The Best Animated Batmen, Ranked

Being Batman is a dream for many little boys and some grown ones have been lucky enough to be him in productions.

The general public knows Val Kilmer’s, Christian Bale’s or Ben Affleck’s pretty well, but many might not be aware of the extensive history of Bruce Wayne in animated formats. There, he has been brought to life by Jensen Ackles, Peter Weller and even Jimmy Kimmel. This variety can leave the question of who has done the best job with the franchise in a medium up for debate, but, as always, we got this covered.

Below is our list of the best actors to have portrayed Batman in animation to date. For those with multiple appearances, we cited their most well-known works in order to simplify their listings.

Warning, there may be spoilers below. Please proceed with caution.

10. Jimmy Kimmel (Teen Titans GO! To the Movies)

Casting a comedian to play an ostensibly serious character does not always work. Thankfully the creatives involved in this 91 percent Rotten Tomatoes approved production knew this and cast the renowned comedian to play Batman. He does a good job mocking some of the more absurd aspects of the character’s prior movie appearances and the scene around the name Martha is hilarious.

9. Peter Weller (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns)

We all know this proud son of Wisconsin as the robotic policeman (Robocop)in the image above, but he also was chosen for this 100 percent critic-approved production split into two parts. Had a more energetic voice been cast, you would have had a Chris Pratt as Mario-type situation, but thankfully Weller was allowed to sound like a tired and weary person when recording. It makes you believe he is a broken Bruce and makes it better when he rediscovers his passion later on.

8. Will Arnett (The Lego Batman Movie)

The fact is, some of the best performances of the Dark Knight have been more silly than serious and Will Arnett is one of the best examples of this. His movie after appearing in an earlier entry in this presently on ice franchise has a 90 percent positive RT rating and his singing in the opening scene suggests he really should do a musical sometime.

7. Bruce Greenwood (Batman: Under the Red Hood)

This man is an acclaimed actor who looks like he could play Batman in a live-action production and did so in animated format in a work that is widely positively rated. A particular highlight of his time under the cowl is a final scene in which his Batman explains why he will never cross the line and kill some of his worst and most destructive nemeses.

6. Will Friedle (Batman Beyond)

Batman Beyond

It is not easy casting or creating a new character to replace an iconic one, but Friedle is one of the best to pull off such a switch. His version of a Batman in the future who came from very different circumstances than Bruce Wayne, still shines to this day in a 91 percent RT positive movie. This particular scene embodies everything great about this character and his motivations for why he puts on the suit. This is some of the best Batman acting ever and those who end up taking on the role can really learn from this.

5. Ben McKenzie (Batman: Year One)

This actor also appeared on Gotham, which got as flamboyant as some of the silliest comics published in the character’s near-century of existence. However, the animated Batman he played was much better-received than the latter TV show, stopping in at 88 percent positive on RT. His voice allows one to believe in the rage and cunning of a young Batman and this scene where he confronts the mob is amazing.

4. Adam West (Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders)

Placing this overwhelmingly positively received production on our list is a bit of cheating due to West having begun the role in live-action, but much like the improv which West was adept at, the restrictions are made up and nothing matters! It is really cool to see West play again with Burt Ward and the scene where they crack a riddle just oozes charm.

3. Jensen Ackles (Batman: The Long Halloween)

We all know and love this man and he briefly appeared in the entry mentioned in seventh on our list. However in this beloved production he finally gets to be the main Wayne. Not many clips from the film are available online, but we have seen it, loved it and the trailer highlights this take’s breezy cool and subtle, yet sharp menace. More please!

2. Michael Ironside (The New Batman Adventures)

File this under the category of great one-off performances which could have been something far more lengthy and interesting if the stars had aligned. Ironside played the role in an episode to the show which looked at the legacy of the character up to this point in time and does a great job of seeming old, but still being badass like we know Bruce is.

1. Kevin Conroy (Batman: The Animated Series)

Kevin Conroy Batman

Is there anyone, and we mean anyone at all who would be on top aside from this man? His performance is legendary, and it even brought hope to those cleaning up the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York. He is 66 and we hope he lives to be 266. The character would not be the same without him.

This concludes our list of the best actors to play Batman in animation to date. An upcoming show featuring the character will be called Batman: Caped Crusader and are there any actors you think should have made this list?

If so, let us know in the comments down below.