Superhero games are more hit and miss than any other genre in gaming. Both Marvel and DC have their fair shares of hits and misses. But now DC has the Arkham series under it's belt. Marvel has some catching up to do.
The good news is, Marvel is starting to be more cautious with its properties and has expressed a desire to make great console games. This is awesome news for not just Marvel fans (which is pretty much everyone these days) but all gaming fans. Much like the way DC reinvented Batman in games, Marvel has the opportunity to start on a clean slate. Imagine a world where an Iron Man game, or a Spider-Man game is as anticipated as the Arkham series!
So with the news of Marvel's fresh outlook on console games, we decided to look at which heroes are most deserving of a great video game. Of course you could list hundreds of characters, but we chose the 10 that could best fit a game, mechanics-wise.
Not all heroes would easily make for a great game. Yake Namor for example. Namor, Marvel's answer to Aquaman, is a cool character and plenty deserving of a game, but trying to make one that takes place half in water and half on land would be no easy feat. Like one half Infamous, one half Abzu.
So read on to find out which heroes made the cut!
I figured we should start with Marvel's golden boy, quite literally at times, old Shellhead. Iron Man had two games that were movie tie-ins, in 2008 and 2010 - both received mediocre reviews. Initially the games feel fun because you get that awesome feeling of playing as Iron Man and just flying anywhere, but then it quickly becomes tedious and the missions suck. So Iron Man is definitely due a good game.
The problem with an Iron Man game, which is the problem with a lot of superhero games, is how to deal with flight. Flying a person has rarely been done well in video games. However, open-world games are becoming so large and well-designed that I truly believe it won't be long until something like this can be done right. The key for an Iron Man game is to have some mission variety, so that you aren't constantly flying around blasting jets or tanks, you need to have some thoughtful mission variety that mixes things up.
We'd be remiss if we didn't include Marvel's hottest new hero, Miss Marvel! Kamala Khan has kinda taken the Marvel Universe by storm since she became the new Miss Marvel, and she's sure to be featured heavily going forward.
To be completely honest, I feel like Miss Marvel is the the most likely to get a video game in the near future. I say this because her character, story and powers would fit seamlessly with a Telltale game - and we all know Marvel and Telltale will be making a game next year. So Kamala seems the best fit for that, but I could be wrong! Regardless, here's hoping we get to play as her sooner rather than later.
Here's one that's a little out of left field. Blade is character that is rarely associated with Marvel, at least in the average movie-goer mindset. And yet, the vampire hunter is just that, a Marvel Universe character, and a really cool one at that.
Blade became pretty popular in the late 90's thanks to the movies starring Wesley Snipes. Since 2004, he hasn't been seen on the big screen, and his role in comics is fairly minimal - being revealed as Ronin in The Mighty Avengers.
With all that in mind, Blade may not be the most obvious choice for a game star. However, his character depth and skill-set would translate easily to a game. There have been 2 Blade video games already but a gritty one with God of War style gameplay could be a homerun.
Captain America is definitely one of the easiest Marvel characters to make a game for. Superpowers are not easy to work into a game, especially when the character is also borderline invincible, but Cap is more like a suped-up guy with a shield and maybe a gun. He's simple, yet dynamic.
There was a Captain America game a few years back, when The First Avenger released, and it wasn't bad at all. It was a WWII game that had fist/shield fighting and platforming, as well as decent graphics. The story sucked and the missions were repetitive but the gameplay had a good foundation. So it stands to reason another Cap game could build upon that and take him to modern day.
As a fan-favorite, The Punisher has been the star of several games throughout the years, but never the mega-hit the character deserves. Again, The Punisher is a character that translates easily to games because he doesn't have overt superpowers.
Frank Castle is a true badass, arguably moreso than any other character in the Marvel Universe. The Punisher is the antithesis of everything Marvel and that's partially why he's so beloved. The character will get a new lease on life in the second season of Netflix's Daredevil, so expect The Punisher's star to shine in the coming years. Thus the time is ripe for a truly hardcore shooter with Marvel's most emotionally distraught character.
