5 most innovative crossovers in video game history

The video game industry consists of a large number of franchises, series and IPs from various publishers. These offerings generally stick to their own titles and features within their particular set of universes.

However, sometimes one video game ownership crosses over with another or an IP from another media franchise.

Crossovers like this are some of the biggest events in video games as they see characters from different series and franchises interact. For fans of both franchises of such crossovers, these events have become a surreal experience as they finally get to see some of their favorite characters meet.

Video game crossovers are not uncommon these days, as many titles feature additional content featuring characters from outside their world. While not all such events prove to be a big deal, this list looks at five of the most innovative crossovers in video game history.

Note: This article reflects the opinion of the writer.


Five Most Exciting Video Game Crossovers Ever

1) Mortal Kombat vs. the DC Universe

Mortal Kombat games have long been developed by Midway Games and this installment was the company’s last entry. In association with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, the developer crossed over with DC to prepare Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, where the various realms from the world of Mortal Kombat were merged with iconic locations from DC.

The gameplay was similar to any Mortal Kombat title, with different characters with different fighting styles and finishing moves. While MK characters delivered their iconic fatalities, the DC characters were given “brutalities,” intended as non-fatal versions of fatalities, in keeping with their comic book status.

The story sees the MK antagonist Shao Kahn merge with DC’s Darkseid to form one creature that threatens both worlds. Though both worlds initially blamed each other for this predicament, they had to put their differences aside in order to work together and defeat the forces of Dark Kahn.

After Midway sold the rights to the franchise to WB Interactive Entertainment after the game’s release, Netherrelam Studios took over the development of Mortal Kombat titles. After rebooting the series, they also released a DC fighting game, Injustice, which also garnered quite a bit of success and popularity.


2) Street Fighter x Sign

Developed by Capcom, the title saw two of the most prominent fighting games pitted against each other. As the name suggests, Street Fighter x Tekken brings together Bandai Namco’s Tekken characters and Capcom’s Street Fighter lineup in an original story.

The title features a large selection of characters, faithfully portraying both franchises. Unique fighting styles of different characters in both franchises are preserved, and players can experience both Tekken’s iconic battles and the super-movement Street Fighter style in one game.

The larger story surrounding this game and how the two franchises meet is somewhat bland. The story is explained in a manageable way and is best left to the side as users can simply play the versus modes to get the most out of this video game.


3) Super Smash Bros.

From developer Nintendo comes this spectacular crossover event of epic proportions. Super Smash Bros. is a video game series where characters from Nintendo’s vast collection of IPs, as well as other third-party franchises such as Street Fighter, Final Fantasy, Castlevania, Sonic the Hedgehog, etc., compete against each other.

This is a 2D fighting title where gamers can select any character from the impressive roster and play locally with another player or online.

Unlike most fighting games, Super Mash Bros. no health bar. Instead, a damage total is represented by a percentage.

As users get hit, this percentage increases, increasing their recoil range, eventually knocking them out of the arena when the percentage reaches the maximum.

There is no real explanation for why all these different IPs and video game franchises crossed over. However, ex-Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata had his own main gun for it. He believes that these are just toys that are pitted against each other by the owner.


4) Marvel vs Capcom

Publishing house Capcom broke many pop culture barriers in 1996 when it crossed the Street Fighter universe with Marvel’s X-Men. This was a 2D fighting game that pitted many famous characters from the X-Men series against iconic Street Fighter characters.

The title launched a new series for Capcom to follow up, eventually called Marvel vs. capcom.

Successful games in the series further expanded the roster on both sides, including Marvel characters, aside from just the X-Men. Characters like Spider-Man, several Avengers, and even relatively obscure characters like Blade appeared in future games, expanding the Marvel lineup.

In terms of an overarching story, it generally sees the two separate universes collide in some form, more often than not orchestrated by one or more villains from both franchises.

The most recent title in the series was Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, in which Marvel’s Ultron teamed up with Sigma from the Mega Man X series to hatch a nefarious plan.


5) Monster Hunter World x The Witcher

As seen before, Capcom is not shy about its tendency to crossover with other franchises, and another example of this comes in the Monster Hunter World video game. Originally released on January 26, 2018, this action role-playing title received several additional updates to promote other Capcom properties.

While much of this has taken the form of costumes and other elements inspired by IPs like Mega Man, Street Fighter, and Devil May Cry, a few other updates include 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 equipment.

Another significant event was the shooting of Geralt, the Witcher from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. During this crossover, gamers can do a few quests with this famous monster slayer from another fictional reality and later unlock his appearance to play as Geralt himself.

Note: This article is subjective and reflects the opinion of the author.


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