There have been a lot of great Batman Arkham games, but which one is the favourite?
In 2009, Rocksteady Studios, a company that not many people knew, did something strange. It came out with a comic book computer game that was really great. Batman: Arkham Asylum was the name of it. Asylum wasn’t the first great superhero game, but it was one of the few that really lived up to the comic book style. To make things even better, it wasn’t just one. Over the next few years, the series kept making high-quality games.
Around this point, a lot of great games and a few average ones have come out under the Arkham name. So, how do they compare to each other? Which Batman Arkham game is the best?
Batman: Arkham Origins (Mobile)
Arkham Origins on mobile is not the same game as Arkham Origins on Xbox 360, PS3, or PC, even though they all have the same name. Mostly because the game wasn’t an action-adventure on iOS and Android; it was a fight. Dark Arisen Mobile was taken down from the Apple and Play Stores in 2021, so you can’t officially get the free-to-play game anymore.
Since it was a paid game, no one had high hopes for it. It was easy to fight, and Batman’s opponents weren’t very different, which made it worse. But because the stamina system was so limited, players couldn’t fight for long amounts of time unless they paid real money to do so.
Batman: Arkham Underworld
This is not the same kind of mobile game as Origins. It’s also a freemium game, but players take control of Batman’s bad guys instead of facing them. Like its partner app, Underworld was taken off the market in the end, though it didn’t last as long as Origins.
The goal was to use management skills to build a criminal kingdom. There is also some fighting that players can do during tasks. Still, the game was mostly about planning ahead. It was fine, but other than the voice players, it wasn’t really an Arkham game.
Batman: Arkham City Lockdown
After Asylum and City, it would be hard for any game to live up to their greatness. But Arkham City Lockdown has tried to stay away from comparisons to those favorites because it’s not at all like them.
The game is more like Arkham Origins (mobile), which came out after it. It’s a fighting game for iOS and Android where Batman fights different bad guys. The fighting is simple and tedious, but at least it moves quickly. While it’s fine compared to most mobile fights, it’s not as good as the best Arkham games.
Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate
Armature Studio tried to bring Arkham to handheld systems with Blackgate. They had to make some changes to account for the less powerful systems in order to do this. The biggest one was switching to a 2.5D view.
It’s not perfect in the end. When compared to the main Arkham games, the combat and stealth feel weak. In contrast, the settings are boring and repeat themselves a lot. At least the game shows how Batman and Catwoman met for the first time. One could say that Underworld and Lockdown were more fun games than Blackgate, but the fact that it’s still playable today makes it the better choice.
Batman: Arkham VR
Many people want to know what it’s like to be Batman, and Arkham VR does a lot of that. Players mostly get to experience the detective side of the Dark Knight’s quest, though. To find out what happened to Nightwing and Robin, they have to solve interesting problems.
This game is fun and creative, and it makes good use of the PlayStation VR. While Arkham VR is fun, it’s not as big or deep as the other games in the series, and it feels like a tech show. But even so, true Caped Crusader fans should check out this new story.
Batman: Return To Arkham
A popular game that’s been out for a while will eventually be updated in some way. The first two Arkham games in this collection are like that. Still, these remasters aren’t the most interesting.
The only thing that Return to Arkham does is make both Asylum and City look better. The frame rate of the two games didn’t get faster, so the gameplay is pretty much the same. Still, it’s great to have both of them on newer systems so that more people can play Drift Boss. This collection also works with older consoles like the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S. It’s also a great package for people who have never played the first Arkham games.
Batman: Arkham Origins
It’s possible that this prequel would have turned out badly. Rocksteady didn’t make the game, and Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill didn’t do the voice acting. Still, everyone who took their place did a great job. WB Games Montréal, in particular, showed that they could make a good Arkham game.
Origins’ only flaw is that it doesn’t come up with any new ideas. Besides having shock hands, it doesn’t do anything that the ones that came before it didn’t. The map is just Arkham City’s open world with a Christmas theme added to it, but the setting is still very nice to look at. In the end, having more Arkham is always a good thing, especially when it tells an interesting story and has fun boss fights, like Origins does.
Cold, Cold Heart is an add-on for Batman: Arkham Origins that has a Mr. Freeze theme.
Batman: Arkham Knight
Arkham Knight is the conclusion of a story that began with Asylum. It’s a very interesting ending, since Batman has to deal with The Joker’s effects on his mental health. Not everything in the story is great, though. For example, the main villain’s surprise turn is pretty obvious to anyone who knows anything about Batman in the comics or in general.
The fighting and predator parts of Arkham Knight are still smooth and fun. In fact, this game might be the best Batman Arkham game in terms of gameplay. Still, the controversial Batmobile scenes keep getting in the way of them. It’s not bad to drive the fancy car, but the game makes you do it too often. Still, Arkham Knight’s pros far outweigh its cons by a large margin.
A lot of DLC was added to Batman: Arkham Knight. A Matter of Family might be the worst addition to the Arkham series, while Season of Infamy: Most Wanted is likely the best.
Batman: Arkham Asylum
Before Arkham Asylum came out, no one knew what to expect from it. It turned out that comic book games weren’t very good. But when it hit the shelves, everyone was amazed.
Everything about the game fits The Dark Knight perfectly: the way you fight, the way you hide, and the mood. Also, the voice acting is amazing. Kevin Conroy’s Batman and Mark Hamill’s Joker are probably the best versions of those DC characters ever. They were helped by the great writing in the game. Comic book fans will always remember the first time they walked around the Asylum that was run by the Joker.
Batman: Arkham City
It was too much to expect Arkham City to be as good as the almost perfect Asylum. Despite all odds, Arkham Asylum 2 managed to be better than the first game by giving players an amazing open-world journey. Instead of replacing things that were set up in the first game, Rocksteady achieved by making them better.
For example, the great battle added a lot of new weapons and skills. On the other hand, the limiting Asylum has been changed into a full city with lots of things to do. And because the area is bigger, more of Batman’s friends and foes, like Two-Face, Penguin, and Catwoman, can fit. The story with each new character is very interesting, and the ending is one of the best in video game history.