12 Of Our All-Time Favourite Superhero Games

Some of the best, and some terribly underated!

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With superhero media only become more prevalent and diverse as time goes in – just look at the huge success of Amazon Prime’s The Boys series and its just-premiered spinoff, Gen V – it’s an exciting time to be a gamer looking for superpowered experiences. But then, the video game industry has long been a great place for those with a taste for comic books and stories of the everyday person stumbling on some awesome (or horrible) powers and going on to save the world.

With that in mind, we’ve put together a short list of what we reckon are some of our favourite superhero video game experiences, from retro classics to modern masterpieces and maybe even a mobile sensation. Take a look:

The Best And Most Underrated Superhero Video Games Of All Time

Batman: Arkham Asylum

We had the choice of a fair few “Arkham” games to include on this list, but it’s hard to go past the Rocksteady’s original Arkham Asylum for really nailing the atmosphere and feeling of being The Batman while inside an iconic location. While its sequels significantly expanded the scope with open Gotham environments for the Dark Knight to glide around in, Asylum’s more intimate and detailed setting and considered, almost metroidvania-esque pacing means it remains a winner.

The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction

The fact that any games based on The Incredible Hulk would exist that aren’t simply designed to let players get absolutely feral and toss around tanks and choppers in destructible environments as the Big Green himself, feels preposterous after playing Ultimate Destruction. This is a game that lets Hulk attach two halves of a car to his hands like giant, steel boxing gloves and use them to punch the military. I’m not sure I need to say more. Easily one of the best open-world superhero games and tragically lost to time (somebody please remaster this, I beg of you).

The Adventures of Batman & Robin

While there’s definitely some debate around which 16/32-bit era Batman game was best, the Konami-produced SNES version of The Adventures of Batman & Robin is hard to go past. Every level riffed on a different storyline from the animated series, and it was full of cool gadgets, fun platforming and a decent challenge that wasn’t too punishing. It also had a killer soundtrack.

The SEGA Mega Drive version of the game was wildly different, and tuned to what SEGA probably assumed Western audiences would be more into, so it’s more of a side-scrolling shooter with a darker tone and a more sinister-sounding OST.

Shadow Man

While maybe not the first thing you’d think of when it comes to “superheroes,” this game based on the 90s comic book series was a great take on the antihero and also considered by some to be an early example of a 3D metroidvania (there’s a bit of that in this list). Though it debuted on the PS1, N64 and Dreamcast alongside the PC, the folks at Nightdive Studios actually released a decent remaster on PS4, Xbox One, Switch and PC so you can see for yourself why this dark, horror-tinged and punishing adventure was so compelling back in 1999.

The Darkness

In keeping with the dark, comic book antihero vibe, The Darkness felt like a touchstone moment in gaming back in the early ‘aughts. It was gorgeous, violent, and packed with groundbreaking storytelling techniques – like the idea of being able to kick back and watch in-game movies or TV episodes in their entirety in-game (don’t come for me if there were other examples before this, I just think it’s neat). Jackie’s tragic, noir-tinged story is compelling, the gameplay ideas are fiercely unique and it spawned a severely underrated sequel that introduced the world to the idea of “quad-wielding.”

Marvel’s Spider-Man

When talking about top-notch superhero titles it’s hard to go past Insomniac’s certified 2018 banger, Marvel’s Spider-Man. Not only was this a great example of Insomniac’s chops when it comes to creating visually stunning worlds packed with fluid and exhilarating traversal and fun combat, it was a great take on a familiar character that offered up plenty of fan service while carving out its own distinct personality. The follow-up, Miles Morales, further solidified all of this in a more compact adventure that helped set expectations for what’s to come in Marvel’ Spider-Man 2 – where fans will get to play as both Peter Parker and Miles in the largest New York map yet.

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There are actually a few other Spider-Man games that should make this list just for being memorable, like 2004’s Spider-Man 2, or the PS1’s Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro. Basically, if you’re going to be a Spider-Man game it’s a good idea to have a 2 in your title.

Megaton Rainfall

If you have access to an original PlayStation VR or compatible PC VR headset of some kind and haven’t tried Megaton Rainfall yet, please do. While there are other superhero-flavoured VR games out there like Batman: Arkham VR or Iron Man VR, none come close to really selling the power fantasy – and the cost – of being an all-powerful entity. Megaton Rainfall’s core gameplay of blasting away alien baddies as Earth’s most powerful protector isn’t overly surprising, but its systems have you wrestle with the consequences of your own actions and force you to consider and minimise the collateral damage you inflict on the cities you’re supposed to be protecting. It’s also playable without VR and well worth checking out on PS4, Xbox One, Switch and PC, though VR is definitely the way to go.

Viewtiful Joe

Although its creator famously went on to co-found PlatinumGames (and then recently left), Viewtiful Joe is a hallmark of the creativity of its era. Joe is just your average film nerd who takes his boo to see his favourite superhero movie when she’s suddenly kidnapped and taken into an alternate reality called Movieland. Here, Joe becomes his own superhero (the titular Viewtiful Joe) and goes on an adventure to rescue Silvia. The way this game uses the idea of film to inspire its gameplay and presentation is top-notch, and Viewtiful Joe makes for an excellent hero with his trademark VFX Powers.

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy

I can admit I wasn’t a huge fan of the first two Guardians of the Galaxy MCU films (the third one was a banger, though) and never got into the world in print form, but this take on GotG from Eidos-Montreal absolutely rocks. It had the benefit of following the poorly-received Marvel’s Avengers, but also stands on its own merit as a compelling, completely single-player adventure with a strong story, well-developed characters and a brilliant understanding of the tone and wit that people associate with Guardians. If you’re yet to give this a go, pick it up on the cheap and try it out, you might be surprised.

Infamous Second Son

While there might be folks out there who’d argue my choice of entries in the Infamous series, Second Son had a lot going for it. A more interesting and well-rounded protagonist, gorgeous visuals (for the time) that showed off what the PS4 was capable of, and fun open world parkour and powers made this a great entry. Sucker Punch is doing cool things with samurai these days (probably) but I definitely wouldn’t be opposed to a return to Infamous.

MARVEL SNAP

Look, I don’t think I need to do much explaining when it comes to MARVEL SNAP. If you know, you know. Not only is this one of the most incredibly-accessible digital card battlers out there, it’s also got the most exhilarating moment-to-moment action in its succinct and unpredictable rounds. Plus, collecting all of your favourite heroes with multiple iterations of card art from different renowned artists is a great way to get rid of all that pesky money you have.

Saints Row IV

As a Saints Row game, this one might have missed the mark in some significant ways, but as the ultimate power fantasy it was an absolute riot. At this stage in the series, before it would later be rebooted, things have escalated so far that the Saints are now superpowered badasses in the virtual city of Steelport, fighting against an alien invasion. Sure, it completely lost sight of the series’ origins as an over-the-top GTA-like, but it turned into a freeform, high-flying action adventure that let fans go absolutely buck wild with ridiculous powers for both combat and traversal.