Aliens is exactly the kind of sci-fi action nightmare that deserves to be adapted into crazy, spooky video games. Unfortunately, most of the Xenomorph games over the years have been a huge disaster. Let’s take a look at the long, slow evolution of bringing slimey acid-monsters from digital jokes to digital nightmares.

As a bonus, the insanely expensive collector’s edition board game of Aliens which features six different missions, got remade in Flash and you can play it for free.

Alien

Remember how the movie was basically Pac-Man? No? Well, this is what they had to work with.

Aliens

The Commodore 64 game was surprisingly complex, and has recently been remade by a fan for PC and it’s a free download worth your time.

Aliens

The ‘90s shoot ‘em up is… basically everything we once thought video game adaptations of films had to be. There’s a mother alien that throws eggs at you? Seems counterintuitive.

Alien vs. Predator

A 1994 brawler, because we all wanted to punch some Aliens to death.

Alien 3

The SNES/Genesis versions left a lot to be desired. Remember the movie with no guns in it? What if we made Ripley into Rambo and gave her a shit ton of guns?

Alien Trilogy

The 1996 Playstation game is brutally difficult and graphically… complicated. You’ll see what I mean.

Aliens Online

An online multiplayer experience in 1998 that was maybe a little too ahead of the curve, but still a cool idea.

Aliens vs. Predator

The 1999 game and its sequel were THE groundbreaking horror games for this franchise. The ability to play as a Marine, and Alien, or the Predator — all with different playstyles and missions — was just unbeatable.

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Aliens Extermination

This 2006 game raises the question: “Why weren’t there more light gun games in this franchise?”

Alien vs. Predator

This PSP title from 2007 is a surprisingly detailed and dark portable title, which is so cool to revisit for small doses of Alien action.

Aliens Infestation

This Nintendo DS game (!) is maybe my favorite Aliens game of all time. It’s a Metroidvania style adventure with multiple characters and managing their multiple story paths. Again, it’s on a Nintendo handheld and it is brutally good. Track this down if you want to play anything off this list.

Alien Vs Predator 3

Uh. It’s hard to pin down why this wasn’t better. Alien gameplay got a lot worse and Predator gameplay got a lot better and Colonial Marine bullets stopped working on everyone.

Aliens: Colonial Marines

This is the worst thing. This is the worst thing to ever happen. It is legendary in how terribly this project was mismanaged, and how the trailers promised a game that does not exist. There’s also some levels with blind aliens that explode and they are hilarious.

Alien: Isolation

Finally, someone pinned down the tone of the movie Alien by taking away all the weapons — and all the chances of survival. You play as Ripley’s daughter and you do a lot of cool engineering stuff and you die. It’s awful. I love it. The Nostromo DLC allows you to play as Ripley from the movie and I have never finished it. It’s that scary.

Finally, check out this video which wraps up a few of the other titles we never had a chance to track down.

Born in Salina, Kansas and booklearn'd at Northwestern University in Chicago, Brock is a 6'7" writer slash comedian now living in Los Angeles. He accepts tributes in the form of video games and gin -- like an adult.