The best superhero video games out there

16 Jul

San Diego played host to the biggest comic convention of them all this weekend.  DC showed off a new trailer for Injustice: Gods Among Us, a game I am awaiting eagerly.  At the same time, Lego Batman 2 continues to draw attention and Lego created a brilliant whole line of hero superhero mini-figurines introduced at the convention.  I decided now was as good as any time to highlight my seven favorite superhero games of the last ten years. 

7) Justice League Heroes – The Justice League rarely has its own games which is very sad.  Justice League Heroes came out on the Xbox as it was closing its doors to prepare for the 360.  I hated that because this game was all kinds of fun.  Play was very similar to Marvel’s more popular Ultimate Alliance series of games.  Characters were pulled from DC’s vast pantheon of heroes.  Unlockables included various heroes for special missions and alternate costumes.  One of my favorite parts of the game was transforming villains into rabbits, using Zatanna’s magic. 

6) Ultimate Alliance – Marvel’s first big foray into the current generation of consoles, Ultimate Alliance was a brilliant game featuring a broad array of playable characters ranging from Spiderman to Ghost Rider and Venom to the Hulk.  There was a sequel game based on the Civil War storyline, but I don’t think it was nearly as entertaining. 

5) Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom 3 – I have loved fighting games since the original Street Fighter 2 (yes, I realize it was a sequel to Street Fighter).  I always preferred Capcom’s fighters compared to Mortal Kombat and years ago Marvel entered a healthy partnership with Capcom to create a series of fighting games based around a merged universe concept, like something right out of the comic books.  UMVC 3 is the most recent game of the series and is insanely fast and wild.  Every character has a broad variety of costumes.  Only two things would have pushed this game higher up the list.  First, I much prefer DC’s character list but even more basically, this game needed Mega Man.  Zero just isn’t the same thing. 

4) Lego Batman – The first Lego Batman game was a breath of fresh air.  The Lego games were fun but needed something new.  Enter, The Batman!  The game focused around an original storyline in which Arkham’s worst inmates are broken out of prison (ok, somewhat original storyline).  The game is simple because it is basically a kid’s game, but it has a great deal of replayability and achieving 100% competition is incredibly difficult. 

3) Batman: Arkham Asylum – Along a similar storyline, Arkham Asylum is based around a jail break at Arkham.  Batman is called in to save the city.  In a game that finally seems to get the concept of Batman correct, the character must sneak around the Asylum like Sam Fisher.  Many of Batman’s signature moves are present.  One minute you are in the ground, when you hear enemies approaching.  The next, utilizing a grappling hook, you zip up to a ledge of the building and wait for them to walk below you so you can drop upon them and beat them senseless.  The villains range from the famous (Joker, Bane) to the obscure (Mr. Zsasz). 

2) Batman: Arkham City – An even bigger sequel was waiting in the winds.  After the events of the first game, a sector of the city was broken off to function as a city asylum.  As Batman, you zip around many of the famous landmarks from Gotham City, including Ace Chemicals and Catwoman’s apartment.  The addition of Catwoman, Robin, and Nightwing made the game one of the best comic book games ever. 

1) Lego Batman 2 – Possibly the best comic book video game ever, Lego Batman 2 took much of the formula of Arkham City (a living Gotham City), the sheer fun of the Lego games, and added the entire Justice League to create a game in which 50 different characters each play a part to solve puzzles and missions.  Some characters are more valuable than others, but most offer some special value.  As a long time fan of these characters, it’s a joy each time you get a new one.  Plus, the end of the story mode offers a glance at a bigger sequel.  Hopefully it won’t be four or five more years to wait.


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