The 16 Best Batman Games of All Time

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Loveleen Kaur / ONE37pm

You can't help but be enamored with the nightly heroics that Gotham City's eternal savior always embarks on.

In the comics, in animated adaptations, and on the big screen, billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne dons his famous superhero costume to take on his alter-ego of Batman. And ever since his first appearance in Detective Comics #27 (March 30, 1939), "The Dark Knight" has amassed a following of fanatics that come out in droves to follow his latest adventures across all forms of media. The video game medium has done right by the "World's Greatest Detective" on numerous occasions - he's starred in a collection of quality titles that have spanned numerous console generations.

Since 2022's The Batman movie is gearing up to be one of the best cinematic interpretations of the DC Comics character to date, I think it's the perfect time to show him lots of extra love. And I'm going to do just that by reflecting on the 16 best Batman games of all time.

1. ‘Batman: The Video Game’

This one's first-up since it's one of the earliest examples of a great Batman video game. Based on the 1989 Tim Burton cinematic take, Batman: The Video Game is a dope side-scroller that feels like the perfect marriage between Ninja Gaiden and Castlevania. There are solid platforming elements intact, the ability to wall jump, and a collection of side tools that widens Batman's combat repertoire. As far as superhero video games from way back in the day go, this one is a top-of-the-line experience that doesn't feel like a cheap cash-in on DC's iconic savior.

2. ‘Batman Returns’ (SNES)

If you're an OG out here in these gaming streets, then you'll remember the major differences between certain games on the Sega Genesis and SNES. In the case of Batman Returns, the Super Nintendo version is miles better than the inferior Genesis rendition. And that's why I decided to drop it on here. You can never go wrong with a solid beat 'em up and that's exactly what the SNES version of this game is. Since it was developed by Konami, it's easy to see why this beat 'em up came out as good as it did. Walking from left to right to assault a horde of clowns and getting involved in some wild boss encounters was & remain as fun as ever here.

3. ‘The Adventures of Batman & Robin’ (Sega Genesis and SNES)

Here's a rare case of two versions of a 16-bit game both being equally acceptable. The Adventures of Batman & Robin on Genesis was pretty much a side-scrolling shooter, while the SNES rendition was more of a traditional beat 'em up. Both games do right by the cartoon series as evidenced by their crisp 2D visuals, which still look impressive to this day. The opening cinematic and music in the Genesis version is much preferred, while the SNES version comes with better visuals. In the end, both games are amazing as a combo deal and a respectable representation of a classic 90s cartoon.

4. ‘Lego Batman: The Videogame’

There are so many worthwhile Lego games out there based on a wealth of legendary IPs that will always stand the test of time. And of course, we got one that's about the "Caped Crusader" and his band of sidekicks & popular members of Rogues Gallery. Lego Batman: The Videogame sticks to the formula of the many Lego games that came before it - there's fun co-op gameplay involved as you and a buddy run around themed locales seen in the comics to collect Lego studs, solve quick brainteasers, and beat up random baddies. The jokes come a mile a minute and the fun factor stays at an all-time high for all ages, too.

5. ‘Batman: Arkham Asylum’

Rocksteady Studios became a household name within the world of gaming once it created a true AAA experience that radically changed the sub-genre of superhero video games. Batman: Arkham Asylum came onto the scene with a combat system that's been imitated by many due to just how well implemented it is. Landing finishing blows, pulling off cool counters, and utilizing gadgets in this game perfectly encapsulated Batman's combat prowess. The non-combat portions of this game are just as amazing - exploring the island that Arkham Asylum calls home is just so fascinating. There are so many Riddler trophies, Easter Eggs, and unique ways to explore every nook & cranny this game cleverly hides. Arkham Asylum's strong narrative also sticks out for being just as intriguing as the comic books that built up its many personalities.

6. ‘Batman: The Brave and the Bold – The Videogame’

One of the most underrated cartoons that delved into the bold and colorful world of DC Comics is Batman: The Brave and the Bold. It's quite fitting that the game based on the show is just as slept-on as its source material. What's presented here is one of the most beautifully animated beat 'em ups that's ever been released. The art style sticks close to what the show looks like, which makes the game feel like a true love letter to that series. Beating up random thugs with a friend in tow is just so awesome here - Batman, Hawkman, Robin, Green Lantern, and Blue Beetle make up the game's charismatic roster. Batman: The Brave and the Bold – The Videogame is a very undervalued gem.

7. ‘Batman: Arkham City’

Batman: Arkham City improved upon the greatness of Arkham Asylum and then some. Players could finally deliver Batman's brutal batch of justice and put his detective skills to work within a greatly expanded hub world that truly felt alive. The combat got some welcome upgrades, such as the utilization of additional tools for additional combat maneuvers. There are so many unforgettable moments to speak of within this quality Batman experience - the first time you get to fly around the city, the epic Dr. Freeze boss fight, the many side campaigns featuring Catwoman & other members of the Bat Family, etc. Arkham City may just be the very best Batman project Rocksteady has ever produced.

