Spider-Man: Edge of Time was released in 2011 and was the last linear attempt by the developer Beenox. The plot involves a threat that requires both the Amazing Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2099 to intervene to save both of the timelines. I will start by saying this game is slightly above average, with the biggest fault I have for this game is that Shattered Dimensions came out first.
That being said this game does have some brighter moments, with Spider-Man 2099 stealing the show in my mind. Not only his character but the entire 2099 atmosphere was the main event in this game so to speak. 2099 combat is fast paced with flashy visuals that made it stand out with an “accelerated decoy” which allows him to slow down time and leave a hologram at his last position. The Amazing Spider-Man has a “hyper sense” mechanic which makes him invincible for a short time, dodging enemies and traps with ease. The past and future timelines allow for some interesting cause and effect moments that I thought should have been more involved than it actually is.
In many ways though, this game is a downgrade from its predecessor. The swinging is not a main feature of this game as you will spend most of your time running around punching bad guys. 2099 has a return of the dive system, which had its charm originally is now completely over used to the point of madness. The Amazing Spider-Man and Spider-Mann 2099 will constantly communicate to each other across time, and while that sounds great in theory it doesn't follow through with the poor voice acting and average writing. I'm especially critical of the writing in this game considering Peter Davis was one of the creators of Spider-Man 2099.
Edge of time is not a bad game in my opinion; it just is not as good as its predecessor. I am not entirely sure where their “endgame” was with this one, and I feel they might have missed the mark by a bit. If this game did more of what made it fun I think it would be higher on the list but as it stands, Spider-Man: Edge of Time can be a good form of entertainment that has you begging for more.
Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage was released September 1994 and developed by Acclaim Studios Manchester formally known as Software Creations. It was one the first games to be actually being based on a comic book, while most of its cut scenes are straight from said comic book. It is a side scrolling beat 'em up that features a playable Spider-Man and Venom as they try to handle Carnage and his buddies.
The game has you control Spider-Man and Venom as you move through a nice looking 16bit environment, as throw countless punches. You make your way across the screen fighting waves of waves of the same five bad guys who all dressed the same today, while watching out for the boss battles at the end of the stage. You obtain “hero power ups” which allow you to summons certain heroes to come help you out in times of need, while a basic function in most side scrolling adventures this one had the other hero respond to each character differently. As a kid I never noticed this function but if Spider-Man calls black cat she takes out everyone on screen, while she will only take out one guy for Venom. This game also has a bunch of little secret areas, and I think was the first game I really played that I wanted to explore.
It is really a simple game with some artificial difficulty added along the way, sometimes it feels like the developer just forgot about health drops. The reoccurring enemies are much more noticeable in today's standard, but back then I was lucky enough to be able to play as Spider-Man. There isn't much wrong with this game for the time, it wasn't exactly innovative and after prolonged play can really feel like a hamster on a wheel but entertaining none the less.
I will start with saying this was my first Spider-Man game ever! I remember begging my dad to buy it for our Sega Genesis at a used video game shop here in town. I rushed home, and plugged it in and I didn't work, forgot to blow in it of course. Started it up, and imagine the look on my face as I got the opportunity to play as his favorite super hero. Maybe not the best game at the time; it was on the other hand the best Spider-Man.
The Amazing Spider-Man was released in 2012 as a tie in for the movie of the same name. It is developed by Beenox and is the return to Spider-Man's free roaming nature. This game may be based on the movie, but the story takes place just after with Spider-Man dealing with other Cross-Species. It allows the freedom to create a new an original story line, while allowing for safe writing.
The swinging is actually good! It is just a bit too late in the series for it. The swinging feels a bit slow compared to some of the earlier games in this series, but it makes up for it with the start of the “point launch” system. Once Spider-Man finds a “point” he will get there in any way possible. Aim at a street light and Spider-Man might swing to a building for a short run before leaping to his destination. At the time the feature was a great addition although it lacked the polish to make it a fully useful traversal substitution for regular swinging.
One of the things I feel this game did fairly well was the combat. I know it's the standard punch/counter system but the Spider's speed with this system just works for me. I love the new environmental moves; Spidey is no longer walking over to pick up a garbage container and throwing it manually. Collectible comic books are back, and I will always appreciate when these games try to involve the comic book world. My absolute favorite part of this game is the robots, without giving too much away this was the most entertaining feature. I would also like to mention that I feel the game did a much better service to Doctor Curt Connors character than the movie did. The game shows us how Connors has often been portrayed, with constant conflict against his alter ego.
