Ranking Every Spider-Man Game From Worst To Best

We're dizzy from all this webswinging.

ranking every Spider-Man game
ranking every Spider-Man game

Alongside DC’s Batman and Superman, Marvel’s Spider-Man has to be considered one of the most recognisable and popular superheroes ever created. Making his debut in Marvel Comics in 1962 and created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, Spider-Man has become an enduring part of comics and other media for well over half a century now. Through various iterations, characters, clones and more, the Spider-Man franchise’s popularity has never wavered.

From comics to merchandise, films and animated TV shows, the Webhead has had a chokehold on popular culture for decades now. Spider-Man has also been the star of quite a few games over the years, but how do you know which ones are the best? Clearly you need someone to rank them from worst to best.

We’ve decided on what’s possibly the silliest decision we can think of: we’re going to rank all of the Spider-Man games, going from the first one on the Atari in 1982 and finishing with the most recent release. That’s over 40 years of games, so buckle up.

For clarity, we’re only focusing on games in which Spider-Man, whether it’s Peter Parker or Miles Morales, is the title character of the game. If we were ranking all of his appearances across video games, we’d probably be writing this article all year. With that out of the way, here’s every Spider-Man game ranked from worst to best.

 

40. Spider-Man: The Sinister Six (MS-DOS)

Spider-Man: The Sinister Six (MS-DOS)
Spider-Man: The Sinister Six (MS-DOS)

Developer: Brooklyn Multimedia
Publisher: BMM GmbH, Byron Preiss Multimedia Company, Inc.
Platform(s): Windows 3.X

If you had to pick a gaming genre to best capture the frenetic action and excitement of the Spider-Man character, the chances are that you wouldn’t pick a point and click adventure game, but that’s what Brooklyn Multimedia opted to do with Spider-Man: The Sinister Six back in the 90s. To be fair, The Sinister Six is aimed more at a younger audience than any hardcore gamers, but the end result could be considered the worst Spider-Man video game offering out there.

As the title suggests, Spider-Man: The Sinister Six sees Parker battling with the evil Sinister Six, including the likes of Mysterio, Doc Ock and others. Unfortunately, the whole game revolves around boring point and click levels as Parker, or janky and unintuitive minigames as Spider-Man where you’re trying to take down the villains. Even kids wouldn’t want to play this, never mind adults.

 

39. Spider-Man: Web Of Shadows – Amazing Allies Edition

Web of Shadows PS2
Web Of Shadows PS2

Developer: Amaze Entertainment
Publisher: Activision
Platform(s): PS2, PSP

Any child who asked for Spider-Man: Web of Shadows for Christmas in 2008 basically played Russian Roulette without knowing it. On the one hand, if they received it on Xbox 360, PS3 or the Wii, they’d be experiencing a fantastic open world adventure on par with some of the previous generation’s best. Meanwhile, those still playing on that previous generation received the Amazing Allies edition, which is, to put it nicely, absolute trash.

Instead of an open world adventure, Web Of Shadows: Amazing Allies is condensed into the most basic 2D beat ’em up you could imagine, with shoddy hit detection and graphics that wouldn’t look out of place on the PS1. While the dialogue options in-game are somewhat funny, the boring and simplistic gameplay combined with the fact it’s a massive downgrade on the full-fat version of Web Of Shadows make this one of the worst games ever made. Also, the ending is so bad it needs to be seen to be believed.

 

38. Spider-Man 3

Spider Man 3 movie game
Spider Man 3 movie game

Developer: Treyarch, Beenox, Vicarious Visions
Publisher: Activision
Platform(s): PC, PS2, PS3, PSP, Xbox 360, Wii, GBA, Nintendo DS

The conclusion of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man film trilogy is often considered to be a bit of a fumble, especially when compared to how immediately beloved the previous two films were, so it’s probably not a surprise to many to know that the film tie-in is also a massive swing and a miss. While Spider-Man: The Sinister Six might be a worse game, Spider-Man 3 is infinitely more disappointing as a Spider-Man game, especially considering the previous two movie tie-in games were a lot better. Well, the second one was anyway. The first one had its charm at least.

Taking the movie’s problem of doing too much and turning it up to 11, the game version of Spider-Man 3 boasts even more villains and sub-plots, but none of them are any good. Meanwhile, the gameplay has seemingly regressed compared to the previous game, making it one of the worst Spider-Man games ever made, unless you play the DS version apparently. That one’s decent.

 

37. Spider-Man (1982)

Spider Man 1982
Spider Man 1982

Developer: Laura Nikolich
Publisher: Parker Brothers
Platform(s): Atari 2600

Being the first of something is definitely worthy of some kind of praise, and Spider-Man (1982) for the Atari is both the first ever Spider-Man video game and the first ever Marvel video game in general. As the first one out the door, in a time period where gaming was still figuring itself out, and the E.T. video game hadn’t yet dragged the reputation of the whole industry into the dirt, the first official Spider-Man video game might not seem so bad. Look at it from today’s lens though, and you’ll see that 1982’s Spider-Man is absolutely terrible.

