In recent years, films based on comic books and superheroes from major studios such as DC have dominated the box office. Video game superheroes unfortunately haven’t been as potent. Things began to change in 2009, when The Batman Arkham game series was made available to the whole public. This game set the door for many superhero games, which is now a very profitable and popular video game franchise.
The Batman Arkham game series delivered fantastic gameplay, engaging narratives, and a cast of compelling characters. Now, it generates a lot of buzz and enthusiasm among superhero enthusiasts. It might be confusing for newbies because some games are prequels to others. But don’t worry, we’ve compiled a list of the top five Xbox games with Batman theme you should play!
1. Batman: Arkham Asylum (2009)
The first game that was released in the Batman: Arkham series was Batman: Arkham Asylum. This is the game that got it all began back in 2009. Created by Rocksteady Studios, this game is released for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Windows. Later, in 2011, it was transferred to Mac OS X, and in 2016, it was remastered for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in the video game Batman: Return to Arkham.
The game is centered on taking Joker to Arkham Asylum after arresting him in Gotham City. Havoc ensues when he escapes the asylum and seizes control of the facility. Now, it’s up to Batman to stop him and his fellow foes including Bane, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy.
Batman: Arkham Asylum does not disappoint in terms of playability. Aside from having a vast choice of devices and weapons for the player, Rocksteady Studio also created a setting that you could fully lose yourself in. With the adrenaline-pumping action and stealth segments stacked in between, it is one of the best video game stories ever told.
2. Batman: Arkham City (2011)
Following Arkham Asylum’s footsteps, Rocksteady Studios produced a sequel titled Batman: Arkham City two years later in 2011. The Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Windows versions of the game were all available. It was remade for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in 2016 after being ported to the Wii U and Mac OS in 2012.
The game picks up after the events of Arkham Asylum, in which a section of Gotham City is transformed into Arkham City by villains like Joker, Harley Quinn, Hugo Strange, Ra’s al Ghul, and Poison Ivy. Catwoman, Two-Face, and the Penguin are introduced in this second instalment, and they are also playable characters in some parts of the story.
No significant modifications have been made to the gameplay, but players are introduced to several new gadgets in the game. Similar to previous games, Arkham City has side quests involving various characters which makes it the perfect, refined follow-up to Arkham Asylum.
3. Batman: Arkham Origins (2013)
The third game in the Batman: Arkham series is Batman: Arkham Origins. Unlike the other ones, this game was created by WB Games Montreal. It was released in 2013 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Windows as one of the two Arkham console games that were not produced by Rocksteady Studios. However, keep in mind that Arkham Origins was neither converted nor remastered for Mac OS.
Despite being the third Arkham game released, it is the first in the story. In this game, Batman’s life is put in danger when the criminal Black Mask places a reward on his head. This attracts the attention of eight assassins who intend to assassinate the Caped Crusader and take the money.
What sets this game apart from others is that it was set five years before the events of Arkham Asylum. The plot, however, is unappealing and full of holes. It also featured an odd multiplayer mode that felt like an afterthought in comparison to the main game. Overall, this game does not innovate as much as other games, but it is worth giving a shot and seeing for yourself.
4. Batman: Arkham Knight (2015)
The fourth installment in the core Batman: Arkham series is Batman: Arkham Knight and it is the most recent in the main series. Released in 2015, Rocksteady Studios created the final game for the Xbox One, Windows, and PlayStation 4.
Following the events of Batman: Arkham City, Batman must now preserve Gotham City after Scarecrow threatens to contaminate the city due to his fear of toxins. To combat the Scarecrow and other criminals, Batman goes to his closest companions. One of the villains is the mysterious Arkham Knight, who is linked to Batman’s history.
The addition of the Batmobile, arguably Batman’s most significant weapon, was the game’s main feature. However, many people found the Batmobile was overly ambitious and didn’t work as intended after the game’s release. The Jedi Mind Trick-inspired Voice Synthesizer has also been included, giving you more control while playing as Nightwing or Catwoman throughout the plot. Arkham Knight might be the final installment in the Batman Arkham series, but Rocksteady Studio is not yet finished with the Arkham universe.
5. Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate (2013)
Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate is the other version of Batman: Arkham Origins. Launched in 2013, this game was developed by Armature Studio and was only available on the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita at first. Additionally, the game was ported to Windows, PlayStation 3, Wii U, and Xbox 360 in 2014. Batman: Arkham Origins is unlike any of the previous Batman Arkham games. It’s a 2.5D side-scrolling game aimed primarily at handheld gaming devices that can imitate the main version’s fighting scenes even though it is not a 3D game.
In this game, Batman is confronted with an explosion in Blackgate prison, allowing the Jokers, Penguin, and Black Mask to run amok. What makes it more unique is how the developer attempts to adapt as much of the console experience as possible to mobile devices with stealth gaming and grappling. Although the combat is satisfying, the game overall could not tell a compelling story. It may look a lot better when ported to consoles or gaming laptops but still, it has a lot of flaws.