No other superhero has as extensive a video game history as Spider-Man. Games with the classic wall-crawler have been around for decades and span a variety of platforms and genres. The majority of them are great, yet a couple of them left players with a sour taste in their mouths. In any case, there are far more Spider-Man games to pick from than there are games based on other well-known superhero franchises.
Peter Parker’s alter ego, whether web-swinging his way across a lifelike recreation of New York or going toe-to-toe with some of the many classic Spider-Man villains in a side-scrolling beat ’em up adventure, does so with a certain sense of style. It isn’t always Peter, though; there are numerous variants of the hero, such as
1. Ultimate Spider-Man: Total Mayhem
Most of Spider-earlier Man’s adventures were eventually translated to handheld devices, thus Gameloft’s announcement of a mobile-only Spider-Man game in 2010 came as no surprise. Ultimate Spider-Man: Total Mayhem was understandably less ambitious than some of the platform games that came before it, but its simplicity arguably worked to its advantage.
Instead of striving to build a large open-world adventure, the developer chose to focus on beat-em-ups. It has fantastic aesthetics, engaging action, and a wide cast of legendary villains against which players can put their abilities to the test, just like many of the great Spider-Man beat-em-ups from the 1990s.
2. Spider-Man 3
Even while Spider-Man 3 isn’t the best Spider-Man game in decades, it still does a lot of things right. For starters, the enormous environment in which players are situated is stunningly portrayed and offers a degree of detail not seen in previous Spider-Man games. The combat is also good, and the voice acting is generally good.
The story campaign, which is supported by a terrible plot and is incredibly short, is where the game falls short. The game, particularly the Wii edition, which does an outstanding job of incorporating motion controls into the classic Spider-Man experience, is still a lot of fun.
3. The Amazing Spider-Man
Those searching for a hard game may be better served elsewhere, but The Amazing Spider-Man is a solid option for anyone looking for a Spider-Man game with superb controls and fantastic aesthetics. The game makes it surprisingly easy to become lost in Peter Parker’s world, whether it’s by wandering the streets of New York or by beating up on some of the city’s many gangsters.
The game’s plot, like that of various other Spider-Man games from the time, falls short due to its lack of complexity and, at times, repetitive nature. Some of the side tasks can be repetitive, but there’s more than enough to keep you occupied for the first several hours at least.
4. Spider-Man: Friend Or Foe
Spider-Man: Friend or Foe is a bit of a flop when it comes to telling a gripping story and showcasing Spider-extraordinary Man’s abilities. Those looking for a simple beat-em-up with a large cast of characters, on the other hand, could do a lot worse than this neglected title from 2007.
Friend or Foe is a co-op brawler in which Spidey teams up with both friends and villains to combat a symbiote invasion. It is notable for being the final Spider-Man game to feature the designs from the Sam Raimi movie. It’s geared toward younger gamers, but it’ll keep adults occupied for a few hours at the very least.
5. Spider-Man: Mysterio’s Menace
Younger gamers may not remember or appreciate the joys of owning a good handheld superhero game now that smartphone releases have completely overtaken handheld gaming. One of them is undoubtedly Spider-Man: Mysterio’s Menace.
This game, a simple side-scroller with fantastic visuals, solid controls, and catchy soundtrack, may not seem like much by today’s standards, but it was a godsend when it was released. Even more impressive is that it came out only a few months after the GBA was released and was still the greatest Spiderman game available.
6. Spider-Man: Edge Of Time
Spider-Man: Edge Of Time, the often-forgotten sequel to Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, wasn’t quite as good as the original, and it didn’t provide quite as much variety in terms of gameplay. It made up for it, though, with a wonderful tale penned by Peter David, the famed Spider-Man comics writer.
Edge Of Time, unlike its predecessor, focuses solely on Peter Parker’s original Spider-Man and Miguel O’Hara, his 2099 counterpart. To preserve the future from disaster, the two must coordinate their activities across time and space. While the gameplay is repetitious and includes some tough boss fights, it still manages to provide a fun experience at the end of the day.
7. Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro
Enter Electro, like Spider-Man (2000), had Spidey swinging his way through New York City’s streets, but this time with Electro as the major antagonist. This choice was well-received by fans of Maxwell Dillon’s villain, given how little time he gets in the spotlight.
Enter Electro adds the ability to battle and travel on the street level, building on the excellent foundations of its predecessor. It’s best known for being re-released after the September 11 attacks to remove allusions to the World Trade Center. That isn’t to say it isn’t remembered for being a pleasant adventure game as well.
8. Spider-Man: The Movie
If licensed video games had a poor record in the early 2000s, don’t get us started on movie tie-ins! Despite this, Spider-Man: The Movie was a surprisingly enjoyable experience. You get Tobey Maguire and Willem Dafoe reprising their roles as Spider-Man and Green Goblin, a little Bruce Campbell (who narrates the lesson in spectacular way), plus good action and boss encounters. Treyarch would go on to become the lead developer on Activision’s Spider-Man titles for six years after this game’s success, until finally getting a crack at the Call of Duty series with 2008’s World at War.
9. Spider-Man: The Video Game
This is one of the all-time classic arcade games. The kind that ingrained itself in the mind, leading a generation of children to believe that this was the zenith of not only Spider-Man games, but all superhero games. 16 different stages, a tale that pitted you against everyone from the Sinister Six to Doctor Doom of the Fantastic Four, and four-player co-op with Black Cat, Hawkeye, and Sub-Mariner. Since 1991, Spider-Man games have come a long way, but Spider-Man: The Video Game is such a clean, happy depiction of the character and the larger Marvel universe in which he lives. Oh, and it also looks really stunning, thanks to the Sega System 32 board’s power.
10. Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions
If you’re a fan of Into the Spiderverse, Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions is a must-see. Developer Beenox took the contentious decision to make a more linear journey, abandoning the open environment and, as a result, the web swinging, when the game was released in 2010. This allowed Shattered Dimensions to break free from the shadow cast by Spider-Man 2 and take a more focused approach, allowing you to control four different Spider-Men, each voiced by an incredible actor: Amazing Spider-Man (Neil Patrick Harris), Spider-Man Noir (Christopher Daniel Barnes), Spider-Man 2099 (Dan Gilvezan), and Ultimate Spider-Man (Dan Gilvezan) (Josh Keaton). The speed and style of play changed to better accentuate each hero’s unique abilities; it was just a great time.