6 Games Like Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) [Recommendations]

Gaming hasn’t been quite the same since the rhythm boom of the mid-2000s. Game soundtracks are just so atmospheric nowadays, meant to service the theming of an environment. What ever happened to games that made music part of the game? We need our blood-pumping Eurobeat meshed up against an obnoxious, blaring techno beat with face-melting neon lights to get us believing we really are in a 90’s German Discotheque.

We miss Dance Dance Revolution. We’re sure you do too. It was one game franchise that tricked us into thinking exercise could be fun before Wii Fit came around and proved it isn’t. But all hope is not lost! You might still be able to revive that withered husk of a dancer left in you with these 6 picks!

Similar Game to Dance Dance Revolution (DDR)

1. Just Dance 2018

  • System: Nintendo Switch, Wii U, Wii, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
  • Publisher: Ubisoft Paris, Ubisoft Pune, Ubisoft Shanhai
  • Developer: Ubisoft
  • Release Dates: October 24th, 2017

Hey, quit scrolling! We know Just Dance’s reputation as “that game you just waggle along to”. Most rhythm gamers wrote off the Just Dance series almost immediately at launch, but, frankly, the game has evolved quite a bit since its origins on the original Wii. In addition to updating the tracklist with modern hits like Bruno Mars’ “24K Magic” and Luis Fonzi and Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito” in the most recent update, the Just Dance series has updated the gameplay to allow for using your mobile phone as a controller in addition to standard motion controllers, as well as an added “Super” ranking above that of “Perfect” for the truly hardcore. You can’t just waggle your way through anymore.

And even if you could, why would you? Just Dance was always designed to be the party alternative to the more technically minded Dance Dance Revolution. The pursuit of mastery is there if you really want it, but c’mon. What’s fun is getting a group together, clearing out some space in front of the TV, and laugh as you all embarrass yourselves poorly matching up to the onscreen maneuvers. Just Dance is meant to be welcoming, with its gaudily-dressed silhouettes who somehow look less ridiculous than you when you attempt “Swish Swish”.
Besides, who else are you getting a brand new Wii game from in 2017? No one, that’s who.

Just Dance 2018 E3 Announcement

2. In the Groove 2

  • System: Arcade
  • Publisher: Roxor Games
  • Developer: RedOctance
  • Release Dates: August 18, 2005

It’s Dance Dance Revolution.
No, seriously. That’s the conclusion the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas came to after about a year of deliberation. It probably didn’t help that the developers of In the Groove were flat out undercutting Konami’s own Dance Dance Revolution at the very height of its popularity by allowing their arcade kits to be installed over already existing DDR machines without Konami’s permission. And, let’s face it, In the Groove is almost indistinguishable from Dance Dance Revolution. It looks more like a cheap knock off of the beloved franchise than a standalone title on its own. The results of the case moved ownership of the In the Groove series into Konami’s hands, making sure it would never see another major release again.

However, In the Groove is really more about the fans of Dance Dance Revolution than about the game itself. Later revisions allowed for USB support on actual arcade machines, allowing players to import their own songs and set charts onto the machine! No longer were fans confined to whatever Konami decided they should be able to play. The entire catalog of humanity’s musical history was at your fingertips. Even though Konami no longer allows machines to be made, if you’re lucky, you might be able to find one for yourself, as they still exist out in the wild!
No trailer available

3. Step Mania

  • System: PC
  • Publisher: Chris Danford, Glenn Maynard
  • Developer: Chris Danford, Glenn Maynard
  • Release Dates: 2001

Love Dance Dance Revolution but sick of switching around discs to play the songs you want? Can’t find a machine anywhere in town? Check out StepMania, a freeware engine that allows users to create their own stepcharts for literally any song you can imagine! Users have uploaded literally thousands of different songs for your use, and it’s still getting updated to this day. Even if you don’t have a dance pad, your keyboard is a surprisingly effective alternative too.

However, we should note that StepMania is primarily a gaming engine. That is to say, people can even make their own separate games with it! In fact, the aforementioned In the Groove series was developed using StepMania! You can even simulate other types of rhythm games that aren’t even readily available outside of Japan, like the famed beatmania IIDX. If you’ve ever wanted a taste of any of these sorts of games, StepMania is a fantastic choice!

