Dueling Games

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

This page is a list of games that are considered imitations of each other. Inspired by a game's success and/or popularity, others are made. Which is the original and which is the imitation is not always completely clear; sometimes, however, it is painfully so.

Of course, most of the examples shown below aren't copying other studios, but had just came out around the same time with the same theme. Keep that in mind when comparing two games or game series to each other. Most of the times it just leads to a Fandom Rivalry.

This is not related to Yu-Gi-Oh!. Or Duel Masters. Or... well, you get what we mean.

For rivalries in other media, see Dueling Movies and Dueling Shows.

Initiator Imitators Description Misc. Winner?
Dragon Quest Final Fantasy Eastern RPGs based on long-running western series Dragon Quest came first, aped Ultima, and is loved in Japan; Final Fantasy came out about one year and a half after the first, liberally cribbed from Dungeons & Dragons, and gets more respect internationally. On an international scale, Final Fantasy. In Japan, Dragon Quest by a few million per release cycle. They're both owned by the same people now, however, so they technically don't duel as much as they used to. Either way, everybody wins. (Especially when you remember the last time the DQ and FF teams got together for drinks.)
Shin Megami Tensei Final Fantasy (both pre- and post-Square Enix merge) Eastern RPGs with a strong focus on storytelling and general Character Development. Shin Megami Tensei is more popular in Japan than stateside, but, with games like Persona 3, Persona 4, Persona 5 and the spinoffs, more exposure is given to the series as a whole. Final Fantasy may have reached a peak in the popularity, with games like Final Fantasy XIII dividing the fanbase, though Final Fantasy XV was well liked. However, Final Fantasy has taken a Darker and Edgier route, with recent releases like Final Fantasy Type-0 (re)attracting people worldwide. These are INSANELY POPULAR series. You cannot just count the games in the series themselves, but the respective companies as well. With Persona 4: The Animation already having a massive fanbase both worldwide and in Japan, Atlus as a whole suddenly gained a breakthrough in popularity, combined with FF's wane. Final Fantasy XIII-2 is an interesting example in that it's very close to SMT as a whole, with its Mons-style gameplay and Darker and Edgier storyline.
Grand Theft Auto series Saints Row series Sandbox crime games. Saints Row was developed to take advantage of the long Indian Summer between the releases of San Andreas and GTAIV. Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto IV (especially IV) have both received wide critical acclaim, being considered as some of the best games of their respective generations. The first Saints Row, while well received, often gets bashed for being a knock-off. Saints Row 2, however, is often held to be the point where the franchise grew the beard, with even some longtime GTA fans crossing over (choosing to go in a more over-the-top direction, a la San Andreas, compared to GTA IV's realistic drama may have helped). Both of them have also been sales successes, though GTA came out on top with the success of Grand Theft Auto V following a failed reboot of the Saints Row franchise.
Medal of Honor series Call of Duty series FPS games set on WWII Before going multi-platform, Medal Of Honor started on PS 1, while Call of Duty was first released years later on PC. Also, MOH games typically focus on a single American protagonist, while the COD games are played from the perspective of multiple soldiers of varying nationalities. Both series were widely acclaimed during their first installments, but while MOH's popularity stalled, the COD franchise ascended to the top with its (far more successful) spin-offs. It should be noted that Infinity Ward, which developed many of the initial COD games, also developed Medal Of Honor Allied Assault, which is considered by some to be the high point of the MOH series.
Final Fantasy Tactics Tactics Ogre (PS 1 Updated Rerelease) Turn-Based Strategy games for an Eastern RPG series. Both games were designed by Yasumi Matsuno and were released in the same year (1997 in Japan and 1998 in North America; release order remained the same). It should be noted that Tactics Ogre is originally a 1995 Super Famicom game and that Final Fantasy Tactics is its Spiritual Successor. Germans Love David Hasselhoff strikes. In Japan, Tactics Ogre was a well-remembered and beloved game that had already received an updated release on the Sega Saturn the previous year. It sold very well and was the clear winner. Final Fantasy Tactics was seen as a Follow the Leader game and sold poorly. In North America, Tactics Ogre was being released for the first time. But with FFT being released first, TO was seen as the knock-off. The cash-cow name recognition of the Final Fantasy brand (fresh off the success of Final Fantasy VII) meant that FFT won by a landslide to the point where most people there didn't know or remember there even was a dueling game. It also sold well enough to get a reprint before the Japanese market got one.
Alone in the Dark Resident Evil In both games the protagonists must fight their way through a mansion filled with puzzles and monsters to uncover its secrets and survive to tell the tale. Alone in the Dark was released way before and features a Lovecraftian style of horror. Resident Evil has better graphics, live-action cutscenes and looks more like an interactive zombie B-movie. After spawning several multi-million-selling installments and a solid live-action movie series, Resident Evil is today one of the world's top videogame franchises. Alone in The Dark tried to follow the same path, but fell into oblivion instead, especially after the live-action movie series and its Uwe Boll treatment.
Resident Evil Silent Hill Same as above, except that Silent Hill's setting spans an entire cursed town In contrast to Resident Evil's zombie-killing frenzy, Silent Hill features more puzzles, less monsters and a more mature and psychological storyline. Since their debuts in the last millennium, both franchises are still alive and kicking, but Resident Evil still stays at the top.
Tomb Raider Uncharted The protagonist climbs, jumps and shoots his/her way through exotic places in search for ancient treasures and confronting evil conspiracies. Tomb Raider is more puzzle/platform-oriented while Uncharted is (much) more focused on combat. Despite having mild receptions for recent titles, Tomb Raider still retains its cult status (much of it thanks to Lara Croft's popularity). Uncharted has grown stronger with every new installment but its First-Party status prevents it from spreading its fanbase beyond owners of Sony consoles.
In Famous Prototype Wide Open Sandbox games where ordinary people mysteriously gain extraordinary powers, then trapped in a big island city on a quest to figure out what the hell is going on and eventually Escape From the Crazy Place. Oh, and The Government makes sure that everything just gets worse. inFamous encourages the player to contemplate the use and abuse of power every five seconds, and its star is electric. Prototype encourages the player to slice and dice anyone and anything in your path, or just eat them. Both games were good, but ultimately inFamous had better review scores and Prototype was a much bigger commercial success. (Being multi-platform helped.) Both are getting sequels in 2011 and both had a Drag queen contest (Yahtzee declared inFamous won).
Pikmin Overlord Adventure/RTS hybrids where your character leads a small army of followers. In Pikmin you're a tiny spaceman leading tiny flower aliens in exploring a garden. Overlord is a fantasy parody that has fun with Evil Tropes; you're an Evil Overlord going out with your enthusiastically destructive Mooks to pillage, plunder, and conquer. Neither. While the gameplay is extremely similar, the story and atmosphere go in opposite directions, so the two coexist in a sort of Sibling Yin-Yang. However Pikmin is considered by most to be the better game (and sold much better), although Overlord is considered a pretty decent series.
Unreal Tournament Quake III Arena Game Mod-friendly, multiplayer-only First-Person Shooter UT was based on a somewhat newer engine, and was lauded for its creative and interesting game design; Q3A came out ten days later, with a simpler design and somewhat more Hard Core gameplay. Both games sold bazillions of copies and spawned sequels that continue to this day, UT outselling its competitor by a slight margin, while Q3A is currently reviving itself as Quake Live. UT nailed it commercially and critically, whereas Q3A lasted longer for any form of play beyond recreative, plus its engine was much more widespread.
Unreal Tournament III Enemy Territory Quake Wars The latest iterations of the multiplayer-focused FPS franchises. Both introduced major new technologies for each series; the Unreal Engine 3 for UT3,[1] and MegaTexturing for ET:QW. Both suffered from underwhelming sales figures, despite pretty good reviews. In the end though, Unreal Tournament 3 was saved by some decent-selling home console ports[2] and better sales of the Steam-exclusive "Black Edition", whereas any chance of success that Quake Wars had was killed off by a pair of dreadful console versions.
Top Hunter: Roddy & Cathy Ristar Platformers where characters with stretching limb must save a star system invaded by literal space pirates. Top Hunter mostly play like a Beat'Em Up and the stretching limbs are not very important. Ristar is a straight platformer. Both failed financially, although Ristar is considered something of a Cult Classic.
Gears of War Vs. Resistance Unable to figure out who is who First-Party shooting game where the protagonists fight to defend what remains of a mankind ravaged by a Badass Army of monsters Both games were first released on the SAME WEEK, as well as being the first major exclusive shooter for their respective system (Xbox 360 for Gears of War, Play Station 3 for Resistance). While picking a clear winner is complicated by the fact both franchises are exclusive to completely different platforms, Gears of War has a much larger fanbase (and cooler weapons too).
