Metascore
92

Universal acclaim - based on 78 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 78 out of 78
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 78
  3. Negative: 0 out of 78
  1. 93
    The greatest comic book videogame of all time. This is an adult Dark Knight story that is well-told, packs some truly fun gameplay elements, has topnotch voice talent, and feel like it's part of Batman cannon.
  2. Regardless of whether you're getting sucked into the Story mode or competing for high scores in the Challenge mode, Batman: Arkham Asylum does an outstanding job of letting you be Batman. Everything about this game--the impressive visuals, stirring soundtrack, superb voice acting, fiendish puzzles, hard-hitting combat--feels like it has been lovingly crafted by a development team that's both knowledgeable and passionate about the source material.
  3. There is not a single-element of the Batman that this game doesn't nail, from the gadgets to the atmosphere and the combat. The action is thrilling and varied, and even the fetch quests are compelling.
  4. With a massive world to search, an easy to adjust combat system, stealth action, audio logs to find, and challenges galore, Batman has finally come into his own in this medium. There are so many extra things and enjoyable moments in Arkham Asylum for fans and newcomers alike, you'll be glad you are a fan of Batman and video games.
  5. Batman: Arkham Asylum is this year's "BioShock," not just from the connection established with the world, but from its ability to innovate where new ideas are needed, and moreover, deliver an adventure unlike any other. [Sept 2009, p.82]
  6. 100
    This action-adventure is so smart, so well-written, and delivered with such an obvious love for its source material, I daresay it is both the best licensed game ever made, and arguably the best game of its kind in our current console generation.
  7. Fans of the caped crusader really shouldn't hesitate - this isn't just the best grown-up Batman game, it's the best superhero game, bar none.
  8. Fans of the franchise owe it to themselves to pick it up, and anyone with a hankering for a high-quality action game will find Arkham Asylum to be just what the doctor ordered.
  9. It's excellent in nearly every aspect, and certainly one of the best games you'll play this year, let alone the best licensed game I've ever played (sorry Riddick). If you've been on the fence about this one, I highly suggest you pick it up, there's nothing here that'll disappoint, and like I mentioned, the gameplay is so great that you don't need to be a Batman fan to appreciate how great the gameplay is.
  10. With fantastic voice acting, gorgeous graphics, and a well-written plot, what else could you want from a game? Great for hardcore Batmaniacs as well as gamers looking for a solid action/adventure game, I'm happy to declare Batman: Arkham Asylum as the best Batman game ever.
  11. 91
    That's Batman's general theme: so many of the mechanics turn Batman: Arkham Asylum into a bona fide "Batman Simulator," that the feeling of being Batman compensates for its flaws.
  12. Arkham Asylum is a game with the power to utterly captivate you and can stand proudly alongside modern classics such as "Resident Evil 4", "Gears of War," and "BioShock"...Simply put, Batman: Arkham Asylum is a masterpiece. [Sept 2009, p.66]
  13. Not only a brilliantly authentic presentation of its subject matter but a tremendous game in its own right, Batman: Arkham Asylum is a big, clever and finely crafted experience which propels Rocksteady immediately into the realm of triple-A developers. This year's BioShock. That's what it is.
  14. It would be too easy, if not unfair, to consider this game as just the tie in you don't expect. Batman AA is one of the best action adventure you can play in this generation of hardware, mixing in an almost impeccable way the best elements taken from this genre's masterpieces.
  15. While it’s slightly hurt by a few minor problems, Batman: Arkham Asylum rises above them to provide an unforgettable experience. Part of it is due to the well-crafted storyline, but it’s also due to the well-made gameplay that makes most things easy to do and certainly more than any Batman game released in the last 15 years.
  16. It is not only the best Batman game ever, but also one of the best action titles of the year.
  17. Rocksteady really have delivered here in the authenticity stakes. The game is entirely self-referential, with lots of fan-baiting namedrops and a slew of villain profiles and inmate recordings to be found, you will be on fanboy cloud nine here.
  18. Impeccable presentation from top to bottom. [Nov 2009, p.82]
  19. There isn’t a single element of Arkham Asylum that isn’t polished to the utmost degree.
  20. 100
    One of those games that comes along every few years that will have gamers talking about it long into the future. It is this year's BioShock, and I for one could not put it down from start to finish. If you enjoy great narrative, interesting boss encounters, fresh gameplay and of course everyone's favorite detective then Arkham Asylum will not disappoint.
  21. Whether you fancy skulking in the shadows, smashing slow motion fists in into a goon's skull, or simply using some cool gadgets, you can do no wrong with what is Eidos' best game in years.
  22. Batman: Arkham Asylum is a massive triumph: Action, stealth and investigation as its best. The best videogame based on Bob Kane’s composition, and the best superhero game this far too. A brilliant work that drives Rocksteady to the highest rank of developers.
  23. A really good game with amazing graphics and a deep story! Not only for fans of the "Batman" universe.
  24. 90
    Batman: Arkham Asylum successfully blends action, stealth and the Batman universe to create what is arguably the best comic book game ever made. Don't miss it.
