There are few things on this earth that I’m as passionate about as much as the X-Men. I’ve enjoyed the comics, TV shows, movies, and video games since I was a kid, and that passion has never gone away. With the recent release of X-Men Apocalypse, I thought this would be a good time to make a list of my personal favorite X-Men games. So, here are the five X-Men games that I enjoy the most.
Honorable Mention – Marvel vs Capcom 2
This is an honorable mention purely because it isn’t technically a standalone X-Men game. MvC2 does have enough X-Men to make it worth mentioning however, with a selection of X-Men that perfectly encompasses the time period that this game came out.
My two personal favorites, Cyclops and Cable, are both included, alongside staple characters like Wolverine, Magneto, Gambit, and Colossus. There are even some obscure X-Universe additions, like Marrow, and Silver Samurai. MvC2 is one of the best fighting games of all-time, in part, for me, because of its inclusion of so many beloved X-Men characters
5- X-Men: Mutant Academy 2
One of my fondest Playstation memories was playing the demo for Mutant Academy 2 every day before and after school. A 2-D fighting game with 3-D models, Mutant Academy 2 gave X-Men fans plenty of memorable characters, and a surprisingly solid fighting game.
While the game hasn’t aged wonderfully, and I’m sure my nostalgia has made me a bit biased in this case, it’s still an overall fun time. Playing as Cyclops, Gambit, Nightcrawler, or even Toad is lots of flashy fun, and even features Spider-Man as a guest character. Overall, Mutant Academy 2 is a decent X-Men fighting game.
4- X-Men Origins: Wolverine – Uncaged Edition
Surprisingly enough, Origins is a really fun game. Though the movie that it’s based on is horrid, the game manages to make you actually feel like Wolverine, despite the carried-over characters and storylines from the movie.
Origins has some unique mechanics that separate it from most hack-and-slash games. Wolverine takes actual aesthetic damage as you take hits, which means that, at times, you’ll be able to see Wolverine’s Adamantium skeleton through his flesh. As your health recovers, you watch Wolverine heal in real-time, which is strangely satisfying. If you can’t already tell, the game is surprisingly gory for an X-Men game. You really do feel like Wolverine as you brutally slash your enemies apart, using plenty of intense special attacks and bloody finishing moves. Origins doesn’t look particularly amazing, but it’s the best there is at what it does: letting players turn off their brains and slash their way through Wolverine’s troubled film career.
3- X-Men: The Arcade Game
If you haven’t played the X-Men Arcade Game, you probably know of it from its cheesy dialogue that, somehow, is riddled with grammatical errors. (e.g. “X-MEN, WELCOME TO DIE). Once you get to the actual game, however, it’s a true-to-form classic beat-em-up that deserves its place among other arcade legends.
Sporting a playable roster that’s directly lifted from the X-Men comics of the early-mid 80’s, X-Men Arcade is full of corny, explosive, old-school arcade goodness. Shooting ridiculous optic blasts at the Blob while he screams catchphrases at the top of his lungs gives you a sense of true joy. The game itself plays like your standard token-taker beat-em-up, but the locations, characters, and dialogue all make the game truly stand out.
2- X-Men vs Street Fighter
Here’s where I can cheat a bit. Unlike Marvel vs Capcom 2, X-Men vs Street Fighter is an X-Men-based fighting game. As a precursor to the Marvel vs Capcom series, and the follow-up to Children of the Atom, XvS set down some fantastic groundwork for future fighting games.
Fighting is fast and frantic, sporting an early version of MvC‘s “Tag-Team System”, and most of the characters have unique playstyles fitting their mutant abilities. From Juggernaut to Rogue, the selection of X-Men at your disposal will make nearly any fan of X-Men happy. Though the home console version of the game was somewhat neutered, it’s more than worth playing this game in an arcade, as it’s not only a great fighting game, but a great X-Men game.
1- X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse
It would be difficult to put anything other that X-Men Legends II at the top of this list. Like Diablo, the game is a top-down beat-em-up with an RPG levelling system. The game is spectacular, as it’s filled with unique locations, missions, and characters. It’s endlessly fun to destroy everything in your path as your favorite mutant, especially when you can customize your attacks, and costumes.
The best part of the game is the enormous amount of playable characters. Members from both the X-Men and The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants can be chosen, giving you the ability to make your four-person X-Universe dream team. Characters like Deadpool, and Iron Man for some reason, are unlockable as well, offering a well-balanced team of both known and obscure characters. The PSP version of the game sports exclusive characters as well, such as my previously mentioned favorite, Cable, as well as Cannonball and even X-Man.
X-Men Legends II is the ultimate X-Men game that every X-Fan should try. Though there are plenty of great X-Men games, as this list proves, Legends II gives almost every fan of the world’s most astonishingly uncanny mutants something to enjoy.
Though there are lots of fun X-Men games out there, these are the five games that I believe best represent the world’s greatest comic book team. Do you agree with my list? Do you disagree? Either way, leave a comment about your favorite X-Men game, bub.