Borderlands Rage Shooting game with RPG elements in a barren, Crapsack World. Borderlands has a more humorous tone and cartoonish graphics while Rage takes a realistic "no-nonsense" approach. Like Saints Row, Borderlands was designed to take advantage in the lull between Call of Duty releases and get sales from impatient players. Borderlands has a huge lead with five million copies sold, four expansions and a highly successful sequel, as well as a third entry in the series. Rage, while a good game in its own right, suffered heavily from Hype Backlash, and is largely forgotten or overlooked.
God of War Dantes Inferno Hack and Slash games with blades attached to chains, centering on mid range combat but also using close quarters and magic. Both games use a gothic art style and are based on violently over-the-top interpretations of religious mythology -- ancient Greek religion for GoW, and Dante's Divine Comedy for Inferno. Quick time events. Lots of bare breasts. The creators of Dante's Inferno actually said they weren't trying to be original. They weren't kidding. DI is pretty much God of War II except with a crusader instead of a demigod, and more tits. Fan reception of the former seems to be strong. Ultimately the God of War series continued, while the sequel to Dante's Inferno was cancelled.
Guitar Hero pre-World Tour Rock Band Rhythm games wherein you play songs by hitting notes on a plastic guitar. Guitar Hero came first; when the license was passed to another development studio, the original team created Rock Band as a Spiritual Successor, upping the ante by adding drums and vocals. Each franchise has a different timing window, overdrive system, and hammer-on/pull-off system. Rock Band seems to focus on Downloadable Content while Guitar Hero focuses on Mission Pack Sequels.
Rock Band Guitar Hero post-World Tour Rhythm games wherin you play songs by hitting notes on a plastic guitar or drum pads, or sing along and try to match the pitch. You read that right. Following the success of Rock Band, Guitar Hero added drums and vocals to its fourth main installment, which it continues to use in subsequent Mission Pack Sequels. Guitar Hero was officially killed off on February 9, 2011 thanks to Activision not understanding the laws of supply and demand in regards to the aforementioned sequels. However, Rock Band also saw its sales take a heavy plunge from the Guitar Hero oversaturation screwing the entire rhythm game market into a decline, not to mention Activision using the defeat as an opportunity to pool even more ressources on that other cash cow whereas Harmonix was sold off for fifty dollars, so Rock Band pretty much won a Pyrrhic Victory for the time being.
Bemani Rock Band, Guitar Hero Rhythm games that require special instrument controllers Rock Band and Guitar Hero are Western imitators of the Japanese-borne originators Beatmania, Drum Mania, and Guitar Freaks. In Japan and a couple spots in East Asia, Bemani is the clear winner. Everywhere else, Bemani is relatively unknown outside of DDR. Konami decided too soon that nobody outside of Asia likes rhythm games, and especially not Bemani's Nintendo Hard difficulty on harder settings; Activision through Red Octane and EA through Harmonix simply filled the niche and ran away with pockets bulging with cash, now fighting each other instead of Konami for supremacy. Late in the game, Konami finally realized that there was demand in the West for rhythm games, and unsuccessfully tried to cash in with Rock Revolution. After that, Activision proceeded to screw the entire genre in North America and Europe, as mentioned above.
Power Gig: Rise of the Six String Rock Band 3 Rhythm games that also teach you how to play real music. Rock Band 3 has keyboards, and cymbals for drums. Power Gig doesn't have keyboards or bass, and has air drums. No contest. Rock Band 3 received rave reviews, while Power Gig has been compared (unfavorably) to the aforementioned Rock Revolution.
Dance Central Dance Masters Rhythm games that require you to dance. Dance Central involves actual dancing while Dance Masters requires you to just hit targets or strike poses in the style of dancing. It is arguably fun to actually perform the dances involved in Masters, though. Both games were recently released, so it is hard to say. Although like Bemani, it was a relief to many newcomers who were daunted by the songs many DDR hardcores play.
SpongeBob SquarePants featuring Nicktoons: Globs of Doom Cartoon Network Fusion Fall Cartoon Crisis Crossovers where the enemies are slime aliens. Globs of Doom is the fourth in the Nicktoons Unite! series of action games, while Fusion Fall is an MMO. They were released within months of each other, with similar "evil slime alien" plots. It should also be noted that Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network are already dueling channels... FusionFall lasted long enough to become completely free after two years, and is still being developed to this day; meanwhile, THQ quietly let Globs of Doom slip into forgotten history.
Roblox Blockland Online LEGO block-themed building games. Roblox is the first released, while Blockland came out later. Also, never mention Blockland on Roblox. Neither. The only differences are the community and the fact that Blockland costs $20 once, and Roblox has an optional "Builder's Club" you can pay for. Both were defeated by Minecraft, though Roblox made a comeback.
Spectrobes Dinosaur King, Fossil Fighters Nintendo DS Mons games with a fossil excavation mechanic. More specifically, they have the same cycle of search for fossils, excavate fossils, battle. The battling is the main difference between the three: Spectrobes is action, Dinosaur King uses a modified version of Rock-Paper-Scissors, and Fossil Fighters is turn-based with some tactical elements. Both Dinosaur King and Fossil Fighters use dinosaurs as their Mons and have silly anime-style plots with a Terrible Trio, while Spectrobes has the Mons as an alien race and a more serious story. Spectrobes originally, quickly getting DS and Wii sequels and a series of kids' books. However, while Fossil Fighters never got much hype it proved to be a sleeper hit, eventually outselling Spectrobes and getting a sequel of its own. Dinosaur King, while a popular anime, never had much success in the DS arena.
Street Fighter Art of Fighting; Fatal Fury; The King of Fighters 2D Fighting Games with a heavy emphasis on mystical and impossible special moves. Later installments of both Street Fighter and KOF involve worldwide conspiracies. Street Fighter the Trope Maker of Fighting Games in the early 90s, and AOF and FF were created to ride the wave of its success. Realizing that neither series had the staying power to compete with Capcom's flagship, SNK combined the rosters of these two titles to create KOF. Both SF and KOF liberally crib ideas from one another, and have even joined forces on some occasions. Street Fighter is well known around the world, whereas outside of Japan KOF is a cult hit at best, with a surprising following in places like Mexico, where the low-priced Neo Geo cabinets proved to be appealing to store owners and players.
Street Fighter Mortal Kombat The Samurai vs. Knight of fighting games. Mortal Kombat brought a Bloodier and Gorier style, Fatalities, and a much more brutal combat system. During their heyday in the early 90s, "SF vs. MK" was the equivalent of "WRPG vs JRPG" nowadays, with the same amount of prevalent (and annoying) topics devoted to it. Mortal Kombat had more unique games churned out for it than Street Fighter. Mortal Kombat did well initially, and Mortal Kombat 2 saw it briefly take the lead in the fighters' market. In the long term though, Street Fighter was the winner by a long shot as most of the Mortal Kombat games after the second proved to be the laughing stock for competitive fighting game players and the series was later fed to the Polygon Ceiling, further destroying its reputation with casual gamers. However, Mortal Kombat 9 not only cleared that reputation away but also proved to be not a laughing stock for competitive fighting game players, effectively bringing the bloodbath back to square one.
Marvel vs. Capcom Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe Established fighting franchise crossing over with established comic universe. Capcom achieved such success with this formula back in The Nineties While Capcom lost the rights to make more games a few years back, they were finally able to convince Marvel to let them make Marvel Vs. Capcom 3. Midway's Mortal Kombat staff, on the other hand was bought by Warner Brothers, DC's parent company, shortly after MKvsDCU came out. No contest. Marvel vs. Capcom, specifically Marvel vs. Capcom 2, has been a tournament staple for over a decade now and still sees more serious (and casual) play than MKvsDCU ever did. In fact, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom on one side and Mortal Kombat 9 on the other are seen as bigger and more comparable rivals to Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (though moreso the latter because of release time frames) in the competitive community than MKvsDCU.
Virtua Fighter Tekken; Dead or Alive 3D Fighting Games with an emphasis on realistic martial arts styles Virtua Fighter, like Street Fighter, is considered the Ur Example of 3D fighters and most games made after it deliberately ape it. Tekken combined VF's realistic gameplay with a Street Fighter-like cast of misfits. Dead or Alive took VF's gameplay, added a dopey exploding arena gimmick, and utilized some very fascinating character concepts. Tekken won financially. Virtua Fighter is lauded by tournament players. DOA is very rarely played by anyone other than casual fighting game fans.
Skies of Arcadia (Legends) Tales of Symphonia Reconstructions of the optimistic JRPG, coming out on an RPG-starved console when everyone was still trying to out-angst Final Fantasy VII. Both have protagonists that wield two swords. Legends was actually a remake of a game for the ill-fated Dreamcast, and took itself far less seriously than Symphonia, at least for the most part. Symphonia is an action-RPG that takes place in a world with some magitech and the normal fantasy races (elves, dwarves, etc.), while Skies is turn-based and has an Age of Discovery Ocean Punk flavour. In terms of sales, Symphonia by a country mile. SoA:L's gone on to become something of a Cult Classic. On a related note, the Dreamcast version of Skies can be considered the winner between it and Evolution, another major Dreamcast RPG which was also remade on the GameCube.
