The Batman: Arkham games sit alongside Insomniac's Spider-Man as the best comic book games ever made. With the Arkham series, Rocksteady Studios blended excellent freeflow combat, top-tier voice performances, and an inspired rendition of Gotham City to create an unforgettable collection of action-adventure superhero games.
While Gotham Knights isn't part of the "Arkhamverse," its recent release inspired us to create this chronology of the Batman: Arkham games for those interested in playing (or replaying) the best Batman games around.
- How to play in chronological order
- How to play by release order
How Many Batman Arkham Games Are There?
In total there are eight games in the Batman Arkhamverse. That tally will climb to nine when Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is released in 2024. However, only six of the eight Arkhamverse games are currently playable —two mobile games have been shut down/removed from mobile storefronts.
Batman Arkham Games in Chronological Order
Below we’ve outlined two ways to approach the Batman: Arkham games: chronologically by release date or chronologically by narrative. The choice is yours, and both possible paths are outlined below, beginning with the narrative chronology.
With series newcomers in mind, these brief plot synopses contain only mild spoilers such as broad plot points and character introductions.
1. Batman: Arkham Origins
The first Arkham game chronologically is 2013’s Batman: Arkham Origins. Set on Christmas Eve in a snow-covered Gotham, Origins stars a less-experienced Batman who finds himself with a $50 million bounty on his head, drawing the attention of Gotham’s finest criminals: the Joker, Black Mask, The Penguin, Mad Hatter, Bane, Deadshot, Firefly, and Killer Croc, among others. The ending hints at the reopening of Arkham Asylum, setting up the future events of Rocksteady’s game of the same name.
Notably, Origins stars Roger Craig Smith as Batman and Troy Baker as the Joker, subbing in for Arkham’s regular superstar duo of Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill. While the Arkhamverse was established by Rocksteady Studios, Origins was developed by WB Montreal, the studio behind Gotham Knights.
A mobile version of Arkham Origins was also released. While it plays much differently than its console counterpart — it’s a brawler developed by Mortal Kombat studio NeatherRealm —it hits the same narrative beats.
2. Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate
Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate is set three months after the events of Origins. Unlike the third-person adventures that comprise the mainline Arkham games, Blackgate is a 2.5D side-scroller developed by Armature Studio (Resident Evil 4 VR).
In Blackgate, Batman investigates the titular prison, where an explosion has freed its inmates. As the Caped Crusader, you explore three main areas, each controlled by one of Gotham’s most notorious villains: Penguin, Black Mask, and the Joker. Other notable characters include Catwoman, Amanda Waller, and Rick Flag.
Roger Craig Smith and Troy Baker take another turn as Batman and the Joker.
3. Batman: Arkham Underworld
Batman: Arkham Underworld is a mobile game that positions you as Gotham’s newest criminal mastermind, allowing you to command Batman villains such as Harley Quinn, The Riddler, Scarecrow, Mr. Freeze, and Killer Croc. It’s essentially a free-to-play Gotham gang recruiter, in which you build a criminal hideout, recruit henchmen, and do battle. Kevin Conroy reprises his role as Batman following the mainline Arkham trilogy.
Arkham Underworld is set sometime before Arkham Asylum, though it possesses little importance to the overall Arkhamverse narrative — which is fortunate considering it’s no longer available to download (Arkham Underworld was shut down in 2017, only a year after it was released).
Bonus: Batman: Assault on Arkham
Batman: Assault on Arkham is an animated film set in the Arkhamverse, roughly two years before Arkham Asylum. Those only interested in the games can skip the film without much effect, but those interested in the full Arkhamverse narrative should check it out — it’s available to stream on HBO Max and happens to be a pretty entertaining movie; our review awarded it an 8.8, calling it “a great heist film.”
Like Arkham Underworld, Arkham Assault shines the spotlight on Batman’s adversaries, following Harley, Joker, Riddler, and others as they infiltrate Arkham Asylum, ultimately freeing many of its most notorious inmates.
Kevin Conroy once again voices Batman, while Troy Baker voices the Joker. Notably, Giancarlo Esposito (The Mandalorian, Breaking Bad) lends his voice to Black Spider.
