A spin-off of the ''VideoGame/GuitarHero'' series by {{Creator/Activision}}, developed by [=FreeStyleGames=], ''DJ Hero'' is a large variation on the usual instrument-peripheral-rhythm-game-genre, in which instead of a representation of a conventionally popular instrument like a guitar, bass, or drums, you use a turntable peripheral. The difference comes from that while you do press buttons alongside on-screen prompts to interpret a song (albeit with two fewer buttons), some notes require you to hold down the button and "scratch" the turntable. In addition, you also have to adjust your crossfader bar to match the note highways on screen.

The soundtrack of the series consists of remixes/mashups of various songs produced both in-house by the developers, or by the several artists brought into the project, including and not limited to Grandmaster Flash, the late DJ AM, {{Music/deadmau5}}, Tiësto, and RZA of Music/WuTangClan fame.

The original game was released on October 27, 2009 for UsefulNotes/PlayStation2, UsefulNotes/PlayStation3, UsefulNotes/{{Xbox 360}}, and UsefulNotes/{{Wii}}. ''DJ Hero 2'' was released less than a year later, on October 19, 2010, for the same consoles minus the [=PS2=].

Bears slight conceptual similarity to the ''VideoGame/{{Beatmania}}'' series.

In February 2011, ''DJ Hero'', alongside its parent series ''Guitar Hero'', has been given the axe by Activision. As of 2015, [=FreeStyleGames=] has been put to work on ''VideoGame/GuitarHeroLive'', but a third ''DJ Hero'' game looks unlikely...

!!This game provides examples of:

