It’s time to don the Batsuit and head out into Gotham City as we list all Batman games in the order they were released!
Batman first appeared in comic books in 1939 and in live action in 1943 – but it wasn’t until 1986 that the costumed DC comics detective/vigilante appeared in a video game.
Batman has headlined an awful lot of video games since then. He’s appeared in many more than we’re able to cover here – instead, we’re taking a look at every single console or computer game that Batman is the star of – and named in the title – rather than just being part of a larger cast.
Note also that we’ve done what we do best at Retro Dodo – and we’ve gone the extra mile for you – having separated games with the same name if they’re notably different on each format.
So without further ado, let’s check out all Batman games starring the Dark Knight himself!
- Platforms – Amstrad CPCPCW/MSX/ZX Spectrum,
The very first Batman game is a fondly remembered, isometric adventure title by Jon Ritman and Bernie Drummond.
The comic book-style cover art is stunning and the gameplay – featuring plenty of action and puzzles to sink your teeth into – is brilliant.
Ritman and Drummond went on to create the excellent Head Over Heels, an isometric title that used an improved version of the Batman game engine.
- Platforms – Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Apple II, Commodore 64, MS-DOS, ZX Spectrum
A visually striking action adventure game, Batman: The Caped Crusader took players to levels which appeared in comic book panels.
It even featured captions and dialogue in speech bubbles, with the game feeling almost like an interactive comic book!
- Platforms – Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, GX4000, MS-DOS, MSX, ZX Spectrum
Foregoing the comic book influences of the previous two games, this 1989 Batman: The Movie title was based on the dark, gothic and neo-noir style of the 1989 Tim Burton movie.
This was a gorgeous game in its day; though it was a side scrolling, arcade-style action game for the opening and closing stages, there were also levels which saw you in control of the Batmobile in a race across Gotham, the Batwing flying through Joker’s parade – and even a puzzle stage, in which your goal is to find the chemicals that make up Joker’s deadly Smilex formula.
- Platforms – NES
Though Batman: The Video Game supposedly took influence from the Tim Burton film, this Sunsoft version of Batman deviated quite a bit from the movie’s plot.
It featured notable enemies from Batman’s comic book rogues gallery, many of which have still not appeared in live action. Though it did feature the Joker as the final battle, so it does at least have that in common with the 1989 film!
This was a great – if extremely challenging – hack-and-slash style platformer, with wall jumping and projectile weapons making the Caped Crusader a pretty versatile video game character by the standards of the era.
This NES version also appears on our list of the best DC Comics video games!
- Platforms – Gameboy
Unlike its NES big brother, this Batman: The Video Game adaptation of the 1989 Batman movie (also by Sunsoft) was pretty easy to complete.
Featuring just four stages – including one horizontally scrolling, Batwing shoot ‘em up section – this game is also notable (perhaps notorious even) for arming the main character with a gun.
Considering the character’s firm anti-gun stance, this always made the Game Boy Batman feel a little off, but it’s a fun, very playable game nonetheless.
- Platforms – Sega Genesis, Sega Mega Drive
Another side scrolling action affair, this 16-bit Batman: The Video Game Sunsoft game was far more faithful to the film’s events than the NES version – and much less challenging too.
Interestingly, it also incorporates the Batmobile and Batwing in pseudo-top down shooting stages that add a decent amount of variety to the experience.
- Platforms – PC Engine
This Japan-only PC Engine title is the weirdest Batman ‘89 movie adaptation of them all, perhaps even the strangest Batman title of all time.
Why is that, you say? Well, that’s because this game is a top-down maze game – not unlike, say, Pac-Man.
Batman must collect enough items to move to the next stage, while using a limited number of Batarangs to stun bad guys.
Visually, it’s actually very nice – and it plays well too. It’s just a weird way to use the Batman license; it doesn’t feel much like the Dark Knight at all!
- Platforms – NES, Sega Genesis
With Batman’s popularity sky-high thanks to the Tim Burton film, Sunsoft capitalised on their rights to use the license with this follow up to the movie adaptations.
A platform run and gunner – in the vein of games such as Mega Man and Contra, with forced scrolling and side-scrolling shoot ‘em up levels also featured – Batman: Return of the Joker is one of the most visually impressive games on the NES.
The Genesis version – called Batman: Revenge of the Joker – improves the visuals somewhat as you’d expect, but dials up the challenge and is unfortunately a little unresponsive in comparison to the NES original.
- Platforms – Gameboy
Though bearing the same name as the NES game – and the same superb cover art too – the Game Boy version of Batman: Return of the Joker is a more traditional platformer, rather than the run-and-gun action seen on the non-handhelds.
