Entertainment comes in all shapes and forms. That being said, the level of interaction that each requires can vary all depending on the medium. From movies and television shows, which simply allow you to sit back, relax and enjoy the show to those crazy and interactive video games that make your brain come up with new strategies and executions constantly, we all love to kick it after a long day’s work and that’s exactly why it plays such a vital role in all of our lives.
The amazing thing about video games in particular, though, is its ability to take hold of the player’s mind to such an extent that they can literally forget everything that’s around them because their focus is solely on advancing through the game. With the wide variety of characters, genres and difficulty levels, there is something out there for every taste, hence its popularity. In video games, anything is possible and that couldn’t be truer than with those that directly involve comic book characters. By pairing these two aspects, video game developers make it possible to live like your favorite characters all while enjoying the comforts of home which is awesome! So, without further ado, here are 20 of the best video games featuring comic book characters.
20. Turok: Dinosaur Hunter
While most may not have even heard of Turok in any shape of form, especially in the video game realm, the interesting concept and hard-hitting action give it a rightful place on this list. Having been released in 1997 for the N64, Turok: Dinosaur Hunter was actually based on the comic book that was released in the 1950’s which focused on two Native American youths who were trapped on, you guessed it, a dinosaur island. If having sold over 1.5 million copies of the original game wasn’t enough, you can now find an updated version of it on Steam. So, if you’re looking for some blood-spattering fun where you’re constantly fighting for you life, this is the game for you!
19. Justice League Heroes: The Flash
As if the simple rarity of video games featuring The Flash wasn’t enough, finding a good one is even harder. This 2006 game may seem like any other at first glance but, once you truly get into it, you become The Flash as you dash between your enemies at lightning speeds while the world appears to have almost come to a halt all around you. While it may only technically be a side-story that’s linked to the encompassing plot of the Justice League Heroes video game series, it’s hard to forget that as you fight your enemies with the help of characters like Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman.
18. City of Heroes
City of Heroes was one of the first MMORGP, or mass multiplayer online role playing games, out there and its concept was and still is quite unique. Having been released in 2004, City of Heroes was around for eight years before it was finally shut down. That being said, its mention is still absolutely necessary, especially when you take into consideration that it gave each player the ability to use a template to basically mold their character to their own personal desires and play as they saw fit. If that wasn’t enough, they could then ally themselves with other superheroes and fight alongside them. Its downside? A lot of people were choosing to build superheroes instead of supervillains, so the game could get quite boring at times. That being said, it still had a major impact on the gaming community and, besides, what’s better than molding your own hero, or villain, and letting your imagination run wild?
17. inFAMOUS Second Son
Sure, inFAMOUS Second Son may not feature a comic book character per se, but Delsin Rowe is nothing short of a modern day superhero who is kind of similar to Rogue from X-Men in the sense that he, too, can absorb the powers of others. Then again, Delsin is at your disposal and the choice is yours as to whether or not you want to make him a righteous character. Like all inFAMOUS games, you have full control over the choices made and the destiny that you have to embrace as a result, which makes it pretty cool. So, if you’re looking to go through a fantastic game where you can possess overwhelming amounts of power and kick all kinds of ass at every corner you’re going to want to give this a try!
16. The Punisher
For those of you who are looking to play a truthful video game rendition of a game based on comic books, The Punisher is definitely a safe bet. Sure, you may not get the chance to fly around the world with the likes of Superman or slash anyone with your indestructible claws in the classic Wolverine fashion, but you will get to go on a killing spree and use anything that you see fit to get the job done. The sheer variety means that you will never get bored while playing this game and, let’s be honest here, we all feel like letting loose every once in a while so it will be a great stress buster when you feel like nothing is going your way. We all seek justice in our own way and, in Frank’s case, that means by any means necessary.
