Ranking The MCU Movies From Best To Worst

Like many, Infinity War sent me back on a Marvel movies watching spree. Since this behemoth set of movies stretches back to 2008, it had been several years since I saw some of the original outings, and I wanted to be reminded of what the building blocks for these franchises looked like.

Phase three of Marvel’s epic universe is getting ready to wrap-up after the next Avengers film, and the movies still continue to be a success in the box office, especially after Infinity War smashed so many records, making Disney even more of a media juggernaut. With Blank Panther having done so well too, and Captain Marvel on the horizon and riding off of Infinity War’s buzz, there doesn’t appear to be any slowing down.

With Ant-Man and the Wasp officially rounding the films up to a nice even twenty, I felt it was time to rank them. I haven’t done this since there were only ten of them, and my thoughts have certainly changed on some since last time, so let’s see where the cards fall after a fresh watching.

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Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (Switch) REVIEW – Portable Nazi Murder

It’s never a bad time to shoot the shit out of some Nazis. As a follow-up to 2014’s The New Order, The New Colossus has some large ass-kicking boots to fill—and the 2018 port to the Switch, even more so. When the game was revealed to be coming out for Nintendo’s most recent console, I was a little surprised and, like many other, questioned whether it was possible. I was ready though—once I purchased an SD card for some additional space at least—because I wanted to see how gloriously the blood could truly flow.

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Luke Cage: Season 2 REVIEW – A Bulletproof Show?

A second shot at the king.

After such a big explosion of intergalactic action in Infinity War, there is something so surreal about going back to the streets and slowing down the pace, until the blood starts flowing at least. As much as I loved the first season of Luke Cage, it had some serious pacing issues and a few dead stops that sacked the momentum. It wasn’t just the death of Cottonmouth, but another weak villain that overshadowed Mariah’s potential, in Diamondback, leading to a void in the narrative and a sloppy back half of a season. So I was understandably worried, but this second attempt nailed that slow burn and made sure there would be a solid base with no sudden halts.

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Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn “The Big Daddy is Back”

I know nothing about basketball, but after Shaquille O’Neil was in his own hot game on the SNES and in that one movie where everyone thinks it was Sinbad, I figured he must be a major star. And that opening line is all we need to mention about the original game, as this second iteration seems to want nothing to do with the classic fighter, other than as material for some jokes. Many years and a sprinkle of crowdfunding later though, this dominant athlete is looking to craft a new legend, or at least wants to make something closer to an actual success in the video game world. Is it possible though, or are some things in history truly doomed to repeat?

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E3 2018 Recap

Seems like every year, there is less and less I like from these shows, with a lot that makes me groan, and old franchises that just don’t do it for me anymore. It never fails though that some announcements and trailers just catch my attention, or remind me how much I loved a previous game, or titles like it. So I decided to once again share my personal take on the big show with everyone, to talk about what irked me and the things that truly entertained me this year, with my personal E3 2018 recap.

 

 

Halo Infinity

I recently replayed through Halos 1-4 and got back into the series a lot. The fifth installment wasn’t bad, but I’m not sure that this one continuing the new story for the Master Chief was really enough to get me excited here, as I was more interested in the single word title instead of just being called Halo 6, whether there is anything behind that or not. We didn’t see much, but some aspects looked fantastic, while other parts just seemed unpolished. I’ll play it eventually, but it’ll take a lot more for this to become something I truly get excited about.

 

Fallout 76

I’ve never been able to get into this series, even though I put a good number of hours into the second game and gave the third multiple chances. After Bethesda teased this new installment though, I found myself looking at how much Fallout 4 costs currently. I was ready for them to say it was just a base building game with heavy resource management mechanics, and I would have totally tried that one, but what they showed gripped my attention in a much different way. I think this one could still easily let me down, and I doubt I’ll take much advantage of the multiplayer aspects, but now I’m ready to try and survive West Virginia.