  25. Batman Arkham Asylum is a product of absolute value that can count on a cast of colorful characters to build a great game, really fun. The greatest strengths of the production lie in the gameplay built around what are the real capabilities of Batman, mixing action and stealth section, but always related with the universe from which have been extrapolated. Rocksteady's game is certainly the new standard for understanding how produce games under license, adapting for videogaming the very spirit of this historic character.
  26. Batman: Arkham Asylum is simply the best action game of 2009. Rocksteady Studios Production features an outstanding gameplay, a mature and involving storytelling and an astonishing graphic. It's a Must Buy without compromise.
  27. Batman: Arkham Asylum isn't just for the fans: it delivers a great experience to all lovers of action games. The game effortlessly combines puzzle-, stealth- and fighting-elements. Arkham Asykum sets the new standard for future licensed games.
  28. 90
    Normally you just want to avoid an asylum. But Batman's Arkham Asylum is one you just want to explore. Never before was it so much fun to fight with a bat!
  29. Batman: Arkham Asylum is a top quality game, the best one to celebrate the Dark Knight in a long time. You'll love it even if you don't like the character. If Batman is the reason you live, you can't ask for anything better.
  30. Between the Story Mode, Challenge Rooms and myriad hidden items (that are more compelling than in most games), there’s a lot of entertainment in Arkham Asylum.
  31. 90
    As well as being wonderfully constructed, the environment drips with atmosphere.
  32. A brilliant experience. No other license-shackled developer has understood their subject quite as well as Rocksteady, and this is without a doubt the definitive representation of the Dark Knight.
  33. Simply put, you have to play Batman: Arkham Asylum to be reminded why you love games in the first place.
  34. The grim set-up mixed an incredible voice-over work and great storytelling makes of Batman: Arkham Asylum, not only the best Batman game ever published but also the best comic-book/superhero videogame so far and a very serious “Game of the Year” contender.
  35. Rewarding and engrossing in equal measure, the entire production reeks of quality from the stellar voice work to the jaw-dropping visuals and intuitive control system. Truly this is the Batman game that everybody’s been waiting for.
  36. The result is so good that we're declaring it an easy 'Best of' contender for 2009.
  37. Without a doubt, Arkham Asylum is one of the best games of the year, and from the solid single player experience, amazing voice acting, rewarding challenge maps and a slew of nearly dozens of unlockable bios and collectibles, any fan will be hard-pressed to not give this game a try.
  38. This is the must-have Batman game of all-time and a great third-person action game. Whether you're a fan or just looking for a solid game, you should pick this up. You will not be dissappointed.
  39. With the beauty of this game, the amazing sound, script and voice-acting, this is definitely one game you would be –ahem- batty to not buy.
  40. What may be one of Batman’s worst nights of his life may end up being one of many players’ best experiences of the year.
  41. Massively polished, hugely enjoyable single-player game that (finally) does the Batman license justice.
  42. Batman: Arkham Asylum would be a terrific third-person action game on its own thanks to the excellent combat engine and well-designed levels. But coupled with the Batman license the game becomes a must-play.
  43. Rocksteady Studios damn-nearly astonished us with this one. We expected it to be a decent summer action game. In all fairness, we never expected it to be this much fun. Batman: Arkham Asylum outshines every game we've seen this year (so far).
  44. 94
    The entire production reeks of quality from the stellar voice work to the jaw-dropping visuals and intuitive control system - truly this is the Batman game we've all been waiting for. It is to games what "Batman Begins" and "The Dark Knight" are to movies - Batman: Arkham Asylum is without doubt the most definitive videogame realisation of the character yet. It's also unreservedly brilliant to boot.
  45. Aside from those small niggles, Batman Arkham Asylum is not only a stellar example of how superhero games can work but also with narrative as a whole.
  46. 100
    Rocksteady have proven that they’re a company that really care. They actually ‘get’ Batman, they’ve looked at the character from every conceivable angle and strived to make this everything anybody could possibly want from a Batman game.
  47. The game also feels decidedly adult; it’s unafraid to take dark turns. The writing and themes become unexpectedly morbid in later stages. It’s obvious that Arkham was created with reverence, genuine craft, and love. There’s a rare, considered quality behind everything on the disc, which makes this an absolute must-play.
  48. Minor gripes aside, Arkham Asylum is a remarkable achievement both in design and in finally giving Bat fans the game they've been waiting for.
  49. This is a full-on experience devoted to all of the different facets of being Batman, from the gadgets that help him along, to striking fear in the hearts of his opponents by carefully lurking in the shadows, to taking challenges head-on with little more than his feet and his fists, to straight-up acting like a detective, hunting around for clues. This all translates into an adventure full of variety, with each different aspect coming in at such a high level of quality that it just keeps impressing you over and over again, right up to its final moments.
  50. A massively impressive licensed game. Without a license holding it all together Arkham Asylum would have been a stunning game with striking features. That it's all wrapped up in Batman's world makes the experience so much more appealing, and it works both as an extension of lore for Batman enthusiasts and an entry point for those less familiar with the DC universe. [Oct 2009, p.84]
  51. Batman proves himself in this fantastic game. It is more then a good license game, it is a must have!