With only four stages, it’s a shorter experience too – though, interestingly, all but the final stage can be tackled in any order.
An excellent game, though definitely overshadowed by the superb NES version.
- Platforms – NES, SNES
Batman Returns marks the 10th spot in our all Batman games article!
Tim Burton’s Batman sequel was an incredibly dark film in its day – with the horrific, deformed Penguin and near-enough BDSM Catwoman, it wasn’t the most kid friendly movie, to say the least.
Yet it lent itself well to video game adaptations – and there were lots of them!
This SNES version – by Konami – was a scrolling beat ‘em up with huge sprites and some seriously bone crunching action and sound effects. The occasional Batmobile level and more platform-style, run and gun stages gave this title a good amount of variety too.
On NES, it followed a very similar formula – but was naturally far less of a visual showcase than the gorgeous SNES version!
- Platforms – Sega Mega Drive, Sega Master System, Sega Game Gear, Sega Mega CD
These Sega-published versions of Batman Returns were much more platform oriented beat ‘em ups.
Naturally, the Genesis/Mega Drive and Mega CD versions impress the most from a visual standpoint – with the CD version also having cut scenes and 3D driving stages – and were also a lot more forgiving than the ridiculously difficult Master System and Game Gear versions.
The Master System version in particular is notoriously punishing – with Batman only able to take one hit before dying!
- Platforms – Atari Lynx
Packed in with the Lynx II console in some regions, Batman Returns was a technically impressive, side scrolling beat ‘em up with platforming elements.
The Lynx was an underrated console that didn’t truly get the popularity it deserved (though the horrendous battery life and sky high price didn’t help with that!) – but Batman Returns was an excellent title and a great showcase for the console.
- Platforms – Gameboy
Following on from the dark tone of the Tim Burton movies, the 1992 Batman: The Animated Series took a more faithful approach to the comic book material than Burton’s films – and remains among the very best adaptations of the comics to date.
This Game Boy title is another triumph for the Dark Knight on Nintendo’s handheld; a platform action adventure in which players can switch between Batman and Robin to take advantage of each character’s unique abilities.
- Platforms – SNES
Batman: The Animated Series changed its name to The Adventures of Batman & Robin for its second season, so though this has a different name to the Game Boy title, it’s actually based on the same show.
This Konami-developed title nails the look and atmosphere of the animated show perfectly, with some lovely graphical effects in its platform/beat ‘em up stages. The Batmobile stages are underwhelming, however.
- Platforms – Sega Mega Drive/Genesis
Published by Sega, the 16-bit version of The Adventures of Batman & Robin is a run and gun style title which can be played in two player co-op – with each of the titular characters being playable.
Some stages take the form of sideways scrolling shoot ‘em ups, with players controlling the Batwings in order to take down the bad guys.
- Platforms – Sega CD/Mega CD
Unusually, the Mega CD version of The Adventures of Batman & Robin consists only of 3D driving and flying stages; in the Batmobile and Batwing respectively.
Most interesting to Batfans, however, is that the between-level cutscenes consist of animated sequences created especially for the game – with the show’s art style and full cast all present!
With 17 minutes of animated footage in total, it’s often thought of by fans as a ‘lost episode’ of the TV show!
- Platforms – Sega Game Gear
An incredibly challenging game – with poor, often unfair level design – the Game Gear adaptation of The Adventures of Batman & Robin animated series is a fairly straightforward and unoriginal platform action adventure.
Definitely the weakest adaptation of the animated series, unfortunately – though that dubious honour may well have fallen to the CD version if it hadn’t included those incredible, lavishly produced cutscenes!
- Platforms – SNES, Gameboy, Sega Genesis, Sega Game Gear
We’re at Number 18; time for Batman Forever to debut in our all Batman games list!
The third movie was a notably and deliberately more light-hearted and colourful affair, closer in tone to the campy 60s version of Batman – after Tim Burton’s dark style scared off licensing partners.
Joel Shumacher’s film should have made for great source material for a video game – especially given how colourful it was – but Acclaim instead brought a dire, murky beat ‘em up to consoles.
Its biggest selling point was the motion-captured, Mortal Kombat-style digitised graphics – but this made pretty much all versions of the game laughably unresponsive and limited.
It was an impressive looking game for the 8 and 16-bit platforms in 1995 – yep, even the Game Boy and Game Gear give the pre-rendered visuals a try, albeit with mixed results of course – but looks horribly dated today.
