Let's Play Spider-Man 2
Spider-Man 2 is considered the big one. The first 3D title by Neversoft was a huge success, no doubt, and the Movie Game follow-up by Treyarch -while weird- expanded on the formula and added ambitious features, like 30 unlockable combos and full mid-air combat. What does Spider-Man 2 do, then? Well, it makes everything better.
Let's get the big one out of the way, alright? In the three previous 3D games, using Spidey's speed was absolutely critical to success, but the freedom of movement this time around has been expanded to such a degree that it renders itself nigh-unrecognizable in comparison to earlier efforts. The Movie Game introduced the idea of nuanced swinging, but Spidey 2 adds layers of complexity and new ideas that dwarf even its own oft-cited ability to swing from actual objects.
The upgrade to the combat has been somewhat less shocking, and is a more reasonable continuation of previous efforts. The web combos from Spider-Man 2000 and Enter Electro have been mixed with the sheer variety of options in The Movie Game. The result is not only the first game without limited webbing, but a much greater focus on fighting in general. To sweeten the deal, all of the moves at your disposal actually have unique functions that make them each a valid option, unlike The Movie Game's similar combos, which tended to replace one another's utilities. Quantity and quality is preferable after all.
Lastly, now we're open world. The mission structure is reasonably uncomplicated and straight-forward, but there are a nice variety of randomly-appearing rescue missions, racing challenges, and uh... you can deliver pizza. The reward for all of this is Hero Points, used to make Spidey's new-and-improved agility and combat skills even more new and improved. This is a much better alternative to finding hidden combo icons (from The Movie Game), as it directly correlates to the player's skill and is genuinely fun.
Is it the single most creative Spider-Man game? No. Is it as weird or crazy as the first Movie Game? No. But it's way, way more appealing to the average consumer, and has loads more polish. If any title deserved to legitimize Spidey's game career, it's probably this one.
You make my heart beat faster, baby.