Every Venom Video Game, Ranked From Worst To Best
By Mat Elfring on
Since his first, full appearance in 1988's The Amazing Spider-Man #300, Venom has captivated the minds of an entire generation. While the Venom symbiote's first appearance came almost 50 issues earlier, it wasn't until David Michelinie and Todd McFarlane put the black costume onto journalist Eddie Brock that fans caught their first glimpse of what eventually become a wildly-popular character.
With Venom coming to theaters on October 5, we're taking a look at all of Venom's appearances in this history of video gaming. From his early appearances in handhelds to Venom becoming a playable character in more recent fighters, the anti-hero symbiote has appeared in plenty of games. So here they all are, ranked from worst to best.
The upcoming movie follows journalist Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) who uncovers human experimentation at the Life Foundation run by Dr. Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed). Brock finds himself in the middle of it all when an alien symbiote bonds with him, turning him into the super-powered anti-hero Venom.
If you're looking for more on Venom, check out every appearance the character had in movies and television series.
22. The Amazing Spider-Man (1990)
In this relatively short game, Venom appears as the final boss, dropping down on Spider-Man, shooting webs, in a sewer. It was not a great game, and Venom's appearance as a boss was tedious. You could barely even tell Spider-Man was fighting Venom.
21. Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects (2005)
Consoles: GameCube, PS2, PSP, DS, Xbox
You probably don't remember this game--because it wasn't good--but you could play as Venom in this 3D fighting game. While this version of Venom is interesting, and it's nice you get to play as him, the game itself is very poor.
20. The Amazing Spider-Man vs. The Kingpin (1990)
Consoles: Sega Genesis, Game Gear, Sega CD
Venom appears halfway through the game as one of the bosses, where Spider-Man fights him on some rooftops. His movements are repetitive, and you can take him down with ease, so there isn't anything very memorable about this appearance.
19. Spider-Man (1995)
Consoles: SNES, Sega Genesis
In this side-scrolling beat 'em up, Venom appeared as the final boss of the game. The game itself wasn't bad, and Venom--as a boss--had some varying moves that kept this final fight relatively fun, for another cookie-cutter side-scroller.
18. Venom/Spider-Man: Separation Anxiety (1995)
Consoles: SNES, Sega Genesis
Separation Anxiety was based on a story from the comics, and once again, you could play as either Venom or Spider-Man in order to try and take down Carnage. The problem with the game is that this was just a complete retread of Maximum Carnage from the previous year, so running around as Venom, punching bad guys just wasn't exciting or new this time around.
17. Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth (2012)
Consoles: Xbox 360 and Wii U
In this chaotic and forgettable fighter, Venom is a playable character. This is the only Marvel game to be published by Ubisoft. Additionally, utilizing the Wii U controls added a huge learning curve to the game that didn't help make it any more enjoyable.
16. Spider-Man: Friend or Foe (2007)
Consoles: Windows, Nintendo DS, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, Wii, Xbox 360
Inside of an ancient church, players get to fight Venom. However, the only way to beat him is by getting rid on the symbiote webs on some old bells and then ringing them. It's a predictable and repetitive battle for a game that was downright mediocre.
15. Spider-Man 3 (2007)
Consoles: Game Boy Advance, Microsoft Windows, GameCube, Nintendo DS, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, Wii, Xbox, and Xbox 360
Based on the Sam Rami night terror of the same name, Spider-Man 3 loosely follows the plot of the movie, and the final boss of the game is none other than Venom. The game itself is pretty fun, but Venom's appearance in it is a constant reminder of how bad he was in the feature film.
14. Marvel Super Hero Squad Online (2011)
Consoles: Windows, iOS
In this online game, there were multiple versions of Venom to play as. You could play as the traditional Venom, Anti-Venom, or even Agent Venom. The character was a mission boss as well. It's a game for younger players, but Venom's bubbly design did make him fun to play as, even if the game is just another button masher.
13. Spider-Man: Web of Shadows (2009)
Consoles: Windows, Nintendo DS, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, Wii, and Xbox 360
In this game, Spider-Man can switch between his traditional costume and the symbiote costume. You get to fight Venom early on in the game, but Eddie Brock ends up also being the final boss, when you fight a gigantic Venom. While Web of Shadows is a middle-of-the-road game in terms of fun, Venom's final boss appearance is pretty fantastic and reminds players of another time he appeared in a video game, which you'll see on the next page.
12. Spider-Man: The Video Game (1991)
In this beat 'em up game, Spider-Man and company fight Venom on two occasions, back to back. First is a normal battle on the ground, then Venom gets gigantic, and Spidey and friends have to shoot projectiles at him while climbing a building. This was the first time players got to take on a gigantic Venom, and the character design looked fantastic for its time.
