15 Horror Game Sequels That Are Better Than The Original

Over 200 Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of 15 Horror Game Sequels That Are Better Than The Original

One of the best things about video games is that when they do well, a sequel doesn't usually take long to follow. Add to that the fact that increases in graphical performance and other technical aspects of gaming hardware means that most sequels tend to be bigger and better than their predecessors. Granted, that's not guaranteed, and an advanced follow-up that's a crummy game will still be a crummy game.

When it comes to horror games, often, less is more. You don't need picture-perfect gore to scare the crap out of the average gamer, so sequels aren't always better than the original. It happens rarely, but it does happen, and these 15 horror game sequels are actually better than the originals they followed. Some of the games on this list are better than their predecessor in a long line of sequels, while others are simply better than the first entry in a franchise.

Take a look at the games below, and if you see one you played that you think was definitely an improvement on the original, be sure to vote it up to see which one rises to the top!

  • 1
    115 VOTES

    The Silent Hill franchise has been going strong since the first game was released back in 1999. Since that time, there have been a total of 13 games in the franchise, with eight landing in the main series that followed the 1999 release. The first game was a massive hit, and it's rated highly with a Metacritic score of 86, so it's not surprising that it launched a massive franchise.

    Silent Hill 2 scored slightly higher with an 89 on the PS2, though it has received higher ratings from other sites that clearly place it higher on the scale than its predecessor. The second game focuses on a widower named James Sunderland, who travels to the eponymous town after receiving a letter from his deceased wife, which explains that she is there waiting for him.

    The game was widely praised upon release. It's considered one of the best horror survival games ever released — even more so than its predecessor. It has been described as one of the best examples of a "video game as an art form," and it inspired more than just another sequel. The Silent Hill franchise, much like the Resident Evil franchise, has gone on to inspire the genre to great lengths, establishing itself as a foundational model for other games to emulate/follow.

    115 votes
  • 2
    102 VOTES

    The Resident Evil franchise is easily one of the best horror survival series out there. It has spawned numerous sequels and a live-action film series. While that part of the franchise has gone off on its own with some serious breaks from the video games' lore, the games have remained largely consistent. The first game that was dropped in 1996 established a gaming empire, and the first sequel did not disappoint fans.

    Resident Evil 2 is a direct sequel to the first game, which puts the player in control of Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield as they make their way out of Raccoon City. It takes place two months after Resident Evil and is absolutely beloved by fans. Not only did it outperform its predecessor in terms of sales and overall rating, but it also is the best-selling Resident Evil title for a single platform, having sold 5.77 million units on the PlayStation.

    The game was given a remaster/remake for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One in 2019, which only boosted its sale numbers. The picture comes from the remake, and it looks absolutely gorgeous on modern platforms. The remake sold 7.5 million copies soon after release, so it managed to outperform itself. The game is better than its predecessors, but that doesn't mean you can skip the original to play this one... well, you shouldn't. The story is a continuation, so the best way to enjoy the franchise is to fire up #1 and go from there.

    102 votes
  • NEW

    Five Nights at Freddy's was a game-changer for the horror survival franchise, as it offered an entirely new mechanic, which only increased the suspense for the player. The game was the creation of Scott Cawthon, who designed the title and its spinoffs. In the first three games, the player controls a security guard, who must survive the night against rampaging animatronic characters with only security cameras as his guide.

    Since it was first released, the franchise has spawned a ridiculous amount of content, which includes follow-up games, graphic novels, and more. The second title was dropped the same year as the first (2014), and the improvements Cawthon added to the sequel only boosted it above the first. Omri Petitte's review for PC Gamer included the following:

    What I got was a horror game dipping heavily into deception and subtlety, a wonderfully cruel cocktail of supernatural mystery and jolts of panicked adrenaline. Enjoying the good parts, though, comes with a cost of a frustratingly steep difficulty.

    The game has its detractors as well as supporters, but according to this list on Ranker, it's the leading title in the franchise.

