The 10 best Indiana Jones games, ranked
These belong in a museum!
Indiana Jones is the hero of some of the biggest blockbusters of all time, but he might not appear in as many video games as you think. Even then, some of his most popular video game outings are far from perfect. We’ve ranked his ten best adventures right here, working up to the absolute best. Now that the theme song is probably playing in your head, you should take a look.
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10. Indiana Jones in Revenge of the Ancients
A text adventure probably isn’t the first thing you’d think of for Indy, but he does have one. Set in 1936, the same year as Raiders of the Lost Ark, it sees our adventurer exploring a pyramid found in the jungles of Mexico. Text adventures have a limited appeal these days, but they were still quite popular when Revenge of the Ancients was released in the late 80s.
9. Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings
Staff of Kings complements the plot lines of the movies quite nicely. Raiders and The Last Crusade send Indy after the Ark of the Covenant and the Holy Grail, respectively. The staff in this case is another religious artifact, the Staff of Moses. The game takes players all over the world, from Sudan to San Francisco, with the main detractor being bad motion controls in the Wii version.
8. Raiders of the Lost Ark
This Atari 2600 adventure is the very first Indiana Jones video game, and it deserves credit for that. It loosely adapts the first movie, sending Jones on an adventure through Cairo. As he searches the city, he comes across a medallion that opens the Well of Souls, where the Ark of the Covenant is buried. It’s a simple game, but it still manages to include some interesting scenes.
7. Lego Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues
With all the Lego game licenses out there, an Indiana Jones adaptation was inevitable. The first game focused on the original film trilogy, but The Adventure Continues took a different approach. The first half of the game includes abbreviated versions of the first three movies, while the entire second half is devoted to Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. There’s still lots of Lego goodness throughout, but leaning on what’s generally considered the worst film in the series is less than ideal.
6. Indiana Jones in the Lost Kingdom
Lost Kingdom isn’t the first Indiana Jones game, but it is the first one that told its own story apart from the movies. Set in a kingdom in the middle of the jungle, it challenges Indy to overcome six trials to learn more about the people that once ruled the region. It sports three difficulty levels too, designated by the colored doors in the screenshot above.
5. Indiana Jones and the Emperor’s Tomb
The follow-up to The Infernal Machine (that’s next), Emperor’s Tomb once again sends our hero all around the world, with a particular focus on China. The emperor in question is actually China’s first emperor, who was buried with a black pearl that can supposedly control a person’s will. This is the only Indiana Jones game to spend considerable time in the East, which links it to the beginning of Temple of Doom.
4. Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine
Before Emperor’s Tomb came The Infernal Machine, Jones’ first 3D video game. That’s notable enough, but the game’s premise is one of the most creative ideas in the whole franchise. When the Tower of Babel fell, followers of the god Marduk took parts of an ancient machine to different parts of the world. Each part Indy collects gives him a new ability, but he’ll have to fight giant guardians to obtain them. Eventually, he’ll even have to face Marduk itself.
3. Indiana Jones’ Greatest Adventures
Before the Lego games came along, this was the best way to revisit the highlights from the original film trilogy. Levels are based on famous scenes like the boulder run, Club Obi Wan, and the catacombs beneath Venice. As with many side-scrolling platformers, there’s also a mine cart level, inspired by Temple of Doom. The Indiana Jones theme also sounds pretty nice on that SNES sound chip.
2. Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures
This has become the default way to revisit the original movies in video game form, especially for kids and parents. With levels based on the three original movies, you’ll get to experience all the iconic moments in cutesy Lego form. Like all Lego games, there are plenty of goodies to discover and unlock along the way, including a full stage dedicated to Young Indiana Jones.
1. Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis
Not only is this generally agreed upon as the best Indiana Jones game, but it was also considered by many to be the closest thing to a fourth movie until Crystal Skull came around. Finding the lost city of Atlantis is the perfect adventure for the most famous archeologist in film. While most Indiana Jones games focus on the action, Fate of Atlantis gives players a chance to utilize Jones’ intelligence, thanks to its point-and-click puzzle design.