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, but it wasn't Diablo.

To give Blizzard credit, they've done a lot to improve on the original game. 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.  

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Baldur's Gate


What We Like

  • New heroes and minor technical tweaks are welcome additions to this enhanced edition.

  • Multiplayer mode is cross-platform.

What We Don't Like

  • Clunky mobile controls make it difficult to perform certain actions.

  • Very text-heavy, so it might strain your eyes.

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 "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.

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Wayward Souls

What We Like

  • Beautiful old school sprite animations ooze nostalgia.

  • Each playable character has their own unique story, providing plenty of replay value.

What We Don't Like

  • Punishingly difficult at times.

  • There's nothing terribly original about the gameplay or combat system.

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. 

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What We Like

  • Witty narration adds depth to an otherwise run-of-the-mill story.

  • Levels are well designed and filled with varied challenges.

What We Don't Like

  • Hack-and-slash combat starts to feel repetitive after a while.

  • Pretty simple plot with no post-story content.

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 touchscreen, 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. 

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Titan Quest

What We Like

  • Pinching and zooming makes it easy to play on small screens.

  • Fun cast of characters.

What We Don't Like

  • Lacks multiplayer like the original.

  • Periodic frame rate issues.

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.

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Battleheart Legacy

What We Like

  • Unparalleled character customization.

  • Dialogue choices greatly impact how the story plays out.

What We Don't Like

  • It's not always clear where you're supposed to go or what you should do.

  • Occasional minor bugs.

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.

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What We Like

  • Top notch soundtrack and graphical presentation.

  • Easier for newcomers to pick up and play than most RPGs.

What We Don't Like

  • Some elements, like sailing, seem unnecessarily ripped off from "Zelda."

  • The characters and their voice actors are flat and uninspired.

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.

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The Bard's Tale

What We Like

  • Excellent writing and voice acting by Cary Elwes.

  • Summoning system adds tactical depth to battles.

  • Optional quests add hours of content to the main game.

What We Don't Like

  • Can't save your game anywhere you want, so dying between save points gets annoying fast.

  • Beating the game on normal difficulty requires a good deal of grinding.

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 sake.

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. 

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Dungeon Hunter 5

What We Like

  • More engaging plot and characters than previous entries.

  • Can theoretically be completed without spending a dime.

What We Don't Like

  • Multiplayer mode has been replaced by a tower defense mini-game.

  • Gear upgrade system has an annoying element of randomness.

Dungeon Hunter 5 makes the list simply because a Dungeon Hunter game must be on a Diablo clone list: 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.

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: if only it were developed by a better company.