Molly’s Best Comic Book Video Games

Video Games. This still young form of entertainment has quickly risen to a huge status in mere decades, becoming an accepted part of day to day life and pop culture. As I'm sure most "geeks" are, I'm perhaps more well versed in video games than the average member of society. I've dedicated hours and hours of my life to button mashing and getting the high score, and I wouldn't take back that time I "wasted" for anything.

So, comic books and video games seem like a match made in heaven… right? Action packed, story driven, recognizable characters… but yet, there don't seem to be that MANY comic book video games. Sure, there are the knock offs from the blockbusters based off of comic books (some are terrible, and some are better than the movies), but there's nothing like the comic book games of the retro days. Those epic side scrollers with silly storylines and boss fights at the end of each level.

But, comic book video games deserve their spotlight here on… and video games are currently in my blood, as Penny Arcade Expo is quickly approaching this weekend in my hometown of Seattle, Washington. PAX is a huge convention for video games, and I'm excited to get my grimy mitts on some new games to try out… particularly DC Universe online. So, here's my list of some of the best video games inspired by comic books… ever.


X-Men Origins: Wolverine

There is an online skit comedy show called mega64, and they do several parodies of video games. They had one particular episode that really hit home, and the source material was about X-Men Origins: Wolverine. In it, one of the guys was talking about how AWESOME X-Men Origins: Wolverine was, and he had sit through ALL FOURTY HOURS of it at the theatre. Thus, the theatre was showing the VIDEO GAME instead of the absolutely HORRIFIC movie it was based off of.

Sadly, this is completely true. While most video games based off of movies are awful, X-Men Origins: Wolverine somehow goes in the completely opposite direction. While the movie was a steaming pile of you know what that literally made me laugh out loud in the theatre, the video game entirely redeems itself. The gameplay is flawless, Wolverine is the badass he should have been in the movie, and there are great upgrades and boss battles.


Marvel vs Capcom

Haven't you always had the urge to beat the crap out of people with your favourite Marvel characters? Yeah, me too. That's why, whenever I go to the arcade, I have a beer and kick ass at Marvel vs Capcom to the point where I begin yelling insults at whoever I am playing. True, it has absolutely no storyline, but everyone loves a good button masher, especially a classic like this with recognizable characters from both franchises and sweet finishing moves.



X-Men Arcade Game

X-Men the Arcade Game needs to be re-made to modern day standards, as it was an absolutely flawless example of how a storyline can be carried within a video game. Utilizing familiar characters, true to form boss battles, and a great X-Men storyline that did the comics justice, X-Men the Arcade Game definitely deserves a spot on this list.  Although it sucks getting stuck playing Dazzler, nothing beats kicking ass with Wolverine and beating the crap out of Magneto. Even if you're familiar with the canon, the storyline is compelling enough that you just have to keep playing. And if that isn't a mark of a good game… then I don't know what is.



Batman Arkham Asylum

I worked at a video game store when Batman: Arkham Asylum came out, and all I could ever manage to get out to customers when asked if it was good: THIS. GAME. IS. AWESOME. Complete with a giddy dance and animated impression of Batman.

So, yes. To say that I enjoyed this game would be a bit of an understatement. If I had the opportunity to be any dude for a day, it would be Bruce Wayne. But this game helps me satisfy that urge… whilst keeping my ladybits! The storyline is simple but enjoyable, and you run into all of the classic Batman villians. The gameplay is flawless and the graphics are beautiful, and Batman's gadgets are one of the most entertaining features of the game. If you haven't already, go pick up this game. Do it. Right now.


City of Heroes

Although it might be a bit outdated at this point with a dwindling player base, I still have to give a nod to City of Heroes. This game tapped into the part of us that has always wanted to be a superhero, and made it possible. It's a MMORPG: a massive multiplayer online roleplaying game. You can customize your superhero, from outfit to name, and then you are thrust into a game with other superheroes where you are tasked with saving the city. It has the typical leveling system for MMORPGs, with quests and instances etc, but it definitely fulfilled a lot of fantasies for me in the time that I played.


Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

Scott Pilgrim isn't just versing the world, he is TAKING IT OVER. With an awesome comic book, a sweet ass movie, and now this VIDEO GAME… what's next, toaster ovens? This video game is AMAZING. It's a classic beat 'em up with the recognizable characters from the game, executed in the 8 bit style that the comics pay such an homage to. Beat up the evil exes and take their coins for maximum glory, or just take turns punching your friends in the face. You know, whatever works for you.

Now go play some video games. Just don't get carpel tunnel, we wouldn't want that.


Molly McIsaac points her camera at everything, rides unicorns, and enjoys fictional characters with green hair. You can stalk her to your heart's content on Twitter, where she talks about her various misadventures.


