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.
15. Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings (DS)
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.
14. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Action Game (NES)
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.
13. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (NES)
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.
12. Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine (GBC)
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.
11. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (NES)
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.
10. LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues (DS)
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.
9. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (GB)
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.
8. The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (NES)
A side-scrolling action platformer from Jaleco and Chris Gray Enterprises, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles is absolute bog-standard 8-bit fare. There's nothing to get upset over, but also very little to get excited about.
Based on the TV series which, as per the title, chronicled the adventures of a young Indy, you journey across the globe fighting bad guys and, at one point, taking down the Red Baron himself in a shmup stage. There's some decent visual variety in the stages and the audio is listenable, but NES owners expected more by the time this launched in 1993.
Staff of Kings on wii is guilty pleasure for me, far from perfect, some of the motion controls are broken especially that last motorbike level, but it did feel like indy, graphics while lo res were great I thought for wii
Considering the IP that is a pretty unspectacular list of games tbh. Looking forward to what Bethesda can do with the IP. Maybe Tomb Raider 2014 or Arkham City style would be awesome.
I've been watching through the Indiana Jones films with my dad in preparation for The Dial of Destiny (only got Kingdom of the Crystal Skull left!) so this list couldn't have come at a perfect time for me. Can't say I've really heard of many of these outside the Lego crop but, as someone who got their old Wii up and running again, I'll definitely be taking a look at Staff of Kings/Fate of Atlantis!
Fate of Atlantis is such a treasure for its time. It’d be amazing if it saw a re-release on modern consoles and PC with or without an HD remaster.
@Speedo Indeed, I'm not going to try and convince anyone about Staff of Kings, but I really like it, because you do feel like Indy playing the game, and that's the most important thing for an Indy game. Graphics might not be spectacular, but I like them too.
And the fact Fate of Atlantis comes with makes it an essential Wii title for me.
I did think the Lego ones for the Wii would rate high. I played one of those and found it really fun at the time.
The movie was very good. I was little kid when I watched it. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Yess they are making sometimes the games from the movies and it looks the same to.
I've only played a handful of these, with the SNES title being my personal favorite (despite it being almost unfairly difficult).
The Fate of Atlantis has always been regarded as a must play, but I've never had the chance. Maybe some day I'll have that chance, or I'll just find a walkthrough on Youtube.
Infernal Machine on gbc should be higher, far from a great game but pretty ambitious, and better than bad.
I bought The Staff of Kings because it came with The Fate of Atlantis.
Indiana Jones as a concept appeals to me but I'm always disappointed by the movies and games. I only really enjoyed the first movie. I never played the LEGO one. Those games are always fun. When are any of these coming to Switch?
I was just downloading La Mulana 2. I always just considered him to be Indy.
Fate of Atlantis can be easily bought on Steam for $6 or less for both Mac and PC. The game's from the 1990s so it'll run on a potato. If you love Indiana Jones and haven't played that game, you owe it to yourself. It's the real Indy 4.
Fate of Atlantis was one of the best PnC games of the era. I'd forgotten about Infernal Machine. I need to return to that one. But, FoA was really good.
@wilforce Fate is on steam for less than $10 and so elite, but would also love a switch version
Staff of Kings was surprisingly enjoyable. And at the time I thought the graphics were rather good for a 3rd party Wii game.
AdventureGamers ranked Fate of Atlantis the #11 best adventure game of all-time.
Portal 2 was #10.
If you've ever liked any old point-and-click adventure games, it's a no-brainer. I got mine on GOG.
@dringosa I almost picked it up a few years ago, but I’ve drifted away from playing games on PC a while ago. While my rig is fine, my setup is not ideal so it takes a good 20 minutes to pull everything out for a PC gaming session.
Usually I don't leave angry comments but lego indiana jones 2 for the ds is better then the one on the wii and it is much better the lego indiana jones on the ds.
I‘m missing the Indy Jones Pinball table from Pinball FX3 (Switch) in this list. Would be my number two behind Fate Of Atlantis
Nah temple of doom for NES was way better than sole of the games you listed here. I call BS
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