A mystery box filled with miniatures to enhance your RPG campaigns. All official miniatures and for a bargain price!

Buy Miniatures Box »

Not sure what game to buy next? Buy a premium mystery box for two to four great games to add to your collection!

Buy Premium Box »
Subscribe Now »

If you’re only interested in receiving the newest games this is the box for you; guaranteeing only the latest games!

Buy New Releases Box »
Subscribe Now »

Looking for the best bang for your buck? Purchase a mega box to receive at least 4 great games. You won’t find value like this anywhere else!

Buy Mega Box »
Subscribe Now »

Buy 3, get 3% off - use code ZATU3·Buy 5, get 5% off - use code ZATU5

Top 5 Alien Games

Alien Games

Here are the Top 5 Alien Games to get you over your Xeno-phobia.

Over one hundred Star Wars games, and a similar number of Trek titles, have been released over the years. To be honest, many of them deserve to be consigned to a galaxy far, far away.

Both of these franchises boast a rich lore that make them ripe for games spanning multiple genres, but there is another film series that offers just as much potential. Ridley Scott’s Alien was released on the big screen in 1979. It went on to hatch three movie sequels, two prequels - and a couple of Alien Vs. Predator spin-offs… but let’s not mention those.

With two TV series in the works - one from Scott himself- it seems we’ll be seeing more Alien in the future. If you can’t stand the wait there have been 17 official Alien games released to date. So, if you do want to dive into the Alien-verse, then where should you start?

1. Alien Isolation

Arguably, the Alien franchise lends itself best to the survival horror genre, which was (officially) born in the mid ‘nineties thanks to titles like Resident Evil. While Resi may get the plaudits, to my mind the game that defines the genre should be Alien Isolation by The Creative Assembly.

As someone who ended up fleeing into a fire escape during the live action Alien War 'total reality' experience during the mid-1990s, I can attest that above all things the Alien series really does lend itself best to horror. Oh, and it turns out everyone can hear you scream in the basement of the London Trocadero.

Alien Isolation may not ask you to sign a health waiver, but it's still very scary - and I haven't even tried it in VR. It captures the look, sound and atmosphere of the original Alien better than any game to date and is set up as a direct sequel to the first film.

It's a studio-endorsed continuation and Fox was closely involved in the development process, sharing concept art and behind the scenes photography from the production of Scott’s film. The attention to detail and great production values makes this the most authentically Alien title to date, however the real stroke of genius on the part of the developer is that it takes away the big guns.

For good or ill, no firearms was one of Sigourney Weaver’s stipulations to bring her character, Ellen Ripley, back to the film series in David Fincher’s Alien 3. This came on the back of the notoriously difficult shoot for Aliens, James Cameron’s more action-orientated, but arguably more gaming-friendly, 1986 sequel. Ironically, games developers couldn’t find a way around this for the official 16-bit video game adaptations, which see Ripley taking on multiple xenomorphs on Fiorina 161 with a pulse rifle…

In the case of Alien Isolation though, the player is more-or-less powerless against the creature stalking them. You’ll need out think – and out hide - enemies, rather than rely on firepower.

Yet the Alien isn’t the only threat as you try to find your way off the space station Sevastopol. You have to contend with trigger-happy survivors, and Working Joes, synthetic humans that clearly haven’t digested Asimov’s laws of robotics.

This plays into the world created by Ridley Scott, which is characterised by mistrust and paranoia – and it's not just the extra-terrestrials you need to be afraid of. Mega-corporations, such as Weyland-Yutani, are driven by greed and when it comes to turning a profit, the crew is always expendable.

Essentially, you can’t trust anyone in the Alien universe. And that’s what’s make this game really scary. Well, that and the eight-foot-tall biomechanical monster that will either eviscerate you or use you as a living incubator for its next generation.

All-in-all Alien Isolation is the only bone fide masterpiece in the Alien games series thus far. It’s a truly skin crawling experience and one that will remain with you long after you’ve finished the game. And if you want more, an official follow-up - Alien Blackout - was later released for iOS and Android and is surprisingly good.

2. Aliens: Colonial Marines

The 2013 title from Gearbox Software is undoubtedly a controversial choice given it was fundamentally broken when it was released. The game's lukewarm reception was probably exaggerated by the weight of expectations given everyone had high hopes of Gearbox on the back of 2009's acclaimed Borderlands.

That and ferocious xenomorphs pootling about near vents or exhibiting suicidal and decidedly inconsistent behaviours anyway.  Ironically, it recently came to light that the game ruining AI was down to a typo in a single line of code... Which modders have since fixed for the PC version. A decade on it might be time to re-evaluate Colonial Marines.

To my mind, it’s a pretty decent game. Admittedly it’s nothing ground-breaking as a FPS and you’ll need to fiddle with the sensitivity settings on the console versions to make it the controls controller-friendly. However, what puts the game so high up this list is the storyline.

It’s set in the immediate aftermath of Cameron’s Aliens. The titular marines investigate what happened to the USS Sulaco, the vessel dispatched to the doomed colony LV426. The narrative is built around shady corporate behaviours on the part of Weyland-Yutani. The company has reached the ship first, so the player has to contend both with a xenomorph infestation and heavily-armed mercenaries.