A vertical scrolling game, Spider-Man sees the wall crawler climbing up the side of a building trying to stop bombs that were planted by Green Goblin. Along the way, criminals start lobbing stuff at Spider-Man from the open windows, and that’s the whole game. It’s frustrating, simplistic and possibly the only real legacy that the game has outside of being the very first one is as the subject of a Let’s Play video starring Troy Baker and Nolan North.

 

36. The Amazing Spider-Man: Web Of Fire

Web of Fire
Web of Fire

Developer: BlueSky Software, Zono
Publisher: SEGA
Platform(s): SEGA 32X

The SEGA 32X is often considered to be an overlooked piece of hardware, even by SEGA themselves, as the add-on companion for the Genesis/Mega Drive was largely abandoned not long after launch in favor of the upcoming SEGA Saturn. Considering The Amazing Spider-Man: Web of Fire was only released after support for the 32X had been discontinued, the expectations for it were low, but man did it flop.

A side-scrolling beat ‘em up, The Amazing Spider-Man: Web of Fire is unique in the sense that the entire game features almost nothing to do with Spider-Man aside from the Webhead himself. Instead of the iconic rogues gallery that appears in other games, Spider-Man teams up with Daredevil to take down Hydra and a bunch of D-list jobber villains. Dragon Man? Super Adaptoid? Eel? Some Marvel superfan somewhere is probably giddy at Thermite and Blitz getting a chance to shine, but Web of Fire was some real bottom of the barrel action.

 

35. The Amazing Spider-Man (1990)

Spider-Man 1990
Spider-Man 1990

Developer: Oxford Digital Enterprises
Publisher: Paragon Software, Empire Software
Platform(s): Commodore 64, Amiga, IBM PC, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST

A Spider-Man game will always earn bonus points from us if the main villain is the camp and wonderful Mysterio, so in that sense alone, The Amazing Spider-Man has some merit. Okay, it has one merit, but then that goodwill runs out as soon as you turn the game on, as your ears are turned to mulch by some of the most horrendous sound design ever committed to the Amiga platform. When you have to play a game with a muted TV just to try and make the experience tolerable, you’re in trouble.

Unfortunately for The Amazing Spider-Man, the rest of the game is also as miserable as the game’s sound design, with extremely hard platforming sections, unfair enemy placement and a massive version of Spider-Man sitting on the side of the screen, judging your every move. The Amazing Spider-Man for the Amiga might have included a lot of the wall crawler’s moveset, but the end product is far from amazing.

 

34. The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Amazing Spider Man 2 movie game
Amazing Spider Man 2 movie game

Developer: Beenox
Publisher: Activision, Square Enix (JP)
Platform(s): PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii U, Mobile

We’ve barely begun to scratch the surface of this list and we’re already deep in the muck of confusing names, and they’re only going to get worse from here. Unlike the other Amazing Spider-Man games mentioned so far, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 in this instance is a tie-in to the second Andrew Garfield movie, which is considered to be quite the stinker. The game version also happens to be a letdown, and again is a huge regression on what came before.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 ties into the movie, with Spider-Man squaring off against Electro and the Green Goblin. In typical movie tie-in fashion though, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 also decides to throw in the likes of Kingpin, Carnage, Kraven and the Black Cat, with none of the grace or skill needed to balance all of these spinning plates. In the end, the tie-in of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 feels like it’s worse than the movie, and that’s saying something.

 

33. Spider-Man: The Animated Series

Spider Man Animated Series game
Spider Man Animated Series game

Developer: Western Technologies
Publisher: Acclaim Entertainment
Platform(s): SNES, Mega Drive/Genesis

For a lot of people, their main introduction into the world and lore of Spider-Man (along with the wider Marvel universe) was the animated Spider-Man series from the 90s. Considering it was one of the most popular shows of the entire decade, it’s no surprise that Spider-Man: The Animated Series was also turned into a tie-in video game, but unfortunately for wall crawling fans, Spider-Man: The Animated Series’ video game isn’t good.

Another game revolving around The Sinister Six, and certainly not the last one on this list, Spider-Man: The Animated Series is a side-scrolling platformer/beat ‘em up that sees Spider-Man squaring off against the likes of Doc Ock, Green Goblin, Scorpion, Alistair Smythe and the Spider-Slayers, and others. With poor fighting abilities, ugly visuals, bad music and more problems on top, this isn’t Spider-Man’s finest hour.

 

32. The Amazing Spider-Man and Captain America in Dr. Doom’s Revenge!

Spider Man Dr Doom game
Spider Man Dr Doom game

Developer: Paragon Software
Publisher: Empire Software, Paragon Software
Platform(s): Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, DOS, ZX Spectrum

Webhead and Boy Scout have teamed up a bunch in the comics, so a game that sees two of Marvel’s biggest properties work together to try and take down one of Marvel’s most evil villains in Doctor Doom sounds like an interesting premise. If a game like that were to be released these days, it might even make for a fun co-op adventure/beat ‘em up, but instead we were forced to endure The Amazing Spider-Man and Captain America in Dr. Doom’s Revenge instead.

Released on the Commodore 64, Amiga and other platforms, The Amazing Spider-Man and Captain America in Dr. Doom’s Revenge is equal parts platformer and fighting game, with the two leading lads running through a gauntlet of jobber bosses until they reach Doom. While the graphics were praised at the time for being up there with the best looking game, the actual gameplay is about as slow and unsatisfying as it gets, making the whole experience a chore to play.

