So, you’ve been bitten by a radioactive spider, eh? Well then, it’s time to put those new powers to good use as we check out the best Xbox Spiderman games!
Back in 1962, Peter Parker – aka the amazing Spiderman – made his debut in the 15th and final issue of Amazing Adult Fantasy (which was retitled as Amazing Fantasy for that last issue, somewhat confusingly!).
Few could have predicted the success that an arachnid-themed character would go on to have, but Spiderman has been a pop culture icon ever since his debut. J
ust check out the cool Spider-Man merchandise that’s currently out there on our Spiderman gifts list!
Of course, Spiderman is no stranger to the world of video games – having first appeared digitally in the Atari 2600 Spiderman game 40 years ago, in 1982.
Spiderman games have appeared on a huge number of platforms including Xbox.
When it comes to Xbox Spiderman games, which are the ones worth swinging across town for?
Let’s find out, as we check out the best Xbox Spiderman games!
The second film in the reboot series, The Amazing Spiderman 2 was a disaster of Spiderman 3 proportions.
Released at a time when the Marvel Cinematic Universe was seeing huge success with its continuity shared across an increasing number of films, Sony – the producers of the Spiderman films – wanted to kickstart their own Spider-Man universe and tried using The Amazing Spider-Man 2 as a springboard.
Which was a huge mistake, as many scenes in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 just feel as if they’re designed to pay off later. There’s just no other reason for them to be included.
Due to the relative failure of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and the backlash against all of its bloated, unnecessary content, Sony scrapped all of those plans. Instead, they opted to partner with Marvel on bringing Spider-Man into the MCU.
Which was a great, and hugely successful, idea.
The developers of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 didn’t make a memorable game, though arguably the source material didn’t give them a great deal to work from.
Somehow though, like the film, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 falls short in nearly every respect. I’s plagued with technical issues (including a dreadful camera, yet again), its open world feels dull and its story is awful too.
Missions are repetitive and boring too. It feels as if it’s just a retread of The Amazing Spider-Man – but worse.
Which is why this is our choice for the opening entry of the best Xbox Spider-Man games list!
(It’s lucky to be here at all!)
The first Sam Raimi Spiderman movie was an absolute phenomenon; along with X-Men two years prior, it did an awful lot of the heavy lifting in helping to establish the modern dominance of superhero movies.
The game based on the film was a genuinely impressive one, at least from a technical point of view, back in 2002 – with movie accurate models and a stunning, fairly open New York City to swing around.
However, technical limitations did rear their head and – along with an uncooperative camera.
Don’t forget the lack of being able to drop to ground level without dying (oh no, Spiderman has…fallen too far?).
Unfortunately, that meant it’d be a few years before we could have the Spider-Man games we had always dreamed of.
Where did it all go wrong?
Not only was the movie Spiderman 3 a huge and embarrassingly bad letdown compared to its predecessors, but the same fate befell the video game adaptation too.
Let’s start with the good stuff though: this first seventh generation Spiderman game featured an incredibly expansive and impressively sized open world New York setting for its day, with lots of randomised crimes to assist with as you swung around the city.
Tied into this is a neat crime wave mechanic. Take down enough gang members in a specific district and it’ll put a stop to that gang’s activity there.
The symbiotic black suit also features, with a nicely implemented ‘rage’ mechanic that gives Spidey some extra strength and ability.
The film’s cast also reprise their roles in the game. Even Sam Raimi regular Bruce Campbell, who cameos in all of Raimi’s movies including the Spider-Man trilogy, pops up as the narrator of the tutorial.
Sadly, however, the bad far outweighs the good.
The cast, particularly Tobey Maguire, seem bored and uninterested in their roles, giving mostly terrible performances all round.
Visually, it felt somewhat lifeless in comparison to previous games and the story itself was far too brief, though of course the side missions and crime wave mechanic do make up for that somewhat.
