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Best Overall: Marvel’s Spider-Man (2018) at Amazon
"The combat, traversal, and narrative in Marvel’s Spider-Man are all fantastic, and it’s the best Spider-Man game to date."
Best Multiplayer: Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order at Amazon
"Seeing so many Marvel characters interact is a lot of fun, and Spider-Man fans should find a lot to love."
Best For Kids: Lego Marvel Superheroes at Amazon
"For younger gamers who want to swing around as Spidey, Lego Marvel Superheroes is a great entry point."
Best Retro Game: Spider-Man 2 at Amazon
"The first game to send Spider-Man into a wide-open world"
Best Fighting Game: Ultimate Marvel VS Capcom 3 at Amazon
"A must-play for Spidey fans who enjoy fighting games."
Courtesy of Amazon
Amazing Spider-Man story
Fresh take on a classic hero
Great traversal and combat
The best Spider-Man game also happens to be one of the newest games starring Marvel’s wall-crawler. Developed by Insomniac Games, the studio best known for Spyro the Dragon and Ratchet and Clank, Marvel’s Spider-Man perfectly captures the goofy essence of Spidey while also telling a heartfelt story that balances the web-slinging adventures of Spider-Man and the complex social life of Peter Parker. Marvel’s Spider-Man tells one of the best Spider-Man stories out there, thanks to strong storytelling and great performances by the entire main cast.
Insomniac’s Spider-Man isn’t afraid to be different from the Spider-Man stories we’re used to seeing. Instead of taking you through the basic Spider-Man origin staples, like the radioactive spider bite and Uncle Ben’s death, this game throws you into the life of Peter Parker well after he leaves the halls of high school. Before the game even begins, Spider-Man is established as a New York City icon, most of Spidey’s rivals are already in jail, and Peter’s relationship with MJ is already complicated. The result is a story that feels mature, well-developed, and deep, and the overarching plot in Marvel’s Spider-Man rivals some of the best Spidey comic book and movie stories.
Coupled with the strong narrative is fantastic gameplay that gives you direct control of Spider-Man’s wide arsenal of gadgets, movements, and attacks. The web-slinging mechanics in Marvel’s Spider-Man are outstanding. Traversing around the city feels better than ever in this game, and you’ll likely ignore the fast travel options in favor of getting to your next destination by swinging around the skyscrapers. The joyous traversal translates into combat as well, where you can bounce around walls and rooftops to take out your enemies with style. A number of Ratchet and Clank-esque gadgets diversify combat, and there’s never a shortage of great ways to approach a battle. The combat, traversal, and narrative in Marvel’s Spider-Man are all fantastic, and it’s the best Spider-Man game to date.
Multiple Spider-Man characters to choose from
Some performance issues
Gameplay can get repetitive
Spidey doesn’t take the lead in Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3, but he’s an integral part of an incredible ensemble cast of superheroes. The Ultimate Alliance series was dormant for a decade after the release of Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2, so fans were excited to see the series return in this Switch-exclusive sequel. Despite the “3” in the title, this game takes place in an entirely different universe than the first two Ultimate Alliance games, so new fans can jump right into the action without worrying about missing anything. Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 tackles a plot that most Marvel movie fans will recognize: a group of the universe’s finest superheroes team up to stop Thanos and the Black Order from collecting the Infinity Stones. The cutscenes are different enough from the MCU films to feel unique, and the killer voice cast brings life to the cast of Marvel characters. Voice actor Yuri Lowenthal even reprises his role as Spider-Man from Marvel’s Spider-Man on PS4, so you can count on a great performance from the web-slinger in this game.
Apart from the story, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3’s gameplay will have you swinging, punching, and kicking through waves of enemies in your quest to stop Thanos. The classic dungeon-crawler gameplay is fun alone, but it’s even better when you throw friends into the mix. Spider-Man’s not alone here, as you can also play as Miles Morales, Spider-Gwen, and Venom. In fact, you can get a team bonus of you create your team completely out of Spider-Man characters. Seeing so many Marvel characters interact is a lot of fun, and Spider-Man fans should find a lot to love in Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3.
Spider-Man is a blast to play as
Charming, funny story
Great for kids
May be too easy for some gamers
For younger gamers who want to swing around as Spidey, Lego Marvel Superheroes is a great entry point. Spider-Man is one of the most fun characters to play as in Lego Marvel Superheroes, thanks to his accessible, but unrealistic, web mechanics. Regardless of where you are in the hub world or in a level, Spider-Man can swing around with his webs seemingly endlessly. In fact, it’s fun to challenge yourself to never touch the ground while playing as Spidey. Apart from web-slinging, Spider-Man’s Spidey sense comes into play during Lego Marvel Superheroes when searching for secrets around each level. Spider-Man is playable in many levels of Lego Marvel Superheroes, but you’ll have to play as a lot of other Marvel characters to get through the main story.
Like all of Traveller’s Tales Lego games, Lego Marvel Superheroes includes a huge roster of characters from the whole Marvel pantheon. As Captain America, Hulk, Thor, and a variety of lesser-known characters from various Marvel properties, you’ll romp across locales like booming cities, secret labs, and the iconic S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier in order to stop a group of all-star Marvel villains. Like Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3, it’s a blast to see so many characters interacting in one place, and the natural humor and charm of the Lego games enhances the standard Marvel storylines.
Influential open-world game
The best solo Spidey game pre-2018
Doesn’t compare to modern open-world games
Movie tie-in video games generally have a poor reputation, but the Spider-Man franchise sees one major exception to that rule. Before Marvel’s Spider-Man on PS4 came around, the video game companion to Toby Maguire’s Spider-Man 2 was seen as the most iconic Spider-Man video game. One of the most important elements of solo Spider-Man video games is the layout of New York City, and Spider-Man 2 doesn’t disappoint. It was the first game to send Spider-Man into a wide-open world, and it drew many comparisons to Grand Theft Auto when it was released in 2004.
Like Spider-Man on PS4, critics loved the freedom of movement in Spider-Man 2, as the game nails the web-swinging mechanics and the flow of the combat. Additionally, the openness of Manhattan was stunning when the game was released, and it’s still fun to back and appreciate that world today. Spider-Man 2 is not only a great Spider-Man game it’s also one of the best open-world games from the early 3D era.
One of the best crossover fighting games
Fun Spider-Man gameplay
Will make you wish Marvel VS Capcom Infinite was better
Our favorite Spider is no stranger to fighting games, and his best appearance is in Ultimate Marvel VS Capcom 3. The Capcom-developed crossover is widely considered to be one of the best fighting games out there, and even though he can only make up one-third of your tag team squad, playing as Spider-Man is fast and fun. Spider-Man’s appearance in Ultimate Marvel VS Capcom 3 is a love letter to the character’s history. Spider-Man’s moveset is a combination of web throws, web balls, and spider bite moves that all feel unique, and his high mobility suits him perfectly. In motion, slinging webs and hopping around your opponent when fighting as Spidey looks just like a fight scene from a Spider-Man movie.
In addition to his moveset, Spider-Man’s natural swagger (with a dose of dorkiness) is completely present. As you’re fighting, you’ll hear quips and remarks that you’d expect to hear from the snarky Peter Parker, which adds an element of personality to the character that’s unique to Spider-Man. Plus, The Daily Bugle makes an appearance as a stage, and it has both a day and night version. Spider-Man is represented very well in Ultimate Marvel VS Capcom 3, and it’s a must-play for Spidey fans who enjoy fighting games.