Marvel Comics has gained the moniker of "The House of Ideas" thanks to its non-stop abundance of fresh concepts revolving around the superhero comic book genre. The costumed inhabitants that live within its many universes are known the world over due to their heroic exploits, which have been heard on the radio, seen in print, on television, and on the big screen. Video games are another form of media that have brought the many adventures of Spider-Man, the X-Men, The Hulk, and more to life in one of the most engaging ways possible. The famous and not-so-famous faces of Marvel Comics have become playable in a host of good to great to "amazing" games that stand the test of time. Here are 39 of the best Marvel games fans and non-fans should take for a ride. EXCELSIOR!
The 39 Best Marvel Games of All Time
Best Marvel Games
1. 'Captain America and The Avengers'
Captain America and The Avengers keeps it really simple and concise - the Red Skull is up to no good and only Captain America and his allies can defeat him. And those allies happen to be some of the biggest Marvel Comics saviors of the early 90s. What we have here is a solid beat 'em up that arrived in its best form via the four-player arcade cabinet. Saving the day as either Captain America, Iron Man, Hawkeye, or Vision while going against the likes of Juggernaut and Ultron is still a joy worth experiencing for yourself.
2. 'Spider-Man: The Video Game'
This arcade brawler caught everyone's attention during its original release due to its eye-popping visuals that made all the characters onscreen look as detailed and tall as possible. Spider-Man: The Video Game features the famous web crawler himself as he looks to retrieve a mystical object from the hands of the Kingpin. And that means you'll aid him during that mission by beating up goons and adding his allies to the fight (Black Cat, Sub-Mariner, and Hawkeye come along for the ride). This side-scrolling beat 'em up looks good and sounds damn good, too.
3. 'X-Men' (1992)
It's always a great day when you and your friends come across a deluxe cabinet of this classic. X-Men will always get our quarters because there's always so much fun to be had beating up Sentinels and everyone else who fights under Magneto's command. Cyclops, Colossus, Wolverine, Storm, Nightcrawler, and Dazzler pop up here to clash with the likes of the Blob, Pyro, Mystique, and more. The intro for this game will forever be embedded in our warmest memories of our arcade days.
4. 'The Punisher' (1993)
During Capcom's reign of greatness within the glory days of the arcade, the Japanese publisher/developer put out hit after hit after hit. One of those coin-op successes is The Punisher, which puts Marvel Comics' gun-totting antihero at the forefront. He and Nick Fury run around smashing and bashing everyone who dares to come across their path of vengeance. The comic book-like visual effects that erupt during gunplay are a great nod to this game's source material, plus the gameplay itself is brutal enough to reflect the graphic novel adventures of The Punisher himself.
5. 'Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage'
If you were one of the lucky ones who managed to get their hands on a red SNES cartridge of this game, then consider yourself a king/queen. Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage is one of those retro beat 'em ups that so many gamers fondly remember during the reign of 16-bit consoles. Both of Marvel's badass web crawlers join forces to bring the fight to random street goons. The stakes get raised even more once Carnage, Shriek, and Demogoblin pop up to cause some havoc. Thank god you can call on the assistance of Captain America, Iron Fist, and more to put them away for good!
6. 'X-Men: Children of the Atom'
X-Men: Children of the Atom is such a huge accomplishment on behalf of the fighting game geniuses at Capcom. The classic struggle between Professor X and Magneto's mutant teams is front and center in this hype-inducing 2D fighter. The flashiness of the action that erupts onscreen made everyone feel like they were playing an actual episode of the cartoons back during the show's heyday. The multi-tiered battlegrounds, exciting tunes that play out during each fight, and the crazy final boss fight with Magneto all afford this fighter all the likable elements it's fondly remembered for.
7. 'X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse'
Yeah, we gotta shout out the X-Men once again! When they popped up on the SNES, Capcom made sure to do right by them with this action platformer that's simple yet oh-so enjoyable from start to finish. While challenging, X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse is worth enduring thanks to its nice selection of characters and solid beat-'em-up mechanics. Being able to smash some random goons as Beast, Gambit, Psylocke, and more is reason enough to crown this game as one of the best Marvel games.
