Indiana Jones is set to return in a matter of months and while we await Harrison Ford's return in The Dial of Destiny by rewatching the movies and whistling that John Williams theme, we've also been looking back at Indy's video game library. By our count, there have been a total of 15 Indiana Jones games released on Nintendo systems (well, 14 really, but we'll get to that in a moment), and we're curious to know which one is best.
That's where you come in. We've got our opinions, but similar to our other reader-ranked polls, we asked Nintendo Life readers to rate every Indiana Jones game you've played over the years and it's time to publish the results — every Indiana Jones game on Nintendo systems, ranked from worst to best by you.
Missed the 'voting' period, did you? Ah, but you didn't! You see, this ranking is created from User Ratings assigned to each game in our database and is subject to real-time change, even after publication. Registered Nintendo Life users can click on the stars below and rate the games out of 10, even as you read this.
If you've previously rated these games, thank you! If not, you can add your score to the game at any time, present or future, and it will still count and influence the order in the article (though you'll need to refresh the page to see any potential changes).
All set? Time to search for the grail...
Note. Keen Indy fans will have no doubt spied the interloper below. Yes, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis never got its own release on Nintendo platforms. HOWEVER, it is available to play on Wii as an unlockable in Staff of Kings. The latter game is easy enough to find, and the former — a seminal Indy title which is given Wii pointer controls here — is easy to unlock, too.
It's clear that of the two versions of this game, it's the Wii one you should investigate. Staff of Kings on the DS was filled with the familiar touchscreen control and microphone gameplay gimmicks, but failed to deliver anything approaching the sort of excitement you'd hope to find on an adventure with Henry Jones Jr. Pointing and clicking (or tapping) was a joy on the DS, and would have been better served with an adventure game in the vein of Fate of Atlantis rather than crowbarring a full 3D game with frustrating fisticuffs and poor puzzling onto the console.
NMS Software developed the Nintendo versions of this version of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade with Ubisoft on publishing duties, and there's another, earlier version published by Taito that's entirely different. A side-scrolling platformer, this one isn't unimpressive (visually speaking) on Game Boy, but the NES game is essentially a straight port of the handheld version. Launching so late in the console's lifecycle, anyone who picked this up over the better Taito game would be rightly miffed.
It's games like this that gave licensed titles a bad name back in the day.
Two versions of this Atari-developed released on NES. One was published by TENGEN prior to a licensing disagreement and Tetris-related lawsuit from Nintendo that resulted in the removal of all its NES titles from store shelves. The other — the exact same game on the cart — had Mindscape taking over publishing duties.
Unfortunately, that detail is probably the most interesting aspect of this loose adaptation of the arcade game. You control Indy and wonkily work your way through various levels from a 'diagonal-down' perspective, swinging on your whip, recovering Sankara stones, saving children, riding in minecarts, and generally giving Thugees a thrashing the items you find. It's got the music, of course, and that goes a long way to firing up the Jonesian spirit, but it's not enough to transform a poor game into a good one.
The Game Boy Color counterpart to Factor 5's N64 title, Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine certainly looks impressive for the hardware and features puzzler gameplay that could generously (very generously) be described as top-down Zelda-esque. It's let down by clunky controls and being a little too confusing, though. Still, HotGen offered up a fair portable puzzler with some Indy trappings that needn't be cast into the infernal fires.
Despite being the DS version of the game, LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues offers up fun level building and the same solid co-op gameplay to give Indy's brick-building series a new life. Kingdom of the Crystal Skull might take up most of the runtime, but it's hard to deny the new takes on the classic films and the level builder aren't fun. We would maybe drop the touch-screen controls and perhaps spread the love a little bit more among the films. If you have the first game, however, this one is probably worth a miss, or you should look at picking up the superior Wii version.
Mixing in top-down areas and puzzles into its standard side-on platforming, this whip 'em up is far from the greatest game to feature the world's most reckless archeologist. However, as an 8-bit adaptation of the third movie, Taito's Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade covers all the main plot points and features varied gameplay in keeping with its theme, plus a decent chiptune rendition of the soundtrack.
Given the relative lack of competition in Indy's gaming catalogue, this isn't a bad time.
Expectations for Game Boy titles were understandably lower given the tighter hardware restrictions of the console, so while this version of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade won't knock your socks off like the best titles on the system, the slightly awkward controls and irritating time limit on levels don't rub you the wrong way like the NES version.
In fact, with the big sprites and decent facsimile of John Williams' bounding theme, we've got a bit of a soft spot for this Game Boy rendition.
Jonesy's first foray in brick form (and on the DS) is a solid version of the console title with more than enough changes to warrant a look into it. You can tap the touch screen to crack Indy's whip or blow into the microphone to blow out torches, making this a really fun, interactive port, especially for the kids. And the new class system means gameplay requires that little extra thought. The only big drawback is the need for multiple copies to play co-op, meaning LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures will likely be a solo experience for many. We do love a Star Wars cameo, though. But for the changes it makes, and the fact that it manages to make all of the blocks fit on this tiny system, it's one to look out for.