It had a backlit landscape screen, with color, and advanced graphics that put the Game Boy’s to shame. Sega’s X-Men trilogy (X-Men, Game master’s Legacy, and Mojo World) were pretty solid releases.
The first one was released to some respectable fanfare, but Game master’s Legacy improved the formula by including some underutilized villains such as Mister Sinister and Fabian Cortez. Players selected a team of four characters from a large pool of heroes and villains, and then dungeon crawl through levels.
It was an official mod of id Software’s Quake, and required the base game to play. The game received mixed reviews, but diehard X-Men and Quake fans loved it, which was an interesting combination of people.
The game’s plot was based around Dr. Doom and the Masters of Evil launching a diabolical attack on the S.H.I.E.L.D. Then they released 1996’s X-Men Vs. Street Fighter, which was a great fighting game that got fans of both companies excited.
You could either do the typical versus mode, or play arcade mode, where the story was based around Magneto hatching a scheme involving Forge, serving as the sequel to the events in the comic story “Operation: Zero Tolerance.” The game allowed players to pick between several heroes and villains, and included many signature moves from the comics.
There were 18 playable characters (as opposed to 10 in the first entry), controls were tighter, and combos were easier to master. The plot revolved around Professor X sending the X-Men to Kenosha Island to free the captured mutants imprisoned there.
The game was written by Daniel Way, one of the longest-running Deadpool comic writers, and followed every trope you’d expect: interacting with players, breaking the fourth wall, cameos, unicorns, and references to Mexican food. Many people overlooked this Sega Genesis gem, but it was highly anticipated by diehard fans, especially considering the popularity of the ‘90s X-Men cartoon.
It had a great roster of Wolverine, Gambit, Cyclops, and Nightcrawler, and support appearances by Storm, Rogue, Iceman, Archangel, and Jean Grey. The story gave players access to fantastic environments, and even though it was extremely difficult, people loved it.
Character design for the game was inspired from the comics, and the story was written by Larry Ham, involving Logan in a race against time to uncover his past and find the antidote to the deadly Shiva virus coursing through his veins. Though Patrick Stewart revised his role as Charles Xavier, Mark Hamill (strangely enough) voiced Wolverine.
The gameplay pit Wolverine in beat-em-up missions, and players had a bunch of vicious combos at their disposal. The game looked beautiful, so even though some reviewers criticized it for its lack of variety, for the most point, people enjoyed it.
X-Men Legends was one of the first X-Men action RPGs, and it introduced an incredibly sensible-yet-never-before-seen system where players selected a team of four mutants to battle through levels. The plot focused on a young student, Alison Crest mere, as she joins Xavier’s school and learns what it means to be an X-Man.
The in-depth story featured loads of familiar faces, gameplay was fun and fast-paced, and it pioneered the sweet concept of special team-up moves. It also featured appealing cel-shaded graphics, making it look like the game had been taken straight from the pages of the comics.
This fighting game featured the X-Men as they appear in the ‘90s animated series, and the story was loosely based on the “Fatal Attractions” comic arc, pitting Professor X against Magneto and his Acolytes. Fans of arcade brawlers loved this game, and it received widespread critical acclaim, so much so that it was later ported to the Sega Saturn, PC, and Sony PlayStation.
Players could choose one of six X-Men : Wolverine, Cyclops, Storm, Colossus, Nightcrawler, and Dazzler (who?) The game was re-released for Xbox Live Arcade and the PlayStation Network in 2010, with iOS and Android ports released in 2011.
Due to rights issues, though, none of these versions are currently available -- you have to find an old school arcade if you want a chance to play this revolutionary game. It was influenced by games like God of War, and glorified the violence, thanks to its “M for Mature” rating (at least in the Uncased Edition).
This over-the-top violence added to the enjoyment factor for everyone, and it ended up getting quite good reviews, with IGN’s Greg Miller calling the Uncased Edition of the game “an awesome guilty pleasure.” Even though it’s technically not an exclusive X-Men game, 17 of the featured 23 playable characters in Marvel Vs. Cap com 2 were X-Men heroes or villains.
Many of them were completely new, never before seen in a Cap com fighting game (Cable, Silver Samurai, Rogue, Marrow). This is the gold standard to which all future Marvel-related fighting games would be compared, and it still has a huge community today, with tournaments around the world.
With Apocalypse as the big bad, and the combo system of combining two powers to devastating effect, this game outshone the first in almost every way. It was notable for its expanded roster of playable characters, and its huge number of cameos and references.
