There is no doubting that Avengers: Infinity War was one of the most ambitious crossovers in entertainment history. Few movies, televisions shows, or comics have been able to pack so many well-known characters into one package. What is more impressive is that Infinity War didn’t just manage to get all of these fictional heroes in one place but also told a coherent and compelling story.
While it was obviously an important event in cinema history, that does not mean that it is necessarily the best or even most epic crossover of all time. Sure, there were dozens of powerful superheroes battling an all-powerful titan. Yet, other entertainment properties have also had joint adventures. Some even crossed bigger hurdles than Infinity War as they different companies and creators had to work together to make them happen.
You just have to look at some of the biggest franchises from the ‘90s to see how crossovers should be done. Plenty of childhoods were spent hoping that favorite characters from different worlds would team up. When they did occasionally happen, millions of kid’s imaginations were brought to life in an instant. Here are some of the very best crossovers from that decade that put Infinity War to shame.
20 Space Jam
Outside of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, the best animated live action crossover is without a doubt Space Jam. The legendary basketball movie saw Michael Jordan team up with Bugs Bunny and other cartoon characters as they battled to save themselves from a collection of aliens. The clamor for Space Jam is clear by just how many people want a sequel to the hit 1996 film. Fortunately for them, Space Jam 2 is scheduled to release in 2021.
19 Power Rangers And Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Forget Marvel superheroes, the episode Shell Shocked from Power Rangers In Space saw an even more impressive team joining forces. The Power Rangers teamed up with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to fight Astronema. The villain had brainwashed the pizza-eating heroes to do her will but they were eventually able to break free and fight alongside the Space Rangers to defeat her and return to New York.
18 Batman & Spider-Man: New Age Dawning
The 1997 limited run comic mini-series Batman & Spider-Man: New Age Dawning saw the Marvel and DC superheroes team up. Seeing characters from the same shared universe work together is nice but seeing those from across the comic book divide fight alongside each other in another thing altogether. In the comic, the two battle Ra's al Ghul and Kingpin as the villains attempt to sink New York under the sea.
17 Spider-Man/X-Men Animated Crossovers
The X-Men are often separate from the main Marvel cast of characters. After all, there are simply so many different mutants that seeing them crossover with another team of superheroes would be unwieldy. That is why Spider-Man is such a perfect fit for them and over the years he has joined with them many times, especially in animated form. There were lots of crossovers between the two in both the X-Men: The Animated Series and Spider-Man: The Animated Series.
16 Super Smash Bros.
Over the last two decades, Super Smash Bros. has become one of Nintendo’s biggest properties. The very first installment came in 1999 and saw a large number of gaming characters battle it out in a fighting game to decide who is the best. This included the likes of Link, Pikachu, Mario, Samus, and Kirby. Each had their own special powers and abilities, with the game launching a new genre of fighters.
The Animaniacs was a cartoon series created by Steven Spielberg. It featured a large cast of characters, including the standouts Yakko, Wakko, and Dot. The irreverent nature of the show meant that cameos and crossovers were commonplace. Throughout its run in the ‘90s, various characters such as Pinky and the Brain, Batman, the Looney Tunes, and Freakazoid all make funny appearances.
14 RoboCop Versus The Terminator
RoboCop Versus the Terminator is a crossover comic series that features the two iconic robots facing off against each other. The best thing about it is that the comic is about as epic as it sounds. RoboCop hides his consciousness within Skynet to try and take down the force from within. He is then able to design a new robotic form and enter its body, before manufacturing even more to create an army of RoboCops to face off against the Terminators.
13 Seinfeld And Mad About You
A crossover between Seinfeld and Mad About You seemed almost inevitable. Both shows were set in New York and they were shown back to back on NBC. The crossover episode was not just a simple crossover either. Paul and Jamie meet Kramer when it turns out that Paul is subletting his apartment to Seinfeld’s neighbor. The pair even talk about a guy called Jerry who used to live in the same building.
12 Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air had its fair share of crossovers throughout the ‘90s. Will was constantly running into famous characters from other sitcoms as the show grew in popularity. These include the likes of Blossom, Out All Night, The Jeffersons, and Diff'rent Strokes. Characters from each of them appeared in Will Smith’s show in various seasons.
