What are the best Batman games?
There’s nothing quite like the aesthetic of a great Gotham game, with its blue-black shading and colorfully insane baddies.
Hit us with S-tier villains all day, but we only have eyes for the world’s most angsty vigilante: Batman himself.
We’re long overdue for a ranked list of the best Batman games ever made, so let’s dive in.
The 10 Best Batman Games
We know you take your Batman experiences as seriously as we do, so we created our list from the most credible sources available.
Whether you want a trip down memory lane, or you’re ready to boot up the best of the best, this is the breakdown for you.
Here’s our list of the 10 best Batman games:
10. LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham
Before Marvel’s Avengers were absolutely everywhere, Batman consistently gave us peak gameplay, from epic action adventures to stories that packed a punch.
This particular installment came out in 2014, featuring beloved theme music by Danny Elfman and John Williams.
One of the best things about Lego games is their blend of humor, adventure, story, and puzzles, and this game delivers on all fronts.
This sequel takes place a year after LEGO Batman 2: DC Superheroes, and fans were not disappointed by the title’s promise to go “beyond Gotham.”
In the campaign, players get to visit a variety of iconic DC locations and wear costumes for fan-favorite characters.
Perhaps the most amusing – and heartwarming – part of this game is the Robin storyline; if you know, you know.
Finally, there’s a voice cameo from the late, great Adam West, putting the official seal of approval on this wholesome Batman game.
Fans who can’t get enough of Lego or Batman should check out Batman builds among the rarest Lego sets of all time.
9. Batman: The Video Game (NES)
The Batman lore predates consoles, so it comes as no surprise that he’s been kicking ass since the earliest days of gaming.
Taking us way back to 1989, Batman: The Video Game released on NES as a wall-jumping platformer. Give it a try before you walk away.
Batman was meant as a video game tie-in to the 1989 film, but this is much more than a simple rehashing of cinematic plot points.
Incidentally, 1989’s film brought us the Batmobile, which you can add to your Minecraft world with one of the best Minecraft car mods out there.
Because there were variations of this game with the same title for other consoles, you’ll want to seek out the NES version, in particular.
In the NES version, players battle a series of lesser-known bad guys from Gotham on their way to defeat the Joker.
There are twists and turns on each level, and mastering the fights is more fun than a simple-looking game has any right to be.
The fact that this 1980s release appears on a modern list of best Batman games is a testament to its engaging gameplay and innovative mechanics.
8. Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes
Let’s go back to bricks for a moment; before LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, we had its predecessor, DC Super Heroes.
This is actually the second installment in the Batman series that fans couldn’t get enough of.
Published in 2012, this kids’ game has been compared to Batman: Arkham for its visual vibe and its open world adventure style.
Much of the appeal of this game’s sequel is also present here, from iconic music to beloved DC characters from the larger universe.
Commercially, this one was a huge success right off the bat (see what we did there?), and Lego released a straight-to-video film adaptation.
This series is so fantastic that both DC Super Heroes and Beyond Gotham appear on the list of best Lego games for Lego fans.
7. Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate
Arkham Origins Blackgate departs somewhat from the Arkham Origins gameplay style, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a lot of fun.
This one is a side-scroller, proving once again that Batman is an epic badass, no matter what genre of game he’s in.
Development on Origins Blackgate marked a shift of the popular series to handheld consoles, like the Nintendo 3DS and the PlayStation Vita.
Fans got their hands on this in 2013 and pretty quickly realized that it was not your grandmother’s Arkham game.
One of the biggest complaints was that levels were often too dark and sometimes repetitive or difficult to navigate.
What’s more, Batman can’t even jump or earn experience points, an issue that confused gamers when they first powered it up.
And yet, the mechanics and story offer an exciting, innovative change of pace for Arkham gamers and a cool transition to portable gaming.
Catwoman also makes an appearance, thrilling players with her is-she-on-our-side-or-not mystique.
6. Batman: Arkham Origins
The great voice actor Troy Baker makes an appearance as Joker in this 2013 release. You know him from Last of Us, where he played one of the most popular video game characters: Joel.
Keep an eye out for Baker throughout this list; he shows up as a bunch of different characters.
Published in the wake of Arkham Asylum’s massive fame, Arkham Origins brought players backward in Batman’s story for an epic prequel.
There’s something unforgettable about watching Batman before he’s truly come into his full persona. Arkham Origins offers a new look at origin stories, Gotham City style.
This story introduces us to Bane and Joker, and we get to watch Batman grapple with his ethical code in the face of true evil.
Critics were split on the combat in this stealth game, with some loving the increased challenge, and others saying the game became too unforgiving.
Still, this blockbuster hit was a best seller as soon as it hit the shelves, as Batman fans showed they were ready for more Dark Knight action.
Here’s some trivia from a Game Informer interview with the developers: Arkham Origins takes place during Christmastime as a nod to the film Die Hard.
5. Batman: Arkham VR
Batman: Arkham VR brings out the Detective in DC’s Batman character – and it does it with the most immersive technology available.
