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The best Marvel games of all time

The Marvel franchise has exploded in popularity over the past decade or so, leading to a slew of films, TV shows, comics, and video games. Though, even before the MCU took the film industry by storm, Marvel games were always popular — dating back to the PlayStation 2 days in the early- to mid-2000s (and even earlier).

Over the course of the franchise’s rich history, we’ve had Marvel video games based on films, as well as original stories coming in all sorts of genres. There are action games, cooperative multiplayer titles, fighters, beat ’em ups, and others ranging across various styles of play. There’s even a Marvel pinball series out there!

With that in mind, we decided to take a look at the best games the franchise has to offer, looking back over two decades of releases. These are the best Marvel games of all time.

Recommended reading:

Marvel's Spider-Man
Marvel's Spider-Man
88 %
4.5/5
T
Platforms PlayStation 4
Genre Hack and slash/Beat 'em up, Adventure
Developer Insomniac Games
Publisher Sony Interactive Entertainment
Release September 07, 2018

You knew this was coming. Of course, Marvel’s Spider-Man is one of the best Marvel games out there. There are so many reasons this game is so special, from its fluid combat to the compelling story and performances of its actors to the satisfying web-slinging. We’ve gotten lots of Spider-Man games in the past, but Insomniac Games’ take on the hero is in a league of its own. It strikes a balance of giving you enough to do throughout New York City without feeling too overwhelming. Because of its approachability, it’s easy to jump in, swing around, do a few missions, and hop out — without ever feeling like it’s too much to handle. Many open-world games struggle in this regard, but not Marvel’s Spider-Man. Above all else, this game is full of heart and will be remembered for years to come. We’re so excited Sony and Insomniac are working on a sequel, which should be coming to PS5 in 2023.

Spider-Man - E3 2016 Announce Trailer (Official)
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes
79 %
E10
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Mac, Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Genre Puzzle, Hack and slash/Beat 'em up, Adventure
Developer Traveller's Tales
Publisher WB Games
Release September 30, 2013

On the flip side, Marvel games are also known for allowing you to play with others. And that’s exactly what you can do in Lego Marvel Super Heroes — a game featuring 180 heroes from the beloved comic book universe. The most compelling thing about this game is that it’s easy to drop in and play with friends and family, regardless of skill level. With so many characters to choose from (even the lesser-known ones like Kraven the Hunter or Malekith), it’s easy to spend tons of hours trying out everyone’s movesets and abilities. While video games are sometimes very skill-dependent, the barrier to entry with Lego Marvel Superheroes is quite low, meaning even inexperienced gamers can find enjoyment with this one, but it also gives expert players plenty to do and unlock.

