From bankruptcy in the mid-1990s to global fire power plants, Marvel’s journey to the top of the intellectual property food chain has been a saga through the ages. Thanks to Marvel Cinematic Universe’s dominance of pop culture, the idea house’s greatest heroes are once again well-known names, as well as the perfect material for video game adaptations. Marvel’s return to video game superstar has not been entirely smooth, but these have been road bumps on an otherwise exciting journey into mystery.
With the recent release of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy and numerous games such as Wolverine and Midnight Suns on the horizon, here’s a look at the best Marvel games that you can play right now, listed in any particular order.
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy
The latest game on this list, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, was one of 2021’s surprising hits. While everything with Marvel attached to the name does not necessarily sneak up on you, Guardians of the Galaxy looked rather dull and generic in the trailers that led to its release. But the Guardians ended up making excellent use of its license, and it undoubtedly contained better writing and a more interesting story than any of the popular Guardians of the Galaxy movies. It captured the tone and style of the classic comic book in a way that we rarely see in this kind of adaptations.
While the narrative is great, Guardians of the Galaxy suffers from repetitive action gameplay that feels quite dated. And the fact that you can only play as Star-Lord is a bit of a bummer considering the different fighting styles of each member of the team. But the forgettable gameplay does not hurt the experience too much, all things considered. Guardians of the Galaxy does not live up to its welcome and delivers a linear campaign at a good pace that can be completed in about 15 hours.
Guardians of the Galaxy tells one of the best stories in a Marvel game to date, and that alone makes it easy to recommend.
Read our review of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.
Marvel’s Iron Man VR
This may come as a shock, but if you do not have a few billion dollars in your bank account, an ingenious mind and a company that regularly produces technology on the soft edge of science, then it is highly likely that you will never be Iron You. The good news is that there is a cheaper, more secure and more digital alternative in the form of Iron Man VR on PlayStation VR. Iron Man VR gives you full access to the playboy philanthropist billionaire’s distinctive power-suit, and Iron Man VR is a brilliant slice of high-flying and repulsive action from a first-person point of view.
Flying is a thrill, fights are dominated by the distinctive boot sound of repulsor technology, and Tony Stark’s trademark snark makes you feel like a true superhero battling impossible odds in this PSVR show.
Read our review of Iron Man VR.
Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2
You always know exactly what you’re getting with a Lego game and Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 was not ready to complete rock boat when it came to reuniting the comic book band for yet another dive into blockbuster action, but there was at least one interesting gameplay mechanic on offer. Traveller’s Tales once again delivered a solid exploration of the Marvel universe, filled with all sorts of slapstick gags, devastating environments, and a cast that was obscene in size.
The big draw here was the ability to manipulate time and a competitive fighting mode for four players, as well as plenty of fan service that drew from several comic book epochs and dimensions. Pure uncomplicated comfort food with the always popular Danish brand in the lead role, Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 is still a satisfying dive into a familiar and fun area. Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 is available on all modern consoles and PCs.
Read our Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 review.
For much of the 2010s, Spider-Man had been absent on consoles. After the tie-in game for the Amazing Spider-Man 2 movie felt more like Peter Parkham City than an actual celebration of web-slinging, which had been a big draw in previous Spidey games, a drastic change was needed to bring the crawler back to the video game leagues. Go into Sunset Overdrive and Ratchet & Clank developer Insomniac Games, a studio that simply understood who Spider-Man is at its core and used this understanding of the character to create what is undoubtedly the definitive bid for the character.
Swinging over Manhattan felt better than ever, there was a rogue gallery pushing you to your limit, and the whole experience was wrapped up in a story that was just as exciting, serious and heartbreaking. That alone would have been the game material of the year when Spider-Man came out in 2018, but Insomniac went a step further by filling New York City with dozens of extra web-slinging activities, dozens of collector costumes, and post-launch DLC that had hard-hitting implications for everyone’s favorite webhead. Marvel’s Spider-Man is available on PS4, and a PS5 remaster launched alongside the console last year (Heads up: Peter Parker’s character model is completely different in the remaster).
Read our review of Marvel’s Spider-Man.
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales
Insomniac set a high bar for itself with its first Spider-Man game, and the studio had been tasked with following up on that success with a PS5 launch game in late 2020. Miles Morales did not take many risks in terms of gameplay, but the change in heroes shook things up as Miles’ approach to crime fighting in New York was an electrically charged celebration of power and growth.
Armed with an arsenal of shocking abilities, juggling his own personal problems and surviving the most dangerous odds, Miles’ debut in the lead role was memorable. It also created one of the best PS5 launch games. While Miles Morales is a shorter experience than the original Marvel’s Spider-Man (think Uncharted: Lost Legacy compared to Uncharted 4), it’s an exciting adventure from start to finish.
Read our review of Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales.
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order
Raven Software’s revival of the Superheroes Ultimate Alliance more than lived up to the promise of an over-the-top action experience that is easily the most ambitious crossover in the video game industry. By taking the signature perspective of previous games and intensifying the hunt for prey to keep players engaged, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order had plenty of memorable moments, team-ups and disastrous showdowns in a game that left almost no corner of Marvel The universe untouched. Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order is an exclusive Nintendo Switch, and it’s especially great as a co-op experience on the couch. It’s easy to jump into, and the large selection of heroes to choose from – each with their own distinct movements – makes it an adventure that can be replayed.
Read our review of Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order.
There is no denying that Marvel’s Avengers had a rocky road after launch, but 2021 has proved to be a turning point for the ambitious game starring Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Constant patching has fine-tuned the gameplay, developer Crystal Dynamics has regularly rolled out time-limited events, and this year saw the latest expansion, War for Wakanda, add a significant chunk of new content to the game, including the Black Panther itself, all for free.
With a bigger list, confirmation that Spider-Man will swing into the PS4 and PS5 versions of the game this year, and its recent debut on the Xbox Game Pass, there has never been a better time to put together some Avengers and help save the day. Marvel’s Avengers is available on PlayStation, Xbox and PC.
Read our review of Marvel’s Avengers.
Marvel Puzzle Quest
The only thing stronger than the Marvel universe is without a doubt the legacy of Puzzle Quest, a beloved series of match-three games that are both easy to pick up and challenging to master. But do you combine both qualities? It was a genius pulled out at the height of Marvel mania as each game would see a trio of heroes battle iconic villains as they worked their way through endless gems. What made this particular incarnation stand out was how it felt like a superhero game with combo attacks, color-based power-ups, and a tactical focus built around a list of hundreds of characters.
Constantly challenging with its addictive strategic gameplay, Marvel Puzzle Quest is a titanic team-up of all time. Marvel Puzzle Quest is available on consoles, PCs and mobile devices.
Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3
A decade after it was first released, it’s still hard to see exactly what was going on in any Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom’s 3 game from an outsider’s perspective … but there’s no doubt that visual chaos was nonsense for those ages. Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3, which throws Marvel’s greatest heroes and villains at the experienced battlefields of the Capcom universe, is a game of high-risk and high-reward combinations that will burn into your retina with each flashy attack.
Each character felt distinct, the shift to more modern rendering techniques still retained the excellent animation from previous games, and the number of significant gameplay adjustments made this the definitive Marvel fighting game of the 2010s.
Read our review of Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
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