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5. Spider-Man (2000)
The Spider-Man game of 2000 is undoubtedly one of the most pioneering and important Spider-Man games in history. It is merely due to the sheer age of it that it did not make it to the top of the list. It was initially released for the Playstation and featured video cut-scenes, which back then was a huge deal, but unfortunately the Nintendo64 did not possess the technology to have in-game cut-scenes and therefore had to rely on pictures with subtitles. Whilst that was a bit of a boo-boo, it didn’t stop Spider-Man from being amazing on either console.
The game featured free web-slinging across rooftops, several interior locations. a ton of the most beloved Spider-man villains and Marvel heroes, bonus costumes for Spidey (yes, that tradition started here,) a fun cartoony humor, great utilization of Spider-Man’s powers and best of all it was narrated by Stan Lee, who also had a cameo in the latest Spider-Man game.
As you went through each level you got to meet the large cast, including (but not limited to) Venom, Carnage, Doc Ock, Johnny Storm, Captain America, Rhino, Scorpion, Mysterio and Black Cat. Furthermore, each level could be enjoyed in any of the very well scaled difficulties, including one called Kid Mode, which was targeted mainly at, get this, children. Not only that, but the plot managed to be quite good and branch out enough to allow all the villains to be a part of this spectacular masterpiece of a game. Doctor Ock is showing off some new high tech gear at a conference and a fake Spider-Man jumps in, steals it and breaks Eddie Brock’s camera, indirectly starting a series of events, causing him to eventually kidnap Mary Jane as Venom. Now Spider-Man is ready to climb walls and ceilings, shoot his web and beat up thugs, mercenaries and super villains in an effort to save the day and clear his name, with the final reward being a hilarious end-game video.
On a final side note, this is the only game (or actually media) to ever feature the character Monster Ock, which is Doc Ock fused with the wonderfully malevolent and violence-oriented Carnage symbiote. It. Was. Scary.
Lets face it, already with the Spider-Man (2000) video game, Spidey was ultimate. Yet here we are with a seemingly “ultimate” Spider-Man game and we can safely claim, today, that it was indeed ultimate. Ultimate Spider-Man was released in 2005 for the GameCube, PS2, Xbox and Windows (and a corresponding side-scroller game for GBA and NDS, but screw those.)
The game had its faults, but was great for several reasons, which includes the concept of Spider-Man’s webs actually getting attached to stuff when web-slinging. While this may sound sort of mellow, fact is that the former system had Spidey attaching it to nothing in the air, as he swung from rooftop to rooftop, so although kind of clunky, the new slinging was a welcome change. Secondly it also added a bit to the traditional beat ‘em up combat, which – lets face it – had not evolved a whole lot for years, by having to web up adversaries once downed and the ability to hang them from lightposts.
The cartoony style and alternative universe to the more classic understanding of Spider-Man was in itself a fancy and interesting concept to bring to the home consoles, but more importantly the game hold a very interesting feature, which is truly what makes it deserving of a 4th place: it showed the story from both Peter Parker and Eddie Brock’s point of view, meaning you got to play as both Spider-Man and Venom, who thankfully were very different characters to play as.
As always, Spider-Man concerned himself with the well-being of, well, everyone and had the traditional abilities of punch, kick, a tad of high agility and web-shot, as well as using web-slinging to get around the city, that - as a matter of fact – was free roam. Venom introduced a new and different playstyle, relying on brute strength, spectacularly high leaps, tendrils, car throwing and grabs to deal with his problems. And not only that, but Venom was directly cruel, often using his ability to consume people in order to gain health. You could simply snatch a pedestrian as a mid-day snack, which would prove extremely useful once the military started hunting you down.
But one thing – one cruel act – anyone who played the game will remember, is the first 3 minutes of play time as Venom, when approaching a cute little boy, standing alone with a Spidey-ballon, exclaiming the words “yay, ballooooon!” and then being told by the game to eat him.
