I’ve never played a bad superhero game. I don’t even know if it’s possible to make one. There’s just something about taking over an iconic characters that instantly makes for an especially enjoyable time. With new Spider-Man game coming to the PS4 this month I got to thinking about what superhero games I’ve played over the years.
Of course there is Spider-Man 2, a game I played for hundreds of hours on the Gamecube. Besides Super Smash Brothers Melee it’s probably one of my most played games ever and the reason why my original Gamecube controllers are so worn out. I think this was my first open world game ever and I loved that you could go anywhere you wanted. I only beat the story once and the rest of the time was spent climbing buildings, swinging around New York, and fighting petty crime, and getting those sweet, sweet, collectibles.
Before Spider Man 2 there was Spider Man, naturally. This was another one of my favorites on the Gamecube. This one was more constricted, it had a set of levels you played through that were fairly linear. I remember how excited I was when I realized there was a cheat code to play as the Green Goblin.
The most recent super hero game I’ve played is Batman Arkham Asylum. Me and Batman have had our ups and downs over the years. Batman: The Animated series, easily one of my favorite cartoons growing up. Christopher Nolan’s edgy Batman turned me off to the character for many years. Then I started to read the comics around 2016 and I’m all for Batman again. I really liked Arkham Asylum and thought it was a good mix of a stealth game and an action game. I own Arkham City but haven’t played it yet.
It doesn’t matter the setting or the genre if it’s got super heroes I’m in. Marvel Heros’ (RIP) cast alone made me return to the game every so often I’m not particularly a fan of fighting games but if i put in a ton of hours X-Men: Next Dimension for Gamecube. I even enjoyed the Incredibles game and I’m pretty sure that was just made to reap in the profits after the movie was released. Even the mobile games can be fun for a little while.
I know that there are a few super hero MMOs in the works right now. I never got to play City of Heros but I did play DC Universe Online for a little bit. Before playing DCUO I thought that the main appeal of super hero games would be being a specific character. But it turns out that flying and super strength are just as fun on characters you make up as well.
The point is there’s just something about Super Heroes that work for video games. Maybe it’s a dash of nostalgia mixed with familiarity. Maybe it’s getting to take control of the story now instead of reading or watching it. Maybe it’s seeing super powers come to life. Or maybe it’s the joy of my inner child getting to be a super hero for a little while.