 

The Division 2

I heard so much negative stuff about the first game, and even those that were putting a ton of hours in could never give me a good reason to play, unless I had friends that were also. Stack some glitches, bad AI, and grumbling about additional content on top of all that, and there is my reason why I never gave The Division a shot. The trailer for the second one didn’t sell this entry any harder, as it sounded like more of the same with less effort, but in Washington D.C. this time. Also, I know a lot of people like to gripe about the scripted multiplayer chatter, but it really is campy, annoying, and makes me think that the real experience will be so much worse. Nintendo did it some too with the Mario Party clip, but it was a little less awkward. Stop that.

 

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Not too much to say about what was actually shown. I’m glad we got some gameplay and were shown some of the combat, but I enjoyed the previous two games so much, this is a must. That, and Geek is going to make me get it anyway. It looks good though, even more brutal, with some beautiful jungle environments—which is good, because the last one made me hate snow and ice even more. I’m just hoping the story does something really cool here, and that plane scene is just another reason why it isn’t safe to travel with Lady Croft.

 

 

Devil May Cry V

Seeing this trailer and reading up on the series made me realize how little I actually know about the lore. I loved the first two games, couldn’t beat the third but enjoyed it still, and the fourth installment honestly felt horrible. I guess I’ll be giving it another shot though. I actually like what I’ve played of DMC, but I’m not sure this trailer was really that much different. It was fun though, but I’m not sure about Dante’s—or is that Nero—new partner and the odd Kentucky-esque sounding accent. Give the trailer credit for making a true impression though and having me wanting to go back and play the other games.

 

Gears of War

I’m making my way through this series again to refresh on the lore before I finally tackle Gears of War 4, but seeing the trailer for part five has me wanting to hurry now. It caught my attention for sure, and I want to know even more how the world has changed since the original series. I thought they were going for an ultimate tease with the Funko Pops, but let me say they delivered, and that an XCOM style tactics game in this universe just seems like a brilliant idea that I will certainly try. Needless to say, I’m ready to sign back up to the Coalition.

 

DOOM: Eternal

This was up high on my wish list—right next to a new Mortal Kombat—and I didn’t think either would actually happen, but as soon as that music hit, I was pumped. I loved 2016’s new take on the franchise and cannot wait to dive knee-deep back into some demonic gore. I know they barely showed anything, but the knowledge that it is happening is good enough. And I actually love that title.

 

Wolftenstein: Youngblood

I still haven’t finished The New Colossus yet, but I definitely will now. This title seems very much like Wolfenstein 2’s version of The Old Blood, but set in the ‘80s and with two badass daughters of one BJ Blazkowicz. What’s not to like? The style looks good, and to sweeten the pot, it seems we will be getting some co-op, which I am all in for, if I can do it from my couch. To be fair though, I don’t need much encouragement to try a new Wolfenstein game, or to go shoot some Nazis.

 

Command & Conquer: Rivals

What an utter cock tease. I’ve played this series off-and-on for years, with the third installment being my favorite, and after the disappointment of C&C4 I wondered if the franchise might be buried and forgotten. Maybe it should have been. I was helping someone move when the conference was going on but heard there was a new C&C title, getting me excited for the potential revival, only to have my hopes dashed against the fields of tiberium. Something being a mobile game isn’t a death sentence for most, but with my vision, and the history of microtransactions, I see it as a bad word. No one is saying this is going to ruin the series or even tarnish the franchise’s name, but it was such a letdown from what most of the fans wanted.

 

 

Battletoads

We don’t know much about it, because it wasn’t much of a tease, but those few seconds sure did do their job. Really, it was the promise of couch co-op, and a lot of hope. Since they won’t give me a good new TMNT beat ‘em up game, I have to hope that the frogs will deliver. It’s sticking with the 2.5D it seems, which sounds like a good first step.

