It used to be that for every big budget action flick and superhero movie hitting theaters, there would be a companion video game hitting stores as well. And while a lot of them were pretty terrible (we’re looking at you, Thor), some were actually fun (hi there, Captain America: The First Avenger).
Which is why, despite all the disappointment, we’re still bummed that many of these recent films didn’t get their own games. With that in mind, we’ve concocted this list of big budget action flicks and superhero movies that should’ve gotten companion video games, and what we think those games should’ve been. Because while no one wants another Thor, another Captain America would suit us fine.
THE MOVIE: ‘AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON’
The game it could have been like: ‘Diablo’
Granted, 2006’s Marvel: Ultimate Alliance and its sequel already were Diablo-esque games featuring The Avengers and their Marvel Comics co-workers, while such mobile games as Marvel Heroes and Marvel Mighty Heroes are doing the same thing on your iPad these days. And let’s not forget Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes.
But that doesn’t mean we don’t want to play a deeper and more mature action-RPG on a console or computer where we’d get to smack Hydra’s minions as Black Widow and Hulk like they did in the beginning of the movie, or someone else’s minions [no spoilers] as Thor and Captain America like they did at the end.
THE MOVIE: ‘THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF FIVE ARMIES’
The game it could have been like: ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
When the Lord of the Rings movies came out, Electronic Arts released a couple of third-person, hack & slash action games that were pretty fun. So we don’t know why there wasn’t one for this movie, or the other Hobbit films, given how there’s that big battle at the end of Armies and plenty of other things to whack.
Especially if, along with being the badass dwarf Thorin Oakensheild, you also got to be that spry elf Tauriel, the sneaky Bilbo, and the magic man, Gandalf. It’s practically a video game already.
THE MOVIE: ‘CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER’
The game it could have been like: ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’
Released in conjunction with the movie, Captain America: The First Avenger expanded on Cap’s time in World War II with a good mix of fisticuffs and acrobatics, kind of like if Lara Croft took fist fighting lessons from Batman. So we see no reason why they couldn’t have done more of the same with Captain America: The Winter Soldier—especially if they had him going on missions like the boat infiltration scene that kicked off the movie in grand style. Or maybe just make Black Widow game and let us play as the nimble Russian assassin instead.
THE MOVIE: ‘EDGE OF TOMORROW’
The game it could have been like: ‘Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’
With power armor, space invaders, and a fun time mechanic that brings you back to the start, Edge of Tomorrow is basically a video game already. And since Tom Cruise never lets anyone use his face but him, the switch from third- to first-person would work nicely.
They could even expand the story with elements from Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s original novel, All You Need is Kill. Though, having said all that, it would need to change things from the movie a little, since having to start the game over from the beginning every time you die would get really tiresome after a while.
THE MOVIE: ‘THE WOLVERINE’
The game it could have been like: ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’
By combining the hack & slash action of a God of War game with a character who is all about the hackin’ and the slashin’, 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine was one of those rare instances where a game was way better than the movie that inspired it.
Heck, that game was better than most other games that came out in 2009, which is why it should’ve been a no-brainer to turn The Wolverine into the same kind of game. Especially since the movie has such fun fight scenes, like the one on the bullet train and the (spoiler alert?) boss fight at the end.
THE MOVIES: ‘STAR TREK’ AND ‘STAR TREK: INTO DARKNESS’
The game they could have been like: ‘Mass Effect’
Given how the Mass Effect games were basically Star Trek already, making a Star Trek version of Mass Effect seems like a no-brainer.
Obviously, you couldn’t play as FemKirk (like the “FemShep” some players use in the games), and you’d have to come up with a reason why Spock and pals are always going on shooting sprees (which I’ve already figured out; call me, J.J.), but on the flipside, you could easily adapt a lot of the original series episodes into one-off away missions. And Kirk is no stranger to the seduction game like Shepard likes to play so much.
THE MOVIE: ‘SKYFALL’
The game it could have been like: ‘Batman: Arkham City’
Here’s another no-brainer: a stealth-action shooter starring everyone’s favorite gentleman spy, James Bond. Granted, Bond is more prone to wearing tuxedos than a cape and cowl, and is more into guns than boomerangs, but he’s just as nimble, also drives a cool car, and has many of the same toys. He’s also, like The Dark Knight, an orphan, always willing to sacrifice himself for the greater good. And he works with a handy old man…hey, wait a minute….
Paul Semel has been writing about games (as well as music, movies, books, and other fun stuff) for over twenty years. You can find him online on his own site, paulsemel.com, or follow him on Twitter at @paulsemel.