 

31. The Amazing Spider-Man
30. The Amazing Spider-Man 2
29. The Amazing Spider-Man 3: Invasion Of The Spider-Slayers

Amazing Spider Man game boy games
Amazing Spider Man game boy games

Developer: Rare, Bits Studios
Publisher: LJN, Nintendo, Acclaim Entertainment
Platform(s): Game Boy

Look, there’s a lot of games to get through here, and the Game Boy trilogy of The Amazing Spider-Man is essentially the same game three times over, so we’ve bundled them together just to make life slightly easier for ourselves. The first game sees Spider-Man trying to rescue MJ, while the second is about Spider-Man being framed for a bank robbery. Finally, the third game, as the name implies, borrows heavily from the Spider-Slayer storyline in the comics.

All three games are side-scrolling adventures that see Spider-Man punching and kicking his way through hordes of goons, only to reach a specific boss at the end of the level. Lather, rinse and repeat until the credits roll, and while that doesn’t sound too dissimilar to other games on this list, some of which sit higher on this list, the gameplay and graphics were among the worst that the Game Boy had to offer. Throw them all in the bin like Peter did with his suit in Spider-Man No More and let’s move on, even if The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and 3 had the decency to throw some puzzles into the mix.

 

28. Spider-Man: Battle For New York

Spider-Man Battle For New York
Spider-Man Battle For New York

Developer: Torus Games
Publisher: Activision
Platform(s): GBA, Nintendo DS

Perhaps one of the more obscure games on this list, Spider-Man: Battle For New York launched in the middle of a time when you’d receive a wildly different game depending on which platform you bought it on. In this instance, Spider-Man: Battle For New York served as a prequel to the GBA and Nintendo DS versions of Ultimate Spider-Man, and while this game is notable for offering Green Goblin as a playable character, this isn’t the best Spider-Man outing out there.

The gameplay consists of Spider-Man going around the city trying to save civilians, while Green Goblin gets to let loose on the Big Apple, fighting guards and S.H.I.E.L.D. agents alike. The DS version of Battle For New York was decently well received, even if it was considered to be a bit of a retread of the previous year’s Ultimate Spider-Man, but Battle For New York is dragged down massively by its inferior GBA version.

 

27. Questprobe Featuring Spider-Man

Questprobe Featuring Spider Man
Questprobe Featuring Spider Man

Developer: Adventure International
Publisher: Adventure International
Platform(s): Acorn Electron, Apple II, Atari 8-bit, BBC Micro, Commodore 64, Commodore 16. Dragon 32, IBM PC DOS, ZX Spectrum

Back in the 80s, Marvel were searching for a longtime partner to enter the video game industry with, and eventually they settled with Adventure International. If you’re drawing a blank on that name, it’s because they went bankrupt just a couple of years after the deal went through, which should give you an indication into the quality of their output. However, before they shut their doors forever, they did create a trilogy of Marvel games called Questprobe.

A text adventure series that featured a different Marvel hero as the playable character, the second game in the trilogy starred the iconic wallcrawler as he did battle with villains like Sandman, Hydro-Man and Lizard. Of course, those battles would only happen if you could use the text system to navigate the environment and solve the various puzzles put in front of you. It’s not the worst game ever made, but it’s not good either.

 

26. Spider-Man And The X-Men In Arcade’s Revenge

Spider Man X Men Game
Spider Man X Men Game

Developer: Software Creations, Unexpected Development
Publisher: Acclaim Entertainment
Platform(s): SNES, Mega Drive/Genesis, Game Gear, Game Boy

Unless you’re a diehard Marvel fan or you happen to remember every single level from Marvel Ultimate Alliance, it’s likely that you don’t have a clue who the hell Arcade is. Because of that, it seems strange to base a game around him as the main villain when other Spider-Man games offer Venom, The Sinister Six, Green Goblin and others. It’s a bit of an odd choice, but at least some members of the X-Men are here to add to the game’s star power.

Spider-Man And The X-Men In Arcade’s Revenge sees the wallcrawler and Xavier’s band of merry mutants locked in one of Arcade’s elaborate death games, forced to fight robots and dodge traps in order to survive. Graphically, Spider-Man And The X-Men In Arcade’s Revenge looks fairly decent, at least for the time period it launched in, but the imprecise controls and frustratingly difficult obstacles make this one an easy miss.

 

25. Spider-Man: Toxic City

Spider Man Toxic City
Spider Man Toxic City

Developer: Gameloft
Publisher: Gameloft
Platform(s): Mobile

Spider-Man villains love their weird little gunges and gasses, so it’s no surprise that we’ve got a game like Spider-Man: Toxic City, which is all about the Ultimate version of Green Goblin trying to create more little freakazoids so he can take over the city. A mobile game from 2009, you know that Spider-Man: Toxic City is going to be one of the most simplistic games on this list, but at the very least, Toxic City has some merit.

Like a lot of other games on this list, Toxic City is a side-scrolling brawler that sees Parker facing off against hordes of goons or mutant Goblin freaks. Along the way, you’ll find upgrades which you can use to upgrade your various stats, and there’s even a small selection of suits you can choose from. As mobile games from 2009 go, Toxic City is pretty ambitious, but looking back, this is as basic as it gets.