 

Cyberpunk 2077

After we saw that first trailer a while back, I knew I was hooked on the idea, but some news that came shortly after made it seem like this might be a title we would never see. I’m glad that turned out to be untrue, but now I’m a little worried about the hype. It looks good, these guys do trailers well, and for many, this was the new hotness of E3 this year. A lot of people are talking up the fact that you can pick your gender, that there’s nudity, and how much there is to do in the world, and I’m right there with you, but I also want to keep my anticipation a little grounded. We’ll see before too long if that was necessary.

 

Beyond Good and Evil 2

Honestly, see above. It looks great and massive, but let’s keep the hype in check. It being a prequel was one of the more interesting aspects I think we were given. Also, it may have seemed awkward to have that portion with Joseph Gordon Levitt and HitRecord talking about contributions. That interested me and many others it seems, and now I’m wondered how much affect this idea will actually have on the game’s world.

 

 

Ghosts of Tsushima

Doesn’t this look amazing? I’m so interested in how the combat will work in this. Only downside is it not being a new Bushido Blade or Onimusha.

 

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

I just finished Assassin’s Creed Origins, and while it isn’t one of my favorites, it was good. I was not a huge fan of the combat though and I’m hoping that will be changed. It’s cool that Bayek is returning, but we are getting two new playable characters, and you pick one of them at the beginning to control through the entire game. I think I have to go Kassandra here, based off of what they showed. Some people seem really excited about the ability to romance others, and the setting looks wonderful. I’m hoping there are some elements from Homer’s Odyssey, and that the boat combat remains fun.

 

Hitman 2

I love the series, and the last installment felt like a nice fresh take, even though I was sad we didn’t get to finish the story from Absolution. I waited until all of the episodes were done, because that is usually not my jam, but now I’m thinking I shouldn’t have been so stubborn. This new installment looks bigger, very open and full of possibilities, with even more of an emphasis on weapons of opportunity, like that fish from the trailer. I’m looking forward to this one.

 

 

The Last of Us 2

What big shoes this game has to fill, but the trailers make it look up to the task. The images we saw were incredibly brutal and showed some hectic gameplay that will keep things tense, but where were the infected? I’m curious to see how they look. No Joel yet? Intrigues me as to what he’s up to. Everyone is talking about the kiss between the two female characters, which is great, but what it tells me is that there is another heart-wrenching story in store for us.

 

 

Resident Evil 2 Remake

Ow! My erection…

 

Sony’s Press Conference

From a pure presentation standpoint, Sony had one of their weaker conferences in the past few years. The games that they showed off were fantastic, but they went for the long music openings again, some odd breaks while they physically moved all of the journalists from place to place, and some audio issues. I’m sure this was a great idea on paper, but reading the responses of people actually there made it even more evident how this method fell flat. It seemed like it took forever to get started, especially with that odd intermission recapping the five games previously announced from last week, but once it got going they really hit hard. There were no announcements about hardware, backwards compatibility, new games that hadn’t already been shown in some way, and I’m sure many fans were upset about the lack of anything from the FF7 Remake being shown, but for me, the presentation was enough to throw this one off. It stands out more because Microsoft seemed to have their shit together this year, but at least it wasn’t as boring as EA’s event.

 

 

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

After loving the N64 and Gamecube entries for the series, I didn’t get into Smash on Wii much, and really tried to get more into the fantastic version on the Wii U, but I just wasn’t a fan of that console. Now a new iteration with sixty-six characters and some solid features is coming out for my Switch, which I love, and all it is missing is a little Waluigi. Nintendo showed off a ton here and got me excited to do battle with some of my favorite characters, especially since I missed the DLC characters from the last game. Now that we have a release date, I’m ready, and this is a day one buy for me. As this was the last thing I saw from the proper conferences, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate left me feeling good about E3 overall and ready to play some games.

