Comic book games have seen a bit of a renaissance going from cheap cash grabs to legitimate AAA projects. So, the question is simple, which comic book based game is your favorite?
Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3- I love me some Marvel vs Capcom, but really that has little to do with the comic book based aspect of it. I enjoyed Tatsunoko vs Capcom more or less as much, so this just doesn't really feel "comic book based" to me. Just a cool fighting game with some Marvel characters.
Spider-man (PS1)- I haven't played this one in years, and I feel like time probably wasn't kind to it. But this was the first time, at least in the 3D gaming era, that a comic book game felt properly like a big deal. It was a really fun game for its time and pretty darn ambitious too.
Spider-man 2 (PS2/Gamecube/XBox)- Movie based games are usually garbage as are comic book games, so a movie based comic book game would probably be as JJJ would say "mega crap". But that was actually not the case. This was a surprisingly ambitious game that brought Spider-man into the open world. The swinging and combat mechanics made traveling or fighting fun with tons of room to use your own unique style. The graphics and presentation, which honestly weren't top tier when the game came out, have a unique B-movie charm these days. If you liked Insomniac's Spider-man, you should really check this out, as this game really laid the ground work.
Arkham City (XBox 360, PS3, PS4, XBox One)- Arkham City is largely responsible for the quality of modern comic book games. Somebody at Rocksteady realized that super heroes are a big draw at movies and maybe if they put the same kind of effort in they could be a draw in gaming as well. After a good first try, Arkham City expanded on everything. Even as a major Marvel fanboy, I had to admit this was the best comic book based game to date. But...... having just replayed it, it just doesn't hold up as well as I remember. Probably doesn't help that the Return to Arkham port is not a great one, but there just isn't enough meat on the bones here. The mechanics are fun but the game just doesn't do quite enough with them. Story-wise there are a lot of great character moments (made better by the fact that the voice actors from Batman the Animated Series were used) but overall the story feels a bit thin, like it was just a way to get all of Batman's villains and allies in one place. It's still a pretty fun time, and an important step in comic book games, but it just feels a bit dated compared to modern open world action games.
Which brings us to the winner which is,
Insomniac's Spider-Man (PS4/PS5)- First party games often have that extra something. Sony was expecting a lot of people to buy a PS4 for this game (I did) and made it their holiday centerpiece. Insomniac absolutely nailed it. Swinging through Manhattan was probably fun enough to be its own game. The story, (aided by long time writer Dan Slott) was engaging and well thought out. The combat, which owes a thank you note to Arkham City (although to be fair Rocksteady owes a thank you note to Assassin's Creed) is frantic and fun. It lets you feel like a mighty hero, but also like a vulnerable everyman in way over their heads at times. In both story and gameplay, saving people is always put first making for a more real Spider-man experience. To top it off, there are some really terrific bossfights that take advantage of Spiderman's ability to stay airborne to make for unique battles.
Well, those are my favorites. How about yours?