4. Batman: Arkham Asylum
Rocksteady’s first Batman game, Batman: Arkham Asylum introduces us to the Arkhamverse’s verson of the Caped Crusader (voiced by Kevin Conroy). It’s the fourth game in the chronology but the first to be released. Mark Hamill’s Joker serves as the primary villain, though the cast of characters also includes Harley Quinn, Commissioner Gordon, Scarecrow, Bane, Poison Ivy, and others.
With the help of Harley Quinn, the Joker infiltrates the asylum to obtain a super-strength serum called Titan. The Clown Prince had bombs planted around Gotham City, threatening to detonate them should anyone come to Batman’s aid, leaving our hero to deal with the asylum’s escapees alone.
Arkham Asylum’s story was written by Paul Dino, whose long history with the franchise includes many writing credits on Batman: The Animated Series and Batman Beyond.
5. Batman: Arkham City Lockdown
Released shortly after Arkham City, Batman: Arkham City Lockdown is a fighter set between the events of Asylum and City. It’s the first Arkham mobile game to be released and the second developed by NeatherRealm (the other being the aforementioned Arkham Origins mobile game).
Narratively, Arkham City Lockdown features tons of Arkham staples, including the Joker (voiced by Mark Hamill), Harley Quinn, Two-Face, Penguin, Solomon Grundy, Poison Ivy, Deathstroke, Robin, and of course, Batman (voiced by Kevin Conroy). The story centers around yet another prison escape that Batman must clean up.
We’ll spoil this one since the plot is relatively inconsequential and Arkham City Lockdown is no longer available to purchase: Batman prevails and returns the escaped prisoners to the asylum.
6. Batman: Arkham City
Rocksteady’s second game in the series, Batman: Arkham City takes place a year and a half after Arkham Asylum. Following the events of Asylum, Mayor Quincy Sharp opens Arkham City, a section of Gotham City walled off to house criminals. Arkham City sees Batman navigating the lawless area while working to thwart the nefarious, overarching plot seemingly orchestrated by Hugo Strange.
Batman must also deal with a separate threat from the Joker, who’s dealing with the ill effects of the Titan serum he took during the events of Asylum.
Arkham City’s story, like Asylum’s before it, was written by Paul Dini.
7. Batman: Arkham VR
The series’ lone virtual reality game, Batman: Arkham VR is set shortly before the events of Arkham Knight. It’s a narrative-driven game focused on detective work as Batman tries to solve the murder of a close ally.
Given its nature as a story-heavy game, we can’t say much here, but if you have access to a VR headset, Arkham VR is certainly worth playing, especially considering its brief ~90-minute runtime.
The supporting cast includes Robin, Nightwing, Alfred Pennyworth, Penguin, Killer Croc, and Joker. Arkham VR stars Conroy and Hamill’s Batman and the Joker.
8. Batman: Arkham Knight
The conclusion to Rocksteady's trilogy of mainline Batman games, Batman: Arkham Knight raises the stakes with the series' biggest version of Gotham, its most varied cast of characters, and the introduction of a fully playable Batmobile.
Arkham Knight is set on the night of Halloween, presumably less than a year after the events of City. Scarecrow (voiced by Lord of the Rings' John Noble) is threatening Gotham City with his fear toxin, while a new threat surfaces in the mysterious Arkham Knight. Batman, all the while, is dealing with internal torment as an effect of the previous games.
All three threads are wrapped up by the end of Arkham Knight's ~16-hour campaign, though you'll have to earn 100% completion to see the game's true ending.
In addition to Scarecrow and Arkham Knight, the supporting cast includes Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, Penguin, Riddler, Two-Face, Robin, Commissioner Gordon, and Barbara Gordon.
9. Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League
Rocksteady’s next game is moving away from Batman and Gotham, yet it's officially “a continuation of the Arkhamverse,” according to the developer. Rocksteady promises “a lot of the threads and storylines [from past Arkham games] will come to fruition.” While it’s unclear how much time has passed since Arkham Knight, those comments clearly indicate it will be set further in the future than any previous Akrhamverse game.
Kill the Justice League shifts the focus to Task Force X, as players explore Metropolis as either Harley Quinn, Deadshot, Captain Boomerang, or King Shark. It’s due out on February 2, 2024.
How to Play the Batman Arkham Games By Release Date
- Batman: Arkham Asylum (2009)
- Batman: Arkham City (2011)
- Batman: Arkham City Lockdown (2011)
- Batman: Arkham Origins (2013)
- Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate (2013)
- Batman: Assault on Arkham (2014)*
- Batman: Arkham Knight (2015)
- Batman: Arkham Underworld (2016)
- Batman: Arkham VR (2016)
- Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League (2024)
What's Next in the Arkham Series?
