Few comic book characters have come close to the cult status of Batman. Ever since his breakthrough into mainstream waters thanks to the portrayal of the late Adam West, the Caped Crusader has been enjoying a steady rise in popularity, eventually making him a household name among DC’s roster of heroes.
Naturally, such an enormous success warranted the bat’s branching out into various other forms of media, including our favorite – video games.
Similar to his maelstrom movie outings, Batman has enjoyed varying degrees of success over a span of 3 decades. In terms of video games, DC’s dark knight underwent a sort of rejuvenation coinciding with the release of 2009’s Batman: Arkham Asylum, whose fame went as far as making the general public completely erase any previous games from collective memory.
Though there’s no denying the superiority of the Arkham series when it comes to review scores, sales numbers, fanbase, etc. we still feel as if Batman’s (we ran out of nicknames) preceding excursions into gaming were unjustly and too quickly tossed aside in favor of completely embracing the grimmer makeover.
We at Game Gavel are huge fans of the idea of staying true to one’s roots, hence the decision to compile every single game starring the world’s greatest detective (we remembered some more nicknames) as our main protagonist.
Though we were adamant about including every single game in which our favorite hero plays a significant role, the sheer number of them was simply too overwhelming for a single article. With that in mind, the best DC Comics games list is currently in the works, so keep an eye out! Without further ado, let’s start from the top.
Supported platforms: ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, MSX, Amstrad PCW
Date(s) of release: 1986
Developed by Jon Ritman and published by Ocean Software, Mr. Wayne’s gaming debut in the form of a 3D isometric action-adventure can be considered a great success by all metrics.
The main goal of the game is rescuing Robin – a.k.a the regular sidekick in distress, which you’ll need to do by roaming the Batcave in search of seven parts of the Bat hovercraft. Considering the hardware limitations of mid-80s technology, it’s quite staggering to see levels filled to the brim with enemies to avoid, puzzles to solve, and platforms to be traversed.
Though all this may seem like rudimentary garbage from our perspective, it was certainly a refreshing experience for its target audience, which is further enforced by the fact that it spawned two remakes. In the year 2000, a freeware remake called Watman was released for MS-DOS, with a Game Boy Advance version following it up two years later. Overall, a solid entry, and an even better debut in the public’s eye.
#2 Batman: The Caped Crusader
Supported platforms: Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Apple II, MS-DOS, ZX Spectrum
Date(s) of release: 1988
Two years after the very successful release of Batman, Ocean Software felt compelled to put the superhero license to good use for the second time, culminating in Batman: The Caped Crusader.
Aside from sharing the same protagonist, the game is completely unrelated to the 1986 Batman game, which is evident upon taking a look at the gameplay. Though it’s still an action-adventure in essence, The Caped Crusader prioritizes puzzle-solving over hand-to-hand fighting, albeit retaining just enough combat segments to keep monotony at bay.
The arrival of the new console generation allowed the developers to do away with the primitive isometric perspective and limited color palette, and instead employ a software house called Special FX to produce a new graphics style, akin to the one seen in comic book panels. The result was a highly colorful and vivid presentation whose concept served as an inspiration for Sega’s legendary Comix Zone.
The game was divided into two separate parts, with the first one, ‘A Bird in The Hand’ focusing on the notorious Penguin as the main adversary, and the second one, ‘A Fate Worse than Death,’ involving the clown prince of crime himself, The Joker. Both storylines provided tons of crime-solving, baddie-fighting action, worthy of Batman’s name and legacy.
#3 Batman: The Movie
Supported platforms: Commodore 64, MSX, GX4000, Amstrad, ZX Spectrum, MS-DOS, Atari ST
Date(s) of release: November 1989 – April 1991
Say what you want about Michael Keaton’s Batman, but the fact remains that his version of Gotham’s vigilante paved the way for all future renditions to come. Tim Burton’s dark yet whimsical style captivated audiences world-wide and put our favorite superhero back in the spotlight.
Finally, Batman was starting to get the adult treatment he always deserved. And don’t get me started on the masterful performance of Jack Nicholson, also known as the best live-action Joker yet.
That’s right. Fight me!
But let’s get back to business. Did the on-screen success manage to translate into videogame form? Well, mostly! A total of 13 games carry the license of the 1989 movie, which is mind-boggling, to say the least! Ocean Software was tasked with releasing around eight different ‘sub-games’ for eight different platforms, with each game being a semi-unique take on the side-scrolling genre.