    44 votes
  • 3
    95 VOTES

    Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

    Resident Evil 7: Biohazard continues the tradition of Resident Evil titles by outperforming its predecessor in a number of ways. Resident Evil 6 isn't a bad game by any measure, but it strayed away from the format enough to ensure fans didn't like it as much as other titles in the franchise. The primary complaint was that it was a departure from the survival horror roots that make the franchise what it is, so Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is seen as a return to form.

    In Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, the player takes control of Ethan Winters as he looks for his wife on a plantation peopled with infected monsters. The game is the first in the franchise to utilize a first-person perspective over the formerly-used third-person, and it was widely praised for this despite the large change in style. 

    Because it's largely considered to be a return to form, it's one of the best-reviewed games in the franchise since the 4th. It dropped on all the major consoles in 2017 and 2018, but it came with added VR support for the PlayStation, which was new to the franchise. The game did well in terms of sales and critiques, so it should come as no surprise to learn that it will be followed by a sequel, Resident Evil Village, scheduled for release in 2021.

    95 votes
  • The Fatal Frame franchise kicked off in 2001 with the first title in the series, simply called, Fatal Frame. That game established the setting as Japan in the 1980s with a focus on supernatural events. The game focuses on investigating via the Camera Obscura, which can capture and pacify spirits, which firmly established the franchise in the standards elements of Japanese horror.

    The first title did incredibly well, but its follow up, Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly, managed to build on the success of the first to wider acclaim. The game is often brought up in conversations as the most frightening video game of all time, which is saying something, as there are plenty of scary games on this list.

    As it happens, the first game has a relatively low completion rate, as players were literally too frightened to continue playing to the end. To try and get around this, the sequel focused more attention on the story to provide more interesting aspects that might encourage a player to get to the end. This worked, and it didn't work, as it only made it more frightening, though it does have a higher completion rate than the first.

    43 votes
  • 5
    57 VOTES

    Valve's Left 4 Dead was a huge success when it was released in 2008, making it a relative newcomer to the genre, but one that's definitely here to stay. The game was set in the aftermath of a worldwide zombocalypse and follows four protagonists who must survive against armies of undead monsters. The game has four modes to play, including a single-player mode, which features AI-controlled companions. Additionally, it has a four-player co-op mode, an eight-player online vs. mode, and a four-player survival mode.

    The sequel was just as successful as the original, though it did spark some controversy before it was released. The graphic content was considered to be too intense, so the cover art had to be redone to appease some markets. Once that was done and the game made it to store shelves, it sold like crazy. The game is similar in style to the original and focuses on a new group of four survivors who must fight their way through five campaigns with the goal of eventually escaping to relative safety.

    In terms of reception, both games have the same score of 89/100 on Metacritic. That's actually pretty rare, as it shows consistency. As a result, the game could be argued as being 'as good' as the first, though it does offer some improvements in sound and graphics quality over its predecessor, which is why it's elevated for this list.

    57 votes
  • The first Little Nightmares game was an incredibly enjoyable puzzle-platformer released in 2017-2018 on just about every console and system imaginable. The game follows the adventures of a girl named Six, who is distinguished by her yellow raincoat. She travels the Maw armed only with a lighter, where she encounters all kinds of grotesque monsters.

    Little Nightmares did incredibly well for a new IP, so it wasn't surprising when Bandai Namco announced there was a sequel on the way. The second title focuses on Mono, a young boy who wears a paper bag as a mask. Together with Six, they must uncover mysteries of the world they are trapped in.

    Six and Mono must work together to navigate through the Pale City, which is a large, decaying metropolis inhabited by deformed television-addicted people. The goal of the game is to make it to the Signal Tower and stop the Transmission, which is under the control of the Thin Man. Like the first game, Little Nightmares II is filled with incredible characters and locations. It ups the ante in what it offers over its predecessor, so if you enjoyed jumping into the Maw with Six, Pale City awaits!

    80 votes