Yesterday, we counted down the worst characters video game sequels had to offer. Now, it's time to do the best sequel characters. Will your favorites come out on top? We'll see, let's go:
10.Donkey Kong Country 2 Diddy's Kong Quest: Diddy Kong
Donkey Kong Country revitalized the Donkey Kong franchise by rebooting it as a platformer and giving a tie to DK himself. They also updated the roster of characters including DK's new nephew, Diddy Kong. While he started off as a sidekick to Donkey Kong, for the sequel, Rare Ware and Nintendo decided to make Donkey Kong the one to be rescued and have Diddy be the star of his own conquest (hence the punny title).
Diddy was nimbler and a smaller kind of Kong compared to Donkey Kong, he also had his girlfriend Dixie act as his partner in crime and a sort of Tails to Diddy's Sonic, with her ability to hover with her hair. Diddy Kong has since been much appreciated within the fandom, with his inclusion in the Smash Bros. series as a top-tier character, returning as Donkey Kong's sidekick in the newer DKC games and even his appearances on Nintendo 64 classics such as Donkey Kong 64 or his very own Diddy Kong Racing.
9.Bioshock Infinite: Booker Dewitt
Bioshock 1 had Jack stumbling upon the underwater city of Rapture and getting himself intertwined with the dark machinations going on in the city. Bioshock 2 sees Subject Delta doing whatever it takes to save his Little Sister. Booker Dewitt, on the other hand, gets himself into an adventure that spans multiple timelines with infinite possibilities, in the floating city of Columbia, saving a girl named Elizabeth who can open tears into other versions of the world.
Unlike the previous two protagonists of the trilogy, Booker has a lot more personal stake in the ongoing battle against the founder of Columbia, Comstock and saving his adopted daughter Elizabeth and has a lot to do with alternate dimensions and alternate versions of themselves. Overall, Bioshock Infinite is an amazing story and having an amazing lead like Booker Dewitt makes it that more memorable and fresh.
8.Crisis Core Final Fantasy: Zack Fair
This one may be a bit cheating as it is technically a prequel but it came out after the original FFVII. Nonetheless, Zack Fair was an ideal hero in a franchise of brooding, reluctant heroes. Zack Fair has more in common with Tidus or Zidane compared to Cloud, Squall or Vincent. He's optimistic, genuinely nice guy who looked up to Sephiroth, Angeal and Genesis. He inherited the Buster Sword from his mentor Angeal and did his best to prevent what was going to happen in Final Fantasy VII. He did all this while trying to keep his girlfriend Aerith happy.
His heroic death at the end is iconic and scarred Cloud up to the point of him thinking he was Zack throughout the first half of FFVII. From his humble beginnings as a palette swap of Cloud's model in a few scenes in Final Fantasy VII, to a full-blown PSP game to himself, Zack Fair really is a hero in his own right.
7.Assasin's Creed 2: Ezio Auditore
When Assassin's Creed came out, it had a good reception with people regarding it as a more sci-fi successor to the Prince of Persia series. The Assasin's Creed franchise really came to their own with the release of Assassin's Creed 2 and their new protagonist, Ezio Auditore. Taking place in the hey day of 15th century Italy, it was at the height of the Renaissance when Ezio's father and brothers were betrayed by family friend Uberto Albertini in a ploy with other corrupt nobles.
This leads to Ezio becoming an assassin to avenge his family and bring justice to all. Like a Renaissance Batman, Ezio was faster and had more fancy gear to assassinate his enemies compare to his predecessor Altair. Ezio traveled to other European countries and fought against the Templar threat, with the help of powerful allies such as Leonardo da Vinci and Niccolo Machiavelli, Ezio made a name for himself amongst assassins everywhere. He is also the star of not one, not two but three mainline Assasin Creed games.
6.Tekken 3: Jin Kazama
The grandson of series antagonist Heihachi Mishima, Jin Kazama replaces his own father, Kazuya Mishima as the main character and poster boy of the Tekken series from his introduction in Tekken 3 onwards. He uses both Kazama-style self-defense and the his family's signature Mishima variant of karate. He also possesses the Devil Gene which allows him to transform into Devil Jin, a laser-shooting, winged version of himself, a trait he inherited from his father.
Unlike his father, Jin has a strong sense of justice and is out for more than pure revenge, he seeks to be different from the rest of the Mishima clan and end the cycle of violence within their family. Though his real motivations to remove the Devil Gene were revealed in Tekken 6, the first 3 games that introduced Jin showed us his prowess and earned himself a place as one of the best Tekken characters of all time.
5.Castlevania Symphony of the Night: Alucard
Dracula's half-vampire son Alucard takes center stage in this sequel to Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, or if you prefer the SNES version, Castlevania Dracula X. The game has Alucard entering Dracula's castle to destroy his father and save the protagonist of the previous game, Richter Belmont. Though Alucard has made a playable appearance before in Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse on the NES, Symphony of the Night fleshes out Alucard and made him stand out on his own, this includes a complete redesign and new skills and powers beyond just turning into a bat. He can now wield a myriad of weapons from greatswords to nunchucks, summon demons and faeries, sling all kinds of spells and transform into all kinds of animals.
