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Superhero Video Games You Need To Play Before You Die

Whether it involves soaring through the skies, pummeling villains deep into the ground, running at supersonic speeds, or shooting lasers, playing as a comic book hero can be a lot of fun. That's because most of these heroes are, well, super. They typically have awesome powers, and awesome powers translate well into video games moves and skill sets. Sure, horrible games do exist in the superhero genre, but the bad superhero games are far more rare than the good ones. For that reason, unearthing the ones that are truly "must play" can be rather difficult.


To make it more fair for all the superheroes involved, this list only includes one installment of a particular series, even if the entire collection is gold. Conversely, a few games that aren't top-tier are included as well, but only if the starring superhero doesn't show up in many video games.

With that, here are superhero games that you need to play before you die. Hopefully your favorite hero made the cut.

Batman: Arkham Asylum

No superhero video game list would be complete without at least one of the Batman: Arkham games. Aside from revolutionizing the genre, the series changed how Batman is perceived and played. The first two Arkham titles featured the talents of writer Paul Dini, the mastermind behind the critically acclaimed Batman: The Animated Series. Plus, Arkham's Joker is voiced by the true Joker, Mark Hamill, for three of the four installments.


For the first time, the Arkham series also allowed players to utilize skills that prove Batman's status as "the world's greatest detective." Detective Mode detects enemies by threat level and allows players to see through walls and hidden passageways. Arkham Asylum was also set in, well, Arkham Asylum, where all of the creepiness abounds. As TheRealComicBookGamer put it on YouTube, "you see how dark and gritty this place is." It's the perfect place to battle a bunch of comic book criminals.

If you're a fan of Batman, Arkham Asylum is a game you don't want to miss.

Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes

In 2000, the Marvel vs. Capcom series made quite an impact in the gaming world for bringing characters from multiple franchises into one arena. The series, however, never really reached its peak until the release of 2000's Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes. Many consider this title to be not only the franchise's most popular entry, but according to critics like Top Hat Gaming Man on YouTube, the greatest 2D fighter of all time.


Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes increased the number of playable characters to a whopping 56, ensuring players had loads of fighters to choose from. Not only the game featured a 3-on-3 tag mode, which was a step up from the 2 vs. 2 tag mode in the franchise's previous entry. Sadly, 2011's Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds arrived with fewer characters, fewer game modes, and fewer online features than its predecessor. That's why Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes still holds a special place in the hearts of those who enjoy both superhero games and fighting games.

Spider-Man 2

Every Spider-Man game could easily make it on this list just because it's hard to beat swinging around with (in many cases) an unlimited supply of webbing at your disposal. But no game starring Spidey took full advantage of this capability until 2002's Spider-Man, which, according to Cinemassacre on YouTube, unleashed its titular hero into an open world for the first time.


Why isn't Spider-Man on this list, you ask? It's because its 2004 sequel, Spider-Man 2, greatly improved upon the original open-world concept by changing how Spidey swung around. This might seem like a relatively minor update, but it profoundly transformed the game.

In Spider-Man, it felt as though Spider-Man was traversing monkey bars rather than swinging from webbing to webbing. Meanwhile, Spider-Man 2 allowed players to fling Spidey forward and upward using the momentum of his web slinging, which was not only enjoyable to watch, but greatly sped up gameplay, too. Many have complimented the swinging mechanic found in 2018's Marvel's Spider-Man. If you want to see where that idea was born, check out Spider-Man 2.


The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction

There's a reason why YouTube personalities, such as Really Freakin' Clever, hail 2005's The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction as the greatest game ever made: the smashing. Ultimate Destruction was so appealing because players were able to smash an incredible amount of things. The game took place in an open world setting, and there were just loads of things for the Hulk to absolutely obliterate. It may seem primitive given how well-developed Bruce Banner was in 2020's Marvel's Avengers, but back in 2005, The Hulk finally did what The Hulk does best, and that was all anyone could really ask for.


Unfortunately, the sequel to Ultimate Destruction was not as good. When describing how the positioning of the camera obstructs the view of enemies and objects, GodzillaMendoza on YouTube said, "[Objects] pop up like they were summoned by a sorcerer trying to confuse you into thinking that the shoddy simulation is the true reality." At least the first Ultimate Destruction graced the world with its presence.

Marvel: Ultimate Alliance

Marvel: Ultimate Alliance really stands out as an exceptional superhero game because it was able to stand on its own. What does that mean? Well, you have to think about when the game came out.

Back in 2006, DC's Batman was overshadowing Marvel's then shrunken cinematic nation-state. The Spider-Man and X-Men trilogies were not yet trilogies. Meanwhile, Chris Evans' only contribution to Marvel was as the Human Torch. Iron Man, and with it, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, had yet to launch, so outside of comic books fans, many Marvel superheroes weren't all that mainstream.