Thor is a huge character, both in stature and renown, and yet he has spawned relatively few games. Granted, he suffers from the same issues that Namor does in that he is incredibly powerful and hard to work into a game. But it would make for an incredible showing if someone could pull it off!
The visuals of a Thor game alone could make it amazing, imagine Asgard in all it's HD 1080p glory! I imagine a Thor game could look similar to Mass Effect in that the God of Thunder could open up the Bifrost and look at various solar systems or planets, and decide which he wanted to land on. From here, each world would have multiple missions and characters to interact with, as well as being significantly more open world than Mass Effect. Basically I want Thor, meets Mass Effect, meets No Man's Sky. Yes please.
Ahhh, poor Ghost Rider. If a series of movies ever hurt a character's image and reputation, it was Ghost Rider. The only movie that ever gave me a migraine in the cinema was Spirit of Vengeance, which effectively killed any hope I had for a good Ghost Rider movie. But alas, there is hope for Johnny Blaze yet!
A video game (or Netflix show) is the best way to resurrect this forgotten hero. A Ghost Rider game could play a lot like Arkham Knight; just give us a flame-headed badass equipped with chain and his awesome motorcycle! Granted, the game would be more vicious than Arkham Knight, and preferably more supernatural, but I think it could be done! To be fair, at this juncture I'd settle right now for a Road Rash spinoff starring superheroes!
Here's one that you may not have seen coming! Old webhead has had a plethora of games - some excellent, some awful, but he deserves a return to form.
The last great Spidey game was Spider-Man 2 on PS2, Gamecube and Xbox. Before that it was Spider-Man on the PS1. Sure we got some decent affairs with Shattered Dimensions and the Amazing Spider-Man, but nothing deserving of the Spider-Man name. Much like Batman pre-Arkham, it's easy to forget that a good Spider-Man game is even possible!
The core mechanic of web-slinging around New York was fun in every single game. It just seems that Activision was never able to nail the story, graphics, or combat. Personally I would love to see Infamous developer Sucker Punch take a stab at a Spider-Man game. I think they would nail it! We, as much as the character himself, deserve a great Spider-Man game that reinstates Marvel's flagship character!
OK, so I flirted around with a bunch of characters before settling on Iron Fist. I know he wouldn't be many people's first choice, but I chose him over the likes of the X-Men, Doctor Strange, The Incredible Hulk and more, because he would so easily fit a video game, and because he's about to be a star.
Iron Fist will be getting a Netflix show, in the same universe as Daredevil, Luke Cage and Jessica Jones, which means he is about to become a lot better known to the public. Truth be told, Danny Rand is a great character anyway - he's genuinely hilarious (check out Ultimate Spider-Man for evidence), and a martial arts master from New York.
For obvious reasons his skillset would translate easily to a video game and, even though he's from the Big Apple, he frequents the mystical city of K'un L'un, which would make for a really cool aesthetic!
And our final choice for Marvel hero deserving of a game, is the Man without Fear! Yes, he is blind, which would make a game instantly difficult to design, but the time is now!
The blindness is easily the biggest issue facing a Daredevil game. Sure it could be third-person, but that would feel untrue to the character. Maybe it could just have a Detective Mode way of viewing things, which could enhance hearing and other senses. Regardless, smarter people than me could figure a way around it.
A game in which you pounce across the rooftops of Brooklyn, taking out goons in your hunt for Wilson Fisk would make for a great experience! Or even an Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China style game would suit Daredevil! Either way, let me play as Matt Murdock!
So those are the 10 Marvel heroes most deserving of a game! Of course there are others, but we strayed away from teams like X-Men, Fantastic Four and The Avengers because that seemed like an easy answer. Plus there's already several MMOs in which you can play as every Marvel character!
The only Marvel game we know coming to consoles is the Telltale Games series, which isn't until 2017, and we don't even know who that will star. And at this point, we probably won't see any Marvel console games until after that! Sad face. So in the meantime, it's fun to speculate what the future may hold for our favorite Marvel heroes!
Which character(s) would you like to see in a great console game? Let us know in the comments!