You know you’ve made it when your game is so successful that you get a spin-off, and many of the biggest games in the business have done just that, from Musou crossovers and alternate universe sports to rhythm and strategy games. . And you know what? usually they are very good.
We’ve compiled a list of the best of the best: the 8/10s and above in the spin-off space, which are good for series newcomers and veterans alike.
If you’re wondering about our process of deciding what counts as a spin-off, why don’t we have Mario Kart 8 on this list? Or Person 5? — we count games that are the first or second spinoff of a popular series, and only count the best if there are two (like River City Girls over River City Girls 2).
If you think we’ve missed a gem, or if you want to discuss whether or not games like Super Mario Maker count as a spin-off, head over to the comments!
Editor: Nintendo / Developer: get ready games
From the opening menu you use not the soulful music of the outside world of Zelda, but the understated theme of ocarina of timetitle screen, you know you’re about to embark on a special journey. Hyrule Cadence (we won’t bother with his ridiculously long official moniker) takes the music we all know and love and remixes it with the game itself, stitching those melodies into the fabric of Hyrule in a way that feels totally natural, but also energetic and fresh. . .
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Editor: SEGA / Developer: Study P
If you expected this Atlus/Koei Tecmo crossover to be a musu style spin-off, a warrior dynasty-esque effort with a fantasy Person hastily slapped fur on the top, it will surprise you a little. What we really have here is a slick and exciting action-RPG that manages to keep many of the Persona series’ trademark conversations, characters, and camaraderie intact while successfully fusing them with hack-and-slash combat that’s a bit more strategic and varied than we expected it to be.
Editor: red project cd / Developer: red project cd
Thronebreaker is less of a spin-off and more of a cross-pollination of ideas between mainstream Witcher games, Gwent, and other turn-based RPGs. Instead of following the exploits of the pop culture man of the moment, Geralt of Rivia, the game focuses on Meve, the queen of Lyria and Rivia, who is facing an imminent invasion from the warmongering region of Nilfgaard. With The Witcher creating renewed interest in Andrzej Sapkowski’s vast fantasy world, the timely arrival of this Switch port offers the perfect opportunity to see another warrior monarch deal with the onslaught of war and political intrigue.
Editor: Capcom / Developer: Capcom
Monster Hunter is a series with a long tradition of being impenetrable to first-time casual gamers, with overlapping systems and complicated combat. Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin may be a sequel, but it’s worth saying right away that you don’t need to have played this spin-off’s debut to jump into the new release – this is a welcome gateway for newcomers. .
Wings of Ruin is full of charm and has a depth that can immerse the committed or those eager to simply experience the story. As a mix of Monster Hunter with a traditional RPG approach, it’s a accomplished effort and offers the kind of meaty experience that will keep most gamers busy for weeks.
Editor: Nintendo / Developer: koei tecmo
You know the topic of Gerudo Valley from ocarina of time? It’s a great song, probably the top five Zelda tracks, and one that is sure to get your blood pumping. Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamitya Zelda flavored Warriors game, it’s all Gerudo Valley, a moving number that will cheer you up for the journey ahead. Age of Calamity very successfully co-opts many elements of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and offers a satisfying, combat-focused spin-off with a ton of content.
Editor: Square Enix / Developer: PlatinumGames
NieR: Automata is perhaps a story of the power of word of mouth. A sequel in an IP (which was itself a Drakengard spin-off) with a devoted but modest by Square Enix standards following, it became a notable bestseller over time, as initial fans convinced the neutrals that something special had arrived.
And they were right: NieR: Automata is a wonderful slice of sci-fi storytelling wrapped up in a hit action-adventure RPG. Like its predecessors, NieR:Automata continually exceeds your expectations as you play. For the most part a 3D action title, with a generous dose of RPG ideas, however, it continually surprises you and introduces new twists. Sometimes that’s in the storytelling, but also in the game; We won’t spoil anything beyond the opening section, but you do have elements of shooting, puzzle solving, and more.
Editor: Ubisoft / Developer: Ubisoft
When Mario Kingdom Battle + Rabbids was revealed to the world via a leaked image of ‘Rabbid Peach’ taking a selfie, it’s fair to say that not everyone reacted with glee. It looked like some horrible piece of art, especially once the follow-up artwork showed Mario and company pointing guns at enemies; However, when the game was revealed, many eyebrows were raised and it became clear that Ubisoft had embarked on an ambitious quest to combine Mario, Rabbids, and turn-based tactical battles, and better yet, they succeeded.
Editor: Nintendo / Developer: Atlus
Despite the game’s original working title of Fire Emblem Shin Megami Tensei X, Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore is much more of a Shin Megami game than a Fire Emblem one. The inclusion of those Fire Emblem characters and the occasional burst of the familiar Fire Emblem theme is as far as the game goes in terms of representing the Nintendo and Intelligent Systems series, while there are plenty more links to Atlus games here. , no less important. of the entire combat system.
Yet Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore remains one of the most colourful, accessible, and downright endearing RPGs you’ll find on Switch. Its new story chapter, music tracks, and character aids improve on the original to some degree, but not enough to greatly affect its overall quality. Fortunately, what was there was already fantastic, which means that those who missed it the first time around really have no reason not to get caught up now.
Editor: Square Enix / Developer: Square Enix
Although the Minecraft The formula has been repeated to infinity, Square Enix managed to offer an interesting version of the classic sandbox with Dragon Quest Builders. All of the blocky aesthetic and open-ended creation were present and taken into account, but all of these things were expressed within a larger story arc that included plenty of RPG trappings from Square’s storied franchise.
It takes a surprising amount of effort to beat Minecraft at its own game, but we’d say Dragon Quest Builders 2 surpasses its inspiration in many ways when it comes to fun and replayability. The melding of JRPG conventions with the open and creative sentiments of the sandbox game proves to be much smoother than one might expect, especially now that Square Enix seems to know what it’s doing with this sub-series.