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Gameverse | July 31, 2021

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Is Uncharted The Best Indiana Jones Game?

Matthew Byrd

Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis

The recent announcement that Bethesda and Wolfenstein developer MachineGames will team up to make a modern Indiana Jones title was entirely unexpected but welcome in ways that feel hard to describe.

However, questions remain regarding the upcoming Indiana Jones game’s ability to usurp the Uncharted series which has become the default way to replicate an Indiana Jones-like film experience in a video game.

So has there ever been an Indiana Jones game that has replicated or surpassed the brilliance of the Uncharted franchise? That’s the question we’ll try to answer today as we look at some of the best Indiana Jones games so far to see how they stack up.

Indiana Jones’ Greatest Adventures

One of the first noteworthy Indiana Jones games was released later in the SNES’ lifespan (94/95). For some reason, it never seemed to get the attention you’d think it would have.

That’s a shame because this really is a very fun game. Essentially an Indiana Jones-themed take on the SNES Star Wars titles, Greatest Adventures retells the events of the first three Indiana Jones movies. Its various gameplay sequences even include vehicle and platforming events.

Actually, the game’s biggest shortcoming is that it tries a little too hard to replicate the mechanics of its Star Wars siblings. So far as that goes, it rarely surpasses the brilliance of those incredible titles and fails to find its own way outside of the visuals of the movies themselves.

Is it a better Indiana Jones game than Uncharted? No

Indiana Jones And The Infernal Machine

As the first fully-3D Indiana Jones game, The Infernal Machine was burdened by the fact it was released after the Tomb Raider series became iconic for advancing 3D gaming with the help of Indiana Jones-like themes.

What’s interesting about The Infernal Machine is how much it embraces Tomb Raider‘s innovations. More of a platform puzzler than a straight-up action game, The Infernal Machine actually attempted to replicate some of the more subtle adventuring elements of the franchise.

Sadly, the impressiveness of that effort can’t hide Infernal Machine‘s technical shortcomings. This was a rough era for 3D gaming, and while Infernal Machine made the most of what was available, it’s very difficult to revisit this game today and not wish you were playing either Uncharted or some of the latter 3D Indiana Jones titles.

Is it a better Indiana Jones game than Uncharted? No

Indiana Jones And The Emperor’s Tomb

Somewhat strangely released in 2003 far from the release of any Indiana Jones movie or show, The Emperor’s Tomb tried to pick up where Infernal Machine left off by offering an original 3D Indiana Jones adventure that felt true to the films.

Honestly, it succeeded in ways that exceeded any expectations. Emperor’s Tomb features a genuinely compelling story complimented by exciting action sequences spread across a bountiful amount of levels. Honestly, it’s still playable and enjoyable to this day.

Well…mostly. The game’s rough platforming sections do take some of the fun out of the experience and remind you that developers hadn’t quite figured out 3D cameras by 2005. Still, this is a more than worthwhile adventure you should absolutely check out.

Is it a better Indiana Jones game than Uncharted? Close, but not quite

Indiana Jones And The Fate Of Atlantis

We’re going all the way back to 1992 to talk about a game that many people refer to as the greatest Indiana Jones title ever made.

You know what? They’re absolutely right. Made by Lucasarts at the height of their point-and-click adventure creativity, The Fate of Atlantis‘ compelling narrative, devious puzzles, and wonderful environments raise a compelling argument that Fate of Atlantis is also the best adventure game ever made.

Adventure is really the keyword here. Fate of Atlantis taps into the pure adventurous spirit of the Indiana Jones films while using the stylings of the genre to offer an experience that no 3D action title could ever quite replicate. That’s why it stands alone amongst otherwise noteworthy adaptations.

Is it a better Indiana Jones game than Uncharted? Yes