 

24. Spider-Man: Return Of The Sinister Six

Return of the Sinister Six
Return of the Sinister Six

Developer: Bits Studios
Publisher: Acclaim Entertainment
Platform(s): NES, Master System, Game Gear

You might think that with a name like Return of the Sinister Six that this game is a sequel to one of the other games already mentioned on this list, but nope. It is based on the comic book arc of the same name, but this Spider-Man game is just another in what was becoming a long line of side-scrolling platformers/beat ‘em ups that saw Spider-Man facing off against various villains. As such, it lands somewhere along the middle of the road as far as old school Spider-Man games fare.

Like the name implies, Spider-Man is forced to confront a returning Sinister Six, with six levels of the game all dedicated to one particular villain each. Depending on which version you played, the game varied in difficulty, as the Master System version was rebalanced to make life easier for the player compared to the NES version. Meanwhile, the Game Gear version was the same as the NES version, except the screen was smaller so good luck dodging projectiles, dork.

 

23. Venom/Spider-Man: Separation Anxiety

Spider Man Separation Anxiety
Spider Man Separation Anxiety

Developer: Software Creations
Publisher: Acclaim Entertainment
Platform(s): PC, SNES, Mega Drive/Genesis

Without a doubt, Venom is one of the most popular and recognisable villains that Spider-Man has ever faced, so it’s no wonder that video game developers have often jumped at the chance to throw the black and white symbiote into a main villain or even leading role. Those who love their old school beat ‘em ups will also know that the symbiotes as a whole got their chance to shine on the SNES and Genesis, though the second effort in that regard, Separation Anxiety, left a lot to be desired.

While it’s named after a specific comic book arc, Venom/Spider-Man: Separation Anxiety has little to do with its comic book namesake, instead borrowing more from the Lethal Protector arc. The game sees Parker and Venom teaming up to face-off against Carnage, the Life Foundation symbiotes and a heavily armed group known as The Jury. It sounds interesting, but repetitive fights, no cutscenes and little improvement on the first installment means Separation Anxiety falls down the list.

 

22. Spider-Man: Homecoming/Far From Home – The VR Experience

Spider Man VR
Spider Man VR

Developer: CreateVR
Publisher: Sony Pictures Virtual Reality
Platform(s): PC, PS4

As much as conventional video games can try and convey the feeling of being a superhero, there’s no form of video game more immersive than virtual reality, so naturally some developers have tried to create the idea of swinging through New York City in VR. When Sony decided to drop free VR experiences tying into the first two Tom Holland Spider-Man movies, people were excited to finally be the man behind the mask. The results were okay, at best.

In truth, the first edition of the VR experiences, Homecoming, was considered to be a lot more basic, while the second one for Far From Home actually allowed players to swing through a city. Both were short and a bit gimmicky to be fair, but for the low, low price of completely free, you can’t really complain. Hopefully, these experiences will be used as a proof of concept for a more fleshed out VR superhero game in the future.

 

21. Spider-Man: Friend Or Foe

Friend or Foe
Friend or Foe

Developer: Next Level Games, Beenox, Artificial Mind & Movement
Publisher: Activision
Platform(s): PC, PS2, PSP, Xbox 360, Wii, Nintendo DS

One of the benefits of having a rogues’ gallery as extensive and popular as Spider-Man’s is that a lot of people really want to play as the bad guys just as much as they do the Webhead himself. This is why Spider-Man: Friend Or Foe is such a good idea in premise, as it was marketed as a kid-friendly co-op beat ‘em up that let players control both the good guys and the baddies too. The execution left something to be desired, however.

After fighting with a bunch of villains alongside New Goblin, Spider-Man and foes are attacked by a new invading faction, forcing Spidey to partner with both S.H.I.E.L.D. and the bad guys too in order to stop this menace once and for all. While the premise is solid enough, most reviewers agreed that the core gameplay was too repetitive and simplistic to hold the attention of players across its various levels. No wonder Friend Or Foe isn’t as fondly remembered as other games on this list.

 

20. The Amazing Spider-Man: Lethal Foes

Lethal Foes
Lethal Foes

Developer: Argent
Publisher: Epoch Co.
Platform(s): Super Famicom

Despite the fact that Spider-Man is a Western creation, something that should never be underestimated is the character’s popularity overseas, particularly in Japan. Spider-Man had received his own manga series back in the 1970s, and we can’t forget about the 1978 Japanese TV show, which inspired some of the tropes that would become synonymous with the Super Sentai franchise later on. This popularity also extended to video games, though the Super Famicom’s Lethal Foes doesn’t have as much of an impact as the ‘78 TV show.

A veritable kitchen sink of a comic book game, Lethal Foes boasts appearances from pretty much all of Spider-Man’s biggest villains, including Doc Ock, Green Goblin, Venom, Carnage, Lizard and more. Spider-Man is even joined by allies like Human Torch and Iron Fist, making it one of the more complete games in terms of character appearances. As games go, it’s fine enough, but Spider-Man has seen much better games in the years since.

