The Expendables 2, the sequel to 2010 ’80s action movie dream team, hits theaters today, bringing with it even more badassery by adding Jean-Claude Van Damme and Chuck Norris to the roster. The lineup–featuring Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren–has ties to many properties that were given the video game treatment. Unsurprisingly, many of them were absolute abominations (Hello, there, Total Recall!).
A few, however, managed to not stink up the joint with loathsomeness. Even fewer are considered legitimately good games that are worth playing years after their initial release. Let’s focus on those, shall we?
Warning: There are only three games on this list. That’s a statement in of itself.
Aliens vs. Predator (1994)
Capcom ruled ’90s arcades with numerous enjoyable 2D, side-scrolling beat ‘em ups, but Aliens vs. Predator may have been the company’s best effort. AVP isn’t in any way affiliated with the awful FOX crossover movies that came a decade later, but is instead a side-story of sorts to both Aliens and Predator (the game’s plot is based on a failed ’90s AVP screenplay treatment). Depending on the arcade cab, 2-3 players blew their allowances repelling an Alien invasion using a cybernetically enhanced Dutch (Ahnuld’s character in Predator), Lt. Kurosawa (a katana-wielding cyborg), and a choice of Predator fighters. Combat consists of ranged and melee weapons, across a variety of eye-catching stages, but didn’t particularly tap the Predators’ stealth capabilities. Still, it’s an excellent old school beat ‘em up that’s a blast when played with others.
Die Hard Arcade (1996)
SEGA nabbed the Die Hard license shortly before Dynamite Dekka‘s Western release, which makes this game one of the best titles ever officially associated with a film franchise–even though it doesn’t tie into the movies’ plots. Still, the SEGA Saturn box art (featuring a hard-faced, gun toter in a wife beater standing front of an exploding building) let you know that this is a Die Hard game through and through. And it is, for the most part! The brawling action (a mix of strikes, wrestling moves, and armed combat) takes place in a skyscraper where terrorists have kidnapped the president’s daughter. It supports two players, so you and a friend can suplex baddies into oblivion through the power of friendship.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
Released in 1991, the same year in which the movie was released, Terminator 2: Judgment Day is light-gun shooter that stood out from its contemporaries thanks to high-powered shooting action and slick visuals that featured digitized footage shot during the making of the flick. As such, Arnold Schwarzenegger (T-800), Eddie Furlong (John Connor), and Robert Patrick (T-1000) have roles in the game, which adds to the authenticity and overall awesomeness.
This extremely short X-List highlights our favorite games featuring characters portrayed by The Expendables 2 actors. If you think there’s a title we missed, let us know in the comments below. If you can convince us that The Running Man (Amiga) is worth a play, you are a better person than we.