Top 10 Best Superman Games of All Time
*Shakes Magic 8 Ball* Outlook not so good
Smallville. Kal-El. The Man of Steel. Soups. The last son of Krypton. No matter how many different ways to say his name, there is only one Superman. Since his first appearance in Action Comics #1, Superman has delighted comic book fans and the public at large for more than 80 years, appearing in everything from movies to comics to radio shows, some of which were actually pretty good. He has also appeared in a wide range of video games. Unfortunately, these games really aren’t worth playing. In fact, if you buy a game where Superman is the star, there’s a good chance you’ll regret the purchase within an hour of playing it. Developers can’t crack the code to make a decent Superman game.
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some good games with Superman in them. In fact, Supes has found its way into a wide variety of fun and exciting games. I’m sorry, did I say “wide range of fun and exciting games?” What I meant to write was an extremely narrow selection of decent to arguably great games. I don’t know why people keep searching for “Best Superman Games” on Google, but if they keep searching, I might as well get a few clicks with a list.
10. Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe
You know things aren’t going so well for old Kal-El when the first game on this list belongs to a decidedly average fighter. Comes at the back end of Mortal Kombatits Midway Games era, MK vs. DC Universe brought the two brands together in a clunky and toned-down fighter that, to its credit, actually had a decent story that didn’t rely on something as boring as “Evil Superman.” After it rebranded as NetherRealm Studios and rediscovered its love for 2D fighters, the DC fighting games from this studio would be much better.
9. Arena of Valor
Perhaps better known as Honor of Kings (aka Strike of Kings), Arena of Valor was one of the biggest mobile games in China before it went global. To maximize the appeal of this mobile MOBA to Western audiences, Arena of Valor brought in some famous playable characters from the DC Universe. Batman, Joker, Wonder Woman, Harley Quinn, and the Flash joined Superman on Antares Battlefield, but their presence, along with a release on the Nintendo Switch, wasn’t enough to make Arena of Valor a hit outside China. Still, it was a pretty good MOBA.
8. Justice League Heroes: The Flash
During the GBA and Nintendo DS years, if you wanted a licensed property done right, you went to WayForward Technologies. The studio, now best known for its Shantae and River City Girls games, worked on everything from Looney Tunes to Scorpion King. Sure, not all of it was a hit, but it still had a better batting average than most other developers working on licensed games at the time.
Justice League Heroes: The Flash didn’t look like anything special, but it certainly played like it, with great isometric controls and creative use of The Flash’s signature speedster power. While you can’t play as Superman in this game, you can call him in for an assist if you find yourself in trouble, and for that it makes the list.
7. LEGO Dimensions
This isn’t the only LEGO game you’ll see on this list, but it’s one of the better LEGO games Traveler’s Tales has made. The toys-to-life action-adventure game brought together a delicious mix of different movie, TV and video game universes in one unique package. The base game included 14 levels, but by purchasing packs that included real LEGO minifigures, you could expand the fun with new story campaigns, scenes or characters.
Batman is one of the three main characters in the game. If you wanted to play as Supes, you had to buy the Superman Fun Pack, which included a Superman minifigure and Hover Pod. As brilliant an idea as this was, LEGO dimensions kicked the bucket in 2017 just as the toys-to-life market collapsed.
6. Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure
Developer 5th Cell struck gold in 2009 when it released the original Scribblenauts games for Nintendo DS. The premise was simple: write the name of an object, and that object will appear in the game. Want to see a helicopter? Enter it and you will be able to control it. Do you need a katana? Enter it and start swinging. The only limit players faced was their own imagination. Well, that and copyright restrictions. You couldn’t type “Superman from DC Comics” into the original game and expect to see the Man of Steel appear.
For that to happen, you’ll have to wait until 2014, when Warner Bros. Games were released Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure. Like the original Scribblenauts, the game tasked players with solving puzzles by summoning objects into the world. But this time the world would be populated with DC Comics characters, including Superman. Unfortunately, 5th Cell would face a number of backlash after the release of this game, and the next entry in the series, Scribblenauts Showdownwas created by another developer.
