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Marvel's Spider-Man 2
Image via Insomniac Games

The 10 best Spider-Man games, ranked

Ranging from Amazing to Spectacular.

Spider-Man has been swinging his way across virtual worlds for over 40 years now, beginning when he was just a few pixels high on the venerable Atari 2600. Since then, practically every video game console ever released has been graced by the webslinger.

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Some games have starred Spidey and his villains front-and-center and some are more general Marvel games in which he appears as part of the ensemble cast. There are a lot to get through, so let’s dive off the highest building in Manhattan and get swinging.

10. Ultimate Spider-Man (2005)

In the early 2000s, the new hotness in comics was Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley’s Ultimate Spider-Man. This long-running saga eventually made the leap to video games, with the story set during the comics’ run and incorporating Venom into the story. Treyarch captures the comic’s vibe, particularly with its still good-looking cel-shaded graphics. Sadly the web-slinging wasn’t quite up to scratch compared to what we’d played before and several frustrating missions prevent it from being an all-time great.

9. Spider-Man: Web of Shadows (2008)

Despite his nightmare social life Spidey is generally an upbeat superhero, though even he gets the occasional darker storyline. Spider-Man: Web of Shadows maintains the same open-world mechanics as before but adds a choice-based story as you battle a symbiote invasion of Manhattan.

This means there are multiple endings, depending on whether you choose to be more “friendly neighborhood” or “lethal protector.” This can result in a dark finale in which Spidey ends up as the symbiote leader, with a ragtag group of heroes and villains teaming up to overthrow him. Ultimately all this is very cheesy rather than any serious moral conundrum, but we enjoyed it back in the day.

8. Spider-Man 2 (2004)

Spider-Man 2 is one of the greatest movie-tie games of all time, sitting proudly alongside the likes of GoldenEye 007, Blade Runner, and Alien: Isolation. For the first time, players could freely swing across Manhattan and feel like they were getting a taste of what it was like to be Peter Parker. That’s all bolstered by the movie’s cast returning to give voice performances, a nice expansion of the movie’s story, and a wicked sense of humor (the Mysterio ‘boss battle’ remains one of the funniest moments in gaming history).

7. Fortnite (2021)

Fortnite is teeming with unlikely guest characters, but when Spider-Man arrived in the battle royale shooter in December 2021 it treated him like royalty. Not only was there a bunch of Spider-Man skins available as part of that season’s battle pass, but his webslingers were incorporated into the game as mythical weapons, and the Daily Bugle building was added to the island.

The game’s love affair with Spidey has continued since then. There were Spidey and MJ skins based on their appearances in No Way Home, as well as Green Goblin, Mary Jane Watson, Spider-Gwen, Miles Morales, and Spider-Man 2099.

6. Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions (2010)

Shattered Dimensions has a long legacy. This multiversal adventure explores different Spidey variants: the 616 “Amazing” Spider-Man (voiced by Neil Patrick Harris!), the hard-boiled Spider-Man Noir, futuristic Spider-Man 2099, and the Ultimate Spider-Man. Each has different playstyles and different environments.

The game has been named as the direct inspiration for Dan Slott’s Spider-Verse comics storyline, which would go on to be adapted onto the screen in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Across the Spider-Verse and Beyond the Spider-Verse. So, if you want to see the genesis of these incredible movies look no further.

5. Marvel Ultimate Alliance (2006)

In the 2000s Raven Software carved out a name for themselves with a series of excellent Marvel licensed RPGs. First we got X-Men Legends and X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse, but with the third game they cast their net wider to the entire Marvel universe. The result is a dream for longtime Marvel aficionados, featuring a stunning line-up of heroes and an impressive number of obscure references and Easter Eggs.

Though merely part of the ensemble Spider-Man was front and centre in the marketing and the game captures his acrobatic playstyle perfectly. Ultimate Alliance has since been re-released on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One and remains a blast, especially in multiplayer.

4. Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes (2000)

“MAXIMUM SPIDER!”

Capcom’s long-running partnership with Marvel has resulted in many fighting games featuring Spidey, but for our money Marvel vs. Capcom 2 remains the finest. Spider-Man is just one of a massive 56 combatants, though the slick animation and kinetic move set perfectly captures his acrobatic abilities and web-based attacks. Though this was followed by Marvel vs. Capcom 3 in 2011 and Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite in 2017, we’re still dazzled by the 2D sprite art and the game’s finely-tuned visual chaos.

Re-release it on modern consoles already!

3. Marvel’s Spider-Man (2018)

Insomniac’s Marvel’s Spider-Man immediately rendered almost every prior game about the hero redundant. This beautiful game took direct inspiration from the swinging physics of Spider-Man 2 and refined them to the nth degree, resulting in a game where simply getting from A to B is a pleasure.

If the game were just webslinging we’d have been happy, but it boasted a fun Arkham-esque combat system, a story that can stand up alongside the best Spidey stories, and an incredible voice cast. So why is it in third? Well, Insomniac just kept on gilding that lily…

2. Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales (2020)

At launch, Miles Morales was criticized for being essentially an expanded DLC for Marvel’s Spider-Man. Anyone who’s played it will know it’s so much more. The switch in focus to the inexperienced Miles Morales and his subtly different spider-powers works proves to amplify everything that made Marvel’s Spider-Man so great. And, as great as the first game’s story was, this more compact and focused tale edges a nose ahead of it.

In addition, the generational leap to PlayStation 5 meant Spidey’s Manhattan had never looked better. The game is set around Christmas and features heavy snow, with new ray-traced reflections and a 60 FPS performance mode making for a dazzling introduction to Sony’s next-gen console.

1. Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 (2023)

And yet, once again, the bar has been raised. Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 brings together Peter and Miles for a thrilling adventure that’s the definitive interactive Spider-Man experience. I’ll let our reviewer Shaan Joshi take over on this for a moment:

Spider-Man is a tour-de-force, a triumph from start to finish, and it will easily go down as one of the best superhero games ever made.”

Whether Insomniac Games can possibly top this remains to be seen but, at this point, only a fool would bet against them. However you cut it, it’s a great time to be a Spidey fan.


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Author
Image of David James
David James
I'm a writer/editor who's been at the site since 2015. Love writing about video games and will crawl over broken glass to write about anything related to Hideo Kojima. But am happy to write about anything and everything, so long as it's interesting!