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Top 10 Best DC Games

Deciding the 10 best DC video games requires superhuman stamina, because there a lot to choose from! DC Comics characters have been showing up in games since the very beginning, starting with Superman for the Atari 2600 way back in 1979 — just a year after Christopher Reeve’s iconic movie performance hit theaters. Since then, the number of DC games has flown up, up, and away, with over a 100 games to date. And half of them are Batman games!

Just kidding. Only 38 are.

DC’s world of superpowered heroes and larger-than-life villains has proven to be good for everything from side-scrolling beat-’em-ups to high-flying action adventures. They’ve made for games that range from family-friendly fun to disturbing crime thrillers, from cheap movie tie-ins to genre-defining masterpieces, and everything in-between.

To determine our ranking, IGN’s resident DC fans assembled to debate and shout about our favorites, not unlike all the DC villains used to do in the old Super Friends cartoon. The games had to be fun to play, obviously, but they also had to tell an entertaining story, be authentic to the DC characters we know and love, and capture the feeling of being a superhero.

Experience this article how you want. You can watch our video ranking in the player above, flip through the slideshow below, or keep scrolling to read it as an article.

After checking out the list, be sure to vote in our poll at the end of this page to tell us your favorite DC game.

10. LEGO DC Super Villains​

Platform: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One, macOS

The first brick to build the foundation of this list is LEGO DC Super Villains. Yes, there are three other DC LEGO games, and we know LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes is a fan-favorite (we like it, too!), but the baddies steal the win on this one. LEGO DC Super Villains incorporates all the great ideas that have made the LEGO games so popular, blending easily accessible gameplay with a silly sense of humor that has fun with the licensed property at hand. What sets DC Super Villains above the rest is the voice cast. While LEGO Batman 2 was the first to feature fully voice-acted dialogue, the third entry assembled a Mount Rushmore of familiar talent: Kevin Conroy as Batman, Mark Hamill as the Joker, and Tara Strong as Harley Quinn. Not only that, Nathan Drake’s Nolan North is the villainous Ultraman. Getting to experience the best of the best doing their thing while enjoying puzzles and collecting is sublime.

As the title suggests, the story mixes things up by focusing on the villains. Traditional DC baddies are forced to defend the world from a group of evil Justice League knockoffs, the Justice Syndicate, which leads to all manner of enjoyable plot twists and humorous interactions. A highlight of the game is customizing your own villainous character, all the way from their look down to their abilities, and then watching the creation you built become a part of the story. And with the game featuring not only iconic DC locations Gotham City and Metropolis but others such as Oa, Themiscyra, and Gorilla City, LEGO DC Super Villains is a true representation of the entire DC Universe, in LEGO form.

9. Batman: The Video Game​

Platform: Nintendo Entertainment System

Batman: The Video Game was released in 1989 for the NES and loosely adapts the story of the first Tim Burton Batman movie. That might have been easy to figure out based on the title, but that’s about the only easy thing about it, as this side-scrolling run-and-gunner (er… Bataranger) is infamous for its difficulty. The game features a selection of niche comic book villains that lead up to the Joker, including Killer Moth, Electrocutioner, and Firebug. But the game was so hard that most of the game’s target demographic probably never got far enough to see all of them. And anyone who did can likely attest that a dance with the devil in the pale moonlight was child’s play compared to the brutally difficult final boss fight against the Joker.

When this game came up during our meeting, the IGN staff who recalled playing the game all had thousand-yard stares like soldiers remembering the war, or wealthy billionaire orphans reflecting on their parents’ death. If this game is so tough, then why do we consider it one of the best from DC’s catalog? Despite the difficulty, it channeled the gothic vibe of the movie with a moody and bangin’ soundtrack, looked great with a bizarre yet attractive color palette (hello purple Batman), and had lots of wall-jumping ninja action. It really took you to Gotham, as unforgiving and cruel as that place may be.

