As you all know, Stan Lee has passed away at the age of 95. He left behind a long and complicated legacy, but ultimately the greater mass media audience knows him as one of Marvel’s biggest creative forces dating back to the emergence of the Fantastic Four. As the face of Marvel for such a long time, he has become a household name by way of various cameo appearances in TV shows, movies, and even video games.
Since we’re a gaming site, we figured the best way to acknowledge this event in comics history by looking back and nodding to the best times Stan Lee appeared in games.
Stan Lee the Narrator
Before Spider-Man games were the open-world, object-collecting, brilliant messes they are today, Activision landed notoriety with the Spider-Man games on the PSOne. These were more limited, but still fun, action affairs. They were also narrated by Stan Lee in what are his first video game appearances. He would also go on to provide narration for Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions many years later, and that’s still my favorite Spider-Man game, so it definitely needed to be mentioned here.
The Amazing Spider-Man
This is the craziest one. In The Amazing Spider-Man, which was a decent, but rushed game tie-in with the strange Andrew Garfield Spider-Man films, Stan Lee was straight-up playable. If you got the Stan Lee DLC, you could literally web swing around New York City as Lee himself, complete with super spider powers.
Stan Lee, perhaps predictably, made an appearance in the LEGO Marvel Super Heroes series. At first, you had to locate him in levels and free him from puzzle-based traps. Until you’re capable of solving those puzzles, you got to listen to him yell at you when you’re nearby. But when you can finally play as him, well. It’s something. Lee can transform into various forms, over the course of both games gaining the powers of Iron Man, The Hulk, Iron Man’s Hulkbuster variant, Thor, Spider-Man, and even freakin’ Galactus.
The Cameo Cameos
While he provided more video game-y content in the form of narration and bizarre playable appearances, Stan Lee also appeared in some video games in ways that were clearly inspired by his Marvel Cinematic Universe cameos. These cameos are infamous for both their ubiquity and their goofiness, often tearing the moves away from their own sense of seriousness in favor of taking a moment to be silly with Stan Lee. People ate that stuff up, so it continued to happen. Word is that several were filmed in advance. Also, he showed up for the Teen Titans GO! To the Movies flick, which was hilarious.
Anyway, Stan Lee showed up in both The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Marvel’s Spider-Man, and he totally did the Stan Lee in a Movie bit in both games. Again, these moments are total nonsense, even in the context of the games, but it’s exactly the kind of thing that big Marvel fans wanted to see. It’s better not to give away too much about these scenes. Since these games are both totally decent and worth playing, just go… do that? Yeah?
There you have it. It’s our list of best Stan Lee video game cameos, which also happens to be just shy of a complete list of Stan Lee video game cameos anyway. We’re a couple of small on-screen appearances and mobile games away from a complete list. Excelsior and stuff. Anyway, we hope that you got a chuckle out of this list, and if you haven’t experienced some of these games, you’re now inspired to go out and give some of them a whirl. Play Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, is what I’m trying to say.