10 of the best superhero games ever
Spider-Man, PlayStation, N64 (2000)
The first fully-3D Spider-Man title arrived in 2000 on Sony’s original PlayStation and the N64, in a game that was powered by the same smooth and solid 3D engine we’d seen run the excellent Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. But no triple heelflips here:instead you got a moody and believable Spidey game, which gave players a huge city to explore in a (relatively) unrestricted fashion. Still, best not to ask what those floating webs you’d been swinging on were attached to.
Freedom Force, PC (2002)
Freedom Force gave us a tactical role-playing game populated by an all-new team of super-people developed specifically for the title. A lack of famous superhero names worked in its favour, making Freedom Force an affectionate pastiche of the genre. We ended up with an enjoyable, tactical fight to save Patriot City from alien attack.
The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, PS2, Xbox (2005)
This excellent 3D smash ’em up was as much fun as being the Hulk ought to be. Not exactly a challenge, though: it really was a case of throwing cars at things before retreating to a safe distance. Then there were helicopters to take out. Then tanks. And Hulk smashed ’em all.
The Darkness, PS3, Xbox 360 (2007)
The Darkness dumped comedy colours and wisecracking hunks for a touch of dark horror. Players weren’t just shooting everything, either – your character had built-in, extendable tentacles that, er, grew out of his body and could consume the hearts of your enemies. A creepy concept built around a solid 3D shooter core.
Batman: Arkham Asylum, PS3, Xbox 360, PC (2009)
Arkham Asylum didn’t just get the look and atmosphere spot on – it also solved the problem of how to make fighting work in 3D worlds. This wasn’t a game where you were spamming the punch button; the fighting was a simple attack-and-counter system, freeing you to concentrate on enjoying the feeling of smashing five baddies into simultaneous oblivion. Plenty of stealth (and bat-grappling) was equally stylish and suited the new, darker Batman.