 

19. Spider-Man Vs. The Kingpin

TASM Kingpin
TASM Kingpin

Developer: Technopop, SEGA
Publisher: SEGA, Acclaim Entertainment
Platform(s): Mega Drive/Genesis, Master System, Game Gear, SEGA CD

A lot of modern Marvel media might have positioned Wilson Fisk, aka The Kingpin, as more of a Daredevil villain, but the lord of New York City’s crime has traditionally waged war against the wallcrawler. Who better to launch hordes of goons and villains at Spidey than a guy with seemingly infinite wealth? Spider-Man Vs. The Kingpin was the video game industry’s first real chance to showcase this feud, and while there’s some admirable qualities in the game, it’s hardly the best of the best.

Another example of a game receiving different versions depending on the platform, Spider-Man Vs. The Kingdom is the typical side-scrolling brawler that you’d expect from a 90s console game. What helps Spider-Man Vs. The Kingpin to stand out somewhat is the multiple endings you can earn depending on your actions during the final boss. Combine that with the improvements shown in the SEGA-CD version of the game, such as new moves, levels and abilities, and you’ve got a recipe for a semi-decent Spider scrapper.

It’s still not great, but we’re getting to the better ones.

 

18. Spider-Man Unlimited

Spider Man Unlimited
Spider Man Unlimited

Developer: Gameloft
Publisher: Gameloft
Platform(s): Mobile

What a surprise, we’ve got another game where Spider-Man has to deal with the Sinister Six. That cabal of rogues is undoubtedly Spider-Man’s most dangerous threat ever, so it’s not a surprise that a lot of games decided to stick them front and center, but we have to give props to Spider-Man Unlimited for having the gumption to form a Multiversal Sinister Six, giving Parker an almost infinite amount of Goblins, Vultures and Electros to face off against.

Like many mobile games that launched in the 2010s, Spider-Man Unlimited is an endless runner of sorts from Gameloft, tasking Spidey with dodging obstacles as they emerge by jumping or switching lanes. However, Spider-Man Unlimited adds to the formula by introducing story missions, with enemies, objectives and even boss fights. It’s a competent enough game, or at least it was until it was delisted and nuked from all mobile storefronts back in 2019, sharing the same fate as its animated series namesake in being canceled on a cliffhanger.

 

17. Ultimate Spider-Man: Total Mayhem

Ultimate Spider-Man Total Mayhem
Ultimate Spider-Man Total Mayhem

Developer: Gameloft
Publisher: Gameloft
Platform(s): Mobile

Another mobile game from Gameloft, this version of Spider-Man doesn’t see the wallcrawler playing Subway Surfers in the background of a Reddit AITA TikTok. Instead, Ultimate Spider-Man: Total Mayhem is an action game that places Spidey in a variety of events and challenges, tackling gangsters, goons and villains alike, in what was considered at the time to be one of the best looking games on mobile.

The game itself featured your standard selection of Spider-Man’s rogues gallery, including Sandman, Rhino, Electro, Green Goblin, Doc Ock and others, and as mentioned, the visuals were stunning for the time they were released. What held Ultimate Spider-Man: Total Mayhem back for a lot of critics is that it felt too similar to some of the other titles Gameloft had published on mobile platforms around that time. Like most licensed games released on the App Store though, Ultimate Spider-Man: Total Mayhem has been lost to time.

 

16. Spider-Man: Edge of Time

Edge of Time
Edge of Time

Developer: Beenox, Other Ocean Interactive
Publisher: Activision
Platform(s): PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS

While Beenox made their attempts to emulate the open world gameplay that Treyarch pioneered with Spider-Man 2 in 2004, they also enjoyed a decent amount of success by stripping back the layers of Spider-Man. Instead of going for an open world game, Beenox created two games that were more like 3D brawler/platformer hybrids, with the added wrinkle of Spider-Men from different timelines and universes. Edge Of Time might be the lesser of the two, as critics were quite harsh on it compared to Shattered Dimensions, but it’s still a pretty good wall crawling extravaganza.

Starring both Peter Parker and Spider-Man 2099, Miguel O’Hara, Edge of Time sees the two working together across time to stop a rogue scientist from rewriting history in his own image. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Spider-Man game without a host of villains, as both Spider-Men have to contend with the likes of Doc Ock, Anti-Venom, Black Cat and a shadowy CEO in the future, pulling the strings. It might not be a franchise highlight, but if you have a PS3 or Xbox 360 to hand, it might be worth trying to find a second hand copy.

 

15. Spider-Man And Venom: Maximum Carnage

Maximum Carnage
Maximum Carnage

Developer: Software Creations
Publisher: Acclaim Entertainment
Platform(s): SNES, Mega Drive/Genesis

If we were to tell you about a Genesis and SNES beat ‘em up that saw Venom and Spider-Man teaming up to fight Carnage, you’d probably say something like “you’ve already talked about Separation Anxiety”. That’s how similar the sequel is to this previous effort, Maximum Carnage, and yet, this version has managed to maintain a better reputation over the years. The reviews weren’t kind at the time, but people tend to like this one a lot more looking back.

Like Separation Anxiety, Maximum Carnage is ultimately about Spider-Man and Venom battering hordes of goons in an attempt to stop Carnage and a cabal of D-tier villains from taking over the city. Considering the combat wasn’t improved in the follow-up, it’s hard to knock Maximum Carnage for its repetitive gameplay, but the cameo appearances from fellow Marvel heroes and villains helps make this game feel a bit more epic in scale.

