Aliens has been a multimedia franchise since the first movie released in 1979, from sequels to books, comics, long rumoured cartoons and, of course, video games. Despite seemingly being the perfect premise for a video game, the Alien series has a lot of middling and poor games in its stable. So before we travel into the deep, alien filled future, we decided to compile the very best Alien games that have been released to date.
We took a few things into account, general reception, innovation and the impact of the game generally to decide on our top fifteen Aliens games. You may well disagree, and that’s good, so why not tell us your favorites in the comments below?
Best Aliens Games: Honourable Mentions
Okay, we need to discuss Aliens: Colonial Marines. As you can imagine, this underbaked FPS didn’t make the cut, but we have to mention it as it actually received a few positive reviews. But just a reminder to all, this is not a good game at all.
Aliens: Extermination and Aliens: Armageddon are both a pair of solid arcade lightgun games which narrowly missed out on this list.
Aliens Online was released in the late 90s, at a time when it looked like online gaming was going to be the way forward (which was eventually proved right). However, not all games could be the next big Ultima Online or Unreal Tournament, and despite giving it a good shot, Aliens Online would be forgotten by many 90s gamers today.
Developer: Zono Publisher: Electronic Arts Platform(s): PS2, Xbox
Controversial choice this one, as Aliens vs Predator: Extinction received generally mixed reviews.
So why is it on this list, you ask? Well, Aliens vs Predator: Extinction is a very special, unique beast, as it’s a real time strategy game. RTS games are still very much a rarity on console, so it is very unusual for an RTS to be exclusive to console and, to our knowledge, AVP: Extinction is the only RTS game in the entire Aliens franchise.
While Aliens vs Predator: Extinction is classed as getting ‘mixed’ reviews, there are some solidly good reviews out there. GamePro gave the game 4/5, and 1up awarded it 70%. GameSpot gave the game 7.2/10, stating “Extinction does a pretty good job of translating Aliens Versus Predator to an RTS”.
While it isn’t one of the highest rated games on this list, AVP: Extinction deserves to be revered as one of the best Alien games as it’s a unique game in the Aliens franchise, and, technically, it is the best Aliens RTS available.
Aliens: The Computer Game is a unique title, as it seems that the UK and USA got two very different versions of the same game. The UK version generally seems to be more fun, and is a slightly more unique game, as it’s a strange blend of first person, side-on shooter. It received rave reviews from many major publications at the time, including Computer Gamer, Your Sinclair and Zzap!64.
The game tasks you with moving through different rooms in the LV-426 colony, and shooting any Aliens you see along the way. However, you’re tasked with swapping between six characters, and moving all of them through till completion.
Considering there’s well over 200 rooms, it’s no surprise that it’s a notoriously hard game. It’s dated but totally unique, but do not fear: a fan remake was released back in 2010 called LV-426.
13. Alien 3
Developer: Various Publisher: Various Platform(s): Amiga, Commodore 64, Game Gear, Master System, NES, SNES Sega Genesis
While the third Alien movie in the franchise felt like a bit of a disappointment, the game certainly didn’t.
Taking the form of a run and gun shooter, the game tasks you with taking the role of Ripley, blasting your way through timed levels, with objectives being rescuing prisoners and sealing off alien entrances. Like most games of the era, Alien 3 is rock hard, but a great movie adaptation.
Despite being released on multiple formats, Alien 3 received solid reviews on all formats. Particular highlights were the SNES and Mega Drive/Genesis versions, with Sega Force giving it 92% and All Game giving the SNES version 4.5/5.
In 1993, Alien 3 released on the then 11-year old Commodore 64, and despite a major downgrade in graphics, had some very smooth animation and gameplay, especially for such an old system. A Game Boy version was released, but was dramatically different to the other versions, this one favouring a top down perspective.
12. Alien: Resurrection
Developer: Argonaut Games Publisher: Fox Interactive Platform(s): PS1
Alien Resurrection is, as you can probably guess, based on the polarizing fourth movie in the Alien franchise.
