The staff and contributors to FreeGameTips choose the most prominent titles based on the Marvel sagas.
WandaVision, known as Scarlet Witch and Vision in Spain, has come to Disney + as the first Marvel Studios series for the platform. The plan of the North American company is to continue expanding its licenses in both the cinema and its streaming video service. For this reason, the Loki and Falcon and Winter Soldier series will be the next to capture their stories on the small screen. Meanwhile, Marvel has been seen in video games recently.
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is not an expansion or a sequel, but a standalone title starring this character. The Insomniac Games game was released accompanying the PS5 (practically out of stock, like Microsoft’s two new generation machines), although it is also available on the previous generation console. This production puts the player in the shoes of Miles Morales, who dons his leggings to save the citizens of the Big Apple from the terrible villains that lurk.
A few months before, another of the most anticipated products was marketed, which at the time we write these lines still has much to prove. We refer, of course, to Marvel’s Avengers, developed by Crystal Dynamics for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, PC and Google Stadia. The Avengers game has been conceived as a cooperative action title, but operates under a game-as-a-service model. The story campaign is expanded with new characters, with whom they will seek to reactivate the interest on the part of the players. It is not easy for them, but the future will tell if they manage to reverse their situation or not.
Marvel’s adventure in video games is almost as old as video games themselves, so there are many titles that have passed through microcomputers, PCs, consoles and arcades throughout all these years. At FreeGameTips we have brought the newsroom and collaborators together again to choose which are the best titles based on Marvel licenses. Without further ado and with the count ready, these are the results. Which ones do you prefer?
10. Marvel Vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes (Arcade, Dreamcast, Saturn, PSX)
What if the most iconic characters in the Marvel universe took on Capcom’s? That question is no longer asked in the realm of the hypothetical, since the Japanese company allied with the comic book giant to translate this idea into a fighting video game. X-Men Vs. Street Fighter and Marvel Super Heroes Vs. Street Fighter were the forerunners of the Marvel Vs. Capcom saga, whose first installment was released in 1998. Clash of the Super Heroes debuted in arcades and on home consoles with an approach fighting in two dimensions. Captain America, Wolverine, Spider-Man, Gambit or War Machine face Ryu, Chun-Li, Morrigan, Megaman or Strider Hyriu. In total, a squad of fighters that reaches 21 playable characters, some of them hidden.
The fighting system follows the guidelines of other previous games, so we have the help of assistant fighters who support us at specific times. The partner can no longer be invoked as many times as we want, since a system is implemented by which we can choose this option in a limited way. Of course, when it does so, it unleashes its special attack against the enemy, to just after return to its position in the rear. The Dreamcast version was virtually identical to the arcade version, while the 32-bit console versions suffered cuts due to lack of hardware power.
9. The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction (PS2, Xbox, GC)
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When you drive the Incredible Hulk you want to feel like this: incredible, strong, almost untouchable. Like other superheroes with brute force, it becomes difficult to level his spectacular destructive energy so that the game feels balanced. Although mediocre titles based on the character have been released throughout all these years, The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction is one of those rarities that manages to stand out above many other productions. In fact, it was also present in the general superhero top that we published on FreeGameTips, an unequivocal sign that it left its mark on the followers of superheroes.
There was a very long time, from the 8-bit microcomputers, in which companies were limited to buying movie licenses to release their games at the same time and take advantage of the pull of the box office to get a return on their investment. In the rush, many of these products were unsuccessful, even though there were honorable exceptions. The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, by contrast, is not based on any movie. Published by Vivendi Universal Games in the days of PlayStation 2, GameCube and Xbox, the production of Radical Entertainment is a more than remarkable open world action game. We handle the Hulk in all his splendor, who true to his style, is capable of launching vehicles against his enemies, scale steep walls and destroy everything in his path.
8. X-Men 1992 (Arcade, then other platforms)
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Video games were not always played at home. The arcades, now practically extinct, were the place where many met to drop a coin and the odd game. Others watched the rest of the game play, since their pockets were either empty or had never been full. After all, arcades were designed for users to spend their money. We got on the time machine and adjusted it to get off in 1992, the date on which Konami made available to X-Men players, a beat’em up me against the neighborhood in side scrolling, the kind that were so popular for back then.
The visual style of the characters was based directly on the superheroes of the animated series Pryde of the X-Men, originally released a couple of years earlier, specifically in 1989. In Konami’s game, the player had the opportunity to don the meshes of characters such as Wolverine, Cyclops or Colossus. Of course, it was also possible to play cooperatively for up to 6 players. The objective? End the forces of evil, mainly embodied by Magneto. Although it was exclusive for many recreational years, Konami released a port many years later on machines such as Xbox 360, PS3 or Android and iOS mobile devices.