11. Spider-Man & Venom: Maximum Carnage (1994)
Consoles: SNES, Sega Genesis
Based on the comic story of the same name, you play as either Spider-Man or Venom to take down Carnage and his symbiotic gang. While this game came out when side-scrolling beat 'em ups were at their height, what made this game really cool was that this was the first time you could play as Venom. It presented him as a hero for the first time.
10. Spider-Man (2000)
Consoles: PlayStation, Game Boy Color, Nintendo 64, Dreamcast, Windows
Spider-Man was really the first Marvel 3D adventure game releasing on multiple systems--though the GBC version was a side scrolling beat 'em up. Halfway through the game, Spider-Man fights Venom. The game is great and Venom fits into the story exceptionally well. The graphics haven't aged well, but this is the best appearance of the character in a game where you can't play as him.
9. Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes (2000)
Consoles: Arcade, Dreamcast, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox, Xbox 360
Returning to the MvC sequel, Venom's gameplay was relatively the same as his appearance in the first. Regardless of nothing really being changed for the character, he was still exciting to play as in this game.
8. Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes (2014)
Consoles: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Wii U, Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360 and Xbox One
As long as you purchased the physical Disney Infinity figure, Venom was playable in the game. And while having to spend extra money to play as him was a bummer, Venom looked so awesome as a Disney Infinity character. Somehow, the horror elements of the character still come out in the family-friendly redesign.
7. Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of the Superheroes (1998)
Consoles: Arcade, Dreamcast (Later released on PlayStation 3)
Venom made his first fighting game appearance in the first Marvel vs. Capcom, which--as the name suggests--pitted characters from both the Marvel and Capcom universes against each other. The character design was fantastic and fit the Capcom fighting universe exceptionally well, and his character sprites are unforgettable. How does he fit into the story? Who cares? It's a fighting game.
6. Lego Marvel Superheroes (2013)
Consoles: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows
In this Lego adventure game, Venom was a purchasable character with in-game currency. He could use his symbiote ability to phase through walls or turn into a hulking character that could move heavy objects. His varied gameplay made him essential in certain levels, so playing as him became part of your routine to unlock everything for each level. Luckily, he thrashed through bad guys and breakables easily, so he was a must-have.
5. Marvel: Ultimate Alliance (2006)
Consoles: PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, Wii, GameBoy Advance, Windows, Xbox and Xbox 360
Now we're talking! Marvel: Ultimate Alliance was the spiritual successor to the X-Men Legends series, which was available for multiple systems. However, Venom was only a playable character on the Xbox 360, as long as you bought the Villains Pack DLC. While Venom was exciting to play as, the fact you had to purchase more content to unlock him was a bit of a bummer for an era where DLC was as predominant as it is now.
4. Lego Marvel Superheroes 2 (2017)
Consoles: Windows, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and iOS
There is a whole lot of Venom in the newest Lego Marvel game, as long as you work to unlock it all. You can play as Venom, Ultimate Venom, Venom 2099, Carnom (Carnage and Venom hybrid), and Agent Venom. You know what you're getting when you buy a Lego adventure game, but this round offered up a lot of variety for those looking to play as Venom, and the inclusion of Agent Venom was a welcoming surprise and helped vary up the gameplay if you're looking to use someone wearing the Venom symbiote.
3. Ultimate Spider-Man (2005)
Consoles: Nintendo DS, GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Windows, Game Boy Advance
Venom was a huge part of the Ultimate Spider-Man game. Spider-Man starts off in a fight with the villain, and later, you get to take control of Venom himself. This happens in both the console and handheld versions, even though they're both very different games. Ultimate Spider-Man is a fantastic adaptation of the comic book source material, and the game really nailed the look and feel of Venom's comic book counterpart.
2. Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite (2017)
Consoles: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
After being left out of Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Venom made his return to Infinite last year. His gameplay and moves were very similar to his last appearance in he Capcom series. The redesign of the character, his animations, and sound were all vastly improved since his last appearance, and because of this, McC: Infinite is one of Venom's best appearances.
1. Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 (2009)
Consoles: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, and Wii
Topping the list is a no brainer: Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2. With the Ultimate Alliance sequel, Venom became a playable character on all systems without having to purchase DLC. However, you had to unlock him by playing the Wakanda level. The character had two costumes, the Ultimate Alliance and the Ultimate comics version. To this date, there is no better version of Venom in a game. He had a variety of moves that we've seen in the comics, and the creepy aesthetic of Venom came off well on screen.