The versions released for 16-bit systems were basically enhanced versions of their 8-bit counterparts, offering smoother graphics, slicker animations, and a couple of 3D effects here and there for the sake of flexing on them haters. Side-scrollers were starting to pick up their stride during the late eighties, with Batman being one of the front runners of its kind.
Sunsoft was in charge of developing the NES and Game Boy versions of the game, along with developing ports for Sega’s consoles, the Mega Drive, and the Genesis. Suffice to say; they did their job stellarly. Critics particularly praised the NES version for its innovating gameplay additions, though it’s widely considered one of the most challenging games for the system.
The Genesis version features a more movie-focused plot, as well as a few vehicle levels to spice up the experience. If only the difficulty level provided a slightly harder challenge…
The only other version worth a mention is the arcade port, which recreates the soundtrack most faithfully out of all the versions. Combined with superior graphics, a wide variety of levels, and an insane fun factor, and this one gets a straight recommendation from my side. Presuming you’re into tinkering with emulators, naturally.
#4 Batman: Revenge of The Joker
Supported platforms: NES, Game Boy, Sega Genesis
Date(s) of release: December 1991-1992
Ocean Software has officially passed the baton over to Sunsoft, who, in turn, used the best of their abilities to give us a 2D action platformer that easily goes toe-to-toe with the best of its generation.
Revenge of The Joker puts you in the cape and cowl of Bats, who finds himself in some unenviable circumstances. His arch-nemesis has escaped from Arkham yet again and is plotting to poison the citizens of Gotham with gas-filled missiles! Naturally, it’s up to you to save the day and put the notorious criminal back behind bars, while the Gotham Police cheers you from the sidelines. About as superhero-ey as one story can get!
The game spans across several levels, filled with various Joker’s goons to smash through in order to progress to the next level. At your disposal is your trusty utility belt, filled with various types of batarangs and projectiles to use to your advantage. Though rather short, it does pack a nostalgic action-filled punch that maintains its fun factor to this day. Worth a playthrough!
#5 Batman Returns
Supported platforms: Amiga, Atari Lynx, Game Gear, Master System, Genesis, Sega CD, MS-DOS, NES, Super NES
Date(s) of release: 1992- May 1993
With the release of Batman Returns three years after its prequel, a video game based on the movie was released alongside its on-screen cousin, much to fans delight. Similar to the release of the first movie tie-in, eight different versions of the game were developed by several different developers, inherently resulting in varying degrees of quality.
The first version to hit the store shelves was the Amiga port in late 1992, with gameplay best described as an amalgamation of side-scrolling run ‘n’ guns and beat ’em ups, molded into a shape resembling the classic platformer. The critical response to Batman Returns on the Amiga was particularly lukewarm due to the fact that the developers promised a direct conversion of the PC port – a promise that went unfulfilled.
The other version standing out was the MS-DOS port published by Konami, which played out more like an adventure game if anything, though still providing decent fun. Nintendo ports played out like side-scrolling beat ‘em ups, while Sega versions were both side-scrolling platformers.
There’s not much else to be said about these fun, yet highly unoriginal games. Contrary to Tim Burton being granted a higher degree of freedom to go about making a sequel, it seems as if the opposite happened to game designers. Shame.
#6 The Adventures of Batman and Robin
Supported platforms: Super NES, Genesis, Sega CD, Game Gear
Date(s) of release: 1994-1995
Batman: The Animated Series represents the beginning of my love for Batman. The incredible voice talents of Mark Hamill as Joker and Kevin Conroy as Batman solidified the show’s place among the animated greats, and it remains one of my favorites.
But enough about the show… the show whose perfect blend of cartoonish elements mixed with the brooding atmosphere and stories of the Golden Age comics provided a perf… okay, I’ll stop now. The Adventures of Batman and Robin can hardly be described as a single game released for multiple platforms, but rather a series of adaptations that follow the show’s premise to a greater or lesser extent.
The Super NES version was the first one to see the light of day and featured action-adventure platforming across a multitude of levels, all ending with a boss battle. Between stages, you’re granted access to the Batcave and all the nifty gadgets stored inside, including x-ray lenses, batarangs, and bombs, among others.
