There have been many Batman games over the years, and not all of them have been of the best quality. But starting in 2009, there came a series of games that you could place your trust in — the Batman: Arkham series. The Arkham games had it all, with fantastic combat, great comic book-worthy writing, and a stellar voice cast including Kevin Conroy as Batman and Mark Hamill as the Joker, although they do not appear in all of the entries.
But one of the most confusing things about the Arkham series is that the release order of the games are not always in timeline order, with sequels, spinoffs, and prequels appearing throughout. So let’s take a look at the Batman: Arkham series, and give you the games in chronological order.
Batman: Arkham Origins
First up on our list is Batman: Arkham Origins. Batman: Arkham Origins sees Batman at his youngest as he takes on villains in Gotham City. Most of the villains Batman faces in the game are villains that he is facing for the first time, and a big part of this game is Batman earning the trust of Jim Gordon and attempting not to draw the wrath of the police.
Batman: Arkham Origins is the only main game in the series not to be developed by Rocksteady Studios, and it was instead developed by WB Games Montreal, who would later develop Gotham Knights, although this is not a comment on the quality of Batman: Arkham Origins. It was released as a prequel, after Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City and Batman was voiced by Roger Craig Smith while Troy Baker voiced the Joker.
Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate
Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate was set three months after Batman: Arkham Origins, and it was developed for handheld consoles before being ported to home consoles after it was released. Unlike the other mainline titles of the series, Blackgate was a side-scrolling game and it was developed by Armature Studio. This game sets up the Suicide Squad in the Batman: Arkham series, as Batman encounters a few of them in the Blackgate Penitentiary, which is where the game is set.
Batman: Arkham Underworld
Batman: Arkham Underworld is one of the games on this list that you can no longer play as it was a mobile game that has since been delisted from the Android and iOS Stores. Unlike the games where you play as Batman, this spinoff — which was set after the Batman: Arkham Origins games but before Batman: Arkham Asylum — has you playing as a Gotham City crime boss. The game was shut down in 2017 and it was developed by Turbine.
Batman: Assault on Arkham
So, Batman: Assault on Arkham is not a game, but it still falls into the Batman: Arkham timeline nonetheless. It is an animated film which was directed by Jay Oliva and Ethan Spaulding. While the movie was released in 2014, it was a continuation of the storyline set up in Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate, finally assembling the Suicide Squad in the Batman: Arkham universe.
Weirdly, Troy Baker reprises his role as the Joker in the film, but Kevin Conroy plays Batman. Batman: Assault on Arkham is set roughly six or seven years after Batman: Arkham Origins, while it is only set a couple of years before our next entry: Batman: Arkham Asylum.
Batman: Arkham Asylum
Batman: Arkham Asylum is the first game that was released in the Batman: Arkham franchise, released in 2009 on consoles and PC and developed by Rocksteady Studios. The game follows Batman as he journeys through Arkham Asylum, taking down its inmates who are running loose. The main antagonist of the game is The Joker, but there are many other villains in the asylum as well.
The game has the Joker take control of the Titan compound, which turns him into a hulking beast that you fight at the end of the game in one of the weirdest boss fights of all time. Batman: Arkham Asylum was written by Paul Dini, one of the writers of Batman: The Animated Series, and it is widely regarded as one of the best Batman games, if not one of the best superhero games of all time, responsible for launching a franchise.
Batman: Arkham City Lockdown
Our last mobile game, Batman: Arkham City Lockdown was released on iOS in 2011 and Android in 2013. It was a fighting game developed by NetherRealm Studios, who also developed the Injustice games, and it seems to have been delisted just like Batman: Arkham Underworld. It took place a few weeks before Batman: Arkham City as Batman traveled through Gotham City beating up escaped criminals from Arkham Asylum. They should really shut that place down.
