From the Web-Head to Wolverine, these are the best Marvel games ever made. Let’s count them down.
Marvel is more mainstream now than ever before thanks to the popularity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). While the company may have recently set the bar for comic book films, Marvel has a long history bringing quality video game adaptations to consoles. There will be plenty more of these games arriving in the next year, with Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order and Marvel’s Avengers on the horizon. In the spirit of those titles, I’ve put together a list of the 10 best Marvel games ever made.
10. Captain America: Super Soldier
It’s safe to say that expectations were low for Captain America: Super Soldier. The game was believed to be just another dailed-in movie tie-in, however, developer Next Level Games totally delivered on this one. The studio provided combat akin to the Batman Arkham series with fast and fluid movement, hard-hitting manoeuvres and precise shield throws. The talent of the studio known for Luigi’s Mansion 3 and Super Mario Strikers was on full display in this Captain America game.
9. Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3
Despite not being solely Marvel-focused, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is an exceptional crossover worthy of our list. Featuring a cast of heroes and villains lifted straight from the pages of the comic books, there’s a fantastic spread of famous and niche combatants to choose from. Plus, the X-Men were actually in this game—unlike the lacklustre Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite.
8. The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction
Licensed games that are actually good were difficult to come across during the GameCube, PS2 and Xbox era. Whenever one did emerge, though, it became a favourite among fans. A perfect example of this is The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction. You could roam an open-world environment and smash everything that crossed your path. All of this served as a precursor to Radical Entertainment’s Prototype, which built on the base of Hulk. Sadly, that IP never managed to find commercial success, but Ultimate Destruction still serves as a classic for Marvel fans.
7. LEGO Marvel Super Heroes
Traveller’s Tales has done a phenomenal job with its LEGO games. Their games span a huge swath of licensed properties, and easily one of the greatest is LEGO Marvel Super Heroes. Not only was it a critical success, but a commerical one too as DualShockers reported back in 2017 that it was the best-selling LEGO title to date. Featuring an open-world environment littered with secrets, collectibles and a wide range of unlockable Marvel characters, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes earns its spot on our list.
6. The Punisher
Capcom has had a role in many popular Marvel titles, but one of the most overlooked is the publisher’s 1993 arcade classic, The Punisher. You and a friend can suit up as Frank “The Punisher” Castle and Nick Fury in this co-op focused, side-scrolling beat ’em up. Stick with the arcade version of the game, though, as the Sega Genesis port paled in comparison.
5. Marvel Ultimate Alliance
Marvel Ultimate Alliance united almost every major character in the Marvel Universe into a single video game. Allowing for crossovers with beloved factions like The Avengers, Defenders, Fantastic Four, Marvel Knights and X-Men, Ultimate Alliance ended up being a pipedream for comic book fans. The game’s 4-player co-op also made for some of the best couch-based multiplayer around and it still holds up incredibly well today.
4. Spider-Man 2
Spider-Man 2 wasn’t only the best film in Sam Raimi’s trilogy, it was also a phenomenal video game. This movie tie-in game debuted to overwhelming critical praise in 2004 and still stands out as an exceptional title today. The game’s biggest achievement was how well the developers nailed the accuracy of Spider-Man’s web-slinging movements. The randomly generated side missions and open world only helped to cement Spider-Man 2 as a classic.
3. Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes
Fighting game crossovers are all the rage nowadays, but Capcom helped pioneer the premise through early partnerships with Marvel. Despite the number in its title, Marvel vs. Capcom 2 is actually the fourth entry in the series, arriving in arcades and on Sega Dreamcast in 2000. With a whopping 56 playable characters, the only roster that that can challenge Marvel vs. Capcom 2 is Super Smash Bros Ultimate‘s still-growing 75-character selection screen.
2. X-Men (1992)
Konami was a major player in the arcade scene back in the day, delivering the all-time classics like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time and The Hyperstone Heist. The latter of which is a game we want to on the Sega Genesis Mini although sadly we didn’t get our wish. While those games rightfully received the praise they got, X-Men followed in its footsteps a year later and brought Marvel’s mutants into the limelight. What’s interesting is the original arcade cabinet housed 4-players, but Konami later released a 6-player cabinet with a wide screen fitting all six playable X-Men on-screen at once.
1. Marvel’s Spider-Man
Insomniac Games delivered a masterpiece with its 2018 take on Spider-Man. The PlayStation 4 exclusive improved upon the formula that was established in Spider-Man 2, but pushed the storytelling to a whole new level with fantastic cutscenes and plenty of twists and turns. I believe Marvel’s Spider-Man is the best Marvel game ever released, and I’m confident I’m not the only one that feels this way given the game’s 87-rating Metacritic.