Image: Insomniac Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment
Here are the best ways to get your Spider-fix this holiday
Spider-Man had a big 2021, and already has plans for a big 2022 and 2023. Between Spider-Man: No Way Home, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse Part One, spinoffs like Venom: Let There Be Carnage and Morbius, it’s a good time to be a web-head movie fan. But what about video games?
With Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 coming from Insomniac Games in 2023, it’s time to visit some of Spider-Man’s best digital adventures. We’ve compiled a list of great Spider-Man games from modern consoles and consoles past. Some are linear games and others are big, open-world hits; games based on movies you love and hidden gems from alternate dimensions.
Here are seven great Spider-Man games to look back on.
[Ed. Note: This list does not contain spoilers for Spider-Man: No Way Home.]
Image: Neversoft/Activision via Ulukkar on YouTube
Spider-Man (2000) is a linear Spider-Man adventure that features some pretty cool gameplay tricks (for the time). It’s loaded with Symbiotes, villains, and web-based attacks like web hands. Nowadays, it looks like an ancient relic of the early 2000s, but at the time, it was a thrilling adventure filled with hidden suits and unique missions — plus, it’s narrated by Stan Lee himself, which is a nice touch for longtime fans.
Spider-Man is a retro title, and you can only play it if you have the disc or cartridge for PlayStation, Nintendo 64, Dreamcast, or Windows.
Spider-Man: The Movie
Image: Treyarch/Activision via Levan on YouTube
This isn’t the Sam Raimi Spider-Man game that everyone talks about, but it gets a mention on this list for one reason: You can play as Green Goblin. Spider-Man: The Movie has a few alternate characters, but all of them use Peter Parker’s typical move set. Not Goblin. He has his own moves, a flying glider, and even a new voice — the idea is that Harry Osborn has taken his dad’s glider and suit. Goblin is a ton of fun and extremely overpowered. It’s one of the coolest post-game unlocks we’ve ever seen for a movie-based video game.
Spider-Man: The Movie is a retro title, and you can only play it if you have the disc or cartridge for PlayStation 2, GameCube, Windows, or Xbox.
Image: Treyarch/Activision via Noctober on YouTube
Spider-Man 2, based on the Sam Raimi movie of the same name, was the Spider-Man game to beat all Spider-Man games for over a decade. It offered a massive open world to explore and a wide variety of villains. Spider-Man 2 does a great job of being a movie tie-in game, but it does so much more than that. It set a baseline for what web-swinging through the streets of New York should feel like, and gave Peter Parker a chance to face more than just Doc Ock, with obscure (at the time) villains like Mysterio getting their own missions.
Like the first Spider-Man movie game, Spider-Man 2 is only playable on original hardware, so you’ll need the disc for PlayStation 2, GameCube, Xbox, or Windows.
Image: Beenox/Activision via MobyGames
Ultimate Spider-Man doesn’t offer the same level of quality as Spider-Man 2, but it does get a few bonus points. First, Venom plays a major role in the game, and you can swap to him in freeplay mode after beating all the story missions. (Venom has his own tendril-based attacks, which makes playing him feel quite different from the titular Spider-Man.) Second, the game looks delightful, taking on a true comic book aesthetic — it looks like the Ultimate Spider-Man comics of the same era, and still holds up today.
Ultimate Spider-Man was never ported to other platforms, so you’ll need a PlayStation 2, GameCube, Windows, or Xbox disc to play it.
Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions
At the time, Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions felt like a regression from the run of open-world Spider-Man games that came before it. But in a world where the multiverse plays such a huge part in the MCU, Into the Spider-Verse, and the general collective consciousness, it’s worth a revisit. Instead of just the amazing Spider-Man, players also get to play as Spider-Man Noir, Spider-Man 2099, and Ultimate Spider-Man. Shattered Dimensions confines players to linear levels with different objectives, but the rotating perspectives between four different Spider-Mans results in something unique and memorable, even 11 years later.
While available on more modern consoles like the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, the game isn’t available on any online marketplaces following the expiration of Activision’s Spider-Man license. You’ll need a disc to play this on PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox 360, or Windows.
Image: Insomniac Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment via Technovanguard
Insomniac’s first turn with Spider-Man is about as sprawling as any Spider-fan could want. It’s packed with Spider-gadgets that pull from the developer’s experience with the cartoonishly explosive Ratchet & Clank. It’s got responsive combat that should be familiar to most beat-’em-up fans, and open-world swinging that finally eclipsed Spider-Man 2. It also tells a unique story that manages to find its own place in the legion of Spider-Man games and spinoffs. It’s big, and long, and the perfect game to keep you busy if you’re on a Spider-Man kick.
Marvel’s Spider-Man is exclusive to PlayStation 4 with PlayStation 5 backwards compatibility. If you purchase the Ultimate Edition of Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales on PlayStation 5, it comes with Marvel’s Spider-Man: Remastered for PlayStation 5.
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales
Image: Insomniac Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment
Where Marvel’s Spider-Man is long winded, Miles Morales is contained. It still offers the same, big New York to swing around in, but in a more intimate package. It’s the Spider-Man to play if you want something quick to pair with a new Spider-Man movie or comic you’re into. But more important than its tighter structure, Miles Morales tells the story of a different Spider-Man, with a fresh perspective. Most of these other Spider-Man games feature Peter Parker, but Miles Morales gives a Black and Puerto Rican Spider-Man the stage. It tells a great Spidey story, but it also grapples with deeper and more resonant themes that you won’t get from any other Spider-Man on this list.
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is exclusive to the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.