The history of Marvel Comics dates back to 1939, when the now famed comic book company was known as Timely Comics. Since then, as technology advanced and new mediums for fans to enjoy their favorite heroes emerged, the company that became Marvel Comics grew beyond print and TV and delved into online gaming. Today, there are dozens of Marvel Comics games, as Iron Man 2 invincible hero looks to be challenged by new adversaries and the Incredible Hulk invincible giant heads to new adventures.
Below are our three all-time favorite Marvel Comics games, a brief history of the most popular devices supporting them and a summary of the latest trends in online superhero gaming.
#3 – Spiderman (2000)
PlayStation, Nintendo 64, Dreamcast, PC, Macintosh, Game Boy Color
This twelve-year-old Spiderman game boasts more comic heroes than a Saturday morning Superfriends marathon, among them Daredevil, The Human Torch and The Punisher, and all of Spidey’s toughest nemeses, from Mysterio to Doc Oc to Carnage. For its time, the effects were extraordinary, and the narrative was perfectly pitched comic book camp.
#2 – Captain America and the Avengers (1991)
Arcade, NES, Super NES, Mega Drive/Genesis, Sega Game Gear, Game Boy
This beat-’em-up classic took video arcades – and later home consoles – by storm in the early nineties. Jam-packed with more Marvel superheroes than can be counted on your fingers and toes, Captain America and the Avengers is a gamers ultimate thrill ride. With the exception of those who can fly, all characters have their own unique projectile armaments with which to attack the ever-evil Red Skull.
#1 – Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds (2011)
Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
Capcom-related Marvel titles are, without question, the best of the best. We chose MvC3 as our top pick because it represents the nexus of fighting games. It expanded the initial two games’ roster exponentially, with characters like Hawkeye, Ghost Rider, She-Hulk, Taskmaster, M.O.D.O.K. and a host of other fantastically realized favorites making appearances.
In the 30-odd years since the advent of in-home games there have been dozens of consoles on which to play them. In the 1980′s it was Atari, Commodore and DOS. The early nineties saw the advent of Game Boy, Sega and Super NES. By 1995, the first PlayStation was introduced. Today, the dominant devices are Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
The former is the second video game console produced by Microsoft. Unveiled in May of 2005, it had sold more than 70,000 units worldwide by October 2012. It features an integrated Xbox Live service that lets users compete online and download arcade games, TV shows, music, movies and game demos.
PlayStation 3 was launched in 2006 and has since supported some of Marvel Comics most popular games. It features a unified online gaming service (the PlayStation Network), multimedia capabilities, connectivity with the PlayStation Portable and Blu-ray Disc storage.
Video Gaming Trends
Along with exponential technological advancements and the proliferation of mobile games, one of the most striking trends in video gaming is the development of casino games based on Marvel Comics characters.
Playtech, a leading online casino software company, is perhaps the most innovative creator of Marvel-themed slots games, producing new titles for big name brands like Titan Casino, Europa Casino and Casino Tropez.
Below are a few examples of its most successful superhero slots games.
- Fantastic Four – The Fantastic Four Team (new game version available now) conquers villains and saves the day in this masterfully executed slots game that offers the largest payout in the Marvel Slots series – an unbelievable 10,000x.
- Incredible Hulk – This game, with its 25 lines, interactive bonus game, 5000 coin jackpot and lifelike graphics lives up to its name. It is truly incredible.