With 'The Batman' hitting Irish cinemas today, we're taking a look at the dark knight's greatest hits in video game form.

Batman has shown remarkable versatility over the years, showing up in everything from open-world games, racing games, sidescrolling beat-em-ups, to appearing in 'Moral Kombat'.

We have over 30 years of video games to cover, so grab your cowl and get the Batmobile ready.

8-Bit Batman

The Gotham City protector saw his first outing in video game form in 1986, predating Tim Burton's seminal 1989 film by three years.

The aptly-titled 'Batman' for the ZX Spectrum and Amstrad computers had an isometric design for some reason, and players were tasked with rescuing Robin.

The design is very rough on the eyes from a 2022 perspective, but at least the 8-bit music is enjoyably catchy.

1988's 'Batman: The Caped Crusader' attempted to capture the spirit of the comics and featured a pretty novel idea; the game was presented in a comic book style, with the action taking place as if it was taking place within the panels of a comic book.

It's a genuinely clever and impressive mechanic, and it is a feat and a half to pull that trickery off on the Commodore 64, Apple II and ZX Spectrum hardware.

In a lot of ways, the 'Batman' film from 1989 was the prototype for the modern-day blockbuster: there was simple iconography on the poster, big stars in the cast, a pop soundtrack, merchandise deals and of course, a tie-in video game.

'Batman' was a multi-media blitz like nothing seen before, and the film had three video game tie-ins.

There were two games based on the movie and apologies for getting technical: one was called 'Batman: The Movie' and the other was just called 'Batman'.

To help you tell them apart, 'Batman The Movie' was developed by Ocean Software, while 'Batman' was developed by SquareSoft, the developers who are best known for the 'After Burner' games.

The former mixed everything from side-scrolling combat, to vehicle sections and puzzles and was an incredibly loose retelling of the events of the hit film.

Regardless, the game was a major hit in the UK, and readers of a certain vintage may remember the game being bundled with Amiga 500 computers.

The 'Batman' game by SquareSoft was a classic NES game insofar as it was brutally difficult, and had more in common with 'Ninja Gaiden' than 'Batman'.

Players could avail of a wall jump, like 'Ninja Gaiden' series hero Ryu, and the game had a reputation for being one of the most difficult games for the NES.

The second Tim Burton Batman film, 'Batman Returns', had a whopping 8 different versions on consoles as varied as the NES, Game Gear, Amiga, Atarti Lynx, MS-DOS and essentially anything that could be plugged into a screen in 1992.

Games based on 'Batman Returns' were as eclectic as it gets, with side-scrolling combat, run and gunning, adventure and shoot em ups just some of the genres represented.

None of the games captured the German expressionist touch of the Tim Burton film, and indeed the scattershot approach to genres implied that developers saw Batman as a licence to print money.

It would be similar to a developer in 2022 making a tie-in for 'The Batman' and it's a 'Candy Crush' game with Robert Pattinson's marketable mug on the sweets.

1995's 'Batman Forever' cashed in on the 'Mortal Kombat' trend of the time, using the same engine as the hit fighting series as well as the motion capture technology that brought the likes of Johnny Cage to life.

Batman Versus Polygons

1998's 'Batman and Robin' saw a tie-in game for the PlayStation One, and took advantage of the added processing power to create an open-world game in the vein of 'Grand Theft Auto'.

It was super ambitious for 1998, including an in-game clock where events would only occur at a certain time.

Much like the film itself, it was a spirited failure that tried to do too many things at once.

Before Christopher Nolan redefined the cinematic landscape with his reboot trilogy, the Caped Crusader saw a number of video game outings, with a few solid early 2000's outings that were more in line with comic books and tv shows.

Batman: Vengeance reunited all of the classic 90's animated series cast including Kevin Conroy as Batman and Mark Hamill as the Joker, and was followed up by 'Batman: Rise Of Sin Tzu' in 2003, and served as a cap to the beloved 90's animated series.