Still, it does still offer that large open world. And when left to their own devices and not forced into the boring missions, players will have fun cleaning up the city’s various districts.
It’s most definitely no masterpiece, but it’s also far from the worst Spider-Man game on Xbox consoles!
After the massive disappointment of SpiderMan 3, the films took a breather and returned five years later, refreshed, with a reboot starring Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker – The Amazing Spiderman.
The film wasn’t bad either, though the retread of Spider-Man’s well-worn and universally known origin story felt redundant.
The video game bearing the same name as the film, interestingly, acts as a sequel to the events that transpired on the big screen.
Taking place several months after the events of the film, the game of The Amazing Spider-Man spins an original tale, once again utilising the format of an open world action adventure game.
The open world web swinging both prove thrilling. But The Amazing Spider-Man unfortunately falls foul of the same issues that many open world Spider-Man games face.
We’re talking about that awful camera (which becomes a particular problem in interior settings) and repetitive mission design.
Cutting back on the multiverse hopping of Spiderman: Shattered Dimensions, Spiderman: Edge of Time delivers a time travel tale featuring two chronologically clashing Spidermen.
The Spiderman of the present meets Spiderman 2099, as their worlds collide for a tale that spans both contemporary New York and the futuristic metropolis of Nueva York.
Though the time travel storyline is very well told, with brilliant cut scenes and voice acting, the gameplay is far too focused on combat.
And it doesn’t take long for missions to feel very repetitive as a result.
Shorn of the differing styles of gameplay in Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, unfortunately Edge of Time falls far shorter than the heights of excellence reached in the previous game.
Which is a real shame. The updated visual design of Spiderman 2099’s suit remains absolutely stunning.
And the story written by long term, fan favourite comic book writer Peter David, is superb.
Avert Peter Parker’s death in order to save the future!
SpiderMan: Friend or Foe swings into 5th position in our Xbox Spiderman games compendium!
With all previous Spiderman titles on Xbox consoles being adaptations of movies or comics, this was the very first game that wasn’t based on a prior storyline that had appeared in another medium.
Spiderman: Friend or Foe also completely detached itself from the open world arms race that the rest of the Spiderman games seem stuck in, even now (not that it’s necessarily a bad thing: just check out where Spiderman: Miles Morales appears on our most popular video games today list, as well as pride of place on our best PS4 games list!).
A side scrolling beat ’em up with light platforming elements that’s suitable for all ages, SpiderMan: Friend or Foe takes the then-familiar movie designs of the Marvel characters and places them in a completely new story.
Two players play simultaneously in co-op mode; one as Spider-Man and the other as a sidekick character. Unlock each by progressing through the game’s campaign.
Sidekicks can be heroic or villainous characters (hence the Friend or Foe of the title). And in single player mode, control switches between the two chosen characters at any time.
It’s a shame that Spider-Man: Friend or Foe is mostly forgotten these days, being very underrated and overlooked in its day.
After the incredibly underwhelming Spiderman 3 and the underrated Spiderman: Friend or Foe, Spiderman: Web of Shadows came along just a year later.
It injected plenty of new elements into what had rapidly become a tired and empty open world formula.
Web of Shadows has a really compelling narrative that unfolds in flashback, with a focus on Spiderman being able to switch between his standard red and blue suit and the symbiote-infused black suit at will.
Other characters assist Spiderman in battle, and moral choices taken throughout the game’s narrative determines which characters are willing to come to his aid.
Take the ‘bad’ moral decisions too many times and even the citizens of the open world New York City will be afraid of the dark Spidey you become!
Though the camera can sometimes be a pain and the visuals aren’t spectacular by any means, the clever narrative and morality elements, along with solid combat, make this one well worth your time.
Ultimate Spiderman takes the bronze medal in our best Xbox Spiderman games list!
With many Marvel characters having been around since the 60s (or even earlier in some cases) and with many of them having grown up alongside their readership, characters such as Peter Parker hadn’t been portrayed as a teenager for decades.