Though originally set to release on May 26, 2023, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League has been delayed to February 2, 2024, with the devs explaining in a statement that they've, "made the tough but necessary decision to take the time needed to work on getting the game to be the best quality experience for players." So far, there has been no announcements of new Batman games in the works after this one.
Jordan covers games, shows, and movies as a freelance writer for IGN.
1) You can play Arkham Knight without playing the previous 3 (yes 3) games. Even though Rocksteady didn't make Arkham Origins there actually are references to that game in Arkham Knight, though only a couple minor ones. I believe the game fills you in on the backstory itself as you go.How do you play Batman Arkham in chronological order? ›
- Arkham Origins.
- Arkham Asylum.
- Arkham City.
- Arkham VR.
- Arkham Knight.
1) You can play Arkham Knight without playing the previous 3 (yes 3) games. Even though Rocksteady didn't make Arkham Origins there actually are references to that game in Arkham Knight, though only a couple minor ones. I believe the game fills you in on the backstory itself as you go.Is it OK to skip Arkham Origins? ›
Origins isn't technically part of the trilogy (wasn't made by rocksteady), and as a prequel, it isn't necessary to play at all. If you've played city and asylum, you can play knight first and origins second. The two are pretty unrelated, so it doesn't matter which you play first.Should I play Arkham Asylum before Arkham City? ›
Both the games are superbly directed with great graphics, gameplay and story. You should play arkham asylum before arkham city as it is the first part of batman Arkham series. Also, the combats are not as tough as arkham city.Which Batman Arkham should I start with? ›
Batman: Arkham Asylum
This is the game that effectively started the whole shebang. Based entirely within the walls of Arkham Asylum, after most prisoners have escaped their cells and taken over, the game was (and still is) an ideal antidote to all the brightly-coloured superhero adventures that came before.
Arkham Asylum came out in 2009, and Arkham City came out in 2011. City is a sequel to Asylum. Hence, that is the order that you should play them in: Asylum, then City.Can I directly play Arkham Knight first? ›
If you play Knight first, you will not follow the story properly and it may not make much sense. You can skip Origins and do just fine, but Origins has some pretty good boss fights. Originally posted by mhenry_101381: Story wise, it's Arkham Origins, Arkham Asylum, Arkham City, Arkham Knight.Can you play as Joker in return to Arkham? ›
Yes! And if you bought the Xbox version, you can play as the Joker during the challenge mode.Can you play as Catwoman after beating Arkham City? ›
The four Catwoman missions are included in the main game. You will encounter these as you play through the story. Once you have completed the main story, you will be able to switch between playing as Catwoman and playing as Batman as you explore Arkham City.
Batman: Arkham Origins is a victory lap over well-trodden ground. It's bigger than Arkham City. It has slightly improved the fight mechanics that made City the perfect middle ground between strategy-fighting and button-mashing. But Arkham Origins has none of City's crazy ambition.Why is Gotham empty in Arkham Origins? ›
In Asylum, the game took place in the Asylum. In City, it was a giant open-air prison. In Knight, they evacuated the city, so that's why it was empty.Can you play as Robin in Arkham Origins? ›
In City and Knight, the playable Robin is Tim Drake, but in Arkham Origins Multiplayer, players use Dick Grayson.Should I play Arkham City or Knight? ›
Batman: Arkham Knight wins this versus feature with its prowess in gameplay and stunning visuals along with a more accessible and enjoyable open world. It is definitely the best Batman gaming experience in the Arkham series, despite a few negative points for its story and boss fights.Should I play asylum or City first? ›
You should play arkham asylum before arkham city as it is the first part of batman Arkham series. Also, the combats are not as tough as arkham city.Why is Arkham City the best Arkham game? ›
There's a much larger space to explore, more puzzles to solve, enemies to fight, and famous villains to track down. It's everything we could possibly have wanted from the follow-up to Arkham Asylum. It also happens to be one of the best Batman stories ever told.What is the first Arkham game chronological order? ›
Are the arkham games a trilogy? Beginning with Batman: Arkham Asylum in 2009, the Batman: Arkham Series is a video game series. Rocksteady Studios, which created Batman: Arkham Asylum in 2009, Batman: Arkham City in 2011, and Batman: Arkham Knight in 2015, is one of two developers for the series.What do I need to know before playing Batman Arkham City? ›
- 1) Don't worry about having played the first game, but do read a plot summary. ...
