Are we alone in the universe? The answer to that question is still unknown, but fantasizing about our very first encounter with extra-terrestrial species remains a popular form of entertainment. Aliens have also been a recurring theme in the gaming world since its inception as titles like Asteroids and Space Invaders helped set the foundation for a future multi-billion-dollar industry. With all the hype going on regarding the infamous Area 51 breach, I felt like it’s the right time to rank the best alien encounters in gaming history. So, without further ado, let’s get into my list of top 5 video games with aliens!
Stellaris, as seen in our Top 10 PC Strategy Games of All Time list, ticks all of the right boxes you’d look for in a space based strategy game: superb graphics, ever-changing storylines and perfectly balanced adventures with adequate exploration and expansion opportunities. You can travel across the galaxy, build your own civilization, discover new species and take them under your dominion. The game’s excellent customization tools let your imagination run as wild as it can while designing your characters. Stellaris unveils a whole new dimension of interstellar adventure that has undeniably redefined the genre.
4. ALIEN: ISOLATION
Alien: Isolation is a modern retelling of the classic Ridley Scott movie that leaves the player stranded in a deserted space station with a deadly “Xenomorph” lurking within. Overcoming the terror and tension, you’d need to find a way to stay alive and complete your mission. This game is a visual delight! The strong attention to detail makes this a perfect tribute to the original 1979 movie. Even if you’re not familiar with the Alien franchise, you’d enjoy this game as a fantastic sci-fi horror release.
3. STARCRAFT 2: WINGS OF LIBERTY
Starcraft games are tactical gems that have kept gamers spellbound across generations. The original Starcraft set a landmark in the world of RTS games, so coming up with a befitting sequel was no easy challenge to take on. But Blizzard delivered just what we wanted in Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty. The game revisits the grand chronicle of three powerful races-Protoss, Terran, and Zerg. Wings of Liberty didn’t limit itself to being just a sequel of the original; it dared to experiment with some innovative ideas that make this an even better galactic saga than the first one.
2. PERFECT DARK
This 2000 classic is definitely one of the best first person shooter games ever created. Perfect Dark is more like a spy thriller than it is an alien-centric title, but our extraterrestrial neighbors play a big part in the game. You play as Agent Joana Dark of the Carrington Institute, and must investigate the dataDyne Corporation who are allegedly weaponizing alien technology. An intriguing story coupled with great graphics (compared to contemporary games, of course), wide range of in-game options and comprehensive bot setups, Perfect Dark is quite enthralling even today.
1. XCOM 2
The sequel to XCom was much anticipated, and, once it did arrive, it didn’t disappoint. The game takes on the classic notions of turn based strategy games and rectifies it to provide a standout experience. The plot envisages a world run by aliens after toppling the human regime. The human resistance must fight back and reclaim our planet. While this is a very familiar setting, the game makes itself special for its masterful execution of RTS elements. There are so many meaningful ways of playing to choose from, so it’s really tough to make the right decision. The action-combat scenarios are also an obvious upgrade.
In reality, choosing 5 alien video games to be considered the “top” amongst all others is a bit of a crap-shoot. Honorable mentions, which we realize may top many others’ lists, include the Halo series, the Metroid series, and, of course, the Mass Effect Series. Which games round out your top alien video games? Let us know in the comments below!