Arkham Asylum, the Batman Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment is should be credited. You can’t be Batman: The release of Gotham Knights on Friday, October 21 marks an odd turning point in the Batman film series. More computer games have included DC’s Darknight Detective as the lead character than nearly any other hero, helped along by a number of lucrative movie franchises. While some of those games were outstanding, others fell short. Here are our selections for the top five and bottom five Bat-vidcons ever produced. Start with the positive examples.

The top 5 Batman video games Batman: The Inner Enemy The problem with the Dark Knight is that in addition to being physically intimidating, he is also the best detective in the entire universe. But it’s difficult to convey that aspect of his personality in a regular action video game. Thank goodness, Telltale’s adventure game geniuses were able to secure the license and create something awesome. Their initial portrayal of the villain was competent though imperfect, but the sequel, The Enemy Within, produced a suspenseful and compelling plot that succeeded in doing one of the most difficult things in any Batman media—offering a new perspective on the Joker. Like in other Telltale games, branching storylines increase replay value.

the video game BATMAN Before Tim Burton’s hugely successful film premiered, Sunsoft had the good fortune to acquire the Batman license. Rather than bungling the project like most NES movie tie-ins, Sunsoft instead produced one of the best action games for the system. In contrast to the movie’s premise, Batman: The Video Game places the Caped Crusader in eerie settings with challenging jumps, enemies, and obstacles. The game’s controls are precise, and it popularized the idea of wall-jumping to get across its intricate terrain. An 8-bit Batgame that still holds up today has a great music and perfectly calibrated difficulty.

The Brave and the Bold: Batman There are many games available for lovers of the grim and gritty Dark Knight, but fans of Bruce Wayne’s ridiculous 1960s escapades, complete with on-screen sound effects and odd guest performers, may also find something they enjoy. In 2010, the hardworking minds at WayForward created the cartoon-style brawler The Brave and the Bold for the Wii and DS. Like other games in the genre, it can get a little repetitive. However, the variety of guest heroes, astute level design, and general charm make it an enjoyable way to kill some time. You can combine the two versions and play as the annoying fifth-dimensional imp Bat-Mite if you have both of them.

BRICK BATMAN 2 It’s incredible that these toy-related video games have remained of such high caliber for so long, but when something works, leave it alone. The first LEGO Batman was a good time, but the second one brought in many of the series’ defining elements, including an open world, fully spoken dialogue, and a sizable supporting cast of heroes and baddies. Batman and Robin must work with Superman and the rest of the Justice League to thwart Lex Luthor’s scheme to steal the presidency. It’s brief but lovely, and you’ll be kept busy for a long unlocking all 50 of the playable characters.

ARKHAM ASYLUM: BATMAN The Batman video games from Rocksteady are difficult to compare to one another. Throughout the trilogy, they got longer and more sophisticated, but in some respects, the best one was the first. The journey could feel tense and significant because it took place inside Arkham Asylum. The feeling of being imprisoned in a structure with many of Batman’s most terrifying enemies was more engrossing, even though the addition of Gotham’s open streets to the sequels allowed for a broader game. This was the first game in contemporary times to truly make you feel heroic.

BATMAN’S 5 WORST GAMES A Dark Tomorrow for Batman Although ambition can be positive, it can also result in hubris. With open-ended gameplay, several vehicles, and state-of-the-art AI, Batman: Dark Tomorrow was touted as being the most realistic and faithful to the franchise Bat-game yet. All of that ended up being scrapped, leaving us with a linear stealth-based game in which our protagonist had to pause and watch a cinematic before handcuffing each enemy he defeated. This game’s controls are harsh and offer a wide variety of mad options. When tossing a Batarang in first-person perspective, do you want to move? Oh well, Batman. Oh, and there’s also the game’s climax, in which the world will explode if you fail to complete a secret goal.

BATMAN: RACER IN GOTHAM CITY Making a driving game centered around the Batmobile is a clever idea because it is an iconic piece of the Dark Knight’s toolset. Unfortunately, Gotham City Racer’s execution fails at the finish line. You can hold the creators, Sinister Games, accountable. The company is most known for its Dukes of Hazzard adaption from a few years ago. The Batmobile handles like your grandfather’s Oldsmobile, a huge brick that may also spin out at any time, and if you can’t make automobiles responsive and enjoyable to drive, you have no business creating a driving game. Although the game claims 51 missions, don’t get too enthusiastic because they all revolve around pursuing criminals.

EDITORS’ RECOMMENDATION

Beyond Batman: The Joker’s Return Although the Nintendo 64 game is based on a really good direct-to-video film, no console did as poorly with superhero games. In this side-scrolling brawler, Terry McGinnis—the future Batman—faces off against members of a street gang that took inspiration from the Clown Prince of Crime. Return of the Joker is shallow even by the standards of this genre of game, which is not known for its depth. The weapons are useless, the graphics are crude, and Batman’s moveset is so constrained that he can’t even jump and attack at the same time. You can finish it in under two hours, which is at least something.

Batman is back. When pitted against Nintendo’s powerful Game Boy, the Atari Lynx was a lost cause. However, the firm made a concerted effort, even managing to obtain the rights to create a 1992 sequel-related video game. Unfortunately, they produced a clumsy, rudimentary side-scrolling action game that is one of the poorest in the series. Given the short amount of time the development team had to finish Batman Returns in order for it to release alongside the movie, you can’t entirely blame them. But it was a wildly strange choice to limit players to one life and no continues for the entirety of the game. Despite the fact that there are just four levels, the first is the only one that most people will see.

Batman Always The fixation with digitized graphics that resulted from Mortal Kombat’s enormous success was one of the most embarrassing eras in video game history. It didn’t take long before almost every game genre included cosplaying actors captured in front of a green screen without consideration for animation or intelligibility as sprites. Batman Forever, a 16-bit console game, is among the worst possible examples. The game was powered by Acclaim’s Mortal Kombat engine, which featured all of earlier games’ flaws while also forcing the action into a brawler style. This one was a complete failure due to sluggish controls and flimsy gameplay.

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