Spider-Man chilling on wall

With great power comes great responsibility… to make a game that lives up to the legacy of everyone’s favorite web-head. Spider-Man is no stranger to video game adaptations, starring in almost forty different entries since 1982, but he does seem to be a stranger to good ones.

Despite having some of the best comic arcs in all of Marvel history, Spider-Man seems to be cursed with some pretty inconsistent video games. It takes a lot to bring the hero to life in a way that captures the hearts of fans. Though the webslinger’s gaming career has shown significant improvement over the years (and even turned out some truly remarkable projects), there’s still a lot of chaff to root through in the search for the top "Spider-Man" game.

From the truly amazing to the less-than-spectacular titles that have spanned the hero’s lifetime, here are the ten best and ten worst "Spider-Man" games of all time.

WORST: Spider-Man vs. The Kingpin

Spider-Man fighting Doc Ock

The worst thing that can be said about "Spider-Man vs. The Kingpin" is that it’s notoriously difficult and that other games have simply done better in the years since. Spidey’s Sega-exclusive adventure is remarkably challenging even on its easiest level, and that’s not even to mention the "Nightmare" mode on the Sega CD version. The difficulty manifests in some pretty weird ways, too. For instance, Kingpin keeps a team of deadly guard dogs that seemingly cannot be defeated. Hyper’s review noted that "[it’s] a game for dog-lovers everywhere … there is no way I can find to inflict any harm on the Kingpin’s guard dogs."

Despite that, the entry has its perks. The fact that "Spider-Man vs. The Kingpin" incorporates so many of Spidey’s unique powers on top of the generic action-platformer mechanics puts it a step above some of the other titles on this list. The game also features alternate endings depending on how well you play the final level. Ultimately, though, the game just isn’t all that memorable, even with the bells and whistles. It’s just punishingly difficult.

  • Release Date: 1991

  • Available On: Sega Genesis, Sega Master System, Sega Game Gear, Sega CD

  • Genre: Action, Platformer

  • Game Modes: Single-player

BEST: Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage

Spider-Man fighting Carnage

"Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage" had a slightly rough start, but it’s become more highly regarded in the years since its release. Launched in 1994 for the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis, the game received mixed and middling reviews that criticized its graphics and clunky controls. Players also found fault with the difficulty and lack of variety in the characters’ move sets, claiming that the title can feel unnecessarily long and repetitive when using the same attacks against the same enemies in front of the same backgrounds.

However, "Maximum Carnage" has aged like a fine wine. It has come to be viewed more favorably in recent years as a result of its faithful adaptation of the comic arc of the same name, catchy soundtrack, and ability to switch between Spider-Man and Venom throughout gameplay. Player reviews are more forgiving of its faults in retrospect, and publications like 90s Reviewer have come to appreciate its combo system and special web attacks.

  • Release Date: Sept. 16, 1994

  • Available On: SNES, Sega Genesis

  • Genre: Action, Beat ’em up

  • Game Modes: Single-player

The Animated Series
Spider-Man fighting bad guy
Spider-Man Game Boy black and white
Spider-Man: The Movie
Spider-Man kicks goon
Spider-Man attacks Venom
Spider-Man Atari swinging
Spider-Man and Venom team up
Spidey webs up villain
Spider-Man fights Kraven's goons
Spidey faces Mysterio
Venom lifts Spider-Man
Carnage on Spider-Man
Spider-Man arms folded
Spider-Man 3
Marvel's Spider-Man
Friend or Foe
Miles Morales