The best Batman games is a tough list to write. There are so many good games featuring the caped crusader, especially those made by Rocksteady, who influenced every modern superhero game that came after its first instalment in the Arkham series.
Since Batman: Arkham Origins developer WB Games Montreal is working on this year’s Gotham Knights, it’s a good time to revisit our favourite Batman games. No, you won’t be able to play as Bruce Wayne in the upcoming game, but it’s nice to think about the games in which you could down the cowl.
Here are the best Batman games, ranked from worst to best.
1. Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate
Developer: Armature Games
Platforms: Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation Vita
There is a good chance that you don’t remember this spin-off. Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate took Batman and his heroic adventures to the small screen, specifically the Nintendo 3DS and the PlayStation Vita, so they could be played on them. It’s a 2.5D side-scrolling game that picks up right where Arkham Origins left off. Batman has to deal with an explosion at Blackgate prison, which lets the Joker, Penguin, and Black Mask run amok.
The story isn’t very interesting, but it did have a lot of good ideas. It tried to make as much of the console experience as possible work on mobile devices, with stealth gameplay, grappling, and even explosive gel making the cut. The creative use of the camera must also be applauded. The camera zoomed in on flash points and courting glides, as well as putting Batman in the crosshairs as part of the Deadshot fight.
Combat is still very hard, but the level design is all over the place, and the graphics have gone down a lot. Muddy textures and blurry signs make it hard to figure out where to go. As a Metroid Batman game, it was a very bad idea. For this game to be worthwhile, it had to be based on one of the less interesting Arkham stories. In the end, the game was ported to both consoles and PCs. Even though it looks better than its portable predecessor, a fresh coat of paint can’t fix the bad design that was behind the scenes.
2. Batman: Arkham Origins
Developer: WB Games Montreal
Platforms: Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS3, PS4, PS5, WiiU, PC
There’s so much fun to be had with Batman: Arkham Origins! An intermediate game in the series was made by a different team at WB Montreal. The team made a risk by making a prequel, setting the game five years before the events of Arkham Asylum. In comparison to the rest of the Arkham games, this one has a shorter story and a lot less going on. It introduces Batman’s relationship with Troy Baker’s Joker, who steals the show with a lot of great scenes. Unfortunately, except for some clever character-to-character jokes, the rest of the plot has a lot of holes in it. It often plugs up or forgets about its own most interesting twists.
Because the huge open world is so beautiful to look at, but also so empty, detective mode has become a real drag. Despite the great boss fights that really used the villains, the game is full of overpowered gadgets that make the fights boring and make them look the same. A lot of the time, the game throws a lot of enemies at Batman without any reason. This tactic quickly gets old, and it doesn’t work very well. It also had a very weird multiplayer mode that felt like it was added on to the main game. It’s worth it if you’re a fan of the Arkham games, but Origins isn’t as good because it doesn’t try new things like the other games. At least where it tries, it doesn’t work and just gives you more of the same.
3. Batman Arkham VR
Developer: Rocksteady Studios
Platforms: PS4, PC
Because Batman Arkham VR is at the bottom of this list, it’s not bad. It’s just that Arkham games have a very high barometer. This virtual reality game came out in 2016 and is the last Arkham game we’ve had before Arkham Knight came out. As far as short VR games go, Arkham VR is very good at everything it tries to do. This is a very rare thing!
It tells a good story and doesn’t feel like a Batman toybox. You’ll grapple, fight bad guys, and even have hallucinations thanks to the crown prince of crime, but all of this is separate from the rest of the games. You’d have to be a complete fool not to play Arkham VR if you’re a fan of the game and have a pair of goggles at home. You’d have to be a complete fool not to play Arkham VR. There are a lot of bad guys to fight, famous cameos and models to look at, and even a set of hard challenges that make the game worth playing again. Because it doesn’t have a lot of space, many people don’t think it’s worth their time. But if you’ve always wanted to wear a cowl and watch batarangs whirl through the air, this is your best bet.
4. Batman: The Telltale Series (Seasons 1 & 2)
Developer: Telltale Games
Platforms: Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS3, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Swich, PC
When Telltale Games went out of business, one of the last things they made was the second season of their take on Batman called “Batman: The Second Season.” This was a new way to look at the Dark Knight’s relationship with the Joker. There were enough twists and turns and fun (but clunky) fight scenes in the first season to keep you interested. Even though we’ve had a lot of modern Joker stories, “The Enemy Within” may be the most unique one yet. Anthony Ingruber’s John Doe is one of the best game performances of the last 10 years. in “The enemy inside,” you get to know Doe, who was at first very innocent. He joins a rough group of people in the Pact and deals with his feelings about an electrifying Harley Quinn who is clearly up to no good.
In this story, you have to make hard decisions that make you shape your own worst enemy into something beautiful. The game makes you choose between Batman’s morals, his secret identity, and the lives of his friends. At the same time, John Doe is a ticking time bomb in the background. It’s a must-play for Batman fans, especially if you’re looking for a different take on the Arkham Joker that you might be used to seeing. When the Joker turns into a real person, can you stop him? If that question makes you want to play Batman: The Telltale Series, you must do so.
5. Batman: Arkham Knight
Platforms: Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5, PC
Finally, the fourth and last Arkham game came out in 2015, and it was another game that changed the way people played games. It was a game that defined its console generation. A beautiful game to look at, Arkham Knight’s slick streets and particle effects felt like they were from the future, even though some of the new features didn’t work out. As many people pointed out when the Batmobile first came out, it was too big and didn’t work out the way it was supposed to. It got in the way of Batman’s fluidity instead of helping him move through Gotham City. The game had a lot of interesting new gadgets, like the Jedi Mind Trick-style Voice Synthesizer. It also gave you more control over Nightwing and Catwoman as they fought gangsters in the game’s crazy story.
They brought back some of the best villains from Arkham, like Scarecrow and The Joker. Man-Bat and Deathstroke also show up to fill out the rest of the game. The “Arkham Knight,” who gives the game its name, is a completely new character, too. He adds intrigue and mystery to the story as you progress through the game. If you’ve seen Batman’s comics, you know that the twist is coming, but it still added a lot of excitement to the movie. At least they didn’t just stay on the same path or be safe like Origins, like they did. In Arkham Asylum, the Riddler challenges weren’t as good as Arkham Asylum, but the story puzzles could be real head-scratchers that made you feel like a super-sleuth. This was doubly disappointing because the tedious puzzles were required for the game’s very cool true ending. Arkham Knight is an important, must-see ending to the Arkham story.
6. Batman: Vengeance
Context is important when revisiting aged products; for instance, Batman: Vengeance does not have much to offer a modern player looking to experience a Dark Knight-themed 3D romp. Based on The New Batman Adventures, the game is a fairly faithful adaptation of that series, and Vengeance is at its best when focusing on its narrative.
Not too bad for its time, but not good enough to be good. Still, if someone has a deep love for Batman and early 3D action-adventure games, they might enjoy Vengeance a lot.
7. Batman Forever: The Arcade Game
Some people forget about Batman Forever: The Arcade Game because it came out almost a year after the movie came out in theatres. As long as it isn’t a great game by any means, it has to be there.
The Batman movies changed direction when Joel Schumacher took over from Tim Burton. This game, on the other hand, throws out any sense of seriousness that the games based on the films had. There are no more moody and tense cutscenes in this game. Instead, Batman and Robin fight endless armies of criminals with screen-clearing moves and button combos that look like moves from Street Fighter. It is one of the most eye-catching beat-em-ups ever made. Even though you probably won’t play it more than twice, it’s a game that any Batman fan should try out at least once.