Top 5 Best Licensed Games

If you’ve read my last Top 5 list then you know when it comes to licensed games, I don’t have much respect for the genre.  We all know that most of these games are released to capitalize on either the hype or popularity of a book series, movie, or TV show.  More often than not the reason for their less than stellar reputation is because these games have a limited budgets and strict timelines.  In an effort to strike while the iron is hot the developers tend to skimp on quality control and the end result is dismissed as just typical of the genre.  But there are licensed games that buck the trend.  They aren’t just good for licensed games, they are great in their own right.  Here’s my list of the top 5 best licensed video games.


5.  Aladdin (Genesis)

I am truly a child of the 90’s and my favorite Disney movie is Aladdin.  I loved it as a kid and drove my parents crazy until they bought me the game.  It was a simple side scrolling adventure that had amazing graphics and an amazing hand-drawn look.  The action sequences were great with the best moment being when you flew Carpet through the Cave of Wonders to escape a horrible lava death.  You really played through the movie and you felt the developers dedication to getting it right.  Aladdin showed that if you made some effort it wasn’t that hard to capture what fans loved about the original medium in game form.


4.  DuckTales (NES)

Now let me say that I was too young to hold a controller when this game was released in 1989 but I loved the DuckTales as a kid and playing the game was an enlightening experience.  Made by the same team that brought us Mega Man you can see the quality in the work.  DuckTales even shares some of the same traits that you see in the original Mega Man games.  It’s got solid gameplay, great music, and the option to play through any level you want in any order.  It’s a classic and if you haven’t played it then pick up the remastered version when it hits either the PS3, WiiU, and PC on August 13th or the Xbox 360 version on September 11th of this year.


3.  Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (Xbox/PC)

While there have been missteps, for the most part the Star Wars games are known for their quality.  But Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic stands above them all as the best.  This game brought us one of the key features of a Bioware game by being fully voice acted and luckily the actors all a great job.  The gameplay is incredibly smooth, the storyline is deep and really easy to get absorbed in.  If you haven’t played it yet, well the Force compels you.


2.  Batman: Arkham Asylum (PS3/X360/PC)

Superhero games have not faired well in recent years but the Batman: Arkham series has risen to become the standard that they are all trying to live up to.  And when you have Paul Dini, author of not only Batman comics but the beloved television series (my favorite show of all time) writing your script, you’re already halfway to creating an exceptional game. The combat system feels effortless as Batman pounces from target to target, the fighting is rough and gritty, and fans who haven’t read the comics get an in-depth look at how fractured The Bat’s psyche is.  A great script combined with flawless game mechanics makes Arkham Asylum the best superhero video game ever made.


1.  Goldeneye 007 (N64)

Now I know that some of you won’t agree with this decision, but if you’re an FPS fan from the 90’s then there’s a great chance that you’ve played Goldeneye 007.  It had a great single-player campaign that had solid stealth elements that really put you into the shoes of Bond.  But what it’s most remembered for is the split-screen multiplayer campaign.  It had various game modes, cheat codes that enhanced gameplay, and for gamers was one of the best examples of what multiplayer could be.  While the actual movie wasn’t that great, it’s easy to see why Goldeneye 007 has stayed as one of the top examples of what an FPS should be.