8x Most Popular Game Series Switched Genres

Longevity in gaming is not easy to achieve as the industry is constantly changing. This is why many popular game series have not stood the test of time. It seems that the only way to survive in the long term is to change and evolve along with the industry. But altering a series’ formula comes with its own potential problems, as by changing too much, a developer can turn off fans.

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Despite that risk, several developers or publishers have made the brave decision to change the genre of their popular series. Sometimes it has worked amazingly, while other times it has been a flop. These are the most famous examples of gender change.


8 wolfenstein

Wolfenstein is a series that has been around since the 1980s. And throughout its history, there have been several reboots. However, the most substantial change came in Wolfenstein 3D, the action-packed first-person shooter. Since that release, all the rest of the main integers have fit into that same genre.

However, before 3D, there was Castle Wolfenstein and Beyond Castle Wolfenstein. These titles are stealth games with some action-adventure and shooting elements. Stealth mechanics have returned to the series in the most recent installments, but The New Order and The New Colossus are definitely not stealth games.

7 pac-man

After the original Pac-Man game, the series had a few different spin-offs and relaunches. Eventually, though, the first title got a direct sequel, at least based on the name, called Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures. It’s hard to define which genre the original Pac-Man fits into, as it’s so unique. However, it’s certainly not a point-and-click adventure like Pac-Man 2.

In this sequel, the main character has a full body, including a face, and walks through a city completing quests instead of running through a maze. Thankfully, more maze-based Pac-Man came later.

6 Castlevania

The original Castlevania is very much a pure platformer, where you jump and blast your way through various linear levels. However, after the first installment, the series slowly began to morph by adding exploration and some RPG mechanics. However, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night featured the series’ first complete outing.

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While this game still contains side scrolling, it barely resembles a platform game. In fact, it does not resemble many genres of that time. Instead, it was one of the earliest examples of a Metroidvania game and helped spawn the genre.

5 Yakuza

Most Yakuza games are action-adventure games that contain compelling storylines and likeable protagonists. Surprisingly, after the series had lasted 15 years, the developers decided to change things up for the seventh game, Yakuza: Like a Dragon.

This 2020 title is a pure RPG. And instead of beat ’em up style combat, it features a turn-based system. Fortunately, it doesn’t completely remove everything that came before. For example, the charming madness of the series is still there. Also, the signature Yakuza brawl still exists in Judgment spin-off titles.

4 assassin’s Creed

Unlike many genre-swapping games, Assassin’s Creed didn’t take a sudden turn. What was once an action-adventure series slowly morphed into an action RPG. The first few games are strictly action-adventure. However, the likes of Unity and Syndicate include more RPG elements. And Origins, Odyssey, and Valhalla are true action RPGs with their inclusion of crafting and skill trees.

The transition to a new genre coincided with the fact that the series became completely open world. While the early games are partially open world, you’re often constrained by the story. This is not the case for subsequent deliveries.

3 Banjo-Kazooie

The first two Banjo-Kazooie games are classic platform games with some action-adventure features. However, after them, fans had to wait many years for a sequel to the main series to be released. It finally arrived in 2008 in the form of Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts And Bolts.

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While this title still fits into the action-adventure genre, there is not a lot of platforming in the game. Instead, Nuts and Bolts revolves around building vehicles. It doesn’t even involve much combat like the first two innings. It’s fair to say that this transformation of the series was not appreciated by all members of the fanbase.

two demonic resident

Resident Evil had one of the most well-known and divisive gender shifts in video game history. After the first atmospheric survival horror entries, the series was completely changed with Resident Evil 4. The most immediately noticeable alteration is the use of an over-the-shoulder camera instead of the fixed ones of the originals. But the most controversial change was the transformation into an action series.

While the first titles have action, RE4 is a full action game with some horror elements. Resident Evil 5 is even more action-oriented, while the sixth game is a third-person shooter that barely resembles survival horror. However, the series has since rediscovered its horror roots.

1 Fall

Technically, Fallout didn’t switch genres, since all the games are RPGs. But the series changed the subgenres and completely changed Fallout forever. The first two games are 2D isometric titles that use turn-based combat. In contrast, Fallout 3 and 4 are fully open-world 3D experiences with real-time action.

As such, the first two installments bear little resemblance to the third and fourth. However, many people seemed happy with the change, as Fallout 3 is the game that really took the series to the next level in terms of popularity.

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