Superheroes are nothing short of a hot commodity in the entertainment world as of late. From multi-million dollar grossing films to popular TV shows on broadcast and streaming services, they’ve invaded nearly every facet of our daily lives. It’s no surprise that superheroes are a perfect fit for video games too, seeing as how they allow players the chance to occupy their favorite heroes’ shoes to rid a fictional or nonfictional metropolis of chaos. The following is a list that breaks down the best superhero games ever made for whenever you’re feeling particularly heroic one evening.
Best Superhero Games: Batman: Arkham Asylum/Batman: Arkham City
Batman: Arkham Asylum is a beautiful homage to the Dark Knight. It’s a game that is unafraid to immerse players in its deep lore while also being immensely accessible and hard to put down. Its free-flow combat system (coupled with a brooding atmosphere) harnessed the true potential of what superhero games based on original material could bring to the table.
Batman: Arkham City somehow enhanced this foundation, wrapping fans around in a plot filled with twists and turns that make sense for the character and the world around him. If you have yet to experience what these two games have to offer, you’re missing out on some of the best games the last console generation had to offer.
Best Superhero Games: Injustice 2
NetherRealm Studios’ Injustice series has become a staple in the fighting game community, and it’s not too hard to see why. Carrying the smooth gameplay mechanics, dynamic environments, and robust online features of the Mortal Kombat series and seamlessly dipping that into the DC universe, the franchise may have hit its pinnacle with Injustice 2. This sequel is jam packed with an interesting story involving Gorilla Grodd and an evil villain society, an expansive roster of characters, and the most expansive array of single-player content the fighting game genre has ever seen.
Best Superhero Games: Spider-Man (2018)
Spider-Man‘s most recent video game may just be his best one yet. Developed by Insomniac Games, creators of such hits as Sunset Overdrive, Ratchet and Clank, Spyro the Dragon, and Resistance, players are given near limitless freedom to traverse New York City’s sweeping urban landscape. The title’s narrative focuses on an adult Peter Parker who’s on a mission to bring down a corruption, all while taking care of his Aunt May and mending his strained relationship with Mary Jane Watson. Insomniac’s portrayal of the popular superhero is surprisingly human, making this title sincere in all the right ways.
Best Superhero Games: Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3
While the Injustice games serve as the best fighters DC fans have access to, Marvel fans have the Marvel vs. Capcom series to enjoy. While a contentious topic, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is arguably the best of the bunch. It’s got a ton of of fantastic comic book references that are clearly evidenced in each character’s movesets. Storm, for instance, is an absolute beast when up in the air, and Spider-Man’s moves are agile and quick. There’s also the Capcom side to delight in, filling out the roster with Darkstalkers characters, Amaterasu, and even Tron Bonne. It’s a love letter to comic book fans in nearly every regard.
Best Superhero Games: Infamous 2
Sucker Punch’s PlayStation exclusive Infamous series is proof that an original superhero franchise can thrive in the video game industry. Though the first title sets the stage, Infamous 2 raises the bar tremendously, introducing players to protagonist Cole MacGrath’s fluid electricity powers while also giving them options to expand their arsenal in the form of fire or ice. It helps that the game’s story is just as exceptional as its concept, as a mysterious beast rages through America to determine the fate of all superpowered beings on the planet.
Best Superhero Games: South Park: The Fractured But Whole
Though South Park: The Fractured But Whole mostly ridicules the concept of superheroes, it shines in capturing the child-like wonder typically associated with the genre. As the customizable new kid character, players must wield their unique time-altering fart ability to change the tide of the game’s RPG battles and put a stop to the mass hysteria that has plagued the neighborhood. As expected with the franchise, the game never takes itself too seriously, serving as a hilarious departure from the other entries in this list.
Best Superhero Games: Marvel Ultimate Alliance
Marvel: Ultimate Alliance gives players access to a variety of popular Marvel characters and tasks them to take down a new plot birthed by the minds behind the Masters of Evil. As Spider-Man, Captain America, Iron Man, and more, fans are able to utilize each superheroes’ special abilities to navigate through waves of incoming enemies however they see fit. Fans of hack and slash action may want to play as Wolverine, while fans who like agility may want to opt for Spider-Man. The choice is ultimately up to the player, making for incredible replay-ability and loads of excitement with friends in co-op.
Best Superhero Games: X-Men Origins: Wolverine
It’s still hard to believe that X-Men Origins: Wolverine is as good as it is. This Devil May Cry-like hack and slash title easily surpasses the precedent set forth by the movie of the same name, recalling a standalone story that sees the Adamantium-infused hero embark on a mission to save his kidnapped girlfriend from a mysterious villain. Though the title’s graphics are a bit dated at this point, tracking down a copy is worth it, if only to unlock some of the game’s killer throwback costumes.
The games on this list are just the beginning. As the medium becomes more popular, the possibility for original superhero stories in the vein of the Batman: Arkham games or Spider-Man grows greater. Here’s hoping we see these inventive titles sooner rather than later, while the superhero hype train runs full speed ahead.