With over 11 million active players, World of Warcraft is one of the most popular video games ever published. The game has practically become legendary and when people refer to it, it is commonly called simply Warcraft. But, an often forgotten fact is that, in actuality, Warcraft is a different unique game and World of Warcraft is simply a spin-off of that game.
Spin-offs are rarer than sequels because a spin-off changes the format of the game. If a format is successful, it is often financially safer for a publisher to simply produce a sequel that uses the same or similar format rather than gamble on an entirely new game format that happens to share common themes with the original game. Still, as World of Warcraft proves, it is quite possible for a spin-off to surpass the popularity of the original and certain games truly deserve a good spin-off. The following games are some of the most deserving games to produce a spin-off.
Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time – This beloved Zelda game is considered by many fans to be the best of the series. One of the main reasons for the popularity of the game is the character Sheik, a ninja-like character that is actually Princess Zelda in disguise. The character is so popular that she is one of the most played characters in the Super Smash Bros. series. This character begs for a spin-off featuring Sheik that fully details her side of the story of the events that occurred during Ocarina of Time. It would be a great way to further a beloved story in a unique and interesting way.
Final Fantasy X – This Final Fantasy game is the only Final Fantasy game in the main series to ever have a direct sequel. But, even more than a sequel, the game needs a spin-off. A truly excellent spin-off would be a sports game of all things. The mini-game, Blitz Ball was one of the best mini-games ever in the series and the mechanics of it could easily be expanded to create a fully fleshed out sports game that included all of the standard features that are included in modern baseball or football games. If made well, it would be a rare game that appealed to both fans of role playing games and fans of sports games.
Chrono Trigger – Throughout this classic role playing game, time is subtly changed as timelines cease to exist and others are created. This creates a plethora of unfinished and untold stories. The game deserves a spin-off that explores these lost timelines and ties them together in some meaningful fashion. Unlike the original, there is absolutely no need for this to be a role playing game, either. In fact, it would probably play best as something similar to a survival horror style game where the main character was constantly racing the collapse of time in order to continue to exist.
Disgaea – Disgaea is a series that is unique in almost an almost uncountable number of ways. One of the unique things about this series is that despite the fact that none of the games in the series are direct sequels to each other characters from earlier games appear in later games. One of these recurring characters is the charming yet disturbing Etna. Determined to be the main character of at least one game, she consistently appears with powerful rock and roll background music leading an army of penguin-like Prinnies. She just about steals the show whenever she appears and it is beyond time for her to earn her own game. Exactly what type of game should be made to showcase her is not obvious, but whatever the game, she should clearly succeed on her quest to be the main character.
Suikoden – The Suikoden series is famous for having over 100 playable characters. In a role playing game, this often leads to most of those over 100 characters sitting on the sidelines while just a few characters do the work. Taking a page from Final Fantasy: Dissidia, this series desperately needs a fighting game that features every single character from one of the games. The personalities, fighting styles, and visual designs are already complete which makes it relatively easy to program. And, a fighting game with over 100 characters would be insane and have excellent replay value.