All of us at some point in our lives wished we had superpowers. Heck, we still hope that cosmic energy or radiation will somehow affect us in a way that will make us superheroes. But until that happens, at least we have the following games to let us live out our superpower fantasies.
Almost every character today has to have some sort of unnatural ability that usually makes the game more engaging and fun. No one wants to play “the living simulator” and be ordinary. Below is a list of games that are sure to leave you feeling like a certified super-powered badass. Also, be sure to check out our refreshed part 2 of top games with superpowers.
Bioshock is a series of first-person games where narrative and great atmosphere are at the forefront. It’s a fairly linear affair but what elevates and spices up the gameplay are most definitely – the plasmids, or in Bioshock: Infinite – vigor. In the world of Bioshock, they are special serums that allow genetic mutation giving you all sorts of super powers to play with. They allow for telekinesis, control over flames, electricity, the wind, projecting shields, spawning attacking crows, tentacles, mind control, casting illusions, creating mini black holes and more. In addition to that, you can sometimes combine some of these powers for different effects.
I don’t have to tell you that all the above doesn’t spell good times for anyone that crosses your path. An important thing to mention is that you can go through these games without using your powers and they are not exactly the focus of the story.
Dishonored games are similar to Bioshock in regard to how they approach super powers. They will make your playthrough easier but are not necessary to go through the game. They are also presented as tools and whether you use them is up to you. In this series, powers are more stealth based but are fun to use nonetheless and are further expanded in the sequel due to two playable characters.
The games are set in large open stages that offer multiple paths to go through and plenty of enemies that will give you a run for your money if you are not creative in using your powers. When you master powers of teleportation, illusions, power over the wind, transforming and a few others and make fools out of the enemies either by sneaking by or picking them off you will truly feel like a badass.
We could have put most fantasy RPG’s on this list but I found Fable a bit different. Mostly in the sense of how powers were portrayed. Sure the sequels dumbed down the magic system a bit but in the original, powers were all over the place in a good way as there was power over fire, lightning, shield projecting, ghost weapons, force pushing, summoning, speed charging, mind controlling and more and they all look flashy and powerful. Plus, when you add a semi-open world, good and evil morale system that changes your character appearance, you get a power fantasy worth playing.
PSI-OPS: MINDGATE CONSPIRACY
An older game released way back in 2004. Psi-Ops lets you take control of a superpowered amnesiac taking down a terrorist organization known as the Movement that is led by a bunch of his old friends who are also superpowered badasses. Superpowers are a big focus of this game, both from a narrative standpoint, and the gameplay. As you go through the story you unlock telekinesis, remote viewing, mind drain, mind control, pyrokinesis and aura view and all of them are integral to moving through the game.
Back in the day, it was one of the rare games to feature such abilities that you can freely use to play around with enemies, but if you decide to try it out today keep the release date in mind.
Although this game got some pretty bad reviews, bare with us. I can’t, for the life of me figure out how no one expanded this concept. A wide variety of mutant powers has always been at the forefront of X-Men comics and movies. So when this game came along and offered you to make your own mutant and chose whether you side with Magneto of Professor X and play out a relatively dynamic story it was a dream come true. Sure, the combat was a bit repetitive but replay value was there and you could find a use other X-genes to upgrade and change your offensive, defensive and utility powers to wreak havoc on the enemies.
MIDDLE-EARTH: SHADOW OF MORDOR
Shadow of Mordor works best when viewed as a whole experience. So powers of your character are not the only thing that makes using them feel exceptional. It is also the context and the world that you use them in that gives you that power fantasy feel of controlling a powerful badass character. Talion has powers of a wraith at his disposal, what that means is that he can mind control everything that moves, mind read, create phantom weapons, teleport, drain, burn and explode his enemies, move fast and other.
Although it might seem more limited in comparison to other games, it is more about how well these abilities are integrated into the game world and how it reacts to them, as characters acknowledge your powers at every turn making you really feel like a badass legendary wraith that can’t be killed.
Prototypewas along with a game that is higher up the list – a game that after a long drought of open world superpower games, promised a playground with a bunch of cool abilities for your character. This time set in New York, the titular character was a shapeshifter that along with the standard, super strength, speed, and super senses could impersonate enemies and civilians, turn his body into all sorts of weapons and armors, wall run, glide and other. Shapeshifting and hiding in plain sight was a lot of fun and I don’t know why no one else took or expanded this concept further.
Why is Grand Theft Auto on this list you wonder? It’s easy. Mods. Mods and what you can do with them in GTA 5 is insane. Sure they are not a part of the core game and it requires a bit of tinkering with the game files. But once you get it working you are in for some fun times. Imagine the usual fun of GTA 5 and its open world and now add superpowers in the mix. You get the idea.
Some of the mods can give all the associated (or most prominent) powers of the Flash, Ghost Rider and Green Goblin (with their associated rides), the Hulk, Superman, Iron Man, Electro and others and you can switch between them on the fly. These mods are surprisingly functional and although they can sometimes be clunky as their features were brute forced into the game, they are still a lot of fun.
SAINTS ROW 4
Saints Row of the past were very different games to what we consider Saints Row today. No one would have guessed that after a fairly grounded in reality start, this series would be about superpowers. But be glad that it is because Saints Row and superpowers are a good match. The quirky style of Saints Row coupled with a bunch of powers like strength, speed, telekinesis, transmutation, gliding, elemental powers and other make the sandbox experience of Saints Row ripe for experimentation and offers a whole lot of fun.
When someone mentions superpowers in games, Infamous series instantly springs to my mind. It doesn’t just give you numerous powers to play with but it also places you in an open world setting populated by civilians and lots of enemies so you can really feel like a badass standing atop of a building watching weakling humans scouring around their daily lives. Powers are also at the core of the game’s story and they change depending on whether you use them for good or evil. First two games focused on powers over electricity, DLC gave a vampiric spin on powers and the latest game offered powers based on smoke, neon, tv and concrete.
So that’s our list of games with superpowers. Do you enjoy playing games like these? Are there some you feel we left out? Let us know in the comments below.
Hrvoje is our long-time KeenGamer and a resident reviewer of both games and hardware as well as a writer of numerous guides. When not immersed in some RPG or open-world game, he spends his days keeping a watchful eye on our tech corner as its editor.