Comic books and video games have almost been walking hand by hand. There are many games that are based on comics and although it may sound surprising to some, there are cases when it is the other way round, for example Assassin's Creed or Halo.
Anyway, here is my take on the greatest video games based on comics:
P.S. Bear in mind that I have tried to include as many platforms as possible, but this does not necessarily mean that the list is exhaustive. Furthermore, as always, feel free to express new opinion, give new examples or (dis)agree with me.
15. Injustice: Gods Among Us (2013)
Developer(s): NetherRealm Studios, High Voltage Software
Platforms : PlayStation 3
Wii U, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, iOS, Android
I kick-off my list with a DC comics fighting game involves one-on-one matches within a two-dimensional field of battle, although characters and backgrounds are rendered in a three-dimensional fashion. Each battle lasts for one round and it really can be an unspeakable fun, especially when you use "character traits", for example Batman can summon a swarm of robotic bats.
14. The Walking Dead (2012)
Developer(s): Telltale Games
Platforms: Android, iOS, Kindle Fire HDX, Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, Ouya, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360, Xbox One
The game takes place in the same fictional world as the comic equivalent, with events occurring shortly after the beginning of the zombie apocalypse in Georgia. However, most of the characters are original. "The Walking Dead" focuses on university professor and convicted murderer Lee Everett, who helps to rescue and subsequently take care of a young girl called Clementine.
Some characters from the comic book series also appear in the game. I really liked that the focus in not puzzle solving, but on character development.
13. Batman: Arkham Asylum (2009)
Developer(s): Rocksteady Studios
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, OS X, Cloud (OnLive)
The "Batman Arkham" series are one of my most favorite games and that is for a good reason! They manage to capture the small details that made The Caped Crusader a legend. Batman Akham Asylum is the first game in the series and it takes place exclusively on Arkham Island.
The game is played from the third-person perspective with a primary focus on Batman's combat and stealth abilities, detective skills, and gadgets that can be used in combat and exploration. It is worth noting that voice actors who have appeared in other media based on the DC Animated Universe, for instance, Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamill, and Arleen Sorkin are present and make the game experience even more unique!
12. Spider-Man N64 (2000)
Developers: Edge of Reality (N64)
Platforms: The game was released for a bunch of platforms, but the Nintendo 64 version has left the most lasting impression
The history of the video games based on Spider-Man is most definitely not a glorious one. However, this is one of the few games that got it right. The game really encourages you to complete it again and again because every time you do, you unlock a new alternative costume.
The range was more than impressive, it included the Symbiote, Spider-Man Unlimited, street clothes, Quick-Change Spider-Man, Bombastic Bagman (Named "Amazing Bag man"), Spider-Man 2099, Scarlet Spider, Ben Reilly and Captain Universe versions.
11. Captain America and The Avengers (1991)
Developer(s): Data East, Realtime Associates
Platform(s) : Arcade, Super NES, Mega Drive/Genesis, Sega Game Gear, Game Boy, Nintendo Entertainment System
The first arcade game on the list, this title features the Marvel Comics characters The Avengers in a side-scrolling brawling and shooting adventure to defeat the evil Red Skull. The game is certainly flawed and GamePro dismissed the game as "a forgettable scroller" with mediocre animation and sound.
Although, I cannot really deny this statement, you can still have a great because "Captain America and The Avengers" allows you to play with Captain America, Iron Man, Hawkeye, and the Vision and if you play with a friend it become even more entertaining.
10. Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 (2009)
Developer(s): Vicarious Visions, n-Space, Savage Entertainment
Platform(s): Nintendo DS, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, Wii
"Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2" lets players select a team of four given characters from a larger pool of heroes and villains; team members are interchangeable and may be swapped during gameplay. Moreover, it is extremely cool to see two characters to combine powers, yielding a new attack, known as a "fusion". For example, Captain America using his shield to reflect Storm's lightning bolts.
9. Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes (2000)
Developer(s): Capcom, Backbone Entertainment
Platform(s): Arcade, Dreamcast, PlayStation 2, Xbox, PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade, iOS
The original arcade release of Marvel vs. Capcom 2 is the only game in the series to use the NAOMI arcade platform. Though the character artwork uses traditional 2D animated sprites, the fighting arena (background) and many effects animations are 3D polygon based. The game was so awesome because of its fast gameplay and its gigantic cast.
8. Ultimate Spider-Man (2005)
Developer(s) :Vicarious Visions (DS & GBA), Treyarch (GC, PS2, Xbox & PC)
Platform(s): Nintendo DS, GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Microsoft Windows, Game Boy Advance
This is another fairly successful interpretation of the web-crawler's adventures. Some of the missions may lack diversity and they might seem repetitive, but overall "Ultimate Spider-Man" is a title worth-playing because of the challenging boss fights and the free-roaming city environment.
