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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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).
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Massively polished, hugely enjoyable single-player game that (finally) does the Batman license justice.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Arkham Asylum is not just the greatest game ever made about the Dark Knight, it might be the best superhero game yet.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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]
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. The result is so good that we're declaring it an easy 'Best of' contender for 2009.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. My absolute favorite aspect of Arkham Asylum has to be its boss fights.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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]
  30. 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.
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. Oct 4, 2011
    10
    Game of the year 2010. There is nothing bad i can say about Batman: AA. The combat is fluid and fun, and has great impact, The story is a classic batman plot, that doesn't take too much attention from the game itself, and the game ends exactly when it should, with a solid 30 hour clock for a thorough play through. Presentation wise, the voice acting is simply stunning, and the visuals match the asylum perfectly, being both creepy and comical. Full Review »