8. DC Universe Online​

Platform: Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S

DC Universe Online is a uniquely ambitious entry on this list, undertaking the super-heroic task of turning the DCU into a MMORPG. Launched in 2011 with the most badass superhero cinematic ever made, the game has been ongoing for over a decade and has amassed a dizzying amount of content, from character customization options and hideouts to stories and missions featuring iconic DC characters that take you to dozens of different DC locations. Simply put, DCUO is the most expansive and comprehensive version of the DCU ever created in a video game, and that’s something no other title on this list even comes close to matching.

That said, DCUO is not without its flaws. The action gameplay is fast and loose — perhaps too fast and loose for some people’s taste — and like other older MMORPGs its visuals haven’t exactly kept up with the times. Still, it’s the only game where you can team up with Wonder Woman, zip across an open-world at superspeed as you run up walls and across water, and team up with your friends to take on raid bosses such as Brainiac and Darkseid. For all that, we can’t help but rank it among the best options gamers have when it comes to enjoying the DCU to the fullest extent.

7. Batman: Arkham Origins​

Platform: PlayStation 3, Wii U, Windows, Xbox 360

Batman: Arkham Origins may be the black sheep of the Arkham games, but at the end of the day, it’s still a decent Batman game. Instead of Rocksteady, this game was made by WB Games Montréal, which gave the game a noticeably different feel in gameplay and polish. The story is a thin excuse for Batman to battle against numerous villains and goons, but when you’re doing it using Arkham’s signature combat system, it’s hard not to have a good time.

In this prequel, the plot sees Batman as the target of eight deadly assassins (who just happen to be villains from his rogues gallery), which explores some core Batman themes, namely his code against taking a life and his motivation for fighting crime solo. It also shows how he first made two of the most significant relationships in his life, his partnership with Jim Gordon and his rivalry with the Joker. The story evoked the classic comic Batman: Year One, which is certainly a praiseworthy comparison.

Speaking of the Joker, even though this game uses different voice actors than the mainline Arkham games, Troy Baker delivers a standout performance as the Clown Prince of Crime. Other highlights of the game include a new spin on using Batman’s detective skills to solve crimes, some serious upgrades to his combat arsenal, and an array of unique and entertaining boss fights against master murderers and a crocodile man.

6. Batman: The Enemy Within​

Platform: macOS, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One, iOS, Android, Nintendo Switch

Shifting gears from action to adventure, Telltale Games’ first Batman game was no slouch in terms of spinning a trademark, Telltale-style interactive adventure. But its follow up, The Enemy Within, is better in every way. The premise of Batman becoming personally invested in the Joker’s origin is more intriguing, the action feels livelier and looks more dynamic, and the choices you’re faced with are far juicer, leading to permanent physical and emotional damage being done to the main cast of characters. By now, everyone knows the gist of how Batman’s stories go and how his relationships form, but this game throws convention out the window and lets us make extreme, irreversible changes that have a big impact on the direction of the story. Essentially, this game lets you customize your own Batman story, and that’s pretty dang cool.

The Enemy Within makes good use of its Mature Rating, with the Riddler in particular going full Saw mode, years before Paul Dano’s did in The Batman. But there’s plenty of violence to be had still as Bruce Wayne goes undercover and attempts to prove himself to a team of supervillains to join their gang. It’s not a typical scenario we often see the character in, and it’s full of tension created by the fear of getting caught and for how it might forever change Bruce and those he cares for. The artistic design deserves praise, as well, with the Batsuit looking sharper and cooler than ever, and Joker’s transformation becoming more unsettling as the story reaches its inevitable end.

A quick aside before we continue. It goes without saying that Telltale’s Wolf Among Us is also an excellent game, and some may argue it should be on the list because DC published the Fables comic it’s based on, but we decided to leave it off because, technically, it was published under their Vertigo label and doesn’t exist within the DC Universe or involve superheroes like the other entries on this list. But we still wanted to give it a shout out for being awesome! Okay, moving on.

