Top 20 Landmark Comic Book Video Games Video Games

Top 20 Landmark Comic Book Video Games

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The 20 landmark comic book video games isn't just a list of the best or worst comic book inspired games. This list points out the highlights and progression of comic book video games, where they've started and how far they've come. With Konami announcing this weekend that their classic arcade version of X-Men is coming to XBLA we thought we'd take a look at the greatest classic comic book video games. From Atari's Superman to Arkham Asylum to Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World. Enjoy.
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  1. 1
    Starting us off the is the Superman game for the Atari 2600 released in 1979.

    This game is actually known for being pretty unplayable, however it is the first super hero game to come out for a home console system so it definitely has a place on this list.

    It starts out with the phone booth quick change which is kind of cool, though.

    In case those of you watching this video feel like you just took some bad acid, don't call 911 (or your dealer) just yet, here's what's happening in this video and the "plot" of this actually pretty inaccurate game.

    "Basically you have to repair the bridge and arrest Lex Luthor and his other thugs. If the kriptonite (that atom thing) touches you, you become powerless (the Spider-Man) and have to find Lois Lane (the nurse). She "cures" you.

    When you're finished, you have to go to the journal where Clark works (the rectangle with a question mark) and the game ends. The other rectangles are subways entrances (I think). And I don't know what the helicopter is for."
    (thanks YouTube!)

  2. 2
    A classic game, w/o Superman's playability problems, Spider-Man was one of the MUST OWN Atari games from our youth.

    An exercise in avoidance, it played closer to Donkey Kong than an actual Spider Man game, but it is the one we all remember taking out of those grid-patterned white boxes and throwing into our Ataris.

    This game took the genre about one step further (no more, no less) and was actually able to mirror the some of the abilities of the actual comic book character.

    In the game you could swing like Spider-Man and even climb walls like him. Sure, the entire premise of the game revolves around Spider-Man trying to do something that would pretty much be a given for him in absolutely any other situation, but it's as close as they got back then and sure as hell kept ME entertained when I was a young lad.

  3. 3
    Sam and Max is the classic comic turned video game success story. The comic characters were used as models and for environment tests by Lucas Arts employees when making Monkey Island, so they already had some of the framework rockin'.

    The creator was working for Lucas Arts, then one thing led to another and thus the coolest Private Police force pretty much ever officially went interactive.

    Sam & Max was the rare case of the game far surpassing the source material and how early on it came made it that much more revolutionary. Most likely because it shared a studio with the creators of Monkey Island, this game not only stayed in classic Sam & Max fashion, but improved on the beloved model.

  4. 4
    Using the character designs from "The Pryde of the X-Men" animated pilot, this arcade game could be found in malls across the country in the '90s and even now.

    Revolutionary in its use of multiple monitors and up to six player stations (just enough for some jerk who wanted to hog Cyclops then come along and mooch off your continues to upstage you next to your middle school girlfriend... what?), the X-Men arcade experience was your chance to play along side 5 other people.

    Even people who hated the X-Men played this well crafted arcade beat 'em up and loved taking the guise of their favorite X-Men, or get to know ones they would grow to love.

    This X-Men title started a long tradition of well made and inventive game titles and included a wider, more varied rogues gallery than any game before it.

    This game's rogues gallery really set it apart from all the other comic book games before it and set the stage for games really going as deep into continuity as their source material.

    The game is so beloved that Marvel negotiated with Konami and Activision to free up the license to get it released on XBLA and PSN. Now a whole new generation will be able to play it.

  5. 5


    After the arcade game, this one came along and took everything one step further.

    The game that defined the Genesis for quite a few comic book fans, X-Men for the Genesis let you experience all of the iconic locations from the comics, play as multiple characters, and even call in back up support characters (because the X-Men were always a team).

    One of the first games to fully utilize a comics cast of characters to their full potential, this game was without a doubt a Genesis classic.

    But its true legacy is the memorable "Reset".

    Breaking the 4th Wall, players had to hit the reset button on the Genesis after defeating Mojo on the mojo-verse level.

    It was an inspired functionality and ranks up there with Psycho Mantis reading my memory card for memorable game experience. Not only an amazing step forward in comic book gaming, but in console gaming in general, bringing the game into real life through more than just button mashing.

    Hit "next" for the next stage in the evolution of comic book gaming.


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