It’s been 10 years since the very first Iron Man movie made headway. It was the first film that started the whole Marvel Cinematic Universe series that captivated movie-going audiences and made comic book movies serious business. And it’s good too, especially since these heroes, who ended up forming into the supergroup The Avengers, deserve their big break into the mainstream limelight.
Let’s not forget that before all of this, the Avengers were in different cartoon shows and video games, with most of them getting varying degrees of fanfare. And they’re mostly forgettable.
To celebrate the release of the final movie in the 10-year Marvel Cinematic Universe saga, let’s list down our favourite Avenger moments in video game history be it the arcades or the home consoles.
Read More: The Best Video Game Giants
That Time They Were In An Arcade Game
Thank you Data East for creating a simple yet fun beat-em-up featuring Captain America, Iron Man, Vision, and Hawkeye. In Captain America and the Avengers, you fight a bunch of robots and a lot of supervillains like Whirlwind(?), Red Skull, Ultron, The Mandarin, and Crossbones, who is somehow more powerful than half of the guys listed. More powerful than supervillains who have lasers and wind coming out of their fingertips. Video games, right?
Quicksilver gave you powerups to help you out. You get to go on flying 2D sidescroller shooting missions where Captain America and Hawkeye are the only ones on hoverbikes. We think they’re hoverbikes.
That Time When Capcom Took A Stab At Them
Marvel Super Heroes for the arcade might as well be called The Avengers, because half the roster is from that superhero stable. We have Captain America, Iron Man, and The Hulk, each of them with their own special moves and playing style. If you want to dig into your comic book lore, Spider-Man and Wolverine were Avengers once.
MSH takes place during the Infinity Gauntlet saga, meaning that they are Infinity Stones to power up your heroes during a fight, and you face off against Doctor Doom and Thanos as final bosses. There’s also a side-scroller on the SNES with the same name, also done up by Capcom. It also was a decent if standard game.
Still, great job with this, Capcom.
That Time They Were In A Four-Player Beat-Em-Up RPG
Marvel Ultimate Alliance, and its sequel that was more focused on a version of the comic’s Civil War saga, was a godsend for comic book fans. You have 23+ superheroes to play as, and a ton of supervillains to pummel as bosses. Best of all, you get to grind for loot to power up your favourite superheroes.
You can even form your own team; naturally, everyone just picked Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, and Hulk, and just rolled with it for the entire campaign.
That Time When They Were In Lego Form
With the Marvel Cinematic Universe being built up since 2008, it’s only a matter of time until the LEGO franchise ride that wave. After LEGO Batman, they got on board the Marvel train with LEGO Marvel Superheroes and a sequel.
Imagine seeing Captain America and Iron Man in LEGO form breaking apart supervillains while collecting bricks to build stuff. What’s really cool about these games is that they include not just the main Avengers, but also new, former members and obscure Marvel heroes like Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel, Agent Venom, and Spider-Woman. It’s perfect for movie fans, game fans, comic book and pop culture fans of all ages.
That Time They Were In A Kinect Game
The less said about Avengers: Battle For Earth, the better. It was a shallow game that had a simple motion control scheme meant for waggling and for a party crowd. Perfect when drunk, not much for anything else.
That Time Capcom Took Another Stab At Them
10 years later, gamers got their 3v3 fighting game fix in the form of Marvel vs. Capcom 3. And this time, we have the fab four Avengers on the roster, finally. After all, this is the first game where Thor was a playable character in a 3v3 Capcom game. The game itself was awesome, thanks to its incredibly frenetic 3v3 gameplay and colourful roster, as well as an epic final boss battle featuring Galactus the World Eater.
Capcom also released a sequel to that game in 2017, Marvel vs Capcom Infinite, where they brought back the Infinity Stones mechanic and made it much better, as well as streamlined the fighting to a 2v2 fare with better controls and high levels of execution.
Too bad the aesthetics and game modes took a hit, to the point where the community couldn’t be bothered with the game months after the game was out. The fact that the roster did not feature X-Men characters didn’t help too.
That Time They Went Big On Mobile (And Still Are)
Marvel Puzzle Quest. Marvel Strike Force. Marvel Contest of Champions. The F2P gaming market is always booming, so why shouldn’t Marvel capitalize on the effectiveness of these games reaching the mass market? These games have lasted for a long time since their inception a few years back, with Marvel Strike Force being the latest. Odds are with its mechanics, it will last for a few more years.
Like it or not, this is basically the fate of the Avengers (and every other Marvel hero who was in that group) in the realm of video games: free-to-play titles with hero/gacha monetization.