Batman’s Best and Worst Games

Batman: The Movie Arcade - 1991
Atari - Arcade

Again based on the film, this old-school beat-em-up featured actual voices and themes from the film. There were also first-person driving sections in the Batmobile and Batwing where you had to shoot cars and helicopters out the way, respectively. Of note - the batsuit is modeled exactly like the one worn in the movie - none of that cute purple nonsense.

Batman: Return/Revenge of the Joker - 1991-1992
Sunsoft - NES, Genesis, GameBoy

Strangely billed as a semi-sequel to the film yet primarily taking inspiration from the comics, the Joker is back and Batman needs to kill him - again. Side-scrolling action levels rule the roost here, with different weapon power-ups. Also known for having some of the best graphics ever seen on the NES as the actual Batman and character sprites were much larger than before. Inventive and also one of the last times we’d see the Batman license based solely on the comics.

Batman Returns - 1992-1994
Konami - NES, Super NES, PC
Sega - Genesis, Master System, Sega CD, Game Gear
Atari - Lynx

Never mind the already saturated market in the early-mid 90s of Final Fight clones, Batman Returns was actually pretty damn good (at least on the SNES). Based on the incredibly dark Tim Burton sequel, you walked from left to right, beating the crap out of clowns, Catwoman and the Penguin in levels based on the film. The Genesis version contrasted wildly - with levels containing a darker color palette and resembled a straightforward action game.

Batman: The Animated Series - 1993
Konami - GameBoy

The first game based off the amazing cartoon, you control Batman (and occasionally Robin) in another side-scroller beat-em-up. At the end of each level, you fight one of the main villains from the series - Joker, Riddler, Catwoman, Mr. Freeze, etc.

The Adventures of Batman & Robin - 1994
Konami - SNES
Sega - Genesis, Sega CD, Game Gear

Again - two wildly different games. In the SNES version, only Batman is playable as he traverses environments faithful to the animated series and fights just about every main villain. The Genesis version on the other hand was notoriously frustrating (seriously, we hated that game), but at least Player Two got to play as Robin. Each boss fight was also played in a different style (Mode 7-like scrolling for Mad Hatter, use of jetpack versus Mr. Freeze). The Sega CD version was just like the Genesis one, except with added driving levels and animated custcenes made specifically for the game.

Justice League Task Force - 1995
Acclaim - SNES, Genesis

Evil badass Darkseid is about to take over Earth and it’s up to the Justice League to pound the crap out of each other. Wait - really? Apparently the only way to defeat the evil mastermind is through beating the pulp out of the other heroes in this generic, glitchy and unbalanced fighting game. Oh yeah, Batman’s in the cast.

Batman Forever - 1995-1996
Acclaim - Super NES, Genesis, GameBoy
Probe - GameGear, PC

Based off the neon pageant masquerading as the third film (we know, we really loved it when it came out), this hideous beat-em-up featured motion-captured characters (think the Mortal Kombat digitized fighters) and had you punch and kick similar-looking thugs to death. At the end, you fight a mo-capped Tommy Lee Jones and Jim Carrey. Can’t forget this soon enough.

Batman Forever: The Arcade Game - 1996
Acclaim - Arcade, PlayStation, Sega Saturn, PC

Another beat-em-up, this time with foreground/background depth like Final Fight - Batman Forever: The Arcade Game enabled you to play as Val Kilmer and Chris O’Donnell yet again. For this go around, you collected a shit-ton of power-ups like screen exploding grenades or flaming batarangs. Naturally, you can cause a 400-hit combo on a random thug. He’s already dead, Batman. He’s already dead.

Batman & Robin - 1998
Acclaim - PlayStation, Saturn

Mike Nelson of Mystery Science Theater 3000 fame called Batman & Robin not the worst movie ever made, but the worst thing ever made. By extension, a 3D beat-em-up starring George Clooney, Chris O’Donnell and Alicia Silverstone that handles like crap and looks like shit based on the worst thing ever made probably isn’t worth your time. Oh, Batman. You and your follies.


  • 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.

Showing 1-20 of 29 comments

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