  1. This article has reawoken my City of Heroes addiction that I worked so hard to supress in time for DCU Online.

  2. I can’t seem to understand the praise the that Wolverine game gets in comic circles. It was a mediocre God of War clone based on Unreal Engine 3(*blech*). Replace that with the PS2/Xbox version of Spider-man 2, and this list would be perfect. Like Arkham Asylum, it got the job done; it made me feel like spider-man.

  3. I agree except for the exclusion of the Spider-Man 2 game which for the first time ever made me feel like i was in a superhero universe as a real hero

  4. 2X Bonus for mentioning MvC 1, the overshadowed Jan to MvC 2’s lauded Marcia.

    Favorite comic game? Why, that’s easy: Sam and Max Hit the Road, the classic Lucasarts point-and-click adventure game based on Steve Purcell’s deliciously absurd comic. Don’t get me wrong, the new stuff from Telltale is great, and I love that these characters have experienced a Hal Jordon-esque Rebirth, but if you want a funny, bizzare, brilliant and just plain captivating good time, hunt down this ancient gem. 

    Where’s our remake, Lucasarts?! You did it for Monkey Island! Hook a brother up!

  5. Actually Purcell has been the director for the new Sam & Max games as well. I think a lot of my love for adventure games is just nostalgia. I loved Monkey Island, but cannot ven sit through the remake or the new games.

    Also, Comix Zone for the Sega Mega Drive. Not based on a comic, but to this day, the only one to get the aesthetic right.

  6. I always get weird looks when I tell people that Wolverine: Origins was a good game. But at least I know I’m not alone in that consensus. Great article. So when will we get the triumphant return of all of our favorite dating column Talk Nerdy To Me?

  7. I can’t believe you didn’t mention Spiderman 2 for PS2/xbox. At the time it was pretty groundbreaking…GTA meets comics. Not to mention being a pretty darn fun game to play that prob still holds up.

  8. Spider-man 2 wasn’t that great but more than any other Spider-Man game even to this day, it nailed web swinging. It was just fun to swing around the city.

    Why Ultimate Spider-man decided to simplify it, I have no idea. 

  9. Ultimate Alliance(part 1) deserves an honorable mention. It’s got Inhumans, Galactus, Silver Surfer, Namor and the Alanteans and Asgard!! Plus you can micro manage your team(tons of heros to choose from) from the powers on down to the costumes and combo’s.

  10. Batman: Arkham Asylum was so refreshingly good.  I love, love, love that game.  I have high hopes for the sequel.  All the games you mentioned are worthy, but I wasn’t the hugest fan of the Wolverine game.  While he was violent and a badass compared with other games in the genre, it was kind of boring (or had components done better in other games).  That said, ripping dudes in half with the claws is pretty rad.

  11. I could play Marvel Vs. Capcom forever.

  12. I used to love the X-Men game for Genesis. That game ruled. I really liked the first Spider-Man game for Genesis also. Marvel: Ultimate Alliance was my obsession for a little while. There actually haven’t been many video games based on comics that I’ve enjoyed, unfortunately. 

  13. Ultimate Spider-Man didn’t make the list :/ such a great game!

  14. @NawidA:

    Or why they pussifiedchanged the controls in subsequent games is beyond me. Seriously, it was perfect.

  15. That 6 player x-men arcade game is the greatest in the history of humankind. I probably pissed away $45 dollars in that thing one day.  I wish I had about $2000, a flatbed truck, and a lot more living space.



  16. That X-Men arcade game has THE best translation of all time.





    It’s also a lot of fun and Collossus dominated in it. If you like that side scroller definitely check out The Punisher one from the 90s. Very similar, totally got the Punisher vibe and you can be Nick Fury!

  17. Turok on the N64? The Darkness on the XBox 360?  I really liked both of those…

  18. No Superman for the N64??

    Sorry, couldn’t help it

  19. Marvel Vs. Capcom: Never played it on console. Jin Saotome + Ryu ftw, everytime. I put some people in unbreakable combos and never let go.

    X-men Vs. Streetfighter: this was much more enjoyable. Akuma + Ryu double Hadouken special anyone?

    X-men arcade game: lol, no one wanted to be dazzler. XD!

    Batman Arkham Asylum: It was fun, definetly a rent because the replay value is low compared to sooooooo many other games in it’s tier.

    City of Heroes….addictive

    Scott Pilgrim: It’s up there with Streets of Rage for me. I need more friends to actually play with though.

    I enjoyed: The Punisher SNES, Comix Zone GEN, and X-men legends 2.

    I didn’t enjoy: Spawn (i dare you to play it) and Superm-yeahlet’snotgothere