Your favorite comic book games?

#1 Posted by snide (2413 posts) -

Played a decent amount of Batman: AA tonight. Really digging that game and it inspired me to come up with this list. Feel like I'm missing something though. Any thoughts? 

How to make a proper comic book game

Playing through Arkham Asylum really made me think about how rare it is to play a great comic book inspired game. Here's a list of some of my favorites.

1. Batman: Arkham Asylum

BAA feels more like a Deus Ex game to me then a traditional comic book game. It has everything all the collecting and exploration from metroidvania style side scrolls but in a really fleshed out world. Setting the stage at Arkham Asylum at first seems limiting but then slowly opens up to become a great set piece. Can't wait till The Batman ends up in a Gotham heavy sequel.

2. Freedom Force

Put simply my favorite comic book game of all time. Like the movie Unbreakable I love it for being an original universe that awesomely pays homage to its genre. The story is genuinely funny, which is extremely rare for a game. The sequel wasn't as strong, but I'd still love to see a sequel to the FF games.

3. Marvel Ultimate Alliance

Speaking of stories, MUA is one of my favorites. Take everything you casually know about the marvel universe and then throw it into a fairly long adventure with admittedly button-mashy controls and you've got a winner. Hell, the game has freaking Galactus in it.

4. Champions Online

Champions continues where City of Heroes left off and bar-none has the greatest character creator ever made for a videogame. I've spent more time just designing character's suits then actually playing the game. Still, it's a fun, if a bit casual MMO in its own right.

5. The Darkness

Funny, but I knew nothing about The Darkness comic until I played the game. The grimy world filled with mobsters and supernatural powers felt pretty cool when it came out. The only problem I have with the game is its absolutely floaty controls and auto-aiming. It just never felt... right.

6. Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes

74 hit combo for the win! I spent many an hour trapped on the arcade version of this game. I remember buying the xbox version and getting absolutely wrecked by Japanese kids online. These days it's just way too fast for an old man like me, but back when it came out I absolutely adored it.

7. Comix Zone

There are comic inspired games and then there are games where you play through a comic. Comix Zone still holds the award for the weirdest take on the comic as game genre.

8. Batman: The Video Game

To be honest I can't remember terribly how good the Batman video game or the NES was. I remember playing the hell out of it and that like a lot of NES action games was extremely hard. It plays a lot like a Castlevania game with a pretty strict control style and a healthy amount of switchable weapons.

#2 Posted by JJOR64 (19109 posts) -

I guess mine would be MvC2.

#3 Edited by killdave (1073 posts) -

MUA for me 
oh and Xmen 2 rise of apoc was a great story game too

#4 Posted by NickNorman (435 posts) -

The first things that comes to mind (after Batman) are the first two Spider-Man games from last gen, although they were based on the movies to some extent. I forgot about MUA, but it probably deserves a high spot. I hope the sequel turns out to be great, too.
The only genres that seem to work are action/adventure/open world type games, like Batman and Spider-Man, and fighter/brawler, like MUA and MvC2. The Darkness seems like the only FPS. Champions Online (and City of Heroes) seem to really work as MMOs, though. Any other types of games that might work?

#5 Posted by Gump (565 posts) -


#6 Posted by jakob187 (21812 posts) -
@snide: You are going to whore that list feature into the ground, aren't you?  LAWL 
I say you got a pretty good list on there.  Especially dig that you've got Freedom Force on there. the HELL could you not put the PS1 Spider-Man games on there?!?!  Those things were AWESOME!!! 
I also gotta say that I enjoyed the ever-loving shit out of The Darkness.  I must ask you if you were overcome with "I'M GONNA KILL THAT MUTHAFUCKER" rage at the climax of that game...because I know that I was!  Great example of how to tell a story in a video game, PERIOD! 
Another really great comic book game:  X-Men Legends 2.  Great story, great gameplay, and's the same doods that do MUA.'s X-MEN LEGENDS 2!!!  That game stole MANY hours of my life.
#7 Posted by bwooduhs (1618 posts) -

Only Arkham Asylum on my list.

#8 Posted by Tylea002 (2295 posts) -

MUA, Spiderman 2, Hulk UD. Those 3 are unbelievably awesome. Also I know its not based on a comic, its just done in the style of one, but it had a comic along side it so I feel obliged to add XIII to my list.