Plok Rayman Platformers involving a character with detachable arms who can throw them at enemies. Plok came out in 1993; Rayman came out for CD-ROM systems in 1995. Rayman, which, unlike Plok, has had a fair number of sequels and spinoffs. Even the original developers have admitted that if they were to release a new game, it'd be viewed as a Rayman ripoff, despite Plok having come first.
Star FOX Silpheed Sci-fi themed rail shooters with primitive polygonal graphics. Both came out the same year (not entirely true: Silpheed was a remake of a game that had previously been released on Japanese and Western PCs). Star Fox is a rail shooter, Silpheed is a vertical shmup. Star Fox was a smash hit and enjoyed many sequels on other Nintendo consoles. Silpheed suffered from being on the somewhat unpopular Sega CD, though it did get a PlayStation 2 sequel developed by Treasure and a In Name Only reboot on the Xbox 360.
Star FOX (again) Cybermorph Sci-fi themed shooting games with primitive polygonal graphics. Both games came out the same year. The difference is that Star FOX is a rail shooter while Cybermorph is freeform. Star Fox. Cybermorph, while not totally bad, was critically panned and only had one sequel (Battlemorph) on the Jaguar CD just before Atari pulled the plug on the Jaguar.
Twisted Metal Vigilante 8, Rogue Trip Character-driven vehicular deathmatch. Twisted Metal was the original Playstation 1 car combat game and its sequel, Twisted Metal 2: World Tour was an early blockbuster. The awful 3rd game in the series was pounced on by the more realistic, '70s-styled Vigilante 8 and the underpromoted Rogue Trip; the clear winner was Vigilante 8, but then that series proceeded to release their own flop sequel, V8: Second Offense whose scavenger hunt missions doomed the franchise. Despite a long hiatus, Twisted Metal still lives.
Wing Commander The Star Wars: X-Wing/TIE Fighter series and the Free Space series Sci-fi themed "simulations" of space fighter craft featuring both Old School Dogfighting and complex interfaces and missions. Wing Commander was the Trope Codifier for the Space Simulator genre; Star Wars: X-Wing came later, but innovated with true 3D graphics and fiendishly complex missions -- as well as the official Star Wars brand that inspired Wing Commander. Free Space came later, but combined the strengths of both its competitors. Wing Commander spawned 4 sequels, the last of which Jumped the Shark; the Star Wars juggernaut marches on, but moved on to more arcade-ish shooters. Free Space 2 is sometimes blamed for killing the genre, despite rave reviews; nevertheless, the game is still considered a classic and is being actively upgraded and played today.
Powerdrome Wipeout, F-Zero Futuristic hovercraft racing. Powerdrome, released for the Atari ST (1988) and Amiga (1989), was a ridiculously in-depth simulation of futuristic hovercraft racing, complete with localized vehicle damage, pit stops, and insanely unforgiving difficulty. F-Zero, one of the SNES's launch titles, spawned a series known for excessively high speeds and crowds of opponents (and Captain Falcon). Wipeout, a PlayStation launch title, stood out with its floaty handling and futuristic weaponry. The Wipeout series originally had a promising future, but the games' popularity declined with each installment. However, the recent release of Wipeout HD and its Fury Expansion Pack, seen as the best game in the series by some, has pushed it back into the limelight. F-Zero has essentially been dormant since 2003's F-Zero GX, although its legacy lives on with Captain Falcon's Super Smash Bros.. appearances, which are responsible for his memetic status in the first place. Absolutely nobody remembers Powerdrome, though it did get a Remake. Verdict: Wipeout.
Ace Combat Airforce Delta Pseudo-realistic 3D jet fighters simulations. Ace Combat was released early in the PlayStation's life to rave reviews and had several sequels. Airforce Delta was released for the Sega Dreamcast launch. Ace Combat is still having sequels while Airforce Delta had one sequel early into the life of the Xbox and one more on PlayStation 2 before being dropped.
EverQuest 2 World of Warcraft High fantasy MMORPG. The first Everquest was the first successful 3D MMO, but its unforgiving game mechanics were beginning to show their age. Menaced by game juggernaut Blizzard's first MMO, the sequel was rushed to market and suffered for it. World of Warcraft is the largest game in the industry with over 12 million active subscriptions at its peak. Everquest 2 rarely even rates a mention.
Need for Speed Underground Juiced Tuner car street racing. Need for Speed, looking for a nitrous boost after the decline of its exotics-beaches-police formula, riffed on The Fast and the Furious. Juiced followed on Need for Speed in turn, but never managed to be more than its inspiration. Need for Speed had wads of EA money behind it and sold a ridiculous number of copies.
Need for Speed Shift Forza 3, Gran Turismo 5 Prolog Semi-simulation track racing. EA rolled out its franchise reboot a few months before its main console competitors released their later incarnations. Critical reception was divided, with many people claiming they bought the game only because it was the first to market and planning to abandon it as soon as either of the others would arrive. Issues ranging from bouncing cars to rewards for driving like a game-ruining jerk in multiplayer caused the playerbase to quickly abandon it. Tie between Forza and Gran Turismo, if only because they are exclusive to different consoles (GT for Playstation, Forza for Xbox).
Gran Turismo 5 Forza Motorsport 4 Semi-simulation track racing. GT5 was stuck in Development Hell for much of the life of the Play Station 3 until late 2010. This left the field open for a go-to racing sim, and Microsoft's Turn 10 took advantage of Polyphony's long development cycle. The entire Forza series (except for 4) hit the Xbox and Xbox 360 in the time between GT4 and GT5. Another tie. Both games are flagship titles for their respective systems, are both critically acclaimed, enjoy frequent DLC support from their respective developers, and both franchises were officially endorsed by Top Gear.
SimCity City Life and Cities XL Wide Open Sandbox and strategy-based city building games that often have some quirkiness to them The first known SimCity game was made in 1983, but failed due to nobody wanting to buy into the idea. It would then be released again in 1988/1989 by Maxis in which the series would begin to grow. Monte Cristo's City Life was a bit similar, except instead of simply just trying to balance a budget and simple economy, City Life also made you have to balance social order within the city. Cities XL was much the same. SimCity, while only having five true sequels, manages to win the duel in the sense that it was able to deliver more of what the fans wanted and is still alive and kicking thanks to a thriving mod community nearly 10 years after the fact, whereas City Life pretty much has been a disappointment outside of the gameplay. However, City Life has managed to outlive SimCity thanks to Executive Meddling. Cities XL, meanwhile, rules over the barren wasteland of city sims in the post-SimCity 4 world, receiving a new Expansion Pack every year.
Mario Paint Art Alive Console painting programs Even though Sega released Art Alive first in 1991, Mario Paint's SNES Mouse made painting easier and had more things to do with its custom stamp maker and music composer, and the flyswatter game made Mario Paint more recognizable. Neither sold well in their heyday, although Mario Paint has gotten a new life fan-interest-wise through YouTube (and before YouTube's existence, it also had the fly-swatting minigame).
Black Sigil Nostalgia George Lucas Throwbacks to the SNES generation of RPGs Black Sigil was released a few months earlier, but both games had the same goal. The former is most like Chrono Trigger, while Nostalgia is compared to Skies of Arcadia. Nostalgia's considered the better game. Black Sigil sold more. Overall it's a push.
ArmA 2 Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising Large scale, realistic Wide Open Sandbox first person shooters. Sequels to Operation Flashpoint. The developer and publisher split up after the original Operation Flashpoint, with the developer making the Arma series and the publisher making Dragon Rising. Due to heavy limitations in multiplayer, modding and scale, Dragon Rising's community fell apart rather quickly and many moved on to Arma 2.
Samurai Warriors Sengoku Basara Dynasty Warriors in the Japanese Warring States Era! Warriors came first, with Sengoku Basara coming shortly thereafter. Draw. SW took the early lead overseas as the first SB was "transformed" into Devil Kings and SB 2 and SB X weren't translated. SB 3 was released intact, and has so far won a slight critical edge over SW 3.
Mechwarrior / BattleTech Heavy Gear Mecha-based simulations. These two games were backed by a lot of story, one of the most memorable aspects of these were on board games. Both Mech Warrior 2 and Heavy Gear 2 were developed by Activision. The Mech Warrior series had an extensive non-game 'Verse.
Mechwarrior / BattleTech Earthsiege/Starsiege Mecha-based simulations. Several games in these series competed directly. Earthsiege 2 with Mech Warrior 2, as well as Starsiege and Mech Warrior 3. Mech Warrior ultimately won, at least in terms of continuation, as Mech Warrior 4 had no Starsiege counterpart. The company that made Starsiege was eventually closed by their owners after the release of Tribes 2 (an FPS).
