5 best Batman games to play while waiting for Gotham Knights
Batman, also known as the "caped crusader" is one of the most popular superheroes out there. DC's dark armored vigilante has been part of the entertainment media since his introduction in 1939.
His broody, mysterious persona continues to intrigue fans around the globe and has resulted in numerous media formats from TV shows and movies to video games.
On that note, the brand new Gotham Knights video game from developer Warner Bros Montreal paints the bat-eared hero in a darker light than ever before; the plot revolves around his death and the rise of an Avengers-esque band of Gotham City heroes to avenge him.
For Bat-fans eagerly looking forward to the upcoming open world action RPG, here are the five best Batman games to scratch your itch in the meantime.
Best Batman games ranked
5) LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes
Acting as a sequel to the original game released in 2009, DC Super Heroes accomplishes everything a great successor should. It not only improves on the flaws of the first but makes notable additions that would go on to become a staple for the LEGO franchise.
This is through and through a LEGO game - with all the 3D platforming, stud collecting, puzzle solving and light combat scenarios as expected. However, it throws in a much needed DC coat of paint which makes the whole difference in the world.
Add in voiceovers and an open world - two new elements to the LEGO series, on top of the great humor, and LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes is one of the best LEGO offerings out there - as well as a fine Batman game in its own right.
4) Batman: The Enemy Within
Telltale Games are known for their expertise in point & click narrative adventures, so when they first announced Batman: The Telltale Series in 2016, fans were ecstatic. Unfortunately, it ended up receiving mixed reviews, with critics citing storytelling and engine issues as the main dealbreakers.
With Enemy Within, Telltale rights its predecessor's wrongs and establishes a stronger narrative front with our hero and Gotham City police department facing the Riddler and members of "The Pact." After the GCPD's failure to capture him, the secretive Agency takes over the investigation.
Players will control Batman (and his true identity, Bruce Wayne) through sequences that demand both quick reflexes and smart decision making - because choices can drastically alter the flow of each episode.
Most impressively, though, Telltale even portrays the Joker's rise to infamy from scratch.
3) Batman Arkham Knight
The latest entry in the Arkham series from developer Rocksteady is their most ambitious yet. The antagonist Scarecrow threatens to spread his fear toxin into every corner of Gotham and the caped-crusader must stop him - all the while contending with a new threat, the titular Arkham Knight.
It was infamous at launch for being a technical disaster on PC but once that drama died down, it was appreciated for what it was: another solid Rocksteady experience that tried to diversify the fun-if-predictable formula of the Arkham games.
While everything was fine about it, especially the slick Unreal Engine 4-driven visuals, criticism was aimed at the new Batmobile sections and a handful of sloppy narrative segments.
For how much bigger the open world is, Arkham Asylum and City still maintain a sense of identity not seen here. But for those of you into Arkham for the gameplay, Knight is absolutely worth playing. The combat and traversal have never been better before.
2) Batman Arkham Asylum
This is where Rocksteady's saga began. The 2009 debut Arkham title was a breakthrough for superhero games, boasting production value and quality like none other before.
After capturing the villainous Joker, the Dark Knight takes him to Arkham Asylum, a facility for housing some of Gotham's worst inmates. But he escapes and takes over the facility with the help of his cronies, leaving Batman to thwart his goals.
The map of Arkham Asylum drips with atmosphere, teeming with secrets to uncover, challenges to undertake and baddies to defeat. The game also introduced a signature, super-fluid Counter-based combat system that would become a mainstay for future entries - and has also since been mimicked by other games like Avalanche Studios' Mad Max and Monolith's Middle-Earth titles.
Whether going in arms-busting or stealthing around to take down thugs one by one, Arkham Asylum brought unprecedented life to DC's Gotham lore.
Sure, it's technically the weakest Arkham game with the worst skills, shallowest combat and so on, but it's also a turning point for gaming.
1) Batman Arkham City
Some will call Arkham City the ultimate superhero game, and they won't be wrong. Rocksteady expanded upon the formula introduced in Arkham Asylum to make a successor that still stands toe-to-toe with modern games.
Everything was better - visuals, combat, narrative, cinematography, level design, you name it. The addition of Catwoman as a playable character spiced things up further and the boss fights were simply next-level.
The open world of Arkham City is simply a joy to explore, as Batman zips around from building to building amidst ruined buildings and dark alleyways housing goons at every corner.
Catwoman controls equally smoothly, with an almost inhuman parkour style. The combat and AI are more refined, and the game is home to one of the best boss-fights in gaming: Mr. Freeze.
Speaking of which, Arkham City also expertly portrays the villains that DC is known for: Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, Penguin, and Ra's Al Ghul for example. Needless to say, Joker is the highlight of the show as always.
As a refinement of all that made Asylum a must-play, City took the crown as the best Batman game ever, offering the most consistently balanced experience on all fronts.
The upcoming Gotham Knights features an entirely new plot different from the Arkham games. Taking on the roles of Nightwing, Red Hood, Batgirl and Robin, the players will face off against the shady Court of Owls and their assassons, the Talons.
The game launches later in 2022 for PC, PS4, PS5, XB1 and XSX|S.