10 Underrated Marvel Video Games That Deserve A Second Chance
With modern Marvel titles like guardians of the galaxy and Spider Man expanding their gaming influence, it’s easy to overlook great games that weren’t so well received the first time around. Over the years, there have been a host of Marvel Comics-based games and movies that often get overlooked.
Whether it’s links to movies like X-Men Origins: Wolverine or early computer games like Howard the Duck: Volcano Island Adventure, some of Marvel’s best video games are sadly overlooked. Although they’ve produced a plethora of great games, only the best ones are worth checking out.
Howard The Duck: Adventure on Volcano Island (1986)
Long before Marvel became the hitmaker they are today, one of their first forays into the world of cinema was the terrible howard the duck film. Less known than the movie itself was a tie-in game to the movie that saw the titular avian hero attempt to rescue his friends after they were captured on Volcano Island.
Landing on the Commodore 64, the platform action game featured great graphics that showed off what the personal computer could do in gaming. was always a fun and challenging game. Unfortunately, its association with the legendary stench of a movie doomed it from the start.
Ghost Rider (2007)
The 2007 ghost rider The film was met with a lukewarm response from fans, and its lack of success ended a very good bonding game with the film. The hack-and-slash epic features the player as Ghost Rider who fights with Mephisto in order to save his soul.
The game deviated from the plot of the film and even included supporting characters like Blade. Drawing inspiration from some of the best hack-and-slash games of all time, ghost rider was a fast-paced festival that never went out of style. Coming as Spirit of Vengeance’s only full-time foray into video games, the 2007 release was sadly overlooked.
The Incredible Hulk (1994)
The 16-bit era was a boom time for Marvel video games, and yet some amazing titles went unnoticed. The Incredible Hulk sees the Emerald Monster fight its way through legions of troops in order to get to the leader.
The beat-em-up platformer used the Hulk mythos in a clever way that sees him start out in a “Hulked-out” state that slowly declines as the player takes damage. Eventually, the player can be exhausted down to their Bruce Banner form where they are largely defenseless. The game’s intuitive nature suits the Hulk character perfectly and makes it a rare title worth seeking out.
X-Men: The Rage of Wolverine (2001)
From the start, it was clear that Wolverine was one of the best x-men characters of all time, and it was natural for him to land his own video game titles. X-Men: Wolverine’s Rage was a Gameboy Color exclusive that saw the clawed warrior fight his way to Lady Deathstrike who created a device to melt his adamantium skeleton.
To counter Wolverine’s healing factor, the game makes levels fast and the added challenge keeps the game fresh. Side-scrolling beat-em-ups were the perfect style for Marvel games and Wolverine’s Wrath didn’t disappoint, even if it didn’t get the attention it deserved.
Captain America and the Avengers (1991)
Marvel has always had great success in arcades, and Captain America and the Avengers was just another example of their dominance. Cap assembles his team of Avengers as they fight their way through hordes of enemies on their way to Red Skull.
Capable of supporting up to four players, the original game featured a host of familiar Avengers in smooth, fun action. Although overshadowed by more famous titles, the game remains one of the best SNES games of all time.
Spider-Man: The Mysterio Menace (2001)
The third in a series of successful Spider-Man games for the Gameboy Advance, Mysterio’s threat was one of Marvel’s best portable titles. The scarlet-clad creeper roams the city in search of Mysterio while slashing his way through his most notorious foes.
The web mechanics were fun enough to use, and the beat-em-up controls never felt outdated or repetitive. The game offered the perfect level of challenge without being too easy or too difficult, and it was the usual pickup and play style of most Gameboy classics. Even though it was similar to the other two games, Mysterio’s threat was just as good as its predecessors.
The Punisher (2004)
Marvel games are generally family-friendly, but it was only fitting that their greatest anti-hero would have such a dark game like him. The Movie Linking Game The Punisher increased the violence to 11 and saw Frank Castle torture and murder his way through a mob of mobsters and villains.
Although some criticized the game for being a bit repetitive, the over-the-top action was one of its main selling points. While the movie it was loosely based on has been mostly lost to time, the game is a testament to the nearly limitless possibilities of Marvel’s video game releases.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
While Wolverine had played in its fair share of 2D side-scrollers in its day, X-Men Origins: Wolverine saw him get the hack-and-slash game he always deserved. Picking up the plot of the film of the same name, Wolverine travels the world in search of the people who made him who he is.
Using every aspect of Wolverine’s powers in the game, he is able to detect traps and go into rage mode which makes him more powerful. The game was known for its graphical nature and the overall experience was exactly what Marvel fans were looking for in a Wolverine game. The movie flopped, but the game has since become a cult classic.
The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction (2005)
Most Marvel games up to that point were linear in nature, but The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction allowed players to explore an open world environment. Controlling the titular Hulk, players attempt to assemble a machine capable of controlling Banner’s dark psyche.
Side missions add another layer to the game and the player can upgrade Hulk with new moves and abilities. Although it didn’t catch the eye of its predecessor, many fans have come to regard it as a pinnacle in the Marvel games catalog.
X-Men 2: Clone Wars (1995)
Unlike most other Marvel games which were somewhat based on the featured character’s legacy, X-Men 2: The Clone Wars pulled its story straight from the latest comic arc at the time. Learning of the Sentinel Cloning Device, the X-Men are sent to stop a deadly virus from spreading to different planets.
The controls were simple and smooth, and relied on the side-scrolling beat-em-up style that worked so well on the Sega Genesis. The game offered a range of playable characters, including Magneto, and each character had special mutant attacks unique to them. Although overshadowed by its much more successful predecessor, X-Men 2 is still one of the best games featuring the eponymous heroes.
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