There are hundreds of games on the market that are based on comic book properties (trust me, I own a lot of them) but there’s only one “Arkham” franchise; A series of games that have started their own sub-genre within the juggernaut Batman franchise that has spawned the most sequels of any comic book game series to date, action figures based on the games characters, a feature-length animated film, its own comic book series, hell even a board game.
What other series have the potential to reach such an iconic status in the video game world? Let’s count them down!
10) GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
You may not have even known what or who the Guardians of the Galaxy were this time last year, but now you can’t turn anywhere without seeing a link to a certain Groot video (you know the one, no spoilers,) countless fan made t-shirts, toys, not to mention the soundtrack which is currently dominating the Billboard charts. Guardians as a main stream property is pretty young, but that doesn’t mean it still wouldn’t have the potential to spawn a great video game franchise. The world at large has accepted a foul-mouthed bi-pedal Raccoon, a talking tree with a 4 word vocabulary and a dog in a space suit, I think the public is ready to see what amazing places they could be taken the group to in a video game.
9) GREEN ARROW
The “Arrow” TV series is approaching its third season and will push the episode counter to over fifty sometime this year or the next. It also kick-started the DC television craze that is ready to bomb the airwaves this fall with The Flash spin-off, Constantine and Gotham. Awareness of the Green Arrow character is at an all time high, so what better way to capitalize on that than with an amazing video game series? WB Games are the best at bringing comic characters to the medium (see the “Arkham” series and Injustice,) so I have complete faith that one of their talented studios would be able to pull this off.
8) CAPTAIN AMERICA
Captain America: The First Avenger was a great movie, the character had some spectacular moments in The Avengers, but we weren’t ready to see how great Captain America could look outside of comics until we threw down money to see this year’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Political intrigue? Check, a Terminator-esque silent assassin? Check, breathtaking fight scenes that perfectly capture on film how Captain America fights? DOUBLE CHECK. We’ve already seen how great a Captain America game can be with Captain America: Super Soldier from Next Level Games, now all we need is for someone to take that idea and run with it even more.
7) IRON MAN
Iron Man has been around for a long time and has always been one of Marvel’s big guns, but the character exploded in popularity after the first film featuring the character paved the way for the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the ensemble film “The Avengers.” I can’t believe honestly that we haven’t seen Iron Man take the lead in his own series of video game now, the only explanation I can muster is that companies may think the property is toxic after the Sega Iron Man film games. Those missteps aside, the property lends itself so well to the video game medium: Flight, interchangeable armors, crazy weapons, in a lot of ways it almost makes itself, doesn’t it?
Put out “God of Thor” and call it a day, seriously guys. Of the Marvel games that came out under the watchful eyes of Sega, I’m astonished this one came out one of the worst. Character action games have become a staple genre since 2001’s Devil May Cry on the PS2 so transplanting Thor into that arena seems like a no-brainer. The character has an awesome weapon in the mighty Mjolnir, amazing elemental powers, and travels to some of the most diverse locations in the Marvel Universe. Throw in a playable Loki to break up the hammering action, and you’ve got yourself money waiting to be printed.
I’m not the biggest Wolverine fan in the world, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t run to my local game store to pre-order a Wolverine game should one be announced as early as today. 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine gave us what should have been the start of an excellent series of games featuring the most popular X-Men in history, but instead it exists as yet another movie game casuality. Much like Thor, Wolverine is begging to be turned into an amazing M-rated character action game series along the lines of God of War and Bayonetta.
In the last generation of consoles, outside of the Wolverine only X-Men Origins Wolverine, do you know how many X-Men games there were? 2: An up-port of X-Men: The Official Game to the Xbox 360, and X-Men: Destiny, a game so bad it was ordered to be destroyed and killed Silicon Knights. Activision had great momentum going with the incredibly fun X-Men Legends game that left itself open to a third chapter. Developer Raven moved on from one section of the Marvel Universe to the whole thing in Marvel Ultimate Alliance, but I find it hard to believe that someone couldn’t have come in to pick up where they left off. The X-Men is one of the most recognizable super hero teams in all of comics, they deserve to have some of the best games based around their adventures.
3) JUSTICE LEAGUE
DC’s super friends are going to launch on the public in a big way pretty soon with the big three of the group showing up on screen for the first time in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. A long time before that, the chronicles of the group were also featured in the Justice League and Justice League: Unlimited animated series that ran for a better part of the last decade. In a lot of ways, DC is struggling to keep up with Marvel when it comes to character awareness, but they’re getting there thanks to WB Games and their presence on the TV airwaves. Rocksteady is going to be free after wrapping up Batman: Arkham Knight, who better to show us how a super hero team game could be than the developer who brought us the “Arkham” series?
2) THE AVENGERS
Need I say more? This may be of one of the lowest hanging fruits in video game-dom today. We’ve got Avengers movies, cartoons, toys, bed sheets, and yeah, games like Lego Marvel Super Heroes and Disney Infinity 2.0 are letting us play as Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, but where’s the larger than life Avengers game the public is craving for? Someone at Disney needs to get the ball rolling to make this happen. No more phone games, free-to-play Facebook games or motion controlled only fighters, we want The Avengers, and we want them yesterday.
Yeah, Spider-Man has probably had the most video games based on him, but most games based on the character are self-contained stories or only make it one sequel. The only series of Spider-Man games to make it past a second installment was back on the original Game Boy, and the movie games inspired by the Sam Raimi trilogy. The wall-crawler is just as recognizable as Batman, with just as many well known bad guys that could keep sequels coming for years down the line. There’s no better candidate on this list that could handle a video game franchise as powerful as the “Arkham” brand.
Agree? Disagree? Feel your favorite hero or heroes have been left out? Leave it in the comments below.