But then Marvel: Ultimate Alliance entered the scene. While Marvel vs. Capstone had unleashed an already impressive roster of Marvel characters for one game, Ultimate Alliance was the first to do so in a roleplaying format, featuring characters such as Captain America, Iron Man, Ms. Marvel and Thor. When describing what this game meant to fans, The Completionist on YouTube described it as a "giant love letter addressed to them." Those fans got an even big love letter two years later when Iron Man kicked off the MCU. As of late 2020, those letters haven't stopped coming.

Injustice 2

A number of things were captivating about 2017's Injustice 2. To start, players loved its overly complex fighting arenas that could be "explored" by careening through doors or walls. The movesets of the superheroes in the game were highly detailed, too. In what other game could The Flash literally warp his opponent around the planet on a brutal sightseeing tour? To this day, you'd be hard-pressed to find another title that gets those kinds of details right.


Injustice 2 wasn't just a simple fighter, though. There were more incredible cinematic smackdowns to watch than in the original Injustice (such as how all four Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles could get a few jabs in on opponents, including a few whacks with a skateboard). The sequel also introduced a gear and stat system, which, according to THUNDERONE on YouTube, added a few RPG mechanics into what was otherwise a superhero fighting game.

If you love heroes like Superman and Batman, but want them in a fighter that feels a lot like Mortal KombatInjustice 2 deserves a spot on your shelf.


Even before the X-Men film trilogy, the X-Men franchise still enjoyed a great deal more exposure than other Marvel series, thanks mostly to the incredible success of the '90s TV cartoon show. Upon the release of the X-Men arcade game in 1992, many arcade centers across the U.S. made sure to include at least one X-Men arcade machine on their gaming floor, figuring it would soon become a hit. They were right.


For the record, the arcade game probably would have still done well without the TV show's success. It was just that fun. Multiple players could join up simultaneously on the arcade machine, and some cabinets could accommodate up to six players at once. The mayhem and destruction on screen would intensify if every player pressed the mutant power button simultaneously, unleashing their special attacks all at once. This would lead to an impressive display of explosions and flying body parts. As 80s Comics said, It was "basically Streets of Rage, Final Fight or Golden Axe meet the X-Men. What's not to like about that?"

Lego Marvel Super Heroes

Every Lego superhero game could easily make it on a list such as this. Doing so, however, would quickly make it about the Lego superhero video games to play before you die. Instead, this list will only include one: Lego Marvel Super Heroes.


For Marvel, Lego Marvel Super Heroes easily beats Marvel Super Heroes 2 and Lego Marvel's Avengers despite having the least amount of characters, according to YouTuber Blitzwinger. That's because it's the only one to include all of the key cornerstone heroes from the Avengers, as well as Spider-Man, Deadpool, the X-Men, and the Fantastic Four.

As for Lego Marvel Super Heroes versus Lego DC Super-Villains, YouTuber Kansas Marvel feels the obvious choice is the former. The only standout features of Lego DC Super-Villains are the ability to change the color of every Lego piece, and the potential to create a character from scratch. Everything else — the roster, the hub worlds and the game modes — goes to Marvel Super Heroes.


Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure

Scribblenauts introduced a form of gameplay that is probably one of the most unique offerings out there. Essentially, players could "create" anything out of thin air by typing any adjective into panels when prompted at various points throughout the game. Whatever was generated from the word choice helped (or didn't help) the playable character. Scribblenauts Unmasked from 2013 combined this uniqueness with DC Comics characters and a DC-inspired storyline, making it one of the most unique superhero games.


For example, the beginning of the game asked players to fix Commissioner Gordon's police car. Inserting the adjective "functional" will made it, well, functional. What players could not do, however, was use the same word over and over again and expect to get rewarded. As Balrog warned on YouTube, "I'm sorry you can't put 'dead' on everything. I tried."

Scribblenauts Unmasked was definitely not your typical superhero game, but it deserves a spot on this list regardless.


In 2013, no one really expected a game featuring the fourth-wall-breaking anti-hero known as Deadpool to come out. No other game had featured him because he was relatively unknown to the masses at the time (beyond comic fans, at least). Remember, the first Deadpool movie didn't come out until three years later (securing numerous awards and nominations in the process). Now that Deadpool the movie has a successful sequel, however, it's downright sacrilegious that the 2013 video game is still the only one to feature Deadpool as the main character. 


Since that's the case, the Deadpool game needs to be played at least once.

Aside from the normal ways of slaughtering his foes, which included shooting them with pistols or cutting them down with swords, Deadpool could also sneak up behind unsuspecting enemies and kill them execution style. And, yes, Deadpool oftentimes broke the fourth wall to speak with the player. He also had the tendency to perform explicit actions during cinematic breaks that sometimes required black sensor blocks to appear.

As Blunty said on YouTube, "give it a go for its pure sh**s and giggles." It sounds like there are plenty of those to be had in this one.