Any Game Like Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) ?

4. Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Future Tone

  • System: Playstation Vita
  • Publisher: Sega, Crypton Future Media
  • Developer: Sega
  • Release Dates: January 10th, 2017

Miku’s back in her biggest game to date! Project DIVA Future Tone is actually split into two halves; Future Sound, which, despite the name, is a collection of songs from other Project DIVA games, while Colorful Sound is a compilation of songs from the arcade game and the Project Mirai subseries. You can buy them both separately or at a discount, but regardless, the overall collection is over 200 songs’ worth, making Project DIVA Future Tone an insane deal for the budget-minded dancing fan.

If you’ve ever been interested in the white-knuckle intensity of a Hatsune Miku game but have been turned off by the dating aspects and general ogling of past entries, Future Tone is a fantastic entry point. Project DIVA Future Tone is meant to be more of a greatest hits album of the most popular tracks than a proper sequel, which is great for hungry Dance Dance Revolution fans who don’t want to deal with the nonsense and just get into the music. Even longtime fans should be happy to at least have a version that collects the best of the series into one game so they don’t have to keep switching around their games.

Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Future Tone Debut Trailer

5. Love Live School Idol Festival

  • System: Android, iOS
  • Publisher: KLab
  • Developer: Bushiroad
  • Release Dates: May 12th, 2014 (Worldwide)

It’s the sensation that’s swept the entire globe, with over 40 million unique users. Everyone, young or old, boy or girl, is taken by the Love Live storm. If you’ve ever wondered what the fuss is all about, why not jump in now? Don’t let its cutesy pop idol shtick deter you even if it’s not your jam. There’s a pretty technical rhythm game buried underneath its sugary sweet pastiche, with touch-the-beat mechanics similar to that of the Elite Beat Agents/Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan franchise.

And, hey, it’s not as if you won’t be able to get your investment’s worth. In addition to the standard arcade mode, you’ll find a fairly in-depth story mode where you’ll even need to build up your own idol group made from scouting out new members and getting them to join your group. Doing so will even unlock a new story within the game! With so much content, frequent updates, and a cost of a whopping nothing, what’s even keeping you? Don’t let your hesitation about freemium games hold you back!

Love Live School idol Festival PV

6. Dance Central Spotlight

  • System: Xbox One
  • Publisher: Harmonix
  • Developer: Microsoft
  • Release Dates: September 2nd, 2014

You ever wonder what Dance Dance Revolution would look like if it encouraged players to actually dance rather than just step in rhythm? That’s pretty much the Dance Central franchise in a nutshell. Using your Kinect, you’ll need to pose at just the right moment. The more accurately you pose, in conjunction with your timing, the more points you’ll score. As with any other rhythm game on the market, it’s all about the competition. Beat your friends in local dance matches, or prove your groove to people you’ll never meet on the leaderboards!

There are plenty of Dance Central games out there, but we chose Dance Central Spotlight in particular, because in addition to being the only version available on modern hardware, it’s also the most comprehensive. Harmonix has gone through painstaking measures to allow all past DLC songs from the past three Dance Central games to be purchased through Dance Central Spotlight. In fact, even though Microsoft has discontinued native Kinect support on the more recent iterations of their consoles, Dance Central Spotlight has received updates as recently at this morning, meaning there’s no fear jumping in this late in the game!

Dance Central Spotlight:

Final Thoughts

Gettin’ tired? You should be. Dancing’s exhausting. But that’s fine! That’s part of the fun. If nothing else, Dance Dance Revolution showed gamers everywhere that it’s okay to get out of their chairs and get a little physical. Maybe now that you’re all tired out, sit down and write out a few comments? Let us know your own favorite games inspired by Dance Dance Revolution!

Dance-Dance-Revolution-game-300x300 6 Games Like Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) [Recommendations]


Author: Matt Knodle

I come from Indiana, where I grew up near a video rental shop that proudly stated “The widest selection of anime in the state”, setting me on a course to enjoy as much anime as possible. I’ve devoted myself to over-analyzing various sports anime and video games probably more than they were ever intended. I currently co-host a weekly sports anime fan podcast called KoshienCast with my good friend, Matt.

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