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access_time August 18, 2020 at 8:00 AM in Features by David Poole

It’s Time for a New X-Men Game

With Marvel having more ownership over the X-Men brand again, we’re starting to see the characters sprinkled into more Marvel experiences. The recent update for Marvel Future Fight put some spotlight on the team and Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 utilizes the characters pretty well. With that in mind, the last real X-Men game was in 2011 with Activision’s X-Men: Destiny. Marvel strayed away from the brand a bit to focus on the MCU properties, but now that the Fox acquisition is fully settled, it’s really time for a new X-Men game.

The X-Men have a pretty long history in the gaming world. They’ve ranged from action adventure titles, to RPGs, and even fighting games. The franchise is so rich with stories and characters, that it can easily stand alone from the Marvel universe. Just the idea that these characters already share a world with Spider-Man and the Avengers is a bit overwhelming. With such a rich history of source material though, the franchise is just begging for a new game. The question is, what kind of game would be the best option?

Games like X-Men: Children of the Atom or Marvel Super Heroes showed just how much potential these characters had in fighting games. The X-Men were a staple to Capcom fighters all the way up to Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Unfortunately, they were omitted from Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite, likely due to the film rights at the time. It’s arguable that fighting games are where these characters get the most love in the gaming world. When the X-Men characters didn’t get featured in Infinite, there was a huge debacle over it and it heavily hurt the game during the marketing phase. It’s also worth mentioning the successful Marvel Contest of Champions that features a decent roster of mutants on mobile devices.

Aside from fighting games, the X-Men characters are notable for being part of an ensemble. Team based games are common for these characters, much like the X-Men Legends titles. Of course, we haven’t seen one of these games since 2005. They really progressed toward the Marvel Ultimate Alliance games, which feature the characters. Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 did a decent job to give the X-Men their own segment in the X-Mansion. Even so, it would be great to see another X-Men Legends title after so much time.

Of course, these games lean a bit more toward an older audience, but what about the younger gamers? The LEGO games are always popular, and the X-Men were a big part of LEGO Marvel Superheroes. Unfortunately, when the sequel came out, they were completely cut out, making absolutely no reference to them. I think the only way to make up for this is to make a LEGO X-Men title, focusing solely on these characters and giving us the full gamut of mutants to play as. Even if these games are more for kids, they make fun co-op games for a lot of people.

Of course, these characters also have their solo outings from time to time. Wolverine has notably had several games where he was the only playable character. These titles include 90s games like Wolverine as well as Wolverine: Adamantium Rage. Many of these titles also took inspiration from the film franchise, though it was pretty loose. Included in these titles were X-Men: Wolverine’s Rage and X-2: Wolverine’s Revenge. This also includes his X-Men Origins: Wolverine game, which was a much better experience than the movie. The Deadpool game was also a pretty fun title for fans of the character.

As good as solo outings can be, it’s in the spirit of the X-Men to have team games. With how online gaming is these days, we could easily get titles similar to Marvel’s Avengers. It would also be fine to just get an HD Remaster of the old X-Men Legends games. Either way, it’s been far too long since we got a true X-Men game. It’s time for Marvel to give their mutants the attention they deserve again.

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