While Batman does appear in a number of games like Injustice and LEGO, he got the spotlight all to himself only during the Arkham games that were released by Rocksteady as a trilogy and of course, WB Games’ Arkham Origins. While this list does rank the games from worst to best, you should skip none of them if you are a Batman fan, as all of them are quite fun. While you might have to deal with wonky mechanics or imperfections in some of the older titles, they are still definitely worth getting into. Unfortunately, we have no news of any new games being in development currently, and we can only hope a new series of Batman titles are developed soon, as we can’t wait to see our favorite caped crusader back in action. You can play these top Batman Arkham games on Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, PC, iPhone, Andriod or even online.
4. Arkham Origins (2013)
Developed by Warner Bros Games, it is the only title on this list that was not developed by Rocksteady Studios. Arkham Origins takes us to Bruce Wayne’s early years and instead of being the calm and methodical superhero that we know, Batman is brash and aggressive. When it comes to the gameplay, Origins is no different from the trilogy by Rocksteady. However, the story and atmosphere are completely unique. While a number of critics may have been disappointed with the title, Arkham Origins is definitely one of the best superhero games ever made.
When it comes to the storyline, it’s Christmas time, and Gotham turns into a killing field with a $50,000,000 bounty being placed on Batman’s head. Eight infamous killers including Bane, Killer Croc, and Deathstroke set out to hunt down the vigilante. You find yourself in the worst possible situation as you are forced to take down one assassin after another. Gotham City is covered in snow, and it is definitely one of the most beautiful iterations of Gotham we have seen in the Arkham Games, with its beautiful color palette and stunning iterations of some of the most iconic buildings in the comics.
You get to explore iconic locations like Wonder Tower and Sionis Mill. You also get to travel to an island that is linked to Gotham via a bridge. Travel is something that did not feature Origins. With a much bigger map in place and the same old mode of travel, it just gets boring to move from one place to another. And if you have played Arkham Knight where you get to drive your Batmobile, playing Origins after the latest title will be a bore. The Batwing is available to make travel easier, but it’s far from interesting. You will have to hack all of the comms towers manually to enable fast travel in the first place and considering how less backtracking there is in the game, you will be bored with the travel mechanics. While the outdoors might not be too impressive, the indoors look just stunning, and you will love exploring all of the large-scale buildings that the game puts you in.
When it comes to the gameplay itself, it feels a lot like Assassin’s Creed with basic combos. Do not expect fancy movement mechanisms of over-the-top combat as the game is more about the Batman experience and less about top-notch combat. If you have played any of the other Arkham games, you would find yourself right at home with this one. You need to time your dodges if you do not want to end up dying over and over again. The detective mode that involves finding clues is reworked to be more fluid, and it does feel much better than what Arkham Asylum has to offer. Overall, it might be the weakest title on the list, but it definitely deserves a shot. The game is available for the Xbox One, thanks to the backward compatibility, and if you want to play it on PS4, you have to use PS Now or Xbox’s backwards compatibility to play it.
3. Arkham Asylum (2009)
This is the first in the trilogy of Arkham games by Rocksteady and what a start to the franchise it was in 2009. Even though it has been almost 10 years since its release, the game looks as stunning as ever. The game focuses on Arkham Asylum, which is home to pretty much every Batman villain you can think of. With the villains taking control of Arkham Asylum, it is up to Batman to bring order and justice to his city. You go face-to-face with some of the meanest criminals to exist including the Joker. Even though we ranked Arkham Asylum lower than City and Knight, we recommend playing the games in chronological order to get the best experience. The story mode in Asylum is one of the best amongst all three games in the trilogy.
Joker’s henchmen are on the lose and you get the same sinister laugh by Mark Hamill that you get in the animated series and movies. It is up to you to master movement and combos to get the better of your foes. The gameplay is quite simplistic outside of the basic movesets, and you will have no trouble dispatching your foes. Just like other Arkham games, it is pretty straightforward and focuses more on the story than the actual gameplay itself, making it a casual but fun experience for any Batman fan out there. You want to be the aggressor at all times when in combat because giving your enemies space will mean you will get swarmed by them.
It is not just Mark Hamill who stands out when it comes to voice acting, but the entire cast of voice actors did a brilliant job. The audio design backs it up as well with brilliant sound effects. But one character that truly stands out is The Riddler. He is the star of Arkham Asylum, and we’re sure not many would disagree with that. You will notice how much effort went into making the game once you turn up the volume and try to identify each individual noise.
