These games are adaptations of the film Spider-Man 2. The PS2, GameCube, and Xbox versions of the game, developed by Activision's Treyarch studio, allow the player to freely roam around Manhattan, Roosevelt, Ellis, and Liberty Islands. The home console versions were also innovative in that physics-based algorithms simulated Spider-Man's web swinging in three dimensions, creating a new game mechanic unlike the traditional jumping or flying of previous Spider-Man games.
Versions of the game on other platforms feature more linear side-scrolling and platform sections. The PSP version of Spider Man 2 was compared to playing the Spider Man 1 plot.
While street thugs only have handguns, machine guns, crowbars and their fists to protect them, the super-villains and their minions have their various unique powers and weapons that they use to either steal, cause terror or defeat Spider-Man. At the end of the game, it becomes possible to unlock a warehouse in which the player can again fight thugs and villains such as Shocker, Rhino, Doctor Octopus, and an additional boss, Calypso, who is not found elsewhere in the game.
The player has the ability to choose either to go on with the storyline or swing around the city. The player can explore Manhattan, Roosevelt Island, Ellis Island, Liberty Island, and a mysterious label on the map over the water claiming "Governors Island" with many sidequests for the player to complete. The player can do random tasks to earn "hero points," which must be accumulated to continue with the plot and are spent on upgrading Spidey's skills.