5. Marvel Ultimate Alliance
It’s hard to seperate the basics between Ultimate Alliance and the X-Men Legends games, but this entry is favoured due to the sheer size of the character roster. It’s insane!
Everyone is here, even obscure characters such as Grey Gargoyle. Awesomely, the game rewarded you with special abilities whenever you stacked certain heroes to form actual teams, such as the Fantastic Four or the Avengers.
The likes of Spider-Man and Deadpool worked superbly, as well, forming part of the “Shut Up Already!” squad for obvious reasons.
Overall, Marvel Ultimate Alliance offers the best of the Legends games, with some slight refinements and a (much) larger character roster.
4. Marvel vs. Capcom 2 / Marvel Super Heroes
2000 / 1995
I know what you’re thinking: how can you have both games in this list at the same position? I have my reasons. There’s no doubting that the more refined, detailed, structured and deep Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 is the better overall fighting game, but you just can’t ignore the historical relevance of Marvel Superheroes.
It’s also a dedicated Marvel game, whereas MvC roster is half-Capcom for obvious reasons.
Both games are fantastic fun and have stood the test of time, leading into the equally great Marvel vs. Capcom 3, with a sequel, Marvel vs Capcom Infinite, launching later this year. It’s important to recognise both games, and how they really set up the genre to be what it is today.
3. The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction
This game went under the radar, probably due to an over-saturation of superhero games out at the time, and because past Hulk games hadn’t been that flash.
Sadly, many a gamer missed out on this gem. It’s endlessly enjoyable, offering an open-world playground where you could jump from building to building and just cause flat out chaos.
Radical Entertainment saw potential with the character, and essentially released the shackles and gave the player unbridled freedom to just mess shit up! It becomes extremely “goony” towards the end, which was a universal criticism at the time of its release, but overall it was (and perhaps still is) a hard game to overlook that shockingly never got a sequel.
We need another Hulk game like this. With today’s hardware, the possibilities are endless!
2. Spider-Man 2
Spider-Man 2 is a special game because it has the rare honour of being considered one of the all-time greats in three different areas: the open-world genre, the superhero genre, and the movie-to-game adaptation genre. It’s right at the top in all three.
The sheer size of the game’s version of Manhattan was unlike anything players had seen before, and while it wasn’t as “alive” as a GTA game, it offered unparalleled freedom, which included some superb web-slinging gameplay and combat mechanics.
It set the standard for Spider-Man games over the next decade, and none have been able to come close to what this game was able to achieve. Its mission variation, including some incredibly enjoyable side-missions, made for an endlessly replayable action-adventure, and a game that still stands up today, almost 13 years since release.
1. X-Men Arcade
You would be hard-pressed to find an arcade beat-em-up as refined, challenging and addictive as X-Men. This game dominated the arcade scene for a number of years, even as the likes of the SNES, PlayStation and Genesis were dragging kids away from the arcade. It played on the popularity of the ’90s X-Men cartoon series, which launched in 1992 and was one of the most critically-acclaimed television series’ at the time. In standard arcade beat-em-up style, players fought their way through seemingly endless streams of Sentinels and Reavers, with a character roster that included familiar faces Wolverine, Storm, Cyclops, and Nightcrawler, among others. Such was the game’s popularity, Konami re-released it on console in 2010. It wasn’t as well received — it just doesn’t work as well on a console controller — but it still stands up as a fantastic game in the genre.
- Spider-Man (2000)
- Spider-Man: Web Of Shadows
- Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate Of Two Worlds
- X2: Wolverine’s Revenge
- X-Men: Mutant Academy
What’s your favourite Marvel game of all-time? Sound off in the comments below!