Batman is a huge character with a great rogues’ gallery filled with colorful and scary characters. It’s no wonder a massively successful game series exists to play within his incredible world. While it’s consuming as to why it took so longer for these games to exist, it may be better that they waited for the proper gaming technology to exist. The Arkham Asylum phenomenon began in 2009, a year after The Dark Knight landed in theaters. The combination of the game’s excellent execution and the wave of fandom that followed Batman at the time led to this series’ explosion in popularity.
Many of the games are similar in this series because players just want more of the same experience playing Batman, protecting Gotham, and stopping his villains. While not all Arkham games were a success, most of them are. Some games, especially on mobile devices, are no longer available but may have even been popular when first released. Below is the list of Batman Arkham Asylum games in chronological order. Though the story plays out in proper order in these games, it likely will make more sense for players to play Arkham Asylum first and then continue with the major titles as they were released to understand gameplay and gadgets better.
Arkham Asylum Games Major Playable Characters
- Bruce Wayne
- Red Hood
- Harley Quinn
- King Shark
- Captain Boomerang
Major Villains and Their First Appearances
First in Arkham Origins
- The Joker
- Harley Quinn
- The Riddler
- Mad Hatter
- Killer Croc
- Calendar Man
- Mr. Freeze
- Ferris Boyle
- Black Mask
- Howard Branden
- Gillian B. Loeb
First in Arkham Asylum
- Poison Ivy
- Victor Zsasz
First in Arkham City Lockdown
- Kano (Mortal Kombat)
First in Arkham City
- Hugo Strange
- Ra’s al Ghul
- Solomon Grundy
- Talia al Ghul
First in Arkham Knight
- The Arkham Knight
- Professor Pyg
- Deacon Blackfire
- Simon Stagg
Appearing in Kill the Justice League
- Green Lantern
Batman Arkham Asylum Games in Chronological and Release Order
Batman: Arkham Origins
The first game chronologically in the series did not come out first. While Arkham Asylum is the first game to appear in this series Arkham Origins, released in 2013, is the first in the story. The game is very similar to the other titles. In the game, you play as Batman within the open world of Gotham, previously established in Arkham City. The game’s design, characters, and play all come from where it all started in Arkham Asylum. It is available on PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U, and PC.
The difference this time around is you are a younger, less experienced Batman with a $50 million public bounty on your head. You must protect Gotham while getting to the bottom of the bounty and fending off the rogues trying to cash in on it. This game is unique as it has a different character design for some characters appearing later in the franchise. Their designs are first appearance looks that evolve in later games as they come into their own as characters and villains.
This game is the odd one in the series since its developer is WB Montreal instead of Rocksteady. A major change that sets it apart is the voice casting. Roger Craig Smith voices Batman instead of Kevin Conroy, and Troy Baker voices Joker instead of Mark Hamill. While this may feel a bit off-putting, if you even notice it, they fill in close enough. Plus, it makes sense that younger versions of these characters may sound different.
Another interesting difference in this game is that you may track down and then play Batman’s first encounters with some of these classic villains, such as Mad Hatter, Deadshot, and Joker. These interactions are fun as you pick up on the first, often themed, clues for these villains and use your detective skills to meet and deal with them. The game likely comes a few years before Arkham Asylum, as it mentions reopening it for modern use during its conclusion.
Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate
Blackgate is a 2D game released in 2013 by Armature Studio. It is a sequel to Arkham Origins and takes place three months after the events of that game. Therefore the voices of Batman and Joker are the same as in Origins. The game’s setting is within three major areas in Blackgate Prison. A different classic Batman villain runs each area, including Penguin, Joker, and Black Mask. Other DC characters, such as Amanda Waller, have appearances as well.
The game was available for PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U, Nintendo DS, PS Vita, and PC. The game is not very well-rated. Although it continues the story of Origins, its gameplay is challenging, and its structure is frustrating. Players may also have difficulty finding this game as it isn’t really supported or carried any longer.
Batman Arkham Underworld
In this game, the tables are turned as you play as a villain in Gotham. The game released for mobile devices in 2016 by Turbine Inc. takes place shortly before Arkham Asylum. This game again displays the success of Arkham Asylum as it is a direct prequel released about seven years later. In the game, you recruit and build an army of henchmen, control major villains like The Riddler and Scarecrow, and build your hideout. Gameplay is from an overhead view of rooms, areas, and characters.
Major villains from the Arkham franchise appear in this game, but the Joker does not. Underworld does feature Kevin Conroy as Batman, just as in Arkham Asylum. The game is no longer available since it was removed from play stores about a year after its release.
Batman Arkham Asylum
Batman Arkham Asylum is the game where it all started. Never before could players take on the role of Batman or another vigilante hero and play through their eyes in their world. Batman Arkham Asylum has everything from a Batman movie or comic book. Still, players are immersed within it and can directly interact with it in a new way here. The gameplay involves controlling Batman, using his gadgets, detective skills, and combat abilities to foil a plot by the Joker and escape from Arkham.
The game was the first to be released and introduced us to the world of Arkham Asylum. While later games are open-world, this game is restricted to certain areas within the asylum. It makes sense and doesn’t hinder gameplay, although freely exploring Arkham does sound entertaining. It stars Mark Hamil as the Joker, Kevin Conroy as Batman, and Arleen Sorkin as Harley Quinn, all reprising roles from Batman: The Animated series.
The game uses an advanced combat system for the time that allows players to dodge and counter attacks in every combat situation. There are also bonuses for continually striking enemies who often attack in large groups. The Detective Mode allows players to see things they may not usually see that they must interact with to unlock the next step or puzzle in the game.
