Review – Lego Marvel Super Heroes (Switch)

Ask any Lego game fan the best game in the entire franchise and nine out of ten will give you the same answer: Lego Marvel Super Heroes. Released in 2013, at the earlier days of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, that game had the perfect balance of MCU content with a more innocent and comic book-focused approach to every other character the media conglomerate had to offer. All while offering fun levels, witty and hilarious dialogue, and possibly the best open world setting in any Lego game to date. I remember playing the hell out of it on the PS4, where it was a launch title, eight freaking years ago…

Lego Marvel Super Heroes Helicarrier

Captain America, back when he was just a silly old man in a blue outfit, and not the cool spy thriller dude we know today.

Can you believe it’s been that long? Nowadays I couldn’t be more fed up with MCU as a whole, barely paying attention to their latest and upcoming movies, with the obvious exception of the upcoming Spider-Man film. I mean, duh, it’s Spider-Man. Square Enix’s take on the Avengers ended up being a dud, with an overly serious approach to what should have been a lighthearted and entertaining source material. It’s freaking superheroes in dumb costumes! This is why Lego Marvel Super Heroes has aged so well: it is silly. It knows it is silly. It wears its silliness with pride.

Pay attention to what I have previously written: the game was originally released in 2013. Back then, Nintendo’s main console was the Wii U. The Switch, which has seen pretty much every single important Wii U game being re-released to its library, had never received a port of Lego Marvel Super Heroes. It had Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2, which was fun, don’t get me wrong, but way more MCU adapted than its predecessor. We had to wait until 2021 for TT Games’ current magnum opus to be released for the system, but I think it was worth the wait. This game has aged shockingly well due to a series of factors.

Lego Marvel Super Heroes Plot

Steve, I have no idea.

First of all, there’s the fact that, well, this game is old. Originally released with the PS3 and Xbox 360 in mind, Lego Marvel Super Heroes is less detailed than its sequel and Lego DC Super Villains, for example. Its environments still look colorful and cheerful, but they don’t feature demanding textures or excessive amounts of particle effects. That means that the Switch runs this game without a hitch, no matter if you’re inside a linear level or while you’re freely exploring Manhattan with a character flying at a bagillion miles and hour. It’s a Lego world after all. It doesn’t need to be overly detailed. It needs to look funny and welcoming. Thankfully, it does.

The second important factor is the quality of its open world. Most modern Lego games feature multiple smaller open worlds, which result in a much more annoying trek in order to complete every single sidequest and obtain every hidden character. Lego Marvel Super Heroes features just one explorable open world, a miniature version of Manhattan. You can explore it on foot, by driving vehicles, by flying around with some fun (but initially confusing) controls, or even like your good old open world Spider-Man game. As per tradition, Lego Marvel Super Heroes kind of tells you to complete its story campaign first before tackling Manhattan’s trillion side objectives, but you can actually explore it whenever you want, with way more freedom than any other Lego game. The moment you get a character whose abilities can solve puzzles in the overworld, you’re free to use them.

Open World

Lego Marvel Super Heroes has the best open world of all Lego games. Prove me wrong.

You also have to consider that this game was released during a time when TT Games were pushing hard on original storylines with funny dialogue delivered by top-notch voice actors. Troy Baker steals the show whenever he shows up as Loki; you can clearly notice the man is having tons of fun doing that role. James Arnold Taylor, best known as the voice of Ratchet from the Ratchet & Clank games, kills it as Spider-Man. I will even dare to say that I prefer his performance over Yuri Lowenthal’s already excellent performance in the 2018 Spider-Man game.

Finally, there’s a very important factor: timing. Lego Marvel Super Heroes is a reminder of a simpler time, when the Marvel pop culture juggernaut was, well, gigantic, but not as overwhelming or exhaustive as it is today. The game doesn’t try to set up metaverses or complicated plot points. It is dumb and clearly loves being dumb. It’s innocent fanservice, letting you play as hundreds of different Marvel characters, mostly based on their comic book iterations over their movie counterparts, on a lighthearted quest full of dumb puns and silly gags. Playing a game like this in 2021, right after the release of some of the MCU’s most uninventive and dull outings, actually felt like a breath of fresh air, believe it or not.


Taking such a picture was… inevitable.

It’s weird to realize that the Switch hadn’t had the original Lego Marvel Super Heroes in its library up until now, but that basically ended up working in its favor. In an era where we’re a bit saturated with the MCU and the disappointment that was Square’s own Avengers game, replaying Lego Marvel Super Heroes served to remind me of a simpler, more innocent and way more entertaining take on the source material. It’s a game that aged remarkably well, and a phenomenal fit for a portable, with tons of unlockables to unveil in its huge open world. Hell, this particular Switch version might actually be my favorite Lego game so far. Until the eventual release of Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga next year, of course.


Graphics: 8.0

It is a bit less detailed than more recent Lego games, but that also results in a much more stable framerate, especially during the open world segments.

Gameplay: 8.5

It’s the traditional Lego game formula: simple platforming, combat, and puzzle solving. Add in an actually fun open world full of secrets to unveil, as well as a fun flying mechanic, once you get a hold of its initially bizarre controls.

Sound: 9.5

Funny dialogue from pretty much everyone involved in the project, even the New York pedestrians. Troy Baker is having the time of his life as Loki and James Arnold Taylor kills it as Spider-Man.

Fun Factor: 9.5

There is a reason as to why everyone considers Lego Marvel Super Heroes the best game in the entire franchise. It’s the perfect combination of fun levels, a funny plot, and a really entertaining open world to explore. It also aged surprisingly well, all things considered.

Final Verdict: 9.0

Lego Marvel Super Heroes is available now on PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC, Wii U, and Switch.

Reviewed on Switch.

A copy of Lego Marvel Super Heroes was provided by the publisher.