Are you considering playing through all of the Batman Arkham games in order? In this post, we’ve listed all of the main Batman Arkham games released since the first game in 2009.
Since Batman: Arkham Asylum released in 2009, the Batman Arkham series has been one of the most popular video game series of the past decade. With four main titles and a number of expansions, the series has received rave reviews and has helped shape the superhero video game genre.
In this post, we’ve listed all of the main Batman Arkham games in order of their release date, as well as have provided a ranking of each of the games. So, if you’re looking for a good place to get familiar with what each Arkham game has to offer, keep reading.
The Best Batman Arkham Games Ranked
If you’re looking for the best Batman Arkham game to play, then your best bet is to either start with the first game Arkham Asylum, or—if you don’t want to commit to the entire series—the second game, Arkham City.
Arkham City is generally considered to be the best game of the series (with Arkham Asylum a close second), but both games are over ten years old and might not meet the visual expectations of someone who is used to modern AAA graphics. If that’s the case for you, you might just want to give Arkham Knight a go, as it offers the most visually-pleasing experience.
In any case, all of the Batman Arkham games are worth playing if you have the time.
Here is our rankings for the best Batman Arkham games:
- Batman: Arkham City (2011)
- Batman: Arkham Asylum (2009)
- Batman: Arkham Knight (2015)
- Batman: Arkham Origins (2013)
Disagree with our Batman Arkham game rankings? Let us know what your favorite Arkham game was in the comments below.
Batman: Arkham Asylum (2009)
The one that started the series, Batman: Arkham Asylum, is, to this day, a unique, well-crafted experience that serves as a showcase for what great superhero games can offer.
Arkham Asylum Story
Right before the game’s events, the Joker escapes from Arkham Asylum, where he was imprisoned, and assaults Gotham City Hall.
Just as you would expect, Batman subdues the Joker and brings him back to Arkham Asylum.
Soon after the Joker is brought in, it’s revealed that this was the plan all along.
The Joker and Harley Quinn capture the warden and release the prisoners.
To ensure that Batman cannot receive any assistance, the Joker reveals that he’s planted bombs throughout Gotham City. If anyone enters Arkham Asylum, the bombs will be detonated.
You, as Batman, must figure out what Joker’s plan really is and put a stop to it.
Arkham Asylum Graphics
Released in 2009, Arkham Asylum’s graphics were, at the time, excellent.
Since then, while the graphics are still quite good, their flaws have become more noticeable.
The three major flaws are muddy textures, stiff animations, and some flat lighting.
Fortunately, though, the excellent art design obfuscates most of those graphical flaws.
A combination of Modern Gothic, Victorian, and Industrial styles makes every space within Arkham Asylum feel lived-in, eerie, and memorable.
The lighting works hand-in-hand with the art design, creating a unique mood that captures the very essence of Batman, as well as the world he lives within.
Arkham Asylum Gameplay
Throughout the entirety of Arkham Asylum, you will engage in three main types of gameplay.
The most prominent and elaborate of these gameplay types is in combat.
Every combat situation is unique due to the multi-faceted combat system.
You are given access to several basic attacks and several gadgets.
Each one of these attacks and gadgets can be paired with other attacks.
By pairing these attacks and gadgets with others, you can perform special combos.
The variety of combos, along with the excellent sound effects, make each combat scenario unique and satisfying.
Whenever you’re not in combat, you’re either exploring the spaces within Arkham Asylum or being stealthy so that you can take enemies down without anyone noticing.
Even though these gameplay types are less elaborate than combat, they’re just as enjoyable.
Batman: Arkham City (2011)
Everything that Batman: Arkham Asylum offered is found in Batman: Arkham City.
Each of the first game’s features has been adjusted and improved, though. And, in a way that makes Batman: Arkham City feel noth familiar and new and exciting.
Arkham City Story
Just one year after the events of Arkham Asylum, Arkham Asylum and Blackgate Penitentiary have both been shut down.
Every prisoner within both of those facilities has been transported to the slums of Gotham City, which have been converted into a prison known as “Arkham City”.
The only rule is that the prisoners must not attempt to escape. But, as long as that rule is followed, the prisoners can do whatever they want.
Right as Arkham City begins, Batman, as his alter ego Bruce Wayne, is speaking in Gotham City, giving a speech protesting the creation of Arkham City.
During the speech, Batman is taken by mercenaries and thrown into Arkham City.
Soon enough, Batman escapes but learns that something very nefarious is afoot, all of it centering around the mysterious “Protocol 10”.
You, playing as Batman, must figure out what Protocol 10 is and how to stop it.
Arkham City Graphics
The graphics in Arkham City are very similar to those found in Arkham Asylum.
