15. Scooby-Doo! Night of 100 Frights
Though it always feels strange to say this when recommending a video game, Night of a 100 Frights’ gameplay is the weakest element of the overall experience. It’s not bad by any means, but it’s pretty much what you think of when you think of when you think of basic platformers from 2002. To be fair, much of that basicness can be attributed to the fact this was clearly aimed at younger players.
However, I actually think some adults will get the most out of this title. Why? Well, Night of 100 Frights is actually a glorious tribute to the 1960s TV series, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! Not only does this game recreate many of the best monsters and moments from that TV show, but it even adds a few new ideas that would have fit that stylish series perfectly (most notably, Tim Curry as the villainous Mastermind). It’s one of the most loving tributes to a nostalgic TV series gaming has ever gifted us with. – MB
14. X-Men Origins: Wolverine
After the success of the initial X-Men movies, 20th Century Fox wanted to create a series of prequels that told the origins of the series’ various characters. Naturally, they started with Wolverine (once again played by Hugh Jackman). The first movie, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, killed this plan thanks to its box office shortcomings and negative critical reception. From that pretty terrible movie, though, we still got a surprisingly great game
X-Men Origins: Wolverine the video game is a rough retelling of the movie’s narrative that strays heavily from the film’s story to introduce its own areas and plot points. However, the game’s greatest strength is its action and presentation. X-Men Origins: Wolverine is a fast and brutal hack-and-slash game in the vein of God of War (the 2005 original, not the 2018 soft reboot). Its bevy of combos and a large roster of enemies ensure that the tie-in’s combat never feels old. Plus, thanks to its M rating, X-Men Origins: Wolverine is as bloody as a Wolverine story should be. – AG
13. Tron 2.0
Tron 2.0 is actually a (now non-canonical) sequel to the 1982 film. Honestly, that’s probably part of the reason why this title went somewhat overlooked in 2003. Tron has always been a divisive movie, and there wasn’t exactly an army of people clamoring for an accurate recreation of the Tron film experience at that time. Mind you, that didn’t stop the legendary team at Monolith Productions from delivering just that.
While Tron 2.0’s strange visual style raised a couple of eyebrows at the time of its release, it’s now easy to recognize them as a dead-on tribute to one of the most unique and influential computer visual experiences in film history. More importantly, Tron 2.0’s gameplay perfectly recreates the spirit of the movie without sacrificing the fundamentally fun FPS style of this era. The game’s RPG-lite elements allow you to grow your character in a film-friendly way, you often need to interact with enemies and environments brimming with appropriate technobabble, and there are even Light Cycle minigames. It’s one of the best things to ever come from the Tron franchise. – MB