The Genesis version followed suit, keeping the same level premise, but also including an insanely addictive 2-player mode (these are the adventures of Batman AND Robin, after all), along with a few side-scrolling shooter segments in which you gain control of flying Batwings.
The honor of hosting the third and final version was given to Sega’s failed Game Gear portable console. Besides boasting impressive Mega Drive processing power, the Game Gear really couldn’t offer much else other than a lite version of the Genesis game, with only a wider variety of weapons and gadgets going for it.
Oh, silly me, how could I forget? The Sega CD! This ultimately unsuccessful Genesis add-on sported an exclusive port of the game, which plays out more like an interactive movie than anything resembling a game. A few driving segments thrown in between around 17 minutes of animated cutscenes isn’t precisely award-winning material, that’s all I’m saying.
As a bonus, the Game Boy version called Batman: The Animated Series, is also added as an unofficial part of this roster. It’s a typical run-of-the-mill action-platformer with a Batman logo slapped onto the box, so take that as you will. You can switch between Batman and Robin, so it’s got that going for it… yay?
The only version worth playing is undoubtedly the Super NES one, besides lacking a 2-player mode. Every other port pales in comparison due to sub-par graphics, unresponsive controls, incredible difficulty spikes, and insultingly short levels. Yuck!
#7 Batman Forever
Supported platforms: Super NES, Game Boy, Sega Genesis, Game Gear
Release: August – October 1995
If you ask me, Batman Forever gets too much hate and is such an underrated gem! The tie-in games? Not so much. Actually, not at all.
The fact that it’s using the Mortal Kombat engine is the game’s one single trait that can be considered positive. Every single version sucks in its own extraordinary way, so feel free to skip this clunky beat ‘em up without the fear of missing out on anything worthy of your precious time.
#8 Batman Forever: The Arcade Game
Supported platforms: Arcade, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation, Sega Saturn
Release: May 1996
You could say that this game is better than its previously mentioned counterparts, but that would be the same as claiming that falling off a motorbike is better than getting hit by a car. Sure, you’re not wrong, but why would you willingly find yourself in any of the two predicaments?
Val Kil… I mean, Batman’s fifth-generation debut is one best forgotten. Playing out as a poor man’s Streets of Rage, you’re given a choice between Batman and Robin, after which you’re thrown into a chain of seemingly identical levels filled with monotonous waves of enemies which end in a boss fight. The scattered power-ups don’t even start to diminish the boredom induced by the game’s repetitiveness. The less I say about it, the better.
#9 Batman & Robin
Supported platforms: Game.com, PlayStation
Release: 1997 – August 1998
Batman Forever severely lowered the expectations for any future sequels, but Batman & Robin still managed to pummel them into the ground. Are we talking about movies or movie tie-in games? Yes.
Though there is some fun to be had with Joel Schumacher’s cinematic calamities, the same cannot be said for their video game tie-ins. I vaguely remember renting out a PS1 that came bundled with this game, and me getting excited from seeing George Clooney in a latex Batman cosplay on the CD jewel case. No, not that kind of excited.
Anyways, after putting the CD into the console and starting a new game, I was left utterly baffled by what was going on in front of my eyes. Not only was I not able to figure out the idiotic control scheme for about 20 minutes, but I was also hit continuously by either traffic cars or enemy goons walking around.
In an effort to scare off the scum of Gotham, I tried throwing a Batarang bomb, which blew me up and returned me to my starting position. That’s where our paths drifted off, never to meet again. Apparently, the game features some sandbox elements, along with the ability to drive a Batmobile and choosing between 3 different members of the dysfunctional Bat-family. Who would’ve thought? Not interested, thank you!
#10 Batman Beyond: Return of The Joker
Platforms supported: Game Boy Color, Nintendo 64, PlayStation
Release: November 2000, January 2001
So much potential was left unused during the fifth generation console era, almost as if everyone was full of ideas and eagerly expecting the long-awaited leap in power and technology, only to be left completely baffled as to how to use it properly.
What we were left with instead were unfinished, glitchy 3D college gaming projects that appeared to be abandoned mid-development. Return of The Joker is a testament to that claim, bringing strong ideas to the table, but executing none of them.
