When Bruce Timm and Paul Dini brought the world of Batman into an animated form on Fox Kids, they took the first tentative steps towards a massive animated universe. It, along with The Simpsonschanged the expectations of animated shows during the 90s, paving the way for more sophisticated and adult-oriented works.
Even years after the series’ conclusion in 1999, its legacy lives on in several other Batman adaptations and tie-in media. There are plenty of titles based on the caped crusader and his acclaimed animated series and original titles that capture the show’s feel.
10 Batman: The Animated Series Gave Fans Some Handheld Fun
Just like their Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles handheld titles, Konami came correct when it came to the Game Boy adaption of Bruce Timm’s animated series. Even with its monochromatic color scheme and 8-bit limitations, the game does a valiant job of capturing the feel of the source material while providing a genuinely fun title.
The gameplay is very much taken from the excellent NES Batman title from Sunsoft as players run, punch, and wall jump their way to protect Gotham city. What’s new to this title is the incorporation of the hero’s famous grappling hook for some neat platforming design.
9 The Adventures Of Batman & Robin Is The Best Game Adaption Of The Show
Konami’s action platformer for the Super Nintendo is the title that came the closest to matching the look and feel of the series with sublime 16-bit renditions of Shirley Walker’s haunting score and highly detailed sprite work. In addition, gamers had access to the costumed hero’s martial arts moves and wonderful toys as they took on his iconic rogues gallery.
Levels sported a healthy amount of variety, with one tasking players with evading traps in a dark museum and another forbidding them from harming civilians under the influence of Scarecrow’s fear toxin.
8 Telltale’s Batman Deconstructed The Mythos
Telltale’s formula established in their Walking Dead titles was starting to get a little long in the tooth, and DC’s famous hero was beginning to get a little oversaturated by the time this title was announced. However, Telltale overcame the fatigue with some neat twists to the mythos, crafting a more mature and morally ambiguous narrative.
The game made a dark deconstruction of Thomas Wayne and depicted a more vulnerable and humanized version of the Joker years before Joaquin Phoenix’s take on the character. It’s a title that definitely warrants a look from Batman fans.
7 Mark Of The Ninja Makes Their Foes Fear The Darkness
With a stylish cartoon art style and intuitive stealth mechanics, Mark of the Ninja draws many comparisons to the caped crusader’s Arkham titles. Klei Entertainment’s resume of titles such as the Shank games and Don’t Starve showcase the studio’s talent for crafting fun titles with a distinct visual identity.
Much like the former, Mark of the Ninja is incredibly graphic in its description of violence, which tends to be at odds with the game’s cartoony aesthetics. However, fans who can get past this will find a cathartic and atmospheric platformer.
6 Batman Returns Perfectly Captured The Look And Sound Of The Burton Film
Much like Konami’s other SNES title starring The Dark Knight, Batman Returns perfectly captured the source material’s look, sound, and feel. Danny Elfman’s phenomenal score is done justice by Jun Funahashi and Harumi Ueko, while Bo Welch’s timeless art direction is faithfully recreated on 16-bit hardware.
Gameplay consisted of beat ’em up levels broken up by occasional platforming challenges. Of course, great controls and excellent incorporation of Bat’s utility belt made for a superb action title. The only drawback was the lack of any multiplayer. Still, fans shouldn’t pass on the opportunity to check this cart out.
5 Sunsoft’s Batman Is The Best Game Based On The Movies
Sunsoft’s side-scrolling action title based on the Tim Burton flick did a phenomenal job at capturing the dark noir look of the source material while providing a solid title on its own merits. With the acrobatic prowess of Ryu Hayabusa, and boasting almost as many gadgets as Mega Mancontrolling the caped crusader was fun and responsive.
Fans of the film may be put off by some of the liberties the game took, such as the hero’s use of firearms and him tossing Joker to his death. However, players who can look past that will find one of the best action titles on the Nintendo Entertainment System.
4 The Sly Cooper Games Stole Players’ Hearts
Sucker Punch’s stylish hybrid of stealth and platforming is perfect for fans of the caped crusader’s 90 series. the Sly Cooper games put players in control of the eponymous thief and his crew as they plunder the spoils from a wide variety of colorful and bombastic villains.
like Batman TAS, they sport a vibrant comic book art style that mixes in little touches of film noir. While the gentlemen thief is on the other side of the law, Sly only goes after other criminals as he believes there’s no sport in robbing from good people. He even has a rival/love interest who is heavily inspired by Detective Rene Montoya.
3 That Goes Double For Persona 5
From its visually striking visual style to its lively and energetic soundtrack, Atlus’ Persona 5 stimulates several of the senses. Players take on the role of a delinquent named Joker and his group of disenfranchised friends. By day, they’re just regular schoolkids, but by night, they’re a crew known as the Phantom Hearts Thieves.
Their goal is to steal the corrupt hearts of the wicked. In addition to sporting a stylish comic book look, there are many references to the caped crusader, such as the fictional movie The Cake Knight Rises and Ann Takamaki’s Catwoman-esque alter ego.
2 Viewtiful Joe Provided A Red Hot Shot In The Action Platforming Arm
With a lively cel-shaded art style that blends sentai manga with American superhero comics, Hideki Kamiya’s Viewtiful Joe is still quite a looker even decades after its initial 2003 release. This 2D brawler proved as fun as it was stylish, with a cathartic combat system and some creative puzzles that utilized the hero’s abilities.
While a trilogy was promised, Joe only saw one sequel and two spin-offs before hanging up the V-watch, seemingly for good. With a timeless graphical style and quality gameplay, Batman fans would do well to “henshin a-go-go” themselves.
1 The Batman Arkham Series Transcended Their Source Material
Rocksteady managed to deliver the definitive Batman gaming franchise with the Arkham series. Its blend of stealth, combat, and exploration combined to make a fun gaming experience regardless of players’ love for the source material.
Many of the games even incorporated the same writing staff and vocal talent of the series with Paul Dini penning the first two titles and Kevin Conroy reprising his role as The Dark Knight in Rocksteady’s trilogy. Fans of the comics were also pleased with how the games depicted each of Bats’ rogues with Mark Hamill earning several accolades for his performance as The Joker.
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