Top Ten Batman Games EverWith the release of the highly anticipated Batman: Arkham Knight inching ever closer, it’s time to take a look at the top ten games ever to bear the Batman license.
Return of the Jokeris a cracking NES platform adventure that finds the Caped Crusader on fine old-school form. It sees Batman on the trail of his arch-nemesis through seven levels of side-scrolling action where he must make use of a wide range of gadgets and gear. The game features top notch visuals that showcase the moody side of Batman while the action comes fast and furious, making this a solid bet for Bat-fans.
9. Showing the lighter side of the Dark Knight,
LEGO Batmanis a riotous affair that features a huge roster of DC characters duking it out across the streets in Gotham. There’s an endearing mix of light-hearted brawling and platforming, along with puzzle solving and brick collecting, none of which takes itself too seriously. The levels are beautifully designed and capture the spirit of the comics perfectly, while the seemingly endless array of heroes and villains, each with their own special skills, makes this a delight from start to finish.
8. Taking its inspiration from the TV series,
Batman Vengeancelets players run loose in a 3D Gotham City and finds them facing off against such villains as Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn and even the Joker (despite the fact that he is apparently dead). The mixture of exploration, slick combat, first class voice acting and gripping narrative make this a fine entry into the franchise.
7. Based loosely on the 1989 movie, the NES version of
Batmanremains a fine piece of eighties platforming that stands alongside Castlevania as a genre classic. There are five levels of side-scrolling action that feature epic showdowns against iconic but lesser known characters such as Killer Moth and Electrocutioner as well as a final duel with The Joker. There’s plenty of gadgets and some highly atmospheric and tightly designed levels, which results in a superb use of the licence.
LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroesfollows firmly in the footsteps of its predecessor but if anything, it’s even more enjoyable than the first game. The wonderful story is as gripping as ever, told with a deftness of touch that is quite remarkable considering this is supposed to be a kids’ game, while the already huge line-up of characters is extended, along with several new suits and power-ups and which are immensely fun to play around with. The visuals are even more delightful than before, with beautiful environments to explore, while the frequent touches of humour are guaranteed to bring a smile to your face.
The Adventures of Batman and Robinis a multi-format affair that made appearances on the SNES, the Genesis/Megadrive, Game Gear and Mega-CD, and which is based on the animated show. The versions differ in terms of visuals but are all basically scrolling action/platform games which see the player taking on various henchmen and villains across a series of beautifully drawn and animated environments. The SNES version is perhaps the best, while the Mega-CD version is notable for its extensive cutscenes featuring the original voice cast from the TV show.
Batman Returnsis another movie licence that saw a number of cross-platform releases, including SNES, Sega Genesis/Megadrive, Atari Lynx and DOS. Most versions are scrolling beat ‘em ups (the main exception being the DOS version which is more of an adventure), and again the SNES got the best version. The game is similar to Final Fight, in terms of graphics and gameplay, with massive chunky sprites battling it out across some stunning levels, while everything from controls, to difficulty and sound are all superbly implemented and designed.
3. A stunning prequel game to Arkham Asylum and Arkham City,
Arkham Originstells the story of the earliest days of Batman and while similar to its predecessors, its superb narrative and gritty open-world action make it one of the best uses of the character. The gripping storyline finds Batman under threat from a number of villains, including Bane, Firefly, Deadshot and Anarky, all of whom are voiced superbly by an excellent voice cast. The free-flowing combat and open-world exploration remain and much enjoyment is to be had simply roaming around Gotham’s streets or gliding between its amazing rooftops, enjoying the incredible design work and architecture. While not as ground-breaking as the first two games in the series, this remains a thoroughly satisfying and enjoyably epic adventure.
2. The game that brought Batman back into the video gaming world in style and showed just what could be done with the character,
Arkham Asylumis a tightly designed masterpiece of both design and gameplay. Although more linear than later instalments, the original game laid the foundations of much of what was to follow, introducing players to the bone-crunching yet graceful combat that would define the series. Arkham Asylum itself is an incredible setting for the story, a stunningly realised environment that is nightmarish to behold and yet undeniably compelling to explore. The story is told with a tight hand, being gripping and shocking in equal measure while the cast do a stellar job of bringing their characters to life. Virtually flawless, Arkham Asylum has rightly been hailed as a classic.
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