The game dug deep into Marvel’s storylines, presenting a tale that included Kazan, Vindicator, Shanna the She-Devil, Blink, and many more. It had a large roster, challenging bosses, great graphics for the time, and numerous cameos.
The game actually holds the Guinness World Record as the first superhero first shooter, as players moved through levels fighting evil cyborg versions of the X-Men, complete with their special abilities. The game also featured a double screen similar to Team Bowl or the Cinerama style of projection theater.
The Arcade game was also unique in that the character designs and story were loosely based on the Pride of the X-Men TV pilot that was never picked up. The six X-Men available to players were Cyclops, Wolverine, Storm, Colossus, Nightcrawler, and Dazzler, who were also the main cast members in the animated pilot.
1993 saw the release of X-Men on the Sega Genesis, which was quickly classified as one of the hardest X-Mengames ever played That's saying a lot of considering Spider-Man and the X-Men : Arcade's Revenge exists, but it's the truth. Players could choose Cyclops, Wolverine, Nightcrawler or Gambit to move through the difficult levels with a quickly dwindling mutant power bar.
The game even featured a rare ending that required players to lightly hit the Reset button, going against years of warnings against doing that exact thing. Unfortunately, the series dropped off a bit in playability for the third game, X-Men : Next Dimension, so Mutant Academy 2 is the franchises sweet spot.
The game was fairly difficult as players had to play through the grueling levels of each member of the X-Men (Cyclops, Wolverine, Beast, Locke, and Gambit) before getting a password that would allow them to move on. The game was loosely based on the Fatal Attractions storyline from the comics and featured the standard playable roster alongside villains like Omega Red, Spiral, Silver Samurai, and even a Sentinel.
Clone Wars was Sega's follow-up to their popular but difficult X-Men, and featured new playable characters as well as fixed a number of the glaring issues seen in the first game. Not only did the game feature an original story set within the world of the X-Men, but players were also able to pick a team of four to play through missions with, and switch through each character with the press of a button.
The sequel brought the X-Men and the Brotherhood together on a playable team to battle the forces of Apocalypse across a number of iconic comic settings. Scoot Allan (13 Articles Published) Entertainment reporter, writer, and all-around geek, Scoot Allan has written for print and online media sources like Geek Magazine, GeekExchange, GrizzlyBomb, WhatCulture, RoguePlanet.TV and the Urban 30 before joining CBR, Screencast, GameR ant and The Gamer as a staff writer.
Society is currently in a period where superheroes seem to dominate every form of pop culture, but even before this massive boom, they were still a frequent presence in video games. Unfortunately, production of X-Men : Destiny was taking place during Disney's acquisition of Marvel, which led to budgetary issues with the title and ultimately a lawsuit over the game's incorporation of the Unreal Engine 3.
X-Men : Reign of Apocalypse is an admirable beat-'em-up action title for the Game Boy Advance that tries to do some creative things with the X-Men license. The incorporation of a two-player option and battle mode is appreciated, but ultimately the game is highly repetitive and over too quickly, even with 12 levels to work through.
Next Dimension pushes the games into 3D and the improved character models and 3D environments make a big difference this time around, as well as the inclusion of a story mode to the fighter. The Game cube version is technically the best, with the addition of extra game modes, but the Marvel vs. Cap com series is still leagues better.
Up to six players can work together, even with online functionality, and it's the perfect blast of nostalgia, even if the game isn't necessarily the deepest experience. X-Men : Mutant Academy 2 only came out a year after its successful predecessor, but despite the lack of development time, this sequel is still a satisfying game that doesn’t just feel like a rushed expansion.
Mutant Academy 2 excels with its combat and complex combo systems, but it’s ultimately a thin title that suffers from a lack of story modes and other options to increase replayability. Mutant Academy has a slim roster of characters, but they all feature unique gameplay styles, and it’s reminiscent of how Street Fighter operates.
It’s pretty ridiculous that X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which is considered to be one of the worst X-Men movies of all time, actually has one of the highest-rated video game adaptations in the X-Men series. Inventively, Origins: Wolverine takes its cues from Devil May Cry and God of War as it delivers an extremely bloody and violent experience.
The X-Men Legends series is largely considered to be the peak for X-Men videogames, and it’s a height that may not be topped until the characters are drastically re-worked for a next-gen title. There’s endless chaos, and it’s the success of this game that would lead to the Marvel: Ultimate Alliance series, which does the same thing, but with a larger cast of characters.
The previous X-Men Legends game impressed everyone with its story, creative art design, and a large roster of characters. Additionally, online functionality and more intuitive mutant powers make this one of the most entertaining action titles of the generation and a top original Xbox game.