Superheroes provide video game developers with some of the best characters they could ever hope for. They’re well-established, well-known and a large percentage of our hobby’s enthusiasts are well-versed when it comes to comics’ most triumphant protectors. Add in the fact that many kids grow up dreaming of being their favourite heroes, and you have the reasons why superhero video games release to such high hopes. Not to mention why it’s so disappointing when they end up being terrible, broken and/or uninspired.
With all of the above being said, it’s important to point something out, and that is the fact that not all superhero video games are of low quality. In fact, there have been quite a few standouts over the years, and this console generation has received more than its fair share of comic book inspired triumphs.
Stick with us as we count down the five best superhero video games in recent memory.
Honorable Mention – Captain America: Super Soldier
With brute strength comes the potential for a fun video game, and that’s what Captain America: Super Soldier is. Mixing a punishing and cinematic combat system with a unique open world design, it gives fans of the enhanced, tight-wearing soldier a way to take out frustration as the man himself. The chance to introduce the hero’s metallic shield into hard-hitting melee combos made for a nice added touch, and became useful whenever baddies needed to be dispatched from afar.
When Captain America: Super Soldier was released, it didn’t receive the recognition it deserved. So, if you’ve yet to take the plunge with SEGA‘s red, white and blue superhero tie-in, then you might want to do so.Next
5) The Amazing Spider-Man
Peter Parker’s arachnid-based powers make him an ideal video game character. After all, there’s nothing like being able to swing through the Manhattan skyline – that is when quality mechanics are utilized. Some of the web-slinger’s more modern interactive adventures have delivered open world swinging better than others, and Beenox‘s interactive sequel to The Amazing Spider-Man deserves commendation for presenting us with one of the most enjoyable web travel designs that the gaming industry has ever seen. It’s not only accessible, but also visceral and cinematic, making the player feel like he or she is actually cutting through the open sky above major New York intersections.
Although some questionable design choices prevented The Amazing Spider-Man from climbing its way to greatness, its mix of open world freedom and interior stealth culminated to create a quality experience that the majority of the character’s fans should enjoy.
4) X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Loosely based on Marvel‘s 2009 celluloid blockbuster of the same name, X-Men Origins: Wolverine showed that an appropriate amount of development time and a noticeable amount of infused passion can lead to a quality licensed title. Not only did this game give everyone’s favourite adamantium-clawed Canadian a chance to shine – it did much more simply because it was obvious that Raven Software cared about getting things right. They turned a relatively volatile hero’s origin story into an engrossing action adventure game with thoroughly entertaining combat and some appreciated exploration elements. Additionally, interesting flashbacks were entwined throughout the campaign, giving us a chance to learn more about Wolverine’s early missions.
3) The Marvel Ultimate Alliance Series
What’s better than being able to play as one of your favourite superheroes? Being able to create a dream team consisting of that fictional protector and his creative peers. That’s exactly what the Marvel Ultimate Alliance games offer, presenting players with a plethora of badass characters to choose from, and some well-designed action-RPG gameplay mechanics that take advantage of their incredible powers. Add-in interesting storylines, including one taken straight out of the popular Marvel Civil War comic book arc, and you have a comic fan’s dream.Previous Next
2) Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions
There are two types of Spider-Man games out there: those which offer open world freedom, and those which constrict Spidey’s adventures to varied stages. Although some believe that the character is at his best when he’s given the ability to travel through Manhattan, it’s tough to argue with the great and memorable experience that is Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions – a game that I consider to be the best of all of the web-head’s interactive appearances. Yes, it really is that good.
What was most impressive about Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions was its creativity. Its four playable Spider-Man variations all had their own individual gameplay mechanics and quirks, creating an experience that changed on a level-by-level basis. In one, players would be forced with being as stealthy as possible within a darkened black and white stage. Then, the next stage would offer something drastically different, changing things up in order to prevent repetition-based boredom from setting in. Even though a couple of the characters didn’t shine as much as the others, and happened to feature similar gameplay styles, they were still quite fun to play as and the game benefitted from their inclusion.
Beenox truly deserves this recognition because they hit a home run with this proverbial ball of webbing.
1) Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City
As expected, Rocksteady‘s two Arkham-centric masterpieces top this list. That’s because no other superhero video game has ever captivated gamers like both Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City have since they hit store shelves. The British developer truly honoured the Caped Crusader with unforgettable digital ventures into Gotham’s most troubled areas, showing that they truly understood what it took to bring Bruce Wayne’s alter ego to video game greatness.
It’s tough to pinpoint what makes this series so exceptional because each of its two critically acclaimed entries is made up of many top shelf mechanical ingredients that culminate into one spectacular finished product. That’s the true mark of a great game as, while some titles are known for excelling in certain areas, our interactive hobby’s true masterpieces use that description as their starting point. As a result, they deliver experiences that excel in multiple areas.
Take a bow, Rocksteady. You deserve it.
There you have it, folks. Our countdown of the five best superhero video games in recent memory has come to a swooping end. Do you agree with our picks? Let us know.Previous