The Weyland-Yutani forces are intent on securing alien specimens - and in covering this up - no matter what the cost. It's a great set-up and gets around one of the fundamental issues with the Alien games – a lack of variety in xenomorph types. These are limited to variations on a theme constricted to the face hugger, the chestburster, and the drone/warrior - all of which exhibit particular behaviours.

Looking beyond the power of the franchise, Alien-themed games are at a disadvantage compared to original IPs. I’d argue that as military-themed sci-fi games, the Halo titles owe a great debt to the Alien series though. There's no ignoring the fact that the UNSC itself and the design of its hardware is somewhat inspired by Cameron's Aliens. Moreover, the NPC marines themselves are clearly a homage to Hudson, Vasquez et al.

However, the variety of enemy species within the Covenant encourages different play styles to deal with them – and gives developers more to work with.

3. Alien VS Predator (done right)

Teaming up two of cinema’s greatest monsters has never quite lived up to its promise on the Big Screen - especially compared to the great standards set by the Dark Horse comic series. However, it works extremely well for gaming.

The AVP subset of games perfectly addresses the lack of variety in enemies. Without getting drawn into debates around canon, it was a smart move on the part of Rebellion to introduce different character-based game modes for asymmetrical play into the original Alien Versus Predator in 1994.

As an Alien super-fan one of my greatest extravagances was to buy a second-hand Jaguar console - at great expense - just to play the platform exclusive game. Was it worth it...? Honestly, just get the free Doom mod - it's significantly cheaper.

However, the subsequent two AVP games for the PC brought in proper 3D graphics as well as three-dimensional movement. Being able to play as a xeno and drop on a cowering lab technician from the ceiling will never get old for me. The games still play well 20 years on.

The formula was even extended to the strategy genre with the release of AVP: Extinction for Xbox and PS2 in 2003. It was an interesting concept and Aliens is returning to RTS next year in the shape of Aliens: Dark Descent, which looks promising from the initial trailer.

Rebellion sought to reboot the core FPS formula for games consoles with the release of a final (for now?) AVP game in 2010. Reviews were middling and the Aliens themed action games were put into hyper sleep.

4. Aliens: Fireteam Elite

The most recent Aliens title from Cold Iron Studios is the latest in a long line of games built around 'bug hunts', with USCM colonial marines facing off against hordes of xenomorphs. It’s most influenced by Cameron's bombastic Aliens and this is no bad thing. The focus on action over body horror makes the 1986 sequel well-suited to gaming, in Fireteam Elite players get to try out some of cinema's most iconic weaponry and explore the rich backstory of the franchise.

The game is intended for collaborative online play, much like games like in the Left 4 Dead series. The extent to which you enjoy it will thus depend on who you play it with. And this is what led me to put it down before I might have otherwise. While I can appreciate the game presents a great opportunity to recreate the Corp's renowned line in banter, I prefer to play solo. Frankly, there's only so many times I can hear someone quote "Game over man, game over..."

5. Aliens In The Arcade

There have been numerous official and Alien ‘inspired’ coin-op games over the years. Notable mention should go to Aliens: Armageddon a very good on-rails light gun shooter from 2014, which can still be spotted in seaside arcades and is well worth investing a pound or two on. It was re-released as Alien Covenant in 2017 to help promote the release of the second prequel, but other than the revised title, it has no ties to the film whatsoever!

Thankfully the same is true of Capcom’s 1994 Alien Vs Predator, which actually predates the film series by a decade. The Final Fight-esque side scrolling brawler pairs up marines and predators against the dastardly Weyland-Yutani (again), which is conducting bio-war experiments on Earth.

Sadly it’s never received a release for home systems – no doubt due to licensing issues - which mean gamers need to look to MAME or seek it out in retro arcades. The same is true for my pick of the coin-ops, Konami’s Aliens from 1990. It’s a brilliantly gory run-and-gun shooter that (vaguely) follows the plot of the film, albeit with some ‘creative’ interpretations of Geiger’s Alien design. Some of these owe more to the enemies in Konami’s Contra of 1986, which firmly fits into the ‘inspired by Alien’ category.


So, what makes for great Alien games? Well, it’s hard to put a finger on it as the Alien lends itself well to a variety of genres from action, to survival horror to RTS. This is possible because the world Ridley Scott established in 1979 is so well-realised and wholly relatable. It grows ever larger through an ever-expanding body of work that covers film, video and board games, tie-in novels and comics. In particular, Alien fans should seek out the excellent tabletop RPG from Free League Publishing, which (literally) maps out the scale and nuance of this universe.

Space travel may have become commonplace, but it’s not without peril. The very word 'Alien' speaks to something that is unknowable and that is in itself wholly terrifying. No-one is going anywhere boldly given the existential fear of what you might find there. But I look forward to finding out what comes next. As Alien nears the next chapter there’s never been a better time to start exploring... From the safety of behind a screen at least.