The Top 5 Comic Books From Video Games

As of Friday, Seattle is going to be overcome by video game aficionados, eager to try out new video games and ogle talented cosplayers dressed like Link and Zelda. Street performers will be playing the Tetris theme song and there will certainly be one or two people laden down with swag and hopped up on energy drinks, resembling some sort of hyper t-shirt monster. Yes, it’s time for Penny Arcade Expo – one of the biggest video game conventions in the United States. It’s the premier place for indie games to debut, the biggest games to have press releases, and for the internet to explode with news about one of the biggest forms of entertainment in this day and age. Naturally, I will be there, and the fact that video games have been running through my brain got me to thinking and sifting through my longboxes: what are the best video games that were made into comic books?


 Mass Effect

Mass Effect is probably one of the best RPGs for modern systems, and that is not an exaggeration. It has everything you could ever want – aliens, space travel, gadgets, laser guns, compelling storylines… it is the sci fi version of Skyrim, or Dragon Age. And the comic book does not fall far from the awesome tree – published by Dark Horse, it actually focuses on the secondary characters instead of making ANY mention of the highly customizable “Shephard” character (who you play in the video games). The Mass Effect comic library is quite expansive, with many many issues and different spin offs. Most of the stories are self contained, generally involving some great space adventure and politics you experienced in the various games. DEFINITELY worth checking out if you’re a fan of the video games, but if you haven’t played them yet you might be a little bit confused.


Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past by Shotaru Ishinomori

We all know it: Zelda is awesome. One of the oldest and most consistently amazing video game titles of all time, it centers around the adventures of Link always trying to rescue his princess, encountering monsters and interesting storylines along the way. Thus, it has spawned many, MANY comics and manga over the years – but my personal favorite is a Link to the Past, which was originally created as a comic for Nintendo Power back in its hay day (and now collected into a graphic novel). It has bright and quirky art, some original characters, and that feeling of a fantasy epic that none of the Zelda games are lacking. I highly suggest you pick it up if you are a fan of Zelda at all.


 Dead Space

Dead Space is by far one of the most terrifying video games I have ever played. Like hide under the covers for a week scary. Like call my mom crying scary. Think Aliens or any other horror/sci fi: you’re wandering the halls of a spaceship while deformed, terrifying aliens jump out at you and try to rip your flesh from your skeleton, lest you blast them with a flame thrower. The comic is equally nail biting, page turning fun, with moody, dark, atmospheric art with the master of comic book horror himself, Ben Templesmith.



Don’t lie: you always want more Samus Aran. Especially Samus not in her suit (not like that, you pervert). Not to fear, the Metroid manga is here! It focuses on the mainly untapped history of the Metroid world, so if you like cute blonde girls in space suits and knowing a lot of geeky trivia about a longstanding video game, you should probably check it out.


Resident Evil

Resident Evil is the godfather of all terrifying zombie video games, and it continues its flesh eating legacy on the pages of quite a few comic books that call for BRAAAINS. They revolve around the typical zombie survival story: humans fighting the undead in a mad dash for staying alive (stay stay stayin’ alive). If you like the virus makes people crave flesh vein of zombie stories, pick up Resident Evil ASAP. Government conspiracies and zombies, oh my!

Molly McIsaac likes tall shoes and tall drinks. She wishes she were a video game heroine and spends the majority of her time gaming or reading comics and manga. You can follow her weirdness on twitter.


  1. The Street Fighter games had some amazing comics. The original manga for SF2 was epic, and the UDON series from a while back was really good too. It was so highly regarded by fans that they were brought onboard to do the art for the HD remaster of Super SF2.

  2. I had no idea there was a Metroid Manga. I also agree with David the Street Fighter books really capture what makes Street Fighter so cool.

  3. Except for Mass Effect, none of these game based comics hold up on their own. Halo: Helljumper and Left 4 Dead: The Sacrifice are examples of comics based on video games that still have good writing and art.

  4. “Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past by Shotaru Ishinomori” — YES!!! I used to have this in trade but can’t find it now. (mom probably sold it on ebay long ago).

  5. What about those old Mario Bros. comics that came out way back when? I used to LOVE those. I think there was one issue where Mario gets hit in the head or something, and he wears a towel like a cape, thinking he’s a super hero.

    Does anyone remember those?

  6. I tried the first Mass Effect comic miniseries when it came out because I’m a fan of the games. Left a real bad taste in my mouth so I haven’t tried out any video game comics sense. I’m always waiting for one to be a must read though. Haven’t heard that much about one just yet.

    Anyone read the Blizzard games’ comics? Diablo? Warcraft? I’ve always liked the lore of those worlds and have been curious if the comics are any good. I figure if they were good I woulda heard about it, but I’d still like to hear from someone who has read them.

  7. Fine choices, all!

    I am, however, heartily saddened by the absence of one Sonic T. Hedgehog, a series that has been running uninterrupted for (wait for it…) 240 issues!

  8. I’ve heard good things about the Assassin’s Creed comics, but haven’t read them myself.

  9. Seeing as how manga are on here I would like to nominate Pokemon Adventures to be on the number 1 spot.

    It takes each generation of Pokemon (the hand helds) and spins a truly epic story that new and old fans can enjoy. I mean each time a legendary appears you feel the weight of how strong and imposing each of them are. Also fantastic and art that has evolved over the last 15 years.

  10. “but my personal favorite is a Link to the Past, which was originally created as a comic for Nintendo Power back in its hay day (and now collected into a graphic novel)”

    Ummmmmmm Where?! I know it was collected ages ago, but as far as I’m aware its long OOP.

    I would KILL for collections of all the Nintendo Power comics (Super Mario Adventures, LoZ: LTTP, Star Fox, Super Metroid, and Mario vs Wario) But as far as I know that ain’t happening any time soon.

  11. Mass Effect had as much in common with Elder Scrolls: Skryrim as Max Payne had in common with GTA.

  12. I thought Max Payne 2 was kinda meh. At least compared to Max Payne 1. It just felt like something wasn’t quite right about it the whole time I was playing it.

    • Max Payne 2 is the best written game I have ever played. It works as great noir story, while simultaneously a parody of it, a great retelling of Norse mythology and a some brilliant dialog.

  13. Not enough valve comics.