It’s sad to think that nearly 10 years has gone by since the last great Marvel game came out on consoles. Even as we gear up for the Civil War movie, there is no console game on the current gen systems to get players excited for the movie.
Marvel Ultimate Alliance appeared very early in the lifecycle of the PS3 and Xbox 360. It was followed up by Marvel Ultimate Alliance II Civil War and nearly every Marvel licensed game since has released on either PC or tablet and in my opinion none have matched up to this game.
What made this game great was that Raven Software (who has also had a hand in some of the Call of Duty titles as well) took what made X-men Legends formula work and incorporated a ton of the Marvel Universe into it.
Not only did you get a game that had an RPG dungeon crawling experience to start, but was customizable as well. Players started off with 22 playable characters with more that came through DLC. You got bonuses for your character depending on what skins you gave it. Some of the skins even gave you new, playable characters such as War Machine and Beta Ray Bill. Even the PC version was very customizable and from what I heard, still has a robust mod community to this day. A bigger bonus was that if you assembled the right four characters (such as the Avengers, X-men, Marvel Knights etc) you get the bonuses for that team.
The story mode wasn’t bad either as Marvel’s heroes set out to put an end to the evil machinations of Dr. Doom. As you progressed, you could also find disks that allowed you to play comic book modes as well as try the trivia.
What made this game so great was not only the characters but the co-op play that players had access to. This is one of the very few games that came out where the characters all had a time to shine in this title including the villains.
If there was any game I would love to see backwards compatible on the PS4 or Xbox-One it really be this one. You can still find copies on Amazon for as low as 6 dollars and still as much as full price. Why at full price? Apparently there were some licensing issues with Activision and Marvel especially after the release of the Civil War sequel which in many ways was the total opposite of the greatness that Marvel Ultimate Alliance was. It has a bigger line up of characters but players could only access a few depending on whose side that they picked and, no skins to change their characters. Not to mention the fusion characteristics that was added to the game was hit or miss.
DC tried their hand with the Justice League Heroes but it couldn’t match MUA.
If you still have your last gen systems and run across this game, grab it and fire it up again. As you play, it would be good to wonder why Marvel hasn’t gone back to the well for a 3rd game. Looking at what could be done now on consoles, a third game coupled with the right stories and characters could be AMAZING, alas we may never know what that would be like.