Superheroes in media have evolved significantly in the last decade. Thanks to the advent of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the rise of nerd culture, superheroes are everywhere. While many feel that there may be overexposure of superheroes, there’s no denying that there’s been a lot of great media centering on them. There are great superhero movies, comics, TV shows, and, of course, video games.
There are plenty of fantastic video games that feature iconic superheroes. From Marvel vs. Capcom during the time of arcades, to last year’s Spider-Man, there are plenty of games for superhero fans to enjoy. Which ones are the very best?
Best Superhero Video Games
Now that we have seen footage for Square Enix’s upcoming Avengers game, we feel as if it is time for us to give out our opinions of what are the best superhero video games.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine is a bad movie. Video games that are based on movies are usually bad. Somehow though, the X-Men Origins: Wolverine video game is pretty cool. X-Men Origins is a pretty decent hack and slash, action-adventure game that was released on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2009. It surprisingly plays well, and the graphics for the time were pretty good. Seeing Wolverine heal his wounds in real time is pretty impressive.
The game also has the actor who portrays Wolverine in the movies, Hugh Jackman, to voice the character in the video game, and that is pretty awesome. It isn’t the most astonishing, life-changing video game ever. Nonetheless, its fair game that is worth playing for any fan of the X-Men or Wolverine.
5. Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes
On a technical level, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is a better game than Marvel vs. Capcom 2. The Marvel vs. Capcom fighting series was one of the premiered fighting games from the arcades, starting way back with X-Men: Children of the Atom. MVC 2 is a very unbalanced game, with several characters being better than others. A lot of the character sprites are re-used from other Capcom games, and certain combos don’t work the way they are intended to.
At the same time, MVC 2 is a lot more fun than MvC 3. MVC 2 has 56 playable characters, one of the largest rosters in any fighting game. Admittedly most of the Marvel side of the list are X-Men since this was back when the X-Men where Marvel’s golden goose franchise. However, most of the list is still a great selection of the most iconic Marvel and Capcom characters ever. What other games can you say that lets you play as Cyclops and face against a psychotic little girl with a red hood? It may fall short of being a perfect game on a technical level; however, it certainly can be a classic game on a fun level.
4. Marvel: Ultimate Alliance
Marvel: Ultimate Alliance has a simple premise; play as four of your favorite Marvel superheroes at the same time, and go on missions to save the world. It’s an action role-playing game series where you punch and slash your way through your enemies. There are only two games in the series, with a third one coming out very soon. The first one, which was released on consoles back in 2006, is still the best one. The original Ultimate Alliance had a more exciting story, side-quests, and character selection than its immediate successor.
Before Marvel’s insistence that everything revolves around the Avengers and their live-action movies, the original Ultimate Alliance allowed players to control Marvel heroes from all corners of their universe. Not only would you be able to play as Spider-Man and Iron Man, but you were also capable of playing as the X-Men and Fantastic Four.
The graphics are beautiful for what they were, and the combat isn’t intense – you punch your enemies. It is still an incredibly enjoyable game, with plenty of content to keep you busy.
3. Injustice 2
Injustice: Gods Among Us is a fighting game that stars the heroes from the DC Universe. It is developed by the same studio that made the Mortal Kombat series. It would later spawn a sequel, Injustice 2. Personally, there are a lot of things I enjoy more in the first Injustice game than the second one. For instance, even though both games have excellent story modes, I prefer the first game’s narrative. Injustice 2 also had this issue of focusing primarily on Batman, which was only slightly less of a case in the first Injustice game.
Despite that, Injustice 2 pretty much improves almost everything else from the first game. Even though some of the characters’ faces can come off as being an uncanny valley, the graphics in the game are gorgeous. The gameplay is also more polish and responsive than the first game. I prefer the original Injustice’s roster, though I can’t deny how cool it is to see characters like Swamp Thing and Doctor Fate in Injustice 2.
Overall, Injustice 2 does everything that a sequel should do, and it is one of the most entertaining fighting games to play.
Spider-Man 2 the video game was often hailed as one of the best superhero video games out there. Players appreciate the amount of content in the game, and how good it felt swinging through New York as Spider-Man.
2018’s Spider-Man on the PlayStation 4 radically expanded what made Spider-Man 2 fun and genuinely made a fantastic game out of it. While the combat comes across as being too similar to the Batman Arkham games, there is enough variety to make it feel different. The combat is still fun, and the side missions are some of the best in any video games. You can save the environment using Harry Osborn’s stations found throughout New York, or you can find a homeless man’s pigeon collection. Or you can do all of them, nothing is stopping you, and there are all entertaining in their way.
Of course, an fantastic Spider-Man game wouldn’t be complete without web-slinging, and this game has the best web-slinging ever. You do believe you are Spider-Man swinging through New York. It’s simple to use in the game, and incredibly satisfying to do. No matter how many hours you put in the game, you will never get tired of web-slinging.
1. Batman: Arkham City
Of course, there will be an Arkham game on this list, and of course one of them would be number 1. Batman: Arkham Asylum was released in 2009 to near-universal acclaim. It did what was thought to be impossible; it made players believe they were playing as the Caped Crusader. You truly feel invulnerable in the game, and combat was simple enough for anyone to grasps.
A follow-up was assured, though very few fans would have believed that a sequel would be able to measure up to the original. However, not only did Batman: Arkham City met everyone’s expectation; it exceeded them. The combat in Arkham City was mostly the same as the previous game, but City has a far larger world to explore. Whereas you were limited to just the asylum in the first game, you had a full city to explore in Arkham City. The overworld was beautifully rendered and was filled with so many Batman references.
Arkham City also had more gadgets for players to use. The boss fights were also far more inventive than what they were in the first game. The Mr. Freeze boss fight remains one of the most fun, and well-executed bosses I have ever played.
The story in the game is excellent, filled with symbolism, and was moving at times. The voice cast gives the performances of a lifetime, and the ending perfectly encapsulates Batman’s relationship with his arch nemesis. It’s a game that I don’t just recommend to Batman fans; I recommend Arkham City to any video games fan.