Though video games are often more fun when shared with friends, developers tend to have a hard time with sharing their ideas with others. They've gotten better at it over time, especially in Japan, but it's still pretty uncommon to see franchises cross over into each other. When they do, however, people tend to get excited, as big businesses put aside their differences to deliver a fan's dream match-ups or team ups. Here are the 10 best crossovers, team ups, and special guest stars in video games.
10. Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale
This game had an identity crisis right out of the gate. It was very much like Smash, but didn't involve knocking players off of platforms. You could only kill players by using a special move that your normal attacks would build up to. Smash faithful found that gameplay decision hard to swallow. That and the cast, though decidedly a trip down memory lane for long time Playstation fans, still lacked some of the big names Playstation made famous back in the 90's (no Crash Bandicoot or Spyro, for example.) The game was received well enough critically, but didn't sell enough to warrant much attention after launch.
9. Street Fighter X Tekken
Capcom is one of the biggest names in cross over games, and Street Fighter characters have a way of turning up in an incredible amount of things. Street Fighter X Tekken is a product of a two-pronged deal between Capcom and Namco Bandai. Capcom would make a 2D fighting game using characters from both franchises, and Namco would make a 3D fighter with the same cast. Capcom delivered on their end of the bargain in 2012 and created a unique tag team brawler that cleverly mixed 2D mechanics like cross-ups and projectiles with Tekken-style combos and juggles. Tekken characters, for the most part, felt like their franchise proper counterparts, though the game was plagued with balance issues for most of its shelf life.
8. Soul Calibur's Many Cameos
For about as long as the series has been around, Soul Calibur has featured a sizable list of cameo characters. Soul Calibur 2 featured console exclusive characters in Spawn, Link, and Heihachi. Soul Calibur 4 featured Yoda, Darth Vader, and Starkiller of The Force Unleashed. Soul Calibur 5 featured Assassin's Creed's Ezio. The PSP spin off Broken Destiny even featured God of War's Kratos. The series has had so many guest stars, fans almost come to expect it, now.
7. Dissidia Final Fantasy
Square Enix stirred the pot of their own, long running Final Fantasy series and dumped out Dissidia Final Fantasy, a game where heroes and villains from the franchise battle each other for some super vague and silly reason. Doesn't matter though, because the game is quite good, if not incredibly non-traditional as far as fighting games are concerned. The laundry list of "what if" dream matches fans had finally could be realized, and watching these characters retain some their signature style and flair in battle is truly nostalgic. Now, only if the story made any sense.
6. Street Fighter X Mega Man
Two more Capcom franchises get blended in this side-scrolling platform game designed around the Mega Man 9 and 10 motif. This time, though, the Blue Bomber faces popular Street Fighter characters as bosses, instead of sinister robots. The gesture was nice, but was a somewhat shallow attempt by Capcom to celebrate Mega Man's 25th birthday, and not have to announce a new Mega Man game. Not to mention, Capcom didn't even develop the game. Seow Zong Hui of Singapore developed it as a passion project, and Capcom published it for the celebration. It could very well be the last Mega Man game that comes from the company.
5. Super Mario Crossover
This unofficial flash game is one of the most brilliant ideas ever. Take the original Super Mario Brothers game, and add the option to take other characters from that era's games and play through it in Mario's place. It's both a cool nostalgic experience to watch a fully pixelated Link hop and slash through mushroom kingdom, and a really cool experiment in game design. Simon Belmont isn't changed in any significant way from the Castlevainia games, so watching him use his whip and axes to fight goombas shows just what kind of gameplay scenarios can happen when mechanics collide.
4. King of Fighters
One of the first big franchise match ups in fighting games, King of Fighters became a brand that was much bigger than the sum of its parts. Those parts being Ikari Warriors, Art of Fighting, Fatal Fury, and more. Never taking off in popularity like its 2D competition at Capcom, King of Fighters has been a mainstay in the Fighting Game Community for years, and was beginning to see a rebirth in popularity after King of Fighters XIII. It it's truly unique to see a game act as an Ark to keep all a group of different franchises afloat within it.
3. Kingdom Hearts
A pretty hard sell back in 2002, Kingdom Hearts has turned into a franchise with some of the most rabid fans in the world. Disney characters, themes, and locations get the Square Enix, treatment - complete with melodrama, and crazy plot twists - and star alongside Final Fantasy alumni. Oddly enough, many of the story beats that both companies are known for overlap well. Tales of saving princesses and coming of age are very much in line with both companies narrative philosophies, and each side of the agreement enriches the other admirably. It's been 10 years since a proper numbered entry in the series, but the fervor around the franchise is the same as it's ever been.
2. Marvel vs. Capcom
One of the biggest fighting games in the world and Capcom's most successful crossover, Marvel vs Capcom is a tribute to all things zany about the two big companies, and fighting games themselves. Always focused on fast paced, incredibly aggressive action, the game is a chaotic and a colorful cocktail displaying fighting games at their most ridiculous. At its core, though, it's the physical counterpart to those age old comicbook store debates of "who could beat who." It's also the most actively competitive game on the planet.
1. Super Smash Bros.
Though not as heavily competitive as Marvel vs. Capcom, Super Smash Bros. is one of the most beloved franchises in the world because of how well Nintendo handles it's own self-reference. Assembling the companies most loved characters into one place so they can pound each other to oblivion has been The Big N's meal ticket since 1999. Not only is Smash the most predictable system seller for Nintendo, but it's often had a hand in reinvigorating old brands. The party brawler is also one of the few fighting games that can be adaptable for both casual play, and competitive play, making it a game for virtually anyone.