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Stopped Numbering Sequels

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Oh look, they're going to spell it with a "4" instead of "E"
That's completely fucking bonkers, but let's just wait and see!
No wait, they've changed it back, so I guess that point is moot
Oh no wait, they're taking off the 4 to call it a
A practice that in recent years I have come to abhor
But I'm willing to ignore, 'cause they're making a—
! ...Thief.

A common subversion to Numbered Sequels. As the number of installments of a series goes up, the less likely it has a number behind.

Usually the series and sequel titling go in the following order (although only some series go through all five steps):

  1. First Installment
  2. Numbered Sequel
  3. Numbered sequel + subtitle (or 3D).
  4. Subtitle
  5. Recycled Title
  6. At this point, anything can happen, including the subtitle becoming the main title.

There are several reasons for this:

  • Creators might be embarrassed that they have made so many sequels. Alternatively, they might be trying to help people forget how many sequels they're currently on. And in both cases it's for the same reason: in general, the more sequels there are, the less likely any of them are to be, well, good.
  • The plotline of the story is nonlinear and there are lots of prequels and midquels.
  • Especially among video games, the franchise may have Gaiden Game subseries. However, then it can easily be Double Subverted, depending on the situation.
  • The studio might feel that a sequel numbered too high might be avoided by audiences that could perceive a Continuity Lockout.
    • Related, often when a video game comes to a new console generation, it will drop the number to attract gamers who didn't play the series on the previous console generation.
  • Four Is Death in Asian markets, which explains why games originating from there tend to stop numbering after 3.
  • To avoid bringing up previous numbered installments that most people don't want to acknowledge, perhaps even one where you don't want to ignore every detail.
  • Requels, where the original movies are part of the continuity, but characters from original movies are reduced to cameos in favour of a new cast of characters as a soft reboot, will often use the same title as the original movie.
  • Finally, it's difficult to stop doing once you've started; after an installment or two without numbers, people will have completely lost track (which Mortal Kombat game are we on again? Exactly. Oh, the answer is below.).

See also Oddly Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo, Word Sequel, and Numbered Sequels.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The Lupin III TV shows have gone back and forth between using numbered titles and not. The second series, which aired from 1977 to 1980 and lasted 155 episodes, was not numbered as a sequel, as it wasn't intended to be a direct continuation of the much shorter-lived 1971 series that only lasted 21 episodes, and thus the two shows were nicknamed after the color of Lupin's jacket. Thus the first series is often called the "Green Jacket" series and the second series is the "Red Jacket". However, the third series from 1984 is officially titled Lupin III Part 3. The fourth series from 2015 originally aired in Japan simply as Lupin III, but later DVD and Blu-ray releases added "Part 4" to the title. The 2018 series was called Lupin III Part 5.
  • Pokémon: The First Movie, 2000, 3, and 4Ever. The movies completely dropped the numbering starting with the fifth: Pokémon Heroes.

    Fan Works 
  • Vow of Nudity: After posting Haara's sixth story (as well as an "episode zero" prequel), the author went back and removed all the numbers from the story titles.

