its own iterations in the form of 2nd Impact and 3rd Strike, as did Street Fighter IV with Super Street Fighter IV, Arcade Edition and Ultra Street Fighter IV.
    • Street Fighter Alpha: Warriors' Dreams was not a numbered Street Fighter entry, despite being the first all-new Street Fighter game developed by Capcom since Street Fighter II: The World Warrior (not counting The Movie tie-in games), partly because it was a much lower-budget game that was made to get rid of unsold/returned stocks CPS1/CPS2 boards, but also because it was a prequel to Street Fighter II, so it was treated as its own side-series of games, with the follow-ups being numbered like conventional sequels (e.g. Street Fighter Alpha 2, Street Fighter Alpha 3). This logic felt out the window when the eventual Street Fighter IV series turned out to be an interquel set between II and III, as well as the succeeding Street Fighter V, likely a result of the lukewarm reception of the III series back in its day.
    • Chronologically the series goes SFI -> Alpha & Alpha 2 (the second game overwrites the first one for the most part) > Alpha 3 > SFII (each iteration overwrites the last) > SFIV > Super/Ultra SFIV > SFV > SFIII: New Generation & 2nd Impact > 3rd Strike.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • The mainline Mario games have two different games titled Super Mario Bros. 2: the original Japanese game (aka Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels) and the game that the rest of the world is familiar with (adapted from the Japan-exclusive Doki Doki Panic). This was done since Lost Levels was essentially a level pack for the first game with the difficulty spiked up, and Nintendo of America wanted a more original and less frustrating game (presumably to avoid the conundrum of having to renumber Super Mario Bros. 3 when it came time to localize that game in the West, which is what would've happened had they decided to just skip Lost Levels completely without releasing a substitute game). Ultimately, both games were recursively made available in both Japan and overseas (with Japan receiving Super Mario Bros. 2 under the name Super Mario USA), and were further canonized by the inclusion of their features in future games, so the snarl is now limited to their names.
    • Strictly speaking, Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 and Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island aren't really proper sequels of their respective predecessors, but instead spin-offs, which is why their own respective sequels dropped the original titles and went by the subtitle instead (e.g. Wario Land II instead of Super Mario Land 4, Yoshi's Island DS instead of Super Mario World 3). Interestingly, the original Super Mario World was originally going to be titled Super Mario Bros. 4 and this working title was still used on the packaging of the Japanese version (it isn't used in the actual game); meanwhile, Yoshi's Island didn't have the World 2 moniker in Japan, so the full name was Super Mario: Yoshi's Island.
    • Wario Land gets another problem due to the release of Virtual Boy Wario Land, which is the second game in the series but isn't counted amongst the numbered titles. This means that Wario Land II, 3, and 4 are actually the third, fourth, and fifth games.
    • The Super Mario Advance series has its own numbering system, despite the games themselves simply being Game Boy Advance ports of the NES and SNES titles. The Advance games are released in no particular order: the first game is a port of the U.S. version of Super Mario Bros. 2, the second game is a port of Super Mario World, the third game is a port of Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island (thankfully, they didn't use the full title of Yoshi's Island, dropping the Super Mario World 2 portion to make room for Super Mario Advance 3 instead), and the fourth game has the rather weird title of Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3.
    • New Super Mario Bros. 2 is actually the third game in the New Super Mario Bros. series; the current pattern is that only the portable titles are numbered, while the home titles are named after the console they're on (the actual second entry is New Super Mario Bros. Wii).
    • Mario Party has the same problem as the NSMB series: only console entries are numbered, so you have the original game plus nine numbered sequels. Then you add in all of the handheld games, which were released in-between the console games: -e (which makes use of the e-Reader accessory for the Game Boy Advance, hence the name), Advance, DS, Island Tour, Star Rush, and The Top 100 (the 100 referring to the amount of minigames in it; obviously it's not the 100th game). Super Mario Party doesn't have a number, but is the 17th game in the series, counting all of the above.
  • Tales of Eternia was released in North America on the original PlayStation as Tales of Destiny II due to Mattel owning the trademark for the name "Eternia" (the title remained unchanged in Europe, where it was released on the PSP). This would eventually cause a bit of confusion among fans when an actual Tales of Destiny 2 was released in Japan for the PS2, which was never released overseas.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:
    • The first TMNT video game for the NES was localized to the Japanese Famicom under a completely different title, Geki Kame Ninja Den (which literally means "Fierce Turtle Ninja Story"). When the sequel, TMNT II: The Arcade Game, was localized, they kept the English title and dropped the numeral and subtitle. Because of this, when TMNT III: The Manhattan Project was released in Japan, it was renumbered TMNT2.
