What are the best Spider-Man games?
In many ways, Spider-Man was the sleeper hit of Marvel, starting off as a dorky hero and rising to stardom with award-winning films and games.
And the hype doesn’t stop, as more games and movies come out to pump spider venom through our veins every day.
Now that there are tons of titles to choose from, it’s time to list the best Spider-Man games in the whole multiverse.
The 10 Best Spider-Man Games
Spider-Man first swung into battle in 1962, which means he’s the superhero of our grandparents, and yet, he’s never been more relevant today.
If you’re looking for the most potent video games featuring everybody’s favorite arachnid photographer, then you’re in the right place.
We’ve consulted the top rankings online to create this definitive list of amazing Spider-Man fun.
So, limber up and get ready to beat down some baddies with this list of the best Spider-Man games of all time:
10. The Amazing Spider-Man vs. The Kingpin
Side-scrolling action fans, The Amazing Spider-Man vs. The Kingpin is the 1990s flavor you’ve been looking for your whole life.
It’s not much to look at, coming straight from 1991 on the Sega Genesis, but it has a fun story and decent gameplay that makes it worth your time.
Peter Parker actually marries Mary Jane in this story, but before he can get his happily ever after, all heck breaks loose.
Kingpin, Doctor Octopus, and Hobgoblin appear as the main bad guys in this story, which is a classic maiden-in-distress kidnapping narrative.
By the way, in case you’ve ever wondered where Kingpin falls in the Marvel Strike Force tier list, we have you covered here.
One of the most interesting things about this game was the use of multiple endings, including a particularly dark option.
That was groundbreaking for the time in video games, and players quickly learned the value of replay to get the perfect final scene.
9. Spider-Man: The Video Game
There’s a simple reason they didn’t give Spider-Man: The Movie a title that made more sense: Spider-Man: The Video Game was already taken.
Way back in 1991, this gem of a game hit arcades and sparked a newfound love of Peter Parker in tons of Gen Xers.
This side-scroller fighting game was light on plot, but that’s because it was meant for busy arcades, where kids would plunk quarters to continue.
It had a surprising amount of depth, though, as players could choose from one of four protagonists to control (Spider-Man likely being the most popular).
Each hero had signature moves that required dedicated gamers to learn special joystick-button combinations to pull them off in the middle of battle.
In addition, players faced off against tons of classic bad guys, from Doctor Octopus to Green Goblin and many more.
For an arcade game, this Spider-Man beat-em-up adventure proved to be memorable among hundreds of titles that are long-since forgotten.
8. Spider-Man: Web of Shadows
In 2008, we all got treated to a much darker narrative of Spider-Man’s video game lore in Web of Shadows.
This title actually came out in three different versions, and both the story and mechanics changed depending on which platform version you purchased.
The main version appeared on the PS3, Wii, and Xbox 360, as well as Windows, and it brought players an open-world version of Manhattan.
On the PS2 and PSP, however, gamers played the title as a side scroller, titled Spider-Man: Web of Shadows – Amazing Allies Edition.
Finally, there was the Nintendo DS version whose style and mechanics fit cleanly into the Metrovoid genre as a classic beat-em-up adventure.
All versions followed roughly the same storyline and central crises, and they featured ethical dilemmas that prompted players to make choices.
Because of the choice mechanic and the different game versions, this Spider-Man game feels like an unintentional nod to the future of multiverse storytelling.
Who knows? Maybe even Spidey’s appearance in one of the best GTA 5 mods counts as multiverse canon, if you’re willing to stretch your imagination.
7. Ultimate Spider-Man
Ultimate Spider-Man pulls its title from the comic, which is a good sign for fans of games that are faithful to the original stories.
This 2005 release even had a Limited Edition version that included a mini-documentary and interview with Mr. Marvel Comics himself, Stan Lee.
As with Spider-Man: Web of Shadows, this game had significantly different versions for the various gaming platforms that were available.
The console version was an open-world adventure that allowed players to take control of both Spider-Man and Venom in separate scenes.
Mobile and handheld versions offered more of a side-scrolling beat-em-ups, where players could, again, play as either Spider-Man or Venom.
Gamers who are also avid comic book fans should check out the Ultimate Spider-Man books first, particularly numbers 33 through 38, for the full story.
Don’t worry if you’re not a comic reader, though, as this game is easily understandable with no prior knowledge of the “Ultimate Venom” story arc.
6. Spider-Man And Venom: Maximum Carnage
There’s no doubt that Maximum Carnage is fun, but the lasting appeal is truly in its groundbreaking contribution to comic book games.
This SNES and Mega Drive/Genesis game pulls its title from a 1993 comic book story arc about Spidey and Venom teaming up to defeat Carnage.
The next year, the video game came out as a side-scrolling beat-em-up adventure story that follows the events of the comic.
Using a mechanic that got used again in later Spider-Man titles, the game allows players to control both Spider-Man and Venom.
Interestingly, Maximum Carnage didn’t find critical acclaim right off the bat, but it rose in popularity as the game gained a cult following.
Music enthusiasts will enjoy catchy tracks from Green Jelly and even an uncredited appearance by Black Sabbath for the boss fights.
5. Spider-Man: The Movie
Okay, we’ll admit the title of this game is a little misleading, but trust us that this is a game and not a film.
In 2002, this multi-platform game was the movie tie-in for – you guessed it – Spider-Man: The Movie (which was a movie).
