10 Shameless Video Game Rip-Offs (That Were Actually Great)

God of War's biggest rip-off was actually incredible.

Dantes inferno

Imitation is said to be the sincerest form of flattery, but in the video game industry it's simply business as usual.

Game publishers are unsurprisingly obsessed with chasing trends and attempting to cash in on whatever the latest hotness is, because why come up with something original when you can just riff on a proven hit?

And so, for every successful video game out there, there are dozens if not hundreds of clones and ripoffs attempting to replicate said glory, though of course, the vast majority get nowhere close to the mark and quickly fade into obscurity.

Yet every so often a game comes along that, while shamelessly standing in the shadow of a prior title, still manages to be a fun, worthwhile experience in its own right.

These 10 video games were all undeniably inspired by a prior hit, to the extent that the similarities are glaringly, even hilariously obvious.

And yet, rather than feel like purely cynical exercises in parting players with their cash, each of these games was a great enough time in their own right to forgive the lack of originality...

10. Dante's Inferno

Dantes inferno
Visceral Games

Let's kick things off with one of the most hilariously transparent-yet-awesome ripoffs of all time - Dante's Inferno.

Visceral Games' action-adventure game owes a debt to the earlier God of War titles that it can never repay, enough that you could quite reasonably call it a God of War clone.

From a design perspective, Dante's Inferno liberally imitates the series' combo-based combat, neat mythological monster enemies, heightened boss battles, and health replenishment system.

Really the key difference is that Dante's Inferno involves fighting through the nine Circles of Hell while God of War revolved around Greek mythology.

But it's tough to deny that Dante's Inferno is one hell of a fun game regardless, and in a gaming landscape crammed with listless remakes and remasters nobody asked for, why the hell hasn't it gotten the glossy re-do treatment?

Though critics were fair to ding the game for so shamelessly imitating God of War, it was also such a slick, compulsively entertaining experience in its own right, complete with perhaps gaming's best-ever depiction of Hell. All of this deserves to be celebrated.


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.