Age of Empires Empire Earth Two Real Time Strategy games with a Civilization motif to it (Meaning you are building a city rather than a base. While Age of Empires focuses on one Era (The Ancient Era, The Medieval Era and The Age of Colonialism), Empire Earth spanned across multiple eras. Both series have very strong anti-rush measures to give players a fighting chance against rushes. While both fought a good damn fight, Empire Earth 3 dropped the ball with silly units (Farting Camels?) and a terribly slimmed-down era system. Age of Empires, while able to churn out 3 expansions for their game, had the company shut down by Microsoft. Neither game won this duel, leaving Blizzard and Relic to take over the RTS genre with less base-building.
System Shock 2 Deus Ex Both were Cyberpunk themed First Person Shooters with RPG Elements. While both were critically acclaimed, System Shock 2 was a commercial failure. It was the basis for BioShock (series), though. Deus Ex wins.
My Adopts V-Adoptables They're online games where you can create clickable images, which level up when enough people click them. My Adopts has trading, alts, codes, editable CSS as opposed to a shallower level of interactivity. V-Adoptables loses hugely, because you can't have more than 70 of said images, and besides, it costs money to have more.
Wii Fit EA Sports Active Fitness games for the Wii. The Wii Fit uses the pack-in Balance Board for its exercises, while EA Sports Active uses its own motion sensor and resistance band, allowing for more varied exercises. Obviously, Wii Fit has Nintendo's brandname behind it, so in terms of sales, there's no contest. However, many regard EA Sports Active as the better program.
Split Second Blur Arcade-style racing games with a major gimmick. Said gimmicks are player-controlled explosions and Mario Kart-esque weaponry, respectively. Split Second. The explosion-packed racer has sold over a half-million units worldwide, while Blur has yet to reach that milestone. Not only did Blur fail to sell well, Activision shuttered developer Bizarre Creations because of it. However, by 2011 Disney also had to close down Split/Second developer Black Rock Studio after developers' claims of Disney's Executive Meddling after the game's release.
Split Second Motorstorm: Apocalypse Arcade-style racing games focused around over-the-top destruction. The destruction in Split/Second is controlled by the player and is in the context of a Game Show, while that in Apocalypse is caused by earthquakes and other natural disasters that the player must work around or evade. Motorstorm: Apocalypse had the incredible misfortune of being released just days after the 2011 Japanese earthquake, and just over a month after another earthquake in New Zealand. As a result, its release in those two countries—the former of which is the mecca of gaming—was canceled, releases in North America and Britain were delayed by almost a month, and the Australian release, while on time, saw all advertising pulled from the airwaves and all new shipments halted. Split/Second wound up winning this contest by a country mile, with its half-million-plus sales dwarfing Apocalypse's roughly 125,000 worldwide units.
Second Sight Psi Ops the Mindgate Conspiracy Third-person action titles where the main character has incredible psychic powers. Both have third-person shooter qualities, though Psi-Ops maintains this in it's entire control scheme. Both were released around the same time (2004) and were often compared to one another in reviews. Often, Second Sight was given the better nod for its story, while Psi-Ops conversely was liked more for its over top powers and gore (Second Sight was rated 'T'; Psi-Ops 'M').
Blacksite: Area 51 Haze First Person Shooters with Anvilicious political messages. Blacksite is a Multi Platform release and is specifically about The War on Terror. Haze is a Play Station 3 exclusive and deals with the misguided notion that soldiers are gore-hungry fratboys accuses the player of being a gore-hungry fratboy playing soldier. Both lost, but Haze "wins" based on general infamy. It killed its beloved developer Free Radical Design (makers of Time Splitters), contributed to the early bad reputation of the PS3 and is still something of an example of epic failure, whereas Blacksite was only the latest in a string of flops by Midway Games and is mostly forgotten.
Defense of the Ancients Demigod, League of Legends, Heroes of Newerth Multiplayer Online Battle Arena games. DotA is a hit Game Mod for Warcraft III which popularized the genre; the other three, listed in order of release, are the various commercial/professional attempts to cash in on it. DotA, LoL and Newerth are free to play; Demigod must be purchased. LoL and HoN both (claim to) have at least one member of the DotA staff working on the game. The loser is Demigod, an Obvious Beta with an anemic roster of heroes. League and Newerth stay afloat by targeting the casual and hardcore crowd, respectively; of the two, LoL got better reviews, but the DotA fanbase provides a huge flock of "Stop Having Fun!" Guys for Newerth to capitalize on, so it's unlikely to go under any time soon either. The real winner? Gamers.
Doom 3 Half-Life 2 Long-awaited new instalments of beloved FPS series, both of which pushed graphics technology to its limits (by 2004 standards, anyway). Half-Life 2 should have pre-dated Doom 3 by nearly a year, but the whole source code fiasco pushed it back until a couple of months after Doom 3 was released. Doom 3 did well by any standards (in fact, it was iD's biggest selling game to date), but Half-Life 2 did far better in terms of both critical reception and sales.
Crysis Far Cry 2 Spiritual Successors to the original Far Cry. Crysis was by the original developers of Far Cry, whereas Far Cry 2 was by the same publishers but had a different development team. Crysis definitely did better in the reviews, but Far Cry 2 blew it away in terms of sales, probably because it was a multiformat release whereas Crysis was a (high-end) PC exclusive.
The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess Okami Both are Zelda-influenced games with a protagonist who has been transformed into a wolf and must return life/light to a world corrupted by evil. Twilight Princess was started on first but went through Development Hell so Okami beat it into stores. Both have been rated in the high 90s, but Twilight Princess sold nearly 7 million units, making it either the second or third best-selling game in the series. Okami, unfortunately, didn't even sell a full million units, even when combining both Playstation 2 and Wii sales (though Capcom saw that as enough to warrant a sequel nevertheless).
No More Heroes MadWorld Both are action games with a fairly agile protagonist who dispatches hoards of intercity thugs using wrestling, Good Old Fisticuffs, and battery-powered weapons that glide through people like a hot knife through butter. Both also have a colorful collection of bosses oozing with obscene personality, and seem to incorporate cel-shading into their graphics engine. Lastly, both are named after music. Each game pushed the Wii into the big kids' playground of adult gaming, not just in Ludicrous Gibs, but every single kind of censor-bursting they thought they could get away with. Both games seem to be neck-and-neck tied in (im)mature jokes, fast-paced gameplay, and strategic boss fights. However, Metacritic scores the games 83% and 81%, giving the match just barely to No More Heroes.
Mother 3 Ni no Kuni Both are unique RPGs, starring a seemingly ordinary, maternally-challenged young boy who discovers his extraordinary powers and must go on a strange adventure. Both are accompanied by a Tomboy, a slightly skeevy-looking thief with a Hidden Heart of Gold, and a Team Pet. Both fight against armies of people dressed up in pig costumes. Ni no Kuni also has a cell phone prequel with overworld graphics done in the unique MOTHER/EarthBound style. Since the latter game still has yet to come out, hard to say. As for Mother 3, while it was fairly popular in Japan, it was never released abroad and is only known to most English speaking fans via an unofficial translation and Super Smash Bros.. Brawl. However, Ni no Kuni has the power of the wildly popular Studio Ghibli behind it, so it's still anyone's game. There's also the chance that this isn't a duel at all—there's the possibility that members of Brownie Brown, Mother's developer, are involved in Ni no Kuni, considering Brownie Brown worked on an extra RPG mode included in the fourth Professor Layton game (developed by Level-5, developers of Ni no Kuni).
Mercenaries Just Cause Both the original and the sequel in both of the series are sandbox games in which you destabilize a corrupt regime led by an evil dictator. How? Blowing everything up Mercenaries focuses more on huge air strikes to be called in at will, Just Cause is like one giant action movie, with car surfing, Dual Wielding, grappling hooks, you name it The sequel to Mercenaries was an incredibly hyped game, but rampant bugs and a generally unpolished feel resulted in a huge disappointment for many. Just Cause 2, on the other hand, was received well by reviewers, and had sold a little less that a million units as of March 31st, 2010.
Total Annihilation StarCraft Futuristic RTS released in a close timeframe. The two are very much polar oppposites despite being in the same genre. Starcraft has three different factions with markedly different playstyles, simple resource management, heavy emphasis on unit micromanagement, and an involved plot with many characters. Total Annihilation has only two factions with minor differences, a complicated flow based resource system, an unnecessarily complicated tier system for unit creation, an emphasis on large-scale action and long term strategy with almost no micromanagement and a sparse backstory with no named characters. StarCraft is the most popular RTS of all time, and influenced the overall direction of the genre. However, Total Annihilation still sold well, and both series maintain a die-hard following to this day.
Command & Conquer series StarCraft series Two of the most prominent Real Time Strategy franchise since 1990s, C&C series took a more realistic, Earth-based approach in terms of background setting, while Starcraft focused on a distant inter-stellar future. C&C's first title, Tiberium Dawn, marked the beginning of proper RTS games in recent era after succeeding the release of Dune II, and became a Long Runner since, spawning three sub-series and 17 titles. When comparing with Starcraft C&C gameplay is more casual, though Tiberium Wars and Kane's Wrath were on the game list in WCG 07-08. Both series are critically acclaimed while C&C series probably won slightly on financial front (since they have more titles and came out earlier), but since two of the latest installments for C&C (Red Alert 3 and Tiberium Twilight) subjected to much YMMV even among fans, Blizzard is taking a slight lead right now by the release of Wings of Liberty. However C&C Generals 2 is going to be released in 2013 while Heart of the Swarm is under development, so the war will certainly rage on.