Photo: Cody Pierce
7. The Punisher (Arcade, Mega Drive)
It comes to a character like The Punisher that the beat’em up genre has not even been painted, a style that reigned in arcades at the beginning of the nineties. The Punisher game is practically contemporary with Konami’s X-Men, although it was developed by Capcom. Kingpin and his criminal organization of thugs have them all with him to continue with his tricks and with the domination of his territory, but he does not take into account that Frank Castle is going to go after him and the rest of his vassals. The title follows the formula established by Capcom in titles such as Final Fight or Captain Commando, that is, phases full of enemies that culminate in a final boss.
The Punisher came out exclusively for the arcade machine, and unlike X-Man, no port has been made for more current platforms. It did come out for Mega Drive, although with some limitations with respect to the recreational one. New York rises with a higher crime rate than usual, so we will handle Frank Castle himself, The Punisher, through the different levels. It also offers the possibility to enjoy cooperatively with another player, who takes on the role of Nick Fury. The soundtrack, by the way, is provided by Yoko Shimomura, the composer of Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy XV, who in those days worked on many Capcom classics, such as Final Fight or Street Fighter II.
6. Spider-Man 2 (PS2, Xbox, GC)
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Earlier we said that the practice of developing video games based on movies was very common in the past. In the early 2000s it was still done regularly, so many products were not up to the mark. At the time, however, EA had just released successful video game adaptations of the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter films, while Activision did the same with the Sam Raimi-directed Spider-Man films. The first of them was much more limited, as they opted for a more closed action structure, something that did not exploit all the peculiarities of the character. And it is that the wall-crawler that we all know slides through a huge New York, which travels at high speed thanks to its spider webs.
Spider-Man 2 was developed by Treyarch for Activision. This studio, which is currently focused exclusively on the Call of Duty saga, opted for an open world, in which Spider-Man has the freedom to move around the city. It stands out for the great sensations that the displacement of the character aroused, which has been stylized until reaching the zenith in Marvel’s Spider-Man by Insomniac Games. This production follows the events of the film, although it does so more or less freely. In essence, it expands the plots and incorporates other villains in addition to Dr. Octopus. It should be noted that the PC version was different and was below this game.
5. Marvel Vs. Capcom 3: Fate of the Worlds (PS3, Xbox 360)
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For Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 to materialize was not an easy task. Marvel’s license was in the hands of the Japanese company for years, so it was able to develop titles that made use of this brand, but Capcom lost it at the end of 2001. At that time, Activision took over the license and was able to develop several Spider-Man video games, among others. Meanwhile, Capcom didn’t seem particularly keen on releasing more two-dimensional fighting games, either. It took almost a decade for the third installment to become a reality. In the middle of 2011, the arcade halls had already dug their grave, although in Japan they were still working. However, Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 was already intended exclusively for home systems, Xbox 360 and PS3.
Compared to the second part, the number of fighters is reduced. There are 36 characters in total, 18 from Marvel and 18 from Capcom. Despite the closure of Clover Studio, Amaterasu and Viewtiful Joe joined the roster of leads. Regarding the game system, the Japanese company influenced the schemes of the previous installment, with four buttons linked to the different types of attacks. Accessibility is one of the points that Capcom decided to reinforce, so there is a simplified mode that allows the player to execute impressive combos without too much difficulty. This title received an improved version for Xbox One and PS4, Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3.
4. Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 (PS2, Xbox 360, Wii, etc.)
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This saga is still alive today, although the project is no longer in the hands of Vicarious Visions, an Activision studio that has now been integrated into Blizzard Entertainment. The explanation is that the North American company had the rights at that time, something that has changed in recent years (worst of all is that these games are no longer available for purchase in digital format, so only the second hand remains ). For this reason, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 has been developed by Team Ninja exclusively for Nintendo Switch. The second installment, however, is one of the highest quality Marvel productions. The creators of the Crash Bandicoot N’Sane Trilogy brought together superheroes from different brand licenses, all of them with a firm commitment to defeat the villains in their path.
The Avengers, The Defenders (the peculiar superheroes who returned to the front line thanks to the Netflix series already canceled) or the X-Men are found in the context of Civil War, fighting against the innumerable enemies that have risen with the hope to establish his reign of terror. The gameplay leads us to manage a group of characters, each with their abilities and their strengths and weaknesses. The action is the clear protagonist of the video game, as well as the possibility of enjoying it in company thanks to its cooperative options. The formula may not have felt groundbreaking from the first installment, but the end result is well worth giving it a try. Otherwise you wouldn’t have sneaked into this top, right?