  52. Arkham Asylum is not just the greatest game ever made about the Dark Knight, it might be the best superhero game yet.
  53. The longevity of Batman: AA is tremendously astounding as a single-player only title.
  54. A phenomenal achievement, and I can’t wait to see what Rocksteady has in store next—personally, I’m hoping for a sequel set in Gotham City. Arkham Asylum is the kind of game you can’t stop playing, yet don’t ever want to end; it was almost a shame to have to review it, because I really wanted to take my time and enjoy every inch of Arkham Island.
  55. So much detail has been given to the game; graphically, sound, and even how Batman’s cape flows and becomes mangled throughout the engaging story that will take roughly around 10 hours or so to complete the first time.
  56. My absolute favorite aspect of Arkham Asylum has to be its boss fights.
  57. Batman: Arkham Asylum is not just the best comic game ever, the game actually managed to rank high in our best games of all time list. Whichever system you own and regardless of your gaming budget, the Dark Knight’s latest adventure is not one to be missed.
  58. 100
    Batman's trip to the asylum has hardly any flaws. The controls fit perfectly and the missions will entertain you every second you play this game. Buy it, play it, love it.
  59. Batman: Arkham Asylum has been a real surprise, delivering us a great action game, with a deep stealth/tactical gameplay, great loyalty to the original comics and a strong plot. Undoubtedly the best comics-based video game so far, and one of the best games released this year: a real milestone.
  60. This is certainly not a game for just Batman fans, comic fans or action fans; this is a game that everyone should play and thoroughly enjoy. It looks beautiful, plays like a dream and has a superb mix of action, stealth and detective elements. The combat is intuitive, flexible and surprisingly deep too. Give this game a go and you will not be pleasantly surprise, you will be blown away.
  61. The gameplay is diversified, the graphics are great and the combat-system is one of the best we have ever encountered. Batman: Arkham Asylum is a definite "Must-Have" on any platform and more then worthy to wear the famous name of The Dark Knight and Worlds greatest detective.
  62. Not only is Batman Arkham Asylum the best superhero game ever made but it could also content with some of this years big hitters for game of the year. A must buy.
  63. With a series of combat and stealth challenge rooms with online leader boards rounding off the package, Arkham Asylum is a brilliantly polished and wholly engrossing prospect. Few licensed titles have captured so authentically and completely the ethos of its inspiration as Arkham Asylum.
  64. This is not only one of the best superhero games ever, but one the best action games I’ve played in a long time. A definite contender for game of the year with the Dark Knight detective at his best.
  65. Batman: Arkham Asylum is the ultimate Batman experience, hands down.
  66. It combines the best features of any superhero series with fantastic graphics, solid gameplay and outstanding voice acting. The minor flaws - the easy gameplay, the initially confusing layout of Arkham and the occasional loading time hitch - are all negated a dozen times over by the game's character, atmosphere and attention to detail.
  67. Overall, Batman: Arkham Asylum is a fantastic, exceptional, and an extravagant video game, and revitalizes both the comic-book and Batman video game based genres.
  68. 92
    It’s hugely atmospheric and engrossing, its blend of combat and stealth balanced superbly to deliver an experience that’s easily as engaging as the Metal Gear series.
  69. 87
    A rare breed of game. Not only is it a licensed title that really makes the most of the license, with gameplay mechanics that cater to Batman’s character, a compelling setting and story, and a host of well-known characters, it’s also a very polished product. You can tell that a whole lot of love has gone into this one.
  70. 90
    This should serve as a reminder that a strong license shouldn’t be a millstone around a game designer’s neck but a gold mine, a vast stockpile of prebuilt characters and relationships that, properly tweaked, can work just as well in a videogame as they do in a movie or comic book series.
  71. Favouring the animation series over the movie for setting was an inspired choice, and the depth of detail and maximum use of the source material make this a game that will remembered for a long time.
  72. 90
    Arkham Asylum is the kind of eventual coming-to-form which renders years of half-arsed franchise transplantation not just forgivable, but worthwhile.
  73. Batman Arkham Asylum is by far the biggest surprise this year. This is not only a great game based on a license, this is one of the top titles this year. Rocksteady has put everything that's cool with Batman and his villains in this game, and it all works astonishingly. However, this epic tale is surprisingly over before you know it, not only because it's a short game, but also because you're having so much fun while playing it.
User Score
8.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 878 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 10 out of 183
  1. Oct 8, 2010
    10
    awesomeness in a X360 box. great that they used the voices from the cartoon show and the joker being mark hamill. the game was awesome. enjoyed tha combat and it is not hard to execute combos. i like the upgrades to the equipment over time allowing new take downs and areas to be unlocked etc. Full Review »
  2. Jun 20, 2011
    9
    Batman: Arkham Asylum is an amazing, immersive game that even borders on groundbreaking at times, yet still manages to be let down somewhat by lack of polish in a few key areas. It was the best game i had played in a long time, yet i couldn't help feeling that had as much love been given to basic matters like controls, AI, and boss design as were paid to faithfully creating what it's like to BE batman, the game, while definitely a must buy for any action game fan, could have been truly genre-defining.