#9 Posted by jakob187 (21812 posts) -
@Tylea002 said:
" MUA, Spiderman 2, Hulk UD. Those 3 are unbelievably awesome. Also I know its not based on a comic, its just done in the style of one, but it had a comic along side it so I feel obliged to add XIII to my list. "
I forgot about Hulk UD!  GREAT game!
#10 Posted by Tylea002 (2295 posts) -
@jakob187: Hell yeah, if it wasn't for that game the amount of hype prototype would have had would have been 0. (Prototype IS a sequel to Hulk: UD in my eyes). I'm glad they didn't disappoint.
#11 Posted by snide (2413 posts) -
@Tylea002: XIII was a pretty fun game for it's time. Wasn't terribly original other then the art-style but I dug it as well.
#12 Posted by Lashe (1268 posts) -

Unfortunately I still haven't played Batman: AA. Need to get some funds together for that one asap. With that omission, I'd say my faves are:

  1. Spiderman 2 - Utterly awesome open world game. Probably one of my fave of the genre to date -- best swing mechanic also.
  2. Marvel Ultimate Alliance - I think everyone else covered it, it's awesome.
  3. The Darkness - Fantastic looking, well paced and great sound design. A few gameplay hitches aside this is one of my fave games from this gen, and marks as the first game on my 360 that I played through in one sitting. 
Will edit if I can think of any more, but for now I need to go grab some breakfast!
#13 Posted by Tylea002 (2295 posts) -
@snide: It fell foul of my least favorite problem in gaming, the unresolved cliffhanger. Oh well, it was awesome. 
And reading your list again I can't believe I forgot City of Heroes. Damn I love that game. And I don't have a good enough PC to play champions ='[. (I was seriously considering buying a new PC just for that game, with how much I loved CoH.)
#14 Posted by MattyFTM (14457 posts) -

I really enjoyed Spiderman 2. It wasn't a great game, but it was really fun to play.

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#15 Posted by StaticFalconar (4850 posts) -

Snide you should waited til ultimate alliance 2 was out to make this post since I have such high hopes for that game and I would have loved to see what you thought about it.

#16 Edited by punkxblaze (2993 posts) -

For some reason, I loved Ultimate Spiderman. I've been wanting to play AA, being a pretty big Batman junkie myself, but I have yet to have the opportunity to. Played the demo, it was fantastic, but I understand it was only the tip of the iceberg as far as the game goes. I would probably like MvC2 if I didn't absolutely suck at anything remotely resembling a fighting game.

#17 Posted by killdave (1073 posts) -

I'd like to see what your top 8 worst comic games of all time are ..

#18 Posted by Fallen189 (5090 posts) -
@snide said:  <List>
Did you ever beat Comix Zone? That game was hard as shit. I beat it once but didn't save the woman
#19 Posted by MattyFTM (14457 posts) -

I've just remembered that I bought Freedom Force on steam ages ago when it was on sale, yet never got around to playing it. I'm going to download it now and give it a play since it comes so highly recommended from Dave.

Moderator Online
#20 Posted by Steampunk (17 posts) -
  • Spider-man (Not the movie)
  • Spider-man 2
  • Ultimate Spider-man
  • X-men Legends
  • MUA
  • Arkham Asylum
  • Marvel Nemesis
#21 Edited by damswedon (3204 posts) -

My top 5 comic book games

1. X-Men: Legends II - Rise of Apocalypse

in my opinion X-Men legends 2 is the greatest comic book based game ever created.

2. Spider-Man

Spider-Man has some of the best unlockables in a video game ever, from around 150 spider-man comic covers and story synopsis to a mode where a goldfish appears in Mysterio's head.

3. Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe

I really like the MK games and the fighting is just solid.

4. X-Men: Mutant Academy 2

Mutant Academy 2 was the first fighting game i got good at, so it holds a specal place in my heart.

5. Comix Zone

Comix Zone is a brilliant example of style over substance, the gameplay is aweful but for some reson i still like it.

#22 Posted by Valames (726 posts) -

I liked most of the Spider Man games except Web of Shadows. The swinging just felt wrong to me and the missions became way too repetitive even for me who doesn't always mind doing the same thing over a few times. The thing I hated the most was you had to press a button to stick to walls, so many times i just wanted to land on the wall and start crawling up it without thinking about what button to hit. 
I enjoyed Lego Batman because it kind of Lampooned one of my favorite comic book characters and it had an original story and was not based off of a movie.

#23 Posted by Jownac (29 posts) -

Batman for NES. Super hard, but very good for it's era.