5. DC Universe Online
It’s probably not a good sign when your high-profile subscription-based MMO goes free-to-play in its first year, but that’s exactly what happened to DC Universe Online. The game was launched on PS3 and PC in January 2011. By November, it was already in the process of removing the entrance fee for players. It seems it was the right thing to do, because more than 10 years later, the game is still going strong, with new content regularly added by the developers at Dimensional Ink Games.
The MMO allows players to create their own hero or villain in the DC universe, and interact with characters such as Superman and Giganta. After completing everything in the main game, players can expand their adventure with purchasable episodes that introduce new stories and scenarios to experience. As for the gameplay, it’s pretty standard by MMO standards, but it’s still pretty cool to be able to fulfill your childhood dream of being a superhero (or villain) alongside your DC faves.
The newest game on this list is also one of the smoothest fighters in recent years. MultiVersus—amazing name, by the way—brings together characters from various Warner Bros. properties in a party fighter that takes some cues from Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. series. When you actually sit down with the game and start learning its quirks, you’ll find that this is nothing Smash clone, but something all its own.
Superman was one of the first playable characters released for the game, originally classified as a Bruiser before being switched over to Tank. He is a melee fighter with fists of steel that pairs well with characters who are faster and stronger but take damage more easily. In other words, a Superman/Harley Quinn combination is a good starting point for those just starting out in the game. MultiVersus is still in its first year, and it will be fun to see what the future holds for it.
3. LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes/LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham/LEGO DC Super-Villains
I could easily have filled four spots in this list with LEGO games. While Superman hasn’t had his own brick-and-mortar outing, he has appeared in some of the games that bring together the heroes and villains of the DC Universe. He appeared first LEGO Batman 2 DC Super Heroes and came back for the sequel Beyond Gotham. While the villains were the stars of LEGO DC Super Villainsyou can unlock Supes and make good use of the game’s open world design.
If you’ve played one LEGO game, you’ve pretty much played them all, but LEGO Batman and LEGO DC game goes beyond most of the other licensed LEGO titles with fun original stories for all ages and well-designed levels that make great use of the simplistic gameplay. If you have to start anywhere, start with LEGO Batman 2as it is arguably the cream of the crop.
2. Injustice: Gods Among Us/Injustice 2
If I failed to have picked #1, these two games would have taken the top two spots. After NetherRealm Studios remembered how to make fun fighting games again with Mortal Kombat (2009), it dived back into the world of superheroes with Injustice: Gods Among Us. The game certainly delivered for fans with its impeccable performance, controls, combat system, and story that features an alternate universe where Superman rules as a dictator.
It was easily the best DC fighting game ever made… until the sequel was released in 2017. Injustice 2 continued the story of the first game while adding more characters from Superman’s circle, including Supergirl. Unfortunately, it also added loot boxes and terrible microtransactions. Hopefully a possible third Injustice the title will leave all the extra junk behind.
1. Superman Style Flight Experience
Why is this #1 when it’s not even a real game? Because Superman Style Flight Experienceaka Superman Mod for The Matrix wakes up demo, represents exactly what Superman stands for: Hope. Hoping for a better tomorrow, when a developer will actually figure out how to give players a great Superman game. The mod is a fantastic part of the full “Superman” experience, allowing you to don blue and red tights (but not the copyrighted blue and red tights) as you zoom around town.
It may be nothing more than a proof of concept, but to me it’s proof that maybe, just maybe, technology has finally reached the point where developers will be able to create an authentic Superman experience without the usual shenanigans they feel they have to pull. making Superman not so much an immortal god.
We’ve heard rumors for years that a new Superman game was in the works, from the canceled Blue Steel prototype to a Rocksteady game that was reportedly rejected by Warner Bros. But with this demo showing what’s now possible with the power of Unreal Engine 5, now’s the time for a talented studio to take another crack at it. I mean, what they make can’t be worse than Superman 64could it?