Written by Rick Warren / gfn21
This is a list I’ve been playing with in my head for a while now, as there are a lot of great superhero games that are close together for me. After spending some more time narrowing down the order, though, I think I’m finally ready to make it. Give it a read and be sure to check the comments for some very worthy honorable mentions.
5.) Batman: The Telltale Series
With an incredible debut season and a strong follow-up, Telltale proved that their form of game was a perfect fit for the Caped Crusader. The simple QTEs allowed for quick and fun fights, and the “say nothing” dialogue choice was a good option for once. Within the two seasons, Telltale managed to create a Batman universe that is entirely their own. The blending of classic versions of characters with drastically different iterations is a bold move, but one that absolutely pays off. Whether players are inadvertently determining which batsuit they’ll end up wearing, planning how they’ll tackle a fight or creating their own Batman, they’re going to enjoy themselves. The tremendous voice acting is the cherry on top, making this a true treat for fans of storytelling and the titular hero.
Next up, a completely different type of Batman game...
4.) Batman: Arkham Asylum
The most iconic voices of Batman and Joker of all time. A brilliant Metroidvania game design. Truly thrilling boss fights and perfect character models. A combat system that has been an inspiration to action games for years. These were the defining features of Arkham Asylum, and because of these the game delivered in every way. For a Batman title that came out of nowhere like this one, it’s mind-blowing how much of a success it was. Rocksteady went from an unknown studio to a huge name in the gaming industry, and deservedly so. Batman: Arkham Asylum was, and is, a masterpiece. It still holds up today, and it’s a game I recommend for absolutely everyone.
In the third spot, a game not based on a comic book hero...
3.) Infamous 2
Cole McGrath’s second (and sadly, final) appearance was a home run. The plethora of excellent powers given to players only expanded with this entry, and Cole’s “amp” allowed for a much-needed gameplay addition: melee combat. The open world was brighter and fun to explore, and though the story lacked the great antagonist from the first game, the supporting characters kept things moving until the final choice. Both endings were strong, interesting conclusions to the awesome open world adventure. I’d love to see a proper Infamous 3 down the road, but if it never happens, at least Cole went out on a high note. Also... WHERE IS THE REMASTER?!
Next up, a leap back to the world of comics...
2.) Ultimate Spider-Man
DC’s big star may be the most dominant figure in the world of video games, but Marvel’s biggest hero is the clear runner-up. My personal favorite Spider-Man game is this one here, as it embraced its comic book roots in every imaginable way. The cel-shaded art style was perfect, as were the open world and the comic panel cutscenes. Playing as Venom was an awesome option that doesn’t happen enough in superhero games (and games altogether). Attacking civilians was a dark mechanic and a true contrast to Spider-Man that made post-story gameplay very, very fun. I’d love to see a similar unlockable in Insomniac’s Spider-Man, and I hope they look here for even more inspiration than that.
As strong as my Spider-Man bias is, there’s one game that I know is better...
1.) Batman: Arkham City
Though some fans may have improved the more condensed world of Asylum, it’s hard to argue against this being the best game in the series. There were just as many great boss fights, the combat was just as fluid, and the perfect voice cast from the first game reprised their roles. The big difference this time around was the open world, and it was a perfect fit with Batman’s traversal and stealth. Dropping from a shadowy rooftop onto a group of goons always made me feel like I was the Dark Knight. The side quests and easter eggs hidden throughout Arkham City were all brilliant surprises aimed at long-time Batman fans. On top of all that, the game offered some great expansions and an iconic ending to its story. As much as I love the games on the rest of the list, this is my favorite by a large margin.
That’s all for this time. Take a look at some of the other articles on the site and check back for a new Top 5 next week!