Streets of Rage Rushing Beat (aka Rival Turf, Brawl Brothers and The Peacekeepers). Both are a trilogy of Console Beat Em Ups inspired by Final Fight, and released on rival platforms (SOR came out on the Sega Genesis, while the Super NES got Rushing Beat.) Both series ended around the same time, but Streets of Rage sold better and is remembered much more fondly. Doesn't help that the Rushing Beat sequels were gutted outside of Japan.
Gradius series R-Type series Both of them are shoot'em ups with lots of powerups. Both have strong cult followings to this day, although R-Type has branched out into other genres such as RPGs.
Super Mario World Sonic the Hedgehog Leading titles for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and the Sega Genesis. Both titles were the pack-in games for their respective consoles, with Sonic 1 replacing the previous Genesis pack-in, Altered Beast. Super Mario World and Sonic the Hedgehog both sold roughly the same units (both getting 20 million sold) although four million of Sonic's sold copies were standalone. However, Sonic had a major impact on gaming and pop culture while SMW, despite being very well received, tended to be regarded as being just another Mario game.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Reconstructions of two rival game francises in their prime, done in the Sprite Polygon Mix style NSMBW introduces Co-Op Multiplayer to the Super Mario Bros.. series, while Sonic 4 is an Episodic Game. Both. NSMBW is a Killer App, and Sonic 4 also sold strong, even if the "fans" don't want to admit it.
Die Hard Arcade Fighting Force 3D attempts at ressurecting the Beat'Em Up genre. Fighting Force was originally envisioned as a Streets of Rage sequel, which would have made this an in-house dueling. Both games had sequels, but Fighting Force underwent a Genre Shift in its next installment. Fighting Force sold better but Die Hard Arcade is slightly more respected among gamers. Both failed to launch the 3D Brawler genre.
Wii Sports Kinect Sports, Sports Champions Sports game compilations showing off a system's new motion controls. Let's face it, the real fight's between the control systems: Wii Sports demonstrated the Wii remote, Kinect Sports is made for the Xbox 360's controllerless camera system, and Sports Champions utilizes the PlayStation Move. Wii Sports had a four-year head start, being bundled with the Wii at launch and becoming synonymous with it. The other two systems are playing catch-up, with their motion controls as optional add-ons to existing systems - the Kinect seems to be getting most of the hype (in both cases, the sports game seems to be at best lost in the shuffle as only one of several showcase titles).
City of Heroes/City of Villains Champions Online Superhero MMORPGs Both games were developed by the same studio, Cryptic. Publisher NC Soft bought the CoX property and hired most of the people working on it away from Cryptic two years before Champions launched. Champions opened with praise for an excellent character creation system, but quickly began to suffer from shallow content, and reverted to a free-to-play model early in 2011. City of Heroes is still the defining superhero MMO.
Meteos Lumines Stylish Falling Blocks games, developed by Q Entertainment and released in 2005 for portable systems. Meteos was a launch title or close to it for the Nintendo DS, while Lumines was the same for the PlayStation Portable. Lumines has had more sequels on PSP, PlayStation 2, Xbox Live Arcade, PC, Playstation Network, and Play Station Vita. Meteos only got a Disney-themed Dolled-Up Installment for DS and an Xbox Live Arcade sequel.
Captain Rainbow Epic Mickey Both games star a character (whose name appears in the cover) that travel to a world of forgotten characters and helps them to feel better about themselves. Captain Rainbow goes to an island of old Nintendo characters, while Mickey travels to a parallel Disney characters. Captain Rainbow was only released in Japan Epic Mickey is not greatly known, but it's far more popular than obscure Captain Rainbow (Not being exported probably didn't help). Besides, EM had a very well-known protagonist, while CR had a Captain Ersatz.
Kingdom Hearts Epic Mickey Applied very broadly, two games featuring a Darker and Edgier Disney than you remember featuring a more adventurous Mickey and some plot elements based around hearts. The first is an Action Adventure Series RPG created by Tetsuya Nomura that blends characters and elements from Square Enix's Final Fantasy with Disney's own Animated Canon (and then some) and stars Sora, an Original Character by Square. The second, on the other hand, is a Genre Busting platformer, shooter (along with some RPG elements) created by Warren Spector that serves as a rebirth for Mickey Mouse and brings back old and forgotten Disney characters into a new light. This infuriates fans on both ends, particularly the Epic Mickey side. While both games are completely different from one another [3] the fact that both games have an emphasis on a "heart" is enough for Fan Dumb and Insane Troll Logic to sometimes label Epic Mickey as a "Kingdom Hearts Ripoff". Nonetheless, as it stands, Disney has stated that it was because of Kingdom Hearts that allowed them to decide to rethink and retool their most iconic character. Epic Mickey took a critical drubbing and is a strong paragon of Love It or Hate It, while the Kingdom Hearts game released closest to Epic Mickey, Birth By Sleep, is pretty much a PSP Killer App.
Kileak: The DNA Imperative Robotica: Cybernation Revolt Japanese First Person Shooters starring mechas. The plot of both games center around the survivor of a strike-force team exploring the hallways of an hostile complex swarming with Mecha-Mooks. Both games were released within two months of each other, and on rival consoles, Kileak on the Playstation, Robotica on the Saturn. Both games are obscure and generally considered to be terrible. However Kileak did get a sequel called Epidemic and a better-received Spiritual Successor in the form of Brahma Force.
Tactics Ogre PSP remake Radiant Historia Eastern RPG with time-travel gameplay mechanics and political intrigue Tactics Ogre is a Turn-Based Strategy RPG that allows the player to rewind up to 50 turns in a battle and go back to key story points and follow up on multiple branching story paths. Radiant Historia has a more typical battle system, with the wrinkle that you can manipulate enemy positions on a grid, sort of like Mega Man Battle Network; the ability to time travel to see differing timelines is actually and ability of the main character, rather than just the player. Tactics Ogre sold better partially because it marks the return of franchise with a lot of cachet, but both games have received strong critical receptions.
Call of Duty/Modern Warfare series Battlefield series Modern First-Person Shooter These franchises didn't begin as direct rivals, because the Call of Duty series focused more on small-scale squad combat while the Battlefield series emphasized much larger matches. But, some wildly unpopular design decisions in Modern Warfare prompted a major Fandom Rivalry which the developers exploited in their marketing. While both are critical and commercial darlings, the Call of Duty series is one of the best selling in history.
Dragon Age series The Witcher series Modern Western RPGs in a Dark Fantasy setting, with lots of Black and Grey Morality. Both are popular Western RPG's with some major gameplay differences. The Witcher is focused on one character, while Dragon Age utilizes party-based gameplay. The rivalry did not pick up until the advertisements for each series second games started and it doesn't help that both of them are being released in a close timeframe. The first games in both series are both critically acclaimed and have sold millions of copies. Dragon Age: Origins has sold more than The Witcher and does possess a slightly higher Metacritic rating. The situation was reversed with the sequels, with The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings scoring higher than Dragon Age II. Both however, were blown out of the water by Skyrim.
The 3rd Birthday Mind Jack Both are third-person shooters heavily featuring the ability to hop into the bodies of other nearby people to keep on fighting. Even more amusing, both were published by Square Enix. The 3rd Birthday is a Genre Shift sequel to the Parasite Eve series for the PSP. Mindjack is a multiplayer-focused game for major consoles. Cool concept aside, Mindjack is considered a total failure, so 3rd Birthday wins this one.
Need for Speed II, III and High Stakes Test Drive 4, 5 and 6. Street racing games with neither especially arcade or realistic gameplay. Both also had barely-related spin-offs (V-Rally for Need for Speed, Off-Road for Test Drive). Both series were neck and neck during the 32-bits era, so it's hard to call a definitive winner. However, while Need for Speed stayed reasonably strong in the sixth generation, the Test Drive sequels faltered after the promising Test Drive: Le Mans and the series would only regain its former success with Unlimited.
All-Star Cheer Squad We Cheer Wii-based cheerleading games. THQ's ASCS shoots for realism, while Namco Bandai's We Cheer games take a more cartoony approach. Both games had improved second installments, but the slight critical edge goes to ASCS.
Ryu ga Gotoku Of The End (Yakuza: Dead Souls) Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare Both are Alternate Continuity games based off of Wide Open Sandbox games in which the outlaw protagonist suddenly finds himself in the middle of a Zombie Apocalypse. Cool Versus Awesome made manifest in both cases: A yakuza bruiser fighting zombies, or an Old West gunslinger. Both were released approximately the same time, too. Depends on where you live; Of The End is bigger in Japan, while Undead Nightmare wins out in the West.
