3 of the best spin-off video games… and one dream

Persona 4 has had a little bit of a renaissance recently, with Persona 4 Golden coming to Steam not that long ago and now Persona 4 Arena Ultimax putting in an appearance as well.

While P4AU is fun and I’m very happy with what we got, it got me thinking about some of my favourite spin-off games from over the years and what I particularly enjoy about them. I thought I’d talk about them a bit — so here are some of my the best video game spin-offs from over the years, and maybe some wishlist requests for future spin-offs too.

3 Great Video Game Spin-offs

Pokémon: Pokken and Pokémon Snap

I grew up playing Pokémon, and fighting games became one of my favourite genres after I first got into them back in around 2014. So can you imagine the levels of hype when I saw the first teasers for Pokken? A massive number of people grew up with Pokémon, and at some point most of them had probably imagined what a game would be like where you could fully control 3D Pokémon in battles with one another.

Pokken was the answer to that, but as much as I loved the game, there were some serious downfalls to it. As is tradition with everything that has Pokémon in the title, you’re never going to please everyone because each person has a different favourite Pokémon that they wished could have been in the game. The other big one is that it’s a Nintendo game, which often means that support won’t last forever and that eventually the game will just die out — which is what has unfortunately happened. 

In tandem with this is Pokémon Snap, and I am more so referring to the old version that was released back on the Nintendo 64 than the newer Switch version. This game was genuinely something magical to me when I was a kid; repeatedly going through the same level over and over just to find all of the different Pokémon that could be seen, and what interaction would cause each event to happen — which, in turn, would result in even more new Pokémon being revealed. 

Then as you would progress through the game you would unlock even more things that would allow you to go back and revisit old levels to reveal even more Pokémon. It really was a game crafted with player curiosity at the centre of everything. This was also one of the first times we got to see our favourite Pokémon in 3D as well, so it was a really special and awesome Pokémon spin-off.

Super Smash Bros.

Without a doubt the greatest spin-off game of almost every single Nintendo IP as well as numerous other games from numerous developers. The Super Smash Bros. franchise, for me, will always be something legendary — and I suspect we will never see something quite like it ever again. And on top of how the game is technically a spin-off of all the titles included on its roster, it’s also a standout fighting game in itself.

It’s hard to exaggerate just how impossible-seeming this crossover is, I mean, how on Earth they managed to get Persona 5’s Joker in the game despite his game only ever being on a Sony console will continue to baffle and amaze me. Then they manage to make the impossible come true by including Sora from Kingdom Hearts. Not only was he the most requested character in numerous regions, but he is also the trickiest character when it comes to licensing as he is part-owned by Disney and part-owned by Square Enix, who can be a difficult company themselves.

Final Fantasy fighting game – The Dream

Final Fantasy is a series that has numerous spin-off titles; they even released another one this month in the form of Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin, which explores the events of the original Final Fantasy from a new perspective. And although I personally haven’t gotten around to playing it yet, I know that there is also the beloved strategy RPG series Final Fantasy Tactics, which features some of the deepest mechanics in the series. 

What I dream of every single night, however, is a Guilty Gear-style 2D traditional fighting game featuring all of the most loved and popular Final Fantasy characters from all across the franchise. I want to see FFVII’s Cloud wielding his Buster Sword, dominating mid-screen with great movement options, or Sephiroth being a long-range poke-type character with a one-winged double jump. FFVI’s Kefka would be a magic-based zoning character who constantly tries to keep you away, and FFIX’s Zidane could be a rapid-paced character that makes up for his low HP with all of his mix-up options. 

I know we have the Dissidia series (And don’t forget Ehrgeiz… everyone forgets Ehrgeiz – Ed.), and 3D arena fighters are a whole love/hate topic in themselves. But I absolutely do dream of a game in which some of my absolute favourite characters feature in one of my all-time favourite types of video games.

So those are our picks and dreams for spin-off video games — what are your favourite spin-off titles from over the years? And what are the spin-offs you’d love to see happen someday?

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Conor Evans
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