#24 Posted by Red (5994 posts) -


#25 Posted by Shindiggah (350 posts) -

I really liked Spiderman web of shadows (PSP version suprisingly good beat em up.) 
also really liked Spiderman PS1. (if you never played it shame on you!) 
Comix zone was also amazing. 
and I really loved the comic book cartoony art style of JSRF. (even though the game wasnt directly based on a comic book or taking place in a comic book :P)
#26 Edited by suneku (2997 posts) -
#27 Posted by the_stig (234 posts) -

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (NES)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game


X-Men (Genesis)

X-Men (arcade)

#28 Posted by jakob187 (21812 posts) -
@Red said:
" InFamous. "
OMG!  How did we all forget about Infamous?!?!?
#29 Posted by Milkman (17593 posts) -
@jakob187 said:
" @Red said:
" InFamous. "
OMG!  How did we all forget about Infamous?!?!? "
Depends what we're counting as a comic book game. Because InFamous is not actually based on a comic but does have those comic book style cut scenes.
#30 Posted by TwoOneFive (9459 posts) -
@jakob187 said:
" @Red said:
" InFamous. "
OMG!  How did we all forget about Infamous?!?!? "
Still the best comic game ever. even better than batman aa. 
#31 Posted by SJSchmidt93 (4904 posts) -
@TwoOneFive said:
" @jakob187 said:
" @Red said:
" InFamous. "
OMG!  How did we all forget about Infamous?!?!? "
Still the best comic game ever. even better than batman aa.  "
How is Infamous considered a comic book game? Superhero game sure, but not a comic book game.
#33 Edited by JackiJinx (3092 posts) -
Captain America and the Avengers! 
The game needs to be seen to be loved, and although the console sounds are far superior to the arcade's, I can not find any videos for the console version. Such a bummer as the most memorable voice in the game was that second announcer they threw in that sounds like Uncle Ted from Bobby's World going "OKAY GO!" in a meshed noise at the beginning of each level. I'll need to see if I can find a clip of that. 
#34 Posted by jakob187 (21812 posts) -
@SJSchmidt93 said:
" @TwoOneFive said:
" @jakob187 said:
" @Red said:
" InFamous. "
OMG!  How did we all forget about Infamous?!?!? "
Still the best comic game ever. even better than batman aa.  "
How is Infamous considered a comic book game? Superhero game sure, but not a comic book game. "
How is Freedom Force considered a comic book game?  Superhero game sure, but not a comic book game. 
Infamous, like Freedom Force, is INSPIRED by comics.  In turn...comic book game.
#35 Posted by SJSchmidt93 (4904 posts) -
@jakob187: The only difference is I never said Freedom Force was a comic book game. :P 
I'm not sure that makes it a comic book game anyway. Games inspired by movies aren't called "movie games".
#36 Edited by TheFreeMan (2712 posts) -

1. Batman: Arkham Asylum
2. Marvel Vs. Capcom
3. Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction
4. TMNT: Turtles In Time (the original)
5. X-Men Legends
6. Ultimate Spider-Man
7. Marvel: Ultimate Alliance
8. Captain America and The Avengers
9. X-Men: The Arcade Game
10. X-Men 2
Special mentions go to: Sly Cooper series (because they had comics based off of them, but they weren't based off of comics or based off of things that were based off of comics), Viewtiful Joe (it's a superhero game, which is close, but it's pretty clear it's moreso from Japanese TV superheroes), and Strider 1/2 (because they were both sort of based off of a manga, which is a Japanese comic, but I was only including Western comics for this).
Good list, Snide. I liked Comix Zone, the little bit I played, and same with The Darkness.

#37 Posted by RichardLOlson (1852 posts) -

1. Batman AA
2. Spiderman Web of Shadows
3. Mavel UA 2
4. Marvel vs Capcom 2
5. X-Men Legends 2

#38 Posted by HistoryInRust (6473 posts) -

The three that come to mind immediately: Arkham Asylum, Spider-Man 2, The Darkness.

Ultimate Spider-Man gets a lot of love, but I actually felt it was a step backwards from Spider-Man 2. Even if Venom eats the kid with the goddamn balloon. The swinging was streamlined, but sort of nerfed, and the fighting was just sort of meh. I love the art-style, however. Could go back to that game today and not be unhappy with the looks.  

#39 Posted by MatthewMeadows (588 posts) -

It's a comic book game because a comic came out preceding the game.

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