With science fiction themes so prevalent in video games it's not surprising that Ridley Scott's movie Alien and its sequels have had a large impact on them. You can see the influence of its style and theme in many games from Metroid to Contra.
This thread is devoted to the various games officially based on the franchise. I have seen several lists on the internet but none seem to cover every game. I have attempted to make a complete list so please add ones if I missed them.
Although the movie debuted in 1979 it wasn't until 1982 that the games based on it first appeared, at least as far as I can tell. Avalon Hill made an Apple II game called Alien that was obviously inspired by it but I don't think it was officially licensed.
20th Century Fox released an Atari 2600 Alien game under their Fox Video Games label. It was Pac-Man-ish maze game, nothing too original but well made.
Next came Argus Press Software's Alien for the Spectrum and Commodore 64 in 1984 and the Amstrad CPC in 1985. This was a sort of strategy/RPG.
Shortly following the release of the second movie Aliens in came a couple multiformat computer games in 1986 and 1987.
Published by Activision, Aliens: The Computer Game was made for Apple II and Commodore 64. This was a multi-genre game; it had first person flying and semi-overhead view action. The still screen cinemas were impressive at the time.
Electric Dreams' Aliens game was available for Commodore 64, Spectrum, CPC and MSX. It was sort of an FPS ancestor in that it involved first-person shooting and self-movement although it only let you scroll sideways.
Square made a side-scrolling Aliens action game for the MSX in 1987.
Aliens had an excellent arcade debut in 1990 by Konami. This was mostly a beat 'em up view blasting with some scaling rail shooter parts mixed in.
The third movie came out in 1992 and had several games based on it most of which were developed by Probe and published by Acclaim/Arena/LJN(or Virgin Games in Europe).
I'm a big fan of European-style run 'n guns and I was quite impressed with the Genesis game. You had to explore around for trapped comrades.
I'm going to take a guess and say that the Amiga version was ported from the Genesis one since it's the only version that also credits Eden Entertainment Software and the colour palette seems more Genesis than Amiga to me.
Commodore 64, NES and Game Boy versions were also released in 1992. I haven't played the C64 game although it looks like the same type of game as the Genesis/Amiga one.
The NES game was also similar in design although not as intense.
The Game Boy game was overhead view and developed by B.I.T.S..
I bought the SNES version when it came out in 1993 assuming it was an enhanced port of the Genesis I had rented. I was wrong. It was superior to the Genesis game in graphics and sound but it wasn't the same game, just similar. I prefer the Genesis one for feel of the weapons but this was still enjoyable.
Probe also did a Master System/Game Gear version in 1993. It was pretty good for an 8-bit version, closer in style to the Genesis game than the NES game.
Also from '93 was Sega's System 32 arcade game Alien 3: The Gun. I'm surprised this wasn't more popular given the franchise and the quality. It somewhat resembles Taito's Space Gun and also is like a predecessor to the House of the Dead games.
In 1993, Activision published the first games to feature the cross licensing of the Alien and Predator movie franchises. One was a beat 'em up for SNES developed by IGS and the other was a platform game for Game Boy for ASK Kodansha. I thought both were pretty lame.
While not an official product I think Justin Fisher's 1994 Doom conversion Aliens TC deserves a mention because of its significance to the mod scene that has become so big in PC gaming.
One of the earliest big console first-person shooters was Atari/Rebellion's Alien VS. Predator for the Atari Jaguar. The game could be played from three different perspectives: Marine, Alien, and Predator. It has aged quite a bit but this was impressive in its day, especially for a console FPS.
A Lynx version of AvP was planned but never made it past the prototype stage. The rom is out there for those into emulation.
Capcom was arguably the king of the beat 'em up genre in the '90s and their 1994 arcade Alien vs. Predator game just might be their best one. The animation and gameplay were more refined that their earlier games. Awesome stuff.
Mindscape published Aliens: A Comic Book Adventure for the PC in 1995. You would think the developer Cryo would have done a good job since they had previously made the quality Dune adventure game but this was panned by critics. I only played it briefly and it didn't interest me.
Probe made their first 3d Alien game in 1996 with Alien Trilogy for the Playstation. This impressed the hell out of me a decade ago although I'm afraid at how it might have aged. The atmosphere and details like glass shattering made it stand out. It was ported to the Saturn and PC(by Sculptured Software). I haven't played those versions but they're considered inferior.
In 1998 Kesmai published Mythic's Aliens Online for PC. I never did try it but I read it was a decent squad based multiplayer FPS.
Rebellion came back to make another Aliens versus Predator game in 1999, this time published by Sierra for PC. Like the Jag game you could play as three different beings. The Predator was by far my favorite for this game.
In 2000 the aging Playstation received another FPS, Argonaut's Alien Resurrection. I wanted to try it but didn't want to risk buying it based on mediocre reviews. It's worth noting that it's one of the few games to support the PS mouse.
Fox/THQ's Aliens: Thanatos Encounter was developed for Game Boy Color by Crawfish Interactive. It was an overhead view action game released in 2001. I wasn't impressed with it.
Aliens: Colonial Marines was to be a Playstation 2 FPS by EA/Fox but it was cancelled in 2001.
Sierra contracted the developer Monolith for Aliens VS. Predator 2. It was released for PC and Mac in 2001. I thought it was quite good although not Monolith's best by any means. An expansion pack developed by Third Law Entertainment was released the following year.
Electronic Arts/Zono's Aliens vs. Predator: Extinction was an RTS for Playstation 2 and Xbox in 2003. I haven't played as I'm not much into the genre but it's supposed to have a good interface for a console FPS.
Ubisoft was going to release a Game Boy Advance Aliens vs. Predator FPS in 2003 but they decided against it.
There have been some mobile phone Alien games such as Sorrent's Aliens: Unleashed(2003) and Superscape/3DWG's Alien vs. Predator(2004).
So, over 20 years of Alien games and there's no sign of them stopping. Play Mechanix/Global VR was planning an arcade game for the future. I don't know if it's still in development.
Your thoughts on this franchise in gaming?