The Top 7... Failed Franchises We Know How to Fix

We realize the above formula is rather complicated but - let's face it - Batman is a rather complicated guy. Originally created way back in the 1930s, the character of the Dark Knight has been through a plethora of personalities, styles, themes and interpretations over the decades. Like comic book tofu, he adapts to the surrounding culture, whether as a '60s camp icon, a '90s drug junkie or everything in between.

Even in his purest and most traditional form, however, Batman is a riddle. He is both mortal man and superhero; both warrior and intellectual; both detective and scientist; both performer and recluse. Should we really be surprised that the videogames made in his name - all dozen plus of them - have completely failed to capture his murky essence? No... but that excuse won't work anymore, as recent competitors have begun to shine the light.

Like Sam Fisher, Bruce Wayne wasn't born a hero. He made himself one, through physical training and technological innovation. Surprising thugs isn't about super speed - it's about patience and planning. Defeating evil isn't about super strength - it's about learning the right moves and using them at the exact right times. Oh, and you can't fly or scale walls or see through solid darkness, not unless you develop and implement the tools yourself to do so. Anyone who's played a Splinter Cell game has already had a taste of what a perfect Batman game should include - stealth, intimidation, ninjutsu and a shitload of gadgets.

Unlike most heroes, Batman asks questions first and shoots later. He is driven, but not rash. He is angry, but not hot-headed. Before he can confront a villain, he must understand that villain and his or her crime as much as possible. Thus, the ridiculously vast Batcave with ridiculously massive Batcomputer and, thus, the obvious connection to CSI. The adventure games based on the TV show contain an almost pornographic amount of forensic detail, none of which would seem out of place in Batman's underground lab.

Of course, the Caped Crusader isn't all intellectual; at some point, he does have to get outside and kick the criminal lot's superstitious and cowardly ass. The action aspect of the hero is the only aspect covered by most Batman games, and they get even it wrong. Punching. Kicking. More punching. More kicking. Occasionally smashing two dudes' heads together. That's not enough. As in Crackdown, we need to run, jump, glide and - for God's sake - drive our Batmobile across the city, delivering blows from whatever angle and height we want.

Watch the culmination of this calculation in the video below. Like the other entries on our countdown, this solution is surefire... even if the logic is a little crazier along the way.

For more Top 7 countdowns - including Franchise EmbarrassmentsForgotten Sequels and Series Run Into the Ground - check out our complete collection here.


Top 7


  • Sjoeki - November 29, 2011 noon

    It's just creepy how close your idea was to what would be the best game of 2009 (arkham asylum offcourse)
  • ChuckB - November 24, 2010 2:13 a.m.

    That what I thought, Polar, when Arkham Asylum's details were revealed.
  • Slayer11496 - November 23, 2010 2:09 a.m.

    Needs more Chuck Norris.
  • PolarBarrett - November 23, 2010 1 a.m.

    funny how this description of the batman one is exactly like arkham asylum. i guess gr was ahead of its time
  • GamesRadarCharlieBarratt - November 28, 2011 4:21 p.m.

    You're welcome.
  • cricket0 - September 27, 2008 8:53 p.m.

    I think that every game needs an upgrade like these
  • rel123 - September 22, 2008 7:32 a.m.

    Our solution: Turn every game into Mass Effect. Excellent.
  • katwood92 - October 1, 2008 8:47 p.m.

    If every game was Mass Effect, gaming would get boring fast. However Mass Effect does have many different aspects that a lot of games could learn from.
  • h3110 - September 9, 2008 9:52 p.m.

    cool first comment and i tottlay agree with all of these
  • Corsair89 - August 30, 2009 4:37 a.m.

    Congradulations, GR. Batman: Arkham Asylum did everything you suggested(except the Batmobile) and proved that you were absoultely right. Kudos.
  • MoonPig - June 15, 2009 10:49 a.m.

    splinter cell FTW
  • Blackhalos99 - April 22, 2009 10:27 p.m.

  • crazyjames - February 24, 2009 10:04 p.m.

    Seeing Jaws chucking grenades at beach goers had to be the absolute highlight of this article. Priceless.
  • Anton_13 - January 4, 2009 10:26 p.m.

    good harry potter thought, but wouldn't that have a bit of a niche appeal? I think harry potter needs an RPG. Not like Mass Effect, because then it would lose something, but still more than just a big, open world.
  • Anton_13 - January 4, 2009 10:19 p.m.

    on the star trek note, there's a star trek MMO (MMORPG?) in development
  • Sebastian16 - December 20, 2008 10:20 p.m.

    I shall pray to the non-existant gods that Batman; Arkham Asylum will be the Batman game we've all been waiting for.
  • rghtstff12 - December 18, 2008 8:04 p.m.

    Thank God somebody finally said it! I am DYING for a solid Batman game.
  • PittsburghPirates - January 21, 2009 1:17 a.m.

    No that Mirror's Edge is coming out for PC, someone is bound to make a Mod....
  • Yoshi X100 - December 27, 2008 3:15 p.m.

    I disagree with the Godzilla thing, I think it should be more along the lines of a free roam Grand Theft Auto game where you go on the missions and campaign when you want, build alliances, destroy cities, fight monsters even when your not in campaign, oh and maybe upgrade abilities. Sound Good?

Showing 1-19 of 19 comments

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