Biggest jump in quality between two games within one franchise?

Martin Berisford

Article Author
Mar 29, 2019
I suppose this question can be quite subjective based on what you perceive as quality but for me, I was really pleasantly surprised by the hop between Left 4 Dead 1 and Left 4 Dead 2 as games. Despite the fact that the story in L4D1/2 are essentially the same with different characters, I wasn't really sure where they could take the game after the first instalment but by God when I played L4D2 (and when I still do!) it's just an amazing game versus the first one for me. The first will always have that nostalgia attached to it but number two takes it as an overall game in my eyes.

What about you? What games do you think have seen the biggest 'jump' in quality between one game to the next?
Final Fantasy has usually those sort of jumps between the stories and the games. I just don't understand what sort of brain they have in their development team. I mean no games are connected. each have different playing scenarios. So it's kind of odd with final fantasy developers.
For me it was Uncharted 3 to Uncharted 4. Before starting UC4 many people suggested that I should first try the remastering of the original three games The Nathan Drake Collection on PS4. So I did.

UC1: I didn't finish. I can tell that it was probably good for its time, but the gameplay, world design, everything, just hadn't aged well. I felt its only strength was how well the acting was and the personal dynamics between the characters

UC2: Improved on the gameplay a bit, but the story really shined. One of the best stories I had played through. I devoured this game. I finished it in two marathon sessions while on time off of work, even though I thought it relied too much on linear gun battles that seemed drawn out for too long

UC3: Again, minor improvements in gameplay, and the story was still solid, but I found myself bored with it halfway through. Too much gunplay, and that gunplay hadn't much improved since UC2. I did not finish it, I opted to watch videos on YouTube to see how the story played out instead

UC4: Wow. From the get go it is amazing. Plays well, with gameplay that varies often within segments. The story is engaging. The acting is stellar. The gunplay feels like it is generations departed from UC3 - it was actually really fun now. And it just kept getting better, culminating in what is in my opinion one of the best stories told in any media, especially video games. If we don't get a game starring an adult Drake's daughter I will be severely disappointed
Breath of the Wild. The standard Zelda formula was getting stale, and BotW was the first time in a long time that Nintendo made a game that actually competes with modern games in terms of production quality.

Not in the same franchise, but by the same developers:
  1. Killzone to Horizon Zero Dawn was such a leap forward, that even as a Killzone fan I'd be ok with Guerilla never making another Killzone game every again if it meant more Horizon games
  2. Uncharted: Golden Abyss on Vita to Days Gone on PS4. Uncharted was the best portable game ever made, and held that title for a long time. To the point where I planned on getting DG because I held Studio Bend in such high regards. But the reviews convinced me to wait till it went on sale, which was a mistake to the point where the game was so awesome that I will never trust reviewers ever again.

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