Licensed Video Games That Were Actually Good [MUO Gaming]

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licensed games that are goodIf there is one thing licensed games are not typically known for, it’s quality. More often than not, licensed games are rushed to market to coincide with a movie or other major media release, and the developers are not given adequate time to create a game of any real quality. It’s not the developers fault, but sometimes the business side of gaming gets ahead of actually delivering quality games.

However, there are some licensed games that are really good – that actually break the mold and bring a shocking level of quality. Whether the quality of these games was just a stroke of luck, or the company responsible for them actually gave the team enough time to make a game worthy of the license, I can’t say. What I can say is that the games that follow are just good games, whether licensed or not.

If you skipped these because you saw a license attached to them, you should go back and give them a try, because they are really worth it.

DuckTales

We are going to start this off right with some old school NES goodness. Back in the ’80s, DuckTales was a really well made cartoon, and the game followed suit perfectly. The best game to compare DuckTales to is MegaMan, in that it’s a platformer that allows the player to tackle each level in any order they choose.

licensed games that are good

Every detail of this game is fantastic, from the gameplay to the music, and it’s one every gamer should experience at one point or another. The original NES game is actually pretty hard to find, but fear not, because Capcom just announced a high-definition remake of the game called DuckTales: Remastered, so gamers the world over will get to enjoy this classic on PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii U sometime this summer.

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Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City

Moving from the old to the new, we jump to the Arkham series, which is one of the best uses of a superhero in the history of gaming. Personally, I like the first game a little better, but there is also something very enjoyable about the open world nature of Arkham City as well. Either way, these games are fantastic, and well worth playing for all gamers.

licensed video games

Whether you are a hardcore Batman fan, or just a gamer looking for something awesome to play, you need to try both of these games. The combat is incredibly fun, the game has a good feel, and Mark Hamill even plays the Joker, which is just amazing. I could go on and on about why you need to play these games, but I will just leave it with this – these are not only among the best licensed games ever, they are some of the best games of the modern era.

Goldeneye 007

Goldeneye 007 is a game tied into a movie that is really, really good. In fact, Goldeneye is one of the games primarily responsible for figuring out how to make first person shooters work on the console, which means without it, we may not have games like Call of Duty and Halo, and a life without those games is just not a very good one.

licensed video games

Playing split-screen Goldeneye on the N64 is one of the most fun experiences I can recall in terms of multiplayer. Even all these years later with the Wii release, the game is still really good, and well worth playing for any gamer who fancies themselves a fan of first-person shooters. While the visuals may not hold up the best, the gameplay itself still works just fine.

Spider-Man 2

Another movie game? As hard to believe as it is, Spider-Man 2 for PS2, GameCube and Xbox was just grand. It kept some of the interesting story elements from the movie, and did a great job of making them work in a game. For the time, the visuals were top of the heap, and it’s a game that other developers making movie-based games should strive to be as good as.

licensed games that are good

The thing that really made Spider-Man 2 so awesome is the open gameplay. Swinging around the city as Spider-Man just felt great. The best mental picture I can paint to describe Spider-Man 2 is to call it Grand Theft Auto as a good guy with webs. As Spidey is swinging around the city doing his main missions, side quests pop up, which go a long way to extend the life of the game.

I can honestly say that I have yet to see a movie game reach the high mark set by Spider-Man 2, and I doubt I ever will.

Honorable Mention

Of course, there are more than just these four games that deserve mention, but I just can’t list them all. However, here are some that I think deserve notice, even if they are not quite as good as these four:

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game (NES)
  • Batman (NES)
  • Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay (Xbox, PC)
  • Aladdin (SNES, Genesis)
  • The Warriors (Xbox, PS2, PSP)

Your Turn

Obviously, I know there are more, so I turn to you – what licensed games do you think deserve a mention? Hit the comments section below and let us know!

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Comments (7)
  • Austin H

    The Simpson’s Arcade game was a side scrolling beat-em-up blast! Whacking thugs with Bart’s skateboard was some of the funnest memories I have of playing videogames.

  • BiG eViL…….

    those games were definitely good thought i have not played them all. one honorable mention which i can recall is a recent title. 007 Blood Stone, it was a very good game despite a lackluster multiplayer. the single player experience was great especially the car chases.

  • MrViC1

    That is Scrooge McDuck on the first picture… Right?

  • Lim3Fru1t

    I wonder why you didn’t include telltales the walking dead. It is in my opinion one of the best licensed video games. :)

  • Edward Goldblatt

    I think that you missed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Turtles in Time. It’s everything that the “The Arcade Game” was, only moreso. Of course, there’s also a little series called Marvel vs. Capcom, which includes the eponymous games as well as Marvel Super Heroes, Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter, and X-Men: Children of the Atom.

    Alien Vs. Predator (Arcade!) was great, the four characters actually felt different and you had some of the best teamwork gameplay I’ve seen in a beat-‘em-up outside of Double Dragon.

    Dungeons & Dragons – Eye of the Beholder (PC and GBA). These games manage to, with one player only, encapsulate the feel of the Forgotten Realms, and really without these there never would have been a Baldur’s Gate or a Neverwinter Nights (either the AOL or the BioWare one).

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This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.