Licensed games garner a bad reputation, and I’m stating it’s undeserved. Companies know that people will buy a game solely due to the familiar property regardless of its quality. Fortunately, there are plenty of exceptions, and here are some of my favorites in no particular order.
Spongebob Squarepants: Battle for Bikini Bottom. My most nostalgic game as a kid that took the charm of Spongebob and molded it into a solid Banjo Kazooie clone.
The Simpsons: Hit and Run. Like the previous game, the developers took the world of the long running cartoon family and molded it into a GTA clone with tons of wacky glitches.
South Park: The Stick of Truth. The surprisingly refreshing game pushed the boundaries of what is tasteful in gaming.
Star Wars: Battlefront II. All the notable planets and factions from the original trilogy and the prequels are accounted for in a blazing multiplayer shooter experience.
Marvel’s Spiderman. Insomniac crafted a near-perfect Spiderman title that simply let the player immerse themselves into Spiderman’s superhero prowess, with an engaging story to boot.
I totally agree with this. The first time I played Mortal Kombat was when I saw Mortal Kombat vs. DC Comics at my library. I picked it up because I wanted to play Wonder Woman and that’s when I got hooked on the series. I would fight my brother who liked to play Joker and it was one of the few games I was really good at. I played through the story mode and actually learned the button combinations for special moves, which is rare for me. I really liked Kitana (though as a kid I often wondered why Kitana doesn’t have a katana). I don’t know that I would have ever gotten into the series without this totally ridiculous crossover. I’ve played several versions of the game and bought the newest one. Now, my new favorite character is Mileena. I love her teleportation abilities. She’s nimble and can do a lot of damage quickly. I like to frustrate my opponent by annoyingly jumping over their attacks. I also like that she’s creepy and weird. I also play a lot of Kotal Kahn. He’s slow, but his hits are powerful. I think I mostly just enjoy feeling overpowered. In short, I think licensed games are awesome and can attract new players who may not have tried otherwise.
What comes to my mind are Star Wars KOTOR and Telltale’s The Walking Dead. Both of these games are ones that made me a fan of the movies/shows they’re based on. Batman Arkham City also counts, I guess, and that’s my favourite superhero game. The Middle-earth games aren’t really to my tastes because I’m really captivated by the lore of the books and the movies, I don’t feel like playing a game that’s non-canon. But they are good games, I recognise that.