25 Best Capcom Games
Capcom is a very talented development studio. They taught us what horror was with Resident Evil, created one of the greatest platforming icons of all time with Mega Man, and basically defined the entire fighting game genre with Street Fighter. When thinking about a list of the 25 Best Capcom Games, you might be very tempted to put all your favorite Mega Mans and VS games and even multiple entries from Devil May Cry on the list. But to avoid such redundancies, we have limited ourselves to one entry per franchise. This way, we can showcase some of the great cult classics that Capcom made over the years as well. Take a gander at the 25 Best Capcom Games of all time.
This little known game was way before its time when it was released on the NES. It allowed you to take the powers of enemies that you defeat by putting them to sleep and climbing inside them to wear them like a suit. Every level was based around this cool power switching mechanic. It was doing the Kirby schtick before Kirby was cool, and that's why it's on our list of the 25 Best Capcom Games.
Asura’s Wrath was a great experiment in turning a normal action game into an episode anime spectacle, and it worked. Gone were the long levels and droves of enemies to cut down. Instead, you were simply transported from one set-piece to another, building your rage the whole time. Nothing hurts more than getting punched in the face a thousand times by a god with six arms.
Zack & Wiki may have been the last true adventure game to come out in a non-digital format. This lesser known title for the Wii had you attempting to solve puzzles with your impressive inventory as you searched the land for treasure. It was a great return to the formula that made old Sierra adventure games great, with only short detours into the land of waggle based mini-games.
Nearly every gamer fondly remembers Power Stone, the fully 3D fighting game that let you use the very stage itself as a weapon. If you thought Smash Bros. was hectic, just wait till you played a Power Stone level where air-ships continually fired laser cannons at you while your opponent rips out support beams in order to use them as bludgeoning weapons.
U.N. Squadron is one of those 16-bit gems that shooter fans look back on fondly, before the side scrolling shooter genre simply ceased to be. The game let you choose different characters, planes, weapons, and more, as you went up against huge bosses that took up most of the screen. Everyone who had a U.N. Squadron cabinet at their arcade would pump tons of quarters into it as they attempted to best this almost bullet hell game.
Ghost Trick was a puzzle game that starts with your character’s death. After becoming a poltergeist, he's able to move objects slightly with his ghostly powers. The problem is that he can only jump from object to object in limited range. Therefore, it’s up to you to figure out how to spookify the people around you in order to get to where you have to be, and stop more murders from occurring. It was an awesome twist on the mystery/puzzle genre.
Monster Hunter is huge in Japan but not so much here in America. It’s not clear why. Really, who wouldn’t want to kill a T-Rex and then wear its pelt as shoes? Maybe it was because we didn’t get some of the older Monster Titles localized here in the U.S. Or maybe it’s because we wanted to wait till the Wii came out so that we can kill our monsters with waggle physics. Who knows?
Capcom has always been an amazing fighting game developer. However, they have much more than just Street Fighter, the VS Series, and Darkstalkers under their umbrella. Rival Schools had some amazing team building mechanics, and may have been the first 3D game to play in a 2D style with hyper combos, projectiles, and more. It’s still an amazing game to this day and copies of it and its sequel Project Justice are sought after by video game collectors worldwide.
Onimusha brought an interesting historical spin on the action genre, bringing demon slaying action to ancient Japan, modern day France, and more. It even managed to cross over into the fighting game genre with Soki’s appearance in Tatsunoko VS. Capcom. It was a great PS2 franchise that was a hit with fans, and it’s not entirely clear why it never made the transition into the next generation.
We can only choose one Dead Rising to be on this list and Dead Rising 2 takes the cake. If we were to be more specific, Dead Rising 2: Off the Record is likely the best version of Dead Rising 2. It has all the locales, enemies, and cook weapon duct-taping action as the original Dead Rising 2, but it lets you play as Frank West. He’s covered wars you know!
When the original Street Fighter came out, Capcom was tasked with creating a sequel worth of the breakthrough fighting formula that they created. Their answer was Final Fight, but they were a little off base. While beat-em-ups were cool, they didn’t really capture the Street Fighter feel of a 1v1 bout. So Capcom simply repackaged the game as a new franchise and sold it on its own merits. The result was one of the quintessential beat-em-up experiences. The sequel is just as awesome as the original, that's why Final Fight punches its way onto our list of the 25 Best Capcom Games.
Speaking of beat-em-ups, Viewtiful Joe was a great one. Aside from kicking the crap out of Sentai styled enemies, this game series let you control the power of time and space through visual effects. In a way, Viewtiful Joe was as much of a puzzle game as it was an action game, and that’s why it was such a hit in the PS2 and Gamecube era.
Duck Tales. WOO OOO! This is easily one of the most loved of licensed games in existence. Fan demand for another Duck Tales was so high that Capcom went ahead and made Ducktales Remastered, a modern day version of the NES classic. This game had it all: well thought out non-linear stages, interesting platforming mechanics, an anthropomorphic duck on a pogo stick, everything!
