Gaming

The best Batman games on Nintendo systems

Image: Nintendo Life

Ah, Batman. A superhero who could easily solve a lot of problems in Gotham by simply redistributing very little out of his billion in wealth, but instead decided to build a giant cavern full of gadgets and wear a cape to fight ridiculously stupid crimes. We fucking love it.

And, with a new Batman movie out with a brand new man in Batman’s Batcape (Robert Pattinson), what better time could it be to rate every Batman game on Nintendo systems?

Like our list of every Spider-Man game, this list is designed to celebrate Batman by celebrating each of his games, from his Batman Beginnings on the NES to his Batman Return-ings on the Switch, and every LEGO Batman, cartoony Batman, and gritty restarting Batman between them.

Ranking will be done through the user rating of each game on the site, which means that you You can become the greatest detective in the world by figuring out which games you enjoyed the most and giving them a resounding 10/10 (or 8 or 9 are good marks too!), or you can become a cloaked wrestler against bad games and the most the worst of them – without criticism.

And yes, like the Spider-Man games, the best Batmans can often be found on the more powerful Sony and Microsoft consoles…but that doesn’t mean we don’t have our own bats. In fact, we have 36 games to go through!

So grab your Robins and Alfreds and let’s take a look at the best Batman games to ever grace Nintendo systems…

Note: Please note that the rating here is updated in real time according to the user rating associated with each game in the Nintendo Life Game Database. Even as you read this, it is entirely possible to influence the order below. If you haven’t rated your favorite games yet, just click the star of the game you want to rate and assign points now.

Batman: Dark Tomorrow (GCN)Batman: Dark Tomorrow (GCN)

Publisher: KEMCO / Developer: HotGen

Release date: March 25, 2003 (USA) / April 11, 2003 (UK/EU)

Oh god… It was not the best time for a cloaked crusader. Widely considered the worst bat game of all bat games. Batman: Dark Tomorrow It was So too bad the planned PlayStation 2 port was canceled due to overwhelmingly negative reception. Dark Tomorrow’s attempt at a stealth action game rife with bugs, repetitive gameplay and a flawed camera system will be nearly perfected in just 6 years. Arkham Asylum.

Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (N64)Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (N64)

Publisher: Ubisoft / Developer: KEMCO

Release date: December 13, 2000 (USA) / January 19, 2001 (UK/EU)

Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker Tried to pay homage to games like Streets of Rage and Final Fight with their side-scrolling beat-em-up gameplay, but ultimately the game couldn’t even come close to emulating the smooth gameplay of its main inspirations. Also, it was an incredibly short game and many people completed it in just 1-2 hours, a problem exacerbated by the low difficulty on the N64.

Batman: Mayhem in Gotham (GBC)Batman: Mayhem in Gotham (GBC)

Publisher: Ubisoft / Developer: digital eclipse

Release date: April 16, 2001 (USA) / 2001 (UK/EU)

Not with a plot fully unlike Batman: Arkham City, our brooding hero comes across a gang of escaped Arkham prisoners rampaging across Gotham City, including the Joker, Poison Ivy, Bane, and Mr. Freeze. The game’s launch took place shortly before the release of Nintendo’s Game Boy Advance and featured a decent variety of locations as well as some pretty cool boss fights.

Batman's Revenge (GBA)Batman's Revenge (GBA)

Publisher: Ubisoft / Developer: Ubisoft Montreal

Release date: October 30, 2001 (USA)

Like many handheld games of the time, Batman’s revenge was a heavily modified version of its GameCube counterpart. Replacing 3D environments with 2D side-scrolling action, the game saw Batman take on an entire group of rocket launcher-wielding thugs. With some pretty pretty visuals and some interesting sections about the Batmobile, the game wasn’t a total flop, but its home console sibling received a bit more praise.

Batman Forever (SNES)Batman Forever (SNES)

Publisher: Entertainment Recognition / Developer: Probe

Release date: August 1995 (USA) / September 7, 1995 (UK/EU)

Okay, we all know that Batman is forever gone. great. But let’s take a few positives from beat ’em up for the SNES. The music is damn good – Tim Follin, Andrew Brock and Jeff Follin have done a fantastic job creating music that sounds like Batman. And if you want to quickly go back to the 90s, then this promotional video teleports you right there. But the SNES version of this game is disappointing. Long loading and objects blocking the view are just the beginning.