Overall, the game is a joyride, and you can imagine how much joy it brought to someone who grew up reading Batman comics. While the game is far from perfect, it definitely has its moments, and its impact cannot be downplayed. Marvel games do not quite hold up to the quality of what Arkham Asylum has to offer, and while the movie industry is quite different on the Marvel vs. DC front, the video game industry is one-sided towards DC’s favor. However, that may change with ex-Hearthstone lead Ben Brode partnering with Marvel on an unnamed project which might breathe life into Marvel’s offerings.
2. Arkham City (2011)
Rocksteady set the bar for how good Batman games can be with the release of Arkham Asylum in 2009. After you are done with the first title, it is very hard to imagine how can even someone improve upon something that is so perfect. Arkham City happens to be not only one of the best Batman games ever made but also one of the best superhero games of all time. All Arkham games that released before Arkham Asylum do not have the finesse that Rocksteady offers to fans. Puzzle solving, combat and storytelling come together seamlessly in this finely crafted package. One can tell without a shadow of a doubt that Arkham City is a game for the fans.
Arkham City’s story starts off just months after the events of Arkham Asylum. The Joker is back at it again, and Gotham has been turned upside down into chaos. We get to see Hugo Strange, the person who runs Arkham prison, for the first time in the trilogy. Gang wars and Strange’s malpractices force Batman’s hand into going to the prison. Little did our caped crusader know that it was just a trap and he gets captured. Strange uncovers Bruce’s identity, and the game starts off with a captured Bruce Wayne trying to escape the high-security prison.
Even though Arkham Asylum and Arkham City have a lot in common, Rocksteady added a number of new mechanics. Detective vision is much more seamless, and scanning for clues is much simpler. You have access to a number of new gadgets, and the revamped XP system allows players to level up their gear and become stronger. These small additions add up and change how the game is played. Exploring Gotham is as fun as ever, and all you need to do is take out your grappling hook and glide above the streets of Gotham. Rocksteady made some changes to the gliding system as well with Batman having access to more air time. Some of the new gadgets that made it into the game include remote-controlled Batarangs, smoke pellets, and a Remote Electrical Charge. There are many generators in the environment at the RECs that can be used to activate them. The generators can open doors, disarm enemies and more.
The combat is where Arkham City shines. Unlike Arkham Asylum, whose combat can feel a bit repetitive, Arkham City is a much better experience. Finishers and combos feel much better compared to the previous instalment. When it comes to the story, Two-Face and The Penguin are the major villains at the start of the game. However, more villains appear as the story progresses. Unlike light-hearted games like LEGO’s adaptation of superhero movies and comics, Arkham City stays true to the comics and retains the serious tone you would expect.
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1. Arkham Knight (2015)
Arkham Knight is the final chapter of Rocksteady Studios’ take on the Batman franchise. With a solid campaign and multiple story DLCs to add to the experience, Arkham Knight is a gem of a game. Unlike the other titles, there are some supernatural elements in-game which are quite intriguing. Gotham is attacked by a mysterious ‘Arkham Knight’ who looks like a cross between Iron Man and Batman because of the futuristic armor. The other main villain in the game is Scarecrow, who steals the spotlight with his performance.
We have the right to use Batmobile whenever we want for the first time in the Arkham franchise, and while the controls might not be the best, it is still a very fun experience. You need to play through some of the side quests to upgrade your Batmobile to make it feel like the real deal. There are tank battles you can get into, but the fun fizzles out after you get a few upgrades, making the later story missions involving tank fights a bit too easy. The tank mode of your Batmobile also plays a big part in it. When it comes to graphics, there is no comparison between Arkham Knight and the other titles, with its dark backgrounds complemented by neon colors. You can explore the islands of Gotham City, which is a first in the franchise, and the entire map looks more beautiful than most open world games out there.
With the map receiving a significant upgrade, Rocksteady added a new grappling system to make gliding from one building to another much faster. You can perch on top of Gotham’s tallest buildings and keep an eye out for criminals. When engaging criminals, you can take advantage of the new combat mode which is similar to the previous titles but far more refined. You can pick up small objects and use them to fight enemies. You can also team up with Nightwing, Catwoman or Robin and execute some flash dual-takedown moves on enemies. Once you are done with the main questline, Arkham Knight also offers a VR experience through some quests. Unlike Resident Evil 7 which allows you to play the entire campaign in VR, Arkham VR is very limited in content. Regardless, it is a very fun experience.
Arkham Knight is the best possible sendoff to the franchise, and after years of disappointing Batman video game adaptations, Rocksteady finally got the formula right with its trilogy of games. Arkham Knight’s addition of new mechanics, updated graphics and polished gameplay makes it not only the best in the franchise but also the best Batman game till date.
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