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Video Game - Official Teaser Trailer
Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes
Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes
85 %
T
Platforms PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox, Xbox 360, Dreamcast, iOS, Arcade
Genre Fighting
Developer Capcom
Publisher Virgin Interactive Entertainment (Europe) Ltd., Capcom
Release February 24, 2000
Here’s a game that does require much more skill — Marvel vs. Capcom 2: A New Age of Heroes. It’s not the newest in the series, but it’s certainly one of the most beloved. Even though it’s over 20 years old at this point, it’s easy to see why it’s so special thanks to its timeless cel-shaded art style and some of the best crossover fighting gameplay out there. In this tag-team fighting game, players compile a team of three characters across the Marvel and Capcom universes with the goal of being the last squad standing. Critics loved its responsive gameplay and memorable cast, along with the online functionality of the newer versions. There’s a reason Marvel vs. Capcom 2 is regarded as one of the best 2D fighting games of all time. Unfortunately, finding a physical copy has become increasingly more difficult, and it’s not available on digital storefronts anymore either, making this one hard to track down.
Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 playthrough (Dreamcast)
The Punisher
The Punisher
80 %
M
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 2, Xbox, Xbox 360, Legacy Cellphone
Genre Shooter, Adventure
Developer Volition Inc
Publisher THQ
Release April 12, 2004
While many Marvel games are known for being family-friendly, some are not for children — like 2004’s The Punisher. Though, if you’re an adult, you’ll probably find a lot to love with this game. Before Volition became famous for the Saints Row series, it made a name for itself with The Punisher, a game loosely based on the 2004 Thomas Jane film of the same name, along with elements from the comics and original stories. It’s a hilariously violent third-person shooter, with all kinds of weapons to choose from, along with various open levels to explore. One of its most memorable mechanics is that it gives you the ability to interrogate your enemies with your surroundings. For example, one level takes place at a zoo, where you can use a piranha pit to extract information from a guard. It’s not one of Marvel’s most popular games, but it really is a hidden gem that shooter fans should check out.
Spider-Man 2
Spider-Man 2
77 %
T
Platforms PlayStation 2, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation Portable, N-Gage
Genre Hack and slash/Beat 'em up, Adventure
Developer Treyarch, Activision
Publisher Nokia, Capcom, Taito, Activision
Release June 28, 2004
Before we had Marvel’s Spider-Man from Insomniac Games, there was the movie tie-in series known simply as Spider-Man (and its sequels). Spider-Man 2 is based on the 2004 film of the same name and sends players to an open-world version of New York with tons to do. Nowadays, open worlds are a dime a dozen, but in 2004, being able to explore such a large city as Spider-Man’s was a dream come true. In it, you got to take on missions inspired by the film, along with new scenarios designed specifically for this game. Typically, movie tie-ins are tolerable at best, but in this case, developer Treyarch made a huge effort to create one of the best superhero games of its time. It might not hold up as well in 2021, but if not for this game, we wouldn’t have some of the great open-world superhero games of today — and for that, it deserves a spot on this list.
Spider-Man 2 Xbox Trailer - E3 2004 Trailer
The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction
The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction
76 %
T
Platforms PlayStation 2, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube
Genre Hack and slash/Beat 'em up
Developer Radical Entertainment
Publisher Sierra Entertainment
Release August 23, 2005
The following year after Spider-Man 2 launched, Radical Entertainment and Vivendi Universal Games released The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction. In many ways, Spider-Man 2 laid down the framework for what would become Ultimate Destruction, giving us an open-world Hulk game with fully destructible buildings and environments (as its name suggests). It’s quite remarkable what this game was able to accomplish on the PS2 and Xbox, offering a compelling story (with voice acting!) and some of the best level traversal we’ve seen from a superhero game. Ultimate Destruction is a game that did Hulk justice, and it’s a shame we haven’t gotten another game of equal quality since then.
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order
70 %
3/5
T
Platforms Nintendo Switch
Genre Role-playing (RPG), Hack and slash/Beat 'em up
Developer Team Ninja, Koei Tecmo Games
Publisher Nintendo
Release July 19, 2019
While the Lego Marvel games are built more for a casual market, the Marvel Ultimate Alliance franchise offers a bit more depth. In particular, the third installment, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order, is the best of the bunch — combining and refining all the mechanics and features from the previous entries. In it, you assemble a team of heroes (or villains) to explore levels, gather experience to level up characters, and unlock a slew of new moves and abilities. While it’s playable solo, it’s much more fun with friends, and since there is no shortage of characters to choose from, there’s plenty of variation when playing alone or with a group. The wild thing is that Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 3 is a Nintendo Switch exclusive and is developed by Team Ninja, the studio behind the Ninja Gaiden and Nioh series. Because of this, it never reached the large audience of the first two games, but that doesn’t make it any less fun.