 

14. Spider-Man 2: The Sinister Six

Spider Man 2 Sinister Six
Spider Man 2 Sinister Six

Developer: Torus Games
Publisher: Activision
Platform(s): Game Boy Color

Right, try to follow along at home on this one. Spider-Man 2: The Sinister Six for the Game Boy Color is a sequel to the Game Boy Color port of Spider-Man (2000), boasting much of the same gameplay format as the previous game, but it has absolutely nothing to do with any of the other Spider-Man and Sinister Six games. It was also rendered non-canon when Spider-Man for the PS1 received a sequel in Enter Electro. With us so far?

Trying to keep up with the timelines and continuities is almost as exhausting as actual comics, but at least Spider-Man 2: The Sinister Six proved to be a decent handheld Spidey experience. Players progress through six levels, because of course, punching, kicking and webbing their way through goons and villains all the while.

While it was never going to win awards, Spider-Man 2: The Sinister Six is still decent brawling fun. If nothing else, it’s miles better than the Game Boy trilogy.

 

13. The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

The Amazing Spider Man
The Amazing Spider Man

Developer: Beenox, Other Ocean Interactive, Gameloft
Publisher: Activision
Platform(s): PC, PS3, Xbox 360, PS Vita, Wii, Wii U, Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS, Mobile

The Andrew Garfield film duology might not be the most warmly received Spider-Man films ever made, but the first film featured a film tie-in that was genuinely interesting, pioneering some features that’d become a core part of Spider-Man games going forward. Seen as an alternate epilogue to the events of the film, The Amazing Spider-Man forces Parker to team with a remorseful Connors aka The Lizard to stop a rampaging wave of cross-species villains infecting civilians. Meanwhile, Oscorp CEO Alistair Smythe is busy making robots to stop the cross-species menace that’ll do more harm to New York than good.

As a game, The Amazing Spider-Man is admittedly quite derivative of the Batman: Arkham games, with an emphasis on free-flowing combat and vertical stealth, but to be fair to all Spider-Man game developers, Arkham is the template to be aiming for. The Amazing Spider-Man might not hold a candle to the more recent Insomniac offerings, but this is still a pretty decent alternative if you can get your hands on it.

 

12. Spider-Man: The Video Game (Arcade)

Spider-Man The Video Game (Arcade)
Spider-Man The Video Game (Arcade)

Developer: SEGA
Publisher: SEGA
Platform(s): Arcade

If you want the best beat ‘em ups from the 90s, you want to head to the arcades. Either the best ones were exclusive to the arcades, like the Aliens Vs Predator game from Capcom that deserves to be ported everywhere, or the console ports are just not up to scratch. Spider-Man: The Video Game from 1991 falls into the former category, making for one of the most fun beat ‘em ups you can have at the arcade. You know, at least when the Final Fight cabinet is full anyway.

A beat ‘em up with support for up to four players, Spider-Man: The Video Game sees Parker teaming up with Black Cat, Hawkeye and Namor The Sub-Mariner, for whatever reason. He’s taking a break from being a water boy to help Webhead beat up villains. Each character has their own moves and attacks, and the game itself blends together beat ‘em up gameplay with platforming, so there’s plenty of variety. As Spider-Man games go, this is actually pretty fun.

 

11. Spider-Man: Mysterio’s Menace

Mysterio's Menace
Mysterio’s Menace

Developer: Vicarious Visions
Publisher: Activision
Platform(s): GBA

Spider-Man has enjoyed a long history with handheld platforms, one that’s seemingly continuing in spirit with the PC releases of Marvel’s Spider-Man being playable on the Steam Deck, or the recently released PlayStation Portal allowing players to enjoy Spider-Man 2 on the loo. Not all of them are good, obviously, as we’ve proved throughout this list, but if you want the best “made for handheld” Spider-Man game, Mysterio’s Menace is the best bet.

Built from the same cloth as the platforming beat ‘em ups already featured on this list, but with improved combat and visuals, Spider-Man: Mysterio’s Menace sees Spider-Man caught in the crosshairs of the iconic master of illusion and fishbowl enthusiast Mysterio. Along the way, Spider-Man will face off against the likes of Hammerhead, Scorpion and Big Wheel.

Say what you want about how good the Insomniac Games are, none of them have had the courage to give Big Wheel center stage.

 

10. Spider-Man (2002)

Spider Man 2002 game
Spider Man 2002 game

Developer: Treyarch, LTI Grey Matter, Digital Eclipse
Publisher: Activision, Capcom (JP)
Platform(s): PC, PS2, Xbox, GameCube, GBA

You might think that the tie-in to the first Sam Raimi movie is sitting just a bit too high on this list, but compared to a lot of the other Spider-Man games that came either before or since, Spider-Man (2002) for the PS2, Xbox and Gamecube isn’t that bad. Sure, it’s got flaws, such as the fiddly indoor stealth sections that make up a good chunk of the game, or the fact that Spidey can web swing on nothing, but there’s a lot of fun to be had here.

A typical movie tie-in, in that it recaps the events of the movie while throwing a bunch of extra side plots and villains into the mix, Spider-Man was a perfectly decent attempt at the Spidey video game formula, but the game really opened up with its cheats and unlocks.

