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Batman Game Tier List

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  • Posted on 08th Apr, 2022 20:50 PM
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With his debut game releasing back in 1986, Batman has had a long history in the video game market; but not all of his outings are equal.

p>Batman is not only one of DC's most popular heroes, but one of the most popular comic book characters of all time. Originating in a 1939 Detective Comic, Batman has lived on and evolved throughout the last 80 years. From groundbreaking comic lines, to an iconically campy TV show, to some of the best comic book movies ever made, Batman has lent his likeness to a variety of mediums, and the video game market is no different.

Batman's first video game outing was 1986's Batman, an isometric, oddly colorful adventure game that boiled the Caped Crusader down to a few pixels. Since then, there have been over 25 games that have featured the Dark Knight as the titular hero, and although there have been some truly influential titles, there's also been a fair amount of disappointments along the way.

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S-Tier

  • Batman: Arkham Asylum (2009): A title that many still consider to be the best Batman video game iteration, Arkham Asylum took the grittiness and realism of Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, and paired it with some of the Caped Crusader's most iconic comic elements. Arkham Asylum breathed new life into the comic book video game genre, and its innovative FreeFlow combat is still used as inspiration today.
  • Batman: Arkham City (2011): The impossible follow-up to Asylum, Arkham City somehow managed to take the experience of its predecessor, and elevate it in almost every way. New upgrades, villains, side missions, a refined combat system, and a more open-world design made Arkham City a must-have title for just about anyone.
  • LEGO Batman 2: DC Superheroes (2012): While the first LEGO Batman game infused the comic legend with some signature LEGO charm, and had a solid campaign, the sequel goes above and beyond to improve on the original. LEGO Batman 2: DC Superheroes adds an open-world, and expands the playable roster massively, bringing a wealth of other DC heroes to the game like Superman and Wonder Woman.
  • Batman: Arkham Knight (2015): It may not be as well regarded as the series' first two entries, but Arkham Knight is still an excellent Batman game, and deserves to be at the top of the pack. While some criticize the abundance of the Batmobile in the game, Arkham Knight's FreeFlow combat may be the best in the series, and though its story is predictable for comic readers, it's still engaging.
  • Batman: The Enemy Within (2017-2018): Learning from the mistakes made with original series, Telltale's Batman: The Enemy Within provides a surprisingly unique and mature introspection on the titular hero, with an emphasis being placed on how Batman and Bruce Wayne function together. The Joker's portrayal in The Enemy Within is also heavily praised, with many believing it to be one of the best iterations of the character on the whole.

A-Tier

  • LEGO Batman (2008): One of the first licensed LEGO games that really hit big, LEGO Batman takes players on a brief crime-fighting adventure through Gotham, where they'll get to face-off against a plethora of Batman's rogues gallery in a variety of puzzle-platformer and vehicle missions. It's pretty simple when compared to modern day LEGO offerings, but it sits right alongside LEGO Star Wars as one of the best family games of all time.
  • Batman: Arkham Origins (2013): The black sheep of the Arkham family, Arkham Origins doesn't quite live up to its Rocksteady-helmed siblings, but it's still pretty great. A bit of a bland color palette, and a half-baked story take away from the game's tight combat system, good voice work, and engaging side content.
  • Batman Arcade (2013): A vehicle combat arcade game, Batman (2013) tasks the player with chasing down some of Batman's most iconic villains, blowing up henchmen's trucks along the way. Players can choose from ten different Batmobiles, including the Tumbler, the 1989 Batmobile, and the Animated Series version. The stellar graphics and tight controls make this Batman's best arcade outing.
  • LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham (2014): It doesn't quite have the same charm as the original, and the open-world gameplay and story isn't as tight as the second entry in the series, but LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham is still a good LEGO Batman game. Featuring an overwhelming number of playable characters that stretch across the entire DC continuity, LEGO Batman 3 is more of a LEGO DC game than a Dark Knight-centric tale.
  • Batman: The Telltale Series (2016): Telltale's first attempt at a Batman story was a decent one, with some gorgeous cell-shaded art and lighting, but its story fell a little short, with many feeling it was too similar to other Batman stories to stand out.

