Top 20 Greatest Marvel Video Games Ever

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Top 20 Greatest Marvel Video Games Ever

VOICE OVER: Riccardo Tucci WRITTEN BY: Mark Sammut
From Spider-Man to the X-Men, Marvel has a long history of amazing video games! For this list, we'll be looking at the best games starring Marvel's massive roster of characters. Our countdown includes “Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage” (1994), “X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse” (2005), “Deadpool” (2013), “Lego Marvel Super Heroes” (2013), “The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction” (2005) and more!
Transcript
Script written by Mark Sammut

Top 20 Marvel Video Games


Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 20 Marvel Video Games

For this list, we’ll be looking at the best games starring Marvel’s massive roster of characters.

Which is your favorite Spider-Man game? Let us know in the comments!

#20: “Spider-Man: Web of Shadows” (2008)


There are so many 3D Spider-Man games that they can start to meld together, but "Web of Shadows" does more than enough to stand out. Building upon previous titles starring the wall-crawler, "Web of Shadows" delivered awesome swinging, a fun Wolverine cameo, and perhaps the best combat system in a Spider-Man game at the time, one that also included symbiote powers. "Web of Shadows" also introduced the web strike mechanic, which was a game-changer. While quite uneven, the story does a decent job of peppering in elements from the rest of the Marvel Universe.

#19: “X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse” (1994)


Along with the animated “X-Men” television show, “X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse” for the SNES was a mainstay for many young Marvel fans in the ‘90s. The game featured great graphics and challenging gameplay with plenty of action, but its most unique and memorable feature was the ability to choose from five characters: Wolverine, Cyclops, Psylocke, Gambit and Beast. Since it was made by Capcom, the influence of the widely popular “Street Fighter 2” was clearly present in the game’s design, making it deeper than most standard beat ‘em ups.

#18: “Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2” (2009)


After two "X-Men Legends" games and "Marvel: Ultimate Alliance," Vicarious Visions decided to shake things up slightly for the next beat-'em-up action RPG. Rather than an original story, "Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2" adapts the "Secret War" and "Civil War" arcs from the comics, a decision that restricts the playable roster in more ways than one. While not quite as satisfying as its predecessor, "Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2" does bring a few exciting things to the plate, mainly Fusion attacks, improved visuals, and enhanced combat. "Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2" is not the best entry in this great series, but it’s still worth playing.

#17: “Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series” (2017)


Telltale Games has a formula and sticks to it, so someone's mileage with "Guardians of the Galaxy" will depend on their appreciation of the studio's interactive story-driven gameplay. The Guardians find themselves instantly going up against Thanos and in the possession of a powerful and highly sought-after artifact, leading to an adventure that hits plenty of highs even if it’s not constantly amazing. Lackluster visuals do not ruin what is generally a decent storyline, one that's enhanced greatly by Marvel's lovable characters. For better or worse, "Guardians of the Galaxy" is, ultimately, just another Telltale game.

#16: “Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage” (1994)


A storyline as awesome as "Maximum Carnage" deserves at least one great game, and this classic 16-bit title gets the job done. When not splicing in panels from the comics to get the plot across, "Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage" plays like a straightforward beat-'em-up from the early '90s; in other words, it's difficult, simplistic, and – given time – rewarding. A cool feature is that other Marvel heroes like Captain America can be summoned in battle, which adds some variety to the otherwise basic gameplay. "Maximum Carnage" will not offer too much for people who do not love beat-'em-ups, although Spidey fans might still get a kick out of it.

#15: “Marvel’s Iron Man VR” (2020)


An exclusive for the PlayStation VR, this game puts you in Tony Stark's very expensive and powerful suit. "Iron Man VR" serves as a great demonstration of virtual reality's potential to deliver unique experiences, as few things compare to the thrill of taking to the skies as the titular Avenger. The controls come with a learning curve, but the gameplay can be incredibly satisfying once everything clicks. In terms of its story, "Iron Man VR" leaves quite a bit to be desired, and it’s only worsened by the game's repetitive missions and enemies. While enjoyable, "Iron Man VR" feels like the rough first game in a series that could eventually produce greatness.

#14: “The Punisher” (2005)


When it comes to killing, Frank Castle is in a league of his own. 2005's "The Punisher" game does justice to the source material by unleashing Frank on New York's worst and giving him the tools to murder a few thousand thugs. With 16 missions to play through that largely follow the same structure, "The Punisher" might have gotten a bit boring if it was not for the sizable arsenal of weapons, creative kills, and interrogations at Frank's disposal. "The Punisher" is simply fun to play, and that's more than enough for any game.

#13: “X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse” (2005)


Building on the solid Action-RPG gameplay of the first game, “X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse” has everything the original had and more. The epic storyline takes the usual battle between the X-Men and the Brotherhood of Mutants and flips it on its head, with the two groups having to form an unlikely alliance in order to defeat the supervillain, Apocalypse. With appearances from many characters from the comics and an addictive gameplay loop, “X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse” is a great entry into the X-Men franchise.

#12: “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” (2009)


Being the third “X-Men” game featured on this list so far might seem like a lot, but it’s a franchise that lends itself perfectly to video games. Plus, “Origins: Wolverine,” is just plain bad-ass. You play as Wolverine as he hacks and slashes his way around the globe, leaving bloody messes behind him wherever he goes. One of the few cases where the game is better than the movie, the plot of the game takes a cues from the film and features excellent voice acting from some of the film’s stars, including Hugh Jackman.