Batman: Rise of Xing Tzu (GBA)Batman: Rise of Xing Tzu (GBA)

Publisher: Ubisoft / Developer: Ubisoft Montreal

Release date: October 27, 2003 (USA)

With gameplay similar to Batman’s revenge for GBA, Batman: Rise of Xing Tzu arguably boasts much smoother animations and visuals. Created specifically for the game’s story, the villain Xing Tzu would eventually appear in the mainstream Batman comics, but his appearance here sets the game apart from other stories in the Batman universe. Another fairly short game that can be completed in about 2-3 hours, but the decent gameplay is well worth it.

Batman Begins (GBA)Batman Begins (GBA)

Publisher: EA Games / Developer: Vicarious Visions

Release date: June 14, 2005 (USA) / June 17, 2005 (UK/EU)

That’s it, the era of Batman’s prickly throat. Batman Begins a more realistic visual approach was chosen for the GBA, in keeping with the gritty nature of Christopher Nolan’s new Batman trilogy. Fairly faithful to the plot of the movie, parts of the game allow you to play as Bruce Wayne in all his civilian glory, most notably during his training with Ra’s al Ghul. It was clearly an average game overall, and planned sequels were eventually canceled due to a variety of development issues.

Batman Forever (English)Batman Forever (English)

Publisher: confession / Developer: Probe

Release date: August 1995 (USA) / 1995 (UK/EU)

Despite the plot similarity to the SNES counterpart (they are based on the same movie, after all), the Game Boy version Batman forever naturally heavily downgraded to run on the plucky Nintendo PDA. However, the action was fairly well executed and there are a few catchy tunes in the mix, but this one just doesn’t match up with its more experienced sibling.

Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (GBC)Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (GBC)

Publisher: Ubisoft / Developer: KEMCO

Release date: November 20, 2000 (USA) / December 8, 2000 (UK/EU)

Reception towards the Game Boy Color version Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker was slightly more positive than the N64 version, with particular praise for the cutscenes in the game. However, the gameplay was pretty choppy most of the time, and its total run time was just over an hour if you’re good at beat-em-up. The game isn’t terrible, but it’s not particularly good either.

LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham (3DS)LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham (3DS)

Publisher: Warner Brazzers / Developer: TT Games

Release date: November 11, 2014 (USA) / November 14, 2014 (UK/EU)

Sure, LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham isn’t visually perfect as the home console versions, but it’s still an authentic and fun LEGO game starring our favorite tough superhero. This was hindered by clunky and repetitive gameplay, and the artificial intelligence of the enemy was rather weak. Perhaps this is just for diehard LEGO fans.

Batman: Rise of Xing Tzu (GCN)Batman: Rise of Xing Tzu (GCN)

Publisher: Ubisoft / Developer: Ubisoft

Release date: November 11, 2003 (USA) / December 5, 2003 (UK/EU)

GameCube version Batman: Rise of Xing Tzu showed some crazy beat-em-up gameplay; not quite the over-the-top action you necessarily expect from the Dark Knight, but it worked well enough. Players had the choice to control Batman, Batgirl, Robin or Nightwing, with the game having a sort of precursor to horde modes throwing enemies at you without the need for an annoying storyline. Not a bad entry!

Batman Begins (GCN)Batman Begins (GCN)

Publisher: electronic arts / Developer: Eurocom

Release date: June 14, 2005 (USA) / June 17, 2005 (UK/EU)

Batman Begins is the only film in Christopher Nolan’s trilogy to ever be released as a video game, and to be honest, it wasn’t that bad. It gave a new generation of Batman fans the chance to be a Caped Crusader and you get to see a lot of what Arkham Games like stealth segments and a variety of primary weapons like grenades and batarangs would be perfect here. But unique to Begins is the “HF Transponder” which allows you to stun your enemies with “fear”. For reference to the film, this is more than tolerable.




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