MARVEL ULTIMATE ALLIANCE 3: The Black Order - Announcement Trailer (Nintendo Switch™)
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
71 %
T
Platforms Wii, PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS, PlayStation Portable
Genre Hack and slash/Beat 'em up, Adventure
Developer Raven Software, Griptonite Games
Publisher Activision
Release May 01, 2009
Much like The Punisher, X-Men Origins: Wolverine is an experience suited for adults due to its graphic violence. But given that its main character is often regarded as a rabid animal, it makes sense to see tons of action, with plenty of different ways to take out your enemies. It’s based on the 2009 film of the same name, and unlike the movie, the game is actually fantastic, giving players fast-paced action sequences similar to the Devil May Cry series. At the time, the visuals for X-Men Origins: Wolverine were pretty great, and even to this day, they don’t look too terribly dated (depending on the version you have). It follows Logan on an adventure to remember his past, all while taking out bosses, exploring levels, and using his claws to defeat enemies. It’s one of the best video game renditions of Wolverine — despite being based on a movie that was critically panned.
X-Men: Origins Wolverine Video Game Trailer [HD]
Marvel's Iron Man VR
Marvel's Iron Man VR
3/5
T
Platforms PlayStation VR
Genre Shooter, Adventure
Developer Camouflaj
Publisher Sony Interactive Entertainment
Release July 03, 2020
One of the most unique experiences on this list is Marvel’s Iron Man VR, a game built specifically for virtual reality (VR). In it, you play as Tony Stark from a first-person perspective, with stages that send you soaring through the sky to take out enemies and reach your objectives. Aside from the immersive action, there’s also an intriguing story to enjoy, with well-acted characters and engaging writing. Of course, the main star of the show is the gameplay, with shooter elements as well as a satisfying upgrade system. VR is still in its infancy, so it’s not perfect, but Iron Man VR definitely accomplishes its goal of making you feel like you’re a superhero. Since you can’t go out and fly around in an Iron Man suit in real life (yet), this is the next best thing, and it works surprisingly well.
Marvel’s Iron Man VR – Announce Trailer | PS VR
Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales
Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales
82 %
T
Platforms PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5
Genre Hack and slash/Beat 'em up, Adventure
Developer Insomniac Games
Publisher Sony Interactive Entertainment
Release November 12, 2020
Sure, this list is full of Spider-Man games, but we’d be remiss if we skipped out on one of the very best — Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales. Serving as a follow-up to 2018’s Marvel’s Spider-Man, this game sends you on a journey as Miles Morales instead of Peter Parker. That makes it one of the most refreshing and inclusive games in recent memory, as it doubles down on emphasizing people of color in such a tasteful way. You can tell research was done to ensure the cultural inclusion was done right, making it feel much more authentic with its portrayal of Black, Latino, and Asian characters. But aside from setting a benchmark for inclusivity, Miles Morales is a healthy mix of new and old, blending the beloved gameplay from the first game with a few added twists. Since Miles has different powers than Peter, it’s a blast learning all of the new moves — one of which is invisibility, which makes for lots of fun sequences. Along with that, Miles Morales has one of the best video game stories ever, giving you tons of laughs and just as many tears. This is not one to skip out on, even if it’s smaller in scope than its predecessor.
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales - Gameplay Demo | PS5
Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy
Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy
82 %
3.5/5
T
Platforms PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S
Genre Shooter, Role-playing (RPG), Adventure
Developer Eidos Montréal
Publisher Square Enix
Release October 26, 2021
Prior to launch, expectations for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy weren’t high — especially since publisher Square Enix missed the mark with Marvel’s Avengers. Surprisingly, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy was excellent, offering a bombastic soundtrack full of hits from the ’70s and ’80s, a well-written story that mirrors the comics, and an overall vibe that feels authentic to the source material. Interestingly, you don’t actually play as all the Guardians in this game, at least not directly. Instead, you control Star-Lord but are also able to issue commands to the rest of the team. The action-packed combat is fun enough on its own, but it really starts to shine when you begin mixing in moves from the other Guardians including Gamora, Rocket Raccoon, Groot, and Drax the Destroyer. This is an experience that works far better than you’d expected (in more ways than one) and was one of the most underrated games of 2021.
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy | Deep Dive

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