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 

  • Many novel series start off with subtitles like "The Second Novel of X Series" before switching to "A Novel of X Series". Sometimes there's a reason for this: The second novel gets labeled as such so it's easier to identify the sequel when it first comes out, while subsequent books are not necessarily set in stone in terms of numbering or continuity.
  • The first paperback editions of Equal Rites and Mort had a subtitle reading "The [Third/Fourth] Discworld Novel". Later editions of the first two novels with that trade dress followed suit (originally The Colour of Magic had an X Meets Y description of the book and The Light Fantastic had "A sequel to The Colour of Magic", because nobody, least of all Terry Pratchett, knew it was going to be a series). From Sourcery, it just says "A Discworld Novel".
  • Goosebumps had Night of the Living Dummy books 1, 2, and 3, then Bride of the Living Dummy, Slappy's Nightmare, Revenge Of The Living Dummy and Son of Slappy.
  • Melisa Michaels' Skyrider series was originally intended to be a trilogy, and the first book was initially published as Skyrider 1: Skirmish. None of the other books in the series ever had a number, and reprintings of Skirmish omitted the "Skyrider 1" part as well.
  • Uncle John's Bathroom Reader broke free of the "Uncle John's Nth Bathroom Reader" naming scheme after the 7th book, instead opting for subtle Toilet Humor ("Uncle John's All-Purpose Extra Strength Bathroom Reader"), Alliterative Title, or a Pun-Based Title.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The early seasons of the US edition of Big Brother were numbered for each season, starting with the 2nd Season titled as Big Brother 2. The First Season (which was also referred to as Big Brother 2000) was later retroactively referred to as Big Brother 1. Big Brother 7 & Big Brother 9 were both considered special editions of the game, and thus added an additional subtitle to those seasons (Big Brother 7 All-Stars and Big Brother 9 'Til Death Do You Part). However, this stopped starting with the Eleventh Season, where the show was simplified back to Big Brother. While the show would keep the regular title into the 2010s and 2020s (only changing the name for the spin-offs and for the Twenty-Third Season, which was another All-Stars Season), the Big Brother fan community still uses the old title format for the later seasons, such as the recent Twenty-Fourth Season of Big Brother, referred to as Big Brother 24 or BB 24 for short.
  • Normally, at the start of an episode of Jeopardy!, announcer Johnny Gilbert will state how many days the returning champion has been reigning ("…whose x day cash winnings total y dollars…"). When Ken Jennings went on his hot streak, they eventually stopped declaring how many days he'd been champion (he made it to 74 before losing his 75th game). The practice resumed once Jennings was defeated.
  • After 30 installments of Wrestlemania, the WWE simply quit numbering the event going forward. Now simply calling every following rendition 'Wrestlemania'. Despite this, fans still refer to them by number and even WWE staff will still slip up from time to time.

  • New wave band Daniel Amos created a series of four linked concept albums. They all had different titles, but the first three had the subtitle, The Alarma Chronicles Volume [number]. However, the final album, Fearful Symmetry, dropped the subtitle. In fact, it didn't mention The Alarma Chronicles anywhere on the front or back cover.
  • Canadian Punk band Billy Talent's albums: Billy Talent, Billy Talent II, Billy Talent III, Dead Silence
  • Led Zeppelin: Led Zeppelin (sometimes called Led Zeppelin I), Led Zeppelin II, Led Zeppelin III and, depending on your point of view, the untitled fourth album (usually called Led Zeppelin IV. The fifth album is called Houses of the Holy, breaking the numbering.
  • Mostly averted by Chicago, who only once before their 20th album (which, oddly, is named "Twenty 1") broke their numbering sequence, with Hot Streets. (which would have been XII otherwise). Since then, about the only exceptions have been Christmas albums and legacy releases, though their 2022 effort Born for This Moment has no number either.
  • Composer Gustav Mahler was superstitious about the so-called "Curse of the ninth", in which other notable composers such as Ludwig van Beethoven and Franz Schubert died in the middle of working on their Symphony no. 10. So after completing his "Symphony no. 8", his next symphonic work was not entitled "Symphony no. 9" but Das Lied von der Erde (Song of the Earth). After that, however, he felt safe enough to compose a next symphony numbered 9... and proceeded to die in the middle of working on his Symphony no. 10.


    Tabletop Games 
  • They developed the Nth edition formula for the bi-yearly "Core" sets for Magic: The Gathering, up until 10th Edition. Then, they switched to numbering them by the year they come out (and do them yearly).
  • Paranoia started with (in order) 1st edition, 2nd edition, 5th edition (later declared an "unproduct"), and 3rd edition (unpublished). Then it was revived with XP (formally dropped after Microsoft complained, so this version was just called "Paranoia") and 25th Anniversary Edition (a reprint of XP with some additional material).

