Video Games

6 Of The Worst Superhero Games Ever Made

San Diego Comic-Con has come to an end, and I’m grumpy because I was supposed to be there. But I’ll put my sadness aside for a moment and take a look at some video games that star comic book characters. Over the last few years with the Batman Arkham series, we’ve seen a surge of good comic book games, but it wasn’t always like this. We have gotten a lot of crappy games starring our favorite heroes over the years, and I’m going to take a look back at them.

Here’s a list of the worst superhero games, I’ve ever played.

6. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Released in 1989

You’re the turtles, it’s all you’ve ever wanted. Unfortunately for you, the game is complete and utter garbage, so all you’re left to do is cry into your TMNT coffee mug. Well, when I was a child it was more of a juice mug.

Why it sucks: Obviously this game sucks, and there really isn’t too many good TMNT games for that matter. I usually get arguments from some that the newer TMNT games are alright, but you know what? They’re really not. They seem to suffer from overused catch phrases, a bad camera and just flat out boring gameplay.

I’m not here to discuss those though, I’m here to discuss the first TMNT game on the NES. As a child I couldn’t wait to play this game, and I did all the time, but something about it always frustrated me. It wasn’t until I got older that I realized this game was just awful.

I genuinely hate everything about it. I hate that stupid truck that you walk past in the over world sections can kill you, like, why? Why do this to me? I just lost like two turtles trying to get here, now you’re killing me the moment I step out of the sewers? Come on. I’m not even going to go into the under water stage.

5. Spawn: The Eternal
Released in 1997

Spawn was one of my favorite anti-hero characters. His look always interested me, but I never actually ever read Spawn. I have a vague memory of seeing the cartoon from time to time, but again it wasn’t something I was really into. I solely just dug his look, oh, and that really bad Spawn movie with John Leguizamo.

The only reason I ever played this game, and introduced to Spawn, was due to a cousin of mine–who also happened to introduce me to Shaq-Fu. At the time, I thought she was just really good at these hard games, later in life I realized…maybe she was just into bad games.

Why it sucks: This game was no exception, it was bad, but back in 1997 we really didn’t know this to the full extent. The game’s controls are atrocious, graphics were always really buggy, and the camera…God, don’t get me started on that camera.

Back in 1997 though, this was the struggle, moving from 2D to 3D did not happen gracefully, even some of the most applauded games of the time, like Super Mario 64 or Ocarina of Time had these issues with bad cameras. While I’m not comparing those two vastly superior games to this horrible abomination, I’m just trying to say the struggle was real guys, and it was bad.

4. Spider-Man and the X-Men in Arcade’s Revenge
Released in 1992

When I first got my Super Nintendo I received a lot of second-hand games. So my parents only actually bought me a handful of games for the system because I was already given a pretty big collection for a youngster. On one of my birthdays I did receive this game, and I couldn’t wait to play it. So I ran to my bedroom overly excited, I get the game out and into my SNES, and was greeted to…poop.

Why it sucks: Right away I had issues with the game, thinking it was my SNES, I popped in another game to have it work fine. Tried Spider-Man again and nothing. I finally got it to play, and I literally wanted to cry at how bad this game turned out. Again, as a child I didn’t really think about games being “bad” I thought of them as being “too hard.” This was probably the first game that I thought was just flat out bad.

The controls were awkward, the heroes sucked, and the way it looked as a whole was just so ugly. I felt betrayed. I loved these characters so much, and they screwed me over. Never again would I look at a Spider-Man game and get excited. Well, it wasn’t until Ultimate Spider-Man when I thought they may have finally made a good Spider-Man game… Nope, I was wrong.

3. Spider-Man and Venom Maximum Carnage
Released in 1994

This is a game everyone, except for me, seemed to love. It’s your average beat ’em up, and while it did have an awesome red cartridge, I found it to be pretty boring. The soundtrack is pretty rad, composed by Buffalo natives Green Jelly, it just is a reminder of that time period in the ’90s.

Why it sucks: Honestly, it’s just boring. While yes the SNES port is awesome because it’s a red cart, and the said Green Jelly soundtrack (think Gwar, but not as popular). You don’t get to play with Venom until the second or third stage. Which really annoyed me when I was young because I wanted to play with friends, and you can’t because this game is single player. Yeah, what the hell? How are you gonna have a game called Spider-Man and Venom and not make it two players? Maybe the Genesis game they had two players, but they definitely did not on the SNES. With all that, there’s way better side-scrolling beat ’em ups you could play. The story is okay but some of the boss fights are so incredibly bad! Man-spider, I’m looking at you and your dumb self.

2. Batman Forever

Released in 1995

Speaking of terrible lets get to this game, the abomination of two things I loved as a child. Well yeah, in the ’90s I liked all Batman movies. I didn’t see them critically like I do now, but by the time Batman and Robin came out I think I was just about done with Batman. This game drove that point even further, and it decided to bring in Mortal Kombat to make me dislike that too! No, seriously, this game was horrendous. If you’ve never played it, let me give you a quick example.

Why it sucks: You have the choice to play with Batman or Robin, for some reason Acclaim thought people would choose Robin. Anyway when you start you notice a few things, the characters are digitized and really big. The characters themselves are completely ripped from Mortal Kombat! Obviously not the character models, but their moves, their walk cycle, everything! Your uppercut is the same exact thing, why? Acclaim seemed to do this a lot, and it was always bad. Even worse than that side scrolling Sub-Zero game which was pretty damn awful. I see no redeeming quality in this game, it’s just a turd. I hate it so much.

1. Superman 64

Released in 1999

Well, we all knew this was gonna be here, and how couldn’t it be? It’s truly a terrible game, and I’m ashamed to say I was excited by screen shots of this game. I saw the ad for this game all the time in GamePro, and I wanted to play it so bad. I never really cared about Superman, but I kinda liked the animated series, that’s about it.

I don’t know what it was, it’s as if the ads just hypnotized me to want to play it. I couldn’t be stopped, I rented it, I tried to play it. I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t fly. I probably only played it for two days, but that’s all I needed. I hated this game, and I hated Superman for it. The end, I’m getting a Dreamcast and getting rid of my N64.

Why it sucked: Everything above. In fact, just go watch AVGN’s review of this game.

So there you have it, the worst superhero games I’ve ever played. Next time I’ll do a list of the best superhero games I’ve played!

Which superhero games have you played and felt burned by?

The Author

Johnny Ketchum

Johnny Ketchum

Writer and content creator from Denver Colorado, mostly knowledgable in the realm of retro video games he also creates music and music mixes.

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