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!