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Spider-Man's Best Animated TV Shows, Ranked

Spider-Man in The Spectacular Spider-Man series.
(Image credit: The CW/Disney XD)

The hero, Spider-Man, has existed in the media for a long time. First appearing in 1962, there have been many versions of the famous hero, from the film versions that even extend into the Marvel Cinematic Universe to the video games that have become increasingly popular. But today, I’m not going to talk about those - we’re going to instead focus on the best animated Spider-Man TV shows, specifically, my top five. 

While there are plenty of fun upcoming Marvel TV shows releasing on Disney+, let’s take a look back at some of these great ones that we can either stream or buy today. With the world revolving around Spider-Man: No Way Home right now, let’s all celebrate Spidey in a different way - through television. 

Spider-Man in Ultimate Spider-Man.

(Image credit: Disney XD)

5. Ultimate Spider-Man (2012-2017) 

First up on the list, we have Ultimate Spider-Man. This show, which ran for four seasons, follows the legendary hero in his teen years after Nick Fury ends up recruiting him to S.H.I.E.L.D. As he trains with them, he also crosses paths with a few other teenage superheroes, all of which have one goal in mind - to become the ultimate superheroes and the best that they can be. 

As someone who’s watched shows that have included Spider-Man for some time, I think that this one gets unnecessary hate. While it’s not the best TV show out of the bunch (hence it’s placement on the list), I still think it’s one of the better ones out there. Spider-Man has always been known to have more mature themes than a lot of other heroes, and Ultimate Spider-Man does feel a little less mature than some of the other picks on this list considering I think it was meant for a bit of a younger audience since it released on Disney XD.

But upon watching it again, I really do like this version of the hero. The animation is much better than a lot of the other shows on this list, which gives it more leeway to produce excellent fight scenes, and I like the friendships that form between Spider-Man and the other teen heroes. I personally think this series is underrated and deserved much more attention than it got. 

Stream Ultimate Spider-Man on Disney+.

Spider-Man in Marvel's Spider-Man.

(Image credit: Disney XD)

4. Spider-Man (2017-2020) 

Moving on, we have the latest Spider-Man series, simply titled Spider-Man, or otherwise known as Marvel’s Spider-Man. In this iteration of the hero, we see the origin story of Peter Parker and his turn to being a hero, balancing his life as the fighter and his enrolment in a new school that is aimed for geniuses. 

I personally love Spider-Man. While it’s a bit of a far cry from the classic kind of Spider-Man that we all know and love who went to school in Queens, I personally think that this version is super creative and pulls all the stops. With characters like Gwen Stacy and another famous Spider-Man, Miles Morales, there, it really adds a lot of story to them that we don’t know. 

Plus, since it’s such a new cartoon, the animation is clearly superior and can do some fantastic things. The only reason I put it at number four is because the story could sometimes be a bit stronger. 

Stream Spider-Man on Disney+.

Spider-Man and Venom in The Spectacular Spider-Man.

(Image credit: The CW/Disney XD)

3. The Spectacular Spider-Man (2008-2009) 

Next up, we have The Spectacular Spider-Man. This fan favorite that ran for two seasons follows the story of the hero just as most of the others do, but this time focusing not only on his years in high school but more into the darker world of being Spider-Man, and the challenges he has to handle. 

Some fans of this show might say that this is the best version of Spider-Man in animated form, and personally, I can agree to an extent. With Ultimate Spider-Man and Marvel’s Spider-Man, I feel like both of those failed in regards to the proper balance of using both comedy and exploring more adult themes that fans have come to expect from the hero, but The Spectacular Spider-Man does incredibly well in both. The characters feel like well-rounded people and their stories are entertaining. 

There’s two reasons I put it at number 3. The series only ran for two seasons - and honesty, it was way too short, because so much could have been done with these characters that would have made them even more spectacular (see what I did there?). Also, why the heck isn’t this available to stream? As of right now, you can only buy the show. But I think it’s worth every penny. 

Spider-Man and his buddies in Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends.

(Image credit: NBC)

2. Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends (1981-1983) 

The oldest show on this list, Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends follows Spider-Man, but instead of taking him to high school, we get to see his college years with his friends, Bobby Drake and Angelica Jones, who are the superheroes Iceman and Firestar, respectively. Together, they team up to fight crime, otherwise known as the “Spider-Friends.”

I feel like when I used to think of Spider-Man shows, this was one of the first that would pop up in my mind as it was one of the first I watched with my Spider-Man-loving father. But as I’ve gotten older in age, I’ve learned to appreciate this series even more. 

As someone who really enjoys college movies and shows featured around academics, I really like Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends because it expands more into the life of Peter Parker past high school, something we don’t see crazy often, and it focuses a lot on the friendships that Spider-Man has rather than just the crime-fighting. 

Stream Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends on Disney+.

Spider-Man and Black Cat in Spider-Man: The Animated Series.

(Image credit: Fox Kids Network)

1. Spider-Man: The Animated Series (1994-1998) 

Last but not least, we have Spider-Man: The Animated Series. Airing for five seasons back in the 1990s, this show again focuses on Spider-Man’s college years, as he tries to balance having a normal life with regular people, while also learning to become a better hero as Spider-Man and fight crime. 

I could go on for hours about this show. Again, because it focuses more on Peter during the college years, we get so much story about him that feels more mature and reaches an older audience, rather than some of the other picks on this list. Not only that, but the drama in this is incredible. There are plenty of love triangles, new villains, excellent fight sequences and so much more that you’ll be entertained from the moment the show begins. 

This version of Peter Parker also feels a lot more personal than the others. We’re really given so much story on him this time around, with new stories that aren’t from the comics, mixed in with classic story arcs that we all know and love. Truly, if you haven’t watched this show, be sure to check it out. It’s definitely the best Spider-Man show out there. 

Stream Spider-Man: The Animated Series on Disney+.

To be honest, this just makes me want to go see Spider-Man: No Way Home again in theaters and then binge all these awesome shows right after. Spider-Man is truly one of those heroes that I don’t think will ever die, and I for one hope his great TV shows keep on coming year after year. Maybe even now you might have found a new show to binge. 

Alexandra Ramos
Alexandra Ramos

Big nerd and lover of Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire. Will forever hate season eight. Superhero and horror geek. And please don't debate me on The Last of Us 2, it was amazing!