It can probably be argued that most games are somewhat superhero games: they aim to make us feel more powerful than we actually are, and give us the tools to make that a reality. But for the purposes of this week's community question, let's limit things to actual superheroes.
They could be established. They could be dreamed up completely originally for the medium of video games. For this week's community question (and partially in honor of this weekend's release of the latest mega-Marvel movie Avengers: Infinity War), we kick this question over to you: What's your favorite superhero game?
Marvel vs. Capcom 2: A New Age of Heroes is probably the game that features superheroes that I have the biggest soft spot for, given when it came out in my lifetime. There's other winners like the upcoming Spider-Man on the PlayStation 4, Lego Marvel Super Heroes, and the last season of Batman: The Telltale Series. I'm also a huge fan of the Marvel Ultimate Alliance games and I wish Activision would fully revisit the property.
But I think probably one of my favorite games overall is City of Heroes. I really miss being able to craft your own hero to protect Paragon City and the world it inhabits. As a superhero MMO, City of Heroes and City of Villains were such a unique standout in the industry; there's not much that played or felt like them. Neither Cryptic Studios' follow-up Champions Online or DC Universe Online have scratched the same itch for me, unfortunately. Every month or so, I lament that NCSoft shut down the original superhero MMO.
Oh, easy. Sunsoft's Batman for the NES.
("But Nadia, Batman's not a superhero!")
Shhh. Actually, you know what, let's be honest right up front. Batman for the NES isn't a shining example of what a Batman game should be. Batman, uh, uses a gun, and that's for starters. Few of the enemies he takes belong anywhere in the Batman mythos, other than the Joker. But I can't deny Batman for the NES a great action game—one of the best games with Batman's name on it, whether it deserves to be there or not. It's also a hard game. Very hard. Not unfair, though. Like Castlevania and Ninja Gaiden, Batman for the NES is a game that gobbles up all your free time in your childhood as you struggle to pin down everything that makes it tick. Then you get to return to it as an adult ands say, "Oh my God, how did I do this? Jesus, what happened to my reflexes? Ah, piss on it. I don't have time for this."
We live in a blessed time where there are actually quite a few great superhero games. I remember spending countless hours swinging across Spider-Man 2 on PS2. I love the Batman Arkham series (minus Arkham City). The Wonderful 101 is a woefully underrated Wii U and PlatinumGames title. And yet, I'm gonna go with an entirely different superhero game: Infamous 2 from Sucker Punch Games.
Infamous 2 is a goofy little game with a black and white view of morality, but despite my qualms with it, it's a blast to run around in. Infamous 2 is the series' peak, set in a New Orleans-like city—the most dangerous possible locale for a superhero whose main source of power is electricity like hero (or anti-hero) Cole MacGrath. I've played many, many games where the selling point is either letting players take a walk in a superhero they admire's shoes, or making them feel like a superhero. Infamous 2 is the only game, for me at least, that made me feel the latter. I felt like a goddamn superhero. And sometimes, a supervillain too.