* AndYourRewardIsClothes: Along with other [=DJs=], turntables and skins for the turntables (only in the first game). Less cosmetically, you also unlock new setlists and a few encore songs.
* AntiFrustrationFeatures:
** The crossfader does not literally have to be in the center to count as being "centered". Anything not pushed directly to the left or right is considered centered. When you're constantly having to switch crossfades on some of harder songs, this is a blessing.
** When activating Rewind, crossfading is ignored for several seconds, allowing you to adjust the crossfader in case it was set to a different position that what is currently is after rewinding.
* AsHimself: Multiple DJs make appearances as bosses and playable avatars. In the first game, we have DJ Shadow, DJ AM, Z-Trip, Grandmaster Flash, DJ Jazzy Jeff and Music/DaftPunk. In the second game, there's Music/DavidGuetta, Music/Deadmau5, Tiesto, RZA and DJ Qbert.
* {{Bowdlerise}}: Being a T-rated game, it was inevitable some of the harsher lyrics would become censored.
* CooperativeMultiplayer: Two players can team up and play with two turntables, a turntable and a guitar in the first game, and with vocals in the second.
* {{Crossover}}: A remix of "[[Music/PublicEnemy Bring the Noise]]" featuring [[Music/BlackLabelSociety Zakk Wylde]], appeared in both ''DJ Hero 1'' as a DJ/guitar mix in addition to appearing in ''Guitar Hero 5'' when it released several days later.
* DownloadableContent: Purchased by the bunch (Xbox 360 and [=PS3=]) or separately (Wii), averaging to about three mixes per setlist throughout the course of the series. It's also extremely expensive, at $7.99 for three songs. With how difficult it is to compose unique mashups compared to just getting the rights for songs and charting them as in ''Guitar Hero'', though, it's justified.
* DualBoss: Not exactly a boss, but true to life, we have Music/DaftPunk. Notably, they have their own unique deck and even have a stage modeled after their own pyramid set.
* FinalExamBoss: In both games.
** While not a final boss ''per se'', the "[[Music/{{Noisia}} Groundhog]]" beat juggle is undoubtedly the hardest mix in the first game, and manages to test all the skills you've learned by gradually escalating the number of things you need to do at once.
** "[[Music/DaftPunk Human After All]]" in ''DJ Hero 2'' is the last mix and, like "Groundhog", slowly but steadily adds more actions the player needs to perform at once. Not nearly the hardest mix in the game, though.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar:
** {{Music/Jay Z}}'s "Izzo (H.O.V.A.)" is featured on two mixes in the first game. Despite [[{{Bowdlerise}} censoring some of the stronger language]] present in most songs, the lyric "Fo' shizzle my [[NWordPrivileges nizzle]]" is present unaltered.
** In the first game, there's a turntable called "Beatlingus".
* GenreRoulette: The first game had primarily a mixture of hip-hop and rock music, with some electronic, dance, and pop thrown in occasionally. Meanwhile, the second has a more diverse soundtrack, consisting of more electronic and dance/pop music with less rock.
* GlowingEyesOfDoom: DJ Shadow's upper face is [[VisualPun shadowed]] by his hoodie, with glowing eyes prominently appearing through the darkness.
* IShallTauntYou[=/=]TrashTalk: During the "[[Music/{{Noisia}} Groundhog]]" beat juggle by Scratch Perverts, a posh British-accented man will try to goad the player into giving up, saying the mix is far too difficult for anyone to perform.
* LifeMeter: [[AvertedTrope Completely Missing In Action!]] Now you can play without worrying about failing out and still have your score saved. Instead, you'll have to score a certain number of stars from each song to progress, focusing more on being good at the game than just surviving.
* LimitBreak: "Euphoria", a score multiplier functionally identical to ''Guitar Hero'''s Star Power (in addition to automatically handling crossfading, which can be handy during tricky sections), and Rewind, which allows you to [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin rewind]] to an earlier point in the song. The replayed section will be given double points while you play it.
* MixAndMatch: Most of the tracks in the series are mash-ups, mixing together two songs and cutting them together to make a unique animal.
* ProductPlacement: As in ''Guitar Hero'', there's quite a bit. Beats by Dre, Sprite in the first game and Coca-Cola in the second, Puma, various types of DJ equipment....
* RoboticReveal: deadmau5's giant mouse head ''is'' his head here. When he's shown putting it on, he just has a neck stump with some wires sticking out of it.
* {{Sampling}}: Being based around [=DJing=], this is actually one of the features of the game. In the first game only, you can tap the red button during certain freestyle sections to play from one of several samples chosen before you begin the song
* SequelDifficultySpike: ''DJ Hero 2'' added in not just freestyle scratches and crossfades, but also held taps and scratches.
* SeriousBusiness: During his mix of "Rockit" by Music/HerbieHancock and "Lapdance" by N.E.R.D., Grandmaster Flash yells this.
--> ''This is serious business!''
* StealthPun: ''DJ Hero 2'' can be bought as part of a bundle that includes two turntable controllers and a microphone peripheral. Fans of the artist Beck may be familiar with phrase "two turntables and a microphone" (sadly Beck doesn't appear in this game in any form).
* ThirdIs3D: ''DJ Hero [=3D=]''. It is not the third main series game, though, but rather an installment for the UsefulNotes/Nintendo3DS. Cancelled, along with the rest of the series.
* TimeTravel: Both games allow for spinning the DJ disc backwards to rewind the song a number of measures. There are some mechanical differences between the games, however:
** In the first game, you can either rewind one measure (360˚) or two measures (720˚) depending on how many revolutions you spin the disc backwards. This feature was not available on any mode involving two players.
** In the second game, rewinds take you to the previous section or the beginning of the current sections, shown by "rewind markers" that pass by. There is a power deck that can take you back two sections. Rewinding is possible in two player modes at least.
* TitleDrop: A few times in the first game, but special mention goes to the mashup of Music/{{Foreigner}}'s "Juke Box Hero" and Z-Trip and MURS' "DJ Hero".
* UnexpectedGameplayChange:
** Being able to play with the guitar on select songs in the first game, and being able to sing a large amount of mixes from the second.
** Not quite a ''gameplay'' change, but as the vast majority of the mixes in the game are mash-ups, the beat juggles where you play only a single (remixed) song can be a bit surprising. Functionally, they play the same as regular mixes, though.
* UnintentionalPeriodPiece: Not the first game, but the second's heavy reliance on late 2000s contemporary hits (such as Music/LadyGaga, Music/LilJon, and Music/SouljaBoy) firmly push it into this territory.
* WolverinePublicity: The "Renegade Edition" of the first game was presented as being a Music/JayZ[=/=]Music/{{Eminem}} edition, with their names prominently on the box and containing a CD of their music. In-game, Eminem's "My Name Is" appears in two mixes (one with Jay-Z), while Jay-Z has an entire setlist with his music. A DLC pack was later released consisting of three mashups between the two.