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Portal 2 is hands down the greatest sequel ever made

April 30, 2017 2 min read

The games industry, like the movie industry and apparently the television industry, is one that thrives on sequels. Just look at the list of upcoming games for 2017. You can barely swing a cat without hitting some follow-up. Some of these games look to improve upon the first entry, others exist solely to continue the story and some basically start from scratch, going back to the drawing board to give players something completely new. Every sequel has a chance of outshining the original, but let’s be honest: no sequel will ever shine a bright as Portal 2.

I didn’t play the original Portal until just before the release of the sequel. As a Mac owner, the game came free for me with the download of the Steam client. I fell hard for Portal, both figuratively and literally. I literally fell out of my chair in midst of celebrating my triumph over GLaDOS and hit my head on the floor. That brain injury did nothing to temper my anticipation for the follow-up.

There is always the worry a sequel will be a letdown, that our experiences with the original create unjustifiably high expectations for anything that follows it. Portal 2 took exactly 10 minutes for that worry, the fear of the overfamiliar, to melt away. It did exactly what I believe a good sequel should do: take what worked with the original, get rid of what didn’t, and make worthwhile additions.

It’s tough for me to say which addition Portal 2 is the best. The story, and yes stories can make video games better, helped build the world around Aperture Science and create motivation for its characters. New physics concepts intensified the puzzles standing between Chell and Wheatley, and the co-op mode provided some of the most fun I’ve had working together with a friend. Oh, and I can't forget the beautiful mod support for the game. All of this bundled created a package far more complete and engaging than the original. That’s why it’s a clear, inarguable fact that Portal 2 is the gold standard for sequels in this industry.

Portal 2 is hands down the greatest sequel ever made screenshot