Batman’s Best and Worst Games

As you may have heard, this summer’s most anticipated film - The Dark Knight - broods into theatres next week. Additionally, the caped crusader will be swinging into your console this fall with LEGO Batman. With that much attention given to the playboy magnate/crimefighter this year alone, we recognize there’s a whole lot of Batman love being spread about. To quench your thirst for the masked vigilante, we’re bringing you a look back at every Bat game ever made.

Batman - 1986
Ocean Software - Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum, MSX

Before our hero fought crime in glorious Technicolor, he sported green and black visuals in this monochrome-ian adventure. Apparently, boy wonder Robin has been kidnapped and the slightly chubby Batman needs to fight through over 150 isometric rooms to locate him. Based off the comic license and campy TV show.

Batman: The Caped Crusader - 1988
Ocean Software - ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64
Data East - Commodore Amiga

Split in two parts - one for each villain, Penguin and Joker - our hero battles his way through an arcade-style beat-em-up. Not only does Batman appear just as he did in the comics (in color, no less), but every time he walked into a new doorway, the screen overlaid the previous like a comic book panel.

Batman: The Movie - 1989
Ocean Software - ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, Commodore Amiga, Atari ST, IBM PC
Sunsoft - NES, Genesis

The first film was essentially a licensing whore - hence the reason why Batman was on every system under the sun. Loosely based on the first film, the computer versions varied in that Batman was able to use a grappling hook to scale levels and partake in Batmobile driving sections. The NES version enabled you to fight through five sidescrolling levels as a smaller Batman, donning a suit composed of two shades of purple. Interestingly, you fought mutants and robots as well as thugs. The Genesis version was just like the NES version, only with added Batmobile and Batwing sections. Fun fact: after you pummel the Joker into submission in the NES version, Bats literally chucks him off the cathedral rooftop in the game’s closing cutscene. That’s… a bit out of character.

The Revenge of Shinobi - 1989
Sega - Genesis

Shinobi? Really? Yes - in early versions of this ninja thriller, you fought a likeness of Spider-Man, who upon defeat would turn into a purplish/demon-looking Batman. Equipped with actual bats and pure evil, you had to defeat him to clear the sixth mission. In later versions, Batman was replaced with an actual demon bat. Spider-Man was still kept because Sega held the license to produce Spidey games. Interesting!

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  • InsomniacJack - October 3, 2009 10 a.m.

    oh so when i run around with my underpants on the outside wearing tights and a mask its weird but when batman or that douche suuperman do it thats fine fictional characters get all the fun
  • w1n5t0n - September 26, 2009 5:14 p.m.

    Was this article before the release of The Dark Knight? cuz i dont think that Batman Begins was "without question, the best film in the series" after Dark Knight came out...
  • KHfan - October 30, 2008 5:10 p.m.

    robin IS gay
  • blutal - September 13, 2008 3:23 p.m.

    batman is gay
  • KHfan - December 8, 2008 10:16 p.m.

  • Baconator96 - November 18, 2008 7:51 a.m.

    gay people are gay
  • tehperson123412 - September 23, 2008 10:11 p.m.

    blutal is gay
  • cart00n - August 25, 2009 7:29 a.m.

    I'm all for retrospectives, but couldn't take the time to create an update? It's not like you haven't already reviewed the last couple of games on this list. Seriously, this just smacks of lazy journalism. You want to publish a reprint? Fine, just give us a little warning ahead of time. Give your readers the choice of whether they want to traipse down memory lane...
  • Hurricrane - August 25, 2009 1:26 a.m.

    oh woa, this is from a year ago... I retract that last comment
  • Hurricrane - August 25, 2009 1:25 a.m.

    another fine retrospective from Mr. Patterson... even though he's supposed to be dead... minor details!
  • GamerTagsSuck - August 24, 2009 11:33 p.m.

    Why yes. Yes it is funny that it got dug up after so long. And the Angry NINTENDO nerd kicks ass. The AVGN, who is the same guy, kicks only slightly less ass because he does all old systems.
  • michaelmcc827 - August 24, 2009 10:31 p.m.

    wow this was dug up from a year ago lol...and pain shatterson wrote it, ah what nostalgia. funny to be on the front page though
  • JohnnyFirebird - May 15, 2009 3:29 a.m.

    JohnnyFirebird is gay. It's true. I kind of liked the Batman game for the SNES, and the Batman game coming out for the Genesis was a long time coming... looked like it would be import only. I saw pictures of it in Video Games & Computer Entertainment magazine and watched them longingly. Then I played it. It was alright.
  • kamikaz3e124 - May 2, 2009 7:41 p.m.

  • swordworld04 - May 1, 2009 2:12 p.m.

    first comments make me lul reCAPTCHA: explain blair
  • GamesRadarShanePatterson - April 27, 2009 9:39 p.m.

    didn't forget batman for gameboy at all. it's apart of the "batman" entry. look at what systems i included. it was apart of the same franchise release.
  • gunwraith - January 27, 2009 7:46 p.m.

    It's gay that they left out one of the best batman games of all time. "Batman" (1990) for gameboy. Challenging, addicting, and good graphics.
  • nicksayswatzup - January 14, 2009 2:34 a.m.

    all of you are gay (and so is wonder woman!)
  • EffinChrys - September 3, 2009 11:44 p.m.

    When the fuck did we get ice cream!?
  • gatornation1254 - August 26, 2009 9:20 p.m.

    What the fuck where did this article come from? The first comment is from 11 months ago.