The Best Games Like Diablo for the iPad

Get Your Game On With These Diablo Clones

Diablo holds a special place in role-playing game history.  A mashup of the old Gauntlet arcade game with the random dungeons of a roguelike and a dark fantasy setting, it virtually defined the action RPG genre from the moment leaped onto our screens.  And as good as it was, Diablo II was even better.  It took all that was great about Diablo and expanded on it.  Diablo III?  It was okay.  If it wasn't a Blizzard game, I'd even say it was a very good Diablo clone.  But it wasn't Diablo.

To give Blizzard credit, they've done a lot to improve on the original game.   I think the Adventure mode really adds something to these type of games.  But where Diablo was dark, Diablo 3 was cartoonish.  Where Diablo was random, Diablo 3 felt linear.  It just wasn't quite... Diablo.  

It would be great to announce Blizzard is doing an iPad port of Diablo 2, but until that happens, here are some games that can soothe the longing.  

The Best Free iPad Games

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Bioware's Baldur's Gate series will always be linked with Blizzard's Diablo.  Previous to Diablo's 1996 release, a major game magazine gave the role-playing game genre a premature a rest in peace photo cover tribute.  And while Diablo proved there was still a large market for role-playing games, Baldur's Gate showed that gamers were still interested in intricate stories with complete with memorable characters and plot twists.   More »

 If you were ever curious about what Diablo might have been were it created in the 80s, look no further than Wayward Souls.  The retro style harkens back to the days of the Atari and Commodore 64, with gameplay that manages to walk the fine line between action RPGs and roguelike features such as random dungeons and permadeath. This makes it a perfect compliment to Diablo.  More »

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There are many key elements that make Diablo such a great game.  It was a dark game with a dark storyline. There were plenty of options for building out your character. There was lots of loot.  And most of all, the fights could get downright chaotic. If that last part thrilled you, then you should check out Bastion. Originally released on the Xbox 350 and Windows, the iOS port fundamentally redesigned the controls to work better with a touch screen, and they scored a home run in this department. The game is fun, providing plenty of challenge and captures that fast-paced thrill from Diablo.   More »

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Titan Quest was easily one of the best Diablo clones on the PC, and it has finally made its way to the iPad.  The one thing Titan Quest got right was the item-hunting nature of the game, especially when it came to finding runes. The rune system allowed you to augment items found in the game and add customized properties to them, so you could focus on life leeching, regeneration, elemental resistance, etc.  

Titan Quest also had a fun multi-classing system where you could pick two classes to combine. This gave it a lot of replayability as well as allowing for a lot of different ways to go through the game. More »

 A different take on the isometric role-playing game, Battleheart Legacy is the polar opposite of Bastion. Where Bastion's combat can get your heart pumping, Battleheart's seems to crawl along at times.  But if you can get beyond the pace of the combat, you will find a beautiful game with a lot of depth and a great sense of humor. In particular, Battleheart Legacy gives the player a lot of options and a freedom that most other role-playing games simply don't offer. More »

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Oceanhorn may belong more on a list of games similar to Legend of Zelda rather than Diablo, but to be fair, it is the best Legend of Zelda game that is not actually named Legend of Zelda. If you haven't played a Zelda game, you can think of them as one part action RPG, one part platformer and one part puzzle solving. While it may not have the deeper role-playing elements, Oceanhorn is fun to play, beautifully crafted and offers a huge chunk of gameplay for the price. More »

 The Bard's Tale is a solid game all on its own, but it has a special reward for old school players. First, the game never takes itself too seriously.  While it isn't the best RPG on the iPad, it is one of the most fun to play simply because it is fun to play The Bard, a character who cares more about his own good fortune than about doing good for good's self.

The game itself was a dramatic change from the Bard's Tale series from the 80s, which were turn-based dungeon crawlers. Which brings us to the special reward for old school gamers. The original trilogy is included with the game, so if you want to go back to Skara Brae you can do just that.   More »

Dungeon Hunter 5 makes the list simply because a Dungeon Hunter game must be on a Diablo clone list.  I'd love nothing more than to leave this one off the list.  In fact, I was quite tempted to do so, but one thing stopped me: the actual game is the closest thing we have to Diablo on the iPad.  Of all the games on this list, it most resembles Blizzard's masterpiece.  

So why the temptation to leave it off the list?  The game reminds me of that scene in the Godfather II when Al Pacino grabs John Cazale, kisses him, and says, "I know it was you, Fredo.  You broke my heart.  You broke my heart."   

Dungeon Hunter 5 is a great game, but it mixes in all the worst aspects of freemium games. After a while, you feel like the designers are just offering you the promise of a carrot if you would only spend a little bit more and a little bit more in their in-app store.  There are plenty of freemium games done right, it's hard not to take notice when pure greed take over.  But, to give Gameloft credit, the game itself is rather good.   We can only wish it were developed by a better company. More »