Sony’s PlayStation was a groundbreaking piece of technology for the mid-90s. It helped usher in the next generation of gaming and it marked the start of Sony’s successful run as a console manufacturer, which is still going strong to this day. The original PlayStation was full of games that helped define the console, as well as a wealth of regrettable titles that highlighted how difficult the transition into the next stage of gaming was for some companies.
Plenty of titles on the PlayStation found large audiences and so it’s no surprise that the console birthed a number of sequels. That being said, these sequels weren’t always as celebrated or as memorable as their predecessors. Accordingly, here are 10 PlayStation sequels we forgot existed (and 10 we wish were never made).
20 Forgot Existed: Bishi Bashi Special 2
The Bishi Bashi series is a surreal mini game explosion that’s so inherently Japanese that it’s a wonder that any of these titles were localized at all. The Bishi Bashi games are a frenetic mix of multiplayer mayhem that was doing Wario Ware’s shtick years earlier. It’s easy to overlook the original Bishi Bashi Special for the PlayStation, but it’s safe to say that its sequel is even less well known (there’s also a Bishi Bashi Special 3, but it only came out in Japan).
19 Wish Were Never Made: Die Hard Trilogy 2: Viva Las Vegas
The first Die Hard Trilogy game is a surprising delight that crams three outrageous films’ worth of content into a rewarding action title. It gets creative with the basic formula of the genre and finds a way to evoke the fun feeling of the films with its gameplay design. Die Hard Trilogy 2: Viva Las Vegas has none of that. It’s a hollow sequel that misses the point of the original and features a bland story and gameplay. A game as good as the original deserves something much better for a sequel.
18 Forgot Existed: Rage Racer
The Ridge Racer series was an early racing highlight for the PlayStation, but predicating a sequel based on a pun is perhaps not the smartest development strategy. Rage Racer is the third game in the Ridge Racer series and with it really not adding much to the existing formula of the series, this title hits with little impact and it’s easy to overlook its existence. Rage Racer is just too similar to the titles that came before it and fails to really justify its existence.
17 Wish Were Never Made: Re-Loaded
The original Loaded was a small, but strong, title for the PlayStation, but Re-Loaded is a misfire on nearly every front. The top-down shoot-'em-up title deserves points for how out of control it is with its characters and story. Cannibals, androids, and body-snatching super villains are just the tip of the iceberg here. Re-Loaded didn’t do enough to evolve the formulas, levels were overly complex to the point of it being a detriment, and many of the lighting effects and visual flairs that made Loaded so memorable were now the norm with PlayStation games and no longer a selling point.
16 Forgot Existed: Castlevania Chronicles
The Castlevania series found an accommodating home on the PlayStation console. The Castlevania titles were so popular on the PlayStation that Konami even got to experiment and take some risks with some of the titles from the series that it brought over. Castlevania Chronicles, for instance, is a remake of a game that only saw release in Japan and for the obscure Sharp X68000 computer. Castlevania Chronicles helped a whole new audience experience this game, but it’s still a Castlevania title that tends to slip between the cracks.
15 Wish Were Never Made: Time Crisis: Project Titan
The original Time Crisis is an iconic light gun shooter for the PlayStation console and a successful port of the classic arcade hit. The game found such success on the PlayStation that Time Crisis: Project Titan was designed as a direct-sequel to the PlayStation port of Time Crisis. While it's a basic Time Crisis game, the fact that it came out in 2001 and features terribly outdated graphics that don't look any better than the original title. This would maybe fly if it were released immediately after the original Time Crisis, but not at a time when the PS2 was already out.
14 Forgot Existed: Um Jammer Lammy
The PlayStation’s iconic Parappa the Rapper would later get a traditional sequel on the PlayStation 2, but in the interim it experienced a weird side story of a game in the form of Um Jammer Lammy. Taking place in the same universe as Parappa the Rapper and incorporating many of the same concepts, this game revolves a shy lamb guitarist who learns to embrace her inner rock star. It’s a very entertaining follow-up to Parappa, but it’s still a game that gets overlooked, especially when a Parappa the Rapper 2 does exist.
13 Wish Were Never Made: Bloody Roar II: The New Breed
When it comes to fighting games, a lot of the time a crazier approach where as much as possible is thrown at the gamer can often be a successful strategy. Much like RPGs, a lot of fighting titles can fail to make a serious impression. The initial Bloody Roar wasn’t the most popular title on the PlayStation, but it still found an audience with its rewarding gameplay. It’s encouraging that the game got to see a sequel, but Bloody Roar II: The New Breed squanders the opportunities and turns into a disappointing follow-up.
12 Forgot Existed: Tomba! 2: The Evil Swine Returns
Tomba! was a monumental platformer for the PlayStation that helped the console establish itself in its earlier days. With the success, both critically and commercially, of the title, it’s very satisfying to see that a sequel did come out. Tomba! 2 gives the cute platformer a 3D makeover and improves on the original formula in many ways, but it’s a sequel that’s not as popular as its predecessor and came out during Sony’s transition over to the PS2.
