After approximately a 5000 year delay, Kingdom Hearts III has finally graced stores with its presence. As far as gaming crossovers are concerned, Square Enix's partnership with Disney is only superseded by Nintendo's Super Smash Bros franchise, although niche titles like Jump Force and Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney have their share of supporters.
Certain combinations just feel right. Goku facing off against Luffy and Naruto makes sense, these are characters designed for crossovers. Even if the Super Saiyan is only humoring his opponents, the individual properties are concurrent enough to avoid shattering one's suspension of disbelief. Super Smash Bros' expansive roster houses dozens of characters who share absolutely nothing in common; however, fighting games are equipped to facilitate for any such discrepancies.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and NieR: Automata could not be further removed from each other, but 2B and Geralt of Rivia both slip-in seamlessly into SoulCalibur VI's roster. If Kingdom Hearts can combine Disney and Final Fantasy to create a beautiful (albeit confusing) action-RPG series, no crossover is beyond the realm of plausibility.
Want to test that theory? Look no further than fanart. The internet is stuffed with weird combos that toe the line between absurdity and brilliance. Here are 25 fan pictures 0f video game crossovers nobody asked for!
Along with defining the stealth-action genre, Metal Gear Solid's convoluted storyline is its main claim to fame. Blending anime tropes and enough cheese to inadvertently trigger a lactose intolerance epidemic, Hideo Kojima's plot seems specifically designed to confuse players. That's not to say there are no moments of brilliance, but reaching the gold requires sifting through hours of nonsense.
Max Payne is not free of contrivances, but the games stick to one timeline and a single protagonist. In terms of gameplay, Max Payne is a Hollywood blockbuster to Metal Gear Solid's supernatural thriller. Are we interested in seeing such a crossover come to fruition? Yes, but only because Max Payne deserves a comeback!
Art by SebastianvonBuchwald.
With the exception of perhaps Lara Croft, Samus Aran is gaming's leading lady. Metroid inaugurated its own genre, with the heroic protagonist quickly establishing herself as an icon of the industry. Recent generations have not been particularly kind to the bounty hunter, but Metroid: Samus Returns proved to be a decent throwback to the franchise's glory days.
Overwatch serves as a testament to Blizzard Entertainment's undeniable talent for creating instantaneously recognizable mascots. Even if the shooter's lore were to be ignored, a user should be able to decipher a character's personality solely from their design. Pharah knows a thing or two about power suits.
Art by AmberHarrisArt.
Clover Studio created six brilliant games, earned an infamous 3/10 from IGN, and birthed PlatinumGames. Due to lackluster sales, the studio's time was cut painfully short by Capcom; subsequently, the publisher spent the next decade porting Ōkami to every console known to man.
Resident Evil 2 marked Hideki Kamiya's directorial debut, and the developer followed up this horror masterpiece with Devil May Cry. Eventually, Kamiya joined Clover Studio and directed Ōkami, a gorgeous cel-shaded masterpiece starring the goddess of the sun, Amaterasu. Technically, Dante and Amaterasu share the same father. Some versions of Ōkami refer to Amaterasu as the "mother of all," which makes her Dante's mother and sister.
Art (and name) by Sabi-Cat-13.
In theory, MediEvil and Tomb Raider should be a match made in Sony heaven. While the latter was a far bigger commercial success, both properties helped define the PlayStation One era. Through countless uneven sequels and multiple timelines, Lara Croft earned the right to be mentioned alongside the likes of Samus Aran and Princess Zelda; meanwhile, Sir Daniel Fortesque faded into oblivion after merely three entries.
2013's Tomb Raider reframed the legendary explorer as a gritty survivor who sporadically raids tombs. Modern Lara is simply too realistic for a MediEvil crossover. With a remaster announced for 2019, Sir Daniel Fortesque could be set for a resurgence.
Art by SoulEaterSaku90.
Okay, this art piece simply oozes adorableness. Mega Man and Metroid share a few things in common. Both licenses started out as 2D platformers, peaked during the 80s and 90s, suffered a noticeable dip in quality, and fell out of favor with their respective publishers. Recently, both series spawned decent games that helped revive interest in the license.