- 2) Get that Catwoman DLC, and get it before you start. ...
- 3) Don't play on easy. ...
- 4) Get into fistfights. ...
- 5) Do the AR missions as soon as you can get them.
In terms of what order you should play them, that one is up to you to decide. I personally played them in the order they were released. First starting with Batman Arkham Asylum, Then moving on to Arkham City, then Arkham Origins, and finally Arkham Knight. I believe this is how they were meant to be played.What is the difference between Arkham City and return to Arkham city? ›
Batman: Return to Arkham includes Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City, both with fully remastered and updated visuals. Batman: Return to Arkham includes the comprehensive versions of both games and includes all previously released additional DLC content.
Batman: Arkham Asylum is the first of the Batman: Arkham games to have been released, making its debut in 2009.Why is Arkham Origins not part of the trilogy? ›
Well, it's still a trilogy because Origins is a prequel that happens 8 years before any of the other games, while Asylum, City, and Knight happen one after the other and build on each one. Origins is not actually cannon. It goes Batman Arkham Asylum, then City, then Knight.What earth is the Arkhamverse? ›
Arkham Asylum (Earth-203)Is the arkham series over? ›
The Batman: Arkham Series is a video game series, starting with Batman: Arkham Asylum in 2009. The series had two developers, Rocksteady Studios who developed Batman: Arkham Asylum in 2009, Batman: Arkham City in 2011, Batman: Arkham Knight in 2015 and Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League set to be released in 2023.Is return to Arkham better? ›
Verdict. If you've never played Arkham Asylum and Arkham City and own a current-gen console, Return to Arkham is a fine place to start. But for those who already own both on PC or last gen, there's no real reason to pick this up beyond a rather uninspiring and technically disappointing graphical upgrade.Can I play as Robin in Batman Arkham Knight? ›
In Arkham Knight, the characters available depend on the DLC you've got. Everyone can play as Robin, Catwoman, Nightwing and Azrael, whether you've reached the point in the story where they've turned up or not. You can only use Red Hood, Harley Quinn and Batgirl if you own their respective DLC packs.Do you get to play as Harley Quinn in Arkham Knight? ›
The Harley Quinn Story Pack is an Arkham Episode and DLC for Batman: Arkham Knight. It follows Harley Quinn as she breaks into the Blüdhaven Police Department to rescue Poison Ivy. The DLC story lets you play as Harley Quinn in the story pack and in AR challenges and comes with the Classic Harley Quinn Skin.Does Arkham Knight have multiple endings? ›
Batman Arkham Knight contains two different Endings following the conclusion of the Main Story in the game.Why does Catwoman kiss thugs? ›
Namely, Catwoman's fighting kit comes with sexual moves that serve almost no purpose to combat. The most egregious example of this is a counterattack in which she kisses her opponents to subdue them.What happens if you leave Arkham as Catwoman? ›
SPOILER: At the end of the third Catwoman mission, she is given the option to rescue Batman or leave Arkham City. If she chooses to leave the city, the credits will roll and the voice of Oracle can be heard pleading for help because everybody else has been killed.