8. 'Marvel Super Heroes'
Everything that worked in X:Men: Children of the Atom got applied to this all-Marvel fighting game. We love this fighter so much for putting us on to some of the lesser-known Marvel characters from its vast comic book universe (now we know Shuma Gorath and Blackheart like the back of our hands!). Marvel Super Heroes' actual gameplay is awesome - the Gems system adds an extra layer to all the combat at hand and gifts each character with some signature skills that look extra cool when executed.
9. 'Marvel Super Heroes In War of the Gems'
Just like X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse, Marvel Super Heroes in War of the Gems went the action-packed route with a beat 'em up starring Marvel's finest heroes. Captain America, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Wolverine, and The Hulk group up in this SNES classic to help Adam Warlock gather the gems and defeat Thanos. We still get so much amusement from this game thanks to its all-star lineup of bosses - Nebula, Doctor Doom, and Sasquatch pop up to stop us at different intervals (to no avail, though!).
10. 'X-Men vs. Street Fighter'
Man, that handshake between Ryu and Cyclops still makes us feel some type of way! To see those two legends meet for the very first time in this game was such a mind-blowing moment for kids back in the day. X-Men vs. Street Fighter is such a monumental Capcom fighter since it introduced us all to the 2v2 team-based elements of the "Vs." games. The Street Fighter Alpha renditions of Capcom's "World Warriors" clash with the versions of the mutants spotted in X-Men: Children of the Atom. The superpowered special moves and climactic super moves that break out during their battles are still mindblowing.
11. 'Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter'
Capcom made the right move when it went ahead and mashed up the rosters of Marvel Super Heroes and X-Men vs. Street Fighter for this next game. The aptly named Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter threw in the likes of Omega Red, Blackheart, and Shuma Gorath into the fray with Ryu, Sakura, and Dan for another fun go-round within the "Vs." series. Say what you want about this game being nothing more than a roster update for X: Men vs. Street Fighter - it's still a great game in its own right thanks to the super flashy super move backgrounds and the appearance of Cyber Akuma.
12. 'Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes'
The hype for the "Vs." games was raised to an all-time high when this 2D fighter hit the scene. You just can't go wrong with one of the best Marvel games of all time, Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes. To see Capcom icons such as Mega Man, Captain Commando, and Strider Hiryu pop up in fighting game form to test the will and strength of newcomers like Venom and War Machine was a dream come true. This pick on our list will forever be goated thanks to its amazing announcer, bumping soundtrack, guest assist system that features greats from both sides, and amazing 2v2 gameplay. Onslaught made for an awesome boss in this one!
13. 'Spider-Man' (2000)
Activision and Neversoft truly did God's work by creating one of the most "amazing" Spider-Man games we've ever laid eyes on and played. While the icon Stan Lee narrated this game's cinematics, players became Spidey himself as he fought to clear his name after being framed by a sinister doppelgänger. And on top of all that, players also had to fend off an incoming symbiote invasion. Webbing around this game feels so rewarding, plus webbing up foes and getting into some action-packed boss fights with familiar members of Spidey's Rogue's Gallery still excites us. Clashing with a giant-sized Mysterio will always stick out in our minds regarding this awesome Spidey simulator. This Spider-Man simulator is most definitely one of the best Marvel games of all time.
14. 'Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes'
There's a reason why so many fighting game gurus always request Capcom to bring this classic 3v3 brawler to modern consoles - it's just so damn prodigious among the FGC (and even Michael B. Jordan!). Marvel vs. Capcom 2's 3v3 clashes allow for fast and furious action that is just as exciting to play as it is to watch. This game is another example of an FGC entity that's still played on a competitive level. And for good reason - Marvel vs. Capcom 2 is full of fun on a casual level and even more enticing on an expert one. Playing this on a casual or pro level means you'll be equally satisfied by all the team-based madness this fighter entails.
15. 'X-Men: Mutant Academy 2'
2.5D fighters popped up a bunch during the 32-bit console generation. The X-Men got to play a part in that fighting game sub-genre with the first Mutant Academy, which was a nice first step toward solidifying a new gaming franchise for Marvel's mutants. X-Men: Mutant Academy 2 gets the nod here as one of the best Marvel games, for sure! The action moves at a good pace here - you'll still get plenty of enjoyment out of juggling the CPU and your local couch opposition with Wolverine, Cyclops, and even a playable Professor X! Mutant Academy 2 still bangs to this day.