Being able to enter a code to play as the Green Goblin, complete with glider and Pumpkin Bombs, only to head into the cage for a fight against Bonesaw, is utterly brilliant. 10/10, no notes.

 

9. Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro

Enter Electro
Enter Electro

Developer: Vicarious Visions
Publisher: Activision
Platform(s): PS1

For many, the PS1 era of Spider-Man games were the first introduction to the wallcrawler in video games, so it makes sense that they hold a special place in the hearts of many. Both games are enjoyable, but unfortunately, one of them has to sit lower on this list, and for our money, it’s Enter Electro. The shorter story and weaker villains made sure of that, but it managed to improve on the formula in other ways.

Unlike the first PS1 game, Enter Electro actually lets Spidey walk and swing around at ground level, instead of jumping over rooftops trying not to accidentally huff yellow fart gas. Meanwhile, new abilities and features like “Create-A-Spider”, which let you craft your own loadout of powers, help ensure that Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro became a beloved entry into the franchise regardless.

Unfortunately, one of the biggest legacies of Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro is the fact that the game was delayed ahead of release because of 9/11, due to the fact that one of the levels was set on the rooftop of the Twin Towers.

 

8. Spider-Man (2000)

Spider Man 2000
Spider Man 2000

Developer: Neversoft
Publisher: Activision, Aspyr
Platform(s): PC, PS1, N64, Dreamcast, Game Boy Color

After a deluge of beat ‘em ups and platformers, it took a technological jump for the true scope of a Spider-Man game to be realized, and Spider-Man (2000) was perhaps the first time any developer got close to nailing the feeling of being Spider-Man. Sure, it wasn’t the fluid, open world web-swinging and wingsuiting players can enjoy in Insomniac’s Spider-Man 2, but this was the first real attempt at a 3D Spider-Man game, and for a first time effort, it’s pretty great.

What helps make Spider-Man (2000) feel like a bigger game is the amount of other Marvel characters who show up, like Captain America, Punisher and Daredevil, which immediately makes New York feel like a much bigger city. Combine that with short, snappy levels and villains like Doc Ock, Venom, Carnage, Lizard, Mysterio and Rhino and you’ve got the recipe for a real hit.

No wonder fans have been petitioning for a remake.

 

7. Spider-Man: Web of Shadows

Web of Shadows
Web of Shadows

Developer: Shaba Games, Treyarch, Aspyr, Griptonite Games, Amaze Entertainment
Publisher: Activision
Platform(s): PC, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, Nintendo DS

Spider-Man has had a long history with the symbiotes across various media, but for the most part in video games, particularly the 3D open world ones, the infectious side of the symbiotes isn’t explored as much. Typically, the symbiote is just used as a means to give one person at a time powers, when in other media, symbiotes are treated as an Alien-like infestation. Spider-Man: Web of Shadows sought to bring those terrifying symbiote tendencies to life, and for the most part, it nails that brief.

The gameplay is the same open-world brawling you’d expect from a Spider-Man game, but the story is where it becomes a bit more interesting. Venom has resurfaced once again, only this time he’s planning on plunging the whole of New York into a symbiote hellscape and you have to decide how it plays it out. Throughout the game, you’re given a number of choices influenced by either your red or black suit, which in turn determines the various endings you might get.

The execution is a bit more basic than it actually sounds, but it’s nice to see a Spider-Man who isn’t always a massive boy scout.

 

6. Ultimate Spider-Man

Ultimate Spider Man game
Ultimate Spider Man game

Developer: Treyarch, Beenox, Vicarious Visions, Mforma
Publisher: Activision, Mforma
Platform(s): PC, PS2, Xbox, Gamecube, GBA, Nintendo DS, Mobile

From a full blown symbiote invasion back to “Venom just vibing”, Ultimate Spider-Man was based off the comic book line of the same name, which featured new origins and relationships for all of the key characters. However, the more things change, the more they stay the same, as Peter Parker and Eddie Brock still come into conflict as Spider-Man and Venom. Luckily for you in Ultimate Spider-Man though, you can experience both sides of that conflict, which makes for an interesting story.

Ultimate Spider-Man sees Parker and Brock dealing with both Bolivar Trask and Silver Sable, as the former seeks to gain the use of the symbiote suit, while the latter is just here because they’re getting paid. With both Spider-Man and Venom playable throughout the game, you can experience two different playstyles, as Spider-Man’s flamboyant aerial moves contrast well with Venom’s “punch Wolverine through a wall” brute strength.

Following the likes of Venom/Spider-Man: Separation Anxiety of having both Parker and Brock playable, Ultimate Spider-Man felt like the next evolution of that idea, while retaining the excellent gameplay people loved from the Spider-Man 2 tie-in.

 

5. Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales

Miles Morales game
Miles Morales game

Developer: Insomniac Games
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Platform(s): PC, PS4, PS5

It was inevitable, wasn’t it? You knew it as soon as you opened this webpage, and I knew it as soon as I started writing this list that the Insomniac Spider-Man games would be among the best of the best of the entire Spider-Man franchise. The order for a lot of players might be different depending on which story arcs, villains and more you prefer, but at the end of the day, if you want the best that the wallcrawler has to offer, Insomniac have you covered. While they’re all excellent, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is arguably seen as the weakest entry, but a weaker Insomniac Spider-Man is still an incredible single-player game.

