Yay, Guardians of the Galaxy the new game and new film are out! Let’s celebrate with a list feature! Unlike Batman of course there aren’t 10 notable Guardians of the Galaxy games on PC (we’re lucky there’s one), heck, there aren’t even 10 great Spider-Man games and he’s Marvel’s most popular character.
So we’ve spread our wings a little more broadly. Attention true believers, and read on for
The Top 10 Marvel Comics Games on PC! Excelsior!
10. Marvel Puzzle Quest
Developer/Publisher: Demiurge Studios Release: 2013 Buy It Here
Why It’s Here: Without a doubt the Marvel game we personally put the most hours into, Marvel Puzzle Quest is a Match-3 puzzle game with Marvel characters. Ahem. Wait, don’t lynch us yet! It’s actually obscenely addictive, with the Match-3 part just a means to an end. The “means” being “defeating all the enemies in the Marvel universe you can name”, and the “end” being “getting all your favourite Marvel characters on your side to fight with you”. Yes, fight. Matching tiles charges up a hero’s or villain’s powers so you can unleash them on your opponents and either weaken them or take them out. It’s unbelievably satisfying and one of the hardest to put down puzzle games around…
Why It’s Not Higher: … on mobile. It’s utterly great on mobile, free-to-play, impossible to put down. The PC version however is the same thing except you can’t play it at a bus stop. There are better games to play at home.
9. Spider-Man: Web Of Shadows
Developer/Publisher: Shaba Games, Activision Release: October 2008
Why It’s Here: When all’s said and done, Web of Shadows might be considered the last good Spider-Man game. No movie license to tie it to means the game wasn’t rushed into existence. Well, mostly. With many faces from the wider Marvel universe (such as Wolverine) mixed in with the traditional Spider-Man open-world New York scenario along with a fun Venom symbiote-based storyline, this would be the last time until the awful Amazing Spider-Man tie-ins that Spider-Man would have total freedom. Which is how it should be.
Why It’s Not Higher: The individual missions themselves were a little boring, the story merely okay, but most importantly: the PC port was atrocious. And that’s even before you consider all the loops you have to go through to get the game running on a modern PC. This was only a friggin’ Xbox 360/PS3 game! What’s that? It requires Games For Windows? Oh, that’ll be why then.
8. Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 1 & 2
Developer/Publisher: Raven Software/Vicarious Visions, Activision Release: 2006 Buy It Here
Why It’s Here: Most console owners will be shocked this isn’t higher as they’re (easily) arguably the top two best Marvel games ever on your Exboxers and your Playerstationers. Basically they’re top-down dungeon-crawlers with 3-4 characters to choose between and they bring in every hero and villain from the Marvel Universe, all playable and all with their own special powers. The storylines cover a Silver Age-esque cheesy pulp-fest in the first game to the more modern and famous Civil War storyline for the second game, so both are worth playing although the first game has the edge in fun. There’s local and online co-op too which makes this a truly attractive package. How could this not be number 1?!
Why It’s Not Higher: Because Activision and porting developer Zoe Mode totally screwed up the PC ports, that’s why. Along with poor audio quality which even includes crackling and missing DLC characters was the astonishing controls issue where on-screen button prompts were incorrect. More specifically, if you were playing on gamepad buttons got arbitrarily moved around, like at the very first start screen where it asks you to press A to continue – and you actually have to press X. There are user workarounds of course, but having such great games in such a shameful state that despite Activision’s promises will never, ever get patched is utterly disgusting. I do advise buying them on sale however, as they will undoubtedly get pulled sometime this year.
Developer/Publisher: High Moon Studios, Activision Release: 2013 Buy It Here
Why It’s Here: Another entry, another great developer making a Marvel game that gets shut down by Activision immediately after finishing it. High Moon, riding high off two successful Transformers games were given go-ahead for a Deadpool game, but Activision wanted more Transformers so they shut them down straight after making it. Spiteful. Anyway, Deadpool is a lot of fun. It’s an action game that doesn’t take itself seriously, for example there’s one point when Deadpool has a conversation over the phone with his own voice actor and hires him to play himself. Well worth picking up, and with a little more support from Activision (and if it’d actually come out alongside the movie instead of several years before) it could’ve been truly great.
Why It’s Not Higher: As it stands, it’s truly repetitive in terms of gameplay. Every level boils down to Deadpool doing the same thing against waves of boring enemies, and the levels don’t do enough to excite. It’s not enough to make fun of boring sewer levels in games, you have to also not do them too. Deadpool’s fun as long as the quips keep coming, but once they stop you’ll go play something else.
6. Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Games Series
Developer/Publisher: Telltale Games Release: 2017 Buy It Here
Why It’s Here: Yes, much like having Telltale’s Batman game in our Batman list we’re a little premature here since once again we have only one episode to go off of. Fortunately Telltale in this one episode have already proven that they get Guardians of the Galaxy and that this series could be their next Tales From The Borderlands - a fun, mad, epic, team-based space adventure. It’s clearly inspired by the movies rather than the comics (Yondu being the biggest giveaway) but that’s not a bad thing, and the story is already off to an amazing start. Thanos, the Kree, Nebula, and the floating city-head of Nowhere all make an appearance, as well as an Indiana Jones-style hunt for an object of incredible supernatural power… that Peter Quill uses as a beer mug. Awesome.
Why It’s Not Higher: Because it’s just one too-short episode, and we haven’t had time to see if Telltale will be as brave with the license as they were with Batman.