    • Also worth noting that TMNT II and the later-released TMNT IV: Turtles in Time on the SNES were ports of arcade games and originally did not have numbered titles (or even subtitle in the case of the first arcade game), which were only added in order to take into account the first TMNT game on the NES and Manhattan Project, which were console originals. Because of this, the arcade version of Turtles in Time is sometimes called TMNT2 since it was the second arcade game.
  • Tony Hawk's Pro Skater were numbered up to 4. The next three used subtitles instead. Then the eighth installment was called Project 8, followed by four more games (plus spin-offs) without numbers. The series is capped off with a rushed cash-in released in 2015 simply named Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5.
  • Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is nowhere near the second game in the Wolfenstein franchise, nor is it the second game in its continuity (it's the fifth), nor is it even the sequel to the game simply titled Wolfenstein, as Wolfenstein: The New Order and Wolfenstein: The Old Blood were both released and take place between the two. The only sensible way to interpret the "II" is the fact that it's the second standalone game in the series to be developed by MachineGames. A common joke among fans is to suggest that the "II" is actually an "11", since it is technically the eleventh game to be released in the series, if you count the Mission-Pack Sequels Spear of Destiny & Enemy Territory and the spin-off Wolfenstein RPG.
  • Wonder Boy:
    • The series initially consisted of two games: the original (a side-scrolling platformer) and its sequel, Wonder Boy: Monster Land (which was an action RPG). Both were originally arcade games, but were much more popular as Sega Master System games. In Japan, the second game was retitled Super Wonder Boy: Monster World when it was ported to the console due to the existence of the similarly-titled Super Cassette Vision game Waiwai Monsterland. The export version of the port, however, didn't had to deal with this conundrum and thus, has a title much closer to the original arcade version, adding a preposition in the middle (Wonder Boy in Monster Land).
    • Two different games were then made to serve the position of Wonder Boy III. The first one was yet another arcade game, a forced-scrolling platform/shoot-'em-up hybrid titled Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair. The arcade game only saw a limited release outside Japan, with the only console ports being a Mega Drive version that was only released in Japan and Europe, and a TurboGrafx-CD version that was released in North America without the Wonder Boy branding. The other and much better known version of Wonder Boy III was the Master System sequel, Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap, which stuck to the action RPG formula of the second game without the trappings of being an arcade game. This sequel was initially available only in North America and Europe, although it later got a Japanese release when it was ported to the Game Gear under the title Monster World II: Dragon no Wana, taking its title from the second game's Japanese console port.
    • The next game in the series was given the dual-numbered title in the form of Wonder Boy V: Monster World III in Japan (which implies that Monster World II on the Game Gear was Wonder Boy IV, despite never actually using that title) and Wonder Boy in Monster World everywhere else (since the Monster World name was never used outside Japan up to this point).
    • The sixth and final game in the series, Monster World IV, dropped the Wonder Boy name completely, since it featured a female protagonist. This final entry in the series was not officially localized until its re-release on digital platforms in 2012.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 

    Other 
  • Apple:
    • Apple's iPhone. First we have the original iPhone, which is followed by the iPhone 3G, named so because of its 3G network capabilities, but leading to confusion as to where the iPhone 2G went. (Answer: The original iPhone ran on 2G networks, so "iPhone 2G" became a working Fan Nickname for it.) The iPhone 3G was followed by the iPhone 3GS, a phone nearly identical to the iPhone 3G in terms of design, but with a better camera and processor (the "S" stands for speed.). Logically, a lot of people thought the next iPhone would run on 4G networks, and thus would be called the 4G. The next iPhone did not have such functionality, though. Instead, it was named the iPhone 4, since it was the fourth generation iPhone Apple produced. Logically again, people inferred that the next iPhone would be called the iPhone 5. Wrong again! It's the iPhone 4S, still without 4G capabilities (unless you count AT&T's experimental HSPA+ as 4G). It also established that Apple didn't consider "S" models to be a new generation, meaning the iPhone 4 really should have been the iPhone 3, but that would probably have been confusing following the 3GS. Apple's next phone (at long last, with 4G LTE capabilities) was then named the iPhone 5... despite being Apple's sixth-generation iPhone. Apple appeared to have settled into a comparatively sane pattern by following iPhone 5 with 5S (along with 5C), 6 and 6 Plus (a phablet model), 6S and 6S Plus, and 7 and 7 Plus. This trope comes back in full force in the eleventh-generation lineup: the iPhone 8, the iPhone 8 Plus, and the iPhone X (pronounced "iPhone ten")—named for the tenth anniversary of the original iPhone. These were followed by the iPhone XS, XS Max (what used to be called "Plus") and XR, the budget-minded member of the family; the old "Speed" designation can still apply, but Apple have confirmed that they are not supposed to, and that XR very specifically means nothing. Finally, the iPhone 11 (replacing the XR), 11 Pro (replacing the XS) and Pro Plus (replacing the XS Max) were announced in September 2019... followed by the 12, 12 Mini, 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max, skipping the entire "S" generation once again.
