10 best superhero games (not based on Marvel or DC)

From movies to television, superheroes have dominated pop culture for years. Video games haven’t been spared their influence either, with several amazing games like Marvel’s Spider-Man and the Arkham critically acclaimed series and gamers alike.

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However, not all superhero video games are based on the properties of famous comic book publishers. While it may be more difficult to sell players a new hero or a new world instead of the one they already know, the creative freedom afforded by the original properties has allowed game developers to explore a wide range. styles of play and intrigue in superhero games.

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Prototype

prototype alex mercer walking away from civilians

Prototype went a bit under the radar due to its close release to the critically acclaimed film Infamous, but the games are quite different apart from the two featuring overpowered protagonists. PrototypeAlex Mercer resembles many of Marvel’s most powerful symbiotes, as the Blacklight virus gives him the ability to morph and form weapons with his malleable limbs. The sequel to the game switches to a new protagonist, James Heller, who wants revenge on Mercer for the death of his family during Mercer’s attempt to save New York in the original game.

City of heroes

various characters from the city of heroes

Despite the large number of MMOs released since World of warcraft defined the genre, only a select few let players put themselves in the shoes of a superhero or a villain. While DC Universe Online is still going strong after more than a decade, it was the City of heroes that best allowed players to live out their overkill fantasies.

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The original version only featured characters from the good side, but the standalone version City of the Wicked let players fight for evil, and the extension Become thug open to the door to characters with flexible moral alignment.

Force of freedom

justice league video games

Force of freedom isn’t based on any Marvel or DC Comics characters (although Marvel has two teams of the same name), but pop culture’s most famous superheroes clearly inspire its heroes. While most games with superpowers are third-person action games, Force of freedom is more of a top-down tactical experience.

The game was a critical success and won several away games in 2002, and its sequel was also well received (although it did not receive the same universal praise). In 2005, Image Comics transformed the series into a limited edition comic book that came full circle with its design influences.

Saint Row IV

row of saints iv

The row of saints series began as a ground competitor of the Grand Theft Auto games, but they met with greater critical and commercial success as later games carved out their own niche in the parody realm. While Saints Row the Third introduced absurd weapons and outfits, Saints Row IV went further from realism by giving the gang some real superpowers. The majority of the game takes place in a computer simulation controlled by aliens, and a host of various powers are downloaded to the Saints to help them escape into the real world.

Joe the spectator

Joe the spectator

Joe the spectator is every MCU fan’s dream. In the game, Joe is a huge fan of superhero movies who is dragged into a cinematic world and transformed into the titular Viewtiful Joe by his favorite superhero. Joe uses various powers to fight enemy hordes and save his girlfriend from danger.

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The game is a side-scrolling platformer that was critically acclaimed on release for having tight combat controls and a nice shaded visual design. The game has spawned several sequels and a manga series, though none come close to the original’s popularity.

Infamous

infamous 2 cole macgrath static

The first two games of the Infamous series and several expansion stories follow the development of Mail Cole McGrath as he develops electric superpowers and must decide what role to play in a looming global apocalypse. The third, Infamous: Second Son, switches to a new protagonist. The three main games are set in Empire City (New York), New Marais (New Orleans), and Seattle and allow players to interact with one of the best open-world cities in the game.

Not only does the games allow players to branch out into various powers based on smoke, neon, video, vampirism, and more, but players can also decide whether they want to save the world or help destroy it.

South Park: the fractured but whole

South Park fractured but whole

When South Park: The Stick of Truth was announced, most fans weren’t sure what to expect. While the South Park The franchise is loved by many, with some worried that humor would replace strong role-playing mechanics. Fortunately, that wasn’t true, and the fantasy parody game ended up being both hilarious and well done. The following, South Park: the fractured but whole, abandoned the sword and witchcraft and replaced them with superpowers. The result was another game that was both a comedic success and a satisfying tactical experience for gamers looking for a true team-based RPG.

The wonderful 101

Hideki Kamiya, the creator of the superhero game Joe the spectator, teamed up with Atsushi Inaba to create The wonderful 101 for the Wii U. The game plunges players into a massive war between Earth and an invading alien force, and survival depends on a group of superheroes called the Wonderful Ones. These heroes are able to imbue ordinary citizens with superpowers, and large swarms of these individuals work together to form large multi-person objects and forms capable of defeating invaders. The original game only required drawing these shapes on the Wii U’s touchscreen, but later ports changed the input to a standard analog stick.

Monitoring

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Very few multiplayer-only games feature a deep story or gripping narrative, but Monitoring tells a decades-long story of the titular superhero team through gaming, comics, and shorts. Monitoring features several memorable characters with superpowers or fantastic weapons to keep (or destroy) the security of the world.

Also unique to Monitoring is the fact that the game takes place after the fall of the superhero team. The brilliant gorilla Winston tries to bring the team together, but it will only be the continued delay Monitoring 2 that the players can officially review the whole team.

Megaton precipitation

an explosion of megatons of precipitation

Megaton precipitation perhaps a more intimidating premise than it can reliably do, but when it works, it’s one of the most epic superhero video games ever made. Instead of tasking players with protecting a city, Megaton precipitation asks them to save the entire planet from alien invaders. The game’s visuals leave a little to be desired, but the immense sense of scale and destructible environments are unparalleled. The game is presented in first person, making it a successful experience across multiple VR platforms.

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