5. Injustice: Gods Among Us​

Platform: PlayStation 3, Wii U, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Windows, iOS, Android, Arcade

Injustice: Gods Among Us takes all of the mechanical prowess of the Mortal Kombat games and adds in the bombastic powers and personalities of DC’s heroes and villains. The result is one heck of a fighting game. Developer NetherRealm Studios first tried their hand at bringing DC characters into the fighting ring with Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, which was flawed but filled with potential. Injustice fully realizes that potential, and then some! It’s easy to see the game was made with nothing but love for the DC universe, as the characters are all spot-on, from looks to voices to movesets, and they even acknowledge their opponent with custom dialogue referring to their comics history. We’ve all seen how much superhero battles affect the environment around them in the movies, and Injustice plays into that by letting you crush your foe with a car or hit them so hard they’re sent to another stage, cartoonishly knocking into hazards along the way.

The best part of Injustice: Gods Among Us, however, is the story, which shows what happens when Superman falls to the dark side. An original idea? Not exactly. But it’s the execution that matters, and Injustice does an incredible job showing DC’s heroes and villains picking sides in a superhuman war while playing against long held relationships to drive up the emotional stakes. The tie-in prequel comic book series was equally excellent, something that’s not always the case, and it fleshed out the story that laid the groundwork for the game’s events. Injustice does have a few issues, like some bulky costumes and attacks that are too over-the-top even for DC, but it’s hard to be too bothered by them with such a captivating story and extra crunchy fighting system.

4. Injustice 2​

Platform: Android, iOS, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows

While the first Injustice game was impressive, Injustice 2 elevated the gameplay, polish, and extra features tenfold. Not only did DC’s characters look better than ever thanks to slick new designs, the new customization mode lets you adjust those designs to look however you want. The cast of playable fighters expanded to include fan-favorites such as Blue Beetle and Supergirl, heavy hitters like Darkseid and Atrocitus, and dream-come-true guest characters, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and freakin’ Hellboy. They are all brought to life with authenticity and flair, and the fighting mechanics are buttery smooth and brutally impactful, a marked improvement on the first game’s already solid foundation.

The story of Injustice 2 is enjoyable, but admittedly doesn’t capture the same magic as the first. Hey, it’s never easy to capture lightning in a bottle twice, even with Raiden on the roster. That said, the plot does have its moments, as Batman is faced with new threats in the form of Brainiac and The Society and is forced to consider turning to evil Superman for help. It’s an insidiously delicious premise that makes for some truly outstanding character moments.

The Injustice games are both great, which is why they deliver a one-two punch on this list, but, even though the story isn’t quite as good as the first one, we gave Injustice 2 the edge for its improved and endlessly fun fighting mechanics. Besides, the sequel has Dex-Starr the murderous space cat and we have no choice but to reward that.

Honorable Mentions​

Now, we all know the top three are the Batman Akrham games, but before we get to that, let’s highlight some honorable mentions! These DC games aren’t top tier for one reason or another, but still deserve a shoutout.

  • Batman: Arkham VR literally lets you suit up as the Dark Knight in VR and is totally awesome, but can be beaten in about 10 minutes.
  • Infinite Crisis was the MOBA that only lasted six months but made a lasting impression with some truly wild variants from the DC multiverse. You just haven’t lived until you’ve seen Atomic Wonder Woman carving up the competition with her Chainsaw of Truth - an underrated gem in my humble opinion.
  • Speaking of short-lived, MultiVersus looked promising in early access. Who knew DC characters would make for such good Smash Bros. fighters?
  • 2002’s Superman: Shadow of Apokalips is easily the Man of Steel’s best game for its super use of super powers and capturing the essence of the beloved animated series.
  • Kids have been doodling Batman and Superman in their notebooks for almost a century, so Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure was a clever and seemingly organic combination of that tradition with the hit puzzle game series imaginative mechanics.
  • Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters. Yes, a movie tie-in to an infamously bad movie, but listen, it actually has some pretty sick combat, and is the closest any game has ever come to capturing the feel of being a Green Lantern, and by that I mean fighting with constructs that include a baseball bat, a gatling gun, and the Hal Jordan special, a fighter jet.