Symphony of the Night ushered in a new era of Castlevania games that went from side-scrolling platformers into a nonlinear, action RPG with expanded lore and a more rich story. Alucard continues to appear in more recent Castlevania games and serves as the series's breakout character apart from the usual members of the Belmont clan.
4.Resident Evil 2: Leon S. Kennedy
At number 4, we have Resident Evil 2's rookie cop and total badass Leon S. Kennedy. Designed as a foil to Resident Evil 1's macho hero Chris Redfield, Leon was designed as a dashing, suave main character that matured from rookie cop into a hardened zombie killer. Finding himself in the middle of a T-Virus outbreak in Raccoon City on his first day on the job, Leon rises up to the challenge to save the city and end the outbreak. Along the way, he gets to team up with Claire Redfield, the sister to Chris Redfield, and Ada Wong to infiltrate the Umbrella Corporation's research facility and stop William Birkin from spreading the virus.
Leon returns in Resident Evil 4 and 6 as a seasoned U.S special agent, with the 4th game in the series has him rescuing and escorting the U.S President's daughter Ashley Graham from a cult that aims to spread a parasite in an act of bioterrorism. In Resident Evil 6, despite having 4 playable characters, Leon is seen as the true protagonist of the game as he uncovers a conspiracy involving the U.S president and works with Ada Wong again to prevent a global outbreak. With him starring in even numbered Resident Evil games, it's a safe bet that he will return for the inevitable Resident Evil 8.
3.Super Mario World 2 Yoshi's Island: Yoshi
Yoshi was introduced in Super Mario World as a mount and power-up for Mario and Luigi as they try to save Dinosaur Island from the clutches of Bowser and his Koopalings. Super Mario World 2 flips the script with having Yoshi as the lead with Baby Mario on his back, on a quest to save Baby Luigi from Baby Bowser. Despite still having Mario around on his back, Yoshi is the one calling the shots in his first foray as a leading game icon.
While Yoshi's move set was limited in Mario World as he was only able to eat enemies and fruits and occasionally lays eggs, Yoshi's Island introduces the egg laying and tossing mechanic as Yoshi's signature move and builds the whole game around it. With switches, collectibles and enemies are all able to be activated or thwarted with a precise egg toss. Yoshi could also now flutter jump, giving him extra air time and ground pound to attack from above. From then on, Yoshi's star could only rise higher and higher with multiple sequels to Yoshi's Island, which became its own series of games, a mainstay in Mario Kart, Mario Party, Mario Sports and Super Smash Bros.
2.Metal Gear Solid 3 Snake Eater: Naked Snake
Just like Crisis Core, this game is narratively a prequel and also having the main protagonists predecessor as the main playable character. Naked Snake was not just the predecessor to Solid Snake, but also the original Snake as Solid Snake was just a genetically modified clone of Naked Snake. Naked Snake is also revealed to be Big Boss, Solid Snake's commanding officer in the first two Metal Gear games and the primary antagonists as well. Metal Gear Solid 3 showed the evolution of Naked Snake as he survives through the Soviet Union, fighting off his own commanding officer that turned rogue, The Boss and ultimately gaining his recognition as a legendary soldier and earning himself the title of Big Boss.
The big difference between Solid Snake and Naked Snake is their principles as soldiers, with Solid Snake being more of a perfect soldier, enacting every mission given to him and believing that he is helping to create a better world for everyone. Naked Snake starts off like that but begins to be more disillusioned with the strife and turmoil that comes with being the perfect soldier and sets off to create Outer Heaven in an attempt to realize The Boss's dreams of a world free from war and suffering. Though their ideologies differ, Solid Snake and Naked Snake reconcile their differences at the end of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots with Big Boss dying as he succumbs to the Foxdie virus while Solid Snake lives out his life in peace.
Megaman X is the best sequel character of all time. He doesn't just take one game to prove he is a worthy successor, but he proves it with a whole series of games starting to the original Megaman X. The original Megaman was a tough as nails action platformer that was full of charm and challenge, Megaman X takes the same formula and cranks it up to 11 with X having way more moves in his arsenal than the original Megaman ever had. He could not only jump and shoot but also dash, charge his X-Buster and all his special weapons, wall-climb and more. He could even collect armor pieces, providing him with a new set of armor that improves his move set in every way.
He also had a more defined story arc compared to the original, with Megaman X also being invented by Megaman's creator Dr. Light as a new savior for the future and locked away in Dr. Light's lab. He was then discovered and from his schematics, a new brand of robots called Reploids were created. But once those Reploids started going Maverick, X was the only robot for the job to stop the nefarious plans of Sigma, with the help of his sword-wielding buddy, Zero. Megaman has since gotten a ton of different incarnations and iterations, but Megaman X stands to be the best of them all.
Ms. Pac Man
Some might argue that Ms. Pac Man was merely an updated Pac Man with a new sprite with a bow on it and different color palettes for the levels. I'd argue that Ms. Pac Man was the first sequel character to grace the video games industry and is an icon in her own right. Though that still doesn't dispute the fact that she's just Pac Man with a bow...