Superheroes are a big thing for most people’s childhoods. Even when most of us have become adults Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, and many other iconic superheroes still reverberate strongly within us all. Taking advantage of this child-like fascination many of us still held, the entertainment industry has done its best to capitalize on superheroes. Marvel and DC Cinematic Universes are just two of the greatest examples of this trend.
But not just the film industry, the video game industry is also pitching in to try and take a slice of the massive thematic cake that is superheroes. Unfortunately, superhero games tend to have a pretty foul reputation but that doesn’t mean that there haven’t been many successes over the years.
In this list, we’ll show you a list of the best superhero games you can play out. Our list is based on Metacritic - a reputable source for game review since it aggregates opinions of ordinary gamers and professional video game critics alike. And to put into perspective what we consider as ‘Superheroes’, most of the games will be derived from licensed characters by Marvel or DC.
Marvel’s Spider-Man - 87
Marvel’s Spider-Man came out in 2018 as a title exclusive to the PlayStation 4 console and as a result, it is the most recent game to be starred on the list. It is not hard to see from the very get-go that the game had been considerably polished by the developers - a fact that’s universally agreed to be true by both gamers and critics. You, of course, take on the role of Peter Parker roaming the perilous streets of New York to solve crimes and prevent the usual evils. The game’s open-world mechanic is hard to fault and had added a ton of values and overall fun to the experience.
The web-slinging mechanic is smooth as well as the combat, making every violent encounter exciting. Exciting enough that it would always leave you wanting to go and find some more bad guys to beat up after you had literally wrapped up one group of thugs.
New York is also lively and vibrant, filled with side quests that you can do to explore further the city, the story-line, or merely just live the normal life of Peter Parker.
Batman: Arkham Knight - 87
Before you read further let me warn you that you’ll be seeing Batman quite a lot on this list. He’s undoubtedly the king of the superhero video game genre with multiple entries on the list.
Arkham Knight is the last game to be made by Rocksteady Studio in the resoundingly successful series about the Dark Knight. The game was released in 2015 to PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Though the general state of the industry is that the last game in a series tends to be worst, Arkham Knight subverted all expectations by being considered by fans and critics alike as the best game in the series. In the game, you’ll have to face off with a variety of Batman’s iconic enemies like The Penguin, Scarecrow, Two-Face, and of course, Harley Quinn.
Marvel Pinball: Avengers Chronicles - 88
If you were to look into the film industry, The Avengers is probably among the biggest franchise to exist ever. But in stark opposition to its outstanding performance on the silver screen, The Avengers hadn’t quite managed to secure success on the video game front. The games that do exist about them received low to mediocre scores by critics. Yet the Avengers DLC for Pinball somehow managed to secure quite a high score. The DLC added four new tables to the basic Pinball FX 2 based on scenes and characters from The Avengers and some interesting crossovers between the movie and the comic with World War Hulk, Infinity Gauntlet, and Fear Itself.
Personally, it’s not something that I would enjoy but if you see it as interesting, you have the assurances of critics that it’s going to be amazing.
Batman: Arkham City - 96
Surprisingly, even though Arkham Knight is considered to be the best game in the Batman series, it’s Arkham City that got the highest score of all. In fact, it is the highest-scoring superhero game on the entire website. The game’s available for all previous generation consoles (PS3 and Xbox 360) and PC, it is the PS3 version of the game that received the highest score. The game’s popularity is such that later it on it would receive a remastered version for PS4, Xbox One, and even a port to the Wii U system.
The game’s second installment in the Batman series produced by Rocksteady Studios and a direct sequel to the first game, Arkham Asylum. Although the game’s quite old (It came out in 2011), it has aged quite well and can still be enjoyed thoroughly today.
Flipped Out: The Powerpuff Girls Match 3 Puzzle / Fighting Action Game - 85
The four aforementioned superhero games have been quite … adult by nature. And you ought to know that not all superheroes are the perfect image of masculinity or even femininity. Sometimes a little sugar, spices, and everything nice is enough. There has recently been a reboot of the Powerpuff Girls series and with it came merchandises and video games.
