Tell Us Dammit: Best Licensed Video Game?

First off, let me clarify what I mean by 'licensed'. I'm talking about games based on an existing property, like a comic book or a movie or a TV show or whatever. What's your favourite?

I think the two most obvious choices here are Batman: Arkham Asylum and Goldeneye.

If I had to choose between those two? I'm probably going with Arkham Asylum. As much as I love Goldeneye it has aged terribly. I tried to replay it a couple of years back and it was a heart-wrenching experience.

I'd also like to give a shout out to some older games — like the original Robocop game. The side-scrolling one. That was brilliant. In fact, Ocean did a number of great movie conversions back in the day.

What are some of your choices?


    Chronicles of Riddick. That game was just sensational and I would love to see Vin and Starbreeze do another one.

      You'd want to see Machine Games (Wolfenstein: New Order) do it - most of the core staff from Starbreeze that worked on Riddick left and formed that studio.

      Riddick was one of my top 5 games on the original Xbox. Such an awesome game.

      I’d have it second on my overall list of licenced games, just behind Goldeneye.

      It’s a bit rough to be so critical of Goldeneye because it hasn’t aged well, I was in high school when it came out and within the microcosm of society that high school is- that game was a freaking phenomenon. EVERYBODY knew what Goldeneye was and everybody was playing it.

      Batman is third but a distant one for me. Cool games but none of them really grabbed me the same way the other two did.

    Because everyone is going to say the usual, X-Men: Origins - Wolverine.

    Far better than it had any right to be.


      came here to say that... thank you for beating me to it... was a great game which was a big surprise!

    Going to go out on a limb here and say it has to be E.T. the Extra Terrestrial.

      I can't believe someone actually worked out how to finish that abomination.

    I'd have to say it's Scott Pilgrim vs The World. Although the game was really made as a tie-in for the movie, it was more like the comics story-wise.

    Hmm, are we talking in terms of faithfulness to the source material or fun factor? A lot of the Disney movie/character based games (Mickey Mouse , Aladdin, Lion King) were a lot of fun. Really though, Superman 64 was the best licensed game.

    Edit update punch! Does the Suikoden series count since it's based on the Chinese novel Water Margin?

    Last edited 27/08/15 11:27 am

      No. "Based on a historical novel" is not the same as "licensed product", otherwise we'd have to count the Dynasty Warriors games (based on the ancient Chinese novel 'Romance of the Three Kingdoms'). Also, I doubt that Suikoden actually has ANYTHING to do with The Water Margin aside from the "108 heroes" thing.

    I had a lot more love for "Stranglehold" than I should have, given its flaws. The constant closed-off arenas sucked, the environment interactivity and general shooting gameplay was really, really good.

    There was also a "Dukes of Hazzard" game on the PS2 that was... look, it wasn't great. But no-one else has really experimented with the Light Gun genre, and having one player drive the car while the other hangs out the window shooting stuff was a lot of fun.

    Last edited 27/08/15 11:26 am

      Stranglehold was amazing, until the second stage. If it had of been like the demo all the way through it would have been so much better.

    I'd have to go Goldeneye - in terms of local multiplayer fun, it only rivals Mario Kart 64 for sheer number of hours I played with my brother and friends. Remember 'one shot kills'?

      Remember knowing the spawns so well on Facility and playing proxy mines, and getting one kill and watching kill after kill go off while the rest of the proxy mines detonated

      I'm with you on this one. The argument - do you taking aging into account? That game was just so effing brilliant when it came out and I logged many, many hours into it and multiplayer.
      I was so happy when I got the cheat on Facility - invincibility.

      Even though it's aged badly, I'm sticking with it.

        Me too, it’s just a style of game from a time that meant it was never going to age well.
        While it would still feel dated, I think if it got the Perfect Dark HD treatment it’d be a lot easier to measure the heart of the game without the framerate issues. I think the level design, weapons and basic combat would still be decent.

        You’ve got to judge it by what it was at the time, and to me Goldeneye was THE game that defined a couple of years of my youth.
        Of the hundreds (thousands?) of games I’ve played, I can only name a handful that have become full blown obsessions that consumed not just my gaming time but that of my friends to the point where it was a social phenomenon. If I put together that short list, Goldeneye would be at the top.

        Wow, you got the Facility cheat? I think that was the only one I couldn't get.

        Goldeneye for me. I have some amazing memories of that game. My neighbours had it and I spent so much time over there playing multiplayer. Eventually I got to borrow it and play though myself. For the time, it was such an amazing game.

