Right now, we’re living in a golden era of superheroes. With films from the Marvel franchise lighting up cinema screens and drawing audiences from all across the globe, pop culture has embraced this modern-day pantheon of gods and magickers, mutants and men with the sheer desire to do something good.
Comic books are flying off the shelves in a way they haven’t done in years, whilst a plethora of TV series are also drawing inspiration from this much-lauded source. It’s unsurprising, of course, that the gaming world is doing the same.
Superheroes are the stuff of dreams to designers and developers everywhere, and they’re taking full advantage to create some truly magnificent content. But, in our humble opinion, not all of it has earned the recognition it deserves. Here are just a few of the most underrated superhero games around – we seriously recommend checking them out the next time you’re at a loose end.
Ultimate Spider-Man (2005)
Long before the Arkham series came into being, Spider-Man spent his days swinging around New York without a care in the world. He had a starring role in numerous games, and although Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro both drew in deserved praise, Ultimate Spider-Man was arguably neglected. It was not down to any shortcoming on the part of the game itself; rather, Ultimate Spider-Man was a victim of the era in which it was released – an era when new Spidey games were brought out annually, thus cooling the hype that would have surrounded them if it were based on merit alone. That said, the game holds its own visually over a decade later, which is why we’ve included it on this list. With characters and set designs that could have come right out of the comic books, it was outrageously fun and fabulously enjoyable, which is why you should really give it a go.
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes (2013)
Touted by some as the greatest superhero game ever made, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes drew on a tried and tested formula. Using the same characters found in everything from apps like Marvel Contest of Champions through to the themed offerings at Mr Smith’s slots online, such as Thor's Lightning, a game which centres around the Viking god and modern-day superhero extraordinaire, it utilised a host of names we know and love to lure people in and get their attention. Once it had it, you were hooked, so it’s little surprise that it’s spawned two sequels since its inception five years ago: Marvel Avengers in 2016 and Marvel Super Heroes 2 in 2017. That said, it still doesn’t quite receive the degree of recognition it deserves, which is why it’s made its way onto this list.
Batman: Chaos in Gotham (2001)
Released for the Game Boy Colour, Batman: Chaos in Gotham drew its inspiration from the short-lived but singularly brilliant The New Batman Adventures TV series. An exclusive to the handheld console, it gave players the chance to pick between both Batman and Batgirl as they fought against the Arkham Asylum’s escaped inmates. With iconic villains including The Joker, Harley Quinn, Bane, and Two-Face all present, it essentially utilised what would later become the plot of every Dark Knight game that came after. Although it’s fair to say that its the Adventures of Batman and Robin counterpart was a little more intricate and in-depth, it nonetheless deserves a place as one of the best portable Batman games ever created, and no one can deny that it was fun.
Tell us, if you had the option, which of these games would you want to play first?