Superheroes haven’t always gotten the best treatment when it comes to video games. In the past, we’ve seen some pretty poor representations of our favorite comic book characters in titles that often felt like they were a promotional tie in games. But these days, with the genre now cinematically dominating on big and small screens alike, video games have upped the anty in their own way, and are giving players of all ages the opportunity to show off their heroics in a much more immersive manner. So today, we’re breaking down our picks for the top 10 superhero games you need to own. We’ll be avoiding some of the older titles on this list, instead focusing more so on recent games that have a lot of offer players outside of the nostalgia factor. So with that in mind, let’s jump in!
10 DC Universe Online. DC Universe Online is an MMO based off of the DC universe. Obviously. Released back in 2011 for PC and PS3 and now available for the PS4 and Xbox One, DC Universe Online has come a long way since its early days. The game boasts mechanics like crafting and home bases now, and much smoother graphics than it had when it launched.
If you’re a fan on grinding away to build up your characters and don’t mind a limited level cap, then this shared world where you get to create your own original character may be up your alley. In addition to that, there’s story based raids, co-op play, PvP battles, and a whole lot of iconic DC characters to nerd out over. The game has even introduced content that tie into the Arrowverse and other memorable storylines from the comics. The game continues to actively update, and now with cross play, it’s better than ever.
9 Marvel STRIKE Force Want a superhero game on your mobile phone? Strike force is a great option; this strategy turn based game allows you to collect your favourite Marvel superheroes and build various teams to go on missions and defeat the fictional Ultimus. This one’s a complete guilty pleasure of mine, too. From campaigns, to raids to arena matches against other players, this mobile game is great for Marvel fans and newbies alike. It boasts a ton of different game modes, new characters are constantly being added, and updates allow for characters to be properly balanced. If you prefer more action or RPG style games, this one probably isn’t for you.
But if you’re looking for a fun way to pass time, it’s definitely worthwhile considering it’s free. Like most mobile games, there are in game purchases, but the gameplay isn’t reliant on it. But recently, there’s been a lot of criticism surrounding how certain characters are becoming more difficult to unlock without buying into the micro transactions that seem to be getting increasingly more pricey.
8 Viewtiful Joe Viewtiful Joe is the only game on our list that features a character that isn’t from the DC or Marvel universes, and it’s the oldest game on our list.
A side scrolling beat em up video game for the Gamecube developed by Capcom, it’s story follows a fellow named Joe, whose an avid movie goer. His girlfriend is kidnapped during a movie featuring his favourite superhero, and Joe is then thrust into Movieland to rescue her and take on Jadow, the villainous group behind it. He transforms into the tokusatsu-style persona, Viewitful Joe, and the action begins! Viewitful Joe was critically adored. Critics called it “a completely original and highly entertaining work of art”, and that the gameplay and the cel-shaded graphics of the game were outstanding.
If you’re a fan of side scrollers and high intensity action, it’s definitely a title for you. While it was originally developed for the Gamecube, its gotten a few ports over the years, and you’d likely be able to find a version of it online for an emulator.
7 Lego Batman 2: DC Superheroes This was the first LEGO game to really up its, well, game. An open world with dialogue now included, it was the first of the Lego superhero games that really took it up a notch.
It allowed you to fully explore Gotham City. You could play as iconic Batman characters, and other DC superheroes, too, with 75 different playable characters available. So why play Batman 2 rather than 3?
Well, it’s a really good jumping off point for the Batman Lego games, without having to sacrifice graphics or more refined game mechanics. It’s also a good entry point for those unfamiliar to the kinds of gameplay you expect from Lego games; it’s a great way of determining whether or not it’s a game that’s for you. The series has also led to a spin-off, Lego DC Super Villains, in which you get to play as a huge selection of DC baddies and customize your own; another title that should be on your list of what-to-buy in the near future if you’re a fan of the Lego games.
6 Lego Marvel Super Heroes From DC to Marvel, we have yet another Lego title on our list.
Released a handful of years after our previous number in 2017, Lego Marvel Super Heroes is currently the bestselling Lego video game of all time. It essentially features the same kind of gameplay as other Lego titles, except with Marvel characters and storylines. With 180 playable characters, each with their own unique ability, it offers up a vaster Lego universe than its predecessors.
Plus, many of the characters are modeled after their MCU counterparts, which is pretty neat. There’s even a little Stan Lee cameo in the game, in the mission Stan Lee in Peril. How adorable.
5 Marvel Powers United Marvel Powers United is the first main stream attempt at venturing into the superhero genre in VR. With 18 characters to choose from, you can play as a slew of iconic characters, running around and taking out foes in ways that, prior to VR technology, could only have ever dreamed of.
