The 5 best Batman games to play in 2022 ranked: from Arkham to Lego Batman

An image of Batman Arkham Origins and Batman VengeanceWarner Bros Montreal, Ubisoft, DC Comics

As Robert Pattinson dons the Caped Crusader’s iconic cowl in the highly-anticipated new movie The Batman, immerse yourself in some of the best Batman games you’ll ever play.

DC Comics vigilante Bruce Wayne aka Batman has remained a flagship character in pop culture for decades. With an immense pull for commercial success on the big screen and in comics, the Dark Knight has enjoyed a wealth of appearances in multiple games.

If you’re keen for some moody brooding on the streets of Gotham City, or eager to send a few hapless thugs to the hospital in Arkham Asylum, then we’ve got you covered as we run through the best games to feature Batman.

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5. Batman Vengeance (2001)

An image of Batman VengeanceUbisoft, DC Comics
Batman Vengeance is a fine addition to the Animated Series canon.

Before they were churning out Assassin’s Creed games, Ubisoft had their turn at bringing Batman to life. Batman Vengeance was based on The New Batman Adventures, a continuation of the beloved Batman: The Animated Series.

Combining first and third-person elements into the game’s platform-style structure, players found themselves solving the mystery of The Joker’s apparent death, leading other figures from Batman’s rogue gallery to interfere as part of a larger nefarious plan. Poison Ivy, Mr. Freeze, Harley Quinn, and more gave Batman grief in a range of fan-favorite locations.

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It may have aged considerably gameplay-wise, but Vengeance’s immaculate recreation of the neo-gothic aesthetic of the animated show, haunting score, and solid voice acting (featuring veterans Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamil) make it worth revisiting.

4. Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe (2008)

An image of Mortal Kombat vs DC UniverseMidway Games, DC Comics
Seeing DC characters duke it out against the likes of Scorpion is a surreal experience.

NeverRealm came along after Midway Games with their Injustice games, but Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe kicked it all off in 2008. After Raiden and Superman cause a dimension rift between their respective worlds, Shao Khan and Darkseid were merged into the formidable Dark Kahn. No one was sure who to blame for the calamity, with characters from both universes battling it out until the bitter end.

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There’s plenty to enjoy with Midway Games’ spin on the fighter genre. It’s not often outside of the comics that we get to see DC characters engaged in gory, brutal scenarios, but Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe gave fans an opportunity to experience it up close and personal.

Batman deals out martial arts mastery with swift helpings of raw justice, while other DC alum such as Superman and The Flash showcase their powers in stunning feats. Combat doesn’t quite go to the horrific extremes of the later Mortal Kombat games, but it’s enough to sell just how unrelenting these characters can be.

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3. Lego Batman 2: DC Superheroes (2012)

An image of Lego Batman 2 Dc SuperheroesLego, DC Comics
Lego Batman 2 allowed co-op with friends, making the experience a DC Comics delight.

There are tons of Lego games to choose from these days, but not all of them capture the gleeful nature that comics can unleash. In a far less serious iteration than some of the games mentioned on this list, Lego Batman 2: DC Superheroes was a fantastic tribute to the character’s multi-decade history.

This installment marked a landmark moment for the developer Traveller’s Tales, as it was the first in their Lego series to feature an open world and spoken word dialog. In regards to the latter, Batman was voiced by The Last of Us’s Troy Baker and was joined by a gigantic roster of classic DC heroes and villains alike.

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The world itself was clearly very influenced by Tim Burton’s run of films, with Danny Elfman’s score cascading often over the action. Its open-world might not be massive in comparison to something like Arkham Knight, but there are loads of hijinks and easter eggs to discover as you traverse Gotham City in the Lego Batmobile.

2. Batman: Arkham Asylum (2009)

An image of Batman Arkham AsylumRocksteady, DC Comics
Arkham Asylum’s stealth gameplay was sheer brilliance.

Sorry, Arkham franchise fans, but Arkham Asylum doesn’t make it to the top of our list. However, Rocksteady’s debut entry into the Arkham franchise is still felt in gaming over a decade later. Hundreds of developers have attempted to replicate the game’s devilishly simple yet satisfying combat system, with only a handful (here’s looking at you, Spider-Man) successfully adding their own spin on it.

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Arkham Asylum made us truly feel like Batman for the first time, with all of his intellectual agility and physical dominance at your disposal. Every corridor, every nook, and cranny feels tainted with unseen horrors as you stalk your way through Batman’s habitat: the shadows. Arkham Asylum itself is a cesspit of unspeakable terror, with Batman bulldozing his way through anyone who stands in his way.

Influenced by Grant Morrison’s Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth, this is a quintessential Batman experience that marries exceptional game design with astounding world-building.

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1. Batman: Arkham Origins (2013)

An image of Batman Arkham OriginsWarner Brothers Montreal, DC Comics
Arkham Origins’ boss battle system sold the experience of Batman’s prowess.

Not long after Arkham City stunned players around the world, Rocksteady dove straight into developing Arkham Knight. As the project would be a gargantuan undertaking, leaving a considerable gap between installments, the task of a new game was left with Warner Bros Montreal. Rather than follow up City’s story, Arkham Origins explores a vulnerable and somewhat inexperienced Batman during the second year of his career.

Players are free to explore Gotham City, which is riddled with undesirables from the streets to the rooftops. The franchise’s now-signature combat is present, but Origins utilizes its chance to explore Batman’s early years with a focus on detective work and stealth.

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Origins lets players interact with crime scenes, piecing together clues to nail the culprit. It might not be as difficult as deciphering The Riddler’s best challenges, but the immersive quality of using the World’s Greatest Detective’s brain is a treat for Batman fans both casual and hardcore.

To bolster that sense of immersion even further, boss fights in Origins are easily some of the best in the franchise, as players can face fierce foes like Deathstroke or Bane in gripping battles. Deathstroke’s boss fight, in particular, is a test of combos and counters. Bane initially starts as a standard affair, but his second phase requires the player to truly master lurking in the shadows.

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Arkham Asylum made us feel like Batman, but Arkham Origins outright says you are Batman. With a captivating spin on Batman’s beginnings, astounding world design and pulverizing combat, Origins is the Batman game we needed and deserved.

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