Who is the Best Batman? Ranking The 10 Best "Dark Knights"

Warner Bros. Pictures / ONE37pm

Artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finge joined forces and ended up creating one of the greatest superheroes of all time with Batman. And on the fateful day of March 30, 1939, comic book readers everywhere were introduced to Gotham City's savior in Detective Comics #27. Detective Comics' "Dark Knight" has made his way from the comic book panes he debuted in to TV shows, blockbuster films, video games, and all sorts of other forms of media that fans have flocked to in droves. With so many different live-action and animated interpretations of Bruce Wayne's alter-ego, an important question springs to mind - who is the best Batman? We've watched countless Batman movies, binge-watched his 90s cartoon series, revisited the Batman: Arkham games, and even embraced our inner child by watching DC League of Super-Pets to arrive at a definitive answer to that inquiry. So with all that being said, check out our ranking of the best Batmans that have been played by various actors over the years.

RELATED: The 16 Best Batman Games of All Time

10. Keanu Reeves

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Warner Bros. Pictures

Played Batman in: 'DC League of Super-Pets'

As we mentioned before, we took the plunge and sat down with DC League of Super Pets. And for the most part, it's a solid piece of kid-friendly cinema. In one of the more unexpected voice actor roles we've ever heard, this movie placed the great Keanu Reeves as the "Dark Knight" himself. His performance here is passable at best - a few "ha ha, hee hee" moments break out here and there every time he mentions his deceased parents (as morbid as that sounds...) and how he's clearly not Bruce Wayne under the cowl. Overall, Keanu's Batman is nothing more than a footnote in the history of onscreen interpretations of DC's iconic hero and will probably serve as a tricky trivia question in the next 10 years or so.

Keanu Reeves' Featured Scenes as Batman

9. George Clooney

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Warner Bros.

Played Batman in: 'Batman & Robin'

Being known as the lead star that's featured in the dirt worst Batman movie ever made hangs heavy over the head of Geroge Clooney. Batman & Robin is incredibly hokey, overly colorful, and packed with cringe-worthy lines ("What killed the dinosaurs? The ice age!"). But for some, it's so bad it's good. Clooney did his absolute best to present a convincing Bruce Wayne/Batman, but the material given to him hampered his valiant efforts. That whole bit with the GothCard credit card that's topped off with a *cha-ching* soundbite is a scene that lives in infamy when it comes to Clooney's days as the "Dark Knight." We love you, Clooney. But yeah...this wasn't it.

George Clooney's Featured Scenes as Batman

8. Val Kilmer

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Warner Bros.

Played Batman in: 'Batman Forever'

Val Kilmer is one of the absolute GOATs - Wonderland, Tombstone, and The Doors are some of our favorites from his illustrious career. Do you know what's not one of his finest works? Batman Forever. Now we will forever celebrate Jim Carrey's over-the-top role as The Riddler, the amazing soundtrack ("Kiss from a Rose" by Seal and "The Riddler" by Method Man are all-time bops!), and those awesome glass mugs that McDonald's sold at the time of the film's release. But Kilmer just feels out of his element as Batman here and doesn't mesh all that well with a film that reverts back to the look/feel of the 1960s comic book/TV show. With better material, Kilmer could have done some of his best work within the "Batsuit." Sadly, that's not the outcome we got here.

Val Kilmer's Featured Scenes as Batman

7. Will Arnett

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Warner Bros. Pictures

Played Batman in: 'The Lego Movie, 'The Lego Batman Movie,' and 'The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part'

Will Arnett takes Batman in the direction of the ultimate dude-bro that loves his life as a wealthy playboy/superhero that has it all. We found ourselves laughing way more than we thought we would every time this LEGO-ized version of Batman spits out a one-liner about his awesomeness. The LEGO films this version of Batman is featured in are that much better thanks to his inclusion. Now we all know Arnett's role here is nothing more than a hilarious parody of Batman that has some of the worst traits from the Batman that's in All-Star Batman & Robin, The Boy Wonder and the overly gruff voice of Christian Bale. Even still, Arnett's "what if Batman was a frat bro that never grew up?" version of the character has its moments.

Will Arnett's Featured Scenes as Batman

6. Adam West

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Greenway Productions / 20th Century-Fox Television

Played Batman in: 'Batman' (1960s TV Series)

Now Adam West's placement here might seem like blasphemy to you. But when you consider the more serious and darker takes on Batman that have stood the test of time, West's goofy days spent as "The Caped Crusader" are such a trip to watch unfold nowadays. He's still the OG that put the show on the map for three seasons from 1966-1968 thanks to him embracing the silliness of it all. The dialogue-box-filled fights (BAM! POW!) and infamous "Shark Repellent" scene are obsolete parts of the modern-day Batman mythos, but they fit like a glove during the 60s brand of humor and action. West's role as Batman is iconic and it's hard not to have one's head filled with images of him doing the "Batusi" go-go dance every time we hear West's voice acting role on Family Guy.

