Ten Games That Were Derivative But Still Rocked

Posted By | On 28th, Nov. 2010 Under Feature, Website | Follow This Author @Shubhankar2508

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Some of the most hyped games these days are also usually very derivative of other very successful titles, and recently examples such as Medal of Honor and Dante’s Inferno have shown us that such games are often given lower scores than what they deserve, simply because they take heavily from their competition.

We will list below ten games that that were hugely derivative of other titles, yet were still rather good.

Forza Motorsport (Derivative of the Gran Turismo series)

The Gran Turismo series was basically ruling the roost with no competition at all in the racing simulator genre. Forza Motorsport came, and it took heavily from Gran Turismo, the series it sought to overthrow, and even though it was not thrashed and/or underappreciated because of its obvious derivative nature, it still was, at that time, a “rip-off.” But it was spectacular, and it spawned two of the best racers ever released in the coming years.

Torchlight (Derivative of the Diablo games)

Torchlight is Diablo through and through,with some minor changes. It even looks the same. If Torchlight was released under the name of DiabloIII, it wouldn’t be hard to pass of as it. Yet still- who known anything about Torchlight? Most of you might not have even known a game called Torchlight existed before reading this- Torchlight surely deserves more. It is a really good, qualitative, addictive game, that deserves much more than just a “Diablo rip-off” tag.

Singularity (Derivative of BioShock)

Singularity was highly derivative of BioShock, and to an extent, even F.E.A.R. But that does not mean it wasn’t good. I mean, Bioshock and F.E.A.R were basically really good shooters, and what’s wrong with having more of the same? Singularity was like the best “best-of” compilation, combining all the great elements of BioShock and FEAR. It’s a pity that very few people actually got around to playing it, and that it received such mediocre reviews.

Lost Odyssey (Derivative of all JRPGs)

What did Lost Odyssey do? It took all the traditional JRPG formulas and mechanics, and just kept them as they were, with no tweaks or innovations. It stuck to the tried and true formula, and was thus given the tag of being “derivative” of all JRPGs, and trying nothing new. But how is that even supposed to matter? What mattered was that Lost Odyssey was a really good game, and deserved much, much more than what it got in sales and reviews, both.

ModNation Racers (Derivative of the Mario Kart series)

It was known long before MNR even released that it was being in released as competition for the almost unbeatable Mario Kart series, and people knew that other than the Play Create Share feature it borrowed from LittleBigPlanet, it was going to be a Mario Kart rip-off. While ModNation Racers was unable to perfectly recreate the fun and wacky nature of Mario Kart, it still turned out to be a really good, fun and addictive experience. Pity, though, that the game did not sell as well as it should have, and that it got only decent reviews.

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  • As far as the list goes, do more research. Castlevania had a 3D version previously before God of War (first one) even came out. Yes it was crappy, but the style of gameplay was already there. God of War just made the style playable. So that should be opposite.

  • This article is simply horrible. You’re telling me Medal of Honor derived from Call of Duty?! Someone needs to go back and check their history.

    3D Dot Game Heroes is more of an homage and satire of the classic Zelda than a derivative. Of course, to be exactly like Zelda, you must be exactly like Zelda, but that was the whole point!

    Lastly because Lost Odyssey sticks to its guns so it’s derivative?!?! I thought it was the other way around! I thought its when you take an original and tweak it, is what made it derivative. Not stick to the basic formula!

  • So uhh, you are fully aware that Medal of Honor was around WAY before the first Call of Duty… right? CoD just did a better job then MoH. Get a new job cause all of the other comments are 100% true. Disgusted at your ignorance.

  • svd

    Just as a fact, torchlight is similar to diablo 2 because most of the people that worked on diablo also worked on torchlight 😛

  • CLS

    Honestly, while I understand this article SIMPLY because I’ve heard of these games, there is a COMPLETE lack of consistency with the screen shots relative to which game is derivative. On top of that, the wording is confusing and lacks a definitive point in some cases, leading to confusion to those unfamiliar.

  • Shubhankar Parijat

    Hello readers,
    First of all, thanks for your comments, and thanks for taking out the time to read the list.
    Now, to all who are saying that Medal of Honor/Castlevania is older than Call of Duty/God of War, in the list, we are talking about the specific games that we have mentioned, not the entire series. So, just to make it clear, Lords of Shadow is derivative of God of War, not the entire Castlevania series, and Medal of Honor (2010) is derivative of Call of Duty, which has, for all practical purposes, overthrown Call of Duty completely.
    Once again, thanks! Keep the comments coming!

    • Ummm… I know I’m late to this (as usual), so, to the guy who posted this. Even when talking about the specific game, Medal of Honor actually launched before COD: Black OPs. IMO, both games are just derivatives of COD4, but that would only make too much sense. We could go so far to say they are based on Battlefield: Vietnam (and I don’t mean Bad Company’s rehash). You see, we can go a lot of places with derivatives and second derivatives and third derivatives. Just make sure you are chronological.

      You could have easily put that God of War was a derivative of Dynasty Warriors/Samurai Warriors. Or we could say that Bioshock was a ripoff of Painkiller. I think I’m sensing that this was written with the express intent to only give credit to games that have done well. I mean, it’s really not hard to make this list properly. All you need to do is a little bit of homework.

    • Oh, I forgot, torchlight is just a ripoff of Gauntlet Legends. And really, that can be traced back all the way to D&D ’74.

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  • rak33n

    froza did copy a lot from the gt series hopefully number 4 will be unique

  • Sometimes the rip offs are better, especially if it is a revision of a classic game that should have been remade, but gets crappy remakes that don’t keep too true to what made it great. I’m actually doing that with a little team, working on a side scrolling beat-em-up game, which is a mixture of what made Double Dragon, Final Fight, and Streets of Rage so awesome and fun-while making it beautiful and stylish like games like King of Fighters XIII.

    I watched my brother play God of War III, and it was definitely a beautiful game… However it was more of the same really. Kratos running around growling and screaming killing everyone, his character is boring to me. I then watch him play Dante’s Inferno.. Sure it wasn’t as pretty as God of War, but Dante was a hell of a lot more interesting than Kratos. I loved how they took the classic, and added things to make it more exciting-that’s exactly what my team and I are doing with the beat-em-up title, a lot of influence for it comes from stories of the bible.

    I’m really interesting in seeing how things go in a sequel to Dante’s Inferno. I have to say I wouldn’t care too much if a God of War IV was announced. First one was amazing because it changed the way platform games were to be done in this era of gaming. Second one was great a continuation of this awesome badass… Third as I said was more of the same just prettier and it was a bore.

    I’ve always been a fan of Final Fantasy since the day it came out for NES… However the series has become more of the same just prettier and prettier. Lost Odyssey was a beautiful game, but also far more interesting than Final Fantasy.

  • tareq salah

    yet GOW is a rip of castlevania of old. castlevania los was a game like no other.

  • Darksiders was OOT with demons and Luke Skywalker as Navi. Totally agree on Lost Odyssey, classic JRPG with better mechanics, and a better story/side-stories than any western rpg I’ve seen so far.


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