Another first-person shooter, Alien Resurrection was stuck in development hell for many years, eventually releasing in 2000, three years after the 1997 movie. Resurrection was originally a top down shooter, in the vein of fellow Playstation game Loaded. The game shifted to a third-person perspective adventure game, following the success of the Tomb Raider franchise and eventually became an FPS.
Reviews were mixed for Aliens Resurrection, but deserves another look as it was one of the first games to feature simultaneous movement from both analog sticks. It is also, to our knowledge, the very first FPS game to feature a modern controller setup, with the analog sticks moving both the character and their view point.
The game received strong praise from Edge, who gave it 8/10, and PSM, who gave it a 7/10.
11. Alien 3: The Gun
Developer: Sega Publisher: Sega Platform(s): Arcade
One thing that can be said about Aliens video games is that their arcade output was generally pretty fantastic.
This is another arcade only release, and right from name, to gameplay, to graphics, Alien 3: The Gun is an on rails shooter which uses digitised graphics and plays fast and loose with the Alien 3 storyline. You play as one of two marines and the game involves you battling your way through the Sulaco before making your way to Fiorina 161.
One of the main selling points was the large pulse rifles located on the cabinet, previously most arcade lightgun games used pistols or uzis as their main weapon, which set Alien 3: The Gun apart from the crowd.
There are two other Aliens light gun games on the market, 2006’s Aliens: Extermination and 2014’s Aliens: Armageddon, both good in their own right, but Alien 3: The Gun’s retro graphical style and presentation sets it apart from its younger brothers.
If you want to play this next Aliens game, you’ll have to grab yourself an emulator such as MAME and get hold of a ROM of this game, or find a particularly expensive and rare Aliens cabinet.
Developed and published by Konami, Aliens takes the form of a Streets of Rage-style scrolling shoot-em-up, in which players battle through various levels and take on a boss encounter at the end of each one.
Konami took several ‘liberties’ with the IP, and it actually works to its benefit. Standard aliens are here and present (although oddly coloured) but Konami added lots of other strange looking aliens too, as well as zombie-like humans called Infectoids. The final boss sees Ripley battling the alien queen in a power loader, and even gives you the opportunity to open an airlock to blow the queen out, just like in the movie. While reviews are few and far between, Crash, Zzap!64 and German magazine Power Play all praised the game.
9. Aliens vs Predator (2010)
Developer: Rebellion Publisher: Sega Platform(s): PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Aliens vs Predator (2010) was an attempt by Rebellion Developments to reboot the first person shooter franchise. The team had previously worked on both AVP for the Jaguar, as well as the two PC adaptations in 1999 and 2001 respectively. Almost a decade later and the franchise was ripe for retooling for a modern generation. Modern game consoles had not been graced with an AVP FPS, so it was probably a wise move to bring the franchise back.
By now, you know the game back to front: play as either a human, predator or Xenomorph, and battle against the other through a campaign. AVP 2010 actually received mixed reviews from most publications, with some high reviews such as 8.5/10 from IGN UK. However, many reviewers gave it rather middling reviews such as Gamespot‘s 5.5/10 and Destructoid awarding the game 6.5/10. It hasn’t fared amazingly with gamers either, with Metacritic user scores hitting 7.4/10 at its highest, though Steam reviews paint a more positive picture.
Despite the overall frosty reception at launch, the game didn’t actually sell badly, and sold at least 1.6 million copies. AVP 2010 made over £14 million in the UK, making it the highest grossing game in the entire Alien gaming franchise as of 2013. With sales that good, it can’t be that bad, and could well be worth revisiting if you’ve missed out on Aliens vs Predator 2010.
There have been several mobile Aliens games over the years, but the most interesting has to be Alien: Blackout.
A sequel (sort of) to Alien: Isolation, you return to the boots of Amanda Ripley, main character of Isolation, as she attempts to lead survivors to safety onboard a space station. These survivors are, naturally, stalked by a xenomorph and you have to use the station’s CCTV to help guide them to safety.
Alien: Blackout feels very much inspired by the likes of Five Nights At Freddy’s, with the risk of the Xenomorph sneaking up and killing the player, while you attempt to guide people to safety.
