The video game industry is made up of a multitude of franchises, series, and IPs from various publishing companies. These offerings generally stick to their own titles and functions within their specific set of universes.
However, sometimes one video game property intersects with another or intellectual property from a different media franchise.
These crossovers are some of the biggest events in video games, as they see characters from different series and franchises interact with each other. For fans of both franchises in these crossovers, these events have become a surreal experience as they finally see some of their favorite characters come together.
Video game crossovers aren’t uncommon these days, as many titles include additional content that features characters from outside their world. While not all of these events turn out to be significant, this list takes a look at five of the most innovative crossovers in video game history.
Note: This article reflects the views of the author.
Five most exciting video game crossovers of all time
1) Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe
Mortal Kombat games have long been developed by Midway Games, and this installment was the company’s latest entry. In partnership with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, the developer crossed paths with DC to release Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, where the various realms of the Mortal Kombat world were merged with iconic DC locations.
The gameplay was similar to any Mortal Kombat title, with different characters having a distinct fighting style and featuring finishing moves. While MK characters delivered their signature deaths, DC characters received “Hurts,” intended to be non-fatal versions of deaths, in keeping with their comic book status.
The narrative sees MK antagonist Shao Kahn merge with DC’s Darkseid and form a being that threatens both worlds. While the two worlds initially blamed each other for this predicament, they had to put their differences aside to work together and defeat the forces of Dark Kahn.
After Midway sold the rights to the franchise to WB Interactive Entertainment following the game’s release, Netherrelam Studios took over development of the Mortal Kombat titles. After rebooting the series, they also released a DC fighting game, Injustice, which also achieved some success and popularity.
2) Street Fighter x Teken
Developed by Capcom, the title saw two of the most important fighting games face off. As the name suggests, Street Fighter x Tekken brings together Bandai Namco’s Tekken characters and Capcom’s Street Fighter line in one original story.
The title offers a wide selection of characters, with both franchises being faithfully represented. The unique fighting styles of different characters in both franchises are retained, and players can experience both iconic Tekken combat and supermoves-centric Street Fighter style, all in one game.
The larger narrative surrounding this game and how the two franchises come together is somewhat lackluster. The story is explained by hand and it is best left out as users can just play versus modes to get the most out of this video game.
3) Super Smash Bros.
Developer Nintendo offers this spectacular crossover event of epic proportions. Super Smash Bros. is a video game series that sees characters from Nintendo’s vast collection of IPs, as well as other third-party franchises like Street Fighter, Final Fantasy, Castlevania, Sonic the Hedgehog, and more, go head-to-head.
It is a 2D fighting title where players can select any character from the impressive roster and play locally with another player or online.
Unlike most fighting games, Super Mash Bros. does not have a health bar. Instead, a damage total is represented by a percentage.
As users are hit, this percentage increases, increasing their knockback range, eventually seeing them knocked out of the arena when the percentage reaches the maximum.
There has been no real explanation as to why all these different IPs and video game franchises have crossed paths. However, former Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata had his own canon for this. He thinks they are simply toys put together by their owner.
4) Marvel vs. Capcom
Publishing company Capcom broke many pop culture barriers in 1996 when it stepped into the Street Fighter universe with Marvel’s X-Men. It was a 2D fighting game that saw many famous characters from the X-Men lineup face off against iconic Street Fighter characters.
The title kicked off a new series for Capcom to follow, eventually named Marvel vs. Capcom.
Successive games in the series have further expanded the roster for both sides, including Marvel characters in addition to the X-Men. Characters like Spider-Man, various Avengers, and even relatively obscure characters like Blade have appeared in future games, expanding the Marvel lineup.
In terms of the overall narrative, it usually sees the two separate universes collide in one form or another, most often orchestrated by one or more villains from either franchise.
The most recent title in the series was Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, which saw Marvel’s Ultron team up with Sigma from the Mega Man X series to plot a nefarious scheme.
5) Monster Hunter World x The Witcher
As we have seen before, Capcom does not hesitate to want to cross with other franchises, and another example of this is the Monster Hunter World video game. Originally released on January 26, 2018, this action role-playing game title has seen several additional updates to promote other Capcom properties.
While this was largely in the form of costumes and other items inspired by IPs such as Mega Man, Street Fighter, and Devil May Cry, a few other updates have included full character crossovers.
Aloy from Horizon Zero Dawn appears as a playable character for PlayStation 4 users, as they can unlock her armor and head as equipable gear.
Another significant development was the inclusion of Geralt, the witcher from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. During this crossover, players can take on a few quests with this famous monster slayer from another fictional reality and later unlock his look to take on the role of Geralt himself.
Note: This article is subjective and reflects the opinions of the author.
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