With one of the best superhero movie series coming to an end with The Dark Knight Rises, we thought now would be the perfect time to look back at some of the worst Batman iterations to ever hit the digital world.
We haven't always been able to reference Batman: Arkham Asylum or Arkham City as the epitome of a superhero games -- or the best Batman game, for that matter. While Batman games have never really fallen to the level of Superman 64, his colorful entertainment history over the years has produced some real stinkers. For those of you fellow die-hard Dark Knight fans about ready to nerd out over The Dark Knight Rises, we've got the most awful Batman video games -- to appreciate what you have now, you have to see the trash we had to wade through to get here.
Here are the top five bad Batman games we’ve counted down for you. Be careful when recommending these to fellow fans. It might get pretty ugly.
5. Game: Batman Forever
System: SNES/Genesis/Game Boy/Game Gear/PC
It wasn't a masterpiece of a movie by any means, but watching Jim Carrey gallivanting around as The Riddler is preferable in any capacity to playing this Super Nintendo adaptation. The side-scrolling beat-'em-up wouldn't have turned out to be such a tragedy had it not employed awkward control schemes (why should anyone need to hold down two different buttons to jump down from platforms?) and bland core mechanics.
The co-op system allows players to take up the mantle of either Batman or Robin, and that's one aspect it did well, but considering how difficult it was to employ gadgets or pull off different moves. The focus shifted from what Batman Forever tried to offer to everything it screwed up, which was a lot across the spectrum: Genesis, Game Gear, Game Boy, and PC. Perhaps this side-scroller should be locked up forever. See what we did there?
4. Game: Batman: Dark Tomorrow
Dark Tomorrow did one thing correctly: it attempted to follow the Batman license faithfully and it introduced familiar villains like the Joker, Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy, and more. And that's about it. The rest of it is a mishmash of choppy graphics, misguided gameplay, and a poorly thought-out plot that simply didn't make much sense by the end of the game.
For example, unless specific conditions were met, the game's completion meant very little in the way of a "good" ending. If everyone dies anyway, what's the point of playing in the first place? Oh, that's right -- you had to pick up that obscure item and take it to that one secret location, because the game did such a great job of telling you to do so. Dark Tomorrow had the best of intentions and some decent ideas, but ended up the latest addition to the bargain bin. At least its heart was in the right place. Probably.
3. Game: Batman and Robin
The 1997 film and the subsequent 1998 PSX release are both shameful additions to the Batman media family, but in different ways entirely: the movie showcased plenty of bat nipples and an insufferable Robin, and the game was a cool shell encasing a steaming pile. While the mission-based setup was full of slick, well-designed content and a thoughtful time-based objective completion system, it managed to turn a potentially engrossing experience into an obtuse and frustrating exercise in futility.
Not only did the game move at a snail's pace, but also the Batmobile didn't actually fit down the winding streets of Gotham. What kind of fantabulous Batmobile chugs even at full speed and has trouble maneuvering regular roads? Probably not the Tumbler. Batman and Robin is best left to rot in obscurity and in the bins of Batman collectors all over the world.
2. Game: Batman: Gotham City Racer
Let’s look at a game that completely missed the point about Batman. Based on The New Adventures, this racing game puts you at the wheel of the Batmobile as you cruise around a seemly abandoned Gotham City shooting people. If any of that sounds enjoyable to you, then maybe it’s time for you to hang up your utility belt. There’s no fighting. No detective work. You drive until the loading screen stops you. Fighting crime? Try fighting for more than five minutes of gameplay before slamming into another loading screen.The one saving grace of this game may just be the animated Batman story that plays between the levels.
1. Game: Batman: The Caped Crusader
System: Commodore 64
From its strange comic book design to awkward move sets, it's just an unpleasant game all around. Simply throwing a punch is an exercise in frustration, and the hit box of most enemies is so tiny you need to be in a very specific position to even do any significant damage. And the graphics and soundtrack aren't able to save Bats from mediocrity this time. Just bypass this one for the sake of your sanity.
There you have it: five Batman games you should probably avoid. Which ones did we miss? Which ones would you recommend? Are you a Batman Begins fan? Or maybe you're digging Batman and Robin (the good one). Let us know in the comments below!