It seems like everywhere you look, some billion dollar company is trying to capitalize on the superhero hype. Merchandising is how these companies really make their money. Sure, the box office and DVD/Blu-Ray sales might rake in hundreds of millions of dollars, but still, they aren’t the top earners. Collectibles, action figures, t-shirts, beach towels, sneakers, stickers, cell phone cases, and almost anything else imaginable can be turned into a profitable marketing plan if Superman or Iron Man’s faces are sprawled across it.

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Video games based on superheroes have been popular titles for publishers since the original Nintendo hit US shelves in 1985. Every nineties kid has experienced a Spider-Man game where you couldn’t reach street level, or an 8-bit side scrolling X-Men game that tested the limits of human patience thresholds. As time progressed, and gaming consoles became more powerful, superhero games became more advanced.  Side-scrolling melee became open-world chaos, and our favorite wall-crawler could finally interact with the good people on the ground. Developers and publishers, eager for a piece of the seemingly limitless comic book revenue, have pushed out an excess of superhero games over the last three decades.

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Unfortunately, most of them have been horrible, and the gaming and comic communities have spent years bashing the lackluster effort and sloppy dynamics imposed upon their favorite characters. However, when a developer does approach the product with patience and care, the results are  nothing short of astounding.  Anyone who has beaten the brains out of the Joker in Arkham City can relate. Recreating some of the most iconic heroes in the world is not an easy task, and with great power comes great responsibility.

These are the ten best superhero video games of all time.