11 Star Trek: The Next Generation
Star Trek: The Next Generation was a hugely popular show but fans of the original series had always wanted to see their favorite characters return. Their dreams came true in 1991 with the season 5 double episode ‘Unification’. The crossover saw the new team aboard the USS Enterprise-D met up with Leonard Nimoy’s Spock some 75 years after the character’s last appearance.
10 Law & Order Meets Homicide: Life On The Street
Law & Order had three crossover episodes with Homicide: Life on the Street during the ‘90s. The two series were considered sister shows and took place in the same shared universe. Crossover episodes would usually begin in New York as an episode of Law & Order before moving over to Baltimore for the conclusion as part of Homicide: Life on the Street, giving fans the chance to see the various teams work together.
9 Super Mario Kart
Super Mario Kart first released in 1992 on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Since then it has become one of the company’s biggest franchises and has seen releases on every major Nintendo console and handheld since. The first title was a crossover kart racing game that brought characters such as Mario, Yoshi, Bowser, and Donkey Kong together to race. Later iterations would introduce even more characters from Nintendo’s biggest franchises, such as Link from The Legend of Zelda.
8 Xena: Warrior Princess
As a spin-off of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Xena: Warrior Princess had a lot of scope for crossovers between the two shows. This meant that the two legendary warriors would often meet up to do battle together. Characters from both shows would regularly appear in the other, meaning the shared universe was filled with lore and extra depth.
7 Age of Apocalypse
Age of Apocalypse is an X-Men comic line that was published between 1995 and 1996. In it, the X-Men timeline is significantly altered when legion goes back in time and accidentally kills his father Professor Charles Xavier. The result of this is that Apocalypse takes over Earth and the mutants must team up with Magento and various other mutant groups such as the New Mutants and the X-Ternals to defeat him and restore the timeline.
6 Buffy And Angel
Buffy and Angel had a tumultuous relationship that ended when the vampire left behind his life and moved to California. This marked the beginning of the spin-off show Angel. That didn’t mean that the show would never crossover with Buffy the Vampire Slayer though. One episode in particular saw the pair reunite and spend a night together when Angel is made human again, only for him to be forced to turn back time and say goodbye to his love forever.
5 Cousin Skeeter
Anyone who grew up in the ‘90s will remember both Kenal & Kel and Cousin Skeeter incredibly well. The two shows even had a crossover episode in 1999 when Kenan and Kel find themselves in the two-part episode ‘The Hoo, I'm Wild Wild West.’ Skeeter and Kenan are eventually able to save Kel and Nina from an evil rancher who has taken them prisoner.
4 Battletoads/Double Dragon
Battletoads/Double Dragon saw two video game franchises collide together in 1993. The beat ‘em up featured both Rare’s Battletoads join up with Billy and Jimmy Lee from Double Dragon. The game ended up being one of the best-received titles on the Nintendo Entertainment System and saw the two groups fight to defeat the Dark Queen and the Shadow Warriors.
3 DC Animated Universe
Although Marvel currently reigns supreme in terms of television and movies, DC once was the dominant force with their own animated universe. Starting with Batman: The Animated Series in 1992, it brought together a number of cartoons featuring the likes of Superman, the Justice League, and Static. Crossover episodes were commonplace, meaning fans got to see a number of DC stalwarts team up on a regular basis.
2 Full House
Stephanie Gets Framed is a 1991 season four episode of Full House. What made the episode so remarkable is that it featured a crossover with Steve Urkel from Family Matters. Although it was just a brief cameo, it marked an important event simply because of how popular both sitcoms were. Jaleel White’s character, in particular, had become a nationwide favorite.
1 The Infinity Gauntlet
The Infinity Gauntlet is a comic series published by Marvel Comics in 1991. It is one of the primary inspirations for Infinity War and is the original story of Thanos collecting the infinity gems to wipe out half the galaxy. The only real difference is that Thanos isn’t a righteous anti-hero who believes he is doing the right thing. Instead, he just wants to impress Mistress Death by wiping out so much life.
Sources: EntertainmentWeekly.com, Eonline.com, Screenrant.com, Mashable.com, DigitalSpy.com, and Gamespot.com.