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It's one thing for a brand-new intellectual property to capture the imagination of gamers—it's another if developers are able to follow their initial success with a sequel that not only lives up to expectations, but may even surpass them. The history of video games is littered with franchises that have simply crashed and burned after some initial success, unable to capitalize on what made their games great. And there are others, such as these 25 we've compiled, which are not only great sequels, but also great games in their own right. And early 2011 is a prime period for sequels, with LittleBigPlanet 2 and Dead Space 2 both doing their predecessors proud in recent weeks. From the golden age of PC games back in the day to today's generation of HD entertainment, we're running down our picks for the No. 2s that were the shit.

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By Troy Mounis