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Feature: A Look at Spider-Man's Critical Reception Since Swinging Onto Xbox

Posted by Dave Letcavage

We dig up the details on the wall-crawler's best and worst games.

While we're busy working on our review of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, we've decided to have a look at the critical reception Spidey has garnered since swinging onto Xbox consoles. Using GameRankings, we've shuffled through tons of reviews and selected excerpts that we feel give an overall well-rounded view of how each game was received at the time of release. With nine games hitting store shelves in ten years — often meaning short development cycles — it makes total spider-sense that many of the titles featured below landed scores all over the place, and we've done our best to showcase that, as well.

When you're finished taking it all in, be sure to vote in the poll to let us know your personal favorite of the included games, and then head to the comments to chat it up with us and the rest of the readers.

Oh, and a word of advice when it comes to ASM2: wait for our review before making a purchase. Trust us.

Spider-Man: The Movie — Xbox

Treyarch / Activision, 2002

GameRankings Rating: 78.37% (3rd)

"The combo and reward points systems are great additions to the series, and the tighter control scheme makes wall crawling unbelievably fun. Any comic book fan, fan of the movie, or gamer should swing their way to their friendly neighborhood game store and pick up a copy of this game. You won’t regret it." — Game Over Online - 85/100

"Spider-Man is easily one of the top superhero videogames of all time and it's taken full advantage of the videogame technology out there. There's nothing like it on the Xbox and so it should be worth a few hours of your gaming life." — IGN - 8.4/10

"Spider-Man: The Movie is really two Spider-Man games. The outdoor levels are so much more fun and enjoyable than the indoor levels--so much that the game could have been much better had there simply been more of the former and less of the latter." — Gamespot - 7.5/10

Spider-Man 2 — Xbox

Treyarch / Activision, 2004

GameRankings Rating: 83.54% (1st)

"In the end, Spider-Man 2 is not only the very best super hero game ever made, but it is also the very best movie based game ever made." — Worthplaying - 9.1/10

"Easily the best superhero title made, the GTA-influenced Spider-Man 2 truly captures the speed and acrobatic maneuverability of Spidey. The expansive city is truly an accomplishment, and the animation for Peter is quite incredible." — Game Over Online - 80/100

"Spider-Man 2 has tons of little challenges and hidden items to find all over the large city in which it takes place. But the game design doesn't take full advantage of the huge city, so instead you'll usually end up repeating the same half-dozen or so tasks over and over again, with some unique challenges thankfully sprinkled in to keep things moving. Even with all this repetition, Spider-Man 2 is still a good game, since it does succeed at capturing the sheer thrill of webswinging through a metropolitan area." — GameSpot - 7.2/10

Ultimate Spider-Man — XBOX

Treyarch / Activision, 2005

GameRankings Rating: 76.61% (4th)

"While the story mode is on the short and easy side, Ultimate Spiderman still has a lot to offer. The city is littered with collectable tokens that unlock extra features, trick races with Tony Hawk like addiction, combat tours that get more and more challenging, and a few other surprises that should keep you playing long after you have beaten the game. It's a great purchase for fans of Spiderman comics and video games. Happy web swinging." — GameTrailers - 8.9/10

"Ultimate Spider-Man does some things in amazing fashion – the graphics are great, the storyline is imaginative and original, and the combat system is simplified and fun. These add up to make the game worthwhile." — Gaming Illustrated - 80/100

"Ultimate Spider-Man fans are sure to like this game, but that’s not a lock for everyone else. There are a number of reasons to recommend that you at least take a look at the game and give it a try with a rental, but its shortcomings may keep it from keep you interested much beyond that." — The Gamers' Temple - 79/100

Spider-Man 3 — X360

Treyarch / Activision, 2007

GameRankings Rating: 66.24% (7th)

"Spider-Man 3 is one frustrating game. While playing you'll more than likely go through spells of loving what Treyarch has done, but you'll want to throw in the towel at numerous points too. The camera and combat system are most to blame, with the two working against you far too regularly for Spidey's next-gen debut to be considered a classic." — VideoGamer - 7/10

"As it stands, the total lack of consistency in what the game offers in terms of entertainment gives it the whiff of a game produced under pressure, and one developed around an unrealistic deadline so it could come out day and date with the movie. Whatever the truth of the situation of Spider-Man 3, here we are, yet again, complaining ruefully about 'missed opportunities', 'a lack of consistency' and 'unfulfilled potential'." — Eurogamer - 6/10

"We were promised a Spidey experience that was next-gen and expanded on everything Spider-Man 2 did right, but we were given a buggy game that's just Spider-Man 2: Special Edition. Combat is brainless button-mashing, the bosses are frustrating and cheap, the visuals are far from spectacular, and although the random crimes aren't the same events over and over, they definitely reuse the same ideas." — IGN - 6/10

Spider-Man: Friend or Foe — X360

Next Level Games / Activision, 2007

GameRankings Rating: 60.35% (9th)

"Spiderman Friend or Foe for the Xbox 360 has a lot going for it and players can have a good time as long as they understand that this is a game that has been targeted towards a younger audience or the causal gamer. That does not mean the overall quality is low." — Action Trip - 7/10

"Spider-Man: Friend or Foe is an obvious attempt to rush a product out before Mom and Dad finish their Christmas shopping. While it hosts a great set of playable characters, it doesn’t make the best use of them, and the recycled enemies, boring level design, and low production values make for a brawler that’s simply uninspired." — GameTrailers - 5.8/10

"Friend or Foe's main punishable offence is for being bland to the point of irrelevance. Skill-free button-mashing combat, crappy AI, uninspired level-design, horribly sterile environments and a game so short you could finish most of it in an evening. Please: stay the hell away from it." — Eurogamer - 3/10

