Superheroes have always had the power to entertain and transport us to a different world. But it’s only since Iron Man burst onto our screens in 2008 that the world has been gripped by an obsession that shows no sign of slowing down. With a multitude of different characters and fantastical settings, superheroes are everywhere you look now, on both the big and the small screen.
Despite the rich and varied source material, game developers have struggled to translate the magic from the movies into a playable format. Luckily that has started to change in recent years, as tech and graphics have improved to the point that our favourite characters and stories can now be enjoyed as games.
The two big contenders have always been DC and Marvel, and these studios still account for the majority of movie and TV adaptations, as well as games. Here we take a look at some of the most exciting superhero-themed games for mobile, PC and console.
Superhero Games for Mobile
We start with mobile, as this now represents the biggest platform for all video games worldwide. Many of the titles in this category are adaptations of PC or console games, but there are a few that were developed exclusively for mobile.
Marvel dominates the mobile games, with several different software developers making Android and iOS apps featuring both familiar and some more obscure faces from the MCU. Top of this list has to be Marvel: Contest of Champions from Kabam Games, now in its fifth year and getting better with every update. This free fighting game is designed for the tap and swipe of the small screen, with solo or multiplayer options. Players love the excellent graphics, detailed storylines and huge collection of playable characters.
NetMarble have also created an excellent free MCU mobile game in Marvel Future Fight, which has more RPG elements for players who enjoy an immersive experience. For a different type of challenge, there is also the Marvel chapter of the Puzzle Quest series, combining problem solving with RPG and combat. Sadly for fans of virtual action card games, Marvel Battle Lines from Nexon folded in January 2020, after scarcely more than a year on the market.
Superhero Games at New Slot Sites
You won’t find any official Marvel branded slots at online casinos these days, as parent company Disney revoked Playtech’s license to produce and distribute these games back in 2017. Playtech quickly refocused on the DC universe, and have managed to remain number one in the superhero slots sector. They have created some outstanding slot titles that make a change from the Marvel-overload found in other sectors of the gaming market.
Playtech have not one but two Justice League slots, both with a very different aesthetic. The original slot was released to coincide with the 2017 movie starring Gal Gadot and Ben Affleck, and features clips and audio from the movie as well as all six of the lead characters on the reels. The more recent Justice League Comic slot is in the style of the classic hand-drawn graphic novels. NextGen Gaming have also created some comic-style DC slot games, including Batman and Superman.
There are many more games in Playtech’s DC collection, including an excellent Suicide Squad slot that many will find much more satisfying than the movie that it’s based on. For those of you looking for something a bit different, there’s the Hellboy slot from Microgaming. Interestingly, the original Hellboy comics were pitched to DC to publish, but rejected because the subject matter was deemed a bit too dark for the DC brand.
The Best PC and Console Superhero Games
Superheroes have been appearing in video games for the past forty years, but it’s only fairly recently that they have started to live up to their potential. Literally hundreds of titles have been published since the first appearance of Superman in a video game in 1979, and some of the classics are still enjoyed to this day. To finish up, however, we will take a look at some of the best superhero games for PC and console of the past decade.
The Batman Arkham series, available across multiple consoles, is a collaboration between Rocksteady and several other studios. Two of the instalments – Asylum and City – have been hailed as the best ever video games in the genre. These games excelled in every area, from the voice acting and narrative to the graphics and of course the gameplay.
Spider-Man is one of the characters to have appeared in multiple games since the 1980s, but it wasn’t until Insomniac released their version for PS4 in 2018 that we got the game we had been waiting for. Full of action and adventure, this open-world game is particularly impressive for its web-swinging graphics, which had never been adequately rendered before.
Meanwhile, an eagerly-anticipated Avengers game from Square Eunix has run into trouble after a negative reception to its graphics and storyline from fans. The planned May release date has been pushed back to September as the developers race to up their game.