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 Embarrassments
, Forgotten Sequels
and Series Run Into the Ground
- check out our complete collection here