The Best Comic Book Video Games

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Superheros are making their presence felt in recent popular culture. For many years reading comic books were seen as a niche hobby, though nowadays it seems superhero films are being released every five minutes.

The recent release of Avengers: Age of Ultron is another entry in the already sizeable Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Added to that is the hotly anticipated Batman vs Superman film out next year.

It’s not only the silver screen where we can enjoy our favourite heroes but in video games also. Unfortunately, there’s been a dearth of quality when it comes to the superhero genre in video games, though the success of Rocksteady’s Batman Arkham series has provided a blueprint of sorts for other studios to replicate it.

With the release of Batman: Arkham Knight, we’ve decided to have a look back at some of the best games inspired by comic books and superheroes.

10) Ultimate Marvel v Capcom 3 (PS3, PS Vita, Xbox 360)

Released – 2011

Available from – Amazon UK 

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A follow-up to one of the most beloved 2D fighters ever, this is an insanely fun game featuring a massive roster of fighters from Marvel Comics and popular Capcom franchises.

If you’re serious about fighting then you’ll want to play this. There’s plenty to love about this game, from the colourful visuals, ridiculous combo moves and new additional modes to try out.

9) Deadpool (PS3, Xbox 360, PC)

Released – 2013

Available from – eBay

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The insane, unconventional, spandex-clad Merc with a Mouth got his own game and despite very little anticipation except amongst dedicated Deadpool fans, this turned out to be a very decent game.

While not as polished as similar games such as God of War or Devil May Cry, Deadpool provides a satisfying experience featuring Marvel’s lovable scamp.

Chock full of meta gags (Deadpool is very aware he’s in a video game), Deadpool is rude, crass, violent and demented, and we love him all the more for it. Definitely worth checking out, especially with the movie coming out next year.

8) Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes — 2.0 Edition

Released – 2014

Available from – Tesco

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Colourful, delightful and imaginative, Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes is a fun game that encourages you to use your imagination.

While this title may be dismissed as a children’s game due to the figurine collecting element and the cartoonish, stylised visuals, this is a game that can be enjoyed by the whole family.

Parents be warned though. The starter pack comes with a copy of the game and three figurines, but it won’t be long before the kids start bugging you to buy more. With the release of the new Star Wars film at Christmas, your wallet is going to take a big hit!

7) The Punisher (PS2, Xbox, PC)

Released – 2005

Available from – Computer Exchange

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A criminally underrated gem, the Punisher is a brilliant adaptation of one of the most iconic and compelling anti-heroes in the Marvel universe.

A ruthless vigilante who kills criminals after his family were murdered by the Mafia, the character’s dark nature is reflected in the game. It featured an ‘interrogation mode’ which allowed you to brutalize criminals using a number of creative means to gain information and further your progress in the game.

This game is a fun, action-packed bloodbath that does a great job at making you feel like The Punisher.

6) X-Men Origins: Wolverine (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, Wii, PlayStation Portable, Nintendo DS, Microsoft Windows)

Released – 2009

Available from – Amazon UK

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Normally video games based on movies turn out to be rushed, badly made cash grabs. That’s what was expected of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, based on the mediocre film of the same name.

However, shock of all shocks, Origins turned out to be very good indeed. Fun, visceral and a must have for all fans of the cigar chomping, adamantium clad, immortal Wolverine.

It gets repetitive in places, but can you ever really get bored of slicing a guy in two?

5) The Darkness II (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS)

Released – 2012

Available from – Base

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One thing that stands out in The Darkness II is the gorgeous, comic book style, cel shaded graphics. It feels like a drawing that’s come to life. Along with the engaging storyline and varied gunplay/power mechanics, The Darkness II is an excellent game.

You play as Jackie Estacado, a mafia hitman blessed (or should that read cursed?!?) with demonic powers, allowing you to tear through enemies like a hot knife through butter.

Exhilarating, fun and incredibly gory, The Darkness II is unlike any other shooter, bringing its own flavour to the genre.

4) Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, Wii, Microsoft Windows, iOS, Mac OS, Ouya)

Released – 2012

Available from – Amazon UK

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Over the years Lego have developed a number of games using a variety of licenses. From Star Wars to Lord of the Rings, Lego have created a fun, cutesy series of games enjoyed by all age groups.

Lego Batman 2 is arguably the best in this long running series. Traditionally the characters in Lego games have been silent, with much of the humour derived from subtle glances and noises. This time voice actors have been brought in to bring Batman, Robin, Superman et al to life and they do a brilliant job.

Puzzles, collectibles, unlockables and a whole Gotham City to explore, there’s plenty to do after completing the main story line. Highly recommended to play alongside a friend for a great co-op experience.

3) Injustice: Gods Among Us (PlayStation 4, Android, iOS, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation Vita, Wii U, Microsoft Windows)

Released – 2013

Available from – Game

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Imagine Mortal Kombat but with DC characters, an apt description given both games come from NeverRealm Studios.

Injustice takes place in an alternate universe where Superman has set up a totalitarian regime where he rules as the High Councillor. This results in war between Superman and an insurgency led by Batman.

Injustice is a polished, unique and interesting fighter with a deep story mode. It’s an extremely satisfying experience with an extensive number of DC heroes and villains to play with.

Despite the similarities with Mortal Kombat, Injustice has a unique look and feel that’s sure to win over DC fans and non-fans alike with an entertaining game packed with content.

2) inFamous 2 (PS3)

Released – 2010

Available from – Amazon UK

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While not based on any established superhero series, this original story from Sucker Punch studios turned out to be one of the best games on the PS3.

inFamous 2 is a huge improvement from the first game, with improved visuals and a great deal more variety to the gameplay and powers which become increasingly complex as the game progresses.

inFamous 2 also allows you to use your powers for good or evil, resulting in two different story lines and endings. This game has oodles of replay value as you won’t be able to experience everything with one play-through.

1) Batman: Arkham City (Wii U, Xbox 360, PS3, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS)

Released – 2011

Available from – Zavvi

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There isn’t enough praise that can be showered upon Rocksteady’s Batman games. They are, quite simply, the best superhero games ever. Arkham Asylum could quite have easily made this list too but we decided to be more inclusive of other games.

After years of disappointing Batman games, British studio Rocksteady took it upon themselves to deliver what many fans were craving: a satisfying Batman experience.

What makes both Arkham games so good is how they tap into the Batman lore. You genuinely feel like the Bat as you glide from one building to the next before swooping down on a group of unsuspecting criminals and beating them senseless.

The attention to detail is remarkable as the game comes with a full rogues gallery of Batman villains along with a myriad of back story and Easter eggs that will make fans have a collective nerdgasm.

 

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