    Video Games 
  • The Ace Combat series (produced in Japan, mind you) fought a long and hard battle against sequel numbering starting with the fourth. Its first sequel was simply Ace Combat 2; the second added a subtitle to Ace Combat 3: Electrosphere. When making the fourth title became inevitable, they padded it with a zero to make sure it doesn't blow up: Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies. It didn't. So they made Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War—and stumbled again. In the following three years, Ace Combat Advance, Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War, and Ace Combat X: Skies of Deception were released. The final swan song for Numbered Sequels was Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation. After that, Namco couldn't take it anymore: an Ace Combat Xi: Skies of Incursion and an Ace Combat X2 (released as Ace Combat: Joint Assault) later, they have finally announced a full-blown Continuity Reboot with Ace Combat: Assault Horizon.
  • Advance Wars dropped the numbers for the third and fourth games on the Nintendo DS.
  • Alone in the Dark used numbers for the original trilogy of DOS games and some of their ports, but not the later Multi-Platform games.
  • The Assassin's Creed franchise has gotten a little silly with this over the years:
    • Initially there was a logic behind each numbered entry featuring a new protagonist and setting. Assassin's Creed was followed by Assassin's Creed II, shifting from Middle East/The Crusades to Italy/The Renaissance and Altair to Ezio. Ezio Auditore proved to be a Breakout Character and spawned two sequels — Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, which was effectively "Assassins Creed 2.1" and then Assassin's Creed: Revelations (basically "Assassins Creed 2.2"). This was followed by newcomer Connor Kenway's Assassin's Creed III which shifted to the Era of The American Revolution. There was also a minor game titled Assassin's Creed III: Liberation, set roughly in the same era but with a different setting (New Orleans, rather than the northeastern parts of III) and a new, unrelated protagonist.
    • After III, Ubisoft changed their minds and gave a number and a subtitle for Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, used to differentiate it as a Genre Shift pirate game. The protagonist was the grandfather of Connor Kenway and the setting is still North America, so it still made sense.
    • After Black Flag, the two 2014 entries — Assassin's Creed Rogue on the previous seventh gen consoles and Assassin's Creed: Unity on then-current eighth gen — have seen Ubisoft just give up completely on the numbering system, with Rogue seen as a continuation of the North American/Kenway story but featuring a character, Shay Cormac, who is separate from the three Kenways, while the other game is set among a new cast in France during the Revolution and is a next-gen overhaul moreover. Ubisoft has since stated that Unity is left unnumbered because it is a new beginning, and there are no plans to continue numbering Assassin's Creed titles. This was confirmed by the 2015 entry in the series being titled Assassin's Creed Syndicate, moving the storyline to 19th century London with Jacob Frye as the protagonist. Origins, Odyssey and Valhalla have kept the numberless sequels trend going since.
  • A retroactive example happened with the sequel to Battlezone (1998), which was firstly released in 1999 as Battlezone II: Combat Commander. When Rebellion went on to develop a remaster for that sequel, they dropped the numeral and released it in 2018 as Battlezone: Combat Commander.
  • The BEMANI games have slowly stopped numbering their sequels, of the eight actively supported games in the franchise, only two (beatmania IIDX and Nostalgia) still number their sequels (though Jubeat has never numbered its sequels, and Dance Rush only has one installment at the moment).
  • BioShock, BioShock 2, BioShock Infinite. Though in this case, it's more to separate Infinite from the Rapture storyline.
  • In the U.S. and Europe, Breath of Fire V: Dragon Quarter became simply Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter, and fittingly so, as it marks a major divergence from the first four Breath of Fire games.
  • Call of Duty 2, 3, 4: Modern Warfare, then Call of Duty: World at War, Modern Warfare 2 (which actually dropped the Call of Duty name in some places), Black Ops, Modern Warfare 3, Black Ops 2, Ghosts, Advanced Warfare, and Black Ops 3.
  • The Castlevania series
    • The original Castlevania was followed by Castlevania II: Simon's Quest and Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse, all three on the NES, and Super Castlevania IV on the Super NES. The sequels stopped using numerals afterward when they started appearing on non-Nintendo consoles, particularly with Castlevania: Bloodlines on the Genesis.
    • Castlevania II: Simon's Quest was titled Dracula II: Noroi no Fūin in Japan and was the only one of the above sequels with a numbered title. Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse is otherwise known as Akumajō Densetsu (although it had the working title of "Dracula III"), while Super Castlevania IV is simply titled Akumajō Dracula (same name as the first Famicom game). While Akumajō Dracula X: Chi no Rondo was technically the tenth installment, the "X" on the title is a letter and not a number (and the title would be reused years later for a direct sequel).
    • Castlevania: The Adventure had its own numbered sequel, Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge, both being Game Boy games. As a result, Castlevania II could refer to either, Simon's Quest on the NES or Belmont's Revenge on the Game Boy. There's less ambiguity with the Japanese titles, as the two games were part of a side series titled Dracula Densetsu and Dracula Densetsu II respectively.