Star Wars Force Commander Star Trek Armada Real Time Strategy games, based on the massively popular Star Wars and Star Trek franchises. Both games were released in early-mid 2000. Armada had a top-down viewpoint, while Force Commander had a full 3D camera system. Neither game set the world on fire, but Armada sold better, and its mod-friendly nature soon gave rise to a huge fan community and a sequel. Force Commander wasn't a total disaster, but its sloppy gameplay mechanics and Camera Screw soon turned gamers off of it. Lucasarts would have more luck with its Spiritual Successors, Galactic Battlegrounds and Empire At War (which incidentally adopted a very Armada-like interface and perspective for its space combat portions).
Tony Hawk Pro Skater Aggressive Inline, Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX Street skating/biking games Activision and Neversoft put out THPS, while the latter two were done by Acclaim and Z-Axis. AI and Dave Mirra BMX were decent games, but Tony Hawk outlasted them both, and would remain a household name in "extreme sports" games until...
Tony Hawk Pro Skater (starting from Proving Ground) Skate Skateboarding simulators. Tony Hawk relied mostly on name recognition (with the Hawkman and several other pro skaters making appearances), while the skate series promised a different approach to trick control (utilizing both analog sticks on the Play Station 3 and Xbox 360 controllers instead of the shoulder buttons). skate won this battle handily. Even before RIDE and Shred ultimately scuttled what was left of the Hawk franchise's popularity, skate routinely outperformed and outsold its competition.
Angry Birds Pirates vs. Ninjas vs. Zombies vs. Pandas Physics-based strategy games that revolve around firing characters to destroy structures in a quest for revenge. Birds is more linear and cartoony, while PvNvZvP is a different, more serious art style, has more characters, and allows the order of the firing devices and character line to be changed. Which one has been purchased over 500 million times, is more recognized, and has its own parody? Point goes to Angry Birds, although PvNvZvP isn't a bad game in itself.
Soccer Kid Marko's Magic Football 16-bit Platform games released around the time of World Soccer Championship USA '94, both about a kid that uses a magic football to defeat enemies. The former has the kid going around the world against aliens who stole the World Cup, the latter has the kid against a Corrupt Corporate Executive who is polluting his town, and has a Green Aesop about recycling attached to it. Oh, and in SK one boss is a Pavarotti lookalike. Uh... neither? Arguably, Soccer Kid is a better game, and was converted for more systems, but aside retrogaming buffs, who actually remembers them?
Super Mario 64 Crash Bandicoot 1996 Both established the 3D platformer on their respective systems, the Nintendo 64 and PlayStation Both were released in 1996. Mario 64. While both have a huge following, Mario 64 stood out as the game of the Nintendo 64, while Crash mostly faded as just another Killer App for the PlayStation and had a better received sequel. The Mario franchise (though it had the advantage of very well-recieved games before Mario 64) is still going on very strong, while the Crash Bandicoot series was very slowly killed off by Activision for being a Franchise Zombie that doesn't print money like Call of Duty does.
Nanotek Warrior N20: Nitrous Oxide Trippy tube shooters released exclusively on the Playstation. Nanotek Warrior place an emphasis on avoiding obstacles and gives the player craft more mobility. N 2 O is more about Scoring Points and has really trippy visuals. Both games were financial duds, though N 2 O seems to be more fondly remembered.
Minecraft Terraria Wide Open Sandboxes featuring blocky graphics, random level generation, and underground gameplay. Minecraft is 3D, Terraria is 2D and features RPG elements. Minecraft has sold more than five million units since the alpha stages, and received widespread critical acclaim upon official release. Terraria however still did rather impressively, selling at least a million since release with highly positive reviews and remaining one of the most-played games on Steam. Also, Notch approves of Terraria and quite a bit of the Minecraft fanbase also plays it, so there's no real "winner".
One Apocalypse 3D overhead shooters released exclusively on the original Playstation. One has more emphasis on platforming and cinematic setpieces. Apocalypse is more actioney and features Bruce Willis's likeness as its main selling point. Both games were modest critical and financial successes. If you're stretching things, one could say Apocalypse had more impact, as its engine was reused for the massively successful Tony Hawk Pro Skater series.
L.A. Noire Driver: San Francisco Wide Open Sandbox games released in 2011 where you play as a police officer in a Period Piece/Retro Universe California city. Noire is set in an accurately-detailed and researched 1947 Los Angeles, while Driver is set in a San Francisco with modern technology and vehicles but an otherwise heavy '70s aesthetic. Noire is heavily focused around the process of police investigation, while the Driver series' strength has always been its car chases, something that looks to remain true here. This is also a continuation of the Rockstar/Reflections rivalry that began in 2001. Noire wins this one easily, with rave reviews and over three million sales. Driver, though, has also gotten good reviews and decent sales, and has helped to restore its franchise's respectability (which it had previously squandered with the execrable Driv3r) in the eyes of most critics and gamers.
L.A. Noire Heavy Rain Interactive crime dramas with highly cinematic storytelling. Both games have been put forth as evidence in favor of the argument that video games have artistic merit. L.A. Noire was originally planned as a Play Station 3 exclusive, but wound up going multi-platform after a few years as Vaporware. Heavy Rain, published by Sony, remained a Play Station 3 exclusive. In addition, while Noire goes for the feel of old 1940s Film Noir, Rain is more inspired by modern crime dramas and Psychological Thrillers. Critically, it's a draw. Both have been hailed as being among the greatest games of this generation (though both have their detractors), and their Metacritic and GameRankings scores are within a hair of one another. Financially... it's also a draw. While Noire sold three million copies versus Rain‍'‍s million-and-a-half (being a multi-platform release as opposed to Rain‍'‍s Play Station 3 exclusivity helped on that front), its long, drawn-out and highly troubled development cycle meant that it still lost money, causing its developer, Team Bondi, to shut its doors in less than a year. Rain developer Quantum Dream, meanwhile, is still alive and kicking as of 2024.
Serious Sam Will Rock Budget-priced throwbacks to old-school First-Person Shooter featuring unrelenting hordes of strange enemies. Both have an ancient civilization theme. Serious Sam is set in ancient Egypt (and several other places in The Second Encounter) while Will Rock is inspired by Greek mythology. Serious Sam by a mile. Will Rock was not a big success and was seen by many professional reviewers as a weak copy of Croteam's work, though its reputation has improved over the years.
Red Dead Redemption Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood Shooters set in The Wild West. RDR is a third-person, open-world title, and is the Spiritual Successor to Red Dead Revolver. Juarez, meanwhile, is a linear FPS, and a Prequel to the original game. No contest. Red Dead Redemption won this easily, with over eight million sales, rave reviews, and multiple Game of the Year awards. Juarez was no slouch, though, earning good reviews and selling well over a million copies. Once again, the gamers are the real winners.
Sonic Rush Adventure The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass DS games about company mascots sent to a colorful faraway archipelago. They meet a Scrappy character who can build nautical vehicles and must scrounge for parts to build from. Navigation is done by drawing paths to follow with the touch screen. The fourth stage in both games is a haunted ship with a green tinge. Ship-sailing in Sonic Rush Adventure is simply a means to get to the next Zone, whereas Phantom Hourglass's gameplay is more intimately tied to island life. Marine picked up shipbuilding at the start but left the job to Tails; Linebeck continued to help Link to the end. Phantom Hourglass, being a Zelda game and the first for the ever-popular Nintendo DS, sold like hotcakes. Sonic Rush Adventure had relatively minuscule promotion and marketing, and despite critical acclaim, was the worst-selling Sonic platformer in several years.
Ridge Racer Asphalt Glossy arcade-like racing games with an emphasis on drifting. Unlike most of Gameloft's copies, Asphalt has directly competed with its "inspiration" twice: Ridge Racer had an installment on IOS, the home of several Asphalt installments, and Ridge Racer 3D and Asphalt 3D were both launch titles on the Nintendo 3DS. A tie: Asphalt received better sales and reviews on IOS, but Ridge Racer did better on the 3DS.
Grand Theft Auto Vice City Scarface the World Is Yours A gangster Byronic Hero in 1980s Miami gets betrayed by his boss and plans to rule the city with his own gang. Both games owe much of their story and stylistic influence to the classic '80s gangster picture Scarface, with the latter being a fully-licensed sequel to the film. Vice City came out first, and its success paved the way for the latter game. The World is Yours, meanwhile, introduced several gameplay innovations that Rockstar Games would later copy for Grand Theft Auto IV. Vice City by a mile, though The World is Yours also did rather well for itself.
Zombie Apocalypse, Nation Red Burn Zombie Burn, Dead Nation Downloadable top-down shooters about surviving the inevitable. Dead Nation has a linear story mode and is the Darker and Edgier one of the group, while the rest (especially Burn Zombie Burn) are more over-the-top.