The game originally released by Rocksteady Studios in 2009, is an award winner. Arkham Asylum is now available on Xbox 360, Windows, Mac OS X, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Switch. Its innovation, design, and a great story, written by Paul Dini, led to excellent reviews. Due to its success, the franchise was launched, and the games, many of which have been rereleased, are still relevant.
Batman Arkham City Lockdown
Lockdown occurs between Arkham Asylum and Arkham Origins despite its release after Origins late in 2011 for iOS and in 2013 for Android. The game is a 2D fighter using characters and designs directly from the Arkham world. The goal is to defeat and capture a number of familiar villains who’ve escaped Arkham Asylum.
In Lockdown, players play as Batman in six major levels that consist of one on one fights with henchmen sent before a one-on-one face-off against a specific Batman supervillain. Kevin Conroy returns to voice Batman and Mark Hamill returns as the Joker. Other voice actors return from the Arkham games and either reprise roles or take up new ones for this side game in the franchise. This game is a companion to Arkham City as you could take it anywhere and play as the same Batman. The unlockable gadget upgrades and many sought-after Batman skins make the game an addictive must-play for Batman fans.
Unfortunately, the game is no longer available. It was a mobile-only game and is no longer in the mobile play stores.
Batman Arkham City
The follow-up to Arkham Asylum, released in 2011, takes place a year and a half after the first game. By then, the Arkham Asylum craze was in full swing, and this game was highly anticipated. In the game, you play as the same Batman and within the same world as Arkham Asylum, but it’s an open-world game. The game allows you to patrol and explore all of Gotham as you hunt down and battle Batmna’s classic rogues’ gallery of villains.
The game, released by Rocksteady Studios, felt like a bigger and slightly more refined version of the beloved Arkham Asylum. It gives plays more of exactly what they wanted from the first game, with a brand-new story as the icing on the cake. The stars from Asylum return to voice the major players, and Paul Dini returns to write another classic Batman story.
The award-winning game is available on Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, Wii U, OS X, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. It has since received a Game of the Year edition and is one of the biggest games of 2011.
Batman Arkham VR
This game is the only one in the franchise available for VR, but Rocksteady Studios still developed it. Arkham VR is available for PlayStation 4 and Windows with a VR headset. It, therefore, stands alone in many aspects of comparison between games in the series. You play as Batman, but this time you really do see directly through his eyes. Arkham VR, initially released in 2016, takes place after Arkham City and before Arkham Knight, which debuted in 2015.
In the game, you play as Batman and use your detective skills to solve the murder of a friend. Players view the game through a first-person perspective, interact with the world, and personally deploy and use Batman’s gadgets from his belt. Many heroes and villains from the Arkham series appear, and Hamil and Conroy reprise their roles. The game takes about 90 minutes to play through. The plot is based around Batman’s allies going missing and Batman doing what he can to track them down. Though the game performed well for a VR title, reviews weren’t always kind especially compared to other titles in the Arkham series.
Batman Arkham Knight
Knight released in 2015, is the last major release in the series. It was also developed by Rocksteady Studios and includes the same voices for Batman and Joker. The game is the conclusion of the Arkham Asylum and Arkham City trilogy, with the other games being mainly fill-ins in between. The game follows the same style as the others, where players use Batman in the third-person to protect Gotham using his gadgets, detective skills, and combat abilities. Despite having a different writer behind the story, the game has mostly positive reviews.
The game is available for Windows, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 since 2015. Due to its popularity, it also added Nintendo Switch to its consoles in 2023. There are some minor advancements to enemies and gameplay, but overall, the game is more of what fans loved about Arkham City’s open-world take on Batman. The major changes in this game are the main villain and the Batmobile.
The Batmobile is a fully playable vehicle in this game. Players can easily call it to their location anytime, hop in, speed through Gotham, and use all its gadgets. The Batmobile design is something between a race car and a tank and is unique to this game. Unfortunately, many Batmobile missions are in the game, which can become tedious as players want to return to being free-roaming Batman. The villain in this game is a new creation specifically for the game. He is a militarized Batman with guns and armor called Arkham Knight. He raises the stakes as he controls his own army, and Batman has no idea who he is.
Suicide Squad Kill: the Justice League
Suicide Squad is the only other game currently in the works for the Arkham Asylum universe. The Rocksteady Studios release hits consoles on February 2024. The game will again feature third-person superhero action within the established Arkham world but with a few twists. The game will be set about five years after the events of Arkham Knight. It will feature Batman, voiced by Kevin Conroy, in a posthumous appearance.
This time around, though, there are no heroes. Braniciac has brainwashed all of DC’s major heroes, including Batman. With no heroes to stop the supervillain, antiheroes, the Suicide Squad are called in to prevent the world’s destruction. The Suicide Squad are DC’s villains forced into taking on dirty tasks at the risk of death if they refuse.
The playable Suicide Squad characters are Harley Quinn, King Shark, Deadshot, and Captain Boomerang. You can play the game solo with AI teammates or four players as the different Squad members, working together in an open world. According to the game’s trailer, a brainwashed Justice League will feature as major villains, including Batman, Flash, Superman, and more. Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League will add one more entry into the Arkham verse though it appears to be a vastly different game. Kill the Justice League will be available for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S consoles, and PC upon release.
Arkham Asylum Games Release Order
- Arkham Asylum (2009)
- Arkham City (10/2011)
- Arkham City Lockdown (12/2011)
- Arkham Origins (10/2013)
- Arkham Origins Blackgate (10/2013)
- Arkham Knight (2015)
- Arkham Underworld (7/2016)
- Arkham VR (10/2016)
- Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League (estimated 2024)