The 10 best Spider-Man games ranked

Rishov Mukherjee
Spider-Man from the Insomniac games leads out ranking of the best Spider-Man games.

Want to swing around New York City, doing everything a spider can and kicking bad guy butt? Well, you need to read our list of the 10 best Spider-Man games.

Spider-Man games have come a long way since the Wallcrawler first swung onto consoles. Some are inspired by the Spider-Man movies, while others tell more original stories featuring the most spectacular superhero of all time.

Still, all these titles have one thing in common (besides Spidey’s name being on the box): they’re all a brilliant blend of exciting action and gripping storytelling.

However, let’s be honest: a few are better than the rest, so with that in mind, here are our picks for the best Spider-Man games ever made.

The best Spider-Man games ranked

10. Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage (1994)

A screenshot of the cover art of Spider-Man and Venom Maximum Carnage
Spider-Man and Venom Maximum Carnage is a 2D beat em’ up style game

What it’s about: If you are looking for a 2D side-scroller featuring Spider-Man, then Maximum Carnage is the title for you. It’s based on the comic of the same name, which saw the sinister symbiote Carnage take over New York, and the game does its iconic source material justice.

What we think: Maximum Carnage is pretty difficult and will put your skills to the test, but once you master it, it’s extremely fun. Additionally, it features some really cool comic-style cinematics that have been pulled straight from the Maximum Carnage books. What’s best about it, though, is that it lets you play both Spider-Man and Venom, and you can unlock even more Marvel characters as you play.

9. Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions (2010)

A screenshot from Spider-Man Shattered Dimensions
Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions lets you play as four different versions of the superhero.

What it’s about: Shattered Dimensions is a curious entry in this list, letting you play as not one but four different versions of your favorite superhero. Mysterio is the big bad, and he kicks the story off by shattering a magic tablet, which spreads chaos across the multiverse, leaving the Spider-Men to save the day.

What we think: Shattered Dimensions’ main selling point is the different versions of the Wallcrawler you can play as, including the Amazing Spider-Man, Spider-Man Noir, Spider-Man 2099, and Ultimate Spider-Man. Each of these Spider-Men has different powers, play styles, and levels, which helps the title stay fresh and fun despite its rather linear nature.

Unfortunately, Shattered Dimensions is way too short, and its camera movement can be frustrating, resulting in it being so far down the list. However, despite these flaws, Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions’ unique story and fun gameplay make it worth your time.

8. Spider-Man (2000)

A screenshot from Spider-Man 2000
Spider-Man 2000 is the first 3D game made in the franchise

What it’s about: Spider-Man (2000) sees the entire city of Manhattan filled with toxic gas, and it’s up to the Wallcrawler to save the day. As he battles through famous villains like Venom, Dr. Octopus, Mysterio, and Rhino, he discovers that a far more sinister scheme is in the works.

What we think: Spider-Man was the first 3D game featuring our favorite superhero, and despite being nearly 25 years old, it holds up. Spider-Man’s impressive storytelling and solid combat mechanics mean it’s still fun to play today. Although the swinging might not be super sophisticated, there’s a lot of fun to be had in flying over the rooftops of New York. Arguably, though, the most memorable thing about this game is a symbiotic version of Dr. Octavius that you fight in the end, which gave a generation of players nightmares.

7. Spider-Man: The Movie (2002)

A screenshot from Spider-Man: The Movie game
Spider-Man: The movie is based on the Hollywood blockbuster

What it’s about: Spider-Man: The Movie is based on the Hollywood blockbuster of the same name starring Tobey Maguire and William Dafoe. Still, the developers took a bit of license with the story, including other villains like Kraven and the Scorpion.

What we think: A challenging but fun game, Spider-Man: The Movie is probably best remembered for its surprisingly tough boss fights and incredible voice acting (they got Maguire and Dafoe back to voice their characters). While the story mode is quite short, one of the greatest things about Spider-Man: The Movie is that you can also play as Green Goblin once you finish the main campaign, and there’s nothing quite as fun as terrorizing New York on a Goblin Glider.

6. Spider-Man 2 (2004)

A screenshot from Spider-Man 2 The Movie game
Spider-Man 2: The movie is one of the best games in the franchise

What it’s about: Similar to the previous entry on the list, Spider-Man 2 is loosely based on the Hollywood blockbuster of the same name, but it also stars some new villains like Rhino and Mysterio, who didn’t appear in Raimi’s movie.

What we think: Spider-Man 2 was a hallmark of excellence and remains the high benchmark by which other games starring the Wallcrawler are judged. This set the standard for movie tie-ins back in the day and is quite possibly one of Treyarch and Activision’s greatest games.

While Spider-Man 2 might be 20 years old, its open world and graphics are still breathtaking, especially because of the amazing character models, so it still looks excellent. All that said, Spider-Man 2 is best remembered for its revolutionary web-swinging, which, for the first time, relied on you actually attaching your web to buildings instead of in thin air.

