Gotham Knights is out today, so with that in mind, the Shacknews staff is stepping into Gotham City for this week's Shack Chat. The Riddler has put forth a conundrum of a query: What is our favorite Batman game? The superheroes of the Shacknews staff recall our favorite Bat-games and come up with a wide range of answers.
Shack Chat: What is your favorite Batman game?
Telltale Batman Shadows Edition - Ozzie Mejia, Senior Dark Knight
I'm actually going to go in a more unexpected direction, because it would be really easy for me to basically name my favorite Arkham game. However, one of the better Batman titles I've played, one that examined the Batman's role as Gotham's hero and planted the seeds of doubt on the Wayne family legacy.
I thought Telltale's take on Batman was exceptional, one that built on what the developer had put together with the Walking Dead games and a story-based game that also managed to mix in a lot of the action elements that one would expect from a Batman adventure. The story got even more interesting with the sequel, which took a fresh look at the dynamic between Batman and The Joker, which is certainly not easy given how long those two have been at odds with one another and the multitude of stories that have already been told. Since I couldn't pick just one, I'm going to opt to make my choice the full Telltale Batman Shadows Edition.
Batman (NES) - TJ Denzer, is humming Streets of Desolation now
Look, I love Arkham Asylum, Arkham City, the Batman Telltale games, and more featuring the Caped Crusader, but I’m going to venture a guess that the moment you read my answer, the level 1 music came to mind if you know. Batman on NES was a Sunsoft game, and probably one of the better games they ever produced. It’s a side-scrolling beat’em-up platformer that features the iconic Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson as Batman and Joker respectively.
It’s also hard as nails and was ridiculously difficult to beat. Batman had a limited number of gadgets which included a batarang, bat disc, and what appeared to be a straight-up bat gun. Now yes, I know that doesn’t exactly sound like Batman, but it wasn’t as though those gadgets made the game easy either. In fact, their limitations made careful spacing out of their use mandatory. That said when the stage music hit in this game, none of that mattered. Streets of Desolation could probably be considered to be one of the best musical tracks on any NES game ever and the rest of the soundtrack was nothing to sneeze at either.
Batman may have gone on to have incredibly complicated and fun games across the decades that followed, but for me, nothing quite matches the fun and simplicity of Batman on the NES. Go listen to the song. Your day will be better for it.
Batman: Arkham City - Blake Morse, Can we trust him?
There’s no denying that Arkham Asylum was a monumental moment in gaming that innovated in a number of ways, probably most notably in the way it handled combat. The plot, voice cast, and visuals were all spot on and it was close to the perfect Batman game. For me though, Arkham City took all of that and gave me what Arkham was missing, the ability to feel like the Bat out on patrol in the streets of Gotham. Granted, it was a chunk of Gotham that had been turned into a massive prison, but nonetheless it scratched that itch. It is the most Batman I have ever felt in a Batman game. The open-endedness of the city and the many activities, such as the Riddler’s deadly puzzles painted a tapestry that had me scouring every corner of the game’s world. Just talking about it has me jonesing to dive back in just for fun. I am the night!
LEGO Batman: The Videogame - Sam Chandler, Has two big pincer hands
What’s better than a realistic Batman game or playing as Batman in a fighter? LEGO Batman. That’s right, all the charm of LEGO, mixed together with some delightful humor, and throw in the iconic Bats. What do you get? Some kind of blocky concoction of good times. The LEGO games have always been appealing with their exploration and just the delightful sound of LEGO being constructed. But what really lifts the experience is playing as the ultimate detective.
Batman: Arkham Asylum - Morgan Shaver, Fan of Mark Hamill’s Joker
It’s extremely hard to pick a favorite when it comes to Batman games, but if I had to choose one, I’d have to go with Batman: Arkham Asylum. I really loved the distinct, sharp, adult edge that Arkham Asylum features throughout its story. The intense action, fights, and overarching themes are brutal in the best ways possible, and for some reason I got similar vibes while playing Arkham Asylum as I did while watching 1992’s Batman: The Animated Series for the first time.
Maybe it’s because I love hearing Mark Hamill as the voice of the Joker in both, along with Kevin Conroy as Batman. Arkham Asylum delivers everything one could ever want out of a Batman game. And, as a whole, continues to hold up well 13 years after its 2009 release. For me, Arkham Asylum is among the pinnacle of fantastic, must-play Batman games alongside the likes of Arkham City, Arkham Origins, and Arkham Knight.
Batman: Arkham City - Dennis White, Community Manager
While Arkham Asylum was a great entry point, Arkham City gave me almost everything I could want from a Batman game. I remember waiting in line for the midnight release and spending all night gliding through the city and exploring. The open world felt massive and I had so much fun diving into the side missions featuring more of my favorite villains from different comics. Deadshot, Mr. Freeze, Hush, and even Clayface were used in ways that made me feel like I was playing through an immersive narrative experience. I still fondly remember how surprised I was when finding Scarecrow’s secret room and easter eggs. I really appreciate those kinds of surprises.
Up until the recent Spider-Man games, Arkham City was the quintessential comic-book game for me. Kevin Conroy continued to do what he does best as the voice of Bats and there’s some interesting storytelling that kept me engaged for most of the game’s runtime. And of course you’ve got Mark Hamill still killing it as The Joker and the shocking ending that the devs actually followed through with. I also really loved how good the combat felt at the time and how I could use the gadgets to my advantage.
Overall, while there's been plenty of titles that have tried to compete with Rocksteady’s take on Gotham, they knocked it out of the park in a way that is harder to replicate than people may have thought.
LEGO Batman - Steve Tyminski, Stevetendo show host/Batman’s a scientist!
What is my favorite Batman video game? I’m going to have to go with the LEGO Batman game. The LEGO games are fun games and written well and the LEGO Batman games don’t stray from that formula. I have always been a fan of the LEGO games. Where else do you get to “redesign” Gotham City with LEGO bricks all while hopping into the Batmobile and going to town? Combine that with being able to play as several Batman characters and having classic weapons at your disposal and you have yourself an adventure. You also can do pretty much anything you want in the LEGO games and explore all over the place.
I’m also giving an honorable mention to my first Batman game, Return of the Joker on Sega Genesis. I remember never getting too far in this game as it was hard as nails.
Those are our favorite Batman games. Riddle us this, Shacknews readers: What is your favorite game starring the Caped Crusader? Join the conversation and let us know in the comments.
Shack Staff posted a new article, Shack Chat: What is your favorite Batman game?
I really liked Arkham knight
Arkham Asylum is still the best. It's distilled Batman goodness without all the open-world box-checking filler.
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