It’s fairly cheap and can be picked up for less than a quid (or dollar if you’re from across the waves) and has fairly solid user reviews on both Android and iOS.
7. Alien Trilogy
Developer: Acclaim Studios London, Sculptured Software Publisher: Fox Interactive, Acclaim Entertainment Platform(s): PC, PS1, Saturn
In the mid-90s, 20th Century Fox’s games studio, Fox Interactive, would come up with a concept: turning entire trilogies of their own movie franchises into a single game. If you wanted the chance to experience your favourite franchises, or a single movie within those franchises, then there was a game for you.
In 1996, Fox released both Alien Trilogy and Die Hard Trilogy, however the two were vastly different. While Die Hard Trilogy divided each movie into separate game modes, Alien Trilogy took the form of a continual first-person shooter.
Alien Trilogy was less directly inspired by the movies, instead its levels are based on locations featured in those movies. First person shooters weren’t as common on consoles in 1996 as they are today, but Alien Trilogy managed to stand apart from the pack.
IGN gave it 8/10 and said: “Alien Trilogy does an excellent job of turning a great movie series into a great game,” while allgame.com also rated the game highly, rating it 4/5 and stating: “if you’re a fan of first-person shooters or just an Alien movie buff, it would be wise to pick up a copy”.
6. Alien vs Predator (1994)
Developer: Rebellion Developments Publisher: Atari, Fox Platform(s): Atari Jaguar
Today, the Atari Jaguar is frequently ridiculed as one of gaming’s most famous console flops. There were rumours that the Atari Jaguar was a difficult platform to program for, leading to some conversions of games from other platforms. One of the shining stars for the Jaguar was the original first-person AVP shooter.
The game was a Doom inspired 90s FPS and saw you choosing to play either a human, alien or predator. AVP featured some cool gameplay elements, like taking acid damage when walking over the bodies of felled aliens, and had some nifty digitised graphics.
The game received solid reviews from major publications. UK gaming magazine GamesMaster gave the game an impressive 95%, and was backed up by Computer and Video Games’ score of 90%. American gaming magazine GameFan had an interesting review concept known as ‘viewpoint’, which saw three people review one game, and combine all the scores together. Alien vs Predator got 98% from each reviewer, giving them a total score of 296/300.
Sadly, this gem wasn’t ported to any other console so the only legitimate way to play it is to purchase a copy of this now increasingly expensive game.
In the 1990s, Capcom were kings of the scrolling beat-em-up genre. Coming off the back of Final Fight, Capcom released this 2 player (or 3 player on some cabinets) beat-em-up into arcades in 1994.
Much like the Aliens arcade cabinet, Capcom took some liberties with the Alien world, but as this wasn’t based on any direct movie, they were allowed to mix things up a fair bit. The game saw you choose from either two predators, two cyborg soldiers or a mix, and asked you to punch, kick and blast your way through various levels.
Aliens vs Predator didn’t receive a home conversion in this form. A scrolling beat-em-up bearing the game name did release a year prior on SNES, but it wasn’t the same game at all. Today, the game is looked back on fondly, with Heavy.com listing it as the 12th best beat-em-up ever, and Kotaku calling it one of the best looking games of the 16-bit era.
According to Capcom, Aliens vs Predator is one of their most requested remakes, but it’s eight years later and there’s no such remake. We can assume that licensing issues are preventing that from happening.
4. Aliens: Fireteam Elite
Developer: Cold Iron Studios Publisher: Focus Entertainment Platform(s): PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X | S
The newest game on this list of the best Alien games, Aliens: Fireteam Elite feels even more like an apology for Aliens: Colonial Marines than Alien: Isolation. This is largely due to Fireteam Elite’s style: while Isolation aimed to mirror the style of Alien with solid horror gameplay, Fireteam Elite most definitely aims to mirror the style of Aliens.
