Listing the Best and Worst Batman: Arkham Games

Apr 1, 2020

In cooperation with PlayFrank

Batman, alongside Superman and Spiderman, is the most well-known superhero in the world. Despite Bruce Wayne’s increasingly strained personal relationships, his long-held trauma and having to deal with psychopaths for 50% of his life, he is in many people’s minds, the greatest superhero to have ever existed. Indeed, unlike usual superheroes who are gifted with out of this world superpowers, Batman is as normal as the rest of us, perhaps this is why we feel a greater connection with him. Regardless, video game developers love making games centering on the character of Batman. Batman games populate a variety of different video game consoles from the PS Vita to the Nintendo 64. There are now even casino slots dedicated to the caped crusader. These games have often been huge hits but when Rocksteady came on the scene, the Batman video gaming world stepped it up a notch higher. Rocksteady’s Arkham series gave Batman video game fans an array of fantastic games based on the fascinating Bruce Wayne. As fans wait patiently for an announcement on a new Batman Arkham Game (fingers crossed this happens in 2020) we have decided to take a look at the best Batman games within the Arkham series. There are lots of fantastic games within this series, so it hasn’t been easy!

Batman: Arkham Asylum

Batman: Askham Asylum is the crème de la crème of Batman games and is not just the greatest Batman game ever developed but one of the best games of its generation. What Rocksteady, the creators of Arkham Asylum did was create a superhero game that you could truly lose yourself by playing. Superhero games are often criticized for being too predictable and treating enemies like cannon fodder for the hero character, what Rocksteady did though was the opposite. Asylum manages to capture the fear and isolation of Batman in a city full of enemies. Every enemy encounter counts whilst the Riddler challenges ensure that you thoroughly explore the city encountering marginally known villains and unraveling lesser known lore surrounding them. 

Another appealing aspect to Arkham is that you do not need to be a comic book fan in order to enjoy the game. For starters, Mark Hamill plays the Joker character superbly and cements himself as one of the best interpretations of this classic villain. The combat sequences are perfectly mixed and matched with nail-biting stealth sequences making for completely original and not repetitive at all gameplay. Simply put, although it was released way back in 2009, Asylum is one of the best stories ever told in a video game. It even became one of the first mainstream games to break the fourth wall through the villain Scarecrow. If you haven’t yet played Asylum, we urge you to do so. Asylum went on to inspire numerous third-person action games. Play this game now!

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Batman: Arkham City

The only Batman game that in some peoples’ eyes betters Arkham Asylum is its sequel, Batman: Arkham City. Arkham City simply built upon what Asylum had created. The former allowed players to explore a detailed open world full of things to do. Side missions aplenty and a whole heap of Easter eggs gave Arkham City a huge amount of character and depth. The combat was changed and refined in order to turn every enemy encounter into a dance of death whereby the player must decide when and how to use their gadgets in order to beat each individual enemy. Staying true to its predecessor, Arkham City’s world was dark and gritty and full of Batman’s most evil and dastardly villains. Mark Hamill returned as The Joker; Hamill gives a chilling performance through to the games unforgettable ending. 

Unfortunately, there came a few less impressive aspects of Rocksteady’s sequel. The Riddler challenges became tedious, almost as if the games developers were trying a bit too hard to make the game superior to its fantastic predecessor. Many of the boss battles here required one easy victory and then you would never see that boss again – it became all a bit too simple for my liking. Nevertheless, although Arkham City couldn’t quite reach the dizzying heights set by Arkham Asylum, it still remains a fantastically good Batman game and worthy as the second-best Batman game on our list. 

Batman: Arkham VR

Although many would argue that Batman Arkham VR is perhaps one of the worst out of all the Arkham games (not to say it is bad but the standard of Arkham games is set very high) we have decided to include it third on our list simply due to how technological superior Arkham VR as well as how the game does everything that it sets out to do brilliantly.

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If you are expecting Arkham VR to compare to the excellent Arkham console games that we have just mentioned, then expect to be disappointed. Arkham VR cannot challenge the huge scope of the console games but that is not what it sets out to do – it knows its own limitations. With that being said, Arkham VR tells a gripping story featuring plenty of villains from the Batman universe that you will have to fight. If you’re a Batman fan, then you would be foolish to pass up on playing. The game itself is fairly simple although it does incorporate some difficult challenges which does give it some replay value.  Put simply, if you have ever wanted to don the cape and mask of Batman himself and roam through Arkham’s streets then Arkham VR is as close as you are going to get.

Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate

This spin-off is one of the least remembered Batman Arkham games and for good reason. Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate is a side scroller and was released for the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita. The game ended up being a failure. It attempted to incorporate as much of the console experience as possible onto portable devices. Unfortunately, the effect was disappointing. The downgrade in graphics was obvious, as were the games dodgy combat flow and the design of the levels. 

Blackgate was one of many ambitious but typically pretty rubbish games for the PlayStation Vita. Even the narrative could not save the game from flopping. There are numerous interesting storylines that the developers could have focused on here but for some reason, they framed the game around one of Arkham’s fewer appealing narratives. The game was never given a fair chance given its unfortunately dull storyline. With that being said, Blackgate was eventually released on PCs and consoles which meant upgraded graphics. Nevertheless, the improved graphics could not hide how rather predictable and unimaginative the game in the end was.

Presumably, we will hear an announcement of a release date of a new game in the Batman Archam games release date very soon. As soon as we hear anything, we will let you know.

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