Every Spider-Man Game Ranked
He may have been proceeded by The Fantastic Four, but Spider-Man is the ultimate Marvel hero. He’s been starring in his own video games since video games have been a thing. With a gorgeous new next-gen epic in the not too distant future, we thought it would be a good opportunity to explore the wall-crawlers history in gaming. We proudly present to you the definitive, inarguable, and uncontroversial ranking of every Spider-Man game ever made!
To qualify for this list, a game must both feature Spider-Man in a starring role, and be available for a home or handheld console or playable on an arcade cabinet. This means no games where Spider-Man is an equal part of a sprawling ensemble, and no cell-phone mobile games.
But before we kick things off, here are some honorable mentions:
- Spider-Man and the X-Men in Arcade’s Revenge (SNES, 1992) – Spidey shares top billing with the merry mutants in this one, but that was part of the fun. This game does not hold up, but when it first came out it was utterly mindblowing.
- The Marvel vs Capcom series – One of the best fighting game series of all time, and Spider-Man has appeared in almost every entry.
- Spider-Man Cartoon Maker (1995) – A silly distraction that graced local libraries across America. Anyone who spent time with this program remembers how silly Chameleon looked as he shape shifted his way across the screen.
- Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 (2000) – Spidey on a board! Pop shove-it! Kickflip to ollie!
- Marvel: Ultimate Alliance (2006) – X-Men Legends was a wonderful Gauntlet-like RPG, and Spidey joined the first Marvel crossover iteration of the formula. He actually was extremely true to character and web-swinging was a fun and unique form of mobility.
- Marvel: Avengers Alliance (Facebook, Mobile, 2012) – Pour one out for one of the deepest licensed character collection games ever to demand your microtransactions.
Without further ado, here’s the list proper!
29) Amazing Spider-Man 3: Invasion of the Spider Slayers (Gameboy, 1993)
This was the third Spidey Gameboy game released by Acclaim and you get the feeling that they weren’t interested anymore. This game is bad. Bad bad bad. The puzzles were annoying, the combat was forgettable, and the character selection was uninspired. Spider Slayers? And Alistair Smythe? Gameboy pixels failed to bring those characters to life. There’s a reason no one remembers this game.
28) Spider-Man: Friend or Foe (2007)
On paper this game had a novel idea. Not only could you play as Spider-Man, you could capture and recruit his entire rogues gallery and deploy them like Pokemon. Unfortunately, childish gameplay and charmless presentation makes this game an utter slog. The Lego franchise has proven that kid’s games can be a lot of fun. Friend or Foe reminded us that they could be messy cash grabs.
27) The Amazing Spider-Man (Gameboy, 1990)
This game is short, basic, and colorless. It’s hard to be harsh on a game that came so early in the life of the Gameboy, but other contemporaneous superhero games were at least fun to play. This came from an era where the game didn’t have to be recognizable to the character, it just had to have them on the box art. Which was nice! There a compliment. This game had very pretty box art
26) Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
In this buggy movie tie-in, a bunch of systems are grafted on with no thought to how they play. There’s a Bioware like “Hero or Menace” system, RPG-like progression, non-linear levels, and open world exploration. Even without the glitches, none of those systems had enough depth to justify their inclusion, and it’s hard to forget was a lousy movie this was an adaptation of. A smorgasbord of next-gen gameplay ideas add up to no fun.