If there's one thing the gaming industry agrees on, it's that you can never have too much of a good thing.
Since the early '90s, video game companies around the world have used spin-offs as a way to plug the gaps between releases in their tentpole franchises. While it's true that many of these games have missed the mark in spectacular fashion, there have also been plenty of examples of publishers finding success when following this simple formula:
Established Setting + New Genre = Profit!
This list hopes to showcase ten of the best videogame spin-offs to have ever been made. We'll see Nintendo taking Mario out of the Mushroom Kingdom and onto the race track, Square-Enix making use of the greatest soundtrack collection in gaming history, Capcom finding new ways to shoot zombies in the face and many more. (Seven more, to be exact. Unless public education has failed me, I'm pretty sure 10-3 = 7.)
But enough of the advanced mathematics. In the word of everyone's favourite plumber/ racer/ doctor/ golfer/ tennis player/ soccer player/ baseball player/ dancer/ painter/ typist / hotel owner, "Let's a-go!"
10. Hyrule Warriors
Koei Tecmo's "[Insert Brand Here] Warriors" games are the marmite of the gaming world. Their critics say the games are repetitive, one-note brawlers that are less engaging than folding laundry. Their fans say the games are deceptively deep, with each large-scale battle successfully marrying straightforward power fantasies with big-picture decision making.
One thing both camps can agree on, however, is that Hyrule Warriors provides the best example of the genre. Mashing Nintendo's cerebral Zelda series into Warriors' action-heavy template is one of those ideas that looks terrible on paper, but provides spectacular results in reality.
It's a genuine thrill watching Nintendo's heroes taking charge and unleashing hell on the battlefield. This is especially true when playing as Zelda herself, a figure too often marginalised in her own series. And in a gameplay sense the addition of classic Zelda boss battles provides a genuine evolution to the standard Warriors formula, with each unique boss providing a welcome twist to every battle by forcing the player to juggle even more balls on the way to victory.
Zelda and Warriors may sound like a match made in hell, but as a wise woman once said, "Opposites Attract".