Mixed or average reviews - based on 52 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 52
  2. Negative: 2 out of 52
Buy On
  1. 95
    A vibrant, eye-popping superhero disc that has more style, wit and compelling gameplay in its first 10 minutes than most games have in their entirety.
  2. The fun of this game is that you can pick it up at any time and swing around for a while and then shelf the title for the day. It is a rare game that you can do that sort of thing.
  3. This is a comic lovers dream come true; the perfect marriage of comics and video games, and with so many comic-inspired games already out and more on the way, I can say without reservation that Ultimate Spider-Man will rule them all with ultimate gameplay and ultimate style.
  4. 90
    If you liked the previous Spider-Man outings but wanted more fluidity and flash, you're gonna dig this game. If you're only so-so on your Spider-Man fandom and care more about a solid, intuitive experience than comic-styled minutia, you're still gonna dig this game.
  5. Though the game isn’t perfect, the addicting story line and amazing presentation are definitely welcomed. If Treyarch had kept the bigger city and more advanced web swinging techniques, Ultimate Spider-Man would have been the definitive Spider-Man game.
  6. It brings the comic book to life right in front of your eyes.
  7. The true letdown, though, is that the master villains can still be supremely frustrating to defeat, requiring several replays and exhaustive bouts of highly patterned attacks.
  8. It takes a popular character, and with the help of a unique visual style it immerses the player into the world so that they feel as if they are indeed taking part in an interactive comic book.
  9. By far the best Spider-Man game ever made, and there have been plenty. The presentation, dialogue, storyline and characters all come together to make a living, breathing comic, and it's nothing short of spectacular.
  10. Ultimate Spiderman has certainly joined our list of most impressive PS2 games this year, and easily so.
  11. This is the best game I've seen Activision put out in a while.
  12. With its non-movie style approach, there's still repeating and the frustration that comes with it in Ultimate Spider-Man.
  13. I really like the diverse gameplay between Venom and Spider-Man. This makes the game a whole lot more interesting because they each have their own style of play, which helps break up any repetition that might form.
  14. 84
    Every facet of the game that absolutely had to succeed, like the atmosphere, gameplay, and controls, did.
  15. The omnipresent difficulty and "nothing new" feel might turn off some gamers, but let it be known that for fans and gamers alike, Ultimate Spider-Man is a treat.
  16. 83
    From a comics geek standpoint, outside of gameplay issues, this is the Holy Grail of comic-book videogames. While "X-Men Legends," "Hulk" and "The Punisher" are all fine games in their own right, none of them are so perfectly tuned into the source material. The slick style is brilliant, the story mode a complete (albeit brief) joy.
  17. With the great graphical style that Ultimate Spiderman brings and the spectacular cutscenes, Ultimate Spiderman really is a feast for the eyes, although the PS2 version did have slow downs at times that the Xbox didn’t.
  18. 82
    Couple this with the brilliant voice acting throughout and quirky comments from the public as you glide by, ('He looks thinner on T.V!') and Treyarch are definitely onto a winner.
  19. 80
    The biggest drawback of this game is the inclusion of Venom as a playable character. He draaaags. He can't web swing (but he can cover vast distances with his leaps), he relies on brute strength rather than finesse, and you must also devour people in order to keep the suit from killing the man inside.
  20. 80
    It's a shame Ultimate Spider-Man isn't a bit longer and that the web-swinging isn't quite as fun anymore, but this is the most polished Spider-Man game yet and something no fan of the series should be without.
  21. 80
    The biggest setback, however, is the tragically minuscule length of the main story mode, which we leisurely knocked through in well under ten hours. With such rich story options in a beautifully designed world it's a shame that there isn't more for Spidey to do outside of the mild mini-missions and racing for medals.
  22. The action is fun, but a couple of the vagaries of gameplay kill that. This is a case of an otherwise high-quality game being hindered by a few iffy additions that wreck the whole experience.
  23. Manages to take the web-crawler to new heights thanks to the great visual style, the variety in gameplay (which is certainly an improvement over Spider-Man 2), and a tweaked combat/control system. The game looks phenomenal and really does bring the characters out of the comic book and in the consoles successfully.
  24. PSM Magazine
    It's unfortunate, though, that Spider-Man doesn't have all the moves he had in "Spider-Man 2", that this game is notably shorter, and that it sometimes feels like you spend too much time web-slinging through those pesky "chase" missions. [Dec 2005, p.100]
  25. Game Informer
    Spidey's acrobatic moves are also captured perfectly, and experimenting with his powers is the most enjoyable aspect of this adventure. [Nov 2005, p.142]
  26. Play Magazine
    Lots of bark, lots of bite and more high-flying marvel gaming goodness... [Nov p.95]
  27. The Spider-Man franchise goes back to its comic book roots, and produces one solid adventure for the web crawler which could be too short for its own good.