7. TMNT: Turtles in Time (1991-92)
Platform(s): Arcade, Super Famicom/SNES
Basically, my favorite game as a kid. It is so legendary that everything that you can write about would not be enough. A sequel to the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) game, it is a scrolling beat 'em up type game based mainly on the 1987 TMNT animated series and yeah, it was originally an arcade title.
The only thing that I should say is, following its release, "Turtles in Time" became Konami's best selling arcade title. And with the game's wonderful graphics, music and gameplay it is hardly a surprise.
6. The Punisher (2005)
Developer(s): Volition, Inc.Amplified Games (mobile)
Platform(s): PlayStation 2, Xbox, Windows, Mobile phone
A ruthless game that truly embodies the atmosphere of The Punisher. It is also amazing to see that it features many cameo appearances from Marvel Comics characters, such as Iron Man, Nick Fury, Black Widow, Matt Murdock (the alter ego of Daredevil), Bushwacker, The Kingpin and Bullseye.
Also present are several characters from the Welcome Back, Frank storyline such as detectives Martin Soap and Molly Van Richtofen, the Punisher's neighbors Joan and Spacker Dave, Ma Gnucci, The Russian and General Kreigkopf. The title has its drawbacks, but the lovely sound effects and storyline make up for it.
5. Adventures of Batman & Robin (1995)
Platform(s): SNES, Genesis
Based on "Batman: The Animated Series", this title is quite imposing. For the most part, it's an action-adventure platformer in which the player only controls Batman, and follows him to the end of each stage, where a villain is set to appear. However, the style and design of the stages themselves are different between each other, which gives notable diversity to the game. Of course all of the well-known villains are present, so that you can enjoy the ride completely!
4. Freedom Force (2002)
Developer: Irrational Games
Platform(s): Microsoft Windows, OS X
This is not a licensed game, but it is inspired by the comics of the '60s, which is absolutely marvelous! Furthermore, every character is original, so why not give it a try?
3. Comix Zone (1995)
Platform(s): Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, Windows, Game Boy Advance, Virtual Console, Xbox 360 (XBLA), PlayStation 3 (PSN), Cloud (OnLive)
Cited by many as the greatest comic book video game of all time, "Comix Zone" is just fabulous. The game's unique feature is that it is set within the panels of a comic book. Each level consists of two pages and secrets are discovered by shredding the paper and revealing items. The distinctive dialogue is rendered within talk bubbles with the typical comic font. Sprites and backgrounds possess the bright colors and dynamic drawing style favored by superhero comics. This may be one of the hardest games that you will ever play, but trust me, it is worth it!
2. X-Men Legends (2004)
Developer: Raven Software
Platform(s): GameCube, PS2, Xbox, N-Gage
"X-Men Legends" is not set in any particular Marvel Comics universe. It follows Alison Crestmere, a young mutant who has the ability to summon and control volcanic activity. As Alison is taught to control her powers at the X-Mansion, the X-Men are sent on several missions. Eventually the X-Men learn of Magneto's plan to cover the Earth in darkness from his base on Asteroid M. The gameplay is praised for its role-playing elements, character powers and melee combat.
1. Batman: Arkham City (2011)
Developer(s): Rocksteady Studios
Platform(s): PlayStation, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, Wii U, Cloud (OnLive), OS X
An absolute masterpiece! The game follow the story of Bruce Wayne, who is locked up in Arkham City, an enormous new super-prison enclosing the decaying urban slums of fictional Gotham City. He must uncover the secret behind the sinister scheme, "Protocol 10", orchestrated by the facility's warden, Hugo Strange and there certainly are plot twists that do not disappoint.
The game's leading characters are predominantly voiced by actors from the DC Animated Universe, with Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill reprising their roles as Batman and the Joker, respectively. Again the game is played from the third-person perspective with a primary focus on Batman's combat and stealth abilities, detective skills, and gadgets that can be used in both combat and exploration. Arkham City expands Batman's arsenal of gadgets and combat attacks and offers a more open world structure compared to the first game in the series, allowing the player to complete many side missions away from the primary storyline.
In conclusion, the main strength of the game is that everything in it is executed to perfection!
Spider-Man 2 (2004)
Developer(s): Treyarch (GC, PS2 & Xbox); The Fizz Factor (PC)
Platform(s): PlayStation 2, GameCube, Microsoft Windows, Xbox, Game Boy Advance, N-Gage, Mac OS X, Nintendo DS, PlayStation Portable
City of Heroes (2004-2012)
Developer(s): Cryptic Studios, Paragon Studios
Platform(s): Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X
X-Men: Children of the Atom (1994)
Platform(s): Arcade, Sega Saturn, DOS, PlayStation
Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction (2005)
Developer(s): Radical Entertainment
Platform(s): PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube
Developer(s): High Moon Studios
Platform(s): Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
DC Universe Online (2011)
Developer(s): Sony Online Entertainment
Platform(s): Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
Developer(s): Raven Software (PC/PS3/X360), Amaze Entertainment (Wii/PS2), Griptonite Games (PSP/DS)
Platform(s): Microsoft Windows, Nintendo DS, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, Wii, Xbox 360