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B-Tier

  • Batman (1989): Also known as Batman: The Movie, this game is one of the most nostalgic Batman titles around. Though it only offered five levels, each one was varied and distinct, using a range of different gameplay styles that captured Keaton's iteration perfectly.
  • Batman: Return of the Joker (1991): Using the 1989 game as a backbone, Return of the Joker is another side-scroller beat-em-up with some vehicle missions thrown in for good measure. The shift to gadget-based combat was a particular highlight for some.
  • Batman Returns (1992): The eight different versions of Batman Returns vary in quality quite a bit, but in general, it's a pretty solid beat-em-up, with some decent visuals that capture the essence of its movie counterpart.
  • The Adventures of Batman and Robin (1994/1995): Though its music was a little sub-par, and the gameplay could be a tad repetitive, The Adventures of Batman and Robin was a decent adventure title. Based on the Animated Series, this game had some dynamic backdrops and stages, and a nice art style.
  • Batman Begins (2005): The only game based on the Nolan trilogy, Batman Begins doesn't do much well, but it does have some striking similarities to the Arkham series. It's worth revisiting just to see how much the Batman game license evolved between Batman Begins and Arkham Asylum a few years later.
  • Batman: The Brave and Bold (2010): Batman: The Brave and Bold lacked significant challenge, but it was a solid child-friendly beat-em-up title that featured some lesser known DC heroes.
  • Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate (2013): Faded into obscurity due to the consoles it was released on, Arkham Origins Blackgate is an interesting experiment, whereby the classic Arkham gameplay is translated to 2.5D. Unfortunately, the levels are a little too unclear to explore, and the combat is pretty unresponsive, but its world and characters are still quality.

C-Tier

  • Batman: The Caped Crusader (1988): The first Batman beat-em-up, The Caped Crusader is absolutely fine, but pales in comparison to those that have followed it.
  • Batman Arcade (1990): Another side-scrolling beat-em-up based on the 1989 movie, Batman Arcade falls short of those that came before and after, as this version lacked any vehicle stages.
  • Batman: Vengeance (2001): Though the game had great presentation, Batman: Vengeance's poor camera controls and unresponsive combat held it back.
  • Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu (2003): The sequel to Vengeance, Rise of Sin Tzu shares the same issues as its predecessor, being a repetitive beat-em-up that doesn't feel great to play.
  • Batman: Arkham VR (2016): A disappointingly short and uneventful VR experience, Arkham VR puts players in the world of the Arkham series, but does little to make them feel like it, with almost no action being placed in the player's hands.

D-Tier

  • Batman (1986): The first Batman game ever, this isometric adventure is a solid first attempt, but its stiff controls and animations put it at the bottom of the list nowadays.
  • Batman Forever (1995): One of the worst Batman beat-em-ups, Batman Forever has incredibly slow animations, leading to some clunky and frustrating gameplay.
  • Batman and Robin (1998): In an attempt to break the mold, Batman and Robin decided to go for an ambitious open-world title, but in 1998, this didn't really work. Resident Evil-like tank controls, and a frustrating timer, lands Batman and Robin at the bottom.
  • Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (2000): Yet another beat-em-up, Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker offered no challenge whatsoever, and suffered from a slew of game breaking bugs.
  • Batman: Gotham City Racer (2001): A PlayStation vehicle combat game, Gotham City Racer had washed-out visuals, and surprisingly slow gameplay, which is the opposite of what a racing game should offer.
  • Batman: Dark Tomorrow (2003): Widely considered to be the worst Batman game ever made, Dark Tomorrow had bugs, stiff controls, a frustrating camera, and unresponsive gameplay, ticking just about every box for a bad game.

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