Gamers are fascinated by crossovers. When two interesting and unique worlds collide and popular characters interact with one another, it can lead to some amazing and wild results. Games like Marvel vs Capcom and Super Smash Bros. are built on this premise, which has an array of characters from across many franchises coming together in one major blowout. But not all crossovers are as popular or well-known, and yet they can still provide a fun experience gaming fans would really appreciate. This is why we’re going to look at five crossover games that aren’t talked about too much, but still have interesting gameplay and fun character interactions that you’ll love.
So why are these games special enough to be on the list? First off, all five of these picks are good games in their own right. We’re not going to suggest any bad games for you to play and waste your time. And finally, you won’t see any games that are already super popular, which means no Injustice: Gods Among Us, Kingdom Hearts, or anything similar. Those franchises are already well established enough and we want to spotlight other crossover games that haven’t gotten enough mainstream attention. With that all being said, on to the list!
Namco X Capcom
Two major Japanese game companies coming together is a huge deal, especially when their respective franchises have many similarities between them. This is why when Namco and Capcom worked together to make a strategy role-playing game featuring some of their most iconic characters, hardcore gaming fans in Japan were excited. Unfortunately, Namco X Capcom was a Japanese exclusive for the PlayStation 2, but the concept was spun off into a sequel called Project X Zone, released worldwide for the Nintendo 3DS. These games brought in SEGA characters into the mix and made an already wild clash of gaming worlds even more ridiculous and fun.
The gameplay of Namco X Capcom is very similar to other strategy role-playing games of the era. You control various groups of characters from Namco and Capcom games, working together to clear out enemies and bosses to complete each stage. There’s a crazy story that has the large roster of popular characters crossing dimensions and traveling around between worlds, often appearing in some locations from Capcom and Namco games. The ensemble of heroes and villains is really cool, especially when you see two mascots from both companies interacting with one another. The same goes for the bad guys, including some of the bigger villains from multiple franchises having great banter against some of the heroes. If you fancy yourself a hardcore fan of either Capcom or Namco, you’ll definitely love a lot of the fan service that went into this game. Much of the same thing can be said for Project X Zone, only now you have the addition of SEGA characters providing the same thing.
Who doesn’t love a good indie game? But what if all of the new and upcoming indie game heroes came together in a Smash Bros-like melee between each other? That’s the general premise of Brawlout, which doesn’t try to reinvent what Super Smash Bros. created, but instead tries to approach it from a new angle. Instead of iconic Nintendo characters, you can play as both original and popular heroes from a variety of indie game publishers. Seeing the hero from Hyper Light Drifter duke it out with Juan from Guacamelee or Yooka-Laylee is both hilarious and out of control. The original characters add some variety to the roster, with a few standing out in their own way with unique attacks and special abilities.
The gameplay of Brawlout is very similar to Super Smash Bros, where the goal is to knock your opponents off the stage as best you can. Both the controls and core fighting are built in a similar fashion, but it’s the presentation and combos you can do with characters that differentiate it from Smash Bros. The stages in the game are also designed a bit differently, where there aren’t hazards to worry about, but simple platforms that keep the focus on the fighting between everyone. Up to four players can battle at a time, like in Smash Bros, which can often get chaotic as special moves and combos begin flying. The Rage Meter gives everyone a chance to boost their attacks as they deal and take damage throughout the match, leading to some crazy comebacks and finishes that make it a lot of fun to play.
Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax
If you’re a fan of anime, chances are you’ve probably heard of shows like Sword Art Online, Toradora, Accel World, Durarara, or Black Bullet. What these shows and many others featured in this game have in common is that they were all based off different light novel series published by ASCII Media Works, and later adapted into an anime or manga. Add in some of the style and flair of SEGA and you have a fighting game that appeals to hardcore anime fans and gamers like. Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax was released on the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita worldwide, but never really got a lot of attention outside of Japan, and the game later received an updated version called Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax Ignition for the PlayStation 4 only released in Japan.
It’s a fighting game that pits different anime characters against one another in a crazy dimension-bending story, where heroes from different series are brought together to save the world. Characters like Kirito and Asuna from Sword Art Online eventually cross paths with Miyuki and Tatsuya from The Irregular at Magic High School, and many other light novel series characters. Though very niche and geared towards the anime crowd, Dengeki Bunko has some great, fast-paced gameplay that everyone could appreciate. It’s not as crazy as what one would find in the Marvel vs Capcom series, but definitely lives up to expectations and respects the source material of the characters to make them all look powerful. There’s a bit of SEGA fan service injected here, with one character taking on the style of a SEGA Dreamcast, as well as cameos from Virtua Fighter and Valkyria Chronicles characters. If anime is your jam, then you can’t get any more anime than what you’ll find here.
Jump Super Stars
If you’re more into mainstream anime shows and not the obscure stuff, then you’re still in luck for an anime crossover game you’d enjoy. However, you’ll have to import this Nintendo DS game from Japan since it never made its way out west. Jump Super Stars focuses on the various Shonen Jump characters from weekly Shonen Jump magazine. This means you’ll find Dragon Ball Z, Bleach, Naruto, Yu Hakusho, and many others. While there’s plenty of other crossover games featuring the Jump characters, Jump Super Stars stands as one of the few games that is very good and speaks to many with its fan service.
The gameplay is similar to the Super Smash Bros. formula, but done in a 2D-style similar to any old-school fighting game. You can pick your favorite heroes and fight against a variety of other characters, switching between them at will during a fight. There are team attacks with crazy visuals and devastating effects, as well as fun moments at the end of a battle that showcase all kinds of fan service. There is a story mode that utilizes manga-like panels to show events and introduce new characters as they appear, which will definitely stand out to anyone who follows weekly Shonen Jump magazine. While there was never a version of the game brought to North America, it did have a cult following of fans who imported Jump Super Stars for their Nintendo DS.
SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos
While there were a few Capcom vs SNK games, we’re not cheating by including this one from it. As a joint venture between fighting game titans Capcom and SNK, the Capcom vs SNK series was a major hit. But unlike the games developed by Capcom, SVC Chaos was actually made by SNK and featured the visual style and gameplay from their King of Fighters series. This means fans of Street Fighter and other Capcom franchises got to see their favorite characters interpreted in a whole new way, while still giving them the fighting they always loved. Unfortunately, SVC Chaos wasn’t as well received as its Capcom-developed counterparts. The game was made for the NEOGEO arcade and home platforms, but was only given a North American release on the original Xbox.
The roster in SVC Chaos gathered many of the fighters who appeared in Capcom’s version of the crossover, but with a few exclusive exceptions that put a spin on some classic characters. Ryu, Ken, Guile, Chun-Li and more represent the Street Fighter side as usual; while Terry Bogard, Kyo Kusanagi, Iroi Yagami, Mai Shiranui and others represent the King of Fighters (KOF) crew. The gameplay itself was a lot slower paced than Capcom vs SNK and used a four-button layout similar to the KOF series, very similar to King of Fighters 2003. In addition to this, different mechanics in the fighting also made the game stand out from the rest of the series, such as the Groove Power Gauge System and Front Grand Step for each character. Fights are done 1-on-1 instead of teams, which may have turned off a lot of fans. Much of the success of Capcom vs SNK was how players can mix and match a team of three fighters in team battles, which SVC Chaos doesn’t do. Outside of the Street Fighter and KOF characters, there are a few hidden ones that make things a bit crazier, but SVC Chaos is still much more grounded compared to the other games in the series.