The simple premise of this side-scroller beat ‘em up with the addition of switchable suits with unique abilities shouldn’t leave too much room for error – and yet it does! It’s evident that the developers were pressured by publishers to finish the game right on time to coincide with the release of the movie of the same name. Almost 20 years later, and the gaming industry still hasn’t learned its lesson. Tsk, tsk, tsk…
#11 Batman: Chaos in Gotham
Supported platforms: Game Boy Color
Release: February 16th, 2001
In a seemingly endless stream of garbage Batman games, we’ll take what we can. Chaos in Gotham was a breath of fresh air compared to the rest of the lineup of its era. Serving as an homage to the action platformers of the late eighties and early nineties, it offers a solid story solidified by tight controls, engaging action, and challenging difficulty, which was more than enough to satisfy even the hardest of fans.
Chaos in Gotham marks the return of many iconic villains, with the likes of Bane, Poison Ivy, Two-Face, and many others added to the roster of baddies. To aid you in your fight are Commissioner Gordon, Barbara Gordon, Alfred Pennyworth, along with Batgirl (the only other playable character) and the rest of the Bat-family.
Add a few Batcycle driving levels reminiscent of Road Rage, and you’ve got yourself a great little game that instilled hope. Maybe Batsy can return for a strong finish and a dignified goodbye to the fifth generation of consoles?
#12 Batman: Gotham City Racer
Supported platforms: PlayStation
Release: April 19, 2001
My favorite video game console of all time will forever remain lacking any good Batman games whatsoever, and that’s the cold, harsh truth that hurts to this day. Ubisoft decided to dabble in different genres to revitalize the brand, which resulted in Gotham City Racer. The Dark Knight’s second racing game outing (the first one being on the Sega CD) wasn’t nearly as fruitful as the developers had hoped, and that’s putting it lightly.
A great concept indeed utterly decimated by icy handling and repetitive ‘point A to point B’ missions, with its only strong points being a solid soundtrack and the inclusion of cutscenes straight from the cartoon show. You’re better off turning the console off completely and buying a Batman: The Animated Series Bluray, trust me.
#13 Batman: Vengeance
Supported platforms: PlayStation 2, Game Boy Advance, Gamecube, Xbox, Microsoft Windows
Date(s) of release: October 15th, 2001 – October 8th, 2002
With the launch of the sixth generation of consoles, perhaps faith has given our beloved hero a chance to redeem himself and regain his rightful place among the giants. While this certainly wasn’t the case with Batman: Vengeance, it was positively a step in the right direction.
Taking place in-between Batman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures, the plot is divided into five separate chapters, each being presented as an individual episode of sorts and each centering around a well-known villain. Its linear gameplay should be seen as a positive router away from the bleak open world and towards the hallways filled with evil henchmen ready to take a beating.
Knocking one of them to the ground will take them out of action for a few seconds, but once they’re down, you can approach them and handcuff them, thereby permanently eliminating him as a threat. The handcuffs gimmick would’ve been even cooler if you weren’t forced to pay attention to the number of handcuffs you’ve got left. There is a time and place for realism, and this ain’t it, chief!
All things considered, the appropriately named Vengeance serves as a retaliation of sorts: an effort to undo the wrongs of the past and amend what can be amended. Fingers crossed!
#14 Batman: Dark Tomorrow
Supported platforms: Xbox, GameCube
Date(s) of release: 18 March – 11 April 2003
You have to give it to ol’ Batsy. No matter how many times he gets knocked down, he will always get right back on his feet and refuse to yield. When it comes to video games, however, it all boils down to him being repeatedly kicked in the groin area while helplessly lying on the ground.
Dark Tomorrow tried to capitalize on the relatively successful Vengeance, albeit in the lousiest way imaginable. Instead of building upon solid groundwork, developer HotGen decided to strip off everything that worked in Vengeance and throwing it straight to trash. Them, further emphasize the worst aspects of the game, and there’s your recipe for success!
The moronic handcuffing mechanic makes a return and is longer than ever. Even worse is the atrocious AI that is barely functional and will annoy you every step of the way. What a joke of a game!
#15 Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu
Supported platforms: Xbox, PlayStation 2, GameCube, Game Boy Advance
Date(s) of release: October 16 – December 5 2003
Move over, HotGen, and leave the artists to their craft! Ubisoft Montreal was given a second chance to finish what they started, and the improvements are visible from the start!
Having identified combat as the key aspect to focus on, the developers centered the sequel around fighting large and progressively more challenging groups of enemies. After completing each section, the upgrade system gives you an opportunity to – you guessed it – upgrade your skills, moves, bonuses, and much more. Feeling overwhelmed? Invite a friend over to join you on your quest to defeat the mystic Sin Tzu!