A few differences can be found, though, in the textures, physics, and animations.
Many of the textures are a little more detailed. The physics system is more elaborate. Animations are more fluid and realistic.
Just like Arkham Asylum, though, the art design and lighting make Arkham City a particularly distinctive visual experience.
Arkham City Gameplay
The gameplay found in Arkham City is, for the most part, identical to Arkham Asylum.
But, there’s one major difference.
Even though Arkham Asylum opens up near the end, it’s still a linear experience.
The same cannot be said for Arkham City.
Right after a brief introduction, you are free to go anywhere in Arkham City.
By doing so, you can find unique locations and complete side-quests.
The main story is, of course, the main attraction. Even so, though, you are free to do what you want, with few restrictions.
Batman: Arkham Origins (2013)
A prequel to Batman: Arkham Asylum, Batman: Arkham Origins is often considered inferior to the other titles in the series.
A large part of this reception is due to a lack of innovation and few returning voice cast members.
Even so, though, Batman: Arkham Origins is plenty of fun and worth playing if you enjoy the other Batman Arkham games.
Arkham Origins Story
Set on Christmas Eve, eight years before the events of Arkham Asylum, Arkham Origins begins with a jailbreak at Blackgate Penitentiary.
Soon after you, as Batman, stop this jailbreak, it’s revealed that Black Mask, a crime lord, has put a $50-million bounty on your head.
The size of this bounty has attracted eight of the world’s best assassins, all of whom would like to kill you and claim this bounty.
To make matters even worse, no one knows where Black Mask is, or if he’s even alive.
Throughout the events of Arkham Origins, you must face off against the eight assassins while also figuring out where Black Mask went and what’s really going on in Gotham City.
Arkham Origins Graphics
The graphics seen in Arkham Origins are nearly identical to the graphics seen in Arkham City.
But, there is one small difference.
If you play Arkham Origins on PC, you can activate “PhysX.”
By activating PhysX, the environments within the game contain more snow and fog. And that snow and fog interacts with you, other characters, and the environment in a very realistic manner.
Arkham Origins Gameplay
Just like the graphics, the gameplay found in Arkham Origins is nearly identical to the gameplay found in Arkham City.
However, a few new features can be found, such as a fast-travel system, new attacks, new enemy types, and a “tracking” feature that assesses your combat abilities.
Each of these features culminates in a gameplay experience that, while functionally identical to Arkham City, is a little more fluid.
Batman: Arkham Knight (2015)
The final game in the Arkham series, Batman: Arkham Knight, is the culmination of everything found in the three previous games.
Everything you love about the Batman Arkham games can be found in Batman: Arkham Knight.
Arkham Knight Story
Right as Arkham Knight begins, Scarecrow threatens Gotham City with a novel fear toxin, forcing the city’s entire civilian population to evacuate.
For the first hours of Arkham Knight, you, as Batman, are focused on finding this fear toxin and preventing Scarecrow from releasing it.
Soon after you begin this quest, things become far more complicated.
A new figure, known as the “Arkham Knight”, has arrived in Gotham, with an agenda of his own, as well as a personal vendetta against Batman.
Throughout the remainder of Arkham Knight, your goal is to stop Scarecrow while also figuring out who the Arkham Knight is and what he wants with you.
Arkham Knight Graphics
Even though Arkham Knight was released less than two years after Arkham Origins, the graphics are a massive step-up.
Every graphical element within Arkham Knight is rich, detailed, beautiful, and immersive.
A significant part of this game’s graphical success comes from the abundance of little details found throughout the game.
Some of these little details include the way rain splashes across Batman’s cape; pieces of paper debris being blown by the wind in a way that’s realistic; as well as the way light and color moves across bodies and environments.
Each of these little details, along with innumerable others, culminates in a game that offers extraordinary graphics, all of which are in service to the excellent art design and distinctive lighting the Arkham series is known for.
Arkham Knight Gameplay
Every gameplay mechanic found in the previous Arkham games is found in Arkham Knight.
Each one of these gameplay mechanics has been improved, making for an experience that is the culmination of three prior games, the mechanics of which have been fine-tuned.
To go along with the returning mechanics, Arkham Knight introduced one significant new mechanic.
The mechanic in question is using the Batmobile.
Throughout Arkham Knight, you will be using the Batmobile to drive across Gotham City.
Every now and then, enemy vehicles will begin hunting you down.
The Batmobile is outfitted with high-end weapons, turning Arkham Knight, for brief periods, into a driving-based shooter.
For the most part, these sections are brief. Some of these sections are tedious and somewhat detracting from the otherwise excellent gameplay found throughout the game.
Have you played through all of the Batman Arkham games? Which one is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!