Adam West's Featured Scenes as Batman

5. Ben Affleck

Warner Bros. Pictures

Played Batman in: 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,' 'Justice Leage' (2016 Movie), and 'The Flash' (2023 Movie)

"Batfleck" deserved so much better. Ben Affleck always gets into his acting bag for his most celebrated serious roles. And he damn sure showed out as the sinister, brooding, and battle-hardened version of Bruce Wayne/Batman that evokes memories of The Dark Knight Returns comic book. Say what you want about how disappointing Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and the original Justice League movie are - Affleck stood out in both films as a super intimidating, bulked-up defender of Gotham City that tapped into Batman's highest levels of brutality. Batfleck stars in some lackluster DCU films, which sullies his image a bit. The way he talks down to Henry Cavill's Superman ("tell you bleed?") and delivers the greatest Batman action sequence of all time in that warehouse still affords Affleck a nice spot on this list.

Ben Affleck's Featured Scenes as Batman

4. Robert Pattinson

Warner Bros. Pictures

Played Batman in: 'The Batman' (2022 Movie)

"Hold up...THE TWILIGHT GUY IS PLAYING BATMAN?" Yeah, we're pretty guilty of blurting that out as soon as Sir Robert Pattinson got announced as the latest actor to don the cape and cowl. 2022's The Batman convinced us all that we're in for a hell of an entertaining ride with Pattinson in the driver's seat. Pattinson excels as a Batman who's in the early years of his days as Gotham's masked vigilante. He's full of angst (maybe a bit too much, to be honest...) but brings Batman's penchant for being the "World's Greatest Detective" to the big screen in the most impressive fashion possible. Watching Pattinson brutalize face-painted thugs, violently interrogate The Penguin, and save the people of Gotham from a vicious flood showcases his surprising greatness onscreen.

Robert Pattinson's Featured Scenes as Batman

3. Christian Bale

Warner Bros. Pictures

Played Batman in: 'Batman Begins,' 'The Dark Knight,' and 'The Dark Knight Rises'

His Batman voice is the stuff of legend for all the right and wrong reasons. What's so undeniable about Christian Bale's role as DC's night savior is the immense confidence he exuded across three quality Batman films. Bale's unflinching playboy mannerisms are incredible - we always love watching him mingle with gorgeous women, ball out on private yachts, and check out the latest toys granted to him by Lucius Fox. And during Bale's time spent in the "Batsuit," he also did a spectacular job at tapping into his characteristics as a calculated brawler and relentless pursuer. Bale's overly gruff Batman voice is less intimidating and more hilarious than anything else. But we still can overlook that one knock on his Batman thanks to the spectacular interactions he had with Heath Ledger's Joker in The Dark Knight.

Christian Bale's Featured Scenes as Batman

2. Michael Keaton

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Warner Bros.

Played Batman in: 'Batman' (1989 Movie), 'Batman Returns,' and 'The Flash' (2023 Movie)

Michael Keaton is Hollywood royalty that's great when it comes time to step into a comic book movie. We love him as the evil Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming and loved his comeback in the highly emotional Birdman. And we'll always hold Keaton's role as Batman in the 1989 film and 1992's Batman Returns in high regard. As Bruce, Keaton comes off as an immensely curious and mysterious individual. But once he slips into his heroic moniker, Keaton plays Batman to perfection - you end up fearing for the lives of his latest victims due to how terrifying and unyielding he comes off as. There's a good reason why Keaton has been placed back into the suit to reprise his role in 2023's The Flash movie - so many fans are nostalgic about his onscreen mastery of such an important superhero role due to his outstanding performance across two films.

Michael Keaton's Featured Scenes as Batman

1. Kevin Conroy

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Warner Bros. Animation

Played Batman in: 'Batman: The Animated Series,' 'Batman: Arkham' Video Game Trilogy, and More

RIP to the greatest man to ever attach his voice to Gotham's iconic defender. Kevin Conroy will forever be associated with Batman thanks to the highly fitting voice he produced for the character in the excellent 90s animated series. Conroy's work as Batman is so goated that it's been applied to the incredible Batman: Arkham video game trilogy, tons of other DC games (his voice makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside in the Injustice fighting games!), and a bevy of other DC-based animated series. It hurts that he's gone because we just can't imagine another Batman cartoon coming out and not having Conroy's booming voice coming out of our speakers. "I am vengeance, I am the night, I am Batman!" Well said. Mr. Conroy. Well said.

Kevin Conroy's Featured Scenes as Batman

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