Batman: Arkham City
Batman: Arkham City might be the best game in the franchise and it is the sequel to 2009’s Batman: Arkham Asylum. The game was released in 2011 and it was also developed by Rocksteady Studios. Instead of Batman gliding around Arkham Asylum, Batman: Arkham City took place in a sectioned version of Gotham City run by Doctor Hugo Strange dubbed Arkham City. Catwoman also has a smaller campaign that runs alongside Batman’s story. It is also worth noting that remasters of both Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City were released in 2016 in a bundle called Batman: Return to Arkham.
The story of the game is what sets it apart from the rest of the games in the franchise, as it manages to weave in a number of Batman characters to tell a plot without many holes and plenty of twists. Ra’s al Ghul and the Joker are revealed to be the main antagonists, with Clayface disguised as the Joker for the majority of the game. Batman: Arkham City ends with the death of the Joker due to the toxicity of the Titan formula he injected himself with in the first game.
Batman: Arkham VR
The only virtual reality game that is set in the Batman: Arkham series so far is Batman: Arkham VR. The game was developed by Rocksteady Studios and it was released for PlayStation VR in 2016, coming to other VR units the following year. The game is fairly simple and puts aside the combat of the series to focus on the mystery-solving nature of Batman. But it does let you put on the gloves, and the cowl, all while letting you throw batarangs around.
Even though it was released after Batman: Arkham Knight, it does take place before it in the timeline. We know this because the game focuses on the disappearance and subsequent death of Nightwing, and the kidnapping of Robin. Both of these were revealed to be done by Batman himself as the Joker had taken control of Batman through the batch of Titan-infected Joker blood that he injected into Batman in Batman: Arkham City. It is heavily implied that this is a nightmare though, especially seeing as both Robin and Nightwing are still alive in the next game.
Batman: Arkham Knight
Batman: Arkham Knight is the final game in the main Rocksteady Studios Batman: Arkham trilogy. It was released on consoles and PC in 2015. The game sees Batman go up against the Arkham Knight, who is just the Red Hood (Jason Todd) in another outfit. But it does have Batman dealing with the effects of the Joker’s toxins, meaning Mark Hamill’s version of the character appears throughout the game.
The main villains of the game are the Arkham Knight and Scarecrow, who uses his fear toxin to take over Gotham City. Batman: Arkham Knight takes place in a larger-than-life Gotham City and it features the Batmobile as a quick way to get around and as a tank to deal with vehicular enemies. The end of the game has Bruce Wayne outed to the world as Batman’s secret identity, so he and Alfred walk into Wayne Manor and blow it up, seemingly resulting in their deaths. But because of the next entry in the franchise, it seems unlikely that they died.
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League
The next game to be released in the Batman: Arkham universe will be the last mainline title since Batman Arkham Knight, and it is Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League which is set to be released on May 26, 2023, on consoles and PC. It has also been developed by Rocksteady Studios and it is their first game since 2006 not to feature Batman as the main playable character. However, even though the game takes place in Metropolis, Batman will be in the game featuring the final Batman portrayal of Kevin Conroy in the video game series as he passed away tragically in November 2022.
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League will see the player take control of four members of the Suicide Squad; Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, King Shark, and Deadshot, as they fight the Justice League who have been brainwashed by the DC villain Brainiac. It is unknown just how much of this game will tie into the Batman: Arkham franchise, but it has been confirmed to take place in the Batman: Arkham universe. As it does feature the Suicide Squad it can be assumed that it will take place at least after Batman: Assault on Arkham, although it probably takes place after Batman: Arkham Knight.
It is currently unknown whether or not Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League will lead to a sequel or a trilogy, or if Rocksteady Studios intends on continuing the universe afterward. There is a possibility that they sunset the franchise and begin anew after the death of Kevin Conroy, but they could always continue with a new Batman voice actor if they do decide to continue. There are some entries where Kevin Conroy did not provide the voice of Batman, so perhaps Roger Craig Smith could reprise his role from Batman: Arkham Origins.
Either way, we will update this list whenever a new entry is released, but so far, this was every title in the Batman: Arkham franchise in chronological order.