The second game in the series, Miles Morales, is seen more as a DLC expansion than a full-size release, with its relatively smaller campaign and scope compared to the Spider-Man games before and since, but the introduction of Miles’ Venom electricity powers give him a unique edge we hadn’t seen before. Giving this new version of Spider-Man a bigger chance to shine in video games, especially after the success of Into The Spider-Verse, have helped make Miles Morales a worthy Spider-Man in his own right.

 

4. Spider-Man 2 (2004)

Spider Man 2 movie game
Spider Man 2 movie game

Developer: Treyarch, Fizz Factor, Vicarious Visions, Digital Eclipse
Publisher: Activision, Taito, Aspyr
Platform(s): PC, PS2, Gamecube, Xbox, PSP, Nintendo DS, N-Gage

Considered by many to be one of the best Spider-Man games ever made for a long time, the movie tie-in game for Spider-Man 2 was such a leaps and bounds improvement over the previous game in many ways. Not only was the size and scope of Spider-Man 2 much bigger, allowing players to experience a free-roam version of New York for the first time in franchise history, it also pioneered the web-swinging physics players have come to love in future games. Who knew having webs that attach to actual objects in the environment would be this much fun?

Like with the film, Spider-Man 2 sees Parker contending with a recently created Doctor Octopus, who is currently under the influence of some evil AI robot limbs. The power of the sun is still in the palm of his hand, but along the way, Parker has to contend with the likes of Black Cat, Shocker and Mysterio.

For superhero games as a whole, Spider-Man 2 is a real trailblazer, and easily one of the best Spider-Man games ever made.

 

3. Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions

Shattered Dimensions
Shattered Dimensions

Developer: Beenox, Griptonite Games
Publisher: Activision
Platform(s): PC, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, Nintendo DS

The Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions defender has logged on, and while it might seem like a bit of a crime to put this game above Spider-Man 2, I personally feel like games such as Spider-Man 2, Ultimate Spider-Man and Web Of Shadows haven’t aged as gracefully as Shattered Dimensions has. Sure, that’s because of a certain Insomniac Games trilogy that’s currently selling like gangbusters for Sony after perfecting the open-world Spider-Man blueprint, while Shattered Dimensions is just an excellent 3D brawler that reportedly went on to inspire the entire Spider-Verse franchise.

Talk about a legacy.

Featuring four different playable versions of Spider-Man, Shattered Dimension allows players to experience the worlds of The Amazing Spider-Man, Spider-Man Noir, Spider-Man 2099 and Ultimate Spider-Man. Each world has its own graphical style, with Noir and Ultimate in particular being a visual treat, while the levels themselves are memorable and enjoyable. Deadpool’s personal gameshow and the horror that is Carnage’s level serve as highlights, but it’s all good stuff.

 

2. Marvel’s Spider-Man

Marvel's Spider-Man
Marvel’s Spider-Man game

Developer: Insomniac Games
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Platform(s): PC, PS4, PS5

As soon as Insomniac were handed the reins to the Spider-Man license, people knew they’d be in for a treat. The Ratchet & Clank devs have had prior experience when it comes to creating a vertical, urban open world with tonnes of fun traversal abilities, even if no one likes to talk about Sunset Overdrive these days. I’ll take a second one if you’re offering, lads, but regardless, Marvel’s Spider-Man was on set to be a winner from the moment it was announced. The fact that it lived up to and even exceeded those estimations is a testament to how good it is.

Instead of focusing on high school dweeb Peter Parker, complete with rote origin story, Marvel’s Spider-Man gives us a Parker who’s been doing this for a few years, but when a new faction known as the Demons rear their ugly head, life becomes a lot more complicated for Peter.

Like The Amazing Spider-Man’s film tie-in, the gameplay definitely wears its Arkham influences like a badge of honor, but when you’re having this much fun air comboing goons before throwing them off the side of a building, who cares? A lot of Spider-Man games have combat that feels too floaty, but Insomniac have created something that feels like Spider-Man crossed with Devil May Cry. Fantastic stuff.

 

1. Marvel’s Spider-Man 2

Marvel's Spider Man 2
Marvel’s Spider Man 2

Developer: Insomniac Games
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Platform(s): PS5

The creme de la creme of Spider-Man games, probably until Insomniac games release Spider-Man 3 in 2028 or something, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is in the running for being known as one of the best superhero games ever made.

Building on the already successful foundations introduced in the first two games, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 adds new powers and abilities for both Miles and Peter, even letting you swap between them during free roam and even some story missions. Along with that, the playable map has finally stretched outside of Manhattan for perhaps the first time since Ultimate Spider-Man. Clearly, the secret to a great Spider-Man game is letting players swing around Brooklyn.

Admittedly, the story of Spider-Man 2 has a lot of moving parts, with Kraven The Hunter bringing chaos and destruction to New York City in search of the most glorious hunt yet, while Peter’s best friend Harry has re-emerged with a certain black suit in tow. However, the journey these characters take, the acting on display and the excellent core gameplay make Spider-Man 2 a journey that you shouldn’t miss out on. If you want the best of the best as far as Spider-Man is concerned, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 from Insomniac Games is your only option.

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