16. 'Spider-Man' (2002)
Tobey Maguire is one of the best live-action versions of Spider-Man. His starring role as your friendly neighborhood web-slinger in the 2002 film is the stuff of legend. We were more than shocked when the licensed game based on that movie turned out much better than expected. This game's open-world locales gave way to some fun web-slinging segments and brawls with various assailants that made us truly feel like the hero himself. The graphics really shined here and brought the movie's epic events to life, especially when you got to swing around the city and glide past all those skyscrapers.
17. 'Spider-Man 2'
Never mind all those kids who needed Spidey to save their balloons! Spider-Man 2 is no doubt one of the best Marvel games ever created, in our eyes. The open-world exploration improved to a great degree, plus there were more activities to indulge in this time around. Stopping speeding cars and rescuing falling construction workers truly made us feel like NYC's best-costumed champion. Big props to this game for also focusing on Spider-Man's conflict with Doctor Octopus, which gave way to an intriguing storyline that everyone loved from the big screen source material.
18. 'X-Men Legends'
If there's one thing we love to death, it's top-down action RPGs that stick close to what made Diablo such a smash hit. Marvel provided Activision and Raven Software with the world-famous mutants. In response, X-Men Legends was born out of that perfect union. Running the game's campaign with a full four-player squad brings out the best of this game - pulling off some mind-blowing combos with the best of the X-Men is still a ton of fun. Landing a dual attack offered the most satisfaction from this awesome Marvel action RPG. Team Colossus, Iceman, Magma, and Nightcrawler for the win!
19. 'X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse'
Once Apocalypse reared his ugly purple head, it was time to head back into battle with this sequel to the last game on our list. X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse is pretty much a concerted effort to give fans more of what they loved beforehand - there are way more characters to play as and tons more mutant powers to specialize in. Taking this bad boy online provided fans like us with hours of button-mashing fun. The X-Men and the Brotherhood of Mutants were forced to join forces here - we're so glad they came here to make this game's roster expand so much. This X-Men action RPG is easily one of the best Marvel games of all time.
20. 'Ultimate Spider-Man'
Marvel's "Ultimate" line of comics gave breathed new life into much of the comic imprint's longtime heroes and villains. Spider-Man is one of those saviors - thankfully, his alternate self got to explore a cel-shaded NYC full of mayhem in Ultimate Spider-Man. Being able to swing through Manhattan and parts of Queens as Spidey and his nemesis/ally Venom looks and feels so damn good. Venom happens to be the main attraction for us here since his playstyle allows for more chaotic behavior that feels like an amalgamation of Rampage and Grand Theft Auto. Ultimate Spider-Man brings the comic book exploits of its cover star to life in the best way possible.
21. 'The Punisher' (2005)
Marvel's most ruthless vigilante got to hop into the world of 3D to deliver a game that fans of Max Payne got a lot of mileage out of. Frank Castle got to run wild with all types of firearms in hand in this blood-soaked third-person shooter. There's so much to love about this wonderful ode to The Punisher - the one-liners, the interrogation sequences, and the wild shootouts are among those reasons worth mentioning here. No innocents should ever be harmed while you play this one - just take down the unjust at all times!
22. 'The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction'
Jumping to insane heights and smashing everything in sight thanks to gamma-infused powers went a long way towards making this Hulk game a bonafide hit. The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction offers the most fully realized dream scenario for the perfect Hulk simulator and is certainly one of the best Marvel games we've ever played. Stomping around the city and the desert as the big green brute himself while doing tons of collateral damage to everyone and everything around you is so damn fun. We always took the opportunity to cause as much destruction as possible in order to get the military to try and take us down (they never did, by the way!).
23. 'Marvel: Ultimate Alliance'
Raven Software's top-down action RPG formula worked wonders for the X-Men IP, so it only made sense for the studio to apply all that entertaining gameplay to the entirety of the Marvel Comics universe. Marvel: Ultimate Alliance brings Doctor Doom and his Masters of Evil to the forefront as the main baddies you're tasked with taking down. And with a wide variety of heroes to choose from for your squad, there's a ton of fun to be had as you and your three mates beat up everyone in sight. It became pretty addictive to figure out legit team formations to get all those stat boosts and also create wild superhero combinations we never saw in the comics.