Can you sleep at night?
3. Spider-man 3
This was a though decision! Spider-man 2 or 3? Spider-man 2 was amazing in its own right and really recharged the Spider-man game franchise with awesome-juice, but in the end, Spider-Man 3 ultimately improved upon the formula of its predecessor. Spider-Man 3 was released in 2007 for Windows, PS3 and Xbox360, and it was based on the movie Spider-Man 3 (shock!) The plot of the movie was quite intact, but was also expanded vastly upon with a massive array of side-plots to dive right into.
I can’t stress enough how great a game this was to play. All the plots were amazing, the boss battles had great variation and was mighty fun and the opportunity to play as Symbiote Spider-Man was very hard to decline for a Spidey-fan. The combat was well done, and featured several techniques for easy use with a little practice. The game also had quick-time events on several occasions, which showed Spidey doing amazing stunts if the player could only get the buttons right.
Ultimately a great game, worthy of remaining close at heart.
2. Shattered Dimensions
Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions is the place where creativity, Spider-Man and video games meet. The game was released in 2010 and featured not just one, but four different Spider-mans (Spider-men?) In the beginning of the game, Mysterio from the “amazing universe” steals the Tablet of Order and Chaos from the Empire State University Museum and in an attempt to take him down in the act, The Amazing Spider-Man accidentally breaks the tablet, endangering the multiverse.
The shattered tablet is now spread out between 4 different universes, each with its own Spider-Man, different art and slightly different playstyle. The Amazing features your classic beat ‘em up, the Ultimate does so also, but is more cartoonish; the 2099 universe is also similar but also retains some free-fall events. The most unqiue of the 4 universes is the Noir universe, where Spider-Man has to be very sneaky, drawing heavy inspiration from the Arkham Asylum game, no doubt.
As opposed to most modern Spider-Man games, this one game is level-based and not free-roam. During each level, there will be a new famous Spider-Man villain boss fight, who all have used a tablet fragment to enhance their already formidable skills and or powers. One issue with it was the sheer length of each level, which was only an issue because there was no mid-game saving; so it was either complete the entire level or start over tomorrow.
The idea of having 4 universe in one game was genius and the varied gameplay, very entertaining. Whilst the game might have had its faults and not have appealed enough for people to do level re-runs, it most definitely is a job well done by the developers.
This is quite possibly the best Spider-Man game ever created. The game’s intro featured Spider-Man walking depressed across a burning rooftop with S.H.I.E.L.D. soldiers fighting horrible monsters, all to the dramatic Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven. The overall tone of the game was very dark for a Spider-Man game and it showed our web-slinging hero from a more human perspective, as he struggled internally between his heroic side and his instinctive side. Throughout the game you were presented with several choices between being heroic or getting an outlet by being mean.
There is a reason for this struggle. The game, although void of his presence throughout a large portion of the game, centers mainly around Eddie Brock and his alter ego Venom. After the dramatic and memorable intro, with Spider-man traversing a massive warzone, time is rewound back to a battle between Spider-Man and Venom. At some point a piece of the symbiote detaches itself from Venom and binds with Peter, allowing him to change between his regular costume and the symbiote costume, each featuring a different set of skills. Venom disappears and not long after, the symbiote starts spreading as a virus throughout New York, turning all the citizens into monsters.
The game features many popular heroes and villains, including Wolverine, The Kingpin, Luke Cage, Vulture and Black Cat – a couple of who also gets some symbiote screen time – each with their own unique boss battles.
All in all, the game is thoroughly impressive and memorable, in spite of sharing a plot with Prototype (although in fairness, WoS was released in 2008, half a year before Prototype.) The game was designed to give a different feel to both the more agile red-suit Spidey, and the more brutal black suit. The game also had different endings depending on the player’s choice. Web of Shadows is more emotional, epic, creative and spectacular than any other Spider-Man game in existence and truly deserving of the #1 spot on our Top 5 best Spider-Man games.