Technically, this is from the action-adventure genre, but it’s more specifically a level-based fighting game, where you get to beat up baddies to your heart’s content.
That’s perfect for this youthful almost-member of Marvel’s Avengers superhero team, who are known for causing mayhem even as they save the world.
As is practically legally required in any Spider-Man game, one of the main mechanics involves swinging from spider webs, which is oddly satisfying to do.
Cult film favorite Bruce Campbell narrates the tutorial in this game, automatically making it the most appealing tutorial of any game we can think of.
We see Peter Parker get bitten by the strange spider at the start of this game, taking us from origin story to full-blown hero.
In keeping with the star-studded casting, Tobey Maguire also lends his voice to the title character, so the game truly feels like a movie tie-in.
4. Spider-Man: Miles Morales
Following the increasing popularity of the comic and film character Miles Morales, this game featured him as the title character.
When it came out in 2020, gamers in lockdown got to swing their way through an open Manhattan, living out Miles’s struggles along the way.
It was a gripping story that featured compelling gameplay, so it’s no surprise that this is one of the best single-player PS5 games available today.
Gamers who stayed with the PS4 also got a release for their console, and Windows gamers got their hands on it in 2022.
Visuals in this one are fantastic, featuring a wintry New York and unlockable powers that increase Miles’s abilities over time.
It’s also a great addition to the world of Spider-Man’s Manhattan, as we get to experience snowfall in Harlem with Miles.
Readers also got to enjoy a prequel novel tie-in, called Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales – Wings of Fury, that released the same year.
Though the game came out late in the year, it quickly became one of the best-selling titles of 2020, and it continued selling through 2021.
3. Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions
Returning to the multiverse concept of Spider-Man in 2010, Shattered Dimensions allowed players to control any of four different Spideys from different worlds.
We start with the Amazing Spider-Man, whose battle with Mysterio leads to a rift in dimensions that begins to impact reality.
Noir is another playable character, an alternate version of Spider-Man who wears all black and first appeared in the comics in 2009.
Gamers also get to control Spider-Man 2099, an Irish-Mexican superhero living in a future version of New York, who first appeared in comics in 1992.
The final playable character is Ultimate Spider-Man, an alternate version of Peter Parker who originated in 2000 with the Ultimate Marvel comic books.
With the help of these unlikely friends, Spider-Man fights his way through increasing difficulties to save the world once again and repair reality itself.
Voice actors from the animated series returned to portray their characters, which gives this game a star-studded cast, including Neil Patrick Harris and John DiMaggio.
As Variety reported, this epic collaboration of Spider-Men eventually inspired the 2014 comic “Spider-Verse,” which led to the 2018 animated blockbuster film, Into the Spider-Verse.
2. Spider-Man 2
We’re nearly to the top of the list, which is why we’re looking at one of the best PS2 games with Spider-Man 2.
This is a movie tie-in from 2004, serving as the sequel to Spider-Man, which was yet another movie tie-in video game.
It takes place two years after the events of the previous game and movie, and it follows the plot of the sequel film pretty closely.
However, the game gives us expanded moments and additional content that wasn’t in the film, making the game well worth it for fans.
Once again, we get top-tier voice talent from Tobey Maguire, Bruce Campbell, Kirsten Dunst, and more, as the actors reprise their roles from the film.
The exception is Bruce Campbell, who appears as cameos in the movies but serves as a fantastic narrator for the game – yeah, truly amazing.
As with some of the other Spider-Man games, the plot and gameplay differs slightly depending on the platform you’re using.
We recommend the PS2 console version, which has the most depth of mechanics and world, as well as the broadest storyline.
1. Marvel’s Spider-Man
The number one spot on our list is also one of the best open-world PS4 games ever: Marvel’s Spider-Man, released in 2018.
In a change of pace, this game features an original story for our superhero, which turned out to be the right risk to take.
Rather than feeling derivative in its plot, the story surprises players with new experiences not already covered in the comics or films.
It later came out for the PS5 and then for Windows, and it featured an open-world design with the requisite swinging mechanics.
We can thank this game for giving us the later Miles Morales title that fans couldn’t get enough of in 2020 and 2021.
Though Peter Parker is the main playable character in this one, we also get to control Miles Morales and even Mary Jane at times.
This choice to include multiple playable characters, with different mechanics of their own, is another way the developers keep players guessing throughout the story.
Wired even acknowledged the appeal of Marvel’s Spider-Man by listing it as the number one game of the year and calling it “pure comfort food.”
It’s pretty clear that the appeal of Spider-Man never wears thin, and that’s just fine with us, thank you very much.
From side-scrolling beat-em-up games to open-world adventures, complete with film star voice acting, there’s enough on this list to satisfy every Spidey fan.
If you’ve been looking for the perfect, playable Spider-Man story for you, chances are good you’ll find it on this list.
Here’s a quick recap of the 10 best Spider-Man games:
- Marvel’s Spider-Man (2018)
- Spider-Man 2 (2004)
- Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions (2010)
- Spider-Man: Miles Morales (2020)
- Spider-Man (2002)
- Spider-Man And Venom: Maximum Carnage (1994)
- Ultimate Spider-Man (2005)
- Spider-Man: Web of Shadows (2008)
- Spider-Man: The Video Game (1991)
- The Amazing Spider-Man vs. The Kingpin (1991)
When did Spider-Man first bite you? Leave a comment below.
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