It’s a pure fighting extravaganza, and a pitch-perfect example of brilliance sometimes lying in simplicity. More of the same, please!
#16 Batman Begins
Supported platforms: Game Boy Advance, PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube
Date(s) of release: June 14th, 2005
I know, I know, a movie tie-in, eww, right? But hear me out: this one is actually good. Like, really good! Maybe some of that Nolan’s reboot energy rubbed off on the developers, which made them take their duties seriously and really dig into this game, making it even better than it had the right to be. A surprise, to be sure, but a welcome one!
Batman Begins follows the story of the movie of the same name, with its gameplay focusing on some aspects of Batman never before explored in video games or TV shows: fear and stealth.
Sure, the combat is decent and quite enjoyable, but underneath its brawler uniform hides a stealth game that abundantly rewards your efforts of remaining as silent and stealthy as humanly possible. Making your enemies question your humanity and talking to their colleagues about a ghost making their friends disappear is guaranteed to make you feel like Bale’s Batman himself.
The graphics remain very impressive for a 14-year-old game, creating an atmosphere fitting of a dark and broody antihero adventure. This underappreciated piece of software excellence will serve as but a peek into things to come for our esteemed night guardian.
#17 The LEGO Batman Trilogy
Supported platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Wii, Wii U PlayStation Portable, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Date(s) of release: September 23rd, 2008, June 19th, 2012, November 11th, 2014
The LEGO video game series needs no introduction to anyone who hasn’t been living under a rock for the past 15 years. However, since I’m in a particularly good mood today, welcome Patrick Starfish!
The first game introduced us to the LEGO rendition of the world of DC Comics, while its sequels simply expanded on the concept by adding progressively more characters, improving graphics, introducing voice acting and adding licensed music to boot.
Expect more of the same stud-collecting, brick-breaking, LEGO-building gameplay that you’ve come to expect after all these years. I’ve always found these games very quirky and charming but introducing Batman into the mix sold me on the whole LEGO-everything gig.
Truth be told, the game does get stale when playing alone, and it doesn’t take more than a few levels to make me bored to tears. Bringing a friend over for the ride, however, is an entirely different story. The 2-player mode introduces a whole new dynamic to the experience, with players being encouraged to assist each other in solving puzzles, opening gates, and coordinating their roles during boss fights.
It’s a very simple game at its heart, which makes it accessible to even the youngest of gamers. Parent’s first choice, indeed!
#18 Batman: Arkham Asylum
Supported platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X
Date(s) of release: August 25, 2009
This is it. The one game that caused ripples in the gaming industry, the game that reaffirmed Batman’s cult status and brought us the best Batman gaming experience yet. Cartoonish representations of the Caped Crusader might possess a certain charm, but this was the real deal. This was Batman in all his glory! Brutal, cunning, intelligent, damaged.
The story takes place in Arkham, a facility off the coast of Gotham City that houses the mentally deranged and criminally insane psychopaths considered irredeemable and incurable. Batman’s arch-nemesis, The Joker, manages to trick our hero into getting locked up in Arkham.
Any attempts to escape or ask for outside help will warrant multiple explosives being detonated all across the city. Faced with the unavoidable, Bruce Wayne must face the darkness of Arkham Asylum – alone.
Thankfully, the billionaire playboy came prepared with a slew of gadgets at his disposal. From using the gliding cape and the grappling gun as a means of exploring the worlds to employing different types of batarangs and explosive gel, the game has it all!
One of the critical innovations that this game brings to the table is the revamped combat system, allowing for much smoother confrontations and pulling off attractive combo moves. Alongside being a great brawler, Batman is also able to put his detective skills to the test with an all-new Detective Vision.
This mode gives you an upper hand in solving puzzles and tracking enemies by giving you a much more detailed look at your surroundings. Entering this mode reveals detailed information and essential clues, while also giving you an exact estimate of how many enemies are aware of your presence. This mode alone introduces an entirely new dynamic and a much-needed upgrade to the limited stealth system of Batman Begins.
Add a stellar voice cast to the mix, and it’s no surprise that Arkham Asylum picked up as many awards and accolades as it did back then. Truly a masterpiece from the previous decade. Go play it ASAP!
