10 Video Game Sequels With A Huge Leap In Graphics Quality

Since the rise of video games in the 1980s, franchises have become quite common. Apart from adding more to the lore of a game, sequels and spinoffs are also needed to enhance playability with the latest graphics and game engines.

While the shoddy originals are undeniable classics in their own right, some sequels have really upped the ante by even surpassing their predecessors. In some cases, it’s the switch from 2D to 3D that adds more to the environment design and character detail. In other cases, a change in game platforms can also improve the aesthetics of the game.

god of war 3

God of War: Every Greek God Kratos Meets in the Series

The two originals God of the war the games were groundbreaking for their time, being among the best PlayStation 2 titles. However, it is with God of War III that the franchise has upped its game with more realistic character designs and intensely interactive boss battles. The fights with Gaia and Cronos are particularly splendid.


The bearded Kratos has been the aggressive hero of the series and it is with the third installment that his visual design begins to improve. This time his muscles don’t look exaggerated but more human, with veins and sweat.

Grand Theft Auto III

GTA III Cabins

Just like its predecessor, GTA 2 had a top-down 2D perspective. There were still open-world gameplay possibilities that were only enhanced with GTA 3 and the multiples Grand Theft Auto sequels and derivative games. The graphics of GTA 3 obviously haven’t aged well compared to subsequent games, but it marked a huge and influential shift in the franchise.

With Auto Grand Theft 2 being designed for the original PlayStation and Game Boy Color, the hardware allowed for limited graphics. But GTA 3 shone in the open-world format with its design for the PlayStation 2. Players could experience faster car speeds, weather mechanics, and lens flares. Today the game is an undisputed classic with its brutal and reckless gameplay.

Street Fighter IV

Street Fighter IV

It had been more than a decade since Street Fighter IV follows the third chapter. Obviously, technology had moved on by this time, and the franchise decided to change with the times. Instead of the arcade-style 2D graphics, the game gained a 3D look that paved the way for future installments such as Street Fighter V.

Many games have moved from 2D to 3D over the years, but even so, Street Fighter IV stands out from other fighting games with its balance of tones. The background environment and character design gain more detail, but not to the extent that the characters look unrecognizable. In fact, it just adds more life to Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li and other characters in the street fighter Games.

Solid Metal Gear 2

Raiden and Solid Snake work together in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty

Solid Snake is arguably one of Hideo Kojima’s best video game characters. Part of her influential legacy comes from her rugged look, complete with her headband, long hair, and eye patch. However, in the first Solid metal geargraphics capabilities were so poor that Snake gets a sort of “melted” square face with little to no facial detail.

Compare that to Solid Metal Gear 2 and players get a more defined, human-looking snake. His scowling expressions and nimble combat moves make for a great combo that will only get better with future game restorations as well as sequels.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry and Snape in the video game Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

The whole of the Harry Potter movies have received their own video game adaptations, starting with Harry Potter at the Sorcerer’s Stone. The PlayStation title is known for its outsized character designs, especially Hagrid’s which later became the subject of a viral meme.

As for Chamber of Secrets, the PlayStation 2 sequel massively improves in terms of graphics. For starters, the characters aren’t as gruesome as PS1 Hagrid. The free flight mechanic triggered with magic brooms is another highlight of the game.

Fallout 3

The Wastelander and his dog wander off into the Fallout sunset

As it appears from To fall, the game franchise is set in a post-apocalyptic reality. And it’s this dystopian nuclear nature that comes through perfectly in the third game which not only introduces a 3D open-world dimension but also a significant continuation of its predecessor.

The second game takes place in the same reality but the main character is trapped in a claustrophobic vault. In Fallout 3the player finally exits the vault to find a muddy wasteland outside that is very entertaining and immersive to explore.

Doom 3

Imps from the video game Doom 3.

Conviction II continues to be a timeless classic for its iconic blurry graphics, mobility in 3D environments and, of course, reckless bloodshed. When the first-person shooter received a new-age sequel in 2004, a stylistic and narrative departure could be noted. Although the goal was still to load weapons and kill enemies, Doom 3 followed a more horrifying approach akin to the resident Evil Games.

With the game engine making good use of darkness and shadows in the Underground Lab settings, this could be quite a scary experience for some, as undead creatures can support themselves from anywhere.

Red Dead Redemption 2

Van der Linde gang members around the campfire from Red Dead Redemption 2

Red Dead Redemption came out in 2010, a unique western with enough natural environments to explore. The cinematic nature of its storyline was heightened with the sequel which released in 2018. While the first was already quite realistic, the second chapter strove to pay such extreme attention to detail that it became a bit too realistic for gamers.

Whether it’s the open landscapes, the riding mechanics, or just the gritty facial expressions of the main characters, games like Red Dead Redemption 2 paved the way for viewing video games as an art form.

The Sims 2

A sim swimming on the ground in The Sims 2

The first of sims games was obviously a pioneer for similar world-building games. But it was The Sims 2 who helped make his world even friendlier.

Not only was the graphical quality improved, but players were also able to zoom in on characters and their settings. The new 3D graphics engine allowed players to get 360 degree views of the game instead of the fixed 2D isometric viewpoint of the first game. their parents in the game.

Max pay 3

Max Payne walks away from a bar in Max Payne 3.

Max Payne 2 stands out in its own right but falls prey to 2000s graphic cliches, adding a “blocky” nature to characters’ bodies. Max pay 3 builds heavily on its predecessor with grittier character designs and improved gunplay.

The titular protagonist looks older, and the graphics make him look tired with age and time. The appearance of the muscles and veins of its characters and others is commendable, a far cry from the more simplistic designs of the previous two installments.

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