Amazing Spider-Man has its faults for sure though. The most noticeable is the costume, which I cannot blame entirely on the game as they had to follow the universe the movie had created. There are extras costumes to unlock which helps, but doesn't change the fact that a standard red and blue is absent. The camera was just awful also, it is so close and unnecessary. The story line itself suffers from the fact it takes place after the story, while it's not the best story it sufferers from the fact that Amazing Spider-Man 2 has nothing to do with it.
The Amazing Spider-Man can be considered an above average game at best, while it was the best at what it did well back then. The best way I can describe this game is a massive body of water that's only six inches deep. It has functions and concept that could have made it a really good game, but somewhere along the line things got lost.
Spider-Man otherwise referred to as Spider-Man: The movie was the first to be developed by Treyarch back in 2002. The main plot loosely follows the first Sam Rami film, with added sections for length. The game feels like a more realistic looking Spider-Man (2000) with mechanics pretty similar to its predecessor.
The mechanics themselves have not changed much since 2000, with combos being the only real new thing. The game gives you around 20 available combos, but you will end up using just 1-5 in the classic beat 'em up gameplay. Swinging is exactly like it was back in 2000, with many missions being indoors this is a feature that is sorely lacking in this title.
The voice acting in this game is very hot and cold. The game starts with the all amazing Bruce Campbell from Rami's Evil Dead narrating the tutorial. The lines are a bit cheesy and aren't as humorous as 16 years ago, but I think a lot of the games in this series can be defined like this. Toby and William both return for their roles as Spider-Man and Green Goblin respectively. Defoe is at the top of his game in his voice acting during this game, if you close your eyes it could be hard to determine if you are watching the movie or playing the game. While William Defoe sounds incredible in this game, honestly holding the title for canon Green Goblin voice in my head, Toby swings way below the bar on this one. It honestly feels like he just read the lines during his break times during other more important projects. His voice acting lacks heart, and it is very evident after just a few lines.
This game does have some moments that I did really enjoy though. If you complete the game (or enter some cheats) you can play as another character. Without giving too much away I will say that I had more fun playing as this character than I did Spider-Man. This game even has Spider-bowling! You start at one end and swing into a pack of enemies in an attempt to knock them over, this isn't a needed extra but it is entertaining for a bit of fun with your buddies. I did not like how you could not swing too low to street level, whereas Spider-Man (2000) gives a reason for this, this game does not. Unfortunately this game does not bring much to the series as a whole, but it was Treyarch's first Spider-Man game. While they clearly played it safe to the successful Neversoft title, it was considered a safe game. Say what you want about this game, but without it would we have ever received Spider-Man 2?
Spider-Man was released August of 2000 and was developed by Neversoft, the first game Spider-Man was fully three dimensional environments. The story involves Spider-Man being framed for the crime he didn't commit, while trying to prove his innocence he gets closer to finding the real culprit.
The swinging is pretty basic, swing from anything at the same speed. This was also the first time this was possible so it was amazing. In some missions the swinging could get all caught up in itself and that could make progression a bit difficult. The combat was also basic with a punch, kick and web buttons. Today that does not sound that great, but it was enough back then. Spider-Man can web enemies up, hit them with a big web ball, create a web shell, and my personal favorite the web gloves. Boss fights are a blast in Spider-Man, except for that really horrible one at the end that ruined many childhoods.
I still remember starting this game up to hear Stan Lees message to all true believers, the moment I took control of Spidey and wondered “can I swing to that?” Sure in retrospect the controls were not the best and it was a bit cheesy at times. Deep down, this game defined my definition of Spider-Man. It taught me that he has a responsibility to protect as many people as he can before himself. This game introduced me to the comics through the collectibles, and caused me to ask questions with costume. “Why is Spider-Man wearing a bag on his head?” or “who is captain universe?” I spend plenty of time just going through the bios, trying to soak up as much information as I could. This is more than a Spider-Man game to me, it was an encyclopedia of knowledge ready to absorb. It was the “I can't wait till Saturday morning cartoons.” I remember getting one of those cheat books for Christmas the one year, I flipped straight to the S section to find out what happens when you spell Stan Lee backwards.
Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions was released September 2010 and was developed by Beenox. This was their first attempt to make a Spider-Man game, and they took a huge risk with it. Not only did it return to a more linear level design, but it decided to involve a storyline spanning multiple dimensions with multiple Spider-Men. Dan Sloat was the writer for this game; call it practice for the Spider-Verse I guess.