          There is someone you slap I think - get his gun. Run down the stairs, door under stairs. Fire 9 shots into the guy (I think they all have to hit him for best results). You'll have 1 bullet left. Switch weapons up once to get your mines. Turn around and the 3 guys from the control room will have run out. Toss the mine and remote detonate when it's in the middle of them all. Pause briefly to avoid running into the blast, then run in and hit the console. Run to the door it opens. Have you gun up to kill anyone in the door.

          When you get to the corridor with 3 dudes in it, mine again. Then speed run to the point where there are 3 glass labs around you. If Dr Doak is no there, start again. If he is, walk up to him, then leave to the locked door. The door decoder will spawn into your inventory at the appropriate time in the conversation. Instantly hit Start and select and spam the use button. When the door opens, run down the stairs and thow and detonate your mines when they are in the air between 4 tanks. Leave.

          You'll have a few seconds left.

          Remember, you move faster if you strafe with the C buttons, so do that as much as possible.

          I think there was 1-3 gun cheats I didn't get, which I didn't care too much on as I had the all guns cheat. That was the only way to get the taser.

            Whoa, no wonder I didn't get it. That's quite an explanation, thanks. I really need to dig out my N64 and grab a copy of Goldeneye...I'm just worried it might ruin the magic if I play it now. Argh, but I need that stupid cheat haha.

            Come to think of it, I can't remember if I got the last cheat where you have to kill the guy on the radar dish in a certain amount of time. I remember spending hours and hours playing that over and over again.

              That level was just strafe, strafe, strafe.
              I don't think I ever beat the Moonraker level in enough time to get the cheat.

              I'm also afraid about going back to it. That nostalgia....

              Fun fact - in the snow level, if you look at the ground as your are running around, it will not have to render as much and will lag less, letting you go just a little bit faster. Saw some guys doing that in a speedrun awhile ago.

    Die Hard Trilogy was one of the games I got a PSOne for. Absolutely loved that game

      Second that

      The Vengeance 3rd was absolutely crazy at the time, I’d love to go back and see how it looks now compared to how I remember it.

      Take the basic framework at the heart of GTA V in first person: open world, pedestrians, hooning through traffic, getting air through the park…. And make it all work on the PS1.
      How on earth did they pull that off!?

        I have fond memories of driving down over-crowded alleyways mowing down pedestrians indescriminately. Not intentionally, of course, the game forced your hand by imposing harsh time restrictions and making the alleyways the only legitimate path to your goal.

        It was so over the top and ridiculous I couldn't help but chuckle as the windscreen wipers removed the blood from the windscreen.

        Good times.

    Shadows of Mordor, Spiderman 2, Marvel vs Capcom/Injustice : Gods among us, Alien Isolation, LEGO: Star Wars (for the double dipping), The Force Unleashed. Rogue Leader : Rogue Squadron 2, Republic Commando... Come to think of it, there have been a great many Star Wars games.

      Spider-Man 2 is still the best spidey game, the web mechanics were perfect.

      Spider-Man 1 was horrible, which only reinforces the awesomeness of the sequel.

        As in the awesome PS1 games or the ones based on the movies?

        I quite liked Spiderman 1 on GameCube. It also holds the prestigious honour of being the only Cube title I ever rented :P

        Spiderman 2 was unbelievably good. I recently picked up Amazing Spiderman 2 - had a lot of fun with it, pretty much the same web mechanics but with a skill tree/tons of alternate outfits/HD graphics. Probably a more enjoyable game overall.

      Fuck yeah Rogue Leader!

      Gotta be one of the most amazing launch titles ever too.

        They did magic on the graphics on that one. They were amazing. The AT-AT's walking through the water...the explosions...that level in the cosmic dust/cloud...

      X Wing vs. Tie Fighter

      Be still, my beating heart.

    I can't pick between World's Scariest Police Chases, and King Kong.

      King Kong that was actually really great!!!

    Knights of the Old Republic and Dark Forces would be my favorites.

    I really enjoyed the Jojo's Bizaare Adventure Fighting Game by Capcom. The one that came out on PS1. And I also like the Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm games.

    Witcher 3.

      Good point. The Witcher games are such a drastic case of Adaptation Displacement that most people don't even KNOW it's based on a book series.

    Alien: Isolation, I reckon.

    The Blade Runner graphic adventure that came out on PC years ago was pretty great, too.

    Oh, and I also loved the two LucasArts point-and-click Indiana Jones games (Last Crusade and Fate Of Atlantis).

    Last edited 27/08/15 11:44 am

      That Blade Runner game was fantastic. Glad to see it getting some love.

    South Park: The Stick of Truth. Great game, so glad it's getting a sequel.

    TIE Fighter.

      This! It's just gotta be something LucasArts anyway.

      Ooh yes, as long as you're talking about the CD version with the Defender Of The Empire expansion, if it doesn't have TIE Defenders and the ability to steal all of Vader's kills on that one mission where you're on his wing, it's not proper TIE Fighter... Out-killing the Dark Lord Of The Sith by 3:1 is one of my all time gaming highlights.

