In honor of our Marvel’s Midnight Suns cover story this month, we wanted to re-promote this 2019 list of the top ten Marvel-themed visio games. If you’re eager to take on the role of one of Marvel’s legendary heroes, there are several great games on the market. We’ve put together the ultimate list of Marvel games that every comic book fan should play.
10. X-Men 2: Clone Wars
Genesis • 1995
The X-Men looked like the biggest superheroes of the ’90s. Young fans across the country dreamed of being one of Marvel’s happy mutants, and Headgames’ cooperative side-scrolling action game helped eliminate that itch. Players control Beast, Cyclops, Gambit, Nightcrawler, Psylocke, and Wolverine as they travel the world on a mission to destroy the Phalanx virus and prevent everyone from becoming techno-organic slaves. Each hero has their own unique set of powers, which aided them in combat and affected how they traversed the environment, further encouraging replay.
9. Marvel Strike Force
iOS, Android • 2018
As an agent of the Special Tactical Reserve for Interdimensional Key Events (STRIKE), you are tasked with assembling a squad of heroes to protect the planet from an alien threat. But who are we kidding? We don’t love Marvel’s turn-based mobile game for its plot. We love amassing a growing list of some of our favorite heroes (and villains) in the universe. Strike Force’s turn-based combat features just the right amount of strategy, and chasing down that slow unlocking of new characters is incredibly addictive.
8. X-Men Origins: Wolverine
PS3, PS2, Xbox 360, Wii, PC • 2009
Wolverine is one of Marvel’s most beloved heroes and for good reason – he’s a no-nonsense fighter who can avoid injury. Based on the 2009 movie, Raven Software allows fans to explore Logan’s past as they traverse legions of hapless foes with Wolverine’s indestructible claws. Watching his body slowly come back together after an attack is endlessly fascinating, and your lunge attack was incredibly empowering. Not only is X-Men Origins a great Marvel game, but it also pulled off an incredibly rare trick: It’s a game that’s actually better than the movie.
Arcade, PS3, Xbox 360 • 1992
Back in the ’90s, arcades were full of Konami’s addictive side-scrolling beat’ em up. In fact, it seemed that gaming halls were required by law to own a version of this game. But we are not complaining; we happily throw a few quarters into one of these machines every time we see it. Sure, some of the X-Men’s powers seem misrepresented (Nightcrawler scrambled across the screen as Flash, for example), but we can’t resist the thrill of defeating an army of Sentinels before the epic showdown with Magneto.
6. Lego Marvel Super Heroes
PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii U, 3DS, Vita, PC • 2013
Lego sets are like French fries, they are comfort food. After a long day, they don’t make you feel any pressure to perform; you can just relax and smash objects and enemies into little Lego bricks. In the immediate aftermath of the 2012 Avengers movie, the exploration of the Marvel universe from Traveller’s Tales and TT Fusion was an absolute delight. Not only was the roster of characters absurdly massive, but each hero had their own unique set of powers, and the quest for secrets at every level proved incredibly satisfying.
5. Spider-Man 2
PS2, Xbox, GameCube • 2004
For a long time, Spider-man 2 was considered the best Marvel game, if not the best licensed game out there. Based on the Sam Raimi film, Spider-Man struggles to keep his civilian and superhero life in balance as he battles enemies like The Rhino, Black Cat, and Dr. Octopus. Treyarch’s open-world Manhattan was a lot of fun to explore, and the combat was fast and fluid. The piece de resistance, however, is Spider-Man’s swing mechanics, which feel so good that they became the swing mechanics by which all other Spider-Man games were judged.
4. The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction
PS2, Xbox, GameCube • 2005
Few games let you feel like an unstoppable rage machine like Radical Entertainment’s Ultimate Destruction. The Hulk runs up the walls, turns cars into brass knuckles, launches missiles like flies, and generally kills anything silly enough to get in his way. Boss battles with enemies like Devil Hulk, Mercy, and Abomination feel truly epic. Bruce Banner just wants to secretly hang out for a while and research a cure for his condition, but the world doesn’t want to leave him alone. We don’t want to leave him alone either, because this fight is a lot of fun.
3. Marvel: Ultimate Alliance
PS4, Xbox One, PC, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, PS2, PSP • 2006
Raven Software’s epic festival was Avengers: Endgame of its era. Building on the X-Men Legacy franchise, Ultimate Alliance takes Diablo’s core action / RPG loot festival and throws all of Marvel’s major characters into the mix. Up to four friends can watch their backs as they engage in truly wild scenarios like protecting a helicopter from the Fin Fang Foom dragon, freeing the inhabitants of Atlantis from mind control, and participating in a wacky game show on Murderworld. Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 has a lot to accomplish.
2. Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3
PS4, Xbox One, PC, PS3, Xbox 360, Vita • 2011
The Marvel vs. Capcom series is the only place where you can see Captain America’s tag team with Captain Commando or Mega Man go head-to-head with Iron Man. While we are also supporters of Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes, the relaunch of Marvel vs. Capcom 3 struck a perfect balance between combat and its massive roster of characters. Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is a good reminder that you don’t need a wacky story mode when the action is this good.
PS4 • 2018
What else were you hoping for at the top of this list? Insomniac’s masterpiece was a true contender for Game of the Year when it released, and Insomniac expertly took all the mechanics fans loved from previous Spider-Man games and built them to create something special. Spider-Man’s web-swaying and combat is the best ever, and Insomniac tells a gripping story that highlighted Peter Parker’s heroic deeds as well as his alter ego. We could do without the simple stealth moments, but they are easy to forget when the rest of the game is on full blast. The wait for a sequel will be excruciating, because we want to see what Insomniac does next with our favorite wall-crawler.
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