Superheroes are the perfect characters for the world of video games. With their powers, durability, and great rosters of villains, it's only natural that they'd become frequent sources of inspiration for game designers. While there are have been dozens of games starring heroes made over the decades, only a handful deserves to be called the best of the best.
Below are the top ten superhero games of all time:
Saints Row is one of the weirder game series out there. It started out as a dead-serious GTA clone, but in time embraced a sense of humor and sci-fi oddity that made it its own beast. The final game in the series (so far) took the players from the crime-ridden streets and into a sci-fi world that saw The Boss take on a role that can easily be seen as superheroes. An open-world game full of stock superpowers and great gags, Saints Row 4 is one of the most entertaining original superhero games ever made.
One of the most oft-repeated arguments between superhero fans concerns who would win in a fight. The Injustice series gives DC fans the chance to determine just that, allowing players to fight it out in a darker version of the DC Universe. Injustice 2 was a huge upgrade over its predecessor, with a darker story and the inclusion of some amazing customization options. With a huge roster of DC characters and some guests from across the fictional multiverse, Injustice is a superb fighter that seems to be loved almost as much by fighting game fans as it is by fans of the DCU.
While the upcoming Marvel's Avengers is touted as the first time that players can really take part in the Marvel Universe, it'd be a mistake to forget about the original game that put players right in the 616. Lego Marvel Super Heroes gave players a chance to take control of a huge roster of characters from both the movies and comics, all in Lego form. A hilarious game that had a surprising amount of heart, Lega Marvel Superheroes is a great all-ages introduction into the superhero world.
The final entry in the Batman: Arkham series, Batman: Arkham Knight had to tie up the loose ends from three previous games while still giving Batman and the Joker a strong send-off. Though the game was initially plagued with bugs on the PC, the improvements over its predecessors were easy to see. A graphical upgrade that also finally allowed players to take on the role of other members of the Bat-family, Arkham Knight functioned not only as a great ending to a well-loved series but also as a great game in its own right. The addition of the later story-based DLC also gave players a great chance to see which characters could headline a new sequel.
The Marvel vs. Capcom series has long been a favorite of fighting game fans. A game built on the bones of Street Fighter, it allows players to line up fights against some major (and obscure) Marvel characters as well as some favorites from Capcom's franchises. Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 was a wicked-fast fighter that brought plenty of fanservice alongside its excellent control scheme. Though it lacked the arcade appeal of earlier titles, it still has a strong online following.
Marvel had a fairly solid stream of squad-based, isometric superhero brawlers that started out with the X-Men Legends games. The series hit its height, though, with Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2, a game that not only ripped its plot straight from the comics but had a wide-ranging roster that included plenty of the characters from the then-growing Marvel Cinematic Universe. Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 not only allowed players to live out some of their comic book fantasies, but it showcased the Marvel Universe in a way that few games had done up to that point. Though it was the last entry in that series for many years, it did go on to spawn a sequel on the Nintendo Switch.
Batman: Arkham Asylum is, in many ways, the first really good Batman game. The Caped Crusader had been in plenty of games, but none of them showcased Batman as both a fighter and a detective. Arkham Asylum turned Batman lose in the titular asylum, tasking players to master combo-based combat, stealth sections, and detective puzzles. With a voice cast from the animated series and some really amazing fights, Arkham Asylum kicked off a series that would go on to include some of the best comic book games ever made.
While the original Infamous on PS3 was certainly a good game, the series solidified its standing as a superhero classic with Infamous: Second Son. Placing players in the shoes of a brand-new protagonist with a whole host of new powers, Second Son took everything that worked in the original games and improved upon them. With a much stronger cast of characters and some truly amazing set-pieces, Second Son is easily one of the best superhero games not to spring directly from a comic book.
If you ever want to start an argument among Batman fans, ask them whether Asylum or City is a better game. Batman: Arkham City took everything that made Batman: Arkham Asylum amazing and moved it to a grander scale, giving players a huge section of Gotham to explore and even more side-stories to investigate. With an awesome plot and some of the best comic-book action ever committed to the screen, this is definitely Batman's finest outing.'
Marvel's Spider-Man came out with a fairly long shadow looming over it. The latest in a very long line of games starring the character, it was not only the first real marquee appearance of Spider-man in years but it was also coming off of a streak of games that never quite lived up to the earlier entries in the series. This one, though, wowed virtually everyone who played it - not only did it have an excellent web-swinging and combat system, but it created one of the best Spider-worlds in recent memory. With a spin-off/sequel entitled Spider-man: Miles Morales now in the works for PS5, this game seems to be the cornerstone for a huge franchise.
From Marvel to DC, these are our top picks for the best superhero video games of all time. It was tough to narrow down the list but these are definitely the titles to remember. In anticipation of the epic release of Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales at the launch of the next-gen PS5, be sure to check out our top pick, Marvel's Spider-Man. Comment below with your favorite games of the genre!