      X-Wing Alliance was another fantastic one, unlike most people I actually loved the majority of the family missions. I wish there'd been a space trading sim made on the back of it, like a cross between X2/Elite and the YT1300/YT2000 Azzameen missions

        XWA deserved more recognition than it got. The campaign was good and the multiplayer was awesome. Nothing quite like setting up a level with a Super Star Destroyer and a few squadrons of fighters and taking it all out with some friends.

      +1. Miles above X-Wing and XWvTF never grabbed me the same way. I'd love another TIE Fighter game, maybe with more expansion on the intrigue aspects.

        The actual gameplay and level design has aged incredibly well too. Still a fantastic game. The only part that's dated is the graphics.

        Also how about that music? None of the subsequent games had that dynamic iMUSE soundtrack. Very few games since have had music that dynamically and smoothly responds to the game situation like that - Red Dead Redemption's the only one I know of.

    I played something called Mario once, based off a movie with Bob Hoskins and Dennis Hopper in it.
    One of the few cases where the licensed tie-in was better than the property it was based on.

      I want to downvote that so badly. I just can't. Laughing too hard.

      Are you serious? The game completely changed the setting. Where was my dystopian society? Where were my massive dudes with small reptile heads?

      The bright colors and mushroom people were just... stupid!

        We're going to have to agree to disagree there, mate. I just can't be arsed having yet another online flame war with an immature, shit-stirring troll.

        Last edited 27/08/15 1:10 pm

          I can't tell if you picked up on what I was doing. I was playing along with your joke but pretending that game was too far removed from the movie as it's usually the other way around.

          Context on the Internet sucks haha.

            I could totally tell - I was continuing the joke :) No sane person could possibly think the dramatic changes from movie to game weren't entirely for the better.

    Sam and Max! Hit the road was an absolutely perfect adaptation of the comic's humour.

    Also seconding Scott Pilgrim. SCOTT PILGRIM! That game is one of my all time faves.

    Last edited 27/08/15 1:22 pm

      Oh, hell yes. I usually forget that Sam and Max was licensed, even though I have the comics. Love that game.

    *Puts on hipster hat*

    No love for Labyrinth? Hmph.

    Seriously though, I'm going to say The Walking Dead. It's not really a *great* game, but the amount of people who don't like games I've gotten to give it a go gets it serious points.

    Goldeneye was the shit though. I still can't remember a more fleshed out SP campaign in an FPS.

      The C64 version of Labyrinth was amazing! I'm glad I'm not the only person to remember it

        I loved it! I could nail that text part of it in seconds, knew it by heart. Never figured out as a kid how to get more rocks at the gates to the goblin village :'( stupid Ludo...

          That's exactly where I got stuck!

            Haha Labyrinth was awesome.

            How to make a Rock Video for the Firey's:
            Call Ludo
            Call Rocks
            Use Camcorder


      Have you played The Wolf Among Us? I have zero familiarity with the Fables comic (I haven't read Walking Dead either but I had seen the TV show so I knew the basic premise) but The Wolf Among Us was great, and actually makes me want to go check out Fables, which I understand just recently finished. There's hopefully a TWAU2 coming next year as well, once Borderlands and Game of Thrones are finished.

        I have and it's brilliant. A much better story as well. A villain reveal in that game meant something.

    Biker Mice from Mars obviously

      I always thought the 'Snickers' product placement was kind of ironic. Or did I dream that bit? (It's been almost two decades)

        Snickers was an integral part of the game. More satisfying than a Lim-Burger.

        It acted as Armor in the game.

        Last edited 27/08/15 6:23 pm

          Have you ever eaten a Snickers that's just been in the freezer? It's like biting into armor.

    True Lies on SNES was pretty good

    Also, could a licence also be based off a sport (team, league etc)?


      Yes!! I had no idea the developers were an Australian team and later formed Melbourne House.

        How did the developers of a game based on a 1994 movie go on to form a game company that was making games in the 1980's?

    Well Arkham Asylum was the first time where a licenced game really felt like it fully lived up to the potential it had. Others have been quite good but fell a bit short and some like Sam & Max were fantastic but stuff I'd never seen the source material for so I can't compare.

    Goldeneye was always overrated shit though, it was an adequate FPS on the world's worst controller but there was no sweet talking, no real stealth, no options on how to accomplish your mission... Nothing that says Bond to me. If you want a legitimately good Bond game, go for James Bond: Blood Stone, it does pretty much everything right even if there's a bit to much driving for my taste (but it was made by a racing game dev so it's understandable) and really feels like a proper Bond story.

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