Taking into consideration the relationship between cost and overall bang-for-your-buck, comics books are probably the best option for anyone itching for a good dose of super-powered shenanigans. Whether you’re into bats, spiders, sole survivors of long-dead planets, or short and hairy Canadians, the world of comic books will always have something to offer you. Video games function similarly, in the sense that they let you escape from the dreariness of everyday, regular, perfectly normal existence. In the world of videogames, you can be a soldier, a space knight, or a plumber who likes getting high on mushrooms and looking for princesses in the wrong castles.
What do you get, then, when you put superhero comics and video games together? Why, an evil-smashing good time, that’s what! Here are four of the best superhero video games on any gaming platform. And don’t worry; you don’t need to be able to squeeze into colorful tights to play them.
Marvel Avengers Alliance
Who would have thought a Facebook game about superheroes could be so complicated yet so addictive? Marvel: Avengers Alliance is a free-to-play, turn-based game set in an alternate Marvel universe continuity. Taking elements from the regular (616), Ultimate, and Cinematic universes, the game puts players in the role of a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent (either male or female) right in the middle of a superhuman war, with good and evil fighting over control of a precious otherworldly resource that grants amazing superpowers. The game is basically a Flash-based RPG; players gain experience to level up, collect items, and use resources to purchase better equipment and recruit Marvel heroes (and a few former villains) to fight by their side. In addition to the single-player campaign, an intricate PvP system is also available for players who want to test their skills against other agents, with unique items and unlockable heroes as special rewards for making it to the top of the seasonal ladder.
Injustice: Gods Among Us
iOS/PlayStation 3/Wii U/Xbox 360
Finally, a great fighting game that you can play on your business phone! Combining the brutal fighting moves of the Mortal Kombat games and the colorful, all-ages heroes of the DC universe, Injustice: Gods Among Us is an engrossing two-player slugfest that serves as DC’s answer to the popular Marvel vs Capcom franchise. Set in an alternate world where Superman essentially rules and is primarily opposed by Batman, the players control familiar DC heroes and villains, using their special powers and abilities to defeat each other in one-on-one combat. The mobile version has a simpler battle system and significantly fewer game options, but is still worth downloading. Injustice will provide endless hours of fun, and finally answers the question, “Can Batman beat Superman?”
Batman: Arkham City
PlayStation 3/Xbox 360/Microsoft Windows/Wii U/Cloud/OS X
Easily the most versatile game on this list (due to the sheer number of platforms you can play the game on), Batman: Arkham City is probably also the highest-rated, and with good reason. As the Dark Knight himself, players struggle to fight against the evil machinations of longtime Bat-villains Hugo Strange and the Joker, while battling a crippling disease slowly killing the Bat. Featuring an intricate combat system, a visually stunning game area, a compelling story, and some of the most creative and interesting weapons ever featured in an action game, Arkham City is hailed by many as THE superhero game, and was well-received by critics and gamers alike. Additional story campaigns also allow the players to assume the role of the femme fatale Catwoman, the Boy Wonder, Robin, and the acrobatic former sidekick, Nightwing.
Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3
PlayStation 3/ Xbox 360/PS Vita
It’s hard to find even just one person without at least a passing familiarity with the Marvel vs Capcom brand. After all, arcades in the ‘90s were full of players trying to master Venom’s move set, defeat the final boss and Marvel baddie Onslaught with a well-placed Hadouken from Ryu, and spam the hell out of the other player’s life bar using Megaman’s cheap one-button blaster (that annoying little cheater). The premise is simple – the most popular characters from Marvel and Capcom either work together or beat the snot out of each other in their quest to reach the end boss and kick his teeth in. The fun continues more than a decade later with the “Ultimate” edition of the third installment, adding fan-favorite characters like Hawkeye and Nova to the already sizable roster, while rendering everything in gorgeous 3D. The unlockable alternate costumes and online ranking system only add to this game’s already immense replay value, and the question of whether this game is worth playing or not can only be answered adequately by one of Spider-Man’s victory quotes – “Gonna be hard to copy that butt-kicking!”