2003 also saw the release of 'Batman: Dark Tomorrow' which is regarded as the nadir of Batman's video game outings.

The game was trashed by critics for its poor controls, glitchy animations, and a wide range of technical issues.

Despite this, the game sold decently well, and showed that the audiences appetite for Batman was still strong.

'Dark Tomorrow' did prove there was an audience for an open-world 'Batman' game, but more on that later.

As was the style at the time, 'Batman Begins' received a big-budget tie-in game to tie in with the Christopher Nolan film.

All of the films cast reprised their roles for the game, with Christian Bale's growly iteration of Batman front-and-centre of the game, with Liam Neeson, Katie Holmes, Morgan Freeman and Cillian Murphy all lending their voices to the game.

'Batman Begins' for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox

The game allowed players to take control of the Batmobile, beating 'Arkham Knight' to the punch by a full 10 years.

'The Dark Knight' was set to receive its very own blockbuster tie-in game, but developer Pandemic Studios drastically overestimated their capabilities of getting the game released in a finished state to tie in with the film.

The video game adaptation of 'The Dark Knight' was the first sign of trouble for Pandemic Studios, who had shot to fame with the likes of 'Destroy All Humans!' and the 'Mercenaries' series, and publisher EA were reportedly furious at Pandemic for missing the deadline.

EA are said to have lost at least $100 million dollars due to 'The Dark Knight' game not being released, and the developers shut their doors in 2009.

The failure of 'The Dark Knight' game had two major butterfly effects in gaming history: firstly, the video game tie-in for a major film stopped being produced.

Secondly, it gave English developers Rocksteady Games the chance to make a truly fantastic 'Batman' game that wasn't tied to any existing film.

That game turned out to be 'Batman: Arkham Asylum'.

Bats Entertainment: 'Batman: Arkham Asylym' influenced third-person action games for a generation

Batman in the modern day

It is difficult to understate how influential 'Arkham Asylym' was in the gaming industry as a whole - perhaps we'll feature it on our 25 biggest games of our lifetime series? - but if you've played any game over the last 10 years, its combat system was probably nicked from this game.

The "wait for an enemy to attack, you have a quick window to dodge, and you counter them" is still to this day the default combat system in from 'Spider-Man' to 'Ghost Of Tsushima'.

2011's 'Batman: Arkham City' proved to be 'The Godfather: Part II' of video games, letting players loose across a Gotham City that had more in common with 'Escape From New York' than the campy Adam West TV show in the 60s.

2015's 'Arkham Knight' capped the series off nicely, ensuring Rocksteady Games' place in gaming history as the developers who managed to make a great licenced game.

As stated, the tie-in video game died away in the 2010s, but Batman still made an appearance in various games.

Bruce Wayne's alter-ego is front and centre of the 'Injustice: Gods Among Us' game, and those games offer an answer to the question "who would win in a fight between Batman and Superman" much better than Zack Snyder ever did.

Before going out of business for making licensed games based on every media property in existence, Telltale Games' underrated gem is their 'Batman' series.

The first season was a solid and engaging spin on the Telltale formula, but season 2 was one of Telltale's high points.

'Batman: The Enemy Within' had a fascinating depiction of The Joker, and if you played your cards right, players could stop him from becoming the clown prince of crime.

The game is a perfect example of what gaming can be; a chance to interact with your favourite characters in a way that films can't provide.

Batman has been dormant in the video game scene since the final episode of 'The Enemy Within' launched in 2018, and by all accounts, Warner Brothers are keen not to let their star franchise be used by developers hoping to make a quick buck like in the 1990s.

With 'The Batman' hitting cinemas worldwide, it's a shame we're not getting a 'LA Noire' style game with Batman and Commissioner Gordon solving crimes together, but until then, we'll have to make do with a 'Grand Theft Auto' mod or a 'Fortnite' crossover.

'The Batman' is out in Irish cinemas now.