#19 Batman: The Brave and the Bold – The Videogame
Supported platforms: Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS
Date(s) of release: September 7th, 2010
Based on the TV show of the same name, and highly reminiscent of the 60s live-action show, The Brave and the Bold is a kid-friendly side-scrolling beat ‘em up platformer which represents the best out of the spectrum opposite the Arkham games. Quirky quips, corny jokes, over-the-top sound effects, and a whimsical voice cast result in a charming presentation aimed primarily at a younger audience.
Each level plays out like a single TV show episode and features Batman teaming up with one of several DC superheroes who can be summoned to perform a Jump-In attack when needed. Defeating goons gives you coins that can be spent on upgrading your arsenal of gadgets, eventually preparing you for the final boss.
It’s an innocent kids game that really deserves recognition for the amount of work and love invested into this seemingly small, but amazing game nonetheless. Most recommended!
#20 Batman: Arkham City
Supported platforms: Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Date(s) of release: October 18th, 2011
Up to 2009, no one could even fathom that any game would reach the heights of Arkham Asylum, and yet here we are. Sheer proof that miracles happen if you ask me. After such a thundering success, how could Rocksteady Studios possibly think of outdoing themselves? Well, fortune favors the bold, and boy, were these guys courageous!
Arkham City takes place approximately one year after the events of Arkham Asylum. Riding on the back of Batman’s success, Quincy Sharp quickly ascends from the position of asylum’s director all the way to being the mayor of Gotham City. Following the beginning of his term, Quincy immediately declares both Arkham and Blackgate ‘not suitable to contain the city’s detainees’, moving them to a closed-off section of Gotham City.
Guess which superhero found himself locked inside that exact enclosure? Arkham City keeps the key formula of Arkham Asylum intact, while simultaneously making improvements where necessary, thereby nudging the experience even closer towards perfection. More gadgets, more enemies, more villains, more missions, more hours of pure fun.
It would be a crime to have this game spoiled for you, so I’ll leave it up to you to try it out and experience the story for yourself. Many hours will be wasted solving Riddler’s riddles, beating thugs to a pulp, or simply gliding over Gotham City like you’re the watchful Gothamite himself.
#21 Batman: Arkham Origins
Supported platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Wii U, Xbox 360
Date(s) of release: October 25th, 2013
Creating a perfect trilogy is a feat few can claim to have achieved. Perhaps Rocksteady was aware of the curse, preemptively handing the torch to WB Games Montreal to handle the third installment while they were keeping themselves occupied with the development of the then-unknown Batman game. To put it lightly, the difference is felt immediately upon starting the campaign, and not in a good way.
Arkham Origins is not a bad game by any means, though it doesn’t come close to its predecessors simply due to not making an effort to embellish already existing elements. For starters, the narrative is ostensibly shallow, lazy, and lacking cohesiveness, with many branching plots remaining unsolved before the credits roll.
True, the boss battles have seen noticeable improvements, but seemingly at the cost of sacrificing any tension during encounters with normal enemies. The shock gloves are simply too OP for their own good, making Batman feel almost superhuman and untouchable by mere mortals.
Speaking of bashing skulls, Arkham Origins is definitely more leaning towards the combat approach by eliminating the need for any tactical approaches. Batman is a superhero, sure, but the point of the game is to be challenging, come on!
The ‘’Cold, Cold Heart’’ DLC pack, is definitely a step towards the right directions in terms of story pace, but too little too late, I’m afraid. It’s still worth a playthrough, if at least for the sake of keeping up with the storyline before diving into part 4.
#22 Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate
Supported platforms: Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 3, Wii U, Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360
Date(s) of release: October 25th, 2013
Cramming the Arkham experience for handhelds is no easy task, yet Armature Studio accepted the challenge with open arms, hence Blackgate coming to fruition. Set 3 months after the events of its big brother, Arkham Origins Blackgate puts you smack dab in the middle of Blackgate Prison, as the brooding vigilante is led into the facility yet again.
This time around, it’s up to Batman to solve a hostage situation in the best way possible by solving puzzles, beating bad guys, searching for clues, and Wayne Tech gadgets scattered all across the game’s levels. Why would Batman ever leave his cave unprepared, we will never know…
While the amount of content put into this Metroidvania for the Vita is impressive for its time, the game doesn’t bring anything new to the portable scene, nor does it dear tread uncharted territories in any way. The somewhat non-linear nature of the game isn’t well utilized (kind of sums up Vita’s life cycle too) due to the fact that the game world doesn’t look nearly interesting enough to be explored.
