The children of the Atom! Sworn to protect a world that hates and fears them! I’ve always loved the idea of the X-Men, a franchise which has always been at the forefront of entertainment. Maybe you grew up watching the classic animated series that managed to capture the magic of the comic books and translate them to Saturday morning fun, or maybe you grew up watching these new mutants make a big screen debut, which was both awesome and hilariously bad thanks to some cringe dialogue.
While their popularity may have waxed and waned over the last couple of years, the X-Men franchise has still been responsible for some truly terrific games over the years. And some amazingly awful ones as well. We’re looking at you, X-Men Destiny. With X-Men: Dark Phoenix around the corner and an era of the franchise being the exclusive property of 20th Century Fox coming to an end, we’re taking a quick look at some of the more fantastic games to feature Homo Superior flexing their amazing powers.
So let’s kick this list off with:
X-Men: The Ravages of Apocalypse
Imagine you’re playing Quake, and you decide that you want something…different from the usual monsters that you’ve been murdering. Way back in 1997, Id Software had your back with an official mod that would allow you to murder the X-Men. Well, kind of. As a resident gun-slinger, it was up to you to work your way through armies of robot X-Men doppelgangers, with each mechanical nasty offering players a unique challenge.
Cyclops would kill your face with his optic blasts, Wolverine was a proper bullet sponge and Beast was like the angriest furry alive. Weird times, but hey, that was 1997 for you.
X-Men 2: Clone Wars
I may have spent way too many hours back in the day playing this sequel. Unlike the first game which was totally alright, X-Men 2: Clone Wars kicked off the adventure by making the wisest of decisions: Not handicapping the X-Men and making their powers a limited ability that had to be conserved. Instead, you were free to fire optic blasts from the eyes of Cyclops with reckless abandon, you could throw out entire decks of cards as Gambit and Wolverine was still this amazing hack ‘n slash berserker.
It was colourful, it was fun and I pressed the restart button roughly 52 quintillion times until I managed to start the game as Cyclops. Good times man, good times.
X-Men vs Street Fighter
If you’d ever wondered if Wolverine’s Adamantium claws could reflect a Hadouken from Street Fighter’s Ryu, then you probably had too much time on your hands. You were probably also overjoyed when Capcom decided to throw Marvel’s merry band of mutants at the screen, as the resulting clash was nothing short of fantastic.
Here was Street Fighter at its very best, each character lovingly animated and dialled up to 11. While it wasn’t the first collabo-whammo between Marvel and Capcom (See X-Men: Children of the Atom), it was one of the best. Smooth, detailed and featuring an idea that would become hugely popular within fighting games in the years to come: An active tag system that rewrote the book on combos.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Look, I’ll be the first person to admit that X-Men Origins: Wolverine, is not that good a movie. While it may have made some baffling decisions, like a bathroom scene with CGI claws for who knows what reason, at least we still got a banger of a gamer out of it. And what a game it was! Deciding to keep things simple, brutal and ultra-violent, this latest Wolverine game was a bloody blast to play.
Logan’s talent for hacking people up was pushing the adults-only age rating to the very limit as he carved a path through enemy jungles and high-tech secret labs, but the best bit of this game? Seeing the actual damage that Logan had wracked up in a kill spree, and then watching his body knit his various organs and flesh back into place. It’s almost as if Eli Roth made this game.
X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse
I’ve got an idea for you: Imagine the X-Men franchise buuuuuuuuuuut…it’s a proper top down RPG. Raven Software did just that, diabloing up the X-Men in a brilliant 2004 game by the name of X-Men Legends. In 2005, they took the same idea and made it even better. More characters, more quality of life changes and a story that was as epic as could be.
Throw in better-developed role-playing game ideas, revolutionary online multiplayer at the time and some kickass movie scenes that put the silver screen efforts to shame, and fans were in mutant nirvana. X-Men Legends 2: Rise of Apocalypse was everything you could ever want from a sequel and then some, creating not just one of the best X-Men games of all time, but also quite possibly the most defintive take on the children of the atom.
Last Updated: April 18, 2019