Animal Crossing Wild World Magicians Quest Mysterious Times Handheld life simulators centered around cute Super-Deformed graphics and anthropomorphic animals Animal Crossing is considerably older, being a Nintendo64-originated series. While Animal Crossing is a straight-to-the-point life simulator, Magicians Quest incorporated magical elements and your goal is set in a Wizarding School Animal Crossing, no doubt. It had a huge following already due to the previous installments, and had two sequels. Magicians Quest is considered a case of Follow the Leader and has been heavily criticized due to the fact they "copied" a first-party game. The game is mainly known due to the fact you can date, and date the same gender too. However, Mysterious Times did fairly well in Japan so it wasn't a complete failure.
Pokémon Digimon, Monster Rancher Mon games made into popular anime where you play as a kid and fight other monsters. Digimon started as a digital pets series. Pokémon by a long shot. It's one of the most popular game series ever, with dozens of games and even more adaptations. Digimon is recalled more as a cartoon and Monster Rancher is a Cult Classic.
Alone in the Dark (2008 reboot) Alan Wake An episodic game where a normal man investigates and fights against a villain that is responsible for said paranormal. Alan Wake.
Fallout 3 Metro 2033 A first-person game where a young character leaves his underground home and explores the post-apocalyptic ruins of former world power's capital city, fighting mutants and struggling to save his home and family. Oddly enough, both series specifically cite nuclear war and man's hubris as the reason for their respective apocalypses. However, they come from opposite sides of the Cold War. While Metro is no slouch, with a confirmed sequel, Fallout was the clear winner. With millions upon millions of sales and multiple Game of Year awards, the decades-old Fallout franchise has smashed the Polygon Ceiling and re-emerged as one of the premier Western RPG franchises.
Deadly Premonition Heavy Rain An FBI agent who tries to apprehend a Serial Killer who only kills in rainy days. While these two may have the setting of investigation, they have different backgrounds. Deadly Premonition is really paranormal, while Heavy Rain is normal. Deadly Premonition got little press on release and combined with being a budget-priced Xbox 360 title, enjoyed little sales. Heavy Rain sold well but was treated as a joke by the public because of its design philosophy of trying to make a literal interactive movie.
Max Payne Dead to Rights A Cowboy Cop gets hunted down by the police force he works for, finding himself on a mission to clear his name. If there's anymore similarities, it involves the protagonists' use of bullet time. Dead to Rights is frequently dismissed as being part of everything that is wrong with current-gen Namco Bandai, and has never sold spectacularly. Max Payne enjoyed being caught up in the wave of Rockstar-mania created by the hype surrounding the eventual release of Grand Theft Auto III, and was a critical and financial darling, along with its sequel.
Cooking Mama Science Papa Super-Deformed minigame compilations where you are the assistant of a hyperactive Parental Substitute-like person, and have to create stuff for them. Science Papa was a shameless copy of Cooking Mama by Activision that went with the Mother Nature, Father Science trope. Papa only had one game, while Mama has an entire franchise on her side. To add to the injuries Majesco made a Take That by saying they dated when Mama was single, dumped him due to incompatibilities, and he now wants in on some of her success.
Professor Layton (and the Last Specter) Doctor Lautrec and the Forgotten Knights A Victorian-era puzzle game where you're a European archaeologist with a top hat and a younger sidekick, for a Nintendo handheld. With Layton and the Last Specter specifically, specify the sidekick as a young lady and add "released Fall 2011". Doctor Lautrec is said to be inspired by Layton, though Lautrec adds stealth gameplay and Mons combat to Layton's pure puzzles. Further, Layton is a Quintessential British Gentleman while Lautrec is a French Jerk. Professor Layton wins. Fans of Layton haven't taken much of a liking to Lautrec, and Layton is one of the most popular series on the Nintendo DS.
Mafia The Godfather Wide Open Sandbox game where you play as a gangster in the 1940s. The first Mafia title predated the first Godfather game by four years, but The Godfather got its sequel out a year before Mafia did. The Godfather also has a classic film license behind it. Both the first Mafia and Godfather games enjoyed roughly equivalent sales and review scores. However, Mafia II was also well-reviewed while The Godfather II was a total bomb, so as a franchise, Mafia wins out.
Kirby The Legendary Starfy Platformers for Nintendo consoles staring adorable cartoon creatures Kirby has a larger fanbase, several more games under his belt, and is more widely well-known. The fact that most Starfy games are Japan-only hasn't helped.
Second Life Playstation Home, IMVU, Small Worlds, Google Lively, many others MMO/social entertainment virtual worlds where people hang out, interact, play games and customize their avatars and living quarters. Second Life (and many of its competitors) is all about user-generated content; everything in the game (outside the tutorial items) was made by ordinary players. Home, on the other hand, is more structured, with all content made by the developers, keeping it rather family-friendly by comparison. In addition, Home is only on Play Station 3, while Second Life and most of its other competitors are for computers. Of all the many social entertainment games out there (and there are many), Second Life has garnered the most media attention, the most parodies, and the largest user base, though it's also grown notorious for the sheer amount of sex that permeates it, including just about every kink known to man (and some that aren't). Home took a while to start delivering on its promises; early on, it was seen as a symbol of many of the Play Station 3's problems, though its fortunes improved with those of Sony's console. The other games have seen varying degrees of success, though most of them still live in Second Life's shadow.
Bayonetta Darksiders Hack and Slash with Heaven-vs-Hell flavor Note that while Bayonetta was released first in Japan, both games were released in USA on the same day (January 5, 2010). Also, they're unlikely to have been designed to imitate one or the other. Hard to say. Darksiders is getting a sequel, something that Bayonetta doesn't seem to have in its future (plus, Platinum Games, its developer, rarely ever makes sequels), but both games have been well-received.
Daytona USA Ridge Racer Early 3D arcade racing games with an emphasis on drifting. The dueling continued on the home market, where Daytona USA was one of the launch game of the Sega Saturn while Ridge Racer headlined the PlayStation's launch. While Daytona USA is no slouch (apparently being Sega's biggest arcade earner and one of the most successful arcade games ever), Ridge Racer slightly edges it out due to spawning a longer series.
Twisted Metal Black Motor Mayhem Competitive Vehicular Combat games exclusive to the Playstation 2. They were released the same month. Black was very much Darked And Edgier than its predecessors, while Motor Mayhem had silly characters, a bright color scheme and outlandish locals. Ever heard of Motor Mayhem? No? Exactly. TM Black is the clear winner.
Dungeon Defenders Orcs Must Die Tower Defense games where the player can directly influence the flow of battle by fighting back. Orcs Must Die is faster-paced and single-player, while Dungeon Defenders is slower-paced but can be played with up to four players at a time. Both games have received very good reviews, but even though Orcs came out one month earlier, Defenders wins out on account of its larger scope (multiplayer and multiplatform) and regular content updates.
OneChanbara Lollipop Chainsaw A Beat'Em Up / Hack and Slash where Stripperiffic chicks fights zombies. Keep in mind Lollipop Chainsaw was probably never meant to copy OneChanbara. Both games just happen to be built around a similar concept. Ironically, in Onechanbara Z Kagura, one of the main characters happen to wield a chainsaw. But since chainsaws are common in zombie games nowadays, this should just be written off as a coincidence. Who knows? Lollipop Chainsaw is still in development and OneChanbara wasn't received well in the West. A new game called Onechanbara Z Kagura has been released recently in Japan, but no US/European release has been announced yet. From the looks of it, Lollipop Chainsaw is most likely going to be favored, due to the fact it's being developed by Suda51 and Grasshopper Studios.
Beatdown: Fists of Vengeance Urban Reign Dark and gritty Beat Em Ups. Urban Reign features cameos from popular Tekken characters Paul Phoenix and Marshall Law. Neither game got much love from the critics, but Urban Reign received somewhat more favorable (if still mixed) reviews, so it wins.
Reader Rabbit / The ClueFinders JumpStart Edutainment Game series, in which games up to second grade only involve Funny Animals while games from third to sixth grade are about mystery-solving humans. While the Reader Rabbit and The ClueFinders names are used for the Baby-2nd Grade and 3rd-6th Grade series respectively, JumpStart games from 3rd-6th Grade still keep the same title as the Baby-2nd Grade series. None; both series sold very well.
The Sims 2 Singles: Flirt Up Your Life Wide Open Sandbox Life Simulations that center around relationships The Sims series is rated T while Singles is Hotter and Sexier and carries an AO rating. The two titles were released in the same year, with Singles being released a few months before Sims 2. The game is also considerably more realistic looking than The Sims. The Sims is thriving with a large fanbase and many new games and expansions, while Singles only has two. Singles is largely considered a knockoff of The Sims.
Mario Party Itadaki Street (aka Fortune Street, Boom Street) Party Game series featuring video game mascots (including Super Mario for both). Mario Party is a Minigame Game, while Fortune Street is an investment game similar to Monopoly. Where Mario Party features exclusively Super Mario characters, Itadaki Street has an assortment of characters from Mario (in Nintendo installments), Final Fantasy (in Playstation installments), and Dragon Quest (in all installments). Itadaki Street actually came first, debuting on the Famicom, but didn't add the game mascots or get international release until after Mario Party established itself. Mario Party is a well-established franchise that has sold big in the West, while Itadaki Street only got its first release outside of Japan with the Wii installment.
