Aliens Infestation

6. Aliens: Infestation (2011)

Platform: Nintendo DS

Developer: WayForward/Gearbox Software 

Publisher: Sega

It’s embarrassing that it took this long for a developer to realize that a Metroidvania title was a good fit for the Alien franchise. It’s so obvious in retrospect!

Sadly, this game was released just as everyone was picking up the shiny new Nintendo 3DS, and it’s still relatively unknown. But if you were let down by Metroid: Other M, this might have been just what you needed. It’s not an exact clone, but it sure looks similar. You command a team of four marines, each of whom can die, permanently. You can find other marines to take their place, but still – it’s hard to let them go. Every single playable character is unique, and their animations (as well as those of the aliens) are all great. Some control issues aside (those aliens are a lot faster than the marines!) this is a criminally underplayed title, and one that we can only hope gets revisited in the future.

Alien 3 Genesis

5. Alien 3 (1992)

Platforms: SNES, Genesis, Amiga

Developer: Probe Software

Publisher: Sega

There’s no reason this game should have been as good as it was. This was the era of lousy movie tie-ins hitting Genesis and SNES every week, usually ripping off a more popular game, plopping in a film’s main character and calling it a day.

Alien 3 did more. Sure, the game barely follows the plot of the movie – it’s basically Ripley playing through Aliens with less hair – but it’s exciting, scary, and frantic. It’s a side-scrolling shooter that has you trying to save people from becoming the next alien incubators and struggling to find useful weapons and items. A time limit means you’re constantly trying to move quickly to save your fellow prisoners. The SNES port is prettiest, but any version is amazing if you can get your hands on it.

Alien Vs Predator Arcade

4. Alien vs. Predator (1994)

Platform: Arcade

Developer and Publisher: Capcom

This side-scrolling beat ’em up would have been better titled Aliens vs Predators and Humans, as it sees the two races teaming up to fight an unstoppable threat. Three players can crowd around the arcade cabinet to play as one of four characters, two predators or two humans, and then you’re off to kill hundreds of Xenomorphs.

And there really are hundreds of enemies – the game kicks off by positively filling the screen with them, although the drones go down pretty easy. Like Konami’s previous Aliens game, it falls into the pit of the usual arcade-game cheap shots, but this game features some really fun battles and even sees you fighting against evil military soldiers who want to weaponize the alien. It helps that the characters all have different abilities, giving you reasons to try them all out until you find a favorite. Ostensibly a tie-in for the comic book which was itself a tie-in to the movie that never materialized until nearly a decade later, the game doesn’t feel like an Alien game, but it sure is fun.

avp pinball

3. Aliens Vs Pinball (2016)

Platform: PS4, PS3, PS Vita, Xbox 360, Xbox One, iOS, Android, Mac, PC

Developer and Publisher:  Zen Studios

Available via Zen Pinball 2 or as its own standalone game, this three-table pack somehow manages to capture the feel of each of the movies it’s replicating.

First of all there’s Aliens, a table whose ball launcher is the mobile command center and comes smashing through the bottom of the table. This is the fastest and most exciting table of the pack, one whose ramps guarantee that you’re constantly in motion and trying to fight some new threat. Aliens Vs. Predator features all the “story” from the film. It’s a slower, longer game with more hidden puzzles to unearth. There are magnets that mess with your aim and hidden areas to find.

The Alien Isolation table is stealth-based and all about precision shots. That sounds silly for a pinball game but it’s true – occasionally, the alien will stalk the actual table, making you hit the ball to hide in a closet before it sees you and knocks some of your health off. Pop-up Android enemies can also haunt the board, and they spin around, allowing you to get a stealth attack on their backs. There’s even puzzles that you’ll have to crack to bypass doors and weapons to craft.

It all adds up to one of the most fun Zen Pinball packs, and oddly, one of the only Alien games that actually feels like Alien.

Aliens Versus Predator

2. Aliens Versus Predator (1999)

Platform: PC

Developer: Rebellion Developments

Publisher: Fox Interactive

This first person shooter is not only is this one of the finest Alien games ever made, it’s still the best Predator game.

Three different campaigns allow you to to play as the Alien, Predator, or Space Marine, each of them offering a far different style of play and plot. This is a FPS before Half-Life and thus, it’s unconcerned with cutscenes and events. It’s all about killing lots of enemies and flipping switches as you go. But even today, this game makes you genuinely anxious, utilizing lighting effects to emphasize shadows and increase your fear of what may be lurking in them.

This is a remake of the Atari Jaguar version, which was known as the system’s finest game, and is currently available under the title Aliens Versus Predator Classic 2000.

Alien Isolation Ripley

1. Alien Isolation (2014)

Platform: PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC, Mac

Developer: Creative Assembly

Publisher: Sega

It took decades, but it turns out that bringing the series back to basics made for the most authentic Alien experience to date. After game after game that threw dozens upon dozens of aliens at you, Isolation offers you only…one.

While it’s technically a sequel starring Amanda Ripley, Ellen Ripley’s daughter (who Ellen finds out died while she was away in stasis between the first two films), this is still the most faithful Alien game ever made. The atmosphere it provides and sense of fear it invokes is better than most horror games and it just goes to show you how much of a terrifying experience the original film was in the first place. It’s one thing to be an trained space marine armed with smart guns and shotguns, and quite another to be alone and hiding from something made for killing.

Fans would be smart to pick up the first DLC mission, called Crew Expendable, which retells the actual story of Alien with most of the original cast members providing their voices.

Pages: Previous page 1 2 3

Cool Posts From Around the Web: