Comic books and comic book related media has enjoyed a remarkable rise in popularity during the 21st century. A large part of this is due to the success of the various Marvel movies like The Amazing Spider-Man, X-Men: First Class, and The Avengers. Though, independent comic books have also made a splash with Watchmen and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Oddly, despite this rising popularity, there hasn’t been a large number of new comic book based video games released. But the number released over the years is still quite dramatic. If you have enjoyed comic books for a while or are just beginning to grow interested due to the movies, the following are the top five best video games based on comic books.
5. Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions – As the Spider-Man movies were released, Marvel quickly released video games to take advantage of the popularity of the movies. Most of the games were surprisingly good and more Spider-Man based games were released based directly on the comic books. While most were excellent, this one topped the pile. It had the same amazing physics engine of the previous games, but additionally allowed you to play as four different versions of Spider-Man. Each version plays differently, which helps the game stay fresh throughout the entire story. If swinging around on webs is your thing, the game was released on PS3, Wii, and Xbox 360 and should still be easily available.
4. Marvel vs. Capcom – Capcom has long had a reputation for making one of the best fighting game series ever. In 1995, Capcom built on this reputation with a surprisingly brilliant twist that combined the Street Fighter series with Marvel heroes. Additionally, one of the biggest selling points of the game was 2v2 matches where fighters could tag in and out of the battle. It gave a competitive edge to Capcom in the fighting game market because it appealed to both fighting game fans and comic book fans. It also essentially created a whole new standard in the fighting game genre. A remake of the game is available on PSN and XBLA called Marvel vs. Capcom Origins.
3. Marvel: Avengers Alliance – This current Facebook game is one of the best Facebook games on the market, which is why it compares favorably to AAA video games. The game is similar to old turn based role playing games. In fact, it is arguably Pokemon with Marvel characters. This isn’t meant as an insult. Pokemon is an excellent video game and the common features work well while still preserving the feel of the Marvel universe. Additionally, no other Marvel game has ever let you play as many different characters from the Marvel universe as Marvel: Avengers Alliance. It is free to play and worth a look if you enjoy any part of the Marvel universe.
2. Batman: Arkham Asylum – This game and its two sequels are excellent games. Arguably, the first sequel, Batman: Arkham City, is the better game technically, but this is the game that redefined the genre. It pretty much took the best qualities of games like Metal Gear Solid and Ninja Gaiden and combined them into a Batman saga that held true to the character and used the voice actors that made the television series so memorable. If you can find this game, it plays on PS3 or Xbox 360 and is a worthy addition to any video game library.
1. X-Men – This arcade game was easily the best comic book-based game ever created. Up to six players could play at the same time in a side scrolling beat-em-up that matched you up against all of the classic X-Men villains. The final boss was Magneto, but the most memorable was certainly Blob, with his ever repeated, “Nothing can move the Blob.” You eventually proved him wrong, but only after spending lots of quarters, unless you were an incredibly skilled player. For its time, this game was gorgeous, fun, and had excellent voice acting. The technical specs aren’t as impressive anymore, but the game is still a classic on the scale of Super Mario Bros. or Pac-Man.