While there are tons of games that changed the world, there are a few that were so incredible that they essentially invented entire genres. Sometimes, the popularity of a single game is missed by a generation, but the traits of that game go on to inspire game design for decades, meaning that game deserves a bit of recognition if in name alone.

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You might love a classic action-platformer, but there are probably also tons of games that come from genres that are named after games, whether you know it or not. Sometimes the genres can be simple and blatant, but sometimes it can be a bit more complex. It all just depends on what the game or games in question spawned in their new genre.



10 Doom Clone

The main character entering a room in Doom.

The genre here should make a lot of sense. The Doom clone genre is named for all those clones that came into existence trying to capitalize on the popularity of the original Doom. There were tons of Doom clones and some from shockingly major series.

You will already know a famous doom clone is the Duke Nukem series, but you may have forgotten that both the Star Wars series and Alien series had doom clones over the years. Simple first-person shooters where you comb through fantastically designed levels – what’s better than that?

9 Roguelike

An isometric view of a crimson clad figure fighting floating skeletons in a stony room

While you probably have heard of the roguelike genre, you may not know the game the genre is named for. The 1980 game Rogue, an incredibly simple little dungeon crawler, is the game this entire genre is named after.

This game had that classic gameplay that saw you having to tackle the same challenge over and over, armed with nothing but the knowledge you’d gained from your previous run. Without this game, we might not have modern classics like the hell-set Hades, The Binding Of Isaac, and Enter The Gungeon.

8 Grand Theft Auto Clone

Claude in Grand Theft Auto 3

There is no shortage of clone genres thanks to how immensely popular some games became. Grand Theft Auto 3 can be thanked for popularizing a trend of games featuring open worlds that you were able to drive and fight your way through.

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One of the most famous Grand Theft Auto Clones of an older era was The Simpsons: Hit & Run. To this day, there is still the odd Grand Theft Auto clone, but it’s more common for games to simply take inspiration from the series instead of blatantly cloning it.

7 Metroidvania

backdrop painting of Hippogryph fight

If you play video games, you probably love at least one Metroidvania game. This genre is named for both the Metroid series and the Castlevania series and is typically referring to Super Metroid and Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night, specifically.

This genre is filled with games in which you have to explore every inch of a sprawling map, often retracing your steps just to progress. It’s a genre for completionists and true adventurers, so it’s no surprise that the genre has become all the more popular in modern times.

6 God Of War Clones

soul calibur broken destinyon psp with kratos from god of war fighting algol

Before God Of War was the tale of big poppa Kratos and his cool axe, he was beating the living hell out of his enemies in a series of hack-and-slash games. Originally released in 2005, the popularity of God Of War caused a wave of clones to capitalize on the success.

This resulted in the God Of War clone genre in which even major series tried to get a slice of love for the simple action. Heavenly Sword, Dante’s Inferno, Darksiders, and even Bayonetta all tried to capture similar gameplay with varying levels of violence and sex appeal.

5 Diablo Clones

Lord of Destruction Cinematic Diablo 2

Another classic genre of clone games is the Diablo clone. The simple little dungeon crawler created such a fun and easy-to-repeat formula that it was only a matter of time before other developers tried to replicate it.

The problem is, few games manage to pull off what Diablo did, leaving only a few memorable for most people. Games like Torchlight 2, Beyond Divinity, and the Dungeon Seige series all tried for their own twists on the formula but just weren’t quite as monumental as Diablo.

4 Musou (Warriors)

Dynasty Warriors Ultimate 3 Zhang Jiao

The Musou genre may sound familiar if you’re a fan of the Dynasty Warriors games. That’s because Musou is actually the name for the whole Warrior series in Japan. Some people call all games of that style Musou games to keep things simple.

Obviously, the Dynasty Warriors games would fall under this genre, but so would games like Persona 5 Strikers, Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes, and even Hyrule Warriors: Age Of Calamity. If you like mowing down waves of enemies in massive battles, this genre is the one for you.

3 Breakout Clone

atari game breakout

While Breakout may seem like a relatively simple game these days, it’s not a stretch to say that there were so many clones of it that Breakout clones became an entire genre. There are too many games to name but some of the bigger ones would be Arkanoid, Kirby’s Block Ball, Titan, and about fifty others.

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The game wasn’t too difficult to clone, so it’s not a surprise that so many clones ended up being created. All you needed to do was make a simple game with a ball, some kind of paddle, and some blocks that need some busting.

2 Myst Clone

MYST Cover

Myst is an absolute classic of the adventure genre that came out all the way back in 1993. Those that have played it probably love it, and if you did, you probably also know why it became so popular to clone.

The effort required to make any game is immense, but thanks to the simple style of Myst clones, far less time was required. All that was needed was plenty of time to work on art, simple mechanics, and some well-thought-out puzzles to create an entire genre.

1 Soulslike

A Pyromancer holds a flame in the palm of their hand.

One of the most famous video game genres of the modern era is the Soulslike genre. Put simply, this genre is made up of any video game that is heavily inspired by the Dark Souls series. That inspiration can be in the overall design, gameplay, or brutal difficulty.

While other companies have made some Soulslike games, some of the most famous are other FromSoftware games like Bloodborne and Elden Ring. Other big names from the genre are Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order & Survivor, and Code Vein.

Next: Moments When Games Shifted Genres

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