3. Batman: Arkham Asylum​

Platform: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

Yep, number three on our list is the one that started it all, Batman: Arkham Asylum, but hear me out! The framework of Batman’s debut in the Arkham series transformed the superhero game genre with something that hadn’t been seen before, and hasn’t been easy to top since. The phrase “it really makes you feel like a superhero” can often sound silly, but nowhere it is more apt than Arkham Asylum. The way its predator stealth sections invoke the feel of Christian Bale’s spin on the Caped Crusader taking out thugs at the docks in Batman Begins—complete with watching panicked henchmen fire wildly into the shadows—is downright uncanny. The decision to keep Rocksteady’s introduction to the series solely in Arkham Asylum was a stroke of genius, mixing metriodvania exploration with action and stealth confined to grimy and claustrophobic spaces. It truly captured the oppressive nature of a prison for the criminally insane. Even more than a decade later, Asylum remains a standout experience as a must play for anyone who’s ever wanted to be the Bat.

2. Batman: Arkham Knight​

Platform: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

We put Arkham Knight above Asylum? Yes, we did. This was not a decision made lightly. At least one IGN staffer left the debate branded with a Bat-symbol. Just to show how closely these games are rated by fans, even the IGN community vote in our last superhero video game poll came down to only a 0.5% difference, out of more than 20,000 votes, in Arkham Knight’s favor.

While Asylum's praise is well deserved for creating the foundations of the Arkham series, Knight builds an extremely impressive experience from those foundations that represent the best aspects of what a superhero game can be. It even manages to twist the cliche of open-world "bloat" by presenting so many side activities as Gotham's Rogues Gallery pressing in from all sides to heighten the feeling of an overwhelmed Dark Knight. It’s debatable whether throwing a Batmobile-tank was the best idea–especially one that can sneak(?) — but it is worth acknowledging how much the Batmobile sections help to add variety to the already excellent combat loop of detective work, predator stealth encounters, and bashing heads.

An additional point in Arkham Knight’s favor is how well it presents a variety of boss fights, in addition to knowing when they aren’t needed. Like Joker injecting himself with Titan, Rocksteady definitely had some growing pains during Asylum, while Knight has Batman facing off against several of Gotham’s Most Wanted in more finely tuned and engaging boss battles. Being able to haul the villains back to lockup yourself and watch the cells fill might just be one of the most satisfying moments in the series.

A lot can be said about the story, like was anyone really surprised by the identity of the Arkham Knight? If you’re a longtime Batman fan, probably not. But as a longtime Batman fan, it also had some insane stuff I’ve never seen before, like the Joker haunting Batman, appearing out of nowhere to psychologically torture him. It was brilliant stuff.

1. Batman: Arkham City​

Platform: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, Wii U, OS X, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

We all knew it would end like this. Batman: Arkham City is hands-down the best DC game ever made. It took the superb, satisfying combat encounters and horror-tinged tone of Asylum and spread it across an entire city. This sequel grew in scope and scale beyond our wildest imagination, yet never lost its intimate focus on the Dark Knight’s war on crime. And boy is there a lot of crime! With Gotham City walled off and a supervillain gang war erupting, the game world comes alive with tension and danger around every corner. But with the extremely fun new ability to glide across the city and seamlessly drop down on goons like a bat out of hell, there’s no place we’d rather be. Between side missions, bonus challenges, and FOUR HUNDRED RIDDLER TROPHIES, there’s always something to keep you engaged, and this all makes the city feel alive and in desperate need of some Caped Crusading.

The story is the best we’ve ever seen in a DC game, as voice actors Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill deliver arguably their best performances and push these longtime archrivals well past their breaking points. What starts as an admittedly over-the-top master plan by Dr. Hugo Strange of turning Gotham’s slums into a city-sized Arkham Asylum, becomes a series of trials for a dying Batman that challenges him to see the humanity in his worst enemies and brings his long and bloody feud with the Joker to a bitter end. What The Dark Knight did for superhero cinema, Batman: Arkham City did for superhero games, and for all that and more, it is undeniably the finest video game DC has to offer.

What's your favorite DC game? Let us know by voting in the poll below, and explain your decision in the comments.

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