3. Lego Marvel Super Heroes (PS3, Xbox 360, PS4, Xbox One, PS Vita, PC, etc.)
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In the last decade, there are two studios that have worked with all kinds of big-name licenses: on the one hand, Telltale Games, which was forced to close after its bankruptcy was certified (now it has returned because another company has resurrected it) ; on the other, Traveller’s Tale, a developer who has released video games about Indiana Jones, Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, Batman or Marvel, although all of them varnished with a layer of humor, that of LEGO pieces. The formula that they have followed from the beginning is similar, although along the way they have added some peculiarities, such as dubbing or more open worlds depending on which games. In the case of Lego Marvel Super Heroes, Traveller’s Tale takes the mechanics to the highest level shown up to that moment, with a much more palpable freedom of movement.
Marvel fans have an essential work in this title, as it presents a non-negligible team of superheroes, all of them with great charisma. There is no lack of humor or a casual touch, which fits particularly well in this type of universe. In addition, Traveller’s Tale continued the adventures of Spider-Man, Hulk and company in a sequel to rise to the occasion. In this top the first installment has come out as the most voted of the two, but both are absolutely recommended.
2. Marvel Vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes (Arcade, Dreamcast, PS2, etc.)
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Two years after the release of the first installment, arcade machines once again enjoyed a new title of the definitive crossover between Marvel and Capcom. In 2000, PlayStation and Sega Saturn were left out of the equation, but their successors, PlayStation 2 and Dreamcast received a conversion. It also came out on the first Xbox, as well as on more modern consoles afterwards. The Sega console was especially conducive to arcade-born games, as the Naomi arcade board was based on the Dreamcast and this video game was conceived for that board.
Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 has a staff of 56 fighters, although 28 of them are secret characters that had to be unlocked. However, the method of doing this differed depending on whether you were playing on an arcade machine or on a console. In the first case, experience had to be gained, while in the domestic sphere, a system was chosen through which they could be purchased through the game store. Obviously, at that time, downloadable content did not exist yet, so everything could be obtained by playing.
Regarding the changes with respect to the second installment, the battles have 3 fighters per team instead of the 2 of the previous one. These work as assistants, so we can summon them to perform their special attacks. Using the Snapback option we can force rivals to change fighter. The game, which incorporates some control change in the layout of the buttons, is even more complete. A fighting title to keep in mind.
Marvel’s Spider-Man (PS4, PS5)
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Insomniac Games was a studio closely tied to Sony, although it had worked with Xbox Game Studios on Sunset Overdrive. However, the Japanese company counted on them for an exclusive PS4 project, Marvel’s Spider-Man. The creators of Ratchet and Clank and Spyro the Dragon were also acquired by PlayStation a year after the game was launched, a production that stands out not only for establishing a universe of its own and alien to the films of the cinematographic universe, but also for its excellent translation of the movements of the spider-man to a medium like that of the video game.
Spider-Man moves with precise agility, the player travels through New York from building to building, with the cobwebs always ready to stick to the walls … and also to the enemies, because if something has Peter Parker’s alter ego it is Many enemies. Insomniac Games’ work introduces a progression system that allows the wall-crawler’s range of abilities to be expanded. As the plot progresses, the dangers increase and the level of demand of the superhero does so accordingly. The fantastic control is accompanied by fluid graphics, whose smoothness makes this Marvel’s Spider-Man one of the most interesting PlayStation exclusive titles in the catalog.
The story is not based on any Marvel comic or product. Insomniac Games introduces us to a Peter Parker who has been a superhero for years. He left his life as a student behind and already works as an assistant to Dr. Otto Octavius, while in the shadows, when nobody finds out, he saves the city from the meanest criminals. Unlike other Spider-Man games, Mary Jane Watson is neither a waitress nor an actress, but a journalist. In fact, the American studio wanted to humanize the characters by giving the player the possibility of handling Peter Parker, Mary Jane and Miles Morales. Most of the phases in which we deal with the journalist, who acts as Spider-Man’s partner, are based on stealth mechanics.
Marvel’s Spider-Man is a game that has come to stay. The independent title starring Miles Morales is proof of this, as well as the remastering of the first one for PlayStation 5. The new version includes all the DLC and graphic improvements, as well as a new face for Peter Parker (they changed the actor). The revamped version preserves all the quality of the original, but with the added bonus of looking even better. Be that as it may, wherever you play it, Insomniac Games’ work is no longer one of the best titles based on the Marvel saga, but also an excellent action title.