8. ‘Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes’

Those Lego games always throw in an extra wrinkle for their sequels that always make them worth returning to. Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes' big change is the fact that Batman and his allies can now fight alongside some of the most beloved members of the DC Comics superhero roster. All the fun of the first game is retained here, which makes the act of exploring a blocky Gotham City such a captivating experience. This celebration of DC all-stars does so much right and still holds up as one of the better Lego games ever released. Shout out to all the extra characters that came with this game's Heroes Pack and Villains Pack, too!

9. ‘Batman: Arkham Origins’

Batman: Arkham Origins got a raw deal from fans at the time of its announcement. The fact that it was a prequel and not a full-fledged sequel disappointed some, plus the fact that a non-Rocksteady development studio worked on it gave those same fans reason to worry. However, the game ended up being another exciting foray into the tumultuous world of Gotham's savior. This game holds a special place in many fans' hearts due to its wealth of excellent boss battles - getting to square off with Deathstroke will forever be one of Arkham Origins' main highlights. The snow-filled locales, the intriguing plot that put Black Mask & an early version of The Joker center stage, and the Shock Gloves accessory are just some of the many reasons why this prequel deserves way more acclaim.

10. ‘Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate’

Alongside Arkham Origins came this fun side-scroller that worked surprisingly well as a portable title. And once it eventually got ported over to home consoles, a lot more gamers got to delve even deeper into Batman and Catwoman's initial journey together. Arkham Origins: Blackgate feels like the most fitting Metroidvania take on the series - venturing through the infamous Blackgate Prison to take on The Joker, Penguin and Black Mask's goons alongside Catwoman delivers plenty of thrills. The signature combat system of the previous games in the Arkham series gets lovingly recreated here in a different form that lends itself well to the game's 2.5D environments.

11. ‘Batman’ (2013 Arcade Game)

There are no crimes to solve here and no stealthy segments to embark on in this exclusive Batman arcade experience - all there is to do here is to hop in different variations of the famous Batmobile to take down his many foes off the roads of Gotham City. Raw Thrills and Specular Interactive came together like good old Batman & Robin to create one of the most action-packed Batman games ever made. It'll always feel so good to hop into one of the many Batmobiles from the TV show and movies to gun down bad guys' vehicles, employ sick power-ups to do even more damage, and get engaged in some tough boss encounters with familiar Batman villains.

12. ‘Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham’

The final installment in the Lego Batman series went out with a decisive bang. Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham went comes with jam-packed with DC goodies to enjoy - there's a who's who of iconic & even slept-on characters to take control of during you and a co-op buddy's escapades the LEGO-ized DC Universe. The swappable costumes added another fun element to progressing through the game's light environmental puzzles, plus the unique abilities afforded to the game's marquee characters did right by their comic counterparts. The amount of DLC mini-campaigns that came with this thing is pretty insane, too - the Batman 75th Anniversary pack stood out as the very best!

13. ‘Batman: Arkham Knight’

The final stretch of Batman's Rocksteady-developed journey came to a close with an emphatic bang. This was the ultimate conclusion to a series that built up tons of respect among gamers and comic book fans alike. Batman's final crusade brought him into contact with a truly sinister version of the Scarecrow that looks to incapacitate the good people of Gotham City for good.

And during this battle against the sinister madman, players got to glide, drive and sneak through an even more expanded version of Gotham that was rife with baddies to beat up, secrets to uncover, and enemy tanks to wipe out with the Batmobile. Driving around in Batman's trusty vehicle provides plenty of thrills (even though its combat encounters were a bit overdone). The reveal of who the Arkham Knight really is could be seen from a mile away, but it still felt awesome to come to blows with one of Batman's earliest sidekicks. Batman: Arkham Knight is a must-play.

14. ‘Batman: Arkham VR’

Even though there's no combat to speak of in Batman: Arkham VR, that shocking omission isn't enough to keep it from being enjoyable. Stepping into the body of Bruce Wayne's alter-ego and seeing the world through his eyes is super trippy at first, but you'll eventually come to grips with your new role as the "World's Greatest Detective." Tinkering around with Batman's gadgets and solving a whole host of mind-bending puzzles is the name of the game here. And thankfully, all of those elements come together nicely to produce a virtual reality endeavor worth embarking on.

15. ‘Batman: The Telltale Series’

During Telltale Games' storied run, the adventure game publisher/developer got their hands on some pretty huge franchises. When it stepped into the realm of DC, Telltale caught everyone off guard when it announced a Batman game. The way Batman: The Telltale Series flips the hero's established story elements on its head is praiseworthy - longtime fans who've never played this game will be surprised by the seedy activities Bruce's parents were involved in and the true identity of Lady Arkham. The combat sections in this original Batman tale are way better than you'd expect, plus the detective work you'll engage in works so well within a point & click adventure game format.

16. ‘Batman: The Enemy Within’

Telltale didn't rest on its laurels while it still had the right to create Batman content. Its equally exemplary follow-up came in the form of Batman: The Enemy Within. And this time, Batman came into contact with his most popular villain and the one man that knows him inside & out - The Joker. This second season of Batman goodness improved upon the first season's main features while involving players in a wild affair that also stars The Riddler, Amanda Waller, and Harley Quinn. The decisions that had to be made here were certainly tough, but they all paid off in the end by establishing Batman's archnemesis as an ever-looming threat. Batman: The Enemy Within's plot is definitely on par with that of the comic books that inspired it.

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