Written by Erik Kubik, kube00 Thursday, 08 December 2011 12:00
Picking the top 10 of any video game genre is tough. Looking back at the 90s through the 2000s, it is going to be difficult to pick the top 10 Super Hero games due to the fact that there are so many fantastic games.
Within the last few years gamers have gotten to play some critically acclaimed super hero games, these include Batman Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, as well as inFamous 1 and 2. Both of the Batman games are fantastic and combine semi-open worlds with stealth, detective work, and lots of action. There are so many villains and characters from the comics. A must have for any Batman fan.
Infamous 1 and 2 for the PS3 are also fantastic games. The inFamous series also has a a sandbox style of play and focuses heavily on action. The story is told through comic book storyboards. Probably the most interesting thing about inFamous is the morality compasses and the choices gamers can make in the game. The standalone game, Infamous Festival of Blood, grants the protagonist Cole some vampire powers and is the perfect bite sized game for those craving more.
As for arcade games, I wish I had the time to list the 50+ plus games I am thinking of since there are so many that could make the list. For starters, the X-men Arcade game belongs at the top. Its an early 90s Konami cabinet that comes in 2-6 player cabinets. With only a few bucks you should be able to make it to the end. Better yet, get it from XBL or PSN and play some online co-op. How about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade game? The original is much better then the port to NES. For a few bucks of play it is well worth a gamer’s time.
Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction is a must have. This is a game from the last generation of consoles. What better character to have in an open world game where almost everything can be smashed? The game is a lot of fun and has decent replay value. The best part is I have seen it on Amazon for the original Xbox and PS2 for less than $5 used.
X-men Legends 1 and 2 and Marvel Ultimate Alliance 1 and 2 deserve a mention. All of these games use the same formula party setup and top down perspective. They are more of an action game with RPG elements. As gamers progress playing as their favorite heroes they unlock more powers. Some of the characters are great while others are about as fun and interesting as they are in the comics. This game is great for some couch co-op. Marvel Ultimate Alliance 1 and 2 are out on almost everything including modern consoles, while the X-men Legends series is from the last generation. All four games can be found for $20 or less.
I thought I would mention Freedom Force, a PC game that came out in 2001. Freedom Force is an RPG at its core. The game focuses on heroes from the 1950s and 1960s. It’s top down perspective, character creator and quirky story make it a lot of fun. Lego Batman is another entertaining game and yes, I know the Lego games are a dime a dozen. But this has Batman and a large cast of villains. Its a great co-op game for younger gamers and like all Lego games there is a lot of bang for your buck.
There were too many side scrolling games of the 16-bit era to name them all, but here are a few must plays: Maximum Carnage/Separation Anxiety, X-men 2 for the Genesis, Turtles in Time, The Punisher, and Boogerman. Most of these games can be found cheap, and almost all of them support some sort of two player mode, which makes the game better.
Honorable mentions that didn’t make the list: Prototype, Crackdown, X-men Origins: Wolverine, Spider-man 2, Spiderman by Neversoft for PSX and Dreamcast, Spider-man: Shattered Dimensions, X-men vs Street Fighter, Marvel War of the Gems, Batman for the NES, and the list can go on and on. Most of these games are fun but don't stand out as must own or must play for super hero fans.
The good news outside of Infamous 1 and 2, and Batman Arkham City/Arkham Aslyum, is that most of the games mentioned can be found under $15. This is a great excuse to dust off the PS2 and fire up a few games from the last generation. And whatever you do, stay far, far away from Superman 64, that may be one of the worst games ever.