Video game sequels are as inevitable as the sun rising and setting; as internet commenters being wrong about everything; as people being so defensive over Nintendo you'd think it was an endangered species of fucking panda or something, some type of panda that's only available in Japan, perhaps with a carrying handle.
Not all games get sequels however, and while for the most part that's fine - does anyone really want Kula World 2? - there are some titles that need a sequel more than YouTubers need cyanide. Here's a list. Make it happen.
Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy - PS2, Xbox
I don't have sales data of Psi-Ops to hand, but I'm more than willing to bet that this 2004 effort from long-defunct decadence artists Midway didn't sell that much because it has the sort of title that sounds like something a lone gunman would write in their journal before they went totally fucking sideways.
That aside, Psi-Ops was actually a very enjoyable shooter with a sideline in physics-based puzzles and combat. Your avatar (played by White Man Gun Enthuser, as ever) had the power to choke enemies, fling them through the air, set them on fire, and all that other shit you wished you could do when you were 13.
Anyway, it was mindlessly generic in pretty much every other way, but I still have a soft spot for Psi-Conspiracy-Mindgate-Whatever, and would love to see it come back, preferably made by Midway, back from the dead and now armed with a gun that fires literal money and strippers.
The Thing - PS2, Xbox
Ambitious, atmospheric, over-promising, under-delivering, buggy, not quite as accomplished as it would like you to think it was: surely The Thing is perfect for a modern-day remake. This 2002 re-imagining of John Carpenter's classic had a lot of pre-release hype, most of it about how the emotions of your squad (fear, anger, etc) would have to be managed. This was around the same time when emotions were a big thing in marketing games: remember the, um, Emotion Engine, which was so powerful, so complex, so human it was going to come into your life, make you happy and then leave you like the pitiful emotional vampire you were?
Well, it was something like that. Anyway, The Thing was fairly faithful to the tone of the movie which inspired it, but most of the so-called emergent play was canned and it was bastard hard - and utterly unfair - in a lot of places. The technology seems to have caught up with the game's main idea - a 'trust' system which saw allegiances form and break depending on your actions - or, at least, come far enough so you can fake it more effectively. Imagine this game with, say, Rise of the Planet of the Tomb Raider's snow graphics. Go on. Do it. DO IT.
Freedom Fighters - PS2, PC, Xbox, GameCube
Remember this game? Yeah you do. You don't? What's that, you're fifteen years old? I see. Well, imagine The Division, but set in '80s New York, and the threat isn't a pandemic which has caused everyone to start shooting and looting each other but instead the commies, and you're there. Oh, and it isn't a secret numbers game either.
So, Freedom Fighters. You played a plumber who would eventually inspire a revolution, reclaiming the streets of NY while at the same time recruiting new members to your cause, each of which had a different skill or function they could bring to your squad-based battles. It was the precursor to the system found in the original Kane & Lynch, but better, and Freedom Fighters also had the added appeal of being fairly open-ended in the way you went about toppling the invading Soviet forces. Do it again, Io. Do it again.
Beyond Good and Evil - PS2, PC, Xbox, GameCube
Right, listen carefully. Ubisoft actually soft-announced a sequel to this one back at the start of this decade, via a trailer featuring all the main cast, and then said it wasn't an announcement, as if we were supposed to believe that some guy in the art department knocked it up and just pinged it out without telling anyone. Ubi still claims it wasn't an announcement. That's right: Ubisoft, a billion-dollar, globe-spanning corporation which employs more people than Asia and is listed on more stock markets than money itself issued one of the most bizarre denials since that time you spoke to that police officer. (It has since said it is actually working on it, but still.)
It still baffles me that this has happened, but I'm glad it did. Because it's hilarious. Anyway, new BG&E please. Although I wouldn't put it past the publisher to release the whole game and then say it was just a figment of your imagination, darling, but oh no, don't look over there.
Bully - PS2
Oh my, where to begin with this one. If you've never played Bully then please, don't bother anymore, with anything: you've fucked it. Anyway, those who did play it know that its mixture of school-based japes, classes, and tropes mixed in with a harder edge (the main character is mostly bullied himself, and abandoned by his cretinous parents at the game's beginning) and wonderful music made it something unique.
Bully's best moments were found when all of the above elements combined perfectly, giving it a sense of adventure, a childlike wonder in simply exploring the world. The pirate ship is the most obvious example of this - swimming out in a lake will reveal the boat, hidden from view and boasting its own child-captain - but this stuff happens all the time: stealing a moped, breaking curfew, going to the movies. It's a violent game, but a genuinely sweet one too.
Rumours about Bully 2 have been doing the rounds for years, with the original game's composer seeming to confirm that the game has being worked on. That was ages ago, though, and there's still no sign of it. Military school for the sequel please. You know it makes sense.
Burnout 3 - PS2, Xbox
Yes yes, this game got sequels, but were they anywhere near as good? No, they were not, and I worked on one of the fuckers. Revenge and Paradise had their strengths, but they just haven't come close to the majesty of the third game (or the second, if you're a try-hard poser). Bring back the closed circuits, bin off traffic checking and all of that shite, and kill the person responsible for EA Trax, and you've got a winner. Easy. Right?