Batman's a video game staple

A screenshot from Rocksteady Games' Batman: Arkham City.

A screenshot from Rocksteady Games' Batman: Arkham City.

STEVE TILLEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:42 PM ET

I want to see a Batman video game where the Caped Crusader's various movie and TV incarnations fight to the death, surrounded by a gallery of villains cheering them on.

While Christian Bale's growly Batman mutters unintelligibly at Adam West's campy Batman, George Clooney's blinky Batman pummels Val Kilmer's forgettable Batman (I don't even remember which movie he was in) into unconsciousness. On the sidelines, Michael Keaton's Batman says, "I'm Batman!" to no one in particular.

But since that game will never come to pass, we'll have to make due with the 25 or so Batman video games that have already been released over the years.

Something to take the edge off the final few days of anticipation until The Dark Knight Rises opens.

Of course, Batman has something of a spotty record in video games. Too many titles have tried to shoehorn our hero into ill-fitting game styles, or have been hamstrung by sloppy design and technical issues. But a few have done the Caped Crusader justice.

While you wait for Christopher Nolan's final Dark Knight movie to flicker to life on the big screen, here are the five Batman games you should seek out.

Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes (most gaming devices; rated Everyone 10+)

The whole Lego game thing is getting a bit played out, but this sequel to 2008's enjoyable Lego Batman: The Videogame mixes silly fun with a reverence for the DC universe, and has everyone from Superman to Wonder Woman making guest appearances.

Batman: The Brave and the Bold (Wii, Nintendo 3DS; rated Everyone 10+)

Based on the Cartoon Network series of the same name, The Brave and the Bold is a 2D action game that stays true to the look and somewhat lighter vibe of the animated series, and hearkens back to the classic platformer/beat-'em-up games of yesteryear.

Gotham City Impostors (Xbox 360, PS3, PC; rated Teen)

While the Bat's away, the vigilantes (and villains) will play. This is an online-only first-person shooter, pitting teams of hero-wannabes against their bad guy counterparts. An odd experiment that's a decent amount of fun, though not a lot of people are still playing it.

Batman: Arkham City Lockdown (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad; rated 9+)

This touch-controlled fighting game for the iOS devices is a prequel to Batman: Arkham City, mixing simple controls with satisfying game mechanics. It looks great and has a ton of bonus material to peruse while you're in line for The Dark Knight Rises tickets.

Batman: Arkham City - Game of the Year Edition (Xbox 360, PS3; rated Mature)

This sequel to 2009's nearly as awesome Batman: Arkham Asylum is THE definitive Batman game. Its seamless mix of intense combat, exploration, puzzles and a true love of Batman lore is the bar by which all future superhero video games will be measured.

steve.tilley@sunmedia.ca


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