With the release of Aliens: Colonial Marines this week, we thought it would be a good time to take a look back at some of the best games released so far in the Aliens franchise across the years. You can also check out our full review of Aliens: Colonial Marines, as well as all of the rest of our coverage of the game this week at our Aliens: Colonial Marines Central.
Here is our short list of the five best games ever released from the Aliens franchise;
Alien 3 (SNES/Amiga/MegaDrive 1992)
Don’t get me wrong; I hated the third movie, but the actual game, developed by Probe, was superb. I played through the game on MegaDrive, although the SNES version was superior, but whichever version you played(even the actually quite good GameGear release), this was a good-looking action platform game with Aliens that felt like a real, genuine threat. Sure, the multiple Aliens and guns didn’t really tally with the plot of the film, but when the actual film doesn’t tally up with its own plot, who cares? A lovingly crafted game that has to rank as one of the best in the series.
Alien Vs Predator (PC 1999)
This is the 1999 Rebellion release, and it is included here purely for the first hour of play. You wake up in a dark room, and must pick your way around an empty base in near total darkness, with jets of steam scaring the daylights out of you, until you eventually find your way outside, and really start to wonder where the first Alien attack is going to come from. When it does eventually arrive, it really is brown trousers time. Really, truly scary, and while the rest of the game doesn’t quite live up to this first hour, with the Alien and Predator levels pretty poor, it is still an excellent release.
Alien Vs Predator (Jaguar 1994)
This was also developed by Rebellion, five years before the PC game and with far, far weaker visuals and the woeful Atari Jaguar pad to deal with. Yet, it really is a stonking little game, and is also extremely difficult. You can spend hours just trying to find an assault rifle, and it is probably the only Aliens game that is more of a freeform survival adventure. You pick your way around levels, desperate for ammo and health learning the layout of the game and avoiding Predators at all costs. Again, playing as anything other than the marine is a waste of time, but a surprisingly good game, even now.
Alien Trilogy (PlayStation One 1996)
Yes, it is possible to make a decent Aliens FPS console game, and yes, Colonial Marines I am looking at you. Alien Trilogy was scary, tough and had plenty of levels. Every encounter was dangerous and a challenge, and the visuals were some of the best ever for PSOne. The second game on this list developed by Probe, Alien Trilogy should have been a blueprint of how to develop an Aliens FPS game: slow, quiet, suspenseful exploring interspersed with desperate fights with relentless Aliens. I wish Gearbox had played this before starting work on Colonial Marines.
Aliens (Arcade 1990)
I had to include this on the list, as it was a brilliant, over the top action game that had little to do with Aliens aside from some theming here and there. Think Double Dragon with guns and hundreds of Aliens, and you will know what to expect with this one. Chunky sprites, fan references, a tip-top two player mode and more guns than you can shake a facehugger at, this is proof that not all games in this franchise have to be po-faced and shocking. There is a video below for you viewing pleasure. Enjoy.
Editor and founder of VoxelArcade and The Smartphone App Review. Favourite games: Uridium 2, Frontier: Elite II, Sensible World of Soccer, Far Cry 3, Zelda: Ocarina, Metroid Prime, Solar Quest, F-Zero GX, Monkey Island 2 and Tetris.