  • Interestingly, this was inverted with Command & Conquer: Tiberian Series by the third game, as otherwise Tiberian Sun would've been named as Command & Conquer 2.
  • Contra sequels were never really numbered, aside from Contra III: The Alien Wars for the SNES, which was the third game on home consoles following the first two NES games, and that was just the American title (in Japan, it was known as Contra Spirits). However, the second NES game was not titled "Contra II", but Super C (which itself was loosely based on Super Contra, the arcade sequel to Contra). Operation C, a Game Boy sequel to Super C, was also released prior to Contra III, but was not counted among this numbering due to Konami of America at the time numbering their portable games separately, as reflected by the fact that the later Game Boy port of Contra III was simply titled Contra: The Alien Wars without the number. Ironically, an official Contra 4 would be released years later on the Nintendo DS as a direct sequel to Contra III, after several unnumbered sequels on home consoles such as Contra: Hard Corps on the Genesis and Contra: Shattered Soldier on the PS2.
  • Crash Bandicoot stopped numbering after the third game, Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped, which was incidentally the last platformer entry produced by the original team at Naughty Dog, although the Wrath of Cortex and Twinsanity were retitled Crash Bandicoot 4 and 5 respectively in Japan. They went back to numbers for Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time, advertised as a direct sequel to 3.
  • Deus Ex: Invisible War was originally Deus Ex 2: Invisible War, but the 2 was dropped when development began on the Xbox version. Deus Ex: Human Revolution kept the non-numbered sequel thing going. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided continues the trend.
  • Donkey Kong Country stopped numbering itself after the SNES trilogy. The follow-ups would use a subtitle instead. DKC3's immediate follow-up didn't even use the "Country" name, being called Donkey Kong 64 instead.
  • Dragon Age: Origins was followed up with Dragon Age II and later Dragon Age: Inquisition, although the latter was initially marketed as Dragon Age III: Inquisition before dropping the III before release.
  • The third installment of the Final Fantasy XIII trilogy drops the numbering that Final Fantasy XIII-2 had.
  • Every Five Nights at Freddy's game after the fourth entry is not numbered.
  • Every sequential sequel in both the Forza Motorsport and Forza Horizon sub-series of the overall Forza franchise is given a number based on the order of its own sub-series. However, this trope will be invoked by Turn 10 Studios for their 2023 Forza Motorsport game, the eighth one in the elder Motorsport sub-series, as it's meant to be a series reboot intended to reinvigorate their series after the mostly disappointing reception they received during the Xbox One era (Motorsport 5, 6, and 7). 'Forza Horizon'', however, remains unaffected so far as it continues to have killer success.
  • Grand Theft Auto took the odd approach of, after three numbered games, naming the next two after their locations rather than more numbers, despite them being full-length games with ever-larger game worlds and upgraded mechanics. The idea may be that they are not numbered sequels since Vice City and San Andreas were actually prequels set before the events of Grand Theft Auto III during the '80s and '90s respectively — after two portable spinoffs that also served as prequels, the Roman numerals picked up right where they'd left off with Grand Theft Auto IV and Grand Theft Auto V.
  • Guitar Hero has gone back and forth, as the sequels are II, III: Legends of Rock, World Tour, 5, and Warriors of Rock.
  • Halo kept numbering straight, with the exception of Halo: Reach, which was a prequel and they didn't want to call it Halo 0. Halo 5: Guardians was initially called just Halo for the new console (Xbox One), but Microsoft later gave it a proper 5. Then Halo Infinite plays it straight even when it came after Guardians.
  • The Hitman series never really had a numbering convention when Hitman: Codename 47 released, although players did tend to use numbers to refer to the older games in the series until the 2016 entry came along; simply titled HITMAN with no subtitle or numbering. This was followed by two sequels; a different Hitman 2 in 2018, and a different HITMAN III in 2021. So now the numbering is important to consider, and players moved on to using the subtitles to refer to the old games. The latter three games would later get merged into one homogeneous thing, and be known as the World of Assassination Trilogy to further differentiate them from the legacy games.
  • The second main game (the third overall) in the Kingdom Hearts series was called Kingdom Hearts II. Kingdom Hearts III, depending on how you count, is at least the tenth installment in the series. The interim games used subtitles, even the "Episode 0" game, Birth by Sleep. Oddly enough, two of these possess a "3" in the title, despite not being main games or the intended KHIII: the interquel 358/2 Days and 3D for the Nintendo 3DS, which picks off where II (and Re:coded) ended.
  • Inverted with The King of Fighters (somewhat). From 1994 to 2003, the series numbered its installments with the year of its release. Starting with XI, SNK chose to go with the installment number instead of the year (probably because XI took more than a year to release due to SNK spending some time messing around with new hardware; SNK also wanted to do away with their previous model of working around the clock to churn out a new title each and every year). This gets confusing because KOF Maximum Impact 2 (a 3D spinoff to the mainline KOF series) was released in the United States as The King of Fighters 2006.