24. 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine'
It's such a mind trip when you consider just how much better this game is than the multi-million dollar produced film based on the X-Men's most beloved character. Wolvie thrives in his element here thanks to an action-packed hack and slasher that was clearly infused by the best parts of God of War and Devil May Cry. We're still enamored by the high levels of gore and brutality it sports - Wolverine's rage-induced brawls with anyone and everyone are so fun, plus watching his body repair itself after a grueling battle is such a great nod to his powers. X-Men Origins: Wolverine is one of the best Marvel games due to it feeding into Wolverine's fan's primal desires and letting them hack and slash everyone to bits.
25. 'Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2'
Now it's time to throw some praise onto the sequel! Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 raised the storyline stakes by adapting the events featured in "Secret War" and "Civil War," which made the game's whole experience that much more engrossing. Most of the fun we still derive from this heroic dungeon crawler comes from the "fusion" system that lets two certain characters pull off signature team-up attacks. The beat 'em up gameplay in this game is still top-notch and the roster of playable heroes on both sides of the main conflict are fine representatives of the Marvel Universe. Make sure you link up Captain America and Storm so you can see something really special, folks!
26. 'Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions'
Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions gets a special nod here on this list of the best Marvel games due to it successfully going the "multiversal" route with its plot and gameplay mechanics. With four different Spider-Men in tow, this game introduced four different playstyles that kept a full playthrough of the game fresh throughout. Spider-Man Noir stuck out as the most unique thanks to his stealthy segments, while Ultimate Spider-Man's bigger focus on chaotic combat added to the game's fun factor. Amazing Spider-Man provides us with some traditional Spidey fun, plus Spider-Man 2099 takes us into the far-flung future for some memorable clashes with 2099 versions of Hobgoblin and Doctor Octopus.
27. 'Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3'
The cel-shaded art, newly added roster members, and stunning intro attached to his Capcom classic combine to make this fighter one of the best Marvel games. Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 does a fine job of expanding the roster by adding in some names that started out as curious choices that eventually grew into recognizable names, such as Rocket Racoon and Nova. Pulling off TOD (Touch of Death) combos with teams bolstered by Ghost Rider, Iron, Fist, Hawkeye, and Doctor Strange still brings all the hype. The hype wars between Marvel and Capcom look and feel amazing here - just be prepared to get bodied relentlessly by Dante, Vergil, Morrigan, Dr. Doom, and Nova.
28. 'Lego Marvel Super Heroes'
DC Comics got its fair share of great Lego games, so it was only right that Marvel's biggest and brightest got to be turned into miniature versions of themselves in a game as well. 180 characters (!) in total are available at players' grasp in a game filled with familiar locales hailing from the Marvel Universe and famed superhero vs. supervillain struggles. The signature humor fans have come to expect from Traveller's Tales' Lego games goes so well with all the hilarious Easter Eggs Marvel fans get in this jolly platformer. That X-Mansion, though? It's simply astonishing. Lego Marvel Super Heroes feels like you're perusing through a Marvel theme park full of the best characters and sights the comic book giant is known for.
29. 'Marvel Contest of Champions'
There's a quality Marvel fighting game...and it's not even made by Capcom? Yep! And what's more shocking is that it's only playable on mobile devices! Damn near everyone is here to test their mettle - iconic characters like Spider-Man and Captain America are joined by lesser-known personalities such as Tigra and Silver Centurion. This is one of those mobile games that will seemingly never run out of content to offer since it regularly updates its roster over time. Marvel Contest of Champions is definitely a gem.
30. 'Marvel Future Fight'
What we have here is another hard-to-put-down action RPG that brings together a massive array of Marvel heroes, antiheroes, and villains. The Diablo vibes are strong here as you amass your favorite characters and go out onto the battlefield to pull off flashy special abilities with them all. In order to save the future from an imminent catastrophe, you'll need to fight to save the world of Marvel from an impending convergence. Doing that via PvE gameplay is fun, but we tend to get way more enjoyment out of the competitive PvP skirmishes.
31. 'Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series'
When Telltale Games was at the height of its game output, it inked a monumental deal with Marvel to create this deeply engrossing series. The episodic adventure we’re alluding to is the one that brings together Marvel’s ragtag group of galaxy explorers/saviors. Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket, and Groot are all here and accounted for in an adventure game full of hilarity, action-packed space battles, and impactful choices to consider for the fate of the universe. And as expected, this game’s usage of beloved 80s tunes fits the mood of the Guardians of the Galaxy to a tee.