Shattered Dimensions involves four Spider-Men. The first one is the Amazing Spider-Man, the one from the comic book. The second is Spider-Man Noir, a much darker brutal Spider-Man from the 1930s. The third is Miguel O'Hara, also known as the Spider-Man from the year 2099. The last is the Ultimate Spider-man, who brought his Symbiote to the party. Each Spider-Man is voiced by a separate voice actor, all of whom have voiced Spider-Man in another form of entertainment. The four are burdened with protecting the multiverse from the threat who seeks power beyond all realities.
Each Spider brings uniqueness to their individual story. The Amazing Spider-Man makes weapons out of webs, Ultimate Spider-Man lets his tendrils do all the heavy lifting, 2099 can attack with sharp claws faster than the eyes can see and finally Spider-Man Noir uses the power of stealth, eliminating threats quickly and quietly. They all have different art styles and basic combat which is does a good job of keeping things fresh. Amazing looks like it's straight out of a comic book and fights with flair while Noir features a mix of sepia and black and white colors and does not have time for pleasantries.
Each Spidey comes from their own universe where things can be very different, the amount of super villains and different interpretations in this game is one of the main reason I like it so much. It features the old school beat 'em up style of combat and does a fairly good job with not being difficult while still looking good. This game is a one of a kind treasure and deserves more praise than it ever received. Oh and Stan Lee narrates.
Ultimate Spider-Man was released in September 2005 and developed by Treyarch. It was directed and written by Brian Michael Bendis, who was the writer of the Ultimate Spider-Man comic book among many other things. The story centers on Peter Parker, Eddie Brock and their mysterious inheritance.
Swinging in this game are slightly different than most, with it taking a step down in speed. It's nice and cartoon like, but it leaves a lot to be desired. You cannot really gain any height off of a web-swing unless you climb your web as you swing, which is an added button press during swinging. This is a shame because this map is a big beautiful place to be Spider-Man, but it is a good experience none the less. There are a couple unlockable costumes if you have the bravery to try and get all the tokens, and some comic book covers that are definitely worth picking up. The comic book art style is everywhere in this game, from the *KAPOWS* to the exclamation marks to the cut scenes that almost present as a comic book. Sean Marquette does the voice of Peter/Spider-Man in this game, and he kills it. When I read Ultimate Spider-Man comic books, he's the voice I play through my head. One of Ultimate Spider-Man unique features is the ability to fully control Venom in a three dimensional environment, complete with his own unique move set. With a long jump and car throwing strength, Venom must also constantly feed on humans to survive.
Now the combat is where things get strange, this game seems to try to copy the combat system from Spider-Man 2. It returns to a more old school form of punch and kicks, webbing enemies down when you get the chance. The problem is the lack of dodge button, which just feels like a huge misstep in my mind. Spider-Man loves to springboard off of walls in this game and I will say it looks really good, but the combat just feels like it was an afterthought. Ultimate Spider-Man is one of the most visually stunning wall crawler experiences, from the supporting cast to the minor details. I enjoyed the boss fights especially here, as I feel they brought more of a challenge then say some bosses from these other games. Ultimate Spider-Man is worth a play, even just for the comic book feel and superb voice acting!
Spider-Man: Web of Shadows was released in October of 2008 and was developed by Shaba Games and Treyarch. The setting takes place during the beginning, middle and end of a city wide Symbiote invasion. Spider-Man once again is tasked with saving the city, all while dealing with the corruption from his own Symbiote.
Web of Shadows unique feature would have to be the use of his red and black suits. When in his classic red and blue, Spider-Man uses acrobatics and showmanship in everything he does. When he calls up the black suit, he trades all flair for straight power. While the red suit shoots webs and throws punches faster than the normal human can see, the black suit uses tendrils and throws punches that only need to hit once. Spider-Man's voice is also different depending on which suit he is wearing, but his voice acting in this game is something I consider to be one of its biggest faults. The game features a sort of mortality function, which will determine which group of followers you can have. The game has four endings due to the different choices you can make, with the option of a new game plus.
This game did a very good job of the web-strike in my opinion, allowing quick transition from enemy to enemy and ground to air. The swinging is definitely one of the better swinging mechanics in Spider-Man games, but that does not mean it is without its problems. There is an animation for running on the ground while swinging, details like this show how much care went into this game. The story itself is a fairly interesting one with interesting takes on the normal cast, but I feel like could have been flushed out a bit more. Spider-Man has very little humorous moments, and the ones that are available seemed to be held back by poor writing and/or awkward voice acting.