#11: “Deadpool” (2013)


With two highly successful movies under his belt, the Merc with a Mouth is no longer a niche character, although that wasn't fully the case in 2013. At times, High Moon's "Deadpool" feels like a budget title, albeit one that gets plenty of things right. The game captures Wade Wilson's brand of humor in all of its irreverent glory, including a storyline that takes a bazooka to the proverbial fourth wall. While nowhere near as good as something like "Devil May Cry 4," "Deadpool's" hack and slash combat and gunplay are flashy and entertaining enough.

#10: “Ultimate Spider-Man” (2005)


With the "Ultimate Spider-Man" comic series, Marvel returned Peter Parker to his original form as a wise-cracking teen who is just starting to get the hang of the whole superhero business. 2005's "Ultimate Spider-Man" builds splendidly on this universe, presenting a story that feels ripped right out of the comics. Along with looking authentic, the game's stylized visuals have aged very well and set "Ultimate Spider-Man" apart from the hero's many other games. Although quite simplistic, the combat is fluid and benefits from "Ultimate Spider-Man" splitting its time between Parker and Venom, the latter of which is a destructive force of nature in the best possible way.

#9: “Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions” (2010)


Why settle for one Spider-Man when you can have four? In lieu of an open world, "Shattered Dimensions" offers distinct levels centering around the different versions of the wall-crawler. Along with unique visual styles that complement their universes, each Spider-Man gets down to business in their own way, be it Noir stealthy taking down enemies or Ultimate using his symbiote powers. "Shattered Dimensions" looks great, plays well, and is filled with crowd-pleasing moments courtesy of the villains, some of which receive amazing redesigns. Some missions are better than others, but "Shattered Dimensions" is generally pretty consistent.

#8: “Lego Marvel Super Heroes” (2013)


Like other Lego video game adaptations, “Lego Marvel Super Heroes” takes the Marvel franchise and puts it into the Lego world. In this game, however, you get to play as 150 Marvel characters, each with their own character-specific moves and abilities. With an open world featuring many of the Marvel Universe’s most iconic locations, “Lego MarvelSuper Heroes” is Marvel fan service at its finest, with dozens of gameplay hours for fans to soak in. The game even features Stan Lee as an unlockable character!

#7: “Spider-Man” (2000)


Quaint as it might seem in this day and age, Neversoft's "Spider-Man" was quite a revelation in 2000. Climbing walls, swinging through the air, and webbing up enemies is to be expected of any modern Spidey game, and they all trace back to this classic. The story involves an imposter Spider-Man, a frame job, and a whole host of comic characters, and it's charmingly campy. This game not only allowed players to become Spider-Man like never before but it also included a treasure trove of unlockables and secrets to keep fans coming back for more.

#6: “The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction” (2005)


It took a really long time to perfectly capture the rage and mayhem of the Hulk, and “Ultimate Destruction” is the first game to satisfyingly re-create the Hulk’s temper tantrums. The game gives the player an immense amount of freedom with an open-world to explore (and destroy), and an excellent move set that will have you running along walls, climbing up large structures, and making massive leaps as you face off against various villains. The game was also written by Paul Jenkins, who was a writer for the Hulk comics.

#5: “X-Men” (1992)


At a time when arcades were beginning to show signs of their eventual demise, the “X-Men” arcade cabinet really stood out. Although there are different versions of the cabinet, the best has to be the biggest version, which can be enjoyed by up to six players at once. Playing this game with five of your friends is a blast, as the beat-em-up gameplay is solid, and the graphics are great. Players can choose from Cyclops, Colossus, Wolverine, Storm, Nightcrawler, or get stuck with Dazzler as they face off against Magneto’s hordes of minions.

#4: “Spider-Man 2” (2004)


“Spider-Man 2” truly captures the feeling of being Spider-Man by implementing a web slinging mechanic that has the player actually swinging from building to building, instead of simply shooting a web into the sky as had been the case in previous Spider-Man games. The gameplay feels fantastic and the game’s version of the New York skyline is a blast to explore. Just be sure to play the console versions and to stay away from the PC version, as it received a drastically “dumbed-down” port.

#3: “Marvel Ultimate Alliance” (2006)


Once again proving they know how to make an excellent Marvel game, Raven Software released “Marvel Ultimate Alliance”, starring a wide array of the superheroes and supervillains from Marvel comics. The game is a spiritual successor to the “X-Men Legends” games and features much of the same action RPG gameplay that made those games great, but with vastly improved graphics and presentation, as well as an insanely deep cast of characters. If you love Marvel and you love Action RPGs, this is a must-play.

#2: “Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes” (2000)


Although the third iteration of the popular fighting series is excellent in its own right, our favorite is still “Marvel vs. Capcom 2” based on it’s huge character roster alone. Boasting stunning 2D character sprites with colourful 3D backgrounds, the game’s visuals are incredible. It’s not just a feast for the eyes though, as it has the gameplay to match. With fast combos and a wide variety of characters from both the Marvel universe and Capcom games, “Marvel vs. Capcom 2” still holds up as a top-tier fighting game.

#1: “Marvel's Spider-Man” (2018)


Insomniac Games created something magical with "Marvel's Spider-Man." A game starring the web-head needs to have pitch-perfect movement, and the simple act of swinging through Manhattan has never been as fun as it’s in this game. Set in a lively open-world, "Marvel's Spider-Man" tells a respectable storyline that does an effective job of setting up this universe for future entries, including 2020's "Miles Morales." The combat is also fine-tuned to make complete use of Parker's many skills, be it stealth, environmental attacks, or gadgets, creating a versatile and thrilling system that expands as the campaign progresses.
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