Bionic Commando is an interesting series of Capcom games. The original NES title was notable as a platformer that had a grapple button instead of a jump button. The franchise was then remade into a 3D action game that… is best not talked about. However, Bionic Commando Rearmed was an indie remake of the original NES complete with several puzzle-like levels that most fans agree outshined both the original and its action game counterpart. Third time’s a charm, eh Capcom?
Strider, the most badass techno-ninja in gaming history, is well known for his appearances in the Marvel VS series. However, he got his start in the arcades, slicing up robot panthers and hacking his way through wave after wave of cyborg baddies. Strider’s tonfa sword and ninja swagger are so cool that Capcom is making a new Strider game on current generation platforms. It will be great to finally take control of Master Hiryu once again.
The brilliance of Okami cannot be expressed in just one aspect of the game. Everything from its ink painting graphical style, to the story based on Japanese mythology, to the Zelda like grunts that pass for speech came together to create a wondrous action-adventure experience. Amaterasu’s story stands out as one of the best PS2 games on the console, and it only got better when it was remade and released for motion control platforms like the PlayStation Move and Wii.
What can we say, Suda 51 is a nut. Before he was fooling around with laser swords in No More Heroes or zombies in Lollipop Chainsaw, he got his start with Capcom and the incredible multiple personality pseudo religious mind-screw that was killer7. If you haven’t played this strange combination of shooter/cinematic/puzzle game, you are missing out on one of the greatest cult-classics of the Gamecube era.
As we move up the list, we get to some of Capcom’s more iconic heroes like Dante from Devil May Cry. Once again, we can only choose one game from the Devil May Cry franchise so we chose Devil May Cry 3. This game gave Dante the largest chest of toys to kill demons with. It also created his now iconic shirtless red trenchcoat look. Move over DmC Dante, Devil May Cry 3 Dante is where it’s at.
Once again we could only choose one Ghosts n’ Goblins game, and the decision was tough. The original Ghosts n’ Goblins was one of the toughest NES games in existence, and Demon’s Crest was a fantastic spinoff on the SNES that really played with platforming and flight mechanics. However, it was Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts with its magic and four levels of armor that saved the day. Besides, it’s not that much easier than the original was.
Only one Breath of Fire game eh? Well many fans say that Breath of Fire 2 was the best in the series, but that was co-made by Squaresoft. So if we were to really be fair here we would have to give the award to Breath of Fire 3. It told an incredible story about fighting against god and fate that spanned the main character’s entire lifetime. It also had a nifty dragon gene fusion system and a jazzy soundtrack to boot.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney could best be described as a textual adventure game. The goal is to figure out the contradictions in the testimony of some obviously lying criminals. Of course, there are plenty of traditional adventure elements as well during “investigation” portions of the game, where you compare your pieces of evidence to crime scenes in an attempt to figure out what transpired. This is also the game that got the entire handheld gaming community pointing their fingers and screaming, "OBJECTION!" into their DSes.
Marvel vs Capcom 2 defined the versus series as a high flying air combo game. It had an incredible 52 characters to choose from, and popularized such fighting game techniques as wave dashing, tiger-kneeing, flight canceling, and more. Even though the roster was absurdly unbalanced, people managed to have white knuckle tournaments with only four characters and a handful of assists. That’s emergent gameplay at its best.
These top three spots on the list of 25 Best Capcom games are really hard to fill. There are probably a lot of people out there who are going to be angry at Resident Evil 4 taking up Resident Evil’s slot here. Many are going to say 2 was better, or even Code: Veronica. But, Resident Evil 4 reinvented the franchise. It became less of a horror experience and more of an action experience while still remaining scary. It introduced things like the laser sight and tank like aiming scheme, and continued the story of Leon Kennedy which we had all thought to be over. Resident Evil 4 is plainly put, the best the franchise has to offer.
Similarly, choosing only one Mega Man game for the list was also a huge project. Think of all the great titles like Mega Man 9, Mega Man Legends, and Mega Man X that could make the list. However, it was Mega Man 2 that finally made it on, as one of the most pure Mega Man experiences. There was no weapon charging, armor, or shops. There was just you, your gun arm, and a mad scientist to kill. Oh yea, and the meta blade. That weapon was awesome.
We can’t say enough about the Street Fighter series and how important it was to fighting games everywhere. However, if we had to choose only one to be the best Capcom game of all time, Super Turbo would have to be it. This game is still being played on the competitive level today. In fact, a tournament for it was just held at EVO 2013! New tech is still being discovered, and tier lists are being rewritten every year. T. Hawk turned out to be way better than we thought he was. This is a 20+ year old game and it’s still attracting new fighting gamers. It easily takes the top spot of the 25 Best Capcom Games.