    The good:
    Combat mechanics are deceptively deep and offer pick-up-and-play simplicity while having a lot more to offer for those who want to polish their skills a little more. Once mastered, combat is quick and intuitive, and there is a real sense of achievement and enjoyment to be had out of gliding toward a bunch of enemies, KO'ing one of them with a glide kick, landing, and proceeding to beat the daylights out of several others, using counters and various special move options to chain together long combos. One partiularly gratifying battle towards the end of the game allows you to go hand to hand with 15+ of the joker's henchmen in a locked room that's barely big enough to swing a cat, but if you've mastered the combat system, you can use batman's phenomenal martial arts skills to drop each and every one of the group over a several minutes long scrap, before continuing onwards towards their boss.

    The Joker, voiced by star-wars actor Mark Hamill, is phenomenal throughout the game, even when not onscreen and making his presence felt through loudspeaker announcements over the asylum's ever present tannoi system. In contrast to batman's stoic, focused persona, his crazy, maniacal, and sometimes downright funny dialogue steals the show at every turn.

    The game's replay value is excellent. Even when you've completed the main story, there are still loads of collectables, trophies, challenges, and one or two very cool secrets and side quests to uncover. Getting to 100% on this game really will take a LONG time.

    The bad:
    Number one on this section has to go to the controls. While they're fine when batman has a bit of space, controls in close combat can be a bit clumsy, resulting in Batman taking an occasional lead pipe over the back of the head, which is never nice, or particularly in one of the games many stealth sections where batman has to creep around an area, covertly taking out armed enemies. Just occasionally, you'll need batman to creep up behind an enemy, kick his legs out from under him, grab him around the neck and choke him out silently before disappearing off into the shadows again, but the game will interpret your control commands as "do a random parry move, then do it again, then kick him in the back and warn him and his buddies that you're there allowing them to blast you into pieces". This can be frustrating at times, but nowhere more so than the game's stealth challenge modes, where the idea is to take out an entire room of armed enemies using stealth tactics and batman's arsenal of tricks and gadgets, in the shortest time possible. In these challenges, every second counts, and it's maddening to know exactly what you want to do, be in a hurry, and have the game do something completely different and blow your cover. Add to this the Xbox's lacklustre analogue d-pad that's used to select one of up to 8 gadgets to help you out when you're in a pinch, and batman thus getting the wrong gizmo out in a crisis, and you have a control system that's not as well designed as it could have been for what you need to do in-game. It's not monumentally flawed, and it works well for the most part, as long as you're not in a hurry, but it's definitely something the upcoming "Batman Arkham City" sequel needs to address.

    The Boss fights are bland and generic affairs that don't really fit in with the overall tone of the game, and are boring and repetitive in parts. Bane, Killer Croc, and in particular Poison Ivy all were either boringly repetitive on normal, or maddeningly cheap and frustrating on higher difficulties. More thought should have been given to overall boss design in this game, as they all feel pretty much tacked on to the overall story.

    Scarecrow. While the addition of scarecrow's platforming levels throughout the course of the game were an interesting twist on the gameplay, i couldn't help feeling that they didn't fit, and just served as an unwelcome distraction from the rest of the action of the game. Overall, despite a handful of faults, this game is still well worth a purchase for any action game fan, and is simply a "must buy" for any Batman or comic book fans in general. More stealth challenges, more polish on the combat and close quarters controls, better boss fights, and slightly less robotic AI would have made this an all time classic, but as it is, it's still well worth picking up. Score 90%.
    Full Review »
  3. ClarkGriswold
    Nov 17, 2009
    6
    For every cool thing about this game there are two frustrating and/or annoying things. The coolest things being the villains and voice acting, the worst being the controls and fighting (I'm trying to recall a time I died that wasn't caused by performing an action that was contrary to my input). There was almost enough frustration to make me give up on the game altogether--it was a *very* close call--and when I finished it, it was a big "meh." Full Review »