You (and your mates) take the roles of Colonial Marines, and blast your way through various levels and waves of Xenomorphs — just another bug hunt. Fireteam Elite prizes itself on it’s simplicity, its pick up and play nature means that you and your bestest marine pals can jump into levels at a whim and there’s no heavy lore or deep overarching plot threads you have to follow
Fireteam Elite didn’t resonate with everyone however, and wound up getting mixed to good reviews. It did receive solid reviews from Gamespot who gave it 8/10, and Italian publication The Games Machine gave it 7.8/10. NME also gave the game a 4/5, stating it was “a terrible Aliens game but an excellent co-op blaster”.
Fans did not agree with NME’s assessment that Fireteam Elite is a ‘terrible Aliens game’. While it may be a simplified xeno-blast-em-up, it’s immensely fun when played with friends and feels like a love letter to the series. It’s thanks to this attention to details and pure adoration for the source material which has led Aliens: Fireteam Elite to become somewhat of a cult favourite already.
3. Aliens Infestation
Developer: WayForward, Gearbox Software Publisher: Sega Platform(s): Nintendo DS
One of the lesser known entries on this list, Aliens: Infestation comes from 2D retro specialist studio WayForward.
A 2D Metroidvania style game, Infestation sees you taking over a team of marines and tackling the USS Sulaco following the events of Alien 3. Your marines suffer permadeath, and losing all your marines would result in a game over. WayForward would make a semi-sequel in 2017’s The Mummy Demastered, which expanded on many of the ideas of Aliens: Infestation.
Aliens: Infestation received many positive reviews, with Joystiq would also join the positive review wagon, awarding it 4/5. Some of the biggest praise would come from no other than Jim Sterling, who, while writing for Destructoid, awarded Aliens: Infestation an impressive 8.5/10.
Despite the praise, many have never heard of this game, most likely due to its Nintendo DS exclusivity.
2. Aliens Versus Predator 2
Developer: Capcom Publisher: Sega Platform(s): PC
While Rebellion’s 1999 original game was a pretty superb effort, its 2001 sequel, Aliens Versus Predator 2, just inches it out.
AVP2 took what made the 1999 game great, and tightened everything up to make a great sequel to an already great game. The story is, well, who cares — it’s about Aliens against Predators (and humans). Much like the original first-person shooter on the Jaguar, you take up the role of either human, alien or predator, each with their own skills and weapons.
AVP2 received stronger reviews than its predecessor, with PC Gamer US giving it 89%, GamePro also gave the game a solid review, giving it 4.5/5. Defunct website GameZone gave the game 9/10 and stated: “Aliens Versus Predator 2 is an intense, action-packed game that captures the spirit of the first-person shooter genre in heart-pounding fashion.”
There was no AVP3, but instead the aforementioned Aliens vs Predator reboot in 2010.
1. Alien: Isolation
Developer: Capcom Publisher: Sega Platform(s): PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Switch, Luna, Android, iOS
Alien: Isolation does feel very much like an apology from Sega. Following the long delayed and enormously underwhelming Aliens: Colonial Marines, the franchise really seemed like it’d never get a killer game. Enter Alien: Isolation.
Single-player horror games, especially those with little to no combat, were popular especially since the likes of Amnesia: The Dark Descent and co. Alien: Isolation sees you take on the role of Amanda Ripley, daughter of Alien protagonist Ellen Ripley, while she goes head to head with a xenomorph loose on a space station.
Alien: Isolation received rave reviews from many outlets, British newspaper The Guardian giving it 5/5 while PC Gamer awarded it 93%, even going so far as to award it their Game of the Year for 2014.
Sadly, Alien: Isolation did not meet sales targets, despite shifting over 2 million copies. Many years on from release, and there’s been no sniff of a proper sequel — it could be those missed targets that put this game series on ice.
Some of the coverage you find on Cultured Vultures contains affiliate links, which provide us with small commissions based on purchases made from visiting our site. We cover gaming news, movie reviews, wrestling and much more.
Gamezeen is a Zeen theme demo site. Zeen is a next generation WordPress theme. It’s powerful, beautifully designed and comes with everything you need to engage your visitors and increase conversions.