No other superhero seems to have as rich of a video game history as Spider-Man. Games featuring Marvel's character date back decades and span several platforms. Some of these are great, while others left a bad taste in the mouths of players. But there are definitely more to choose from when compared to other popular superheroes.
We're here to talk about games where Spider-Man is a star and not an ensemble piece like in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance. We have scoured the dozens of entries with Spider-Man's name in the title to pick out the best of the best. You'll find some classics, some recent hits, and some games you may have forgotten about.
10 Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro
The original PlayStation system was lucky enough to have some solid games when it came to Spider-Man. This 2001 sequel to a very strong installment was nearly as good as the original. It kept Spidey in New York City and made Electro into the main villain. That's a spotlight he doesn't always get, so this was cool for a lot of fans.
This sequel added the ability to fight and travel on the street level. It added new layers to an already fun game engine. This entry is most notable for having its production halted following the September 11 attacks to remove references to the World Trade Center. Other than that, it is remembered for being a fun adventure game.
9 Spider-Man Unlimited
One of the coolest things about Spider-Man is the sheer amount of versions available to fans. It's why Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was so great. Released for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone devices, Spider-Man Unlimited played into that core concept and that helped it become so great.
Spider-Man Unlimited was literally unlimited. The free-runner genre is big on mobile devices and this game did it better than most others. You could run endlessly but had the benefit of web-swinging, boss battles, and tons of characters and storylines. It is incredibly rich with lore in a way that almost no other game can match.
8 Spider-Man: The Video Game
Ah, the appropriately named Spider-Man: The Video Game. In 1991, it was released for the Sega System 32. The premise is simple: Spider-Man and his allies are on a quest to retrieve an artifact. During gameplay, they encounter villains like Kingpin, Venom, Green Goblin, and Doctor Doom.
Though the Arcade game was centered around Spider-Man, the multiplayer function allowed users to play as other heroes. Black Cat, Hawkeye, and Sub-Mariner were all playable, which is great because they haven't been in a ton of video games. This was widely praised as being one of the best superhero games of its time.
7 Ultimate Spider-Man
This game is loosely based on the Ultimate Spider-Man series that has become a favorite of many fans. It had the benefit of being written by the talented Brian Michael Bendis, who also penned the series. In it, players control both Spider-Man and Venom, providing a vastly different experience each time.
With both characters, you could free roam throughout the city, do your own thing, or take the missions that help you advance the story. But Venom needed to feed to replenish his health, which meant eating people. Yes, it's a game where the protagonist eats people. The story was good enough that Bendis adapted it back into the original series.
6 Spider-Man: Web Of Shadows
One of the most recent entries on this list, Spider-Man: Web of Shadows arrived in 2008. It was an instant hit for the PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360, and various other platforms. This was a game that delivered in terms of being a ton of fun and having an emotional plot. Many still consider it to be their favorite Spider-Man game.
That dramatic story we talked about involved Venom infecting New York City with Symbiotes. But even more than a fantastic Spidey vs. Venom tale, this game stood out for the awesome guest appearances, including Moon Knight, Luke Cage, and Wolverine.
5 Spider-Man 2
Released in 2004 for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube, and other systems, this free-roaming game was based on the blockbuster film Spider-Man 2. The interesting bit about this game was that it adapted elements of both Spider-Man and Peter Parker's lives. You had to juggle everything from fighting crime to maintaining relationships.
It helped that this game was home to one of the best web-swinging engines of all time. Combine it with a huge map of Manhattan and players were given a ton of space to do almost anything they wished, within reason. Like the film it was based on, this game was met with widespread acclaim.
4 Spider-Man And Venom: Maximum Carnage
If you know your Spider-Man lore, then you probably remember this comic book storyline. Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage is based on that famous story of the same name. The game came out in 1994, which was right around the time that the popular animated Spider-Man TV series was a hit.
Here, the user controls both Spidey and Venom as they attempt to stop Carnage and his henchmen. Maximum Carnage was one of the better side-scrolling action games of its era. Released for both the Sega Genesis and the SNES, it was a decent hit that garnered respectable reviews from gamers and critics alike.
3 Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions
Another case of multiple versions of Spider-Man being a selling point. Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions was a multiplatform 2010 release that allowed gamers to control one of four different Spider-Men. There was Ultimate Spider-Man, Amazing Spider-Man, Spider-Man Noir, and Spider-Man 2099.
This game was incredibly fun, mainly due to the different gameplay styles for each character. For example, Noir was all about stealth and 2099 had high-tech gadgets. Enjoyment was around every corner. The most memorable aspect may have been the multitude of awesome boss battles.
For a lot of folks, this 2000 release for the PlayStation (and later for the N64) was the holy grail of Spider-Man games. It set the standard for how to do a Spider-Man 3D game properly. While obviously dated today, Spider-Man made web-swinging into something special and featured some great combat aspects.
Gamers were treated to an impressive story that moved at a wild pace and featured tons of characters and cameos. Who could forget the final fight against a terrifying combination of Carnage and Doc Ock? That's insane. This was one of the first superhero games to get gameplay, fighting engine, writing, and voice acting almost all right.
1 Marvel's Spider-Man
The latest Spider-Man game is also the best. It revolutionized the concept of web-swinging. The game does it in such a smooth fashion that hours can easily be spent doing that and nothing else. Marvel's Spider-Man features a great story, tons of nods to the character's lore, phenomenal gameplay, and more.
It is a blast to attempt to complete all of the side missions or try on one of the dozens of suits included, each with their own unique special abilities. Almost a year after its release, Marvel's Spider-Man remains a thoroughly entertaining experience and that seems unlikely to change anytime soon. Even with a weak puzzle gaming section, this is hands down the best Spider-Man game in history.