Even some of the best video games have been called out for lifting elements from earlier games, but there’s a difference between borrowing or paying homage to something, and shamelessly pilfering from it, as all the below games demonstrate with a clear certainty. Though not all the games on this list are bad – though a fair few of them are – the air of plagiarism hanging over each, whether it’s an authorised copy or not, certainly dents each game’s reputation, even if two in particular are without doubt regarded as classics.
Here are 10 games that are, for whatever reason, and regardless of their quality, shameless rip-offs in the extreme.
10. Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing
Just because a game’s a rip-off doesn’t mean that it’s without redeeming features, and that’s exactly the case with Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing, a competently-assembled racing game that is nevertheless entirely indebted to the King of the genre – at least as far as fun goes – Mario Kart. The series has evolved throughout the years, and its enduring popularity has ensured a ridiculous number of rip-offs, yet like Crash Team Racing, this one is both absolutely shameless and actually pretty good. There’s something amusing and ironic that it’s helmed by Mario’s all-time biggest rival – even more so than Bowser – Sonic, as though he’s trying to encroach on the world’s most famous plumber’s territory.
Though it won’t be stealing the racing crown away from Mario anytime soon, it’s got the same winning elements; crazy maps, absurd power-ups, and a host of weird and wonderful characters, including Alex Kidd, Ryo Hazuki (Shenmue), Amigo (Samba de Amigo) and countless members of the Sonic cast. It’s a game that’s an easy target to pick on, but it almost pains us to say that it’s actually rather enjoyable.
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This article was first posted on November 30, 2012