Top 10 Retro Games That Need A Sequel

I think every gamer has their own list of retro games that need a sequel.  E3 often inspires big hopes that we’ll *finally* see a new iteration of a favorite game that’s gone underappreciated or ignored for years. Usually games in that camp didn’t sell well despite their cult following, and/or have the rights to the IP tied up.  Sometimes the company that owns the property just isn’t interested in creating a new game! But dreams can come true-Metroid Dread was just announced, so I’m feeling insanely optimistic for the return of other beloved series. Let’s ignore all obstacles and think big-these are my personal favorite retro games that need a sequel!

My personal retro games that need a sequel collage:  Diddy Kong Racing, Knights of the Old Republic, Eternal Darkness, Beetle Adventure Racing, EVO Search for Eden, Quackshot, Wave Race 64, Super Mario RPG

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10. Beetle Adventure Racing (N64)

If you’ve played this game, you understand the glory. One of the most underrated N64 games is also one of the best! This arcade style racer leans hard into the “adventure” part of its title with insane courses, weapons, and shortcuts, all while driving Volkswagon Beetles. The controls are buttery smooth which makes driving your Beetle a joy throughout the very lengthy and scenic courses. There’s even a T-rex in one level, so that’s at least 1,000 bonus points right there! If you’re a fan of racers of any kind, this one is worth your time. And it’s still pretty cheap to find these days.

Beetle Adventure Racing N64 box, cart, manual, and yellow N64 controller
Love the exclamation point in the title, too!

The ideal sequel would include: HD graphics, even crazier shortcuts, a lot more tracks and weaponry, online play, more general zaniness

9. E.V.O. Search for Eden (Super Nintendo)

We’re really in “cult classic” territory here with this lesser known SNES title, folks! One of my best childhood friends had this game and we both fell in love with it, playing it for hours and hours during summer vacation. E.V.O. is a very creative action pseudo-RPG that takes you on a tour through major geologic eras of Earth as you evolve from a simple fish all the way up to a human. Each enemy you defeat gives “EVO points” to purchase specific evolved characteristics, making you more powerful and thus better able to win natural selection (which in video game form means beating a tough boss, of course). Granted, it’s not really scientifically accurate at all, but hey, I was a Biology teacher for 13 years and I love it! A bit repetitive but very charming and insanely creative, it’s ripe for a sequel. Maybe developed by an indie studio?

E.V.O. Search for Eden SNES cart and box
That’s some pretty epic box art.

The ideal sequel would include: different geologic eras, more animal phyla, different evolution options, and more varied gameplay. The charming sprite-based graphics need to stay!

E.V.O. Search for Eden back of box
Including the back of the box for posterity-it’s a really unique gem.

8. Mystical Ninja/Goemon’s Great Adventure

You can’t play a Mystical Ninja game without being charmed. They’re colorful, silly, over-the-top, and here in the US, poorly translated, which makes the games all the more endearing. The gameplay is always zippy and enjoyable, and the soundtrack just stellar. We’ve actually only received a handful of titles from the series, the most recent of which were the excellent Mystical Ninja and Goemon’s Great Adventure on the N64. Even in Japan where those titles were followed by a few more releases, Mystical Ninja has been dormant for close to 20 years! It’s time to revive it, folks. I’d love either a 3D adventure or 2D sidescroller-I enjoyed the heck out of both on the N64!

Mystical Ninja N64 box, cart, and Fangamer poster
If you’re a fan like me, check out Fangamer’s excellent merch.

The ideal sequel would include: a new playable character in addition to the original (beloved) four, new settings around Japan, new weapons and abilities, a better camera system, and a purposefully botched script to keep things humorous

7. Quackshot (Sega Genesis)

If you’ve read about my Sega Genesis Nostalgia, you know much I love Quackshot.  It’s essentially Donald Duck meets Indiana Jones meets early Metroidvania-style gameplay. Trust me, it all works! The animation is absolutely stunning and the soundtrack is lots of fun. The light Metroidvania gameplay elements work well, as you travel all over the world and open up new areas within each over time. Each level and boss encounter is also very atmospheric and enjoyable. Disney IPs are definitely tricky to manage, but I would kill for another entry from a talented studio!

Quackshot for Sega Genesis box, manual, cart, 8bitdo 2.4 Genesis controller, and pretend snake
My youngest daughter is very concerned about the “bad guy about to push a rock on Donald Duck”.

The ideal sequel would include: new locations around the world, a better checkpoint system, more varied weaponry, and more use of the chili pepper-induced “Quack Attack” because it’s awesome

6. Wave Race 64 (N64)

Okay, I’m aware this game already has a sequel. But Blue Storm never really “clicked” with me like the original did! Wave Race 64 is easily still one of my top 10 N64 games of all time. The water physics were astounding, the tracks creative and beautiful, and the controls easy to pick up but tough to master. The announcer’s voice also added a lot of silly fun to the game. I want an arcade-style entry similar to the first game on the Switch!