11 Wish Were Never Made: Cool Boarders 4/2001
Much like the Tony Hawk Pro Skater games, the Cool Boarders series found a healthy life on the PlayStation and gave snowboarding fans a serious dose of content to stay busy with. The initial Cool Boarders games are encouraging endeavors, but the quality understandably drops off as they go on. Cool Boarders 4 is often seen as the series’ nadir on the PlayStation, but a PlayStation version of the PS2’s Cool Boarders 2001 was also seriously abysmal.
10 Forgot Existed: Gradius Gaiden
The Gradius shoot-‘em-up series has been going strong for decades now and a wealth of sequels and side stories have appeared on many consoles over the years. The mainline Gradius games are the most established and popular in the series, but the PlayStation also caters to a few oddities in the series, too. Gradius Gaiden is an impressive entry in the series, but this title only saw a limited release in Japan, making it very unknown. It does show up in the Gradius Collection for the PSP, but that’s hardly a popular title in itself.
9 Wish Were Never Made: Duke Nukem: Land Of The Babes
It’s commendable to the strength of Duke Nukem as a character that his series didn’t fall off years ago. If anything, Duke Nukem has gained popularity in recent years and found a second life as a sarcastic take on the action hero formula. The PlayStation featured plenty of adventures for his masculine stereotype, but Duke Nukem: Land of the Babes is the bottom of the barrel. The game takes some series sci-fi leaps with its premise, but the game itself is just derivative of past titles and doesn’t make a strong case for this weird series living on.
8 Forgot Existed: Tobal 2
The Tobal fighting series is seriously not as popular as it should be. It was an ambitious entry in the fighting genre that was developed by DreamFactory published by Square, and retains much of the DNA of Square’s RPG entries. There’s a very robust story mode for the two Tobal titles, highlighting how they probably kind of wished they were working on RPGs at the time. Tobal No. 1 gained a lot of acclaim and even though Tobal 2 adds even more to the formula, it’s easy to forget that this sequel exists.
7 Wish Were Never Made: Bubsy 3D
Bubsy 3D isn’t just a PlayStation sequel that we wish was never made, it’s a video game in general that’s the bane of many people’s existences. The most tragic thing about Bubsy 3D is that the original platformers are perfectly cute titles that feature an interesting mascot. Bubsy 3D turns that charming mascot into a pariah. The title is clearly unfinished in many regards and even though Bubsy is now in a 3D environment, it’s so sparse and embarrassing. Bubsy has had a recent resurgence, but it’s still hard to get rid of the memory of Bubsy 3D.
6 Forgot Existed: Star Ocean: The Second Story
The PlayStation really became a haven for RPGs and a ton of influential series made this console their new home. Accordingly, with so many big name RPGs on the PlayStation, there are definitely some sequels that get lost in the shuffle. Star Ocean: The Second Story is a very satisfying sequel, but the Star Ocean series just has more presence on other consoles and the RPG series just didn’t make as big of an impression in North America.
5 Wish Were Never Made: Tomb Raider: Chronicles
Tomb Raider may have technically started on the Sega Saturn, but it very quickly turned into an iconic series for the PlayStation. Lara Croft saw a successful span of titles on the console and even though there’s still a level of quality throughout them all, Tomb Raider: Chronicles is the outlier in the group. The big reason is that the previous game in the series was meant to be the end and supposedly offed the character. Chronicles adopts a structure where friends tell stories from the past, but it’s a disappointing farewell to the character on the console.
4 Forgot Existed: Alundra 2: A New Legend Begins
Alundra for the PlayStation was a creative spin on the action-RPG genre and became a standout title for the console. The decision to develop a sequel for Alundra isn’t surprising, but Alundra 2: A New Legend Begins is just so devoid of the charm and personality of its predecessor that it’s easy to forget that it happened in the first place. Alundra 2 modernizes the series over to a 3D world, but it’s a change that doesn’t do it any favors and even makes it blend in more with similarly generic titles.
3 Wish Were Never Made: Mega Man X6
Much like in the case of Tomb Raider: Chronicles, Mega Man X6 suffers from a series just being too popular to stop. Mega Man mastermind, Keiji Inafune, intended for Mega Man X5 to be the final game in the series since it pointedly ended with the apparent end of Zero. Mega Man X6 proceeded without Inafune’s involvement, brought back Zero, and let down fans across the board.
2 Forgot Existed: The Misadventures Of Tron Bonne
Capcom’s Mega Man Legends series took a big swing with the franchise and transported it to a 3D world while adding an adventure component to the action series. Mega Man Legends and Mega Man Legends 2 have become cult favorites over the years and gained hearty fan bases, but many people overlook the unusual title that fits between them and shifts focus to another character in the series. The Misadventures of Tron Bonne puts Mega Man’s female ally in the driver’s seat in a title that acts as a prequel to the first game in the series.
1 Wish Were Never Made: Twisted Metal III
The Twisted Metal series took an aggressive slant to the destructive car sub-genre and quickly became one of the PlayStation’s most popular titles. Twisted Metal’s first sequel keeps the momentum going in a healthy way, but Twisted Metal III is the definite low point in the franchise. It’s a sequel that doesn’t do enough and just feels like a rehash of the previous games. Thankfully the PlayStation 2 Twisted Metal title helped course correct the series, but most fans wish the third game didn’t exist at all.