Still the Best - Batman: Arkham Asylum

VGChartz's Evan Norris: "At New York Comic Con in October, minutes before the Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse panel was due to begin, the pre-panel emcee attempted to warm up the crowd with a simple question: which is better, Batman: Arkham or Marvel's Spider-Man? The crowd response was mixed—surprising, considering all the Spidey costumes at Madison Square Garden that day—with about half going for Rocksteady's Batman series and the remaining half opting for the web-slinging PS4 exclusive. I remained quiet, having played only the Arkham games. Now, a couple of months later, with Spider-Man under by belt, I can say confidently that Batman: Arkham—specifically, Arkham Asylum—is the superior game. In fact, nine years after the fact, Arkham Asylum remains the very best superhero game, Spider-Man's critical and commercial successes notwithstanding."

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gangsta_red55d ago

This trilogy (not including Origins) was the best super hero video gaming I have played. Even if the third installment got a little ridiculous with the whole Batman Beyond Return of the Joker type plot and the more than obvious identity of the actual Arkham Knight, it was still a great ride from the beginning to end.

EddieNX 55d ago

Agreed. These games are generation definers. Some of the best games ever made, really need to see what Rocksteady is up to.

IamTylerDurden155d ago (Edited 55d ago )

For the writer to make a blanket statement like "Arkham is better than Spider-man" is a bit odd considering the series runs 4 deep and each game isn't created equal. For you (Gangster) to simply not include the weakest game of the series in order to embolden your point is a bit disingenuous. I don't care if WB developed it, Arkham Origins bears the Arkham name and is part of the series. Arkham Knight wasn't a great Arkham game either. The batmobile was horribly overdone, boss fights were almost non existent, and the story was mediocre at best.

Arkham Asylum was my favorite Arkham game, but i fully acknowledge that it has more to do with nostalgia than anything else. Asylum has flaws, especially looking back in retrospect. I loved it for the atmosphere and its inception of the slick Arkham combat, but the story was weak. Joker causing mayhem at Arkham Asylum is basically the gist. The conclusion of the game was a disappointment *Spoiler* with the Titan virus theme being somewhat cliche and the Joker fight playing out as one of the worst final boss encounters of the last generation. In fact, Asylum didn't have the best boss fights and you couldn't even wear any alternate outfits during your initial playthrough. The game had great atmosphere, but the map was very small, the story was weak, and the boss fights were mediocre. I love Asylum, but objectively speaking it has some real flaws.

It's difficult to say whether Arkham or Spider-man is better. I think most would agree that Spider-man is certainly better than Origins and Arkham Knight, essentially half the series. Whether Spider-man is better than Asylum and City is a real debate though. I personally think Spider-man is the greatest superhero game ever made. The story, visuals, traversal, combat, suit selection, skill tree, gadgets, and fan service were all excellent aspects of Sony/Insomniac's game. NYC was also masterfully crafted and quite possibly the best rendition of the big apple i have ever seen represented in a game. Spider-man really captures the feeling of being the wisecracking webslinger and the combat is a fantastic evolution of the Arkham system with more verticality and reliance on exciting gadgets. The traversal in the game is quite possibly the best of any game ever. Spider-man moves about the city swiftly and he dodges enemies brilliantly. You truly feel like you are Spider-man. I love Arkham, but right now i think Spider-man just aced it in a way the Arkham series doesn't as consistently do. Both, however, are great.

gangsta_red55d ago

"...weakest game of the series in order to embolden your point is a bit disingenuous."

I don't think you actually know what disingenuous means and if you do, you're using the word wrong when I'm leaving my opinion on the Arkham series. I didn't include it because it was the weakest in the series but that doesn't mean the trilogy wasn't good because of that.

Would you include GoW Asenscion when praising the GoW trilogy? Would it be disingenuous if you said you didn't like GoW:A but loved the first three?

Batman Arkham games are better than Spider-Man because Spider-Man basically takes every element from each of the Arkham series. The Kingpin/Mr Negative contstuction sites we're ripped from the Knight game where you had to liberate certain areas in the city the Arkham Knight soldiers controlled.