Nevertheless, Rock and Samus Aran's interactions should be limited to the occasional match in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Is an explanation really necessary? All the adorableness in the universe cannot hide the fact that Samus and Rock hail from wholly different worlds.
Art by agomesArrow77.
Following the turn of the century, gaming companies elected animal mascots as the perfect protagonists to spawn seemingly neverending franchises. With the exception of Sega's blue hedgehog, every other character involved in this crossover was conceived during the PlayStation 2's era. For better or worse, Sonic is the only member who still has something resembling a career.
How about a sequel to 2016's Ratchet & Clank? No, but Sonic Forces exists.
Sonic's need for speed limits the hedgehog's crossover potential; on the other hand, the rest of the guys compliment each other quite well. If Crash Bandicoot's post-Naughty Dog sequels are anything to go by, Sony's studio must handle any crossovers involving one of their properties.
Art by ElectricDawgy.
Which of these characters should feature in a crossover? Obviously, Tomb Raider's Lara Croft and Uncharted's Nathan Drake are basically the same Indiana Jones-shaped person; therefore, Tomb Raider: Uncharted is a no-brainer. Devil May Cry's trademark combat does not really suit any of the other licenses' mainline entries, but Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII is an easier pill to swallow. Dante's inclusion might even atone for Genesis Rhapsodos' existence.
Alongside six heroes, the artist threw in an additional helping of wicked charm in Far Cry 4's Pagan Min. Not to take anything away from the villain's capabilities, but Link and Ezio are slightly more competent than Far Cry's average protagonist.
Art by Tsukishibara.
In an alternate reality, Ecco the Dolphin survived the mascot wars to become Sega's poster animal. Unfortunately, the 90s could not resist Sonic's rebellious personality. Along with 1992's original, Ecco the Dolphin spawned three sequels, including a sixth generation 3D game released in 2000. This might be an unpopular opinion, but Ecco the Dolphin: Defender of the Future is superior to any 3D Sonic game. Yes, we have played Sonic Generations, Sonic Adventure, and Sonic Colors. Ecco the Dolphin is better.
This crossover would never work. Ecco is a fish. Where do fish tend to live? Exactly! Sonic and water do not mix.
Art by Liris-san.
Amusingly, LocalSpaghetto's crossover predates Fallout 76 by a number of years. In retrospect, the author may have been better off opting for another number. Unfortunately, Overwatch took this decision out of the artist's hands. A former Overwatch agent turned whistleblower, Soldier: 76 has taken it upon himself to expose the truth behind the agency's collapse. The subject of a global manhunt, Soldier is essentially Blizzard's Jason Bourne.
Minus the shaky cam.
Fallout 76 ruined Bethesda's reputation, and nobody really wants to be associated with the company's failure of an online shooter. Blizzard's games are too polished to mix with Bethesda's buggy messes.
Art by LocalSpaghetto.
Game of Thrones and Batman are not predominantly associated with gaming, but both franchises have dipped their toes into the industry. While the former's track record leaves something to be desired, the Dark Knight's Arkham series redefined modern action games. Putting aside the comics, recently, Bruce Wayne has encountered the most success in video games.
Jon is a fine enough character, but the dude is not fit to wipe Batman's boots. Even if DC's superhero tends to use his fists to solve most problems, Batman's biggest strength is his intelligence. Jon Snow knows nothing; ergo, he cannot be the world's greatest detective.
Art by MilicaClk.
Naruto's ninjas are more in line with Ninja Gaiden's Ryu than Strider's futuristic protagonist. Historically, shinobi served as spies and intelligence officers. While they possessed some fighting skill, ninjas primarily depended on their ability to remain hidden. Modern media loves to frame shinobi as precursors to superheroes, but Hitman is a more accurate representation of genuine ninjas than Ninja Gaiden or Naruto.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is 100% accurate.
Strider skates the line between fact and fiction, although the games tend to lean heavily in the latter's favor. Hiryu's moveset lacks some of Naruto's showmanship, but the ninja is one tough cookie.
Art by TheGuy07.
Produced and published by the same companies, Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age II embody BioWare's strengths and weaknesses. Finetuning the gameplay while sustaining the RPG elements that endeared its predecessor to so many people, Mass Effect 2 is a prime example of a sequel executed to perfection. Substituting a massive map with a fixed location while streamlining the combat for a more casual audience, Dragon Age II squandered any momentum amassed by 2009's original.