  28. The voice acting is very solid, and the too-few story based missions make the game completely worthwhile.
  29. 80
    The short length and repetitive sequences make it more of a rental for non-believers, but overall, excellent gameplay, a great presentation, and familiar characters make this the best superhero-based game since, well, "Spider-Man 2."
  30. Ultimate Spider-Man does its best to bring a comic book to life and does a good job with the presentation. Its weakness is that the story is way too short and parts are repetitive.
  31. While the game is beautiful, and the story mode is a lot more engaging and interesting than that presented in "Spider-Man 2," some of the lackluster combat options and changes to web-slinging keep it from being amazing.
  32. While it undoubtedly falls short in certain key areas – the imperfect controls, the repetitive side missions, the slightly bland engine... – it will certainly be more than adequate for any Spidey fan feeling the need for some web-slinging.
  33. Even with its difficulty problems, the only really bad thing I can say about this title is that its way too short, and there’s way too little to do.
  34. Ultimate is very entertaining, and the addition of Nemesis creates some interesting new situations, but over all there isn't a lot of variety; you fight, you race, you ramble around the city, and then you do it all again.
  35. A better game than Treyarch's previous efforts, but it still relies too heavily on the novelty of swinging around the city and beating up the same bad guys over and over again--a novelty made less so by the simplification of both mechanics.
  36. The blockbuster production values make this one of the best comic book to videogame adaptations ever made. The control is equally as impressive which may not be apparent initially as I mentioned. The only things holding this game back from absolute greatness are basically the same flaws that held SM2 back from greatness: repetitive random missions, relentless chase missions, relatively short story mode and the lack of imagination in terms of game structure.
  37. It’s best to go at these extra missions and goals in moderation though, as playing them for an extended amount of time can get boring.
  38. 70
    Ultimate Spider-Man has an excellent comic book style presentation and a great story, but the gameplay seems to hold it back from being one of the better titles released this holiday season.
  39. Official U.S. Playstation Magazine
    The campaign mode could be just a little more robust. [Dec 2005, p.109]
  40. Official Playstation 2 Magazine UK
    The could've been stunning, but after a strong start, the story and missions descend into repetitive, formulaic play. [Nov 2005, p.92]
  41. At the very least this is a good-looking wasted opportunity, while at its most, it's a snazzy disappointment.
  42. By limiting it to repetitive and limiting challenges, the game is condemned to that of pretty distraction.
  43. Any action/adventure fan is looking at a fairly solid proposition here, but don't be surprised if the beauty of the game isn't enough to push those feelings of deja vu and boredom to the back of your mind.
  44. AceGamez
    Ultimate Spider-Man may look very stylish and visually capture the essence of a comic perfectly, but the gameplay feels like a swing backwards in almost every department.
  45. The new web swing system and the new fighting system are not up to the level of it predecessors but there are still highly playable.
  46. It's great when it sticks to the story, but too often it gets caught up in a seemingly pointless loop. Even so, it's still the best looking Spider-Man game yet. [PSW]
  47. Enjoy swinging around New York to your heart’s content, but stick to a rental for this title.
  48. The new style is breathtaking, although the heavily tweaked gameplay will leave most Spider-fans hanging and the horrible pace will make them want to cut the thread.
  49. Edge Magazine
    Did a purse-holder at Activision one day grapple fruitlessly with the last game's control system and scrawl in their subsequent notes “Make the next one so that I can play it”? Speculation aside, someone sure messed-up Spider-Man. [Dec 2005, p.108]
  50. Although not terrible, Ultimate Spiderman is not the ultimate action game. Bogged down by tedious missions, a confusing plot and predictable boss characters you might want to rent this before you buy.
  51. Ultimate Spider-Man is nothing more than a bargain-bin effort that would be over and forgotten in an hour or two except for the pointless required side missions artificially extending playtime.
  52. games(TM)
    Once the contentment of seeing the impressive 'ultimate'look of the Spider-Man characters has faded and the comic book flair has become old news, it's still going to be a very bitter pill to swallow. [Dec 2005, p.118]

Awards & Rankings

#38 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2005
#17 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2005
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 66 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 49 out of 66
  2. Negative: 7 out of 66
  1. 4DI
    Nov 24, 2012
    Best spiderman game ever! I wish they kept the pizza delivery missions though.
  2. Apr 9, 2018
    This game is one of the best super hero games ever made! In my personal opinion, I still prefer Spider-Man 2 the most, but other than that youThis game is one of the best super hero games ever made! In my personal opinion, I still prefer Spider-Man 2 the most, but other than that you should definitely give this one a try! Full Review »
  3. Jun 24, 2017
    This game is amazing, and was easily one of my favorite games from my childhood. The novel style graphics are fantastic and make you feel asThis game is amazing, and was easily one of my favorite games from my childhood. The novel style graphics are fantastic and make you feel as though you are playing a comic book, which is awesome for me. I have also played Web of Shadows and Shattered Dimensions (Which are also amazing), but this game has a special place in my heart. Full Review »