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Classic Superman Video Games

Updated on January 31, 2013


Superman Costume
Superman Costume | Source

History of Superman Video Games

Superman may easily be the most recognizable superhero. He has appeared in comic books, cartoons, movies, toys, and video games. Video games first started to feature the Man of Steel back in the days of Atari consoles. The powers of Superman have been featured throughout several decades of video games and each game has implemented different styles and ways that the player can use Superman's powers. Superman is still being featured in video games today and current generation Superman games have borrowed styles and ideas from the first few Superman games.

Atari 2600

Atari 2600
Atari 2600 | Source

Superman for Atari 2600

The first Superman video game was released onto the Atari 2600 as a simple side scrolling game. The player can switch between Superman and Clark Kent. The player must avoid being struck by Kryptonite, otherwise Superman will turn into Clark Kent. The player must navigate to a phone booth in order to turn back into Superman. The objective of the game is to rescue people and fly them to safety by traversing several in-game screens. Bad guys can also be picked up and taken to jail.

Superman NES Title Screen

Screenshot of Superman on the NES
Screenshot of Superman on the NES | Source

Superman for NES

The NES release of Superman came out in 1988 with side-scrolling platform game play. The characters and environments resemble more of a cartoon than comic book styling. The story begins with Clark Kent inside a newsroom but must venture outside to find a phone booth to transform into Superman. The Pause Menu can be opened and superpowers can be selected once Clark becomes Superman. Certain powers have different uses and effects against enemies.

Available Super Powers

Pause menu screenshot of superpowers
Pause menu screenshot of superpowers | Source

Commodore 64

Commodore 64 computer system
Commodore 64 computer system | Source

Superman for Commodore 64

Commodore 64 featured a release of Superman: Man of Steel in 1989. The game play incorporates several styles of game play including side scrolling, top-down, and over-the-shoulder views that change depending on the player's progress through the game. The graphics also change as the player progresses through the game. The missions usually consist of defeating all the enemies of a stage in order to progress.

Superman Sega Genesis Screenshot

Screen Capture of game play of Superman for Sega Genesis
Screen Capture of game play of Superman for Sega Genesis | Source

Superman for Sega Genesis

Superman was released on the Sega Genesis in 1992 by Sunsoft. It follows the usual side scrolling style but incorporates more hand-to-hand fighting than super powers. The game is pretty difficult to get a hang of due to the finicky combat. The graphics and background are the familiar comic book style, unlike the NES version. Enemies tend to fly onto the screen from random directions and quick reactions are key just to stay alive to advance through the stage. The side scrolling will switch to vertical scrolling every so often as the player progresses through the game.

Nintendo 64

Nintendo 64 console
Nintendo 64 console | Source

Superman for Nintendo 64

Superman 64 was a video game based around Superman, but it ended up going down in video gaming history as one of the worst games every made. It was released for the Nintendo 64 and the game immediately threw the player into a flying mission in which Superman must be navigated through giant rings in the sky. Not a single ring can be missed or the mission will end in failure. There is a time limit to make it even more difficult. The controls are sloppy and tough to become accustomed to. Other missions include tossing cars at enemies and carrying cars to a goal while under a strict time limit. The game play becomes extremely repetitive and draining after only a few missions.


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    • Tonyx35 profile image

      J Antonio Marcelino 

      6 years ago from Illinois, USA

      You're missing The Death and Return of Superman. Released in 1994. A single-player beat 'em up game, where you play as 5 variations of Superman through the course of the game.


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