FIFA Soccer Pro Evolution Soccer Long running soccer game series The samurai vs. knight of soccer games. Since their debut in the middle 90's, both series are a constant source of Fandom Rivalry. So far the FIFA series is usually more acclaimed than PES (with help of the real FIFA organization that gave it their official seal of approval).
Kane and Lynch Army of Two Gritty, co-op centric Third-Person Shooter cashing in on Gears of War. The sequel of both centers around the protagonists trying to escape Shangai after a job goes south. Army of Two takes itself far less seriously. Neither series are huge critical successes, but both Army of Two and its sequel had a somewhat more positive reception and sold better.
Duke Nukem Serious Sam Over-the-top first person shooters with a one-liner-spewing macho protagonist fighting off an alien invasion Serious Sam was inspired by and originally based off Duke himself, but his games would include many Take Thats towards Duke, particularly the at-the-time unreleased Duke Nukem Forever. Duke Nukem is by far the more well-known name among gamers, but Duke Nukem Forever, despite selling better than Serious Sam 3, received poor reviews from both old fans and new gamers, while Sam 3 was generally better-received, particularly for sticking to the classic formula better.
NHL Hockey NHL 2K Realistic hockey simulations Probably NHL Hockey. 2K Sports haven't made a hockey game since NHL 2K11, and that was a Wii-exclusive title, even.
Lord of Arcana Gods Eater Burst Multiplayer Action Adventure games on PSP Both games take cues from the Monster Hunter series, but Gods Eater's inspiration seems to show much more clearly. Gods Eater Burst had a better critical and commercial reception, though both games have upcoming sequels.
Ultima Wizardry Trope Codifiers of Western RPGs, inspired by Dungeons & Dragons Ultima focused on a single slightly customizable hero(ine) while Wizardry featured an entire party of characters created from scratch.[4] Both initially sticked closely to the spirit of Dungeons & Dragons, but Ultima eventually shifted away from it to focus more on story and morality. Wizardry however embraced the spirit fully and remained a hardcore dungeon crawler. In America and Europe: Ultima. Both series fizzled out and died around the turn of the millenium, but Ultima had been more successful commercially and remains alive thanks to Ultima Online, which still has an active playerbase. In Japan: Wizardry, where the series saw unexpected success and remains alive and popular with Japan-exclusive titles still being made more than 10 years after the last official game.
The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Installments of two Long Runner High Fantasy franchises for the 2011 holiday season. And for what it's worth, they both have "sky" in their titles. Skyward Sword is the first Zelda game to feature 1:1 motion controls and fully orchestral music, and was made for the series' 25th Anniversary Milestone Celebration. Skyrim has an updated graphical system, a strong emphasis on dragons, and plenty of Sequel Escalation (over 300 hours of content), which is saying a lot for an Elder Scrolls game. Skyrim took a slight lead in reviews, though it needed a few patches due to technical issues. Skyrim handily won in sales, despite Skyward Sword being the fastest selling Zelda game to date, possibly because Skyrim was available on three platforms instead of one.
Explodemon and Splosion Man Ma Xplosion Platformers where player character uses explosion as a method of propulsion Explodemon's and Splosion Man's concepts and trailers of the game were released almost simultaneously. Explodemon uses Mega Man-style artwork while Splosion man is goofier Explodemon was initially greatly overshadowed by Splosion Man and publishers weren't willing to market a game with a similar concept. Ma Xplosion was considered a cheaper imitator of Splosion Man
X-COM (2012) Syndicate (2012) Squad-based FPS reboots of classic sci-fi strategy games from The Nineties. XCOM has a '50s Americana feel, while Syndicate is more Cyberpunk. Neither is all that popular with fans of the original games, though reaction to the XCOM reboot led to development on a separate game, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, that plays more like the older games. Syndicate has received mixed-to-positive reviews so far, while XCOM is due to be released in March. Stay tuned.
NBA Jam Extreme NBA Hangtime Fast-paced two-on-two basketball games with over-the-top dunks, no fouls besides goaltending, and players catching fire after making three straight baskets. Midway made the first two NBA Jam games for arcades and Acclaim ported them to consoles. A dispute over the name led to a split where Acclaim kept the NBA Jam name and made a sequel, while Midway made its own sequel under a different name. Also notable is that Extreme is in 3D, while Hangtime remains 2D. Despite more advanced graphics, Extreme couldn't compete with Hangtime's added depth and far faster load times. Acclaim continued to make Jam as more of a simulation, while Midway adapted the formula further to make NBA Showtime and NBA Ballers.
IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey Heroes Over Europe WWII-themed flight games released within one week of each other. Birds of Prey attempts to bridge console and PC sensibilities by offering multiple settings of varying realism, whereas Heroes over Europe is purely an arcade affair. Birds of Prey is the clear winner. It had good critical acclaim, a Recursive Adaptation (Wings of Prey) and a cult fanbase, whereas Heroes Over Europe tanked at retail and had a tepid critical reception.
Geometry Wars Neon Wars Top down fast-paced arcade-ish shoot'em ups Geometry Wars is much more well-known than Neon Wars. In addition, there are many installments of Geometry Wars although both games are critically well-received.
Super Smash Bros.. PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale Console-specific Mascot Fighters, each with a roster of characters associated with the console it is on. You defeat opponents in Smash with Ring Outs. In PSASBR, however, you defeat opponents with Limit Breaks instead.
Ace Combat HAWX Modern combat flight sim franchises. Ace Combat is console-only while HAWX has both console and PC versions. Both HAWX and HAWX 2 were released in the 4 year gap between Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation and Ace Combat: Assault Horizon. Gameplay-wise, Ace Combat tends of focus on more traditional (though slightly arcadey) flight sim mechanics, with Assault Horizon mixing it up with the Close Range Assault mode. HAWX tries to differentiate itself with the Assistance OFF mode, which zooms your camera out into a distant 3rd person view, allowing you to perform more advanced maneuvers. Overall, Ace Combat has still been going strong since 1992 with numerous iterations and spinoffs while HAWX only has two games to its name, both released a year apart. Also, almost all AC games have positive reviews and fan support, while reactions to both HAWX games is mixed at best. Sales wise, the XBox360-exclusive Ace Combat 6 sold nearly as many copies as the 360 and PlayStation 2 versions of HAWX combined while Assault Horizon sold slightly more than HAWX 2. Ace Combat still seems to be the modern air combat flight sim franchise to beat.
Final Fantasy VIII Legend of Dragoon Eastern-styled PlayStation RPGs released near the Turn of the Millennium FFVIII is an entry in Square Enix's insanely popular Final Fantasy series, while Dragoon is an original IP published and developed by Sony Computer Entertainment. FFVIII did better overall in terms of sales and critical reception, but Dragoon still did quite well for itself, and retains a loyal following even to this day.
Diablo III Torchlight II Hack and Slash games released in summer 2012 The Torchlight games are Spiritual Successors to classic Diablo, and made by the original Diablo devs.
X-COM: Enemy Unknown Xenonauts Squad-centric Turn Based Tactics games focused on repelling alien invasion due for release in 2012 Until Firaxis revealed Enemy Unknown, which is a full-blown official "reimagining", Xenonauts was considered the only credible Fan Remake of the original. Xenonauts is more faithful to the original's mechanics, while Enemy Unknown has made some changes to the formula. On the record, both sides are fairly sporting about the competition.
UFC 2009 Undisputed EA Sports MMA Video games based on Mixed Martial Arts, the former focusing on UFC (and Pride in a future installment), the latter on Strikeforce and several smaller promotions When EA's game was announced, UFC President Dana White was furious, since he had failed to make a deal with EA before eventually partnering with THQ for Undisputed. White later even declared that anyone who signs their likeness to EA will never work for UFC (which he later retracted). Both games were critically very well received though Undisputed was criticized for on-line mode glitches. Undisputed was a far more successful franchise, spawning two sequels. Eventually, UFC purchased Strikeforce and in June 2012 announced that the video game license has transfered to EA Sports to create EA Sports MMA 2. If anyone is to be called a winner, it would be UFC the company.
Tetris Columns Falling Blocks Though neither originally developed by a major video game company, and both had appeared on numerous computers previously, Nintendo and Sega acquired the rights to release console versions of these games, and they were among the launch titles for the Game Boy and Game Gear, respectively. Tetris, without a doubt, though Nintendo no longer has the license.
  1. though technically, it was Epic Games' own, more successful Gears of War that introduced it to the world
  2. In fact, the Play Station 3 version was one of the first games able to deal with user-made content, there's a lot of it for this game
  3. gamestyle, art, gameplay, Disney focus (Kingdom Hearts preferring post-Disney Renaissance material and Epic Mickey focusing on Disney's pre-Renaissance animated history)
  4. In fact, Ultima III introduced party members in response to Wizardry.