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Reviewing Wolverine’s Best and Worst Video Game Appearances

Wolverine artwork - Wolverine video games ranked, the four best and worst

Since he first appeared in 1974, Wolverine has starred in comic books, movies, animated series, and more. He’s also appeared in plenty of video games over the years, but which Wolverine video games are the best and worst?

As the most iconic X-Man, Wolverine has appeared in his fair share of video games.

Love him or loathe him, Logan’s a terrific fit for action-packed games: he’s armed with indestructible claws, gifted with a handy healing ability, and plays by his own rules. Whether he’s headlining a solo adventure or working as part of a team, Wolverine’s always a pleasure to control … unless the game itself sucks.

With plenty of excitement surrounding Hugh Jackman’s (alleged) final turn as the mutton-chopped beast in Logan, there’s still a huge amount of love for the character, and we’ll always love stepping into his boots for a little virtual slicing-and-dicing.

Feeling inspired to try some Wolverine video games? Well, join us for a look at his four best and four worst, covering both solo and team-based titles.

Wolverine Video Games: Best – X-Men Legends

Before X-Men Legends, everyone’s favorite mutants had mainly starred in 2D platformers and fighting games. This isometric action-RPG was a breath of fresh air when it came along in 2004, and it’s still one of Wolverine’s best game appearances.

Sure, it was followed by a bigger sequel in 2005, but for my money, the original is still the strongest. This has all you want from an X-Men game, tossing in playable flashbacks of Logan’s escape from the Weapon X program, frantic street-fights with Sentinels, and an almighty finale set abroad Asteroid M.

While you can choose from plenty of X-Men when building your team of four, it’s a safe bet that most of us opted for Wolverine. Not only was he given just the right amount of strength and powerful berserker attacks, but his range of costumes were terrific.

Wolverine Video Games: Worst – X-Men: The Last Stand

Without a doubt, X-Men: The Last Stand on the Nintendo DS remains one of the worst games ever made.

Never played it? Count yourself lucky. For those unfortunate souls who actually paid money for this travesty, the memories may be hard to shake.

Everything about this was off. From the abysmal graphics to the dodgy controls, X-Men: The Last Stand made playing as Logan about as much fun as pulling teeth (adamantium ones, too).

Wolverine Video Games: Best – X-Men Arcade

X-Men Arcade video game image - Wolverine Video GamesThis little slice of X-gaming history is still a blast today and is easily one of Wolverine’s strongest virtual outings.

When it was first released in arcades, X-Men Arcade was the first six-player game, making it something of a novelty. In recent years, the game was ported to mobile devices, and it still holds up brilliantly on smaller screens.

Wolverine wears his iconic brown-and-orange togs too, and is one of the best characters to play as, not least because he looks so awesome.

Wolverine Video Games – Worst: Wolverine

This NES game is as hard and generic as you’d expect. While the graphics still look pretty nice today, the infuriating platforming and strange island setting make it pretty hard to love.

One nice touch is having Wolverine swim, which we don’t get to see very often, and his classic costume looks great. Sadly, though, you’ll be disappointed if you came for claws – Logan’s health drops whenever he has them out. With that in mind, you need to limit your usage, which makes the whole thing feel a tad Wolverine-lite.

Wolverine Video Games: Best – Marvel Vs Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds

Now we’re talking!

MVSC3: Fate of Two Worlds is an awesome fighting game, featuring one of the coolest, strongest, most animalistic Wolverines yet.

For those of you who’ve never played this game, fights take the form of three-on-three epics, with players able to switch between characters at the tap of a button. You can team Logan with X-23 (who’s actually even better), Deadpool, Spider-Man, the Hulk. Hell, you can even team him with such legendary Capcom stars as Chris Redfield, Dante, and Viewtiful Joe.

For Wolverine completists, you can also choose from a great variety of costumes, including his grey X-Force outfit (with creepy red eyes). A must-play for fans.

Wolverine Video Games: Worst – X-Men: The Official Game

Ugh.

Okay, so we’ve already talked about how painful the DS version of X-Men: The Last Stand was. However, the console counterpart (titled ‘The Official Game’, as if there were a horde of unofficial ones on shop shelves) is pretty shocking too.

While it’s far, far better than the DS version, that’s not such high praise. For a start, the choice of playable characters is somewhat lame: just Wolverine, Nightcrawler, and Iceman. That’s it. Remember how the film was filled with dozens of mutants (albeit all weirdly clad in the same black clothes)? Yeah. Something of a wasted opportunity.

Wolverine himself looks pretty good, but everything about the game just feels limp and weak. You never get the sense you’re controlling one of the most fierce, dangerous mutants on the planet.


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Wolverine Video Games: Best – Marvel: Ultimate Alliance

Marvel: Ultimate Alliance was made in the mold of the X-Men Legends games, but encompassed the entire Marvel universe.

The result is a terrific game that allows you to team the most beloved characters however you like. Naturally, Logan’s one of the strongest and most fun to control, especially when paired with other badasses like Blade, Deadpool, and Daredevil.

Wolverine Video Games: Worst – Spider-Man and the X-Men in Arcade’s Revenge

This is a hard game to hate, given how colorful and silly it all is, but it’s not easy to love either.

This game is split into five sections, each based around a specific character – Spider-Man, Wolverine, Storm, Cyclops, and Gambit. While the heroes look as they should and have the abilities you’d expect, the game’s structure ruins the whole thing.

For a start, it’s incredibly difficult to get through, and pretty unforgiving. Second, the settings are just too bizarre: as Wolverine, you’re trapped in a huge fun-house, which doesn’t feel like the best pick. We know Arcade probably knows this, but guiding Wolverine through a candy-coloured mess with clown imagery is just … off.

Couldn’t they have come up with something more striking and exciting? Like a world of nightmares filled with freaky monsters? How about one set in Japan, Wolverine’s irregular stomping ground?

Another wasted opportunity!

Final Thoughts on Wolverine Video Games

Before I finish, I wanted to give X-Men Origins: Wolverine an honorable mention. While it’s not a particularly great game, this is one of the most distinctive Logan-simulators we’ve had so far. The big reason it works? The violence.

For the first time in a game, Wolverine’s claws dismember enemies and cause real damage. As a fan, it makes a nice change and has plenty to teach future Wolverine games.

As you can see, there are some great Wolverine video games worth your time, from 16-bit brawlers to immersive RPG-adventures. You should be able to track any of these down without too much trouble, so what are you waiting for?

Happy clawing!

Featured Image: courtesy of Uncanny Knack

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