The lights are on
Whether you're kicking villains in the face, swinging between skyscrapers, or lighting up bad guys like Christmas trees, being a super hero is almost always a blast. But some games do a better job empowering players than others. Here are some of our favorite games that have let us play the hero.
1. Batman Arkham CityBatman was once a joke in the video game world, but after a string of laughable flops Rocksteady Studios came along and made Batman one of the most iconic figures in gaming. City took Asylum's top-notch combat, and clever environmental puzzle solving and blew it out into an open world. Arkham City isn't just one of the best superhero games out there, it's one of the best action games period.
2. Batman Arkham AsylumArkham Asylum didn't feature an open world, but some might argue that it's smaller and more streamlined environment created a more cohesive experience. Batman started his journey delivering Joker to the Asylum, but the Joker quickly sprung a trap on our hero. Only the Dark Knight's cunning, fists, and expensive gadgets were enough to help him survive the journey.
3. Marvel Ultimate AllianceRaven Software's work on the X-Men Legends titles was great, but the developer took its comic book-flavored hack-and-slash to new heights with Marvel Ultimate Alliance. Up to four players could control one of the dozens of characters in the game's roster as you faced down an entire universe of villains, collected new items, and leveled up your squad's powers. The fact that you could play as a whole team of Avengers, X-Men, or Fantastic Four made Ultimate Alliance like several great comic games rolled into one.
4. Spider-Man 2For a while, Spider-Man seemed like the biggest pop culture icon of our time. Treyarch helped distill everything that made Spider-Man cool into a single game. Spider-Man fought villains like the Shocker, Rhino, and Doctor Octopus while tackling side missions in an open-world New York. The feeling of swinging between buildings was so natural that pretty much every Spider-Man game since has tried to emulate this formula.
5. Infamous 2Sucker Punch didn't have a license to work off, but that didn't stop them from creating one of the best super hero video games of all time. The developer took its open-world formula down to the New Orleans-like city of New Marais. The main character Cole, also discovered a fuller suite of powers that let him toss ice grenades and unleash giant electric tornados. Players could choose if they were going to sacrifice themselves to save the city's population or ruthlessly beat down their foes at any cost.
6. Incredible Hulk: Ultimate DestructionUltimate Destruction was another great open-world super hero title (sense a theme?). However, Hulk's size and strength meant that everywhere he went, he left a flaming pile of rubble. Hulk was run so fast that he could dash up the sides of buildings. His thunderclap attack caused massive damage, but our favorite move was smashing cars into make-shift brass knuckles.
7. Injustice: Gods Among UsThe Marvel vs. Capcom series deserves a nod for the sheer number of characters it had on its roster, but in terms of overall polish and fun, we recommend DC's fighter, Injustice. The game's characters are flashy and their super moves are both hilarious and awesome, but Injustice deserves props for introducing a story mode that wasn't a total joke. NetherRealm also actually made Aquaman look cool, which is a super-heroic task in and of itself.
8. Lego Marvel Super HeroesTT Games' list of Lego games keeps growing, but we don't mind because they are always a blast for the whole family. This year's Lego Marvel ups the stakes even more with a humorous story, a massive character list where each hero features their own unique ability set, and a wide mix of creative challenges spread across the Marvel Universe. The game even features comic legend Stan Lee who has such a wide set of powers that we hope he never turns on mankind.
9. CrackdownCrackdown's agents aren't traditional super heroes, but these special forces operatives were strong enough that they should have worn capes. Dropped into the fictional metropolis of Pacific City, players were tasked with cleaning up the streets and defeating three crime lords. You could complete your tasks in any order, but most of the fun came from leveling up your agent and then jumping across skyscrapers and kicking your foes across entire city blocks.
10. Freedom ForceBefore Irrational even dreamed of BioShock it worked on this ode to the Silver Age of comic books. This squad-based tactical RPG let you control a squad of four heroes who could fly, climb buildings, or throw cars at bad guys. Freedom Force's strategic combat was so deep that each of your heroes has powers that played off the abilities of the rest of your squad. We love BioShock, but we wouldn't mind if Irrational decided to revisit this high-flying franchise.
That's our list. Agree? Disagree? Let us know what you think we missed in the comments below.
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