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Top 10 Most Cloned Video Games

VO: Dan Paradis

These are the games that were so good, people just had to imitate, copy or just plain rip off their formula to make games of their own. Often brilliant, always influencial, these games had gameplay, story elements or mechanics that everyone else wanted to ape. Join us as we take a look at the games that got copied the hardest – you know what they say: imitation is the best form of flattery!

Special thanks to our user "DaveVsTheWorld" for suggesting this idea, check out the voting page at WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Transcript
Script written by James Webster


Top 10 Most Cloned Video Games


These are the games that inspired other developers to get in on the action. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top ten most cloned video games.



#10: “Flappy Bird” (2013)


You can’t download the original anymore, so someone’s bound to make a clone. In early 2014 its creator removed the game off mobile app stores due to feeling guilty about the addictive nature of the game. Players enjoyed the super simple yet difficult gameplay which tapped into the, “just one more game” mentality. At the peak of its popularity, the game was being cloned about 60 times a day. Both Google and Apple started rejecting games with the word “flappy” in the title. For new players looking to try the addictive experience, you’ll have to resort to less mobile methods such as buying Amazon Fire TV, or making your way to the “Flappy Bird” arcade game.



#9: “Super Metroid” (1994)


How do you follow up one of the most critically acclaimed games of all time? An 8-year hiatus is an interesting move. “Super Metroid” was extremely influential to developers. Even though fans would not get another set of gamesin the series until 2002, it wasn’t too hard to find games inspired by it. Alongside “Castlevania: Symphony of the Night”, the game spawned the sub-genre known as “Metroidvania”. Games that weaved together action, exploration, and plenty of room to experiment for a gripping experience. This style of game has seen a modern resurgence with developers adding their own unique take on the genre. So when you hear “Metroidvania”, you’re likely to get something good.




#8: “Medal of Honor” (1999)


This game has the honor of starting a long trend of World War II shooters. Its tight level design, gameplay, and realistic graphics made it the game to beat. One of the most notable games inspired by the series was “Call of Duty”. It was created by Infinity Ward, a team made up of developers who had previously worked on “Medal of Honor: Allied Assault”. They later started a trend of modern day military shooters with the highly successful “Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare”. The “Medal of Honor” series rebooted in 2013 to take place in the modern day setting. Comparisons to “Modern Warfare” were obvious, some people even calling it a clone of that series. History can be funny sometimes.



#7: “Bejeweled” (2001)


This has been the puzzle game to match since its release. “Bejeweled” popularized the tile matching puzzle genre and continued to be the most dominant series for quite awhile. Some people speculate that its dominance is the result of it coming out before the competition. Either way, it’s hard to argue that its one of the most polished and quality games of the genre. Other games like “Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords” and “Candy Crush Saga” have since innovated in this genre by adding more to the basic gameplay. Still, there is something to be appreciated in “Bejeweled’s” Zen-like simplicity.



#6: “Mortal Kombat” (1992)


With all the blood and body parts flying around, “Mortal Kombat” was certain to make a splash on the industry. The digitized violence made it a very controversial and popular game. Unfortunately, all the guts and gore is wheremost imitators put their focus. Once you got past the pixelated blood, at the core is a solid fighting game. Many of its competitors failed to deliver on gameplay and were critically panned. Some even failed to see an official release like “Tattoo Assassins”, and “Thrill Kill”. “Mortal Kombat” had its fair share of clones, but none of them could perform a fatality on the long lasting franchise.


#5: “Space Invaders” (1978)


The influential arcade classic that showed that games could give other media a run for their money. Its designer faced technical limitations which brought in innovative new ideas. Destroying enemy aliens lightened the load on the hardware’s processor. This inadvertently sped up the game and its music to create a thrilling difficulty curve. Its popularity led to some direct clones and games that were inspired by the core concept. Some games that were influenced by “Space Invaders” include “Galaxian” and “Defender”. There’s lots to say about the game’s rich history and its effect on the industry. You can clone a game, but it’s not easy to clone a legacy.



#4: “Grand Theft Auto III” (2001)


Many games that came after this have driven away with its blueprint for modern game design. An open world to explore, the main storyline, a few things to do on the side, and a bit of driving. However, that last point depends on if your character is a normal person or a super hero. The game’s success led to some imitators. Eventually games from different genres were able to take parts of the formula and successfully make it their own. The series continues to be some of the highest selling video games of all time. So when it comes to financial returns, the criminal shenanigans of the “Grand Theft Auto“ series is still on top.



#3: “Minecraft” (2011)


When a game starts getting popular, sometimes you’ve got to build your own version. It was not hard to find similarly styled survival and building games. However, “Minecraft’s” gameplay is not the only thing that inspired developers. It popularized an alternative funding model for video games. It was purchasable as an early access title throughout the alpha and beta stages to help further fund its development. This proved to be very successful, encouraging other indie devs to give it a shot. “Minecraft” is still vastly more popular that its competition, showing it has a sturdy foundation that has yet to be toppled.



#2: “Super Mario Kart” (1992)


The party to be at before “Mario Party”. “Super Mario Kart” was credited to creating the kart- racing subgenre. Many other kart racers have tried to emulate the game to varying degrees of success. It wasn’t just throwing franchise mascots in go-karts that made this game successful. It was the simplified yet deep gameplay that feels rewarding to players of any skill level. Nintendo would later file a patent for the racing AI in 2004. It’s very interesting to see on a technical level how they make an exciting racing game. No wonder “Mario Kart” holds the pole position of kart racers.



Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honourable mentions

“The Legend of Zelda” (1996)

“Bubble Bobble” (1986)

“Breakout” (1976)

“Tetris” (1984)

“Mario Party” (1998)



#1: “Doom” (1993)


It’s all in the name. Similar games after its release were referred to as “Doom clones”. It established the many of the genre’s conventions such as a variety of weapons to choose from, networked multiplayer, and cheat codes. Some of these “clones” were successful in innovating on the gameplay. This led to the decline of the phrase “Doom clone”. id Software also licensed the engine to other developers so the label was a bit unjust. By 1998 thesegames were regularly known as first-person shooters. Many FPS games later, fans would find it hard to shake off the adrenaline fueled magic of blasting away at demons.

Do you agree with our list? What do you think is the most cloned video game? For more Top 10 trend setting lists published every day be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.

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