  • King's Quest: Mask of Eternity: One supposes they thought it was getting ridiculous.
  • The Legendary Starfy/Densetsu no Stafy had numbered sequels for the first four installments, but for the fifth went for a subtitle ("Densetsu no Stafy Taiketsu! Daīru Kaizokudan", meaning "The Legendary Starfy Confrontation! Dairu Pirate Squad").
  • The Legend of Zelda is an odd example, the sequel was simply titled Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, the rest of the series just used subtitles, making the second game a black sheep in naming (though The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is sometimes known as "Zelda III" as a shorthand). Some of the games do have the internal number noted during production or in their product IDs (The Legend of Zelda: Oracle Games were 7 and 8, for example), and the Japanese subtitle of A Link Between Worlds is "Triforce of the Gods 2" ("Triforce of the Gods" being A Link to the Past's Japanese name.)
  • Though Ruins Chaser was meant to be titled Lufia III, the game that came out after it was cancelled was simply Lufia: the Legend Returns . Then again, Lufia II was a Prequel to the first game...
  • The Marathon series' second game had both a number and a subtitle (Marathon 2: Durandal), then the third fulfilled the trope (Marathon Infinity: Blood Tides of Lh'owon)
  • Mass Effect: Andromeda, as the developers have stated it is meant to be the start of a new adventure rather than a continuation of Commander Shepard's story. It didn't quite stop the fandom from referring to it as Mass Effect 4 until its title was announced.
  • Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker was going to be titled Metal Gear Solid 5 at one point, in order to emphasize series creator Hideo Kojima's full involvement as both, writer and director, and contrast it with the previous PSP entry Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, which he only worked on as a producer, but Konami was hesitant to use a numbered title on a PSP game after having released all the previous numbered MGS entries on home consoles. The game's plot and play mechanics does set up what later became the official Metal Gear Solid V, which itself was split into two installments (the stand-alone prologue Ground Zeroes and the main story The Phantom Pain).
  • Played with for the Metroid series. Metroid was followed by only one explicitly numbered sequel, Metroid II: Return of Samus, but games would continue to number themselves in either the opening titles ("Metroid 3" and "Metroid 4") or have promotional material emphasizing the numbering ("Metroid 5"). The main entries of the Metroid Prime Trilogy avert this trope completely, leaving the only games in the franchise that aren't numbered being the interquel side-stories (Metroid Prime: Hunters, Metroid: Other M) and Spin Offs (Metroid Prime: Federation Force).
  • Only Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge is numbered in the Monkey Island series. The others are just called The Curse of Monkey Island, Escape from Monkey Island, Tales of Monkey Island and Return to Monkey Island.
  • The Mortal Kombat sequels went from Mortal Kombat II to Mortal Kombat 4 and after that (when the series no longer had arcade releases) we got Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance (the fifth game, which featured a bloodied "V" as part of its logo), Mortal Kombat: Deception (sixth) and Mortal Kombat: Armageddon (seventh). After a crossover (Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe) and an in-continuity reboot (simply titled Mortal Kombat, just like the original), the series went back to having numbered titles with Mortal Kombat X and Mortal Kombat 11- then did a complete reversal by calling the twelfth entry Mortal Kombat 1.
  • The Need for Speed series, leading to the pretty awkward numbering of the Hot Pursuit subseries (Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit -> Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 -> Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit)
  • The third game in the No More Heroes series, Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes, doesn't use a number. The debut trailer jokingly hints that this is because of the nearly decade-long gap between the second and third game's releases. Ironically, the fourth game would be announced under the name No More Heroes III not long after, reintroducing the numbering.
  • Hudson Soft's Power League baseball game series for the PC Engine dropped the Roman numerals for its sixth installment, which was titled Power League '93.
  • Prince of Persia after Prince of Persia 3D. Since then we've had a new trilogy, a Recycled Title, and then a Trilogy Creep to the aforementioned trilogy.
  • Zigzagged with Puyo Puyo. The early sequels used Japanese pun-based titles to indicate their placement in the series: Puyo Puyo Tsu (2), Puyo Puyo Sun (3), and Puyo Puyo~n (4). Afterward, we had Puyo Puyo Fever and Fever 2, which ditched the original numbering to indicate a Soft Reboot, and then Puyo Puyo 7 returned to numbering. In-between Fever 2 and 7 was the Milestone Celebration 15th Anniversary, which wasn't counted for 7. Following that, the original numbering was dropped entirely: 20th Anniversary, Quest, Tetris, Chronicle, Champions, and Tetris 2.
  • Subverted by the Quest for Glory series: Quest for Glory IV — despite using a numbered title on this wiki — is actually officially titled Quest for Glory: Shadows of Darkness, abandoning the numerals used by the previous three games. However, the very next installment proudly displayed its numeral again. This may have had to do with the confusion caused by inserting an extra game into the planned tetralogy mid-way through its production: Shadows of Darkness was originally planned to be the third game, so the devs may have attempted to preserve Dragon Fire's original numeral by skipping over SoD's, but later gave up and released the former as Quest for Glory V.
  • Ratchet & Clank zig-zags this trope to hell and back once you compare the regions. Officially, the original NTSC titles for Going Commando and Up Your Arseanal don't have numbers in them, just the visual motif in their logo designs. The Japanese versions and certain PAL versions however do include the number, and in Japan, the numbering continues through to "Ratchet & Clank 4" and "Ratchet & Clank 5". Lastly, the Japanese title for A Crack in Time begins with "Ratchet & Clank Future 2." (Which makes Quest for Booty...?)
  • Atari Games' RBI Baseball series stopped using numbered sequels the same year, jumping from RBI Baseball 4 to RBI Baseball '93.
  • Red Faction series after II.
  • Repton: The first three games had no particular setting, so the next three dropped the numbering in favour of titles that advertised the fact that Repton was now going around the world and through time. Next comes Repton Infinity, which includes a subgame called Repton 4, but later, an unrelated game was converted into a Repton game and titled EGO: Repton 4. In addition, Repton: The Lost Realms had Repton 4 as a working title, but when the game was finally released, it was unclear whether the number should be moved to 5 or even 6, and so the numbering was dropped altogether.
  • Resident Evil:
    • Resident Evil – Code: Veronica was written as a continuation of Resident Evil 2, but was not given a numbered title due to console war politics at the time, as it was developed as a Dreamcast-exclusive at a time the main entries were being developed primarily on the PlayStation. Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, which was written as a sidequel to 2, was given the honor of being the third numbered entry instead. Since the series continued to number sequels afterward, as it was followed by Resident Evil 4, Code Veronica's lack of one sometimes leads newcomers into mistaking it for a side-story or a spinoff. It doesn't help that Capcom has gone on to do remakes of Resident Evil, 2, 3, and 4, but Code Veronica got left in the dust.
    • Resident Evil Village is the eighth main installment in the series and a direct sequel to Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, but doesn't feature the number 8 in its title, instead highlighting the first four letters in 'village' to form the Roman numeral VIII. Resident Evil 7 did something similar with its own logo by having the Roman numeral VII highlighted on the word "evil" instead of being written with an actual numeral, but the title is still written as Resident Evil 7 in plain text.
  • The Silent Hill series tacked on a subtitle for the fourth game and dropped the numbers afterward once they started being outsourced to western developers.
  • The SimCity series for PC had a good streak of numerical titles: SimCity, SimCity 2000, SimCity 3000, and SimCity 4. The fifth entry, released in 2013, was simply titled SimCity.
  • Narrowly averted by The Sims 4. It was originally conceived as an MMO titled The Sims Olympus before gears changed late in development to turn it into a single-player game akin to previous entries in the series.
  • Soldier of Fortune: Payback was produced by a budget-title/shovelware developer and its plot is completely unrelated to the first two (numbered) games.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Spyro the Dragon.
  • The Star Wars: Dark Forces Saga, see Colon Cancer for what it would look like.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
  • Syphon Filter after the PS1 trilogy.
  • The Super NES version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters originally had the working title of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles V according to the design documents featured in the Cowabunga Collection, continuing the numbering of the first three NES games and the Super NES port of Turtles in Time (which was Turtles IV). The development of parallel versions for the Genesis and the original NES likely led to the abandonment of a numbered title.
  • Thief (2014) was originally Thief 4, but since it was a reboot, the publisher dropped the 4. The series had already dropped the 3 from Deadly Shadows.
  • Tomb Raider series, starting with the fourth game, The Last Revelation. While later games are not numbered, fans still refer to them by number in casual conversation, and the desktop icons for The Last Revelation and Chronicles stated that they were Tomb Raider IV and Tomb Raider V, respectively; Capcom actually used the numbers when it published those two games in Japan.
  • In the Wing Commander series, the fifth "main" game dropped the numbering of sequels from earlier games, the series stepping back from the extensive Full Motion Video of the previous two installations to more of a focus on gameplay, after creator Chris Roberts left Origin.
  • The seventh mainline entry of the Yakuza series was given the localized title of Yakuza: Like A Dragon, reflecting the genre shift from a 3D beat-'em-up to an RPG with turn-based combat. It was titled Ryu Ga Gotoku 7 in Japan and Asia, which is where the subtitle "Like A Dragon" came from (being a direct translation of the series's Japanese title).