Spider-Man: Web of Shadows — X360

Shaba Games / Activision, 2008

GameRankings Rating: 69.00% (6th)

"At the end of the day Spider-Man Web of Shadows is an extremely enjoyable ride. If you can get past doing the same objectives to progress the story such as having to beat up a certain amount of bad guys or saving so many civilians, and forgive the camera issues, this game is more than awesome." — ZTGD - 8.6/10

"Spider-Man: Web of Shadows ends up being a disappointment despite a lot of potential. We reckon the combat system, the web swinging and special moves are about the best we've seen in a 3D Spider-man game, but the city feels lifeless, the graphics lack spark and the missions range from OK to dire." — VideoGamer - 6/10

"In all, Spider-Man: Web of Shadows was a good idea on paper that was poorly executed. Cumbersome controls and poor graphics make this game one that even the most avid fans of the wall-crawler may want to rent first." — Game Industry News - 2.5/5

Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions — X360

Beenox / Activision, 2010

GameRankings Rating: 79.16% (2nd)

"At times while playing, I felt transported to the world of those Saturday morning (and weekday afternoon) super hero cartoons due to the slick graphics and great voice acting, which features several people who've voiced Spider-Man or other characters either in cartoons or in other games. It's a nice surprise when a licensed game actually takes me into the world of its characters, as opposed to coming off as an easy attempt to drag more money out of a franchise (and my wallet)." — Honest Gamers - 9/10

"Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions is a breath of fresh air compared to some of the previous incarnations of this beloved comic book character..Each dimension could have been a standalone game, so I feel that you get a lot of bang for your buck. Seeing the various villains in all the dimensions excited the comic nerd in me." — Inside Gaming Daily - 8/10

"Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions is thoroughly entertaining, but a combination of niggles and obscure design decisions drag it down. Despite that, it's still probably the best Spider-Man game on consoles and is well worth a look for that reason alone. Just don't expect to be blown away." — Xbox Achievements - 76/100

Spider-Man: Edge of Time — X360

Beenox / Activision, 2011

GameRankings Rating: 61.69% (8th)

"Spider-Man: Edge of Time is a competent experience. The story is handled by a vet of the comics, and it shows with a well told, time-twisting tale. However, combat feels far too familiar and the visuals aren't going to win any awards. Having said that, the campaign has a decent length and there are plenty of collectables. If you're a Spidey-fan it's definitely worth checking out." — Gaming Union - 7/10

"The entire game is like a tightly scripted interactive comic book (not that there’s anything wrong with that) that ping-pongs our heroes around what must be the world's largest research lab, as they collect glowing orbs (for XP) and beat up armies of guards and mutants. But the combat sequences feel like afterthoughts and the story is ultimately a bore, boasting no memorable bosses or a reason to be told other than to bring the two Spideys together...sorta." — Official XBOX Magazine - 6.5/10

"Ultimately, Edge of Time feels like Shattered Dimensions DLC that has been misguidedly bloated into a full retail game. It’s definitely not spectacular, and certainly not amazing. Edge of Time is more a case of the Remarkably Disappointing Spider-Man." — IGN - 4.5/10

The Amazing Spider-Man (X360) — 70.87%

Beenox / Activision, 2012

GameRankings Rating: 70.87% (5th)

"While the game borrows heavily from the Batman Arkham series, it modifies and integrates those elements into an engaging and gripping Spider Man experience that compliments and expands on the new movie. Though short, Amazing Spider Man saves the web-head from gaming mediocrity and delivers one of the better movie tie-in games in recent memory." — Gaming Nexus - 8.9/10

"A slow first hour or so gave way into a much more enjoyable experience. Again I really thought the inclusion of stealth made a big difference here, as normal combat always gets repetetive in previous Spider-Man games. Additionally the open world gives you plenty of options and things to do if you want a break from the Story." — Digital Chumps - 8/10

"The new web swinging is delightful and the new web rush mechanic makes the control over our hero both easy and fun. These moments of delight are unfortunately rare and overshadowed throughout by a consistent feeling that things have been dumbed down, leaving a bland, by the numbers summer blockbuster tie-in which reached for the stars (Batman) and fell quite some way short, closer to what is expected from such releases."
The Digital Fix - 6/10

Which of these Spider-Man games is your favorite? (5 votes)

Spider-Man: The Movie


Spider-Man 2


Ultimate Spider-Man


Spider-Man 3


Spider-Man: Friend or Foe


Spider-Man: Web of Shadows


Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions


Spider-Man: Edge of Time


The Amazing Spider-Man


Please login to vote in this poll.

So what do you guys think? Have these games been bestowed with ratings and remarks that best represent your experiences with them? Also, what's your favorite Spider-Man game of all time, Xbox or otherwise? With other great Spidey outings like Maximum Carnage and Neversoft's Spider-Man, we imagine it won't be all that easy to choose...but try anyway!

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User Comments (4)



Gold_Ranger said:

I vote none.
Though Spider-Man 3 on the Wii was kinda fun...
My favourite Spider-Man games are the old N64/PS1 Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro



holchasaur said:

@Kaine_Morrison - Yep. Neversoft's Spider-Man is still my favorite of all the Spidey games. I'm surprised you don't like any on this list, though. Shattered Dimensions, Spider-Man 2 and Ultimate Spider-Man are sure highlights. Even The Amazing Spider-Man was decent.



BadWolf09 said:

I just love any Spider-Man game that let's me swing through NYC... Soo fun



Gold_Ranger said:

Tobey has such a terrible voice for Spider-Man that it destroys the game immersion for me.
I never played Shattered or its Sequel.
I tried Ultimate on the GameCube but could never get into it. I always had too much going on in my life.
I'd like to try it now though.
Friend or Foe was terrible after the second level.

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