Unlike other entries in the series, Dragon Age II has a fixed protagonist in Hawke. Miranda might not be Mass Effect's most intriguing character, but she is a sight better than Hawke.
Art by mindcvermatter.
Alice: Madness Returns and Amnesia: The Dark Descent are equally fascinating games revolving around protagonists dealing with lapses in memory. Alice in Wonderland profits from a touch of the macabre, and American McGee puts the eponymous girl through a scary ordeal laced with intense imagery and too many platforming segments. Alice: Madness Returns' Wonderland might not be an ideal vacation spot, but EA's adventure game lacks much in the way of genuine scares.
The same cannot be said for Amnesia: The Dark Descent. This is a horror game done right! Permitting she has access to multiple weapons, Alice can hold her own in Wonderland, but a Prussian castle is an entirely different matter.
Art by Evelar.
Spyro never looked so dashing! Or, is it Yugi Muto? Spyro Muto? How about Yugi the Dragon? None of them roll off the tongue, but gaming has undoubtedly spawned weirder protagonists than a dragon with a fondness for a children's card game. Yu-Gi-Oh!'s anime left a longer lasting impression than any of the myriad of licensed games thrown out since the '90s; nonetheless, the franchise has made its way to nearly every console since the Game Boy.
Spyro has its fair share of quirky mini-games, but Yu-Gi-Oh! might be pushing it. A card game would not look out of place in Kingdom Hearts.
Art by YugiTatsu.
Well, someone is clearly upset their franchise expired before it really got going. Halo has seen better days, but Master Chief's star continues to burn bright. While the wanton destruction was quite impressive, Prototype struggled to step out of inFAMOUS' shadow.
Also, some polish would not have hurt.
Introduced as the first game's protagonist before developing into the sequel's antagonist, Alex Mercer possesses the ability to shapeshift and transform into a wild assortment of spikey weapons. Alex is by no means a pushover, but Master Chief operates on a completely separate level. Xbox's mascot can topple regimes; one Alex Mercer is a piece of cake.
Art by Alakdilion.
Kingdom Hearts promises Final Fantasy mixed with Disney. For the most part, Square Enix delivered on its promise, but the former's representatives are often relegated to cameos. Kingdom Hearts II's Tifa is just plain bizarre. Replace the Cloud Strifes of this universe with original characters and the end result would remain the same.
Kingdom Hearts III references Square's other perpetually delayed RPG, Final Fantasy Versus 13. Noctis does not physically appear as an NPC, but there is an in-universe commercial referencing a JRPG called Verum Rex that would be regarded as a blatant rip-off in our world.
Art by lireon.
On the surface, Ninja Gaiden and Devil May Cry seem like perfect candidates for a crossover. Team Ninja and Capcom's franchises are both fast-paced hack and slash titles boasting stories soaked in the supernatural. The stoic Ryu could serve as the irreverent Dante's straight man, while Trish and Rachel bond over their mutual admiration for leather.
Why the hesitation? Devil May Cry and Ninja Gaiden reward opposing playstyles. One prioritizes style, the other favors efficiency. Ninja Gaiden punishes showmanship. Can you picture Ryu riding a motorcycle up a tower? Or, combating a group of enemies while eating a pizza? Dante's arrogance does not suit Ninja Gaiden.
Art by EnlightendShadow.
Metal Gear Solid's story transcends criticism. Hideo Kojima weaved such a tangled web of government conspiracies, betrayals, and shadowy organizations; by this point, players are willing to accept anything, no matter how strange! Master Chief hops onto a time machine and travels back to 1984? Sure. Wolfenstein's William "B.J." Blazkowicz joins Punished "Venom" Snake's Diamond Dog mercenary group? Why not.
However, a line must be drawn somewhere! Metal Gear Solid is fine with turning Raiden into an android ninja, but Space Marines are a step too far. Kojima's story is complicated enough without adding Warhammer 40,000 into the equation.
Art by lonefirewarrior.
In this version of Marvel's Avengers, Sonic the Hedgehog will be fulfilling the role of Quicksilver. Frankly, none of the other participants matter! If these characters were around, Thanos might have reconsidered challenging the Avengers. Stepping into Captain America's suit, Commander Shepard's leadership skills make up for his average physical prowess. Considering the author went with the pre-PlayStation 4 variant, God of War's Kratos is more trouble than he is worth.
