No matter whether it's a video game, movie, TV show, or book, prequels are incredibly tough to get right.
At their best, they can accentuate the existing story and characters by offering fresh context to both, but more often they end up feeling like unimaginative also-rans - if not actively trampling over the existing lore.
These video game prequels, while certainly not franchise-derailing by any means, all failed to justify their existence with fans, largely ending up as passable, easily forgotten "whatever" entries into their respective series.
Whether simply failing to iterate on prior games, relying excessively on lazy fan service, or just presenting little good reason for their existence, these prequels squandered their potential with their completely unremarkable gameplay, narratives, and aesthetics.
Above all else, these non-event prequels prove just how hard it is to produce truly meaningful ones such as, say, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Yakuza 0, or Red Dead Redemption 2.
There needs to be an inspired creative spark that makes the game feel "necessary" - as necessary as any game is, at least - but these 10 prequels were sorely lacking it, sadly...
10. Resident Evil Zero
Though not quite the black sheep of the franchise that Code Veronica X is, Resident Evil Zero is nevertheless an awkward entry into the survival horror series because it arrived at a time when it was going through a major transitional period.
Put in the unenviable position of having to follow up Capcom's superb GameCube remake of the original game, Resident Evil Zero just doesn't add much compelling to the series' overarching mythology narrative or character-wise. Sorry, Billy.
More to the point, beyond introducing character switching and an inspired new item-dropping system, Zero underlined just how tired Resident Evil's core gameplay formula was at this point, as would be so brilliantly revitalised by Resident Evil 4 a few years later.
Is it a bad game? Absolutely not: it drips with atmosphere and gives lore obsessives enough to feast on, but overall feels too much like a retread of the original Resident Evil, and given that it released less than eight months after REmake, couldn't help but seem like a cash-in.