Ever since Michael Keaton’s Batman, game developers have been trying to capture what it means (and feels like) to be a superhero. After lots of experimentation, superhero video games have come a long way.
Batman’s celebrated Arkham series, which showed gamers what it felt like to become the fearsome hero, exemplifies the standard of modern video games portraying superheroic characters.
And then there’s the more recent Marvel’s Spider-Man, which built upon the video games that came before it to elevate the genre and deliver a truly immersive experience behind the mask of the Web-Slinger.
But for the most part, we’ve really only seen the “mainstream” superheroes in action when it comes to video games. What other heroes have yet to appear in interactive gaming? Who else do we want to be when the console powers up, giving life to gaming fantasies?
Here are my picks for several other superheroes that have the potential to bring us all kinds of unique gaming experiences!
8. Doctor Strange
Superhero video games usually center on a superhero who has a limited range of powers, like Batman’s utility belt or Spider-Man’s web-slinging ability. For characters who can do all kinds of things, it becomes more complex to implement their mechanics into a video game.
We want to see a Doctor Strange video game, but we understand that a video game adventure with him would be difficult to pull off.
Ignoring the vast array of magical abilities the Sorcerer Supreme possesses, the game would need to allow gamers to access other dimensions at will—meaning the sheer expansiveness of the world would have to be as dense as it is yawning.
Still, if developers could pull off such a feat, the fun would be immense. An open-world game where gamers could play as Stephen Strange as he goes on an adventure to repair reality could lead to limitless possibilities—and a unique gaming experience.
7. Wonder Woman
In December 2021, Monolith announced (at The Game Awards) that they’d be working on a Wonder Woman video game, so we’ll be getting a Wonder Woman game at some point in the not-too-distant future.
Not only is a video game centered on Wonder Woman long overdue, but it could become one of the best superhero games of all time.
The great thing about Wonder Woman—from a developer’s point of view—is that she isn’t as overpowered as Superman, yet is still blessed with abilities that can translate perfectly to video game format. Superior strength, speed, and flight are abilities that could feel great to control.
There are a vast multitude of stories that could be developed by Monolith, so if they get it right, we could see a strong new superhero video gaming franchise born from their efforts.
6. Captain Marvel
With Captain Marvel’s levels of power, a game that takes place across multiple other planets in space would probably be the best option for game developers looking to use her IP.
In this sense, Captain Marvel is the opposite of Wonder Woman: she isn’t as limited in her powers as the warrior princess. This points to a gameplay style that would need to be expansive for her game to work, more akin to the vast possibilities of the aforementioned Doctor Strange game.
Captain Marvel’s sheer strength poses a challenge, too. Keeping Carol Danvers on Earth only allows gamers to have a tactile sense of weight and power—a problem largely resolved by other planets and beings.
Creating a Thor video game set in the same era as the Marvel Cinematic Universe version of Thor would be… unimaginative, to say the least.
How about a more mature type of video game that centers on Thor when he’s the King of Asgard: older, wiser, and deadlier as he grows more powerful with age. It could be perfect in a God of War kind of way.
Many of Thor’s stories could be well-adapted with this approach, focusing on tales with darker tones and more complex morality. A younger Thor might initially appear more appealing for a game, a different path would have the advantage of bold originality and lasting relevance.
An open-world-style game that takes place in Asgard—plus other realms—is something the Marvel community would crave, with Mjolnir at his side as the game’s primary weapon. Upgradable, of course.
For those acquainted with Amazon’s Invincible, a fully rounded video game based on Mark Grayson’s story from unassuming high school boy to near-invulnerable superhero would be amazing to play.
Though the success of Invincible is steadily breaking into mainstream culture—mostly thanks to Amazon Prime Video’s availability and marketing—it doesn’t yet qualify for a AAA-level video game treatment.
Aside from that, a game based around him would still be the kind of game that many comic fans have longed for, and the level of collateral damage and bloody violence in Invincible would appeal to adult audiences.
Picture holding your gaming controller, playing on a 4K TV, and a massive underwater world spreads out before you as you dive in as Aquaman.
Not only would it feel unique—as most open-world-style games take place on land—but it would also be thrilling to discover the secrets of Atlantis, with an open ocean full of fish and Atlantian technology.
The map would need to be huge, of course, which shouldn’t be an issue with modern gaming engines. Furthermore, parts of the map would still need to be above the surface for tactile diversity.
The fun gameplay and story that could come from a DC video game centered on Aquaman wouldn’t just feel expansive, but also have the advantage of being unlike any other superhero game out there.
It could even incorporate ships, submarines, and other human vessels for Aquaman to overcome, which could feel akin to Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag except with underwater and above-ground scales reversed.
2. The Flash
How challenging would it be to make a game based on The Flash? Very! Mainly because creating an interactive world for Barry or Wally to run around in that doesn’t feel restrictive would be a near-impossible task.
With the speed at which The Flash can run, even a vast map the size of Red Dead Redemption 2 would feel underwhelming, as it would be able to be crossed in mere minutes—if not seconds.
However, with a bit of creative gameplay design, that’s an obstacle that could be overcome, and a video game about the exploits of The Flash could be unique in ways no other superhero games have yet seen.
Being able to upgrade and craft Barry or Wally’s suits while using his speed to turn back time to beat missions, endlessly replaying them until we get it right? It’d be a tight line to walk and a challenging endeavor, but ripe with potential to be a masterpiece.
Many game developers have already tried to create a successful Superman video game, but none of them have ever gone too well. The reason is simple: none of those games captured the scale required to make a Superman game feel truly grand.
The ideal Superman video game would need a whole seaboard at the gamer’s disposal, along with parts of space above Earth. And even if that could be done well, there’s the issue of controls—Superman’s powers make it difficult for smooth controls that feel great.
However, if this kind of game were to materialize, it’d be a smash hit! We’d all finally know what it’s like to have the power of Kal-El at our disposal. Though, it’s perhaps some way off yet.