The 15 Wackiest Video Game Crossovers
This week saw the release of Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, and despite an understandable amount of skepticism about merging two very different franchises, the game's pretty great! Jeff Marchiafava reviewed it for us, scoring it an 8.5 and saying "I was as skeptical as anyone when I heard the words 'Mario' and 'XCOM' uttered in the same sentence, but Kingdom Battle didn’t just prove me wrong – it ended up being my favorite Mario game in recent years. Nintendo and Ubisoft took a big risk working together outside their comfort zones, and that risk paid off. "
As many of GI's editors have been blasting rabbids and collecting coins across the Mushroom Kingdom, we've also been thinking about some of the most oddball crossovers in video games that have happened over the years. Here are the 15 zaniest ones we found.
Mortal Kombat Takes On The Justice League
A few years before Injustice: God Among Heroes and a the reboot of Mortal Kombat arrived, Midway pitted the two franchises against one another in Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. While the idea of having Raiden and Superman square off against one another might sound strange, the game proved to be a great peanut-butter-and-chocolate kind of combination thanks to the absurd hijinks that underlie both franchises.
The Anime Boys Are Back In (Assassin) Town
During Gamescom, Ubisoft revealed it was teaming up with Square Enix to host an Assassin's Creed festival in Final Fantasy XV that would give Noctis his very own piece of clothing inspired by the series. Best of all: The DLC is free. What's to hate? You can watch us play the content here.
Link Slashes His Way Into Soulcalibur
Over the years, Namco's popular fighting game series has seen a number of playable "guest" characters from other franchises and mediums: Kratos, Darth Vader, Yoda, Spawn, Ezio Auditore. However, the most famous given Nintendo's ostensible hesitance with loaning him out to other series is probably Link, who was a playable character in the Gamecube version of SoulCalibur II.
Metal Gear Banana
Keeping with Metal Gear's inclination toward zaniness, Metal Gear Solid 3 contained a minigame that had Naked Snake trying to hunt down those lovely little rascals from Ape Escape. Unfortunately, this version of the game is not available on the modern rereleases of Metal Gear Solid 3 due to licensing issues, so you'll have to track down a PS2 copy to play it.
It's Good To Be The King
Tony Hawk 5 was not a good game. However, it easily had the strangest unlockable character in a series filled with interesting unlockable characters like Darth Maul, Iron Man, the Grim Reaper, and even the Doom Guy. However, 5 takes the cake because it has King Graham from The Odd Gentlemen's new version of King's Quest. There's nothing wrong with him (he's actually quite a lovable character), but he sure does stand out when compared with the likes of Spider-Man and Jango Fett.
Catching Them All In Feudal Japan
As our own Kyle Hilliard wrote in his review, "Pokémon Conquest is a crossover between the Japanese tactical series Nobunaga’s Ambition and Pokémon." There's not really much more I can say about why that's weird outside of that sentence, y'all.
Talking With Demons In Tokyo
Before it became the weird word salad with a random hashtag thrown in, Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE was known as Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem, a pairing of two ridiculously difficult Japanese series in different genres. The end result was a fantastic dungeon crawler incorporating J-Pop elements. You can read Kim Wallace's review here.
Mario & Sonic Square Off...At The Olympics
Mario & Sonic At The Olympic Games is essentially a collection of minigames that star our beloved mascots going for the gold at the 2008 Summer Olympics. Despite its weird premise, the game did well, selling over 10 million copies and launching a series of sequels that focus on Mario & Sonic at the various Olympic Games throughout the years.
Crossing Pixelated Streams
One of the earliest notable crossover titles, Battletoads & Double Dragon is a largely forgettable affair outside of the fact that Rare took two video game franchises, one about some buff toads and another about wannabe martial artists, and mashed them together like two dolls being forced to kiss.
The One With The Car
Fighters Megamix was a 1996 fighter featuring characters from across a number of Sega properties including Virtua Fighter, Virtua Cop 2, and fighting Vipers. Oh yeah, and the car from Daytona USA. Sure. Why not?
The Grandest Toybox Of All
Part of Lego's appeal is the brand's wide spread over a huge number of franchises from film, literature, and video games, so it makes sense that there would be a game that focuses on bringing all those disparate elements together in an almost fan-fictiony context. Lego Dimensions is a superb (if pricey) realization of that dream, letting you play around with the likes of Scooby Doo's Shaggy, Batman, The Goonies, and characters from Portal all in the same world.
Charting Out A Whole New World
Probably the most infamous crossover in video games. Square Enix's long-running (and convoluted) mashup of Disney properties and Final Fantasy and other Square Enix RPGs has won over countless gamers, and it's hard not to see why thanks to its colorful aesthetic, fun action, and humor. Now, we just wish it didn't take a flow chart to understand how to play the series.
God Of The 9 Iron
A goofy and fun golf game series, Hot Shots has featured a number of unlockable characters of the years including Sweet Tooth and Gex. Our personal favorite though? The cranky God of War himself, Kratos.
Wario and Bomberman seem like a demented match made in heaven and Wario Blast lived up to that combo, proving to be one of the quirkiest games to be released for the original gameboy. The game made the most of its strong crossover design, resulting one of the most fun puzzlers you could play on the go in 1994.
Tatsunoko vs. Capcom
Capcom is no stranger to interesting crossovers, with Marvel Vs Capcom being one of its most notable series. However, the strangest crossover the company has ever done is with the anime production company Tatsunoko, essentially creating a fighting game centered around Capcom favorite characters like Viewtiful Joe and Frank West going head-to-head with characters from popular anime Casshan, Hurrican Polymar, and Gatchaman.
What are some of your favorite crossovers? Let us know in the comments below!