  • Computer chip maker Intel made personal computer CPU chips named 8086, 80186, 80286, 80386, 80486...and then went with "Pentium" because rival chipmaker AMD was using the same numeric designation for their chips, and Intel was informed that they couldn't trademark a number. Since then, they've branched out into different "lines", which often ended up with numbers attached — Pentium III, Core 2, etc.
  • macOS:
    • Apple stopped marketing new versions of macOS under their version numbers after 10.1 because they decided the internal codenames, named for species of big cats, were more interesting. And then they allegedly ran out of big cats (they didn't really, but that was their excuse) and promptly switched to landmarks in California. Strangely, several of the cat names are alternate names for the same species (the puma).
    • Though Apple stopped referring to the 10.x numbers, they still continued to sell their OS as Mac OS X. Weirdly, the next time they changed the name, in 2012, they Averted this by dropping the Mac part and not the number, leaving it as just OS X, despite the diminishing number of Mac users who would remember Mac OS versions 1-9. Then, in 2016 they reversed course and dropped the number for good and brought back the Mac part, renaming the OS yet again to just macOS, to make the name consistent with their other OS's including iOS, tvOS and watchOS.
    • Double Subverted in 2020, when Apple released macOS Big Sur, which finally bumps up the version number to 11.0, to coincide with the start of their transition to ARM-based Apple Silicon processors; however, they didn't make a big deal out of it, and continue to primarily market their OS's based on their names instead of version number.
  • Windows:
    • "Client" editions stopped using version numbers after 3.1 on the DOS-based versions and 4.0 on the NT versions, opting for sequel numbers based on the year of release. Then came XP (which combined the DOS and NT lines) and Vista, but then averted with Windows 7, Windows 8 (and 8.1), and Windows 10. (Windows 9 was an Un-Installment.)
    • The internal version numbers followed the public numbers up until 4.0, then went differently (Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 were internally 6.1, 6.2, and 6.3 respectively) until they jumped straight to version 10.0 for Windows 10.
    • "Server" editions have been using year numbering ever since Windows 2000 (though using the suffix "R2" for versions close to the previous one), with names mostly consistent since Windows Server 2003 (companion to Windows XP) up to and including the current Windows Server 2016 (companion to Windows 10).
  • Porn Film Series usually subvert this trope. It is not uncommon to have the same title series run into the 30s, 40s, 69, and beyond (without skipping an installment). If they do have a "reboot" of the series, they will usually add the word "new" or something similar to the title and additional titles become "New Title 2" and so on.
  • Tulsa, Oklahoma radio hosts Brent Douglas and Phil Stone created the Roy D. Mercer character for the purpose of Prank Calls which they would play on-air. These skits became so popular that they started releasing them on Capitol Records in The '90s. The first seven compilations were simply titled after Roy's Catchphrase: How Big a Boy Are Ya? Seven volumes of How Big a Boy Are Ya? were released before they broke away from the volume numbers and gave each subsequent album its own title.