All things considered, I love this game. This is not just one my favorite Spider-Man games, but favorite games in general. I would also like to note that this was Treyarch's final Spider-Man video game to date. For a developer responsible for four out of the ten games on this list, I believe credit should be given where credit is due.
#2: Spider-Man 2
This is the game that every Spider-Man game has been compared to; it was the Catalina wine mixer. Spider-Man 2 was developed by Treyarch with a plot very similar to the movie, with cameos from some of Spider-Man's other rouge members.
The swinging mechanics are and have always been the center of attention for this game. I'm sure everyone reading this right now can remember that feeling when you made that first web-swing (oh my god did it attach to the building?) The upgradeable sprint and charge jumps are features to this day people ask for in their Spider-Man games.
The game is not perfect though and I will try to look at it from a nostalgia view. I have the same issue with Tobey and his voice acting in this game also, it really sounds like he just does not care anymore. This game also lacks any form of alternate costumes; while maybe not necessarily a bad thing it was a wasted opportunity. I also feel the bosses could have used a bit more attention, story and gameplay wise.
Spider-Man is incredibly influential not only in the Superhero genre, but sandbox games in general. I have many good memories of swinging around in this game, my friends and I used to play this game where you had to get from north to south without using webs, crawling or touching the ground. I just feel bad thinking about how many balloons I didn't save, sorry unnamed kid! It is a movie game so my expectations were low, but I think this game surprised a generation whom have been singing its praise ever since.
The pinnacle of Spider-Man games, it seems to take the good out of most of these games and just make it amazing. Marvel's Spider-Man was developed by Insomniac Games with its own original story line. Most of Spidey's main rouges make some form of an appearance throughout the game, so do supporting cast members like Mary Jane and Miles.
When it comes to game play this game is just a tier above the rest. With swinging not as fast as Spider-Man 2 but with more “flare” and control. The point launch system is a great additive from the Amazing Spider-Man series and feels almost crucial for that showman ship. When you combine the web-swing, dive, web-zip, wall-run and point launch you honestly feel like Spider-Man. Fisticuffs in this game is unreal, but not so innovative. It involves an attack, dodge, web-strike and gadgets Spider-Man acquires throughout the game. You can web most enemies to most objects in the game, and I have to say this small detail improves the experience substantially. Notice an enemy close to a wall? Web him to it. What if he is on the ground? Web him down. What if he is in the middle of the street? Web him up and then throw him into a wall.
Although amazing, it is not without faults. The random crimes can become really repetitive, especially during the end game. The game features quite a bit of Spider-Man's villains but does not elaborate on them or give them one on one Spidey time. It undermines them a bit; I would have preferred half the villains with twice the story. The game also features a couple of “forced” sections, which were fun at first but by the end I kept thinking that I could be doing this as Spider-Man right now.
All these little details may not sound like much separate, but when you combine all of these you get a Spider-Man simulator. They included 28 costumes with 24 suit powers that can be swapped on the fly, fan service was obviously very important to Insomniac. With great swinging mechanics, a decent story line, a gorgeous view (night time is my favorite) and a reliable fight mechanics, Marvel's Spider-Man is the Spidey game we deserved. This game is just as much a Peter Parker game as it is a Spider-Man.
There are my top 10 best Spider-Man games; hopefully it was as fun for you to read as it was for me to write. If you have made it this far and you just have not had enough of the Spider, here are a couple facts I found from comics, movies, the games and other forms of media while I did my research.
Spider-Man's webs last one hour but are capable of holding the Hulk.
Spider-Man was one of the first teen superheroes that were not a sidekick.
Spider-Man quips to distract his enemies as well as help him not be afraid.
Ethyl Chloride can drain or even kill Spider-Man.
Spider-Man says he has an "I.Q. north of 250."
Spider-man can lift 10 tons (up to 25 at some points in time) has a top speed of 200 mph.
Michael Jackson once tried to buy Marvel so he could play the role of Spider-Man.
The head of Marvel at the time disproved of Spider-man's concept because people hate spiders.
List by the_van_kid (11/14/2018)
Discuss this list and others on the Top 10 Lists board.
Have your own Top 10 in mind? Create and submit your own Top 10 List today.