    • Apple's operating systems have some odd numbering methodologies too. iOS, originally iPhoneOS, has progressed normally from version 1.0 onward, though when they started basing other operating systems on it, namely tvOS and iPadOS, they started with versions 9.0 and 13.0 respectively, so all the version numbers would match. Meanwhile, macOS (formerly Mac OS X and OS X) has been at version 10 since 2001, with new versions given 10.x designations, mainly because the X (Roman numeral ten) was a large part of the brand identity until 2016, but it stayed at version 10 even after the X branding was dropped, until 2020 when Apple finally incremented the major version number to 11 with macOS Big Sur.
  • Samsung Galaxy smartphones look positively sedate in comparison to Apple. Their first flagship phone, the Galaxy S, launched in 2010, with the Galaxy S2 following in 2011 and so on. In 2020, Samsung incremented the Galaxy S11 to the Galaxy S20, officially switching from ordinal numbers to Title by Year. (This partially makes up for their Kitchen Sink Included level of variety — the Galaxy A, the Galaxy J, the Tab, the Note which introduced the "phablet" style, the M — all of which have their own numbering schemes, and some of which repeat: there have, for instance, been two Galaxy A9s, which are differentiated solely by model year, as well as an A40, an A90, and eventually an A71.) Finally, there were rumors that the Galaxy S21 would actually be called the Galaxy S30, abandoning the "Title By Year" scheme after a mere one model year for something catchier; while these rumors turned out to be false, the fact that they gained traction at all speaks volumes.
  • Sony's Xperia smartphone line has been absolutely chaotic. Aside from being named "Xperia," there's nothing in common. Its first year of models was a veritable kitchen sink of letters and names, until they finally settled on an Xperia Z1 flagship in 2013. This incremented by year for five years before Sony gave up and went back to Word Salad Titles in the form of the Xperia XZ, which was followed by the XZ1 (yes seriously), XZ2 and XZ3... until Sony gave up and rebooted their flagship lines with the Xperia 1 in 2019. Naturally, this was followed by the Xperia 1 II — yes, 1 in Arabic, 2 in Roman — in 2020, and the Xperia 1 III in '21. (The 1 is also augmented by the Xperia 5 "compact" and Xperia 10 "mid-range" models, which also use Roman ordinals.)
  • OnePlus, an upstart phone maker from China, has had some similar bobbles. It has gone through 9 ordinal numbers, albeit skipping the One Plus 4 model because Four Is Death, but has augmented this with T models ("One Plus 6T") starting with the 5, which some snide commentators have taken as a display of dominance over Apple (since T is the next letter over S).
  • Nvidia's GeForce series of graphic processors starts with the GeForce 256 and then goes 2-4, FX, 6-9 before switching to hundred numbers (e.g. 100, 200, 300) and then to tens with the current GeForce 10 and the upcoming GeForce 20.
  • Microsoft Windows has had its share of travails. See the "Software" section above.
  • Popes named Stephen. In 752, a priest from Rome named Stephen was elected to become pope, and would have been the second pope with that name. But he died suddenly of a stroke a couple of days later before being fully installed. Confusion exists as to whether he counts as a pope, and with it the numbering of subsequent popes named Stephen, who are either Stephen II through IX or III through X, depending on the interpretation; that numbering didn't become common until the 10th century, after most of these popes had come and gone, doesn't help. Many sources would list both numbers, showing "Stephen III (IV)", for example.
  • Every wrestling fan know that Ric Flair is touted as a 16 time world champion by the WWE. However, this is not actually true, as he has held more than 16 world titles, but the exact number varies, sometimes up to 25. He himself, however, considers himself a 21 time world champion. His reigns include:
    • 12 NWA World Heavyweight Championships (3 of which, however, are considered unofficial. Only 8 of these title reigns are recognized by WWE).
    • 8 WCW World Heavyweight Championships (Only 6 are counted by WWE).
    • 2 WWE/F World Championships (both counted).
    • And 2 WCW International World Heavyweight Championships (neither of which are counted).

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