This hybrid of puzzle and action game featuring our favorite trio is available on iOS and has generally been praised by critics for just how ‘addicting' it is. Calling it a: “challenging match-three or brawler game.”
Batman: The Enemy Within - 88
This adaptation of The Bat has nothing to do with Rocksteady Studios. Instead, it is made by Telltale - the studio behind the infamous Walking Dead and Wolf Among Us series. Just like the aforementioned series, Batman: The Enemy Within is released episodically. This is the reason why each episode of the game has a separate score. We’ll latch onto the highest rating episode as the baseline score of the game itself which is the last episode, ‘Same Stitch’, scored an 88 by Metacritic.
It’s not hard to figure out what the game was loved for if you have played a Telltale-branded game before. The masterful storytelling, the compelling and lively dialogues between characters, and of course, the different choices and myriad of endings you could get based on the decisions you made throughout the game. They’re all great reasons to buy the game if you like narrative-based games.
Teen Titans Go Figure! - 87
Teen Titans Go! is a pretty confusing mess: It’s one of the most loved and most hated cartoon ever. It’s loved simply because Cartoon Network just broadcasts it almost 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. But it’s also hated because many lifelong fans considered the show to be a divergence from the true spirit of the series by centralizing on comedy but not the action, drama, and adventurism of past shows.
Just like the Powerpuff Girls’ game, Teen Titans Go Figure! is an iOS game. Furthermore, the game actually has a higher rating than the PS2 Teen Titans which belongs to the fighting genre. The game also acts as the sequel to the iOS game Teeny Titans. We’re a little bit concerned about this game though considering the fact that the game has only got four reviews and all of them were made by professional critics instead of the ordinary gamers.
If you have enough time on your hand, do the world favor maybe and add your own inputs?
Batman: Arkham Asylum - 91
Okay, this is definitely the last Batman game to be featured on the list for real. Arkham Asylum is the starting point of the series by Rocksteady Studios. It marked the start of a triumphant chapter in both the history of the hero but also the history of the superhero genre. Before the game came out in 2009 on PS3, Xbox 360, and PC, the superhero genre was stuck in a limbo and was falling into irrelevance. Arkham Asylum was the literal game-changer.
But if we were to talk about the great success of Arkham Asylum, we have to talk about the reason behind it. And the reason behind it is Paul Dini - an Emmy-winning author for Batman - who’s responsible for the plot behind the game. This guy wrote the script for Tiny Toon Adventures, Batman: The Animated Series and many other notable cartoons that you might have loved as a kid. So it’s not surprising that under the skillful pen of Dini, the game came out as more or less a masterpiece.
Injustice 2 - 89
Injustice 2 is - along with with Marvel’s Spider-Man - the younger games on this list dating only as far back as 2017. The game was released on the current generation of consoles like Xbox One and PlayStation 4 as well as PC. The game received its best score on Xbox One.
The fighting game has an expansive roster of controllable characters filled with notable superheroes and villains from DC. You have Aquaman, Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman against Joker, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, and Brainiac. But those are just a small sample of the superheroes and villains you can play as in Injustice 2. If you’re a fan of PvP or have friends willing to go ham on one another on the screen, this is one of the best choices next to Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat.
Spider-Man - 87
Last but not least, we must mention Spider-Man. But unlike the 2018 Spider-Man, this one came all the way back from 2000 and was released on the original PlayStation. This game’s loved for many things: The outstanding voice acting and some additional contents like collecting new suits, comic book covers, e.t.c. that works similarly to the collectible side quest prevalent in games today. Though our eyes have been spoiled too much by photorealistic graphics to consider Spider-Man beautiful, the game at that moment in time was beautifully done and especially with the limited hardware at the time, you couldn’t ask for anything better if you were living in 2000.
The game is a combination of many different things like platforming, fighting, and a hint of shooter somewhere in there. The game’s been considered outdated quite some time ago but many people are still enjoying it and leaving comments on Metacritic up to this day.
Interested in more of our video games related articles? Please check this post out for the top 10 Bethesda RPGs.