Samus Aran slips seamlessly into Black Widow's attire; comparatively, Lara Croft deserves a bigger role than Snake Fury's subordinate. Now, in all fairness, Marvel's limited roster of female superheroes is more to blame than this crossover's creator.
Art by rs2studios.
Is there such a thing as too much awesomeness? If this glorious tribute to three mammoth properties is anything to go by, then the answer is yes! Metroid's Samus Aran towers over Final Fantasy XIII's Lightning and Resident Evil's Jill Valentine, but that is more of a testament to the bounty hunter's unshakable status as an icon than anything related to the other two girls.
How about some audience participation? Which studio would you rather handle this crossover? Resident Evil 2 confirmed Capcom has not lost its affinity for horror, but Square Enix and Nintendo have more practice handling crossovers. We are assuming nobody would vote for EA.
Art by lonefirewarrior.
Journey is a masterpiece. A sandy vista instantly conjures up memories of traversing the indie title's unique environment while pondering the meaning of life.
Is that too much? That might be too much.
Sandwiched between a bandicoot and a thief who spends his free time playing games featuring bandicoots, Jak and Daxter has been slightly overshadowed by Naughty Dog's other trilogies. While Crash Bandicoot acquired a thorough remastering, Jak and Daxter had to settle for a low effort PlayStation 4 port. The PlayStation 2 and its games deserve to be handled with more respect! Sony, you are sitting on a potential gold mine.
Art by DarkEcoKat.
Ratchet & Clank is a victim of overexposure. During an eleven-year period, starting from 2002 and ending in 2013, Sony published 12 entries in the series. With the exception of the PlayStation Portable's spin-offs, Insomniac Games handled development for 10 Ratchet & Clank games. By the time 2013's Into the Nexus hit the scene, customers were burned out on the license. The fact quite a number of the PlayStation 3's sequels fell short of expectations did not help matters.
Seeking a change of scenery, Insomniac Games temporarily jumped ship and released Sunset Overdrive on the Xbox One. The game flopped, the studio wasted a year producing mobile games, and Insomniac returned home to produce 2016's Ratchet & Clank. In 2018, they also develop a PlayStation 4 exclusive about an insect or something.
Art by Lord-Kiyo.
Somehow, Shadow the Hedgehog is the one who really seems uncomfortable with this pairing. Following decades of almost marrying Bowser, Princess Peach has grown quite acceptant of anthropomorphic partners. At the very least, Shadow is an anti-hero rather than a villain! In the '90s, many would have questioned such a pairing's legitimacy.
Shadow the Hedgehog agreed to this union solely to facilitate a peace treaty between Nintendo and Sega. The console wars have taken too many lives to count. Dreamcast owners will dedicate sonnets to Shadow's sacrifice. Unfortunately, Nintendo does not negotiate with its competitors, and Sega exited the console business.
Art by mino-the-cat.
Pushing past their conflicting color schemes and the Maverick Hunter's flowing blonde locks, Strider Hiryu and Zero are essentially one and the same. In fact, has anyone ever seen them in the same room? Checkmate.
Project X Zone 2 and Marvel vs. Capcom do not count.
Along with the Capcom connection, Hiryu and Zero are both high-tech warriors specializing in top-secret black ops missions. As the old saying goes, misery loves company; Strider and Mega Man have equally struggled to secure modern sequels. Due to amassing a far smaller fanbase, Strider has never quite been able to secure three consecutive games.
Art by punkbot08.
Mass Effect and Final Fantasy XIII are both classified as RPGs, but they personify opposing cultures. Representing Western developers, BioWare's beloved space-opera boasts dialogue options, third-person shooter gameplay, and a robust cast of relatable characters. Conversely, Final Fantasy XIII features turn-based combat, a gorgeous but unexplorable world, and characters better suited for an idol group than a rebellion.
We are not saying JRPGs and Western RPGs should never mix, but they tend to yield greater results when free from external influence. Final Fantasy XV seemed inspired by Western open-world games, and the results were mixed. Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age screams JRPG and is all the better for it!
Art by KairiRatten.