Top 10 Games Based on Comic Books

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10. Astro Boy: Omega Factor

Sadly, this 2004 release is one of the Game Boy Advance's more overlooked action titles. It comes from Treasure, the developers behind Dynamite Headdy, Mischief Makers, and Guardian Heroes, and they clearly left their mark on this game. It's a solid action title, with strong replayability and a good base in Astro Boy mythos.

9. Spiderman 2

A lot of people remember this game as "licensed games done right," back in the day when licensed games were a larger gamble. While I personally have trouble remembering the gritty details about Spiderman 2, what I remember of it is quite positive. The swinging mechanics were fun, and so was the open world of New York City. Included with that were some memorable moments from the movie.

8. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time

For those who don't know, the TMNT franchise did not start with the popular cartoon. Rather, it started with a black and white Daredevil parody comic. Anyway, Turtles in Time represents the best of the TMNT video games, and perhaps the best that the beat-em-up genre had to offer.

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7. Penny Arcade's On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 3 

A long title, I'll admit, but it's not unwarranted. Penny Arcade 3 comes courtesy of Zeboyd Games, the indie company known for their parody RPGs like Breath of Death VII and Cthulhu Saves the World. This design feels right at home with the abrasive Penny Arcade brand of humor in this game. In addition, the game sports a simple but worthwhile class system to mess around with.

6. Little Nemo: The Dream Master

Yes, this is another game that people don't know is based on a comic property. But this time, it's for good reason: Nemo hasn't seen a comic in nearly a century. But he did see this Capcom platformer, which I believe is a fair trade-off. It reflects the craft and charm 8-bit Capcom platformers are oft known for.

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5. Bucky O'Hare

But Capcom was not the only company putting out platformers on the NES. Konami had their own approach, and Bucky O'Hare exemplifies this. Like most Konami games, Bucky O'Hare is a challenging experience that constantly demands your attention. It's also one of the better platformers for the NES.

4. The Adventures of Batman & Robin

Like Aladdin, Batman and Robin had SNES and Genesis games that shared only a name. The SNES version was a mediocre action game that closely followed the cartoon. The Genesis version eschewed the cartoon influences and instead focused on gameplay. Like Treasure or Konami games, it's a demanding, challenging experience, and all the more rewarding for it. (Also worth noting is the Mad Hatter boss fight.)

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3. Batman: Arkham City

I imagine a lot of people were skeptical of Arkham City's premise when they first heard about it. However, putting Batman in an open world feels like a natural extension of gameplay concepts in Arkham Asylum. The exploration and thug fights make a lot of sense in the desolate streets of Arkham City. It also helps that the game has memorable villains (The Penguin, Mr. Freeze) and just as memorable moments tailored to them.

2. Batman: Arkham Asylum

But of course, Arkham City could never beat the original. Unlike prior Batman games, Arkham Asylum feels exactly like a Batman comic in game form. (No doubt The Animated Series' involvement with this game helped a bit.) Arkham Asylum also sported a compelling world to explore and fantastic stealth segments. What could possibly outperform a game like Batman: Arkham Asylum?

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1. The Walking Dead

Try The Walking Dead. People talk about this game as though it revolutionized storytelling in video games. While I wouldn't go so far as to say that, it's still a very good story. It uses the zombie apocalypse as a backdrop to explore mankind's morality, seeing what happens when we're pushed to our limits. The best part, though, is that there are no right answers. Everything is open to discussion. Now why can't the games based on the TV show be this good?

Published Oct. 17th 2014

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