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A Bad Egg: Blemishes on an Otherwise Great Series

The new God of War came out recently to a standing ovation of top scores. I found myself wanting to play it, especially since I enjoyed the first two games, but then I remembered I never actually finished the third installment, even after multiple attempts. The game just never clicked with me. I’m not saying that entry is bad, just that something never clicked with me. There are certainly some series though with titles that stop the momentum cold, or have gained a reputation as the black sheep of the franchise after some time, but either way they are the installments that should be skipped by anyone who isn’t a die-hard fan.

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Also, there were some entries I had to cut out of this one, so I’ll post those here for anyone who wanted to see what didn’t make the cut.

Gears of War: Judgment

This entry is at the bottom of the list because it does several things right and could still be a lot of fun for anyone who just wanted to focus on the gameplay. Although it isn’t a numbered entry, it tries so hard to be like one without balancing its content or adding anything meaningful. My issue with that aspect is that this title seems to try and move past its cover shooting roots without replacing that in some new way, making it feel like a battle of attrition, where dying feels more random—lacking in strategy and timing. Combat is faster and brings in more things to kill, while sacrificing elements of style, even though they added a scoring system to try and hide that. Some of the new elements slow down the pacing and make sections feel segmented into combat hot spots instead of a flowing journey. The story takes place fifteen years before the other entries and is missing something, adding nothing to the world that should feel different from the other three previous entries, and wastes a ton of potential in what feels like a streamlined story, at the cost of substance. It wasn’t memorable at all, as I found myself trying to remember what actually happened in the game just days after beating it. Only play this one for the co-op, and perhaps the Aftermath section for those wanting to see all of the story bits, otherwise, move on to the next cover.

 

Zelda II: The Adventures of Link

Yes, there is a huge fan base for this game, and it isn’t bad really, but more that it was different and the first created some major expectations that were not met. In a world where the initial game had not existed, the sequel would have been upheld as a masterpiece. It isn’t just the side-scrolling that throws people off, the leveling up system felt out of place and awkward, the overworld was also annoying when dodging mobs and navigating, making the game feel like it tried to have a baby with Final Fantasy. The game is also just hard and sometimes unfair, especially with its enemy placement. This is an adventure where death puts the player back to square one, magic is a heavy requirement, and the sword is just too short to get the job done. The towns are neat, even if the residents are a bit cryptic, but there are some things to like about what the title does for sure, things that would help shape the lore and future titles. It’s just left with this reputation of being the black sheep in the series, and with a franchise that has so many entries, this is an easy one to skip. It’s that, or keep seeing that deep red screen while Gannon’s evil laughter booms.

 

Double Dragon V: The Shadow Falls

At least when the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles wanted to branch off into a horrible fighting game, they decided not to make it a main entry in their series. The fifth Double Dragon game however wasn’t made by the original developers and based itself off of the cartoon show, which was decent, but much different from the earlier games. The result was a cobbled together mess that set the franchise back. It was another title in a long line of games that tried to follow in the success of a new genre, basing much of its systems off of Street Fighter II in what could best be called a pale imitation, having a weird mechanic to alter character stats and clunky controls that make performing special moves a chore. Gameplay has zero flow to it, and the simple act of moving is rough, resulting in a game that doesn’t just play poorly, but discourages enjoyment. Stage design is forgettable, graphics are bland, and the music is unimpressive to round out a horrible presentation. The game wastes its story and entire roster of twelve characters in something that simply shouldn’t have tried to be different and might have worked had they not been chasing a trend, but the result was a black mark that most beat ‘em up fans refuse to acknowledge.

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Retro Reflections: Looking Back On Blade (Game Boy Color)

No matter how well this Marvel Cinematic Universe thing does, or whatever changes come, Wesley Snipes will always be Blade to me. I’m a huge fan, but somehow missed the tie-in games, so I’m correcting that mistake now and basking in the man’s digitized glory. There were actually two games released based off of the first film which were both quite different at the core, instead of the handheld iteration just being a watered down version as was typically the case back then.

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