- Platforms – Sega Saturn, PS1
A fast-paced, scrolling beat ‘em up based – as the title reveals – on the coin-op original, Batman Forever: The Arcade Game is a vast improvement over the previous console titles.
It’s still burdened with a somewhat murky art style, however, with a reliance on digitised visuals that give it a jagged and unappealing aesthetic.
- Platforms – PS1
Joel Shumacher’s second shot at the Batman movies resulted in Batman & Robin – which dialled the campiness and colour up to eleven.
Often derided and named as the film that killed the franchise for several years (until 2005’s Batman Begins took things in a deliberately darker direction once more), unusually – for a licensed title – it only emerged on the PS1.
A 3D beat ‘em up with early sandbox elements, this game was (deservedly!) as poorly received as the film it was based on.
- Platforms – N64, PS1, Gameboy Color
What happens when Bruce Wayne needs to retire in the future? Who will be the protector of Gotham once Batman is no longer available?
Enter Terry McGinniss, who takes on the mantle of the Batman in a cyberpunk-esque Gotham City, under the tutelage of Bruce Wayne himself – in order to take down a resurrected Joker and his gangs.
Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (known as Batman of the Future: Return of the Joker in some territories) is a side-scrolling beat ‘em up on all platforms.
Its Game Boy Color version was, unusually, perhaps the best of the bunch – with the PS1 title oddly suffering from a difficulty spike that made it frustratingly hard from the second stage onwards.
- Platforms – Gameboy Color
The Batman: Chaos in Gotham Gameboy Color title was based on the The New Batman Adventures – a continuation of the beloved early 90s animated series.
The game does a surprisingly great job of replicating the style and colour of the show, though the 2D, platform-based gameplay is a little uninspired.
- Platforms – GameCube, PS2, Xbox
Batman’s getting a new look in the 23rd title in our all Batman games article, Batman: Vengeance.
From a presentation point of view, Batman: Vengeance absolutely knocked it out of the park – it looked and sounded just like an episode of the animated series!
However, gameplay-wise it was a disappointment – with an awkward camera, terrible controls and awful Batmobile levels.
- Platforms – Gameboy Advance
Again mimicking the style of the cartoon – with FMV cutscenes too, which was very impressive on the GBA – the handheld version of Batman: Vengeance is a 2D, run and gun platform game for the most part.
It also features side scrolling shoot ’em up sections and even overhead view, puzzle-based stages too.
A lot more satisfying to play than its console big brother, GBA Batman: Vengeance has decent variety and definitely looks the part.
- Platforms – GameCube, Xbox,
Weirdly skipping the most popular console format of the time – the PS2 – Batman: Dark Tomorrow Kemco-licensed title is otherwise notable for featuring a Batman clearly inspired not by the animated series or the movies, but by the comic book itself.
Which is the one area it truly succeeds – it really does well to capture the look and tone of the comic.
Other than that, unfortunately Batman: Dark Tomorrow is a dire game with awful controls, a terrible combat system and even poor level design.
They say never judge a book by its cover – and that’s never been truer than with Batman: Dark Tomorrow, which looks great until you actually play it for yourself!
- Platforms – GameCube, PS2, Xbox
What’s next up in our all Batman games list? It’s time for Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu
Perennially popular comic book artist Jim Lee created an original villain – the titular Sin Tzu – for this 2003 beat ’em up.
It’s a genuinely decent game too, with an aesthetic that’s clearly inspired by the Batman animated series.
It also allows two players to team up and take on the threat to Gotham together!
- Platforms – Gameboy Advance
Though the console version allows players to take on Sin Tzu – and a variety of more familiar villains – as Batman, Robin, Nightwing or Batgirl, this handheld version of Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu one player only, with Batman being the only available character to play as.
Gone is the 3D beat ’em up format too, with single plane 2D brawling the order of the day here.
It’s a big disappointment in comparison to the console version, sadly.
- Platforms – Xbox, PS2, GameCube
The big screen rehabilitation of Batman’s tarnished image – thanks to the two almost-impossibly campy Joel Schumacher movies – started with 2005’s Christopher Nolan film, Batman Begins.
This third person adventure takes some inspiration from Splinter Cell to offer stealth-based action with lots of gadgets.
Batman can use fear to terrify his enemies and there are even Burnout-style Batmobile sections too!
As licensed games go, Batman Begins was not bad at all!
- Platforms – Gameboy Advance
A well animated, versatile main character is the biggest positive for the GBA version of Batman Begins.
A 2D action adventure, Batman Begins is a bit disappointing in terms of its level design and sluggish combat, however.