Rather still, you’ll often find yourself forced to backtrack through dull areas time and time again, which accentuates Blackgate’s biggest problem: monotony. The ‘rinse and repeat’ gameplay model grows more and more tedious after only 30 minutes of gameplay, making Arkham Origins Blackgate extremely hard to recommend. Stick to the real thing; it’s your best bet.
#23 Batman: Arkham Knight
Supported platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
Date(s) of release: June 23rd, 2013
Arguably the darkest entry in the series, Arkham Knight offers an experience that represents the series’ absolute climax, setting the bar higher than all three preceding entries combined. Rocksteady Studios was actively eavesdropping on fans’ grievances related to gameplay and story aspects that needed some fixin’. What followed suit was a steroid-induced Arkham series adventure like no other.
Gotham City is your oyster to be freely explored to your liking, which is further enhanced by the inclusion of the legendary Batmobile. The iconic vehicle is capable of being summoned to your exact location in an instant, sporting a plethora of useful abilities, such as being able to perform jumps, stunts, speed boosts, fire missiles, and much more.
Criminals will flee at the mere sight of Bat’s tricked out ride – an act telling of Batman’s notoriety among Gotham’s scum and villainy. Arkham Knight provides you with enough assets to freely choose your approach to dealing with thugs, allowing sleek looking stealth disposals, or alternatively facing them head-on and taking the refined combat system out for a spin.
Story-wise, the game will keep you glued to your platform of choice for hours on end. Though the ending wasn’t up to par compared to the rest of the narrative, it packs enough punch to make your troubles worthwhile. The cast featuring voice talents of Mark Hamill, Kevin Conroy, and Tara Strong, among others, will undoubtedly immerse you into the crime-ridden world of Gotham City.
The single biggest flaw remains the god-awful state in which the PC version was released. Awful optimization is to blame for choppy framerates, inert loading times, and inexcusable glitches riddling the game, though the issues were quickly amended through the release of an official patch.
Such stains of Rocksteady’s otherwise impeccable record cannot be scrubbed off easily, so we’re hoping that the backlash directed towards both Warner Bros and Rocksteady taught them a lesson in customer appreciation. We’ll let this one slide…
#24 Batman: Arkham VR
Supported platforms: PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows
Date(s) of release: October 11th, 2016 (PS4), April 25th, 2017 (Windows)
Batman and VR sound like the perfect recipe for a mind-blowing experience. ‘Tis a shame that the cooks misread the handwriting and messed up the main dish…
You’ll get the most out of this game if you treat it as nothing more but a fancier tech demo. This first-person VR Arkham experience comes loaded with all the features from the mainline games, albeit executing them in such a poor manner that I’m left baffled as to how someone could have the audacity of slapping a 20$ price tag on it or any price tag for that matter.
Thankfully, VR technology is getting better and better, meaning there’s still a solid chance that we’ll be blessed by a decent Batman VR experience during our lifetimes. So eat your veggies – we need you to stick around for as long as possible!
#25 Batman: Return to Arkham
Supported platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Date(s) of release: October 18th, 2016
This remastered collection of Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City, bundled with all previously released DLC, gives these games a well-earned facelift, embellishing it with crisper textures, upgraded models and environments, improved shaders, and other minor improvements.
The framerate being capped at 30 frames per second is the only downside of this otherwise well-refurbished piece of software excellence. Highly recommended!
#26 Batman: The Telltale Series
Supported platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Date(s) of release: August 2nd – December 13th, 2016
Spanning across five continuous episodes, this refreshing piece of independent Batman media provides an alternate take on the world of Gotham in the vein of The Walking Dead titles, playing out its narrative in a point-and-click manner mixed with a graphic adventure overcoat.
Although you progress through the story by participating in occasionally annoying quick-time events and engaging in dialogues with a myriad of your favorite Batman characters.
Though the dialogues provide you with different optional responses that can change the NPC’s perception of you, it’s hard getting rid of the impression that the options are but mere illusions of choice, not letting you stray too far off the story-beaten path. Nevertheless, the captivating atmosphere and solid voice acting convey solid 7 hours of comic book-worthy fun.
