With The Dark Knight coming out this week I couldn’t help but replay all the old Batman games in anticipation, although most of the Batman games are utter rubbish there are a few gems among them, and these are the top 5.
5. Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu – XBOX
Rise of Sin Tzu is a back to basics brawler and is very similar to the classic brawlers like Double Dragon. The main villain is Sin Tzu a never before seen character making his debut appearance in this game, although not to leave out the regulars 3 villains from the comics make appearance as end level bosses the Scarecrow, Bang and Clayface.
The playable roster is Batgirl, Robin, Nightwing and of course Batman, most feel very similar to play but they are great for cooperative play.
It’s a pretty decent game if all you are looking for is to mindlessly beat up thugs for a couple of hours.
4. Justice League Heroes – XBOX
Although this game is based around the ‘Justice League’ Batman is one of the primary characters.
Justice League Heroes was created by the same developers and on the same engine as the hack and slash game ‘Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance,’ thus it comes unsurprisingly that JLH plays like a Hack & Slash game, as you progress you can level up and gain new ability for your characters, although instead of item collecting they have replaced it with Jewel collecting as I guess it’s hard to imagine Batman wearing a + 1 Luck Ring *ahem* anyway the jewels can be used to augment your characters and improve the stats of your choice, there is a bit of depth to jewels but I wont go into it.
Batman sadly isn’t playable throughout the entire game, although whenever he is playable it’s great fun whooping out some Batman kick ass action.
3. Batman – NES
Batman, just Batman. No lengthy title was needed to sell this game, no gimmicks, no expensive cut scenes just pure Batman induced carnage.
Batman loosely follows the 1989 movie, the villain is the Joker and Batman is on a mission to lock him up.
It’s not a particularly great game by today’s standards and some of the stages difficulty are trauma inducingly hard, but I still love it for nostalgia’s sake and because it was the first Batman game I ever played.
2. Batman: Vengeance – XBOX
By far the best Batman 3D game to be released, the storyline is based in the Cartoon series continuity, Batman is the target of a conspiracy after being framed for attacking Commissioner Gordon. Now it’s up to Batman to figure out who is behind this before Gotham City is destroyed!
The graphics are very nicely done and almost look like they are taken straight out of the animated TV series, and the in game cinematics definitely give the feel the you are playing through a ‘feature-length’ episode.
The boss battles are great fun and are definitely the highlight of this game, street roaming is quite good although the first person sections let the game down a little.
1. The Adventures of Batman & Robin – SNES
My personal favourite 2D Batman game, ‘The Adventures of Batman & Robin’ is a side-scrolling action platformer, there is no overarching storyline in this game instead each level has its own storyline, setting and villains. Each stage is remarkably different to the previous and each feels like your playing through a different episode of the cartoon series.
The gameplay is where this game really shines, you can do the usual punch, kick and throw but you can also use the bat utility belt which comes with a plethora of equipment, including a grappling hook, stun grenades, night vision, flashlight, smoke bombs, grenades and Batarangs!
The levels are very varied going from a carnival to a museum, to even fighting on a chess board, each level is very detailed and is a blast to play through.
Fortunately for Robin haters his role is minor in the game, as he’ll just chip in occasionally to help you when you are in trouble. Nearly all the main villains from the series make an appearance including The Penguin, Clayface, Poison-Ivy, Two-Face, Catwoman, Scarecrow and of course no Batman game would be complete without the Joker.
Two more Batman games are on the horizon, both actually look like they could be quite decent.