- Platforms – Windows, MacOS, PS2, PS3, PSP, Nintendo DS, Wii, Xbox 360
We’ve hit 30 in our list of all Batman games in order, which means it’s about time Lego Batman: The Video Game showed up!
As the first Travellers Tales-developed Lego game to have an original story (with Lego Star Wars and Lego Indiana Jones both being based on their respective film sagas), Lego Batman had a bit more freedom to feature lots of unique mechanics and situations.
Naturally, it’s as charming as you’d expect and – though dated now – it’s still a really fun game for all ages, absolutely overflowing with stud-collecting, unlockable characters and secrets to discover!
You’ll also find Lego Batman on our list of the best Lego games!
Without doubt an absolute game-changer for not just Batman games, not just super hero games, not even just licensed games – but for third person action adventure games in general, Batman: Arkham Asylum is an absolute masterpiece of game design and mechanics.
The story is phenomenal and brilliantly told, the combat system has been hugely influential and much imitated – and the Metroidvania-style gameplay is so perfectly implemented alongside the narrative that this is still, in my humble opinion, the very best game in the Arkham series.
Not only that, but it’s our choice for the very best Batman game ever!
- Platforms – Wii
Batman: The Brave and the Bold – The Video Game is up next in our all Batman games list!
There’s room for more than one type of Batman of course; though the campiness of the Joel Schumacher movies wasn’t appealing to most fans, the 60s Batman, despite being pretty much the cheesiest the characters have ever been, is still fondly remembered.
Animated team-up show Batman: The Brave and the Bold – which paired Batman with a different superhero in each episode – took a fun, colourful and humorous approach to the characters, not unlike the Silver Age comics it paid homage to. It worked beautifully.
This Wii adaptation of the cartoon was great fun too, capturing the visual aesthetic of the show perfectly for its 2D run and gun style action.
- Platforms – Nintendo DS
This DS adaptation of Batman: The Brave and the Bold – The Video Game is a perfect partner to the Wii game.
It’s less of a straight action game than its big brother too, with an emphasis on using the unique abilities of whichever hero Batman is currently teamed with, in order to progress.
Most impressively, owners of the DS game can connect to the Wii version wirelessly and ‘invade’ the game on the big screen as the pesky, fourth wall-breaking Bat-Mite!
- Platforms – PS3, Wii U, Xbox 360,
Arkham Asylum was always going to be a hard act to follow, but developers Rocksteady kept the phenomenonal gameplay and storytelling out of the Asylum and into the open world of Gotham City in this excellent sequel.
An entire, huge section of Gotham City remains walled off with the undesirables, criminals and supervillains trapped within its confines; left to their own devices in an Escape from New York-inspired plot.
What they don’t know is that Batman is also within the prison city’s walls – and it’s not long before the Dark Knight is uncovering all kinds of unpleasantness.
Though the open world is liberating after the – deliberately – claustrophobic confines of Arkham Asylum, this does mean that Arkham City has a few pacing issues and the story does feel less focused as a result.
Yet this is still comfortably one of the very best Batman games of all time – and, impressively, one of the highest selling games on various platforms too. You can find it on our list of the best selling PS3 games!
- Platforms – Windows, MacOS, PS3, PS Vita, Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, Android, iOS
With the previous Lego Batman game being the first Travellers Tales-developed Lego game to feature an original story, it’s clear that the developers were keen to push the envelope when it came to their Batman games.
Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes also pioneered what would become a big aspect of the Lego games going forward, as it was the first game in the Lego series to feature fully spoken dialogue – and it didn’t mess around, assembling a genuinely impressive cast of voice actors for its open world action adventure.
Though Batman video games were understandably all about the Arkham series during the period that Lego Batman 2 was released, this brilliant title provided a fun, all ages appropriate alternative that could be enjoyed by kids as well as adults.
- Platforms – PS3, Wii U, Xbox 360
When the third Arkham game took the full attention of Rocksteady Studios, development of a less ambitious prequel passed to WB Montreal.
The result – the underrated Batman: Arkham Origins, often unfairly treated as the odd one out of the Arkham series.
The prequel narrative, snowy setting and well implemented mechanics that make great use of Batman’s detective skills all set Arkham Origins apart from the other games and give it a unique feel.
It’s a much better game than many critics would have you believe – in fact, we at Retro Dodo consider this to be a stronger game overall than the chronological third game, Batman: Arkham Knight.
- Platforms – Nintendo 3DS, PS Vita, PS3, Wii U, Xbox 360
Originally released only for the 3DS and PS Vita handhelds, Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate boasts brilliantly designed Metroidvania-style gameplay.
Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate sees Batman trying to stop a prison riot at Gotham City’s notorious Blackgate Penitentiary.
Interestingly, it was so well received (you’ll also see it on our list of the best PS Vita games!) that it was brought to full size consoles as a Deluxe Edition, which featured numerous enhancements – including new maps, batsuits, gadgets, graphics and more!
- Platforms – Windows, MacOS, PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Nintendo 3DS, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Android, iOS
We’re nearing the end of our all Batman games article, which means we need some hep from a blocky crusader. It’s time for Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham!
The third Lego Batman game from Travellers Tales doesn’t just go Beyond Gotham, as the name suggests – it takes players beyond Earth and into some exciting intergalactic adventures too!
Somewhat amusingly, it also features a DLC pack which covers Christopher Nolan’s super-serious Dark Knight movie trilogy – with no video games based on them since Batman Begins in 2005, this marked the only appearance of these versions of the characters in a game!
Much like its predecessors, Lego Batman 3 is a sprawling adventure with a huge range of playable characters to unlock.
It’s the last Batman-focused Lego game so far, though it was followed by the excellent Lego DC Super Villains, which took an interesting twist in being – as the name reveals – entirely focused on the bad guys!
- Platforms – PS4, Xbox One
The closing chapter of the Arkham series, Batman: Arkham Knight gives players not only a massive and impressively detailed, open-world Gotham City to explore – but also, the keys to the Batmobile!
Which, unfortunately, is the game’s biggest weakness: the Batmobile and its transformation into a tank is relied on far too much, with several boring, repetitive story missions that see you taking on enemy tanks.
The story itself is excellent – and, though one major twist is far too obvious, the narrative does have some truly stunning developments throughout.
The dynamic between the Joker and Batman is explored brilliantly – with Mark Hamill and Kevin Conroy once again proving why they are the definitive actors for these two iconic roles.
Plus, Arkham Knight has one of the finest jump scares in any game, ever – and in general, it’s surprisingly rich with genuine horror.
As Batman video games go, this one is almost certainly the darkest of Dark Knights.
- Platforms – PS3/PS4/Switch/Xbox 360/Xbox One,
Here at Retro Dodo, we often wax lyrical about how effective the Telltale games are at drawing players in to their involving, choice-based narrative gameplay.
One series that doesn’t get enough love, however, is Batman: The Telltale Series.
This first series concentrates just as much, if not more, on Bruce Wayne – the man behind the mask – rather than his activities as Batman, but that’s not to say that the superheroics are neglected.
Also, Batman’s status as the World’s Greatest Detective is put to good use in this game too, with plenty of sequences that rely on players connecting pieces of evidence at crime scenes.
- Platforms – Vive, Oculus, PSVR
A short but very immersive virtual reality experience, set between the events of Arkham City and Arkham Knight, Batman: Arkham VR goes out of its way to make you feel just like Batman.
Suiting up, analysing crime scenes in three dimensions and even using gadgets such as Batarangs and the Grapnel Gun all add to the authentic ambience – with the story seeing some shocking twists and turns before the final reveal.
Though simplistic, it’s a triumph of audiovisual design and narrative, much like the other Arkham games.
Also true to the tradition laid down by the rest of the Arkham series, Arkham VR is incredibly creepy at times, especially with an early-game visit to the morgue!
- Platforms – PS4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One
The last title in our all Batman games article (and the latest at the time of writing) is the fantastic Batman: The Enemy Within!
The second Telltale Batman game is an absolutely phenomenal examination of the Joker’s descent into villainy, told in an original and unpredictable way.
Naturally, being Telltale, the way that the story unfolds for each player feels very personal.
This makes John Doe’s tragic fall from grace – whereby he’s simply trying to do the right thing alongside Batman – all the more involving and affecting.
An updated version of the game – the Shadows Edition – was released in 2019; this allowed players to apply a noir-esque colour filter to the game. Though inessential, it’s definitely a welcome option.
Jason – who lives in the UK – has had a lifelong interest in video games, which all started when he discovered Space Invaders in the early 80s. The first game he ever completed was Wonder Boy in Monster Land on the Sega Master System – which remains one of his proudest gaming achievements. Jason is a passionate writer – and has been writing about gaming since the late 90s. He currently runs pop culture blog midlifegamergeek.com, which he updates on a daily basis (and has written more than 700 articles on the blog alone!).
Outside of video games, Jason is a keen tabletop gamer, film buff and comic book fan.