Wave Race 64 cart, box, manual, operation card, and ice blue controller
Wouldn’t another Wave Race game just feel as refreshing as that Ice Blue controller?

The ideal sequel would include: realistic water physics, way more tracks and racers, new mini-game modes, the same voice announcer, and a return of the cheat to ride the dolphin!

5. Eternal Darkness (GameCube)

I don’t think I’ve seen a list of retro games that need a sequel without Eternal Darkness. If you’ve played this game, it sticks with you! (the bathtub scene…). I didn’t get to experience it until the waning days of the GameCube, but this Lovecraftian horror game is still genuinely scary, and the time-hopping, character-swapping story intriguing and well told. The most notable, and perhaps best, part of the game is the “sanity effects”. Rather than losing health when hurt by monsters or obstacles, you first lose sanity. This results in a host of devious and clever gameplay tweaks that mess with your mind: the walls bleed, you hear screams or laughter, the screen tilts, and there’s even a “blue screen of death” and fake memory card erasure! There have actually been a few attempts at a sequel called “Shadow of the Eternals”, but the current status doesn’t look great. Try out the original if you’re a horror fan!

Eternal Darkness also has one of my favorite Nintendo Power Player’s Guides.

The ideal sequel would include: story connections to the first game, but new time periods, new characters, and most of all NEW SANITY EFFECTS!

4. Diddy Kong Racing (N64)

Another underrated N64 game that we *almost* got a sequel to! (you can check out some screenshots of the cancelled Donkey Kong Racing in the excellent GameCube Anthology). DKR is extremely unique in its single player mechanics with a fun adventure mode, silver coin challenges, boss fights, and diverse character roster (TipTup the Turtle is my boy). The hub world was a joy to explore, and you could race as a kart, hovercraft, or plane, which was very cool! As long as you had enough “golden balloons” you could tackle levels and worlds in a variety of orders, too. There are now so many more characters in the Donkey Kong Country and Rare universe that could be added to the roster with a sequel. I’m thinking a joint game between Rare and Nintendo, since Microsoft and Nintendo seem to be playing very nice right now? Let’s make it happen!

Diddy Kong Racing N64 box, cart, operation card, and Nintendo Power Player's Guide
While we’re at it, let’s bring back operations cards from the N64 era.

The ideal sequel would include: an expanded roster of DKC/Rare characters, more worlds to race, at least one extra vehicle, an additional “challenge” in each world, way more TipTup the Turtle

3. Chrono Trigger/Chrono Cross (SNES/PS1)

Chrono Trigger remains my favorite RPG of all time to this day. It’s special beyond words, and I will forever love the characters, story, world, soundtrack, and gameplay of the original game. So I was psyched when Chrono Cross released on the Playstation! While the sequel was beautiful in so many ways, it went in a very different direction in terms of story and characters. Yes, it tied to the first game, but in a pretty dang convoluted manner that literally requires guides to fully understand. The rumored third game, “Chrono Break”, has come in and out of the rumor mill more times than I can count, but seems pretty firmly locked in development hell. Let’s get it up and running again! (hey, a man can dream). In the meantime, I’m very happy and proud to have backed the phenomenal looking Sea of Stars, a sort of spiritual successor to Chrono Trigger.

Chrono Trigger SNES cart, DS version, and Chrono Cross PS1 complete with Brady Games guide

The ideal sequel would include: more direct connections to Chrono Trigger, time travel, a simple but involved battle system (with continued non-random battles), lovely new characters, beautiful graphics, and the return of Frog, somehow

2. Super Mario RPG

Sweet mother Mario RPG is amazing. It’s one of my all time favorites to this day. Anytime I start the game, I want to play it to completion! (which is often-it’s one of my most comforting games too). The characters and graphics are beyond charming. The mechanics are a blend of Mario platforming and a unique and innovative battle system, all with a stellar soundtrack. Such care went into crafting this story and world, and it shows in every aspect of the game. This is Nintendo and Squaresoft firing on all cylinders while at their 16-bit pinnacle. While Paper Mario and the Mario & Luigi games are lovely in their own way, we’ve never seen a true Super Mario RPG 2. It’s one of the top retro games that need a sequel!

Super Mario RPG box, cart, and Nintendo Power player's guide

The ideal sequel would include: more playable characters from the Mario universe, charming old-school graphics, new ways for battles to be interactive, a sharp, fourth-wall-breaking sense of humor, and of course, GENO

1. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

I love Star Wars. I’ve seen most of the movies an embarassing amount of times, have numerous Star Wars shirts, still have my figures from when I was younger, and enjoy even the less than stellar Star Wars games. It’s all just so fun and whimsical. So I literally bought my original XBox just to play Knights of the Old Republic! Set 4,000 years before the events of the original trilogy, it did not disappoint. I was addicted and kept staying up until ungodly hours of the night because I wanted more of the characters, world, and gameplay. It also had one of the best twists in gaming at the time, just as shocking as the end of Empire Strikes Back.

The sequel was also really good and absurdly addictive, despite not being *quite* as polished. All of the lore established here was spectacular, and most Star Wars fans (myself included) will tell you that these stories best both the prequel and sequel trilogy of films, and stand firmly alongside the original trilogy in terms of greatness.

Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic 1 and 2 cases and discs
Just looking at the cover art for these games makes me want to play them again.

To conclude

Knights of the Old Republic is THE retro game that needs a sequel, my friends. EA’s hold on Star Wars expires soon, so maybe a brave studio will step up and make a true KOTOR 3! And while we’re at it, how about a new cinematic trilogy with the games as a base?

The ideal sequel would include: more information on fates of characters from the original games, improved combat, more involved side quests, stories set in new parts of the Star Wars universe, more HK-47

Are you interested in seeing another entry for any of the games in this list? What are other retro games that need a sequel, in your personal opinion? I’d love to hear in the comments below!

8 thoughts on “Top 10 Retro Games That Need A Sequel”

  1. If Mystical Ninja does ever get a sequel, it will be a crime if they don’t include at least a nod to the Impact song. Da-da-dash!!

  2. The Skies of Arcadia wishlist is based on me playing through the game 20 years ago, let’s see what I think on this current play through. 😃

    Also wanted to add a proper Golden Axe sequel as well: sprite based, scary magic spells (we all remember how cool the Dragon spell looked in Golden Axe I). What isn’t there to like?

    Eternal Darkness, if nothing else, was ORIGINAL and TRIED THINGS and for that bravery it can be commended!

    1. Zach Lindemann

      Hey, a Skies sequel could improve on elements that haven’t aged as well once the nostalgia goggles are off!

      I’d definitely be down for a Golden Axe sequel, even though my experience is limited (loved playing the original on game day a while back!). I feel like beat ’em ups are making a comeback right now, and care is really being taken to make sure they’re up to par. Golden Axe seems ripe for a revival!

        1. That makes two of us! I actually kind of like the title “StarFox 64-2” since it indicates it would actually, finally be a sequel to the game we all love (plus it sounds kind of “space-y”)

  3. So much to write here because many of these are all time greats.

    I really need to grab a copy of KOTOR, it has only been 20 years in the making…

    I’d also like to add:
    – Skies of Arcadia (Dreamcast/GameCube)
    – Starfox (SNES/N64)
    – Turtles in Time/Hyperstone Heist (SNES/GEN) (Hopeful Shredder’s revenge does the job!)
    – Betrayal at Krondor (PC)

    Nice on the Eternal Darkness guide! I still remember the scene you referred to. Part of me wishes I had been able to play it without spoilers from EGM and the internet, but without the hype and decent reviews, I likely wouldn’t have picked it up in the first place. I played through the game for the story and the insanity effects. The gameplay itself was kinda uninspired – am I remembering right?

    I passed up on grabbing Chrono Trigger DS for $15 new a few years ago. Big mistake 😝. Any version you’re able to pick up Chrono Trigger (including emulation!) is worth it. What a great game.

    At least some of the hesitation to create a sequel has to be centered around it being possible for the dev team to meet expectations? It’s hard enough to make a game, but to make something special takes dedication, inspiration and a little luck. Can you imagine being tasked with creating Chrono Trigger 2? Crushing expectations.

    I’m not sure what a Super Mario RPG 2 would look like, but it would seemingly be fun to somehow enter Geno’s world. Maybe the “Star Road” area in SMRPG is an approximation, but would fill in the backstory. Another character or two would be nice. A reprise of all the zany pop culture references (Power Rangers) along with others. The more I think about it, it would be very difficult to recapture the magic and awe of the first. But like you said, we can dream.

    Also very happy about Metroid! 🙏🏽

    1. Zach Lindemann

      Love all this commentary Kamal! I was somewhere around 100% sure you’d add Skies of Arcadia to the list :). Definitely need to play the original-it will happen someday. Couldn’t agree more on Starfox-it really seems insane Nintendo hasn’t just made Starfox 64 2 yet. They should let another studio take a crack at it since they seem uninterested!

      Eternal Darkness gameplay wasn’t what I’d call “mindblowing”, but it was cool that you could target different body parts of enemies to attack specifically, and that magic could be used before you even “learned” the spell if you had it memorized! I think the ideal sequel would add more complexity and enemy variety, but still maintain that feeling of always feeling “vulnerable”.

      Great point about the sky high expectations of making a sequel. Some of these games released so long ago that fans already have an exact vision of what they’d like to see, and it’s essentially impossible to meet everyone’s wants. I think a studio that takes on a sequel to a beloved game needs to be true fans of the original, and potentially solicit feedback from their audience with builds along the way? I think Streets of Rage 4 was largely developed like that. Not easy to do!

      Amazing idea for SMRPG 2. Take it to Star Road since Geno is the fan favorite, and maybe an entirely different kingdom away from the good ol’ Mushroom Kingdom for more zany antics? Perhaps where the Smithy Gang is from? It would absolutely be hard to recapture the magic and whimsy of the original but I think it can be done!

      Regardless, I’m so excited we live in a world where Metroid Dread and Shredder’s Revenge exist!

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