#27 Batman: The Enemy Within
Supported platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X
Date(s) of release: August 8th, 2017 – March 27th, 2018
More of the same, but better – if that makes any sense. Along with a continuation of the already well-established story, The Enemy Within introduces an option of loading the predecessor’s save and having the choices from that game imported into the sequel, as well as an option of choosing whether to approach the situation as either Bruce Wayne or Batman.
The investigation sequences also make a return and are far more prominent this time around, completely embodying the whole ‘world’s greatest detective’ schtick. Like the original, the sequel also suffers from a few technical issues regarding framerate and occasionally glitchy textures. Troy Baker makes a return as Bruce Wayne/Batman and gives a solid performance, though Kevin Conroy he is not.
Everything else about The Enemy Within remains faithful to Batman: The Telltale Series. If you liked the original, the sequel would give you a solid bang for your buck — nothing more, nothing less.
Mobile Games featuring Batman
‘Time to go mobile!’ The following is a list of all the mobile renditions starring that Bat dude.
#1 Batman Begins
Supported platforms: Mobile phone
Date(s) of release: 2005
A simple side scroller/stealth platformer in which you took the mantle of Batman and beat Falcone’s thugs within an inch of their lives – in Java! This one helped stave off a few hours back in the day, on my gone but never forgotten Sony Ericsson w200i. Good times…
#2 LEGO Batman: The Mobile Game
Supported platforms: Mobile phone, smartphone (iOS, Android)
Date(s) of release: 2008
This cutesy little action platformer brings as much LEGO fun from the big boy consoles as phones of 2008 allowed it. Not a bad game for its time.
#3 The Dark Knight
Supported platforms: Mobile phone
Date(s) of release: 2008
The MIDI version of Hans Zimmer’s legendary soundtrack echoes through my eardrums even a full decade after I’ve played it to bits. A side-scrolling action-platformer that provides an hour of mobile Batman fun.
#4 The Dark Knight: Batmobile Game
Supported platforms: iPhone
Date(s) of release: December 29th, 2008
The now-iconic Tumbler made its iPhone debut in the form of a rail racer/shooter that uses the device’s accelerometer feature to the full extent. Remember when tilting your phone like a steering wheel was considered peak technology? God, we’re old.
#5 Batman: Guardian of Gotham
Supported platforms: Mobile phone
Date(s) of release: 2010
Damn it, why didn’t I use this nickname earlier?! Guardian of Gotham puts your rail-shooting, Batarang-throwing abilities to the test against the likes of Joker and Two-Face. And it’s published by Glu Mobile. Moving on.
#6 Batman: Arkham City Lockdown
Supported platforms: iOS, Android
Date(s) of release: December 7th, 2011
This is where mobile games started trespassing the ‘wow, my phone can run that’ territory. For its time, this simple fighter was quite something and gave me hours of finger-swiping action on the iPhone 4S. Good stuff.
#7 The Dark Knight Rises
Supported platforms: Windows Phone, iOS, Android
Date(s) of release: 2012
Based on the third chapter in the Nolan trilogy, this game blew my mind back in the day and was as close to the Arkham games the mobile platform could offer, from the camera angle right down to the combat mechanics. Pretty impressive for 2012.
#8 Batman: Arkham Origins (Mobile)
Supported platforms: iOS, Android
Date(s) of release: 2013
Building upon the fighting elements of Arkham City Lockdown, Origins delivers free-to-play fighting gameplay that threatened to seriously hurt my social life six years ago. Landing hits fill up your combo meter, divided into three connected bars. The more bars you fill, the deadlier the combo you deliver will be. Fight!
#9 Batman: The Telltale Series & Batman: The Enemy Within
Supported platforms: Android, iOS
Date(s) of release: August 2nd – December 13th, 2016 (TTS), August 8th, 2017 – March 27, 2018 (TEW)
Both of these games are virtually identical to their PC and console counterparts, minus the inferior graphics. The smaller screen kind of amps up the charm, if you ask me.
#10 The LEGO Batman Movie Game
Supported platforms: Android, iOS
Date(s) of release: January 10th, 2017
The silliness from the blocky cinematic experience is faithfully recreated in this LEGO interactive playground for kids of all ages. The bond that I share with my younger cousin is mainly owed to this game, bringing us together in unison, further proving my hypothesis that in some aspects, we never truly grow up. Excuse me. I have something in my eye…