The whole sneaking from the top and taking out enemies one by one from above is straight up Batman. Even the hanging from the roof rafters of enemies was snatched from the Arkham series.

The gadgets for Spider-Man were great and very inventive but a lot of them were unnecessary in combat. The many times I did the side missions I had to remind myself that I had gadgets to use. Batman's whole gimmick are his gadgets and it was handled a lot better in the Arkham games. It was truly one of the first times where you actually felt like a bad ass Michael Keaton in a video game.

Spider-Man was a great game, but there was definitely a been there done that vibe that was hanging over it the hold time playing the game and it is because of the Arkham games unfortunately.

I'm sure it has everything to do with nostalgia, if I would have never played the Batman games I would have enjoyed Spider-Man more I'm sure of it.

"...and the boss fights were mediocre."

I agree that the boss fights in Asylum weren't anywhere near as good as the previous entries. Even Origins had better boss fights, but compare that to the non existent boss fights in Spider-Man and Asylum takes it. That was another issue I had with Spider-Man, I was expecting something more from the Sinister Six from the very the beginning of the game. Instead I didn't get any of that, the story just dragged to the point where I just didn't care anymore.

I also agree that the Arkham series has had multiple games to refine and become a lot better with each entry unlike Insomniacs Spider-Man's first outing. Honestly this isn't Spider-Man's first open world game either. But this is the better of the open world games for Spider-Man.

Kribwalker54d ago

you’re right Gangsta, the arkham games are fantastic. I bought the remaster collection on sale a month ago and hopped back in there a bit. Arkham Asylum is still as amazing as it was when i originally played it.

I agree the batmobile was overdone. It really made parts of arkham knight feel like a chore for me, but i hear the same thing about the Mary Jane sneak levels in Spider-man. But, this is one game in the series. You can’t start saying that One single game (spider-man) is better then what a collection of games did. Every iteration they have to try to change things up to keep it fresh, and when they were almost perfect in the first game (91-92 meta) then improved it to a 93-96 on meta with the second game, by the next two games it’s hard to keep it fresh without changing too much.

You are trying to compare an entire series to one single game, and saying the series isnt consistent, which is incorrect, especially when only one out of 4 games has a lower Meta then the One spider-man game (just arkham origins (76) as Knight is the same rating as Spider-man)

gangsta_red54d ago


Agreed, the MJ and Morales bits we're extremely boring and really took away from the actual game when you were forced to play as them.

"I agree that the boss fights in Asylum weren't anywhere near as good as the previous entries"

By the way, I meant to say Knight, not Asylum. I thought Asylum had great boss fights. I was a little disappointed with Asylum's boss fights, especially not being able to fight Deathstroke. That really stood out when that didn't happen, especially after being in Origins.

gangsta_red54d ago

"I thought Asylum had great boss fights. I was a little disappointed with Asylum's boss fights, especially not being able to fight Deathstroke."

I was a little disappointed with KNIGHT's boss fights!!!

Jesus.... :(

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FITgamer54d ago

Personally I enjoyed Arkham City more, but I thought the main 3 games were all great. Origins though was pretty meh.

TekoIie54d ago

Origins was good but if we're honest it's more of an expansion of Arkham City. Wouldnt treat it as a full fledged release.

Kainbrightside54d ago

Everyone hates on Origins but I feel like it took everything and sort of enhanced it yeah it was more of the same but overall very good especially the little detective bits. I want a Batman noire with nothing but being a detective and the occasional fight.

McMahonme754d ago

I feel like if I got into that game without playing the others it would have worked...but idk something just felt off. Can't put my finger on it

Kainbrightside54d ago

I think it was less of a Metroid Vania and the voice actors werent the classic ones but still solid and had the best boss fights out of all the others in my opinion

stefan_77154d ago

Origins is the best in the series IMO

Italiano123456754d ago

Regardless of which one is the better overall game i still think Spiderman is alot more fun to play. Swinging around the city never gets old.

Bleucrunch54d ago

Agreed Arkham Asylum was the best one. I completed I think %80 of the trophies for that game. Man that as fun. the releases after that were more the same, they have it tough trying to top that gem.