1-Asylum is a fairly linear game, with just one side-quest. It is the smallest. Just a few missions in challenge mode (even if the 2 expansions, it is still short), and it allows you to play only as Batman. In some editions, you can also play a few short challenges as Joker.Why is Joker different in Arkham Origins? ›
For the third game, Arkham Origins, there was a slight change to the Joker, however. The villain had previously been played by the iconic Mark Hamill, who'd lent his voice to the character for years. In Arkham Origins, Hamill was replaced by Troy Baker, who fans might best know as the voice of Joel in The Last of Us.Did Arkham Origins sell well? ›
Arkham Knight and Arkham Origins - ~7+ Million Copies Sold.Why does Joker keep appearing in Arkham Knight? ›
In "Arkham Knight," the Joker is actually dead. The evil clown you encounter is in fact a hallucination, a consequence carrying over from the conclusion of "Arkham City," where Joker infected Batman with a toxic sample of his own blood.Why did Bane hate Batman in Arkham Origins? ›
Bane's true objective was to kill Batman to achieve his own sense of peace, and he believed that the Dark Knight was a dark figment of his imagination as he rotted away in his Santa Prisca prison cell, and then to conquer Gotham City and forge his own criminal empire.Is the Joker Dead in Arkham Origins? ›
Yes Joker dies in Arkham city, if you're wondering how he “reappears” in arkham knight, he is nothing but a hallucination brought about by having Joker's blood transplanted into Batman in arkham city and scarecrows fear gas bringing life to the Joker that hid inside Batman's mind.Is Scarecrow in Arkham Origins? ›
It is also worth noting that he does not appear in Arkham Origins either, likely because the developers did not want to interfere with his role in Arkham Knight.Is Jason in Arkham Origins? ›
Jason Todd does not appear in any of the previous games. In terms of a timeline the game series is in this order: Origins, Asylum, City, and Knight. There's something like 5 years between Origins and Asylum, 1 year between Asylum and City, and 1 year between City and Knight.Which Batman game can you play as Catwoman? ›
Batman™: Arkham Knight Catwoman's Revenge.What order should I play Batman Telltale games in? ›
- Episode 1: Realm of Shadows.
- Episode 2: Children of Arkham.
- Episode 3: New World Order.
- Episode 4: Guardian of Gotham.
- Episode 5: City of Light.
Additionally, remember that everything is reversed thanks to the mirror. The code you want is 0539. With that taken care of, make your way through the newly-unlocked doors.Can I play Batman Arkham Knight without playing the first one? ›
Yeah pretty much. I would say this one in particular benefits from actual comic book knowledge than past game experiences. Also if you're skipping the other two then everything will seem a lot more fresh and exciting. All three are great games despite what you hear from SOME around these parts.Do the Arkham games go in order? ›
The saga created by Rocksteady includes the main trilogy and other additional titles: we order them chronologically and in order of release. With the release of The Batman in theaters, it's tempting to become the Dark Knight in video games as well.Are the Batman Arkham games connected? ›
Yes, the entire story of each game takes place over the course of one very long night. Arkham Origins took place on Christmas Eve night/Christmas morning. Arkham Knight took place on Halloween night/November 1st's morning.Is Suicide Squad a sequel to Arkham Knight? ›
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is a sequel to Arkham Knight, set months after the supposed death of Bruce Wayne – so don't expect to see Batman in Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League. This isn't the first time the Batman: Arkham games have shown the Suicide Squad.Is Batman Return to Arkham the same as Arkham Asylum? ›
Batman: Return To Arkham is a remastered version of the first two Arkham games—Arkham Asylum and Arkham City. The bundle also includes all of the DLC for those games. The two-game bundle is coming to both PS4 and Xbox One on October 18th, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announced today.Is The Joker in Arkham Knight? ›
In "Arkham Knight," the Joker is actually dead. The evil clown you encounter is in fact a hallucination, a consequence carrying over from the conclusion of "Arkham City," where Joker infected Batman with a toxic sample of his own blood.What is the Jokers Arkham number? ›
The Joker's cell number, "0801," is a code in numerology that spells out "HA."What is the Joker's keypad code in Arkham Knight? ›
Go into the room and the door will be locked with a mechanical keypad. Look over the surveillance footage and look for when Charisma inputs the code in the mirror. The numbers are flipped in the mirror so the code is 0539. You'll be forced to stand on a rotating platform while Joker sings.What's the first Batman in Arkham games? ›
The Batman: Arkham Series is a video game series, starting with Batman: Arkham Asylum in 2009. The series had two developers, Rocksteady Studios who developed Batman: Arkham Asylum in 2009, Batman: Arkham City in 2011, Batman: Arkham Knight in 2015 and Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League set to be released in 2023.
Arkham Knight should be played prior to Gotham Knights because of its story, as well. Batman perishes (or at least seems to) at the end of Arkham Knight, which mirrors the rising action of Gotham Knights' plot.Can you play Arkham Knight after main story? ›
These endings can be accessed only once (though it is possible to keep playing after witnessing one or both endings) and require you to complete a certain amount of the games Side Quests - known as Gotham's Most Wanted except for the missions from the Infamy DLC.Can you skip Batman Arkham Asylum? ›
You can acquire Arkham Origins and "skip" both Asylum and City, but imo skipping the Asylum in order to play City is gonna make it a bit harder for you to catch up with the story, gameplay and several other things.