The first game is the original. The second game is the weird one. The third does the first again, but better this time.


Oct 27, 2017
The English Wilderness
Indeed. Many people do forget about the original games, and Snake's Revenge is a weird game, but it's not the real metal gear 2 and it deserves to be forgotten.

The real mg2 is Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake and it's a masterpiece that still holds up to this day, in my opinion.
Sure, but if we're counting SMB2 as a Mario game, we can count Snake's Revenge as a Metal Gear!

That and the fact that Snake's Revenge being what it is, is what convinced Kojima to make MG2 in the first place.


Oct 27, 2017
Kingdom hearts

KH1 was disney
Kh2 was anime to the absolute max
KH3 had too much Disney and not enough anime
Oct 30, 2017
Sure, but if we're counting SMB2 as a Mario game, we can count Snake's Revenge as a Metal Gear!

That and the fact that Snake's Revenge being what it is, is what convinced Kojima to make MG2 in the first place.

Debatable. Doki doki panic was at least designed by miyamoto, whereas Snake's Revenge was made without the original team's involvement.

It did serve as the inspiration for a proper sequel, so I guess it has that going for it.

But then that horrible NES version of metal gear 1 could also claim to be the second game in the series, considering the differences between the original.

Personally, I think the NES games should just be forgotten. The msx games are far better and are available on recent-ish systems.
Oct 25, 2017
Can’t wait for Bayonetta 3 then :p
But yeah, plenty of good example in this thread.
You kid but this could very well be the case in terms of combat depth and amount of content. Bayo 2 was a huge step down from the ridiculous quality of the first game in favor of better production values and pacing.

If the third game can bridge the two it will be a sight to behold.


Oct 26, 2017
Sydney, Australia
The Arkham Trilogy definitely doesn't follow this.

Arkham City is the best. Asylum probably ends up being the 'weirdest' if only because it's not open-world. And Knight doesn't do very much better, if anything.


Oct 27, 2017
The Ogre Battle series

Ogre Battle

RTS game where you move your groups around on a battlefield, liberating towns and fighting.

Fights were party based like an JRPG with limited controls, you could only tell the group simple orders like to attack the strongest, the leader, etc.

Tactics Ogre

Strategy RPG

Tactical rpg made by the same people as Final Fantasy Tactics.

Had better story presentation that the original

Ogre Battle 64

Pretty much the same as the original except the maps were in 3d and the story was presented more like Tactics Ogre instead of brief dialogues like in the original.

The only issue with this is that each of those games are amazing in their own right. I really wish Square would give it another go and allow Matsuno to make the final chapter.


Oct 25, 2017
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Metroid Prime Trilogy. 1 and 3 are more traditional ones while 2 was different with its light and dark world, the dark world damaging your suit unless your in beams of light, and ammunition for two cannon types.

Darksiders trilogy - 1 and 3 are Zelda clones. 2 tried to do that while being Diablo.

Super Mario Bros on NES. Self explanatory.


Oct 27, 2017
It happens a lot in films too. And imo, it's because the creatives at the heart of the project are vindicated by its success, and typically bring ideas they were forced to cut by others into the sequel, for better or worse. Indiana Jones is a lot like that.

It can go the other way too. A lot of Terminator 2 is stuff Cameron cut from the original because he didn't have the know-how or money to realise (the T1000, etc). The Raid 2 was written before the first, but cost too much, so it was benched and a smaller concept constructed.

... I'm struggling to think of a game where the sequel is what they really wanted to make, but I know I've read examples.

Oceans 12 is easily the weirdest of the three and it’s my favourite. I believe it’s Steven Soderbergh’s favourite too


Oct 25, 2017
Anyone else notice a LOT of game trilogies follow this exact same formula?

Zelda. The original is the foundation. The second game ditches all of that and goes for a sidescrolling, RPG-lite adventure. Link to the Past is the first game with all of the adventure elements from Zelda II, a ton of new mechanics, much better graphics, an actual story and a much more structured adventure.

Castlevania. The original is the foundation. The second game ditches all of that and goes for an RPG-lite adventure, although it's much more similar to the first than in Zelda's case. The third goes back to the basics, adds more playable characters, and has tighter gameplay and level design.

Metal Gear Solid. The original is the foundation. The second game purposefully deconstructs the idea of a generic sequel with a meta-narrative about memes and what people expect vs. the truth, replaces its main character, and has a much different vibe. The third replays the basic beats of the first with new camo mechanics, a more robust codec team, and an interesting switch-up by being a period piece set in the 1960's.

Any other examples? Why do you think this is? Why is the second one usually "the weird one?"
Final Fantasy, at least as far as your character development mechanics are concerned.

FF1: Straight levelling
FF3: Straight levelling, with a new separate job system in place with its own levelling system

FF2: Do stuff to get stronger at that stuff. With the classic example of "hit your teammates to boost their HP".


Oct 27, 2017
Donkey kong country not, thats for sure. Dkc 2 is the best one. The 3th is the worst. You could say castlevania nes...


Oct 25, 2017
Final Fantasy is another good example, 2 was a mess and they basically just made 3 the first game on steroids


Oct 31, 2017
Chrono Trigger is great and was an amazing concept back in the days

Chrono Cross is weird and experimental.

Chrono Break is... Sorry guys, still in denial.
If you want to do the Chrono games, you should go:

Chrono Trigger
Radical Dreamers
Chrono Cross

Radical Dreamers is the weird one in the Chrono series because it's a visual novel.


Oct 22, 2018
a sunken pirate ship
Sonic Advance, I would argue, does something like this. Advance 2 is kinda weird but Advance 3 goes back to ideas in 1 that worked while taking some of the ideas from Advance 2. (I guess in terms of Sonic games it's still pretty weird but it feels more like the older games than 2 does mainly because it's a bit slower and more technical at times)