The Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise is globally popular. Beginning from the 1996 manga by Kazuki Takahashi, it has gone on to spawn several different anime series, three movies, a trading card game, many video games and so much more in the past 23 years. It's an amazing feat, considering that the card game was something that was only meant to be included in the manga twice! But, thanks to the impact Duel Monsters had with audiences we now have that very card game and games about that card in real life. Currently, there are 56 Yu-Gi-Oh! games, with about 40 localized for North America.
Most of these games are about the card game and lets players face against many of the characters from the original and spin-off series like Yugi, Kaiba, Yusei, Jack, and more. And while quite a few (especially the newer ones) stick to the official rules of the TCG, others don't.
Here are 10 Yu-Gi-Oh! Games That Play Nothing Like The Real Card Game.
10 Yu-Gi-Oh! Forbidden Memories
Yu-Gi-Oh! Forbidden Memories is a PlayStation game that came to North America in 2002. The game is split between Ancient Egypt and more modern times that feature several different characters from the anime and manga.
Forbidden Memories uses the prototype rules of the TCG when it was first being adapted from the manga as the game was developed around the same time the TCG was.
There isn't a banished zone, Extra Deck or even a Graveyard and it's possible to "fusion summon" certain Spell or Trap cards using other Spell, Trap or Monster cards.
9 Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's Wheelie Breakers
The Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's anime series combines Duel Monsters with racing. Most games that include characters from the 5D's series typically don't include the racing aspect of the game, but this one does! The only Yu-Gi-Oh! game for the Wii, 5D's Wheelie Breakers is a racing game where the player becomes a Turbo Duelist and duels against many of the characters from the series. It plays a lot like Mario Kart as cards are mostly used as "power-ups" to help the player advanced during the race. Monster cards can be used to defend or attack other players.
Spell cards power up a player and Trap cards are also used to defend against player attacks.
8 Yu-Gi-Oh! Capsule Monster Coliseum
Obviously, Capsule Monster Coliseum isn't anything like the TCG since it's Capsule Monsters. For those that don't know, Capsule Monsters is a figurine game that was featured in the manga, and before Capsule Monsters spin-off in the anime. In the game Yugi and Yami Yugi enter a Capsule Monsters tournament, though they don't really know how to play.
They get taught by Yugi's grandfather and then proceed to battle through their friends, rivals, and enemies, with varying levels of difficulty. How the game is played differs a bit from how it played out in the manga, both players have a game piece called a "Symbol" which determines how many monsters they can have their field.
Monsters can level up and can fuse to make a stronger monster.
7 Yu-Gi-Oh! Duelist Of The Roses
Yu-Gi-Oh! Duelists of the Roses is a PlayStation 2 game. In it, players find themselves transported to 15th century England during the War of the Roses. Many characters from the series take the place of several historical figures during that period with Yami Yugi as Henry Tudor and Seto Kaiba as Christian Rosenkreuz.
Gameplay follows the "Perfect Rule" system where the player and each character has a Deck Leader that they use to summon monsters, Spell and Traps cards, and represents their Life Points. Deck Leaders have special abilities called Leader Abilities that can do a number of things from, weakening a specific enemy type to increase how far monsters can move.
6 Yu-Gi-Oh! Dark Duel Stories
Dark Duel Stories is the first Yu-Gi-Oh! game released outside of Japan, and it came to the United States in 2002. For the Game Boy Color, the game is set up in 5 stages, with several duelists the player had to defeat, 5 times each before they can move on to the next stage. There are several monsters who have effects in the TCG that don't have them in the game and the ones that do, their effects are activated as soon as they are played.
This game also follows an "Elemental Rule" where monster cards who have an inferior alignment will automatically be destroyed if they are pitted against a monster with a superior alignment. For example, Water monsters will always beat Fire ones regardless of whether the Fire monster has higher stats than the other.
5 Yu-Gi-Oh! The Falsebound Kingdom
The Falsebound Kingdom is a mixture of an RPG, real-time strategy and card battle game that features several of the characters from the series, including the return of game villain Heishin. There are two available storylines in the beginning. One follows Yugi and his friends as they are invited to test a virtual reality game they soon become trapped in. The second follows Kaiba and Mokuba who are also trapped, and the last storyline is a prequel with Joey Wheeler as the main character. In it, players control an army of "Marshals" that can command up to 3 monsters who have both attack and defense power but also HP and AP.
Monsters can usually take more than one turn during battle and they have the ability to take and use items that either recover their health or raises their stats.
4 Yu-gi-Oh! The Sacred Cards
Yu-Gi-Oh! The Sacred Cards is a game for the Game Boy Advance and was released to North America in 2002. In it, players are a part of the Battle City Tournament arc, witch changes made to the story to give them a large role in the events that occurred.
They have to duel for six locator cards, duel Ishizu and Kaiba to gain an Egyptian God Card and battle their way to the finals where they eventually face Marik and The Winged Dragon of Ra. Gameplay is similar to Forbidden Memories, as it uses the same set of prototype rules crafted as the card game was being adapted from the manga. There aren't any of the standard game phases, and many cards have their effects changed or removed altogether.
3 Yu-Gi-Oh! BAM
Yu-Gi-Oh! BAM, had a really interesting (and sometimes confusing) story, the story didn't really matter as the gameplay was the most enjoyable part of it. Players used three monster cards, who's effects were changed into one of the Effect Types for BAM and used power-ups to give their monsters an advantage or give their opponents a disadvantage.
They set their cards out on the field and let the battle play out. There are no trap cards, Ritual or Synchro monsters, and every monster can be summoned without a Tribute. Unfortunately, the servers shut down in 2016, so it isn't available to play anymore.
2 Yu-Gi-Oh! Destiny Board Traveler
Yu-Gi-Oh! Destiny Board Traveler is a 5x5 board game with a Yu-Gi-Oh! card game twist. Players can either play on their own or with friends using GBA Link cables. Players can take the role of one of several characters from the anime series including, Yugi, Kaiba, Joey, Mokuba and more.
Each player is given a hand of monster cards and must role a Summoning Die to see if they can summon a monster and move along the board. There are no Spell or Trap Cards, and every Monster, regardless of whether it's an Effect, Fusion or Ritual monster is treated as a Normal monster.
1 Yu-Gi-Oh! Reshef Of Destruction
Yu-Gi-Oh! Reshef of Destruction is the sequel to The Sacred Cards which features the player as an original character. Suddenly the Millennium Puzzle and Yami Yugi go missing, as well as the other Millennium Items. And it's up to the player to find them. The rules of the game are nearly similar to the rules of The Sacred Cards, that use the prototype rules of the card game while it was still being made.
Several Effect Monsters are treated as Normal Monsters and all Ritual monsters are treated as Divine types that can be summoned with a Ritual Spell card or via tribute.