Over the years, Marvel has managed to find a way to tell its stories in almost every medium possible. While the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been unfolding through movies and TV shows for over a decade, fan-favorite characters like Spider-Man and Wolverine have been appearing in video games since the early ’80s.
Marvel has been a constant presence in the industry since the release of Spider-Man for the Atari 2600 in 1982. Not every game has received the same praise as 2021’s Guardians of the Galaxy or Insomniac’s Miles Morales. , but some have been forgotten over the years. time and are still super fun to play to this day.
10/10 Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order (2019)
The original Marvel: Ultimate Alliance and its sequel are often considered one of the best games ever made for Marvel characters. Its large roster helped introduce obscure characters like Luke Cage and Moon Knight to more casual fans, and the multiplayer mode let you play through the entire campaign with a friend.
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 released a decade after Ultimate Alliance 2 but failed to capture the same attention as its predecessors. In an odd twist, Nintendo helped publish the game, which ultimately turned it into a Switch exclusive. If it was available on more platforms, it might have been more successful, but you should still check it out if you can.
9/10 X2: Wolverine’s Revenge (2003)
Besides Spider-Man, Wolverine has appeared in more video games than any other Marvel character. Each puts you in the shoes of the anti-hero and lets you use their unique powers to slice through enemies and save the day. Not all of them are great, but X2: Wolverine’s Revenge strikes the perfect balance between storytelling and action.
While Wolverine’s Revenge was released to help promote the second X-Men movie, it tells a separate story full of surprises. Wolverine has been injected with a deadly virus and must find the cure within 48 hours to save himself. It’s a gripping story that’s made even better by Mark Hamill’s performance and a fun combat system.
8/10 Lego Marvel Super Heroes (2013)
Lego has taken popular franchises like Star Wars and Indiana Jones and adapted them into family video games since the early 2000s, so it wasn’t a huge surprise when they announced they’d be taking on Marvel in 2013. As always, they packed the game with a massive roster of playable characters and a hilarious co-op campaign.
One of the main reasons Lego Marvel Super Heroes failed to stand out is that it was one of many Lego games released at the time. The brand released so many games from the Jurassic World and Batman franchises that it was hard for any of them to leave an impression.
7/10 Captain America: Super Soldier (2011)
While not as prevalent as they once were, it was once incredibly common for a major movie to license ownership for a video game adaptation. These titles were generally commercial and critical failures, but sometimes some stood out for their quality, such as Goldeneye or Captain America: Super Soldier.
If you’re familiar with the plot of Captain America: The First Avenger, you might be a little disappointed to find that Super Soldier basically tells the same story with a few minor tweaks. It makes up for that, but with a great combat system and most of the movie actors voicing their characters in-game.
6/10 The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction (2005)
Of all the Marvel superheroes, The Incredible Hulk has always been one of the most fun to play. His super strength and speed are perfect for a powerful protagonist, but despite starring in several games in the early 2000s, the Incredible Hulk mostly sat on the sidelines for over a decade.
If you want to know what it’s like to be Bruce Banner on a bad day, The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction was the perfect encapsulation of what the character is capable of. You can run around in large open areas and destroy almost any object in your path. It’s an incredibly satisfying world to explore and destroy, it would be awesome if we could do it again on modern platforms.
5/10 Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage (1994)
Marvel had a major presence at the top of the beat ’em up genre in the 90s. The company licensed their characters to appear in over twenty games during that time, but not all of them were able to leave such a strong impression. than Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage.
You can play as Spider-Man or Venom as you defend New York against Carnage and his crew of recognizable villains. The game is an adaptation of a popular comic book arc and features cameos from Captain America, Iron Fist, and everyone’s favorite, Morbius. To help make the game even cooler, the SNES and Genesis versions had red-colored cartridges which helped it stand out from other titles.
4/10 Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series (2017)
After developing games inspired by Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead, it always seemed inevitable that Telltale would end up working with a Marvel property. Unfortunately, by the time Telltale launched its episodic game Guardians of the Galaxy, many fans were feeling tired of their formula and started skipping their latest releases.
It’s a shame because Guardians of the Galaxy was one of Telltale’s last cheers before the studio suddenly shut down in 2018. It almost immediately subverts expectations at first, then continues to explore each character’s background with excellent storytelling. and distribution performance. Add in a great soundtrack, tough decisions, and a bit of humor, and you have a great Guardians of the Galaxy 2021 game alternative.
3/10 The Punisher (2005)
Most Marvel content is relatively family-friendly, but some characters like Deadpool or The Punisher thrive in more mature storylines. Instead of just knocking the bad guys out and teaching them a lesson, these anti-heroes usually use extreme measures of violence to get what they want, and 2005’s The Punisher game doesn’t hold back.
This Punisher game was initially so brutal that the ESRB wanted to classify it as “Adult Only”, which would have significantly reduced its availability. Even after the developers removed content, it was a controversial build due to its torture mechanism and death animations. If you’re looking for a gritty Marvel experience, The Punisher is one of the best.
2/10 X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse (1994)
It’s always great to see your favorite hero’s origin story, but it’s even better when they team up with a team of other powerful beings to take down a common threat. X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse follows five of Charles Xavier’s top students – Wolverine, Beast, Cyclops, Gambit and Psylocke – as they work together to save other mutants and stop Apocalypse in his tracks.
There had been a few X-Men games before, but Mutant Apocalypse was the first to stand out with its stellar gameplay and scenes. Each hero was fantastic to control and the ability to play through the levels in any order you wanted helped make the adventure non-linear. Not only is Mutant Apocalypse an underrated Marvel game, it’s also a hugely underrated side-scrolling beat ’em up.
1/10 Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions (2010)
The idea of shared universes and multiple timelines has become a major focus for Marvel Entertainment since the start of the MCU’s fourth phase. It’s been a divisive time, but it’s hard to know if that would even happen right now without Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions.
After the Table of Order and Chaos is destroyed in a battle between Spider-Man and Mysterio, trouble begins to spread across multiple realities. Madame Web enlists four different Peter Parkers to piece it all together and battle villains like Doctor Octopus. Shattered Dimensions helped inspire the “Spider-Verse” comics that would eventually be adapted into the monumental Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. If you’re curious to see where the concept of the MCU’s multiverse began to form, Shattered Dimensions is a great place to start.
Next: MCU Villains Who Need Their Own Game