Video games have always been a sense of superhuman, giving us ways to jump across tall buildings, replenish health with the press of a button, and even slow down time.
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It always feels amazing to grab the latest issue of your favourite superhero’s exploits within the confines of the comic book medium. For decades, Marvel, DC, Image, Dark Horse, etc. have provided a wide swath of creative characters that have become mainstream mainstays.
So much so that those same icons have been plastered all over anything and everything – TV shows, lunch boxes, book bags, and of course, video games. With such a huge repository of titles based on popular comics floating around, we chose to search for all the worthy ones by compiling a list of the very best superhero games.
Batman, Spider-Man, the X-Men, and a bunch more familiar icons that have originated on the pages of comics have starred in some quality video games. Thankfully, we’ve arrived just in the nick of time to mention 9 of those well-revered superhero epics in game form.
But superhero video games take this idea to a new level, allowing us to play as some of the favourite heroes from films and comics.
Since the medium began, there have been hundreds of superhero video games spanning various genres, from fighting to action, platformers, and even multiplayer online games (MMOs).
Players revel in playing as their favourite characters from comic books. Judging by the quality of certain upcoming games like Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Marvel’s Avengers, superhero fans have a lot to look forward to.
Here are the 9 Best Superhero Games of all Time
1. DC Universe Online
The mindset of creating your hero as you join your friends online in an MMO seems like something that couldn’t exist. In DC Universe Online, though, that dream becomes a reality. As the name suggests, it features characters from the DC Universe, like Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman, and mixes them with action gameplay — all while you play online.
You create your hero and make out exactly which powers they possess. As you play, you partake in missions on huge servers with real-world players present. It offers a healthy combination of customization while always reminding you of your favourite heroes and villains from DC. Thanks to constant support from its developer, it’s a game that is still highly playable.
2. Batman: The Video Game
A good movie-based game! While it’s fun to talk about current superhero games for modern systems, you wouldn’t have those beloved titles if it weren’t for the experiences of the past. One of the best superhero games of the NES era is the movie tie-in called Batman: The Video Game.
It is similar to the 1989 Tim Burton film but includes extra villains and story stuff to round it out. What you get is a solid action platformer, with excellent music and fun gameplay mechanics that still hold up today. Games have expanded in scope and budget since then, but it’s hard to deny the importance of games like these and their effects on games of the future.
3. South Park: The Fractured but Whole
You might not immediately think of South Park when discussing superhero games, but what Ubisoft was able to do with The Fractured but whole is worth recognizing — whether you’re a superhero fan or not. It delivers the same delightful turn-based combat from its predecessor, The Stick of Truth while delivering a hilarious satirical story based on superhero films.
It’s great to see it made fun of in South Park. It feels like yet another highly-polished season of the show, in a playable format. This game manages to have a funny story and great, satisfying gameplay, giving us one of the most unique video games in recent memory. And with a bold title like that, you can’t go wrong with The Fractured but Whole.
4. Marvel Ultimate Alliance
Often, you want to beat up bad guys with your friends. In Marvel Ultimate Alliance, you get to do that as you play through a range of scenarios with your favourite heroes and villains from the Marvel Universe. It doesn’t have the most complex or challenging gameplay, but combining a four-player squad of your favourite Marvel characters is still an immensely fun time.
Include some campy voice acting and storylines, and you get a great accessible, action-packed full of things to do and skills to unlock. You also might like its two predecessors, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 and Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order — the latter of which is exclusive to the Nintendo Switch.
This game is not holding the place it used to, but the 2000s Spider-Man game was an absolute banger when it came out. It blends the beloved stories and characters from the comics with action-packed gameplay that offers so much variety it was hard to put down.
You can see the impact this game had on contemporary titles, and its importance cannot be overstated. It was as if its creators were completely fully in tune with the source material, giving us a slew of costumes, villains, and collectibles to have fun with.
6. Injustice 2
There is something so satisfying about playing a fighting game with some of comics’ most beloved characters. This game features a dark and gritty story, an interesting loot system, and, of course, your favourite heroes and villains.
What’s great about the Injustice games is that they feel like Mortal Kombat but are much more accessible for players of all ages. Who wouldn’t want to pit Superman against Batman to see who is the best hero? Better yet, it’s likely we’ll see another breeze of next-generation systems.
7. Marvel’s Avengers
Marvel’s Avengers has a glittery and delightful campaign that manages to stack up to modern-day Avengers stories. Its gameplay is varied enough between heroes that there are shining stand-outs and ones that belong in the bin. To this end, if Marvel’s Avengers is an Iron Man suit, Kamala Khan is its arc reactor, pushing the story forward and providing necessary emotional torque.
She should have been featured in the marketing materials far more than she was because she is the Avenger in this game. Her story and the simultaneous story of the Avengers we know and love overcoming failure and crippling self-doubt to reassemble is a rock-solid one (and maybe even better than one or two of the Avengers films).
8. X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Not only is this game infinitely better than the movie it’s loosely based on, but it might well be one of the best movie tie-in games of all time. An R-rated experience that doesn’t shy away from Logan’s capacity to brutalize his enemies, X-Men Origins: Wolverine represents the first mature take on the character outside of the comics.
The game was more than just blood and thrill, however, as the action-heavy combat is engaging in its simplicity, not to mention relentless during the impressively designed boss fights. This is one of the Best Superhero Games of all Time.
The well-told story also features full voice acting from almost the entire cast of the film, with Hugh Jackman himself lending his suitably gruff tones to the proceedings. Unfortunately, the movie’s infamously awful interpretation of Deadpool turns up in the game, too, so it isn’t all smooth sailing.
9. inFamous Second Son
This game is not inspired by a comic book or a movie, and it doesn’t feature a beloved protagonist with roots in 1940s America. Instead, Delsin Rowe is a hero for the modern age: a charming delinquent who discovers he can absorb other superheroes’ powers a la Rogue from X-Men, and struggles with the choice between using them for good or whatever he damn well pleases. This is also one of the Best Superhero Games of all Time.
While the first two games have their charms, Second Son is a fuller package, with tons of side content and visual flourishes that make the heroes and the city they’re trying to save feel alive. Plus, it gives you access to the sort of raw power you always want to get your hands on, but so rarely do.
Playing as Delsin gives you the feeling of truly controlling a superhero. His powers grow to near-absurd levels by the end of the game, and with all the different abilities he can acquire throughout his journey, it’s not long before your cup runneth over with superpowered possibilities.
Using neon to speed through the streets and straight-up buildings, levitating enemies or anchoring them with concrete, shooting into orbit, and coming back down for an Earth-shaking entrance – it’s the stuff of superhero dreams, and it’s all at your glowing fingertips.
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No video game genre comes close to the superhero genre. Stepping into the shoes of your favourite superhero is just an unreal experience and let’s be honest, it’s the closest we’re ever going to get to actually being that superhero. So, here are the 9 best superhero games that will make your day.