15. DC Universe Online
DC Universe Online combines the likes of your typical MMO with those who reside in the DC Universe and it has become one of the fastest selling games out there as a result. It’s also totally accessible, too! While it may have started out as one of those where you would have to spend $70 for the game and then pay a $15 monthly subscription fee, that has changed due to the drastic number of people who were opting out of their subscriptions so they now offer the game for free with the possibility of add-ons, which you would then have to pay for. That being said, when you have the chance to not only create your own character, but then fight alongside some of the greats that you have looked up to since you were a child for free.
14. Saints Row IV
The Saints Row franchise has built up a reputation for being one of those crazy games where you can never experience a dull moment and Saints Row IV is no different. Sure, you wouldn’t think that superheroes and Saints Row would ever come together, but the forth installment did just that. As you’re thrown into a world where you must defend the universe against Zinyak and his empire who has his eyes on planet Earth for the latest addition to his collection, you obtain powers greater than any human could even dream of possessing and fight for not only your own survival but that of the entire world. And, hey, if you have some crude humor thrown your way and seemingly deranged thoughts come to mind while playing then so be it.
13. Lego Marvel’s Avengers
Legos may have only been for kids but times have changed and the brand has made a splash in movies and video games since the mid 2000’s and it doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. In this case, the game takes place in the lego-fied Marvel Universe which then gives you the chance to play as some of the most powerful heroes the world has ever seen and fight for the fate of the universe in the process. If you’re looking for a lighthearted game that isn’t too difficult to play and will make you chuckle to yourself every once in a while Lego Marvel’s Avengers is for you!
12. X-Men: The Arcade Game
While the X-Men arcade game may not set itself apart in a lot of ways, the simple fact that it had a double-wide base was enough to have kids lining out the doors! Before the era of online gaming, you were lucky to be able to play with more than one of your friends, so having the opportunity to hang out at the arcade and have the six of you play as superheroes was a mind blowing thing, especially for the time. By utilizing a concept extremely similar to the classics like Street Fighter, this video game features the best X-Men out there who will fight for your amusement over and over again.
11. Death and Return of Superman
There is no denying how cool Superman is and his ability to literally rise from the grave is just icing on top of the cake. Capturing the epic yet heartbreaking battle between Superman and Doomsday, the Kryptonian monster that eventually leads to the Man of Steel’s demise, the plot encompassing this Genesis and SNES game is really sweet. While it may not veer far from what was described in the comic books, that’s what makes it so cool! Besides, with the amount of times that you hear “Well, that’s not how it actually happened”, you’ll instantly fall in love with this oldie but goodie, especially if you’re a true fan and stickler for the comic books.
10. Comix Zone
You can go out and buy a video game that is literally based on the plot and characters of comic books or you can dare to be different and get one that you are sucked into… literally. While it may not follow the story of any well-known comic book, it definitely falls under the genre of comic book inspired video games since you’re pulled into it by one of the characters residing in the story in the opening sequence and embodies what it means to be stuck in that realm to the ninth degree. With the classic speech bubbles, action words and comic book frames, you’ll literally feel like you’re living in a comic book and it feels so good.
Deadpool may not have been the most popular comic book character 10 years ago, but now you can rarely even have a conversation without his name coming up. This merc with a mouth is unafraid to go to extremes and that’s exactly what his video game is all about. Through breaking the fourth wall and literally talking to the player to his epic moves and impressive healing factor, Wade Wilson has transformed the realm forevermore. With the awesome game play, sweet combos and humor that you can’t help but be amused by, this is not your average video game and that’s the way that it should always stay.
8. X-Men Legends (Series)
X-Men Legends was the first RPG that featured the X-Men and it was admired for that as well as so many other reasons. By having the ability to play with up to four players on either GameCube, Xbox or PS2, the possibility of some truly epic team-up moves was at its height and since you could play as Jean Grey, Wolverine, Colossus, Nightcrawler etc. you can only imagine how awesome they were. When you pair that with a plot that revolves around Magma’s abduction, fighting the Brotherhood and Sentinels, battling on Asteroid M, button mashing and so much more, how could you not want to play it?
