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The Biggest Spider-Man Games: Ranked From Worst To Best

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The Biggest Spider-Man Games: Ranked From Worst To Best

I love Spider-Man. Too much, some people say. While you were out there, enjoying life, I was sat at home with a stack of Ultimate Spider-Man TPBs and a Carnage action figure whose left leg snapped off and fell down a sewer grate one fateful August afternoon. 

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And if I wasn’t reading Spider-Man or watching his adventures on TV, I was being Spider-Man. Via the magic of video games, you understand. I love the guy, but I don’t actually think I am him. Not since the arrest. Anyway, because the Spider-Man: No Way Home trailer just released and I need to get out some of this pent-up Spidey love before I make my wife sit through a PowerPoint presentation all about the significance of Tom Holland’s eyebrows (again), I decided to rank the 15 biggest Spidey games from best to worst. 

Note that this isn’t every Spider-Man game there’s ever been, because there have been a frankly ludicrous amount. What we have here is a rundown of the most notable ones of the last few decades. So! Let’s dive in, yeah? Yeah. 

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Spider-Man: Friend Or Foe (Next Level Games, 2007)

2007 was not a good year for Spider-Man fans. In addition to the cinematic excretion that was Spider-Man 3 and its disastrous tie-in video game (which we’ll get to in just a second), we also had to endure Spider-Man: Friend Or Foe. This sluggish, sloppy beat ‘em up was as shockingly misjudged as Topher Grace’s casting as Venom. 

Spider-Man 3 (Treyarch, 2007)

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The year is 2007. You’ve just come home from the cinema, having seen Spider-Man 3. Unfortunately, it was shite, and you’re heartbroken. The good news? Your dad picked you up a copy of the video game tie-in on the way home! The Spider-Man 2 game was amazing, so surely Spider-Man 3 will at least be just as good? Plus, the video game’s longer running time might give the cluttered story more room to breathe, right? 

Hahahahahahahaha. No. 

Spider-Man (Parker Brothers, 1982)

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Spider-Man / Credit: Parker Brothers
Spider-Man / Credit: Parker Brothers

I’ve included 1982’s Spider-Man here because it was the very first video game to star the wall-crawler. As such, it deserves our acknowledgment. And even if it doesn’t quite deserve our glowing praise, props to designer Laura Nikolich for actually attempting to capture the essence of web-swinging years before the technology was there. 

The Amazing Spider-Man (Beenox, 2011)

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The Amazing Spider-Man is, much like the film it’s based on, bang average. It’s not horrendously offensive, and it actually looks quite pretty. Web-swinging through the open world is somehow a huge step back from previous games, though, and combat is super rough around the edges. 

Spider-Man 2: The Sinister Six (Torus Games, 2001)

Spider-Man 2: The Sinister Six will always have a special place in my heart, if only because it was the first handheld Spider-Man game I ever played. Has it aged brilliantly? God no, but it’s still a bright and colorful Spidey adventure with plenty of fun side scrolling action and six of the webhead’s best villains. 

Spider-Man: Edge Of Time (Beenox, 2011)

The direct sequel to 2010’s criminally underrated Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions is, somehow, less than its predecessor in every way. The timey-wimey adventure has some great moments, and tells an excellent story courtesy of comic book scribe Peter David. Ultimately, though? It’s just a bit dull. 

Spider-Man: The Movie (Treyarch, 2002)

Spider-Man: The Movie / Credit: Activision
Spider-Man: The Movie / Credit: Activision

The excellent adaptation of Sam Raimi’s first Spidey movie actually borrows heavily from the original PlayStation games developed by Neversoft just a few years before. Our hero navigates a series of surprisingly open linear levels across a story that loosely connects with the movie. Oh, and you could unlock and play as Green Goblin once you’d beaten the game. Gliders, pumpkin bombs, the lot. It was amazing. 

Spider-Man: Web Of Shadows (Treyarch, 2008)

By the time Spider-Man: Web Of Shadows arrived on the scene, the novelty of swinging through an open-world New York had long since worn off. Still, it was a vast improvement on the stinker that was Spider-Man 3, which is something. Treyarch also attempted to keep things fresh by introducing a slick new aerial combat system and the ability to switch from the classic red-and-blue suit to the iconic black costume for a quick, but deadly, boost in power. 

Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro (Neversoft, 2001)

With Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro, Developer Neversoft wisely chose not to mess with the winning formula it hit upon with the beloved 2000 Spider-Man. Instead, it simply adding more of everything. More costumes, bigger levels, and more detailed graphics - plus a fun new “Create-A-Spider” mode in which you could create custom powersets to make the game easier or harder. As far as sequels go, Enter Electro is about as safe as a follow-up can be - but that’s not always a bad thing. 

Spider-Man 2 (Treyarch, 2004)

The excitement Spider-Man fans around the world felt the first time they played Spider-Man 2 cannot be overstated. For the first time ever in a video game, we were given an open-world New York to explore, and it felt fantastic. A beautifully tight and responsive web-swinging system made exploring the digital city a breeze. Being able to seamlessly stumble across crimes, drop down to kick some ass, and then move on to deliver some pizza was… well, it was the dream. 

Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions (Beenox, 2010)

Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions / Credit: Activision
Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions / Credit: Activision

Shattered Dimensions is a criminally underrated Spidey game that threw open the doors to the Spider-Verse long before it was cool. The resulting adventure was a rip-roaring multiversal thrill-ride with four different Spider-Men, each with their own unique playstyles and bespoke levels. 

The Noir levels, for example, were Arkhamesque stealth challenges, while Spider-Man 2099 was all about high-speed combat. Fans were also well served by a voice cast filled with actors who’d previously played Spidey in the past,, including the excellent Josh Keaton and Neil Patrick Harris. 

Ultimate Spider-Man (Treyarch, 2005)

For my money, Ultimate Spider-Man is a better game than Spider-Man 2. Shocking, I know, but just look at it. The 2005 video game wasn’t bogged down by having to tie-in to that year’s movie, and instead embraced the bright and colourful world of the Ultimate comic books. This New York is a vibrant, cel-shaded beauty filled with interesting characters and stories that could never have made into Spider-Man 2 for all sorts of boring reasons. Ultimate Spider-Man embraced our hero’s comic origins like never before, and I love it for that. 

Oh, and you could play as Venom and spend all day wrecking the city. That’s what most people enjoy about it. 

Spider-Man (Neversoft, 2000)

Spider-Man / Credit: Activision
Spider-Man / Credit: Activision

Neversoft’s 2000 Spider-Man game feels to me like the first superhero game made by people with a genuine passion for the source material. A love of the webhead just oozes from this game at every turn, from its stellar cast of heroes and villains to its spine-tinglingly moving opening monologue from the great Stan Lee himself. 

It’s a game made up of the kind of moments only a bunch of die-hard Spidey fans given access to the toybox could ever have envisioned. Chasing Venom through a sewer full of Lizard mutants. Fighting a giant Mysterio in an underground colosseum. Escaping a monstrous fusion of Doc Ock and Carnage as an underwater base reaches critical mass. Flawless, thrilling stuff for True Believers of any age. 

Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales (Insomniac Games, 2020)

The Spider-Man games at the very top of this list were always going to be the ones from Insomniac. That was an easy decision to make. What wasn’t so easy, was landing on which of the two Insomniac Spidey adventures would take first place, and which would have to settle for silver.

In the end, I decided that Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales just - just - loses out to its predecessor. It’s a truly stunning game that builds on the faultless gameplay of the 2018 entry, for one thing. It also gives Miles the origin story he deserves and sets him up as more than just a spare Spidey. He’s a hero who truly cares about his community and family, and is more than worthy of wearing the mask. 

Crap, maybe I should have made this game number one? 

Marvel’s Spider-Man (Insomniac Games, 2018)

Marvel's Spider-Man / Credit: Activision
Marvel's Spider-Man / Credit: Activision

No, I’m staying strong. Marvel’s Spider-Man takes the number one place for me for so many reasons. For one thing, it’s the single greatest adaptation of the character there’s ever been - one that understands Peter Parker is just as important as his webbed alter-ego. 

Marvel’s Spider-Man is a game that gets Peter’s personal connections are . Combat perfectly captures the wall-crawler’s agility and ingenuity, and traversing New York has never been as visually stunning or downright entertaining. It’s as close to perfect as a Spider-Man game has ever gotten

Featured Image Credit: Sony/Activision

Topics: Marvels Spider Man, PlayStation

Ewan Moore
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