Why It’s Here: In the absence of Spider-Man 2 this is the best Spider-Man game you can get on PC (if you can). Treyarch basically copied their own game, added Venom as a playable character, put a nice cel-shaded look over everything, and made it part of the “Ultimate” line of comics before Miles Morales took over. The open-world web-slinging gameplay is just as fun as ever and it’s probably easier to get working than Web of Shadows. A nice treat for Spider-Man fans if you can track it down.
Why It’s Not Higher: Mouse/keyboard controls are awful but we won’t hold that against it. The main problem is that it’s all a lot simpler than the more advanced movie titles of the time, as this was meant for kids rather than adults annoyingly. It’s also a bit short. So why not Spider-Man 2? Simple: the PC version for some reason is a weird cut-down edutainment title, so forget it.
4. Marvel Heroes
Developer/Publisher: Gazillion Entertainment Release: 2014 Buy It Now
Why It’s Here: When Marvel Heroes first showed up, it was a bit of a mess. A free-to-play Diablo-style ARPG set in the Marvel Universe, the game was let down by a lack of heroes, extortionate prices and not a lot to do. What a difference actually caring about a product and not letting it die makes. Gazillion put a ton of work in and apart from a massively expanded roster that you can try up to level 10 without caveats, Marvel Heroes is both extremely fun and extraordinarily addictive to play, with a surprisingly fun story to boot (albeit with some badly animated cutscenes). And best of all, it’s free, so you can literally play it right now without spending a single penny. Well, until you want to.
Why It’s Not Higher: Two reasons. One, the slightly extortionate pricing is still evident. £29.99/$34.99 for the Deadpool pack? I can’t remember the last time I bought a whole game for that price! For many players it’s worth it as the game is just so much fun, and you don’t have to buy every damn character if any at all since mostly you can just farm currency and unlock heroes that way.
Secondly, if you check the Steam page there’s an awful lot of negative reviews for such a fun, beloved game. The reason for this is that the general impression fans have got is that Gazillion have abandoned the PC version for potentially more lucrative console version. The PC version has been slightly dumbed down, there are numerous bugs which don’t seem to be getting fixed, and a lot of players feeling that there’s no real point to it anymore. Try for yourself of course, it’s well worth an install and if you don’t mind most characters playing basically the same or never played it before you’ll wonder what the fuss is about.
3. Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom 3
Developer/Publisher: Capcom Release: 2011 (on console), 2017 (on PC) Buy It Here
Why It’s Here: One of the finest and most amusing fighting games of all time. Utilising multiple characters at once and a more accessible 4-button control scheme (similar to Injustice or Mortal Kombat) as opposed to Street Fighter’s more complicated 6-button setup, Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom 3 is a blast to play every time. There’s loads of content and many characters to choose from, and the Ultimate Edition contains all the DLC and a load of tweaks to make it even better. The cel-shaded art style looks gorgeous too. If you’re a fighting game and Marvel fan you’ll be in utter heaven, and will stay there until Infinite releases later in the year.
Why It’s Not Higher: One word: online. Sadly much like it’s equally great DC equivalent, Injustice: Gods Among Us, Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom 3 sadly has a very spotty online. There’s lag which is killer in any fighting game, it’s often difficult to get a game and when you do matches can be insanely unbalanced. Play local wherever possible.
Why It’s Here: A shocker this, I know. A tie-in game to one of the worst Marvel movies, and certainly the worst X-Men movie? How can that possibly be the 2nd best Marvel game on PC? Don’t ask me how, but it is. Raven Software half-ignored the movie to tell their own (better) version of events along with a shockingly brutal, unleashed version of Wolverine that we wouldn’t see on screen until this year’s Logan. Blood and limbs fly, enemies get ripped in half, and every hit shows on Logan’s body. Wolverine is an enormously satisfying action brawler, with every hit feeling meaty and every moment not far away from an entertaining fight or set-piece. And to make it even better, it runs perfectly on Windows 10 without any problems whatsoever. Sweet. Now if only we could buy it digitally…
Why It’s Not Higher: Despite all that praise, it’s still a little rushed in places as it’s both a movie tie-in and, well, a licensed Activision game. More importantly though it’s only a Wolverine game, not even a full X-Men game and definitely not a celebration of all things Marvel.
Unlike our Number One Marvel Comics Game on PC…
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes
Developer/Publisher: TT Games, Warner Bros Interactive Release: 2013
Why It’s The Best Marvel Game Ever: Surprised? I was too until I compiled this list. Despite being “just” a LEGO game LEGO Marvel Super Heroes is a gigantic, fun, epic celebration of the entire Marvel universe. The free-roaming New York has hundreds of fun things to do in it, including side-quests, races, fights, collectables, and unlockables. The story acts as a light-hearted sequel to The Avengers movie but incorporates the entire Marvel Comics universe including Fantastic Four and the X-Men. You can unlock and play every character from Captain America to Howard The Duck, and they all play differently.
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes is a joyous, fan-created, expansive, all-encompassing love letter to Marvel Comics. It is the best LEGO game ever made, and on PC at least it is the best Marvel game ever made. Get it and try to wipe the smile of your face while you’re playing it. You won’t be able to.
So that’s our list guys! What do you think? Agree with the top choice? Think we left some games out? Do you wish Marvel: Ultimate Alliance was better on PC? Leave a comment below!
About Chris J Capel
Chris joined us in 2011 and loves Star Wars, comics and bad videogame movies.