7. Spider-Man 2
While Spider-Man may not be everyone’s favorite character and can be considered a wimp by those who are a fan of characters similar to the likes of Batman and Wolverine, Spider-Man is still a hero in his own right and deserves as much credit as the rest of them. That being said, like any video game there are some flaws which can be summarized into two points: Toby McGuire’s questionable voice acting and the slightly clunky game play. Possessing plot deviations, you come into contact with characters like Black Cat and Dr. Octopus which is quite interesting, especially if you’re a fan of the Spider-Man 2 film. In addition, it features an open world that places New York City at its heart, which means that you can swing through the city and truly observe how your surroundings evolve throughout the day, and have the option of either roaming around aimlessly Grand Theft Auto style (or obtain more information regarding the overall plot). So, if you’re willing to compromise on some aspects, at least try this game out and, who knows, you may actually like it.
6. The Walking Dead
Even if you never even heard of The Walking Dead before AMC began to air it, the comic books were its inspiration and, if you’re a fan of even one of the two, the video game is a must play. With its beautifully constructed scenery and expressive characters, this choose your own adventure inspired game has something for everyone. That being said, The Walking Dead is not for the faint-hearted or those who have a weak stomach because there will be blood and guts everywhere; it is the zombie apocalypse after all. So, if you don’t mind the episodic journey and are okay with a short game than what you’re used to playing this should be on your list.
5. TMNT: Turtles in Time
There are video games that are spectacular for the times while there are others that just possess a certain quality and value of nostalgia that you can’t help but love. TMNT: Turtles in Time is the latter. Sure, the graphics may not have been great, but that doesn’t make it any less of a fantastic game. The simple qualities that you appreciated as a child come crawling back to you as you play these shelled heroes who are just trying to make a difference in the world and sometimes that’s all it takes to fall in love over and over again.
4. Batman (Arkham Series)
Batman may be one of the more popular comic book characters on this list, but let’s be honest here, the video games that were released could be very hit or miss in a lot of ways. That was, until the Batman: Arkham trilogy came out in 2009. Paying close attention to who he is as a character, the landscape, plot and the smallest of details, Rocksteady released a game back in 2009 that shaped all that proceeded it. In a lot of ways including the varied game play, easter eggs, and amazing graphics, these are by far some of the best games that have come out in a very long time and you should definitely play it if you haven’t already.
3. Injustice: Gods Among Us
Injustice: Gods Among Us is one of those unique fighting games where you can experience battles like no other. From the creators of Mortal Combat, this game gives you the best of the best that can be found in the DC Universe and lay them out in a fashion that allows you to literally make the fight that you were always dreaming of come true. With the large array of customization offered and extreme attention to detail that spans from the background to very specific character traits, Injustice: Gods Among Us is one of those must plays for any comic book nerd, no matter their skill level.
2. Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom (Series)
The Marvel vs Capcom series has a lot of fans under its belt and for that reason, and that reason alone, it’s hard to choose just one to place on this list. The sheer idea is so cool and allows for a lot of wiggle room and combinations, which makes the game very player-centric. In addition, it’s rare to find a game like this that builds upon its plot but the Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom series does this in a very subtle but successful way. One particularly noteworthy detail is how the third installment really focuses on the small details like the additions of Rocket Raccoon and details regarding the characters involved like their catch phrases and fighting styles which can be a very difficult task, especially when you’re dealing with such a large roster. So, if you’re a fan of the comics or are just looking for a different take on the classic form pick up a controller and see what all the hype is about.
1. Marvel Ultimate Alliance (Series)
What makes Marvel Ultimate Alliance so intriguing isn’t its very vague yet interesting title, or just how big the scale of the game is on so many different levels, but the combination of all of the aspects involved. The sheer fact that you can unlock up to one hundred forty characters as you play through and choose sides along the way is just too cool to be ignored. On top of that, you get to play on a team of four characters and can switch between them at any point of the game, which is rare for something of this scale. Besides, when you pair all of this with amazing visual effects and a plot similar to Civil War you know it’s going to be good.