When a game series has that something extra, that feeling of please let there be more, the necessary and inevitable spin-off fills the need for more. Now, despite looking like second-rate games or poorly executed imitations, the spin-offs present some of the most important and critically acclaimed games of all time. The spin-off sometimes even surpasses its parent series, becoming what people actually want to play the most.
There are certainly poorly executed or rushed spinoff games; However, these are the ten spin-off games that not only helped develop and expand the original series, but also created their own bold new marks in the industry. It’s sure to break hearts in some way as the possibilities on this list are incredible, here are the top ten spin-off games worth playing and more.
10 Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7
A very interesting feature of the spin-off category is to expand the narrative of the original game to fully develop and realize the plot, its characters, and the nuances involved. Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7 does an excellent job of achieving this. A prequel on PSP, Crisis Core can explain the events of the original ps1 game but also add to the story and enhance existing parts of the plot.
While this game is too heavy and cheesy for some, retaining it on our list here, if you can buy the game’s over-the-top narrative and romantic characters, then you’re in for a heartwarming and fun game. The bust sword is even upgraded through amazing lore, too cool.
9 mega man x
Arguably a perfect game in many ways, the original Mega Man series spin-off is a 16-bit blessing. With a rocking soundtrack, spectacular color palette, excellent sprite work, fantastic controls, and memorable bosses and locations, X will give you everything. The game also features some great replay value with secrets including the street fighter hadoken and little touches like beating one level to change another’s weather or lighting.
The only thing holding it back here is the length of the game as when you know what you’re doing it’s pretty fast but boy is it a sublimely smooth ride while it lasts. Check out the music, especially since it’s some of the best on the Super Nintendo, quite a feat.
8 final fantasy tactics
The most proficient time killer ever created by many, Final Fantasy Tactics creates a relaxing and beautiful match of sword and magic chess. Tactics is an incredibly well thought out and well designed turn based and grid based strategy masterpiece. With an engaging and LONG narrative campaign, magic and summons, classes and jobs, and even Cloud Strife himself, this is the companion piece to PS1 Final Fantasy.
While a turn-based strategy RPG isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, holding you back here, Final Fantasy Tactics is over 350 hours of RPG bliss refined and perfected. As part of SquareSoft’s golden era on PlayStation 1, every PS1 fan should at least give this all-time classic a try. Just remember, the outside world is still a thing.
7 donkey kong country
The epitome of great controls, Donkey Kong Country on the Super Nintendo is one of the best platform games ever made. Fantastic level design with fun secrets to find, fantastic colors and those always perfect 90’s pre-rendered graphics, cool characters and the best music on Super Nintendo, there’s not much wrong with DKC.
What’s holding you back here is the fact that most of the boss fights are pretty easy after getting back into the game a few times, as well as some secrets that are inexplicable leaps of faith over and over again until you locate them. Don’t let that or anything else stop you from playing one of the best 2-D video games ever made. God bless composer David Wise. A classic born in Nintendo.
6 pokemon go
An instant worldwide phenomenon, lightning struck twice when Pokémon Go was initially released for mobile phones in 2016, having been downloaded more than 500 million times in 12 months. Within the first few seconds of playing, everyone realized how cool the seemingly simple app is, a total work of art.
The real world locations you’ll see and the people you’ll meet along the way, the journey itself, is what really helps this game continue to impact the world on a daily basis. While walking isn’t possible or even a good time for everyone to stop the game here, the near-universal appeal of the original Pokemon games was still brilliantly expanded upon here, a truly revolutionary title.
5 Half Life: Counter Strike
A perfect candidate for a Mount Rushmore (Doom, Wolfenstien, Goldeneye) first-person shooter, Counter-Strike is THE fps for most anyone who has ever clicked a computer mouse. One of the most competitive things humans have ever created, the Half-Life mod has captivated and infuriated millions for decades.
The PC-only requirements for this masterpiece hold you back here, as many just couldn’t run this properly, even with a decent computer; however, this game becomes one of the first worthy E-Sports and the latest adrenaline-pumping meme factory. This is still played today at extremely high levels, a testament to its greatness. Boom headshot!
4 world of warcraft
More than a game for its most devoted, WoW is a way of life for most of its players. A totally brilliant and finely crafted MMORPG experience compared to its competitors at the time of release, and still today, Wow and the land of Azeroth is a fun-filled joy to explore. There’s always something to do, someone to talk to, another quest, better gear, a new mount; it never really ends.
Its ability to literally consume your entire waking life holds it here, perhaps a little too absorbing and demanding for most people, but that’s both a positive and a negative, depending on who you ask – a must-play for fans of MMO of any kind.
3 The Sims
A must-have experience for anyone, the original Sims game on PC is a sharp, silly work of art. A revolution in design; it really felt like doing just about anything you could think of was somehow unlockable or possible. The joy of building your dream house over and over again, pulling the ladder out of the pool, and trying to put out fires, this game was an experience.
Although the game is genreless and hard to define, leading some to not enjoy the fairly open or non-linear style that holds it back here, those who truly understand The Sims can’t live without it. Entering the Rosebud hack to add to that group you’ve always wanted never gets old.
The ultimate in presentation and narrative communication, Portal is one of Valve’s and gaming’s greatest achievements. Boasting some of the most clever puzzles in any medium, this game remains an incredibly engaging and thought-provoking wonder to play. GLaDOS, the companion cube, the cake, creating an endless fall, everything in this game is clearly memorable and stupidly fun.
The grim, harsh setting and fantastic ambient soundtrack also do a great job of creating a memorable, gruesome, MK Ultra-style laboratory that’s equal parts fun, intriguing, and terrifying. If you’ve never played Portal or know the truth about pie, this is still a near-perfect game. It would be the best spinoff game ever made, if it weren’t for the #1 gaming icon.
1 Super Mario
Nintendo’s lovable plumber Mario is the absolute and undeniable king of spin-off games. Since this list would mostly be Mario spin-offs, here we have combined all the fantastic and acclaimed games derived from the legendary Nintendo stars.
Super Mario Kart, Super Mario RPG, Paper Mario, Dr. Mario, Super Mario 99, Mario Paint, Mario and Sonic at the Olympics, Mario Party, Mario and Luigi Superstar Saga, Mario Golf, Mario Tennis, Yoshi’s Cookie, Super Mario Maker , seemingly never ending! Nintendo and Mario are the lords of spin-off gaming, the undisputed champions by far.
Next: Best Video Game Commercials, Ranked