32. 'Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2'
This Lego/Marvel mashup worked the first time around, so it made all the sense in the world to try it again for the second time around. Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 exposed its young players to the all-powerful Kang the Conqueror, whose evil deeds get the attention of the Marvel Universe at large. The new realm of Chronopolis paved the way for familiar stages based on iconic Marvel locales, plus the game's roster got the chance to change into their past/future selves via time manipulation. That clever mechanic and the same old Lego game fun paint this pick as one of the best Marvel games.
33. 'Marvel Strike Force'
It's so damn hard to put this mobile game down for just a few seconds! Marvel Strike Force features a vast collection of Marvel heroes and villains that can be attached to different parties for battle. Mixing and matching the game’s iconic characters for turn-based RPG clashes across Marvel Strike Force’s many modes is an activity that has been and will remain engrossing for years to come. There's a near limitless amount of fun to bask in here thanks to the abundance of Marvel heroes and villains you can take into battle.
34. 'Marvel's Spider-Man'
Activision published a bunch of strong Spider-Man games in years past. Once Sony got the publishing rights to Spidey and tasked Insomniac with crafting a new open-world action/adventure around NYC's web-swinging savior, a 10 out of 10 experience was birthed. Everything is on point here - the web-swinging, combat mechanics, alternate costume lineup, side missions, etc. all came together to produce the greatest Spider-Man game of all time. If you played through this game to the point of getting the platinum trophy and experienced all of its DLC, then you certainly got your money's worth.
35. 'Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order'
The wait between the second and third entries in the Marvel Ultimate Alliance series was uncomfortably long, of course. But better late than never, we always say! Switch owners got Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 as an exclusive, which was definitely a surprise. The animated art style gave it Saturday morning cartoon vibes, which is a very nice touch. This action RPG delivers all the superheroic beat 'em up action everyone has gotten accustomed to. This game's launch and DLC rosters fill it out to the max - meshing together legit Marvel teams for four-player co-op fun is always one of our go-to hobbies with this one.
36. 'Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales'
Insomniac showed both the comic book and video game fanbases how their magic touch can even be applied to superheroes with its Spider-Man game. Then came this much-requested expansion that put Peter Parker's more "electrified" ally in the driver's seat. Miles stood apart through his signature special abilities that made zipping through the air and putting down a whole set of baddies even more lively. With his very own struggle to get engaged in while Peter Parker is away, Miles comes into contact with some lethal villains and even one that's been close to him since childhood. And the mood was set just right by the proper representation of Afro-Latino vibes in NYC and the original soundtrack.
37. 'Marvel Future Revolution'
Marvel Future Revolution is one of those games you'll always be shocked to see running so well on mobile devices. On a visual level, it looks like it'd fit perfectly on any of the consoles you have stored in your living room/bedroom. Gameplay-wise, this action RPG brings the camera a bit closer to the action that transpires onscreen. The "Secret Wars" storyline gives you all the reason in the world to care about this game - bringing the pain to your opposition with characters such as Magik and Scarlet Witch is so dammed fun!
38. 'Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy'
Due to the critical and commercial failure of Marvel's Avengers, most gamers looked at this game as nothing more than the same. But surprisingly, this highly emotional and equally hilarious romp through the galaxy ended up exceeding everyone's low expectations. Guardians of the Galaxy must be considered royalty among the huge gamut of best superhero games due to its genuinely laugh-out-loud moments between the crew and an action-packed adventure that's on par with the MCU's interpretation of the ragtag space travelers. The light RPG battle elements also shine as they allow you to lead the group as Star-Lord and issue party commands while using elemental blasters to save the day. Major props to this game for presenting the best version of Drax the Destroyer we've ever encountered.
39. 'Marvel's Spider-Man 2'
Marvel's Spider-Man 2 rises above its predecessor in several impressive ways - there are two Spider-Men to zip around a much larger digital recreation of New York City with, for one. The improved combat maneuvers, newly implemented gadgets, and implementation of the Symbiote Suit make all those battles with random street thugs and Kraven the Hunter's loyal followers so satisfying. The stories of the first game and its Miles Morales spinoff have gotten plenty of love and the same can be said for this sequel's incredible plot. Peter Parker, Mary Jane, Miles, Harry Osbourne, Kraven, The Lizard, and Venom all get intertwined in an epic storyline that would make for a great series of issues had it been relegated to the pages of a graphic novel.
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