Contrary to popular opinion, great superhero games existed before Rocksteady released Arkham Asylum. Going back as far as the 1980s and as recently as the last generation, there are tons of old school superhero games that don’t suck. There are even amazing ones. While many of the older games were quarter swallowing challenges, others were console exclusives ranging from beat-em-ups to action RPGs and beyond.
That isn’t to say that they were all winners. Most movie adaptations, for example, fall flat. Successful superhero games manage to draw faithfully from their source material in order to get over with fans. The formula is surprisingly easy to make a great superhero game: take all the elements that make a particular genre game work and draw on the source material authentically. Don’t cheap on the research and craft a quality product with appreciation for the subject and the venue. Though sometimes there are hilariously poor localizations (“Welcome to die!” comes to mind), in order to have a great superhero video game get off the ground, creators need to know where to pull their ideas on everything from gameplay to plot. When they do, a fantastic product that appeals to gamers and comics fans alike is released…and its happened more often than many give credit for.