It’s a gorgeous game, offers co-op and the combos are super fun. Overall, the game has a lot of potential, but currently it’s a bit repetitive in terms of gameplay and in its rewards. But that being said, its one hell of an experience, and considering it’s so brand new, there’s hope that over time more updates will diversify the missions and individual performances of each of the characters you can control; currently the character roster is a bit lacking in varied mechanics.
But playing as the Hulk or Spider-Man, characters with a really definitive ability, does offer up a ton of entertaining fun.
4 Injustice 2 Injustice 2 is a great title for those of you who love fighting games. While Injustice Gods Among Us was also a fantastic fighting game, Injustice 2 boasts a whole plethora of new characters to fight as, updated game mechanics, and something called the Gear system, which rewarded players with costume pieces and equipment that you could use for your own custom character. The sequel title incorporates more multiplayer shooter mechanics and more of a RPG style progression system, and while it’s an overall improvement, it still has a bit of a lack luster story, much like the first.
That being said, if you’re looking for a solid fighting game with stellar graphics, Injustice 2 can scratch that itch for you.
3 Batman Arkham Asylum Arkham Asylum revolutionized the superhero genre in video games. Developed by Rocksteady, it was an action adventure RPG Batman game set inside Arkham Asylum, where Bats is forced to fight his way through all of the inmates and cease the Joker’s master plan. Eerie, spooky, gritty and a whole lot of fun, it provided Batman fans the kind of third person POV game they had been begging for for years. And it was REALLY GOOD. The combat and stealth abilities were fantastic, and players had to use Batman’s detective abilities and gadgets to solve puzzles along the way.
Inspired by the wors of Neal Adams, Frank Miller and Grant Morrison, it was a worldwide success and at the time, was called the greatest comic book game of all time. While it was released in 2009 and may be a bit dated for some of your liking, it’s still considered to be up there with the best of the best superhero games available on modern consoles.
2 Spider-Man The Insomniac Spider-Man game is one of the most highly anticipated games of this year. At the time of this recording, the game hasn’t been released yet. But for those of you watching in a world where the Spider-Man game is out, this will definitely still be a relevant number.
Similar in mechanics to the Batman Arkham series, it’s an open world game that borrows the successful gameplay formulas of other open world RPGS, but provides a satisfying uniquely Marvel experience. You play as Peter Parker, swinging around a lively always evolving city, facing off against some of the hero’s foes, all while retaining aspects of the character that comic fans have adored for years. Not only are you playing as the hero; you get to play as Peter Parker in his regular normal day life, really exploring the duality of the character, and as Mary Jane, too. It’s been hailed for its pacing, graphics and grounded action, and for fans of the comics or the MCU films, there’s a whole lot of recognizable easter eggs hidden throughout the game, despite the fact that the game is removed from all other previous Marvel universes. And its pretty accessible for players unfamiliar with the Spider-Man mythos, too. A playstation exclusive, it’s a hell of a reason to jump ship over to Sony, and it’s by far the best video game representation of the web slinger yet.
1 Batman Arkham City While Arkham Asylum revolutionized the superhero RPG sub-genre, Arkham City took it to a whole new level. A sequel to Asylum that improved upon the first game’s mechanics,iIt received major critical acclaim and won itself a ton of awards, often being considered one of the greatest video games of all time. Why? Well, it’s narrative and writing is superb, its adaptation of the characters and voice acting is on point, the graphics, world designs and combat and navigation mechanics are smooth and accessible and it’s got a killer soundtrack. In the main storyline, you play as Batman, trapped inside Arkham City; an enclosed super prison within the decaying slums of Gotham City, in which Batman must prevent Hugo Strange from carrying out his Protocol 10 plan.
It features pretty much every memorable character in Batman’s mythos, too, and of course, the Joker makes a reappearance, making up for his painful boss battle in Arkham Asylum that many a critic and fan panned. Written by Batman comic veteran Paul Dini, along with Paul Crocker and Sefton Hill, the game features the voice talent of Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill as Batman and the Joker, and it’s so damn good. Arkham City is the perfect game for anyone who’s a Batman fan, anyone who loves open world action RPGs, and anyone who loves beating down on criminals but also enjoys solving a sophisticated riddle or two. There we have it friends! Which of these games on our list have you played? Which ones do you want to try?
And what other superhero games do you think we should’ve mentioned? Give us a shout in those comments below with all of your thoughts! If you dug this video, hit that like button, and subscribe to top 10 gaming for more lists, news, and update videos! Plus, be sure to join us on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3 pm Eastern Time for our live stream, where you can catch myself and Lucy McPhee playing some great superhero games ourselves.