As with many VR games, this is pretty short – about the length of a feature film – but fans love meeting major characters in that time.
Critics and players alike complained about the length, though admittedly, VR games even today keep their stories shorter.
Those who loved the game defend its plot and gameplay, as well as the exciting experience of standing face-to-face with a villain.
Building on Batman’s infamous tragic past, the story sends Batman searching for his closest allies: Robin and (former Robin) Nightwing.
Dan Stapleton at IGN wrote in his review, “It felt great – like I was getting my hands dirty.”
This was a love-it-or-hate-it kind of game, and of all the Batman titles in this list, Arkham VR may be the most polarizing.
From worst game of the year, to winning awards for excellence in VR, this game was central to many heated video game debates in 2016.
4. Batman: The Telltale Series
Remember the magic that was Telltale Games? They’re the company that brought us some of the saddest video games of all time, as well as the most exciting and brain-bending stories.
One of those exciting games came out in 2016 and put players in the heart of Gotham, with all its mystery and madness.
There’s never enough praise to give Telltale for their innovative storytelling. Players experienced the gripping pull of each decision that furthered the narrative.
While we’re reminiscing, remember when Troy Baker took over for Mark Hamil as Joker in Arkham Origins? Well, Telltale hired Baker for another run at the Batman legacy, this time as the Dark Knight himself.
It’s no surprise, then, that this game was revered both for its classic Telltale storytelling as well as for its voice acting.
To create a comic-style art in Batman, Telltale even developed a new tool (the Telltale Tool) specifically for this project.
Telltale pulled out all the stops for this one, which is why it sits so comfortably at number 4 on our list.
3. Batman: Arkham Knight
This is the fourth installment in the ever-popular Arkham games that brought players to the seediest parts of Gotham City.
Released in 2015, it takes place less than a year after the events of Arkham City, and it features Scarecrow as the primary villain.
Writer Paul Dini didn’t work on this one, which showed a clear shift in tone and grittiness. That wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, but players noticed a change, particularly in the rating.
After nearly a full year of delays, Arkham Knight released with a Mature rating instead of a Teen rating. Those who have played through the bloodiest scenes will understand this decision.
With the release of this game, Batman was no longer just for kids. Arkham Knight explored the darker side of this character that fans have been thinking about for decades.
Since we’ve been calling out Troy Baker’s appearances in other Batman titles, it seems fitting to add to the trivia. In this game, Baker lends his voice not to Joker or Batman, but to Two-Face.
This game took a lot of risks, and they paid off. It went on to enjoy a positive critical reception and an increasingly enthusiastic fan base.
2. Batman: Arkham City
How many of these titles will be Batman: Arkham something? Quite a few, it turns out. That’s because they’re amazing games.
In fact, Batman: Arkham City has been listed among the best video games of all time, surprising absolutely no one who knows this one.
It’s not hard to see why, when this 2011 title swept into the gaming world and picked up all the accolades along the way.
Stealth stories can be thrilling when done right, and Rocksteady Studios brought on all the right people for this project.
Comic writer Paul Dini is the main mind to thank for this amazing series; he lent his talents to both Arkham Asylum and Arkham City.
It’s likely Dini’s influence that gave the game its exciting feel, complete with Batman lore that feels true to the hero we know and love.
These games truly ushered in a new era of gritty storytelling for Batman and his fans, and we were all here for it.
Oh, and if you’re keeping track of Troy Baker’s Batman credits, you can add his appearances as Robin and Two-Face for this one.
1. Batman: Arkham Asylum
The year 2009 is where it all began for this fantastic series of games that ended up changing the course of Batman stories.
Rocksteady Studios developed what would go on to be the best Batman game of all time and a new way of enjoying the Dark Knight.
Gameplay is mainly a third-person stealth action-adventure, though there are plentiful side quests and combat opportunities.
The result is a well-rounded gaming experience in which players feel immersed in the world of Gotham and its villains.
One notable mechanic is “Detective Mode,” which is a perfect match for stealth movements and investigation.
It’s also a tribute to DC’s original vibe, as writer Paul Dini created a new narrative instead of a simple tie-in to an existing story.
His work on Arkham Asylum thrilled fans because it felt fresh, and players had no idea what to expect.
Multiple critics have listed this one as one of the best superhero games ever released, and it’s not hard to see why.
Batman’s lore is so epic and beloved that most video games would struggle to capture all this hero has to offer.
It turns out, though, that with the best writers, developers, composers, and actors, they can come pretty darn close.
Whether you’re looking for family-friendly Batman, or you want bloody, gritty detective work, there’s a Gotham game on this list waiting for you.
Here’s a quick recap of the 10 best Batman games:
- Batman: Arkham Asylum (2009)
- Batman: Arkham City (2011)
- Batman: Arkham Knight (2015)
- Batman: The Telltale Series (2016)
- Batman Arkham VR (2016)
- Batman: Arkham Origins (2013)
- Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate (2013)
- LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes (2012)
- Batman: The Video Game (NES) (1989)
- LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham (2014)
How many of these titles have you played? Leave a comment below.
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