Generally favorable reviews - based on 53 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 53
  2. Negative: 1 out of 53
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  1. One word describes Ultimate Spider-Man: disappointment.
  2. 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.
  3. 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. Even the full missions are short enough where you can plow through one or two on a lunch break.
  4. 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.
  5. It brings the comic book to life right in front of your eyes.
  6. 84
    A major improvement overall, with a stellar story mode and decent free-roaming system. I enjoyed swinging around enough to invest 25 hours in the game, but the first third remain the most memorable and most enjoyable.
  7. It is a beautiful game with some technical flaws that are definitely worth overlooking. The excellent mixture of the alternate storyline and the sensational art style are second to none.
  8. The characters all look to be in their teenage years [which] may create some problems with die-hard Spidey fanatics.
  9. 80
    It's a strange situation when one of the weakest elements of a game -- in Spider-Man 2's case, the story -- can massively improve in a follow-up, and yet the overall quality of the games can remain roughly the same, but that's exactly what's happened here.
  10. 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.
  11. Combat against dim-witted goons can become repetitive but missions offer diversity.
  12. Heck, you should just play this game for the comic-book styled cutscenes alone. Good thing there's a good game in here as well.
  13. The style and mood captures the spirit of the comics perfectly, and having two playable characters is a feature that turned out excellent. It's a shame that stomping through the streets as Venom while devouring civilians can't make up for the repetitive missions and the appallingly short time it takes to beat the game.
  14. 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.
  15. 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]
  16. 90
    Simply the ultimate in comic book video games. Ultimate Spider-Man does for comic book games what "Sin City" did for comic book films.
  17. A beautifully put together game that will make a lasting impression on anyone who witnesses it in action.
  18. Though the game isnâ??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.
  19. 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.
  20. A great game engine plus a web slinger equals a damn fine game. Venom and Carnage need their own games.
  21. With a little more variation in the combat, and a few less chases, Ultimate Spider-Man could have been a fantastic game. As it is, this is a fun title that stands on the cusp of greatness, one step away from achieving something special.
  22. This is truly a benchmark game for all future comic adaptations. The slick comic style is superb with a fantastic storyline making this game a must-buy/rent for any Spiderman fans.
  23. The game sure looks fantastic but is it fun to play? Without a doubt, although it could do with some fine-tuning here and there.
  24. A fun and stylistic outing by any measure, but the game-lengthening tactics are all-too apparent.
  25. It is a deep and fun single-player adventure that fans of comic books or superheroes are sure to enjoy.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 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]
  29. Play Magazine
    Quotation forthcoming. [Nov 2005]
  30. 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.
  31. It plays like a giant, interactive comic-strip, and with Treyarch's 'Comic Inking' (that's cel shading to us) so tastefully illustrating the whole shebang, you'll wonder what the appeal of the first two Spidey games ever was in the first place. [Official UK XBox Magazine]
  32. The voice acting is very solid, and the too-few story based missions make the game completely worthwhile.
  33. The closest a game has come yet to being an interactive comic.
  34. A quick fix of fun gaming that really doesn't need to be lingered over.
  35. A liberal splash of new ink and some gameplay innovation manage to revitalise this slightly over-familiar franchise. [Xbox World 360]
  36. It's not perfect, but playing as Venom is a great change, and exploring the city is a lot of fun.
  37. The game features inspiring art direction, a short but engaging plot, solid controls and a number of elaborate and well-staged action sequences. However, to preamble each of these sequences with a series of mandatory and repetitive exercises is surely not the best way to entice players to keep playing.
  38. 75
    USM is a fantastic rental, but it doesn't really have the long-term appeal to warrant a purchase.
  39. 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.
  40. Bringing Peter Parker back to his roots was appealing to me at first, but the so-so gameplay and the undeservingly high price of purchase makes Ultimate Spider-Man for Xbox more of a rental.
  41. The graphics are solid and set the right tone, the story line will keep you playing to the end, and the gameplay will keep your Spidey sense tingling.
  42. 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.
  43. 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.
  44. 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.
  45. In short, it's a little on the boring side – it's only the aesthetics that will keep you playing.
  46. Dull side missions that the player must complete to progress combine with chasing down almost every boss just doesn't appeal to me.
  47. Official Xbox Magazine
    A letdown, but there is a bright side - it may just be the Ultimate weekend rental. [Dec 2005, p.100]
  48. 80
    Brings the super stylish world of Marvel comics to life with beautiful and enjoyable results, but ultimately spins a regrettably short Spidey story-mode experience.
  49. 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."
  50. 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.
  51. It wasn't designed with perfect care, but just enough for comic book fans and newcomers to swing around in sheer joy.
  52. 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.
  53. 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.

Awards & Rankings

#51 Most Discussed Xbox Game of 2005
#55 Most Shared Xbox Game of 2005
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 23 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 23
  2. Negative: 3 out of 23
  1. 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 »
  2. Aug 9, 2017
    Great game, the best game about the spider after the Spider-man 2000 and if you're torn into which version to play between the consoles, thenGreat game, the best game about the spider after the Spider-man 2000 and if you're torn into which version to play between the consoles, then I advise you to choose Xbox, because on it the best graphics and play is just nicer than on PS2 or Gamecube 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 »