You'd think that there would be more good comic book video games (outside of the obvious superhero ones) released over the years, but the truth is, they are quite rare. Thankfully, a growing number of studios are tapping into this valuable resource to bring audiences the best comic book video games.
With Dark Horse looking to bring Hellboy and its other IPs into video game life, it's only a matter of time before we get a chance to see our favorite comic books play out in the video game world.
Below, we've rounded up a collection of the ten best comic book video games ever released.
The Injustice games are the rare breed of superhero video games that are good, not just for a superhero game, but overall. Many consider Injustice one of the best superhero video games and fighting games out there, and there's a good reason for that.
Injustice and Injustice 2 have been a part of the games lineup Evolution Championship series, the pinnacle of professional fighting games.
But while the Injustice games have enough nuance to be played in the genre's highest level, it's also a great game for casual audiences. DC Comics' comic book tie-in for the Injustice games is widely considered some of the decades' best, going so far as to influence the enigmatic film director, Zack Snyder.
Perhaps it should come off as to no surprise that an Injustice animated movie is actually in the works.
The Wolf Among Us
Telltale Games authored some of the best interactive story games of the past two decades. However, unlike the studio's other works, its take on The Wolf Among Us is actually canon to Vertigo's Fables comic books, being set before the aforementioned series' events.
The Wolf Among Us is made up of five memorable episodes that were released throughout 2013. The gameplay revolves around the sheriff of Fabletown, Bigby Wolf, who goes out and investigates a murder. However, what started as a straightforward investigation turns out to be much larger.
The game introduced gamers to unforgettable characters in a story that's just as good as Billing Willingham's own work.
The Wolf Among Us 2, the sequel to The Wolf Among Us, is expected to release sometime in 2021.
2013's Deadpool game is a fun video game adaptation of the comic book character that let the "merc with a mouth" let loose without the constraints of catering to a younger and wider audience. The result is a fun and entertaining game with no pretenses.
If you're a fan of the character, you will definitely love how High Moon nailed the transition of Deadpool from comic books to a video game. Even if you're not that big of a fan of Deadpool (or if you don't know him, for some reason), the fourth-wall-breaking, jokes, and meta humor, are all enough to carry the game throughout the short campaign.
Just don't expect Deadpool to have any replay value. Once you're done with it, that's it. There are no secrets and collectibles for you to unlock.
It's a shame that you can't buy the 2013 title digitally anymore.
Telltale’s The Walking Dead
Before Telltale went and created The Wolf Among Us, it got its start with The Walking Dead, an episodic adventure game that told the story of Lee Everett and Clementine throughout five episodes.
In Telltale's The Walking Dead, which is based in the same world as the original The Walking Dead comic book series (not the TV shows) player choices are everything. The events of the game transpire in Georgia where the zombie apocalypse has broken out across the world.
Robert Kirkman, the creator of The Walking Dead franchise, also lent a hand during the game's development to make sure that it followed the same tone of the source material.
For all of Telltale's efforts, their take on The Walking Dead ended up winning multiple year-end accolades with many considering it one of the best video games of all time. In total, Telltale ended up releasing a total of four The Walking Dead games from 2013 to 2018. This includes additional downloadable content for the 2013 title that helped bridge the gap between it and the sequel.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
Bryan Lee O'Malley's popular Scott Pilgrim comics series got its movie adaptation back in 2010. Unfortunately, it wasn't as successful in the box office. The movie only made $49.3 million against its $60-85 million budget even though it featured a masterful performance from Michael Cera and Chris Evans, among others. However, the movie, as well as its video game adaptation, has earned cult status over the years.
The video game, in particular, was a faithful beat-em-up adaptation of the comic book world that used the same pixelated sprite art style favored by O'Malley while filling every dot on the screen with a multitude of references and Easter Eggs.
A full-on remaster of the 2010 title was released by Ubisoft in January 2021.
Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage
Video games released in the 90s suffered from, well, being released in the 90s. Comic book video games just didn't have the technology that they have access to today. This meant that it was difficult for developers to translate the action in the comic books to the consoles available at the time. However, this is also why Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage, which was released in 1994, really stuck out.
Instead of having Spider-Man go up against Venom, the Super Nintendo game had the two work together to save the world from another symbiote, Carnage.
At the time, Maximum Carnage's graphics were pretty impressive and the gameplay was excellent. The villains actually posed a threat and not just for the sake of getting more quarters and tokens out of you. They were reasonably difficult and the story had several nods to the comic books that make it one of the best comic book video games ever released.
Asterix and Obelix XXL: Romastered
Asterix and Obelix, who? Most people don't know this duo but they are huge in France. The Asterix and Obelix comic book series has been in production for over half a century. In that time, multiple developers have attempted to make a video game out of these two. However, of all the attempts, it is perhaps Asterix and Obelix XXL, that really captured the spirit of the duo.
Asterix and Obelix XXL: Romastered brings the classic co-op beat-em-up title to modern consoles without losing the heart and style of the material that inspired it.
Shadow Man: Remastered
Valiant Comics' Shadow Man is one of the more underrated comic book series of all time. The video game based on the same comic book series also suffered the same fate. The 1999 game was considered eccentric, even at the time of its release. However, it was successful enough to get a sequel and, years, later, a remaster that's available on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
Playing Shadow Man today is like taking a trip on a time machine. Shadow Man was a product of its time, with outdated mechanics, clunky gun gameplay, and a sluggish pace.
If you can look past all of these, you'll find a story with beautiful and dark writing that's as entertaining as it is misleading and purposely ambiguous.
X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse
Before Activision shipped Raven Software to the land of Call of Duty where the studio will spend its days making sequels to the popular shooter series in perpetuity, Raven Software was responsible for making A LOT of good games based on popular IPs.
Raven Software's Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast and Jedi Academy are some of the best Star Wars games ever made, while the studio was also responsible for making Marvel Ultimate Alliance and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, two of the best superhero games out there.
Two more titles that Raven Software developed were X-Men Legends and X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse.
Both of these might have gone unnoticed by the general gaming public, but they are both excellent comic book video games. The latter is as authentic as an X-Men game can get and those who've read the X-men comics will love Raven Software's take on the X-Men and the Brotherhood of Mutants teaming up together to take on Apocalypse in all its cel-shaded glory.
Insomniac Games' Spider-Man games will go down as one of the best games in history if it already hasn't. It follows its own original storyline though, which is where the Ultimate Spider-Man wins out.
Ultimate Spider-Man's plot is linked directly to the comics of the same name and features a star-studded cast of characters from the Marvel universe. Although the fighting mechanics of the 2005 title might feel far too simplistic for some, it didn't dumb down the mechanics either. Players still felt like they were Spiderman. Not to mention, the game switched things up occasionally by letting you play as Venom as well.
Set in an open-world New York City that's just the right size for a game of its time with dozens of unlockables for players to uncover, as well as side quests to complete, Ultimate Spider-Man is easily one of the best comic book video games of all time.