As storylines were becoming ever more tied in knots due to nearly 40 years of continuity, Marvel decided to launch a completely new line of comics in order to reinvent their characters for a younger audience.
And, in 2000, the Ultimate Universe was born.
This video game tie-in was closely tied to the comics, being scripted by the writer of the comic books – Brian Michael Bendis – acting as a sequel to the Venom storyline, which was published shortly before the game’s release.
Notable for its gorgeous, cel-shaded style – which meant it hewed closely to the visual style of the comics too – Ultimate Spider-Man saw players in control of Spiderman and Venom at different parts of the game’s story, with much of the game taking place in an open world based on Manhattan and Queens in New York.
Ultimate Spiderman was an excellent, underrated game that has aged pretty well from a visual standpoint; similarly to even older games like Jet Set Radio on the Dreamcast, the cel-shaded style looks an awful lot more timeless than many 3D games, which were clearly aiming for realism rather than a deliberately chosen, stylised aesthetic.
This second movie adaptation is where the potential of Spiderman games was truly reached for the very first time.
Sure, there had been plenty of decent Spiderman games before – the Neversoft PS1/Dreamcast games and the original movie adaptation among them – but Spiderman 2 was the first title to truly nail the feeling of free roaming, open world crime fighting, with an incredibly well implemented web-swinging mechanic to boot.
It’s remarkable just how good those mechanics were; to this day, Spiderman 2 is still one of the very best examples of translating a super hero’s specific powers and movesets into a video game.
The story, as you’d expect, both follows and expands upon the equally highly regarded second film – with lots of side missions to add to the game’s content.
Though Spiderman 2 may not have aged perfectly in terms of its open world mission design, swinging around its digital recreation of New York City is still as thrilling and empowering today as it ever was.
The results are in, the web cast, and Spiderman: Shattered Dimensions takes first place in this best Xbox Spiderman games list!
Eight years before the stunning animated movie Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse pulled a similar multiversal, multi-Spidey trick, Spiderman: Shattered Dimensions blazed a trail and gave us a glimpse at four different Spider-Men in four different worlds.
A mystical tablet has shattered – and with the multiverse in danger, it’s up to Spiderman and several more of his variants to put things right.
Though taking part in more focused, non-open world 3D stages, the variety in each of the universes gives Shattered Dimensions a truly unique feel.
There’s the normal Spiderman – whose stages take place in some really unusual places for the ‘vanilla’ version of our hero, starting off as he does in the jungle being hunted by supervillain Kraven.
Then there’s the Ultimate Spiderman – or, more importantly, Ultimate Spiderman at a point where he’s bonded with the Venom symbiote. His levels are probably the least interesting and unusual, though his powers are fun to use.
Then there’s the stealthy Spiderman Noir, whose pitch black stages take place in the dead of night and feature classic gangster movie tropes.
Lastly, there’s the futuristic, cyberpunk style stages that see players in control of Miguel O’Hara, aka Spiderman 2099.
A huge tech tree opens up a phenomenal number of powers, abilities and combat combos, with the ability to really customise each Spider-Man in terms of their moveset as players progress.
Spiderman: Shattered Dimensions even has Stan Lee as a narrator – and feels in so many ways like a mega Spiderman comic crossover come to life.
Yes Spiderman: Shattered Dimensions is the best Xbox Spiderman game of all time, and long may it wear the crown of victory!
Jason – who lives in the UK – has had a lifelong interest in video games, which all started when he discovered Space Invaders in the early 80s. The first game he ever completed was Wonder Boy in Monster Land on the Sega Master System – which remains one of his proudest gaming achievements. Jason is a passionate writer – and has been writing about gaming since the late 90s. He currently runs pop culture blog midlifegamergeek.com, which he updates on a daily basis (and has written more than 700 articles on the blog alone!).
Outside of video games, Jason is a keen tabletop gamer, film buff and comic book fan.