5. Ultimate Spider-Man (2005)

A screenshot from the game Ultimate Spider-Man
Ultimate Spider-Man is even better than Spider-Man 2

What it’s about: Based on the Ultimate Spider-Man comics, Ultimate Spider-Man’s story begins three months after the first appearance of Venom and follows Spidey as he tries to stop the symbiotic menace from causing havoc in New York.

What we think: If you think Spider-Man 2 was the greatest Spider-Man game, then you might be surprised to learn that Treyarch outdid themselves with Ultimate Spider-Man. Letting you play as both the Web-Head and Venom, this title lets you save the city as a web-slinging superhero or commit crimes as a symbiote-possessed monster.

The best thing, though, is the visuals. Playing Ultimate Spider-Man feels like reading a comic book where you’re in complete control of your favorite characters. Even today, this game looks brilliant despite its age.

4. Spider-Man: Web of Shadows (2008)

A screenshot from Spider-Man Web of Shadows
Spider-Man: Web of Shadows is one of the darkest games in the franchise

What it’s about: Web of Shadows is quite possibly the darkest Spider-Man game, with Spidey being tasked with saving Manhattan from a symbiote invasion. Along the way, he’ll make numerous moral decisions that lead to different endings depending on whether you embrace the power of the symbiote or reject it.

What we think: Ahead of its time and boasting some really impressive combat and web-swinging mechanics, Web of Shadows is a surprisingly challenging game with some pretty difficult boss battles that’ll put your reactions to the test.

What makes Web of Shadows stand out is the ability to switch freely between the traditional Spider-Man costume and the Venom symbiote, which changes Spidey’s powerset. The Wallcrawler’s not the only character who gets a symbiotic makeover. As you play, you’ll have to fight normal versions and the symbiote versions of iconic Marvel heroes and villains, depending on the choices you make. Finally, one of the most fun aspects of Web of Shadows is the wall combat, which adds a new dynamic to fights. It’s just a shame the camera’s so clunky.

3. Marvel’s Spider-Man (2018)

A screenshot from Marvel's Spider-Man 2018
Marvel’s Spider-Man is a giant leap in the franchise

What it’s about: Marvel’s Spider-Man features an original story that updates the Web-Head for the modern day while keeping some of the core elements of our friendly neighborhood hero intact. The game sees an experienced Spidey battling to save New York from a mysterious new crime boss called Mister Negative, but something far more sinister is on the horizon.

What we think: Arguably one of the best games ever made, this particular title takes Spider-Man to a whole new level and kicks off what might be the greatest superhero series in gaming history ( Sorry, Batman Arkham fans).

Marvel’s Spider-Man features an incredibly interactive open world with a number of fun side missions, including fighting against thieves and helping people in the neighborhood. The web swinging is the best to date, with brand-new physics that lets you fly across Manhattan without a care in the world. You also have an impressive number of customization options with multiple costumes, which come with unique unlockable abilities. Arguably, though, this title is incredible because of its brilliant story and gut-punch ending.

2. Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales (2020)

A screenshot from Spider-Man Miles-Morales
Spider-Man Miles Morales creates a unique identity for the new protagonist

What it’s about: Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is another masterclass by Insomniac. Picking up where Marvel’s Spider-Man left off, this time, we control Miles, the new Spider-Man, while Peter Parker is out of town with MJ. However, what should be an easy week of crime-fighting escalates when the Tinkerer makes her move.

What we think: This game is so high on the list because of how well the developers managed to tell Miles’s story. The game is about Miles becoming his man and stepping out of Peter’s shadow, embracing who he is rather than simply following his predecessor’s lead. It’s a bold but impressive take, especially considering the first game’s success. While the main story is quite short, it’s spectacularly memorable, and New Game+ means there’s plenty of replay value. Even better, Insomniac perfected the mechanics introduced in the first game, making this one of the slickest Spidey titles of all time.

1. Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 (2023)

A screenshot from Marvel's Spider-Man 2
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is one of the best superhero games of all time

What it’s about: In Marvel Spider-Man 2, Peter Parker faces his biggest challenges ever as his life is torn apart when Kraven the Hunter comes to town. In the face of such a powerful new threat, Peter turns to a dangerous new weapon, the symbiote, to give him the power to defeat this new villain, but the power of the black suit comes at a steep price.

What we think: Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 takes everything good in the 2018 version and turns it up to 11. For starters, the world is much bigger; you have a new movement tech where you can literally fly across Manhattan, and it boasts a deeper, more emotionally developed story.

This is a darker Spider-Man story compared to Insomniac’s first game, but we promise it will keep you glued to your controller until the very end. There’s no doubt in my mind that this is the best Spider-Man game to date and quite possibly one of the best superhero titles you’ll ever play. We’ve also got to hand it to Insomniac for splitting the focus between Miles and Peter. Both have unique powersets and stories and as a result, you never feel annoyed when you have to switch between the two heroes.

If you love the Wallcrawler, check out our guide breaking down everything you need to know about the upcoming Marvel movie, Spider-Man 4. We’ve also got a guide explaining how to watch all the Marvel movies in order and have taken the time to explain why the next Spider-Man movie needs to include Venom but not Eddie Brock.

This article is part of a week of content celebrating superheroes; if you want to read more, check out our HeroFest schedule here.

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