The Arkham series made us realize that superhero video games don’t have to suck. In fact, they can be gosh darn amazing. Gamers got free reign over Arkham Asylum and most of Gotham to dispense justice, meet some old friends, and make some new foes. Why should The World’s Greatest Detective get all the fun? There are plenty of superheroes that absolutely need a video game like the Arkham series.
The Arkham series got a lot of things right about the Batman universe, which could be a blueprint for other superheroes. The first and most notable thing was that the game felt like a really good Batman story. It had the right mix of big name villains with the right amount of twists and turns fans of Batman are accustomed too. The gameplay itself really shined as well. The combat system and array of Bat-tech felt genuine, fluid, and visceral across the series. The Arkham series paid a lot of reverence to its source material. Like the Christopher Nolan films, the Arkham series used themes and plots that were already established to enhance and elevate their games, while not feeling too cheesy or just a carbon copy.
After Arkham Knight was released, a lot of gamers had real hunger for more superhero games with the same quality as the Arkham series. The Arkham games also proved to publishers that quality superhero games succeed critically and financially. These games need to happen for these superheroes because they are such beloved characters. The source material is there, so all a developer needs is to make it happen and compensate me for my amazing ideas.
15 Iron Man
Who has more tools, gadgets, and toys than Batman? Tony Stark, of course. It is a tragedy that Tony Stark does not have a quality game to his name. A self-absorbed, snarky billionaire saving the world with a few mech suits? Throw in a couple of Tony’s demons and you have a game that could rival the Arkham series, easily.
Iron Man has the villains to go with the overall Arkham feel, including the iconic Mandarin. No ,we are not talking about Ben Kingsley’s version of the Mandarin from Iron Man 3. The graphic novels’ portrayal of The Mandarin showcases an incredibly brilliant, ruthless, master of martial arts. He's definitely the perfect choice to pull the strings in an Iron Man focused Arkham style game.
14 The Incredible Hulk
The Hulk gets very little love when it comes to video games, as there are no good ones with the big green monster as top billing. Dr. Banner has one of the most complex and depressing journeys of any hero on this list. His story is ripe with twists and turns, similar to what's found in any of the Arkham games.
Our vision for an Arkham-style Hulk game would feature both worlds, Dr, Banner’s world and his alter ego’s world. Accomplishing missions as either side of the same hero can add a unique depth to any game and the character. Gamers would live and breathe the complex and troubled life of Dr. Banner, as he tries to fight for good and cope with two personalities pulling his life apart.
Imagine if BioShock and the Arkham series had a baby. Well it could be a reality, if Aquaman gets the Arkham treatment like he needs. Forget Batarangs and grappling hooks, you can call in the creatures of the sea to team up against baddies. An Aquaman game could be the open world superhero game everyone has been dreaming of, and more.
Arkham-izing Aquaman is no small task for developers. To be successful, the game would need a hard infusion of political drama for the King of Atlantis. Aquaman would have to balance fighting villains and keeping his throne, just like in the graphic novels. This game would have to be a lot more than just riding dolphins and talking to fish. But just because this task is a big one, it does not mean Aquaman doesn’t badly need the Arkham treatment.
12 Wonder Woman
Princess Diana of Themyscira deserves the Arkham treatment because she is badass demigoddess who doesn’t take crap from anybody. The developers could really take their pick of which era to set the game, since Diana has been a part of the DC universe for so many decades. Or better yet, they can take a page from the movies and feature Wonder Woman in the past and present. In all honesty, it would be perfect if Wonder Woman fought the Nazis, just like the old comics.
Batman has called her “the best melee fighter in the world” and that is the perfect marketing line for a superhero game. Gamers will be lining up to play an Arkham style brawler with Wonder Woman at the center of it. This Justice Leaguer needs a great game like her counterpart, Batman.
The God of Thunder and protector of the nine realms would have a universe hopping, ice giant slaying game that most likely would pit him against his brother, Loki. Loki has a habit of causing trouble in Asgard. Thor may not have the gizmos of Batman, but he sure packs a punch and fighting through hordes of enemies would be key for any Thor game.
The intricate dynamic among the other Gods, including his own family, would be the backdrop for the drama of the plot. The Gods aren’t perfect, just insanely powerful. Using the Rainbow Bridge, Thor would hop from one planet to the next, unraveling Loki’s dastardly plot. Like other Marvel characters on this list, he wouldn’t have to find an Infinity Stone at the end of the game, like the movies. That really frees him up to do a lot more smashing with Mjolnir.
10 Black Panther
T’Challa has a big movie coming out and a world class writer creating new story lines for his comics. With that mind, now is the perfect time to give the Black Panther the Arkham treatment. Just like Aquaman, T’Challa is the king of a highly-advanced civilization. I'm not saying it is a competition between Atlantis and Wakanda, but Wakanda would definitely win.
The Black Panther series has explored a lot of interesting plot lines and obstacles when T'Challa isn’t saving the world with the Avengers. He has a whole lot of family drama, from his sister dying while watching over the kingdom for him to his father’s death that led to T’Challa inheriting the throne. There is also a constant threat to his legitimacy from outsiders that want to see an end to the monarchy of Wakanda. T'Challa's time is now to get an Arkham game.
9 John Constantine
The need is real for an amazing Constantine game. Giving this occult detective an Arkham style game could be the commercial success the franchise has been looking for since venturing into other mediums. The Keanu Reeves film and the CW show have their fans, but fall short of capturing the greatness of Constantine.
Constantine is a cynic that spews deadpan snark in-between an endless supply of cigarettes, which is the type of character gamers love in an Arkham style game. He’ll keep gamers playing for hours just to hear more dialogue. But for all the doom and gloom in Constantine’s life, his heart is in the right place. He has a need to do the right thing for others, which is just the perfect drive for a complicated and intense video game.
8 Superman (From Red Son)
We don’t need a Superman game where he saves Metropolis again from the likes of Lex Luther. The game we need is drawing from one of the most interesting and memorable stories in Superman’s history, Red Son. Red Son tells the tale of Superman if he had crash landed in the middle of a field in the Soviet Union and not Kansas. Superman grows up to be the leader of the USSR and fights the US President, Lex Luther, for Global Domination.
The game would take place primarily in the USSR and have gamers fighting the terrorist Batman, thwarting capitalist America, and converting the globe into one communist regime. It would be a breath of fresh air to see Superman struggling with being true to the ideals and values of Mother Russia rather than the good ol' American way.
Spiderman has had an open world New York City game that had the gamer diving from the top of the Empire State Building. But it was based on the Tobey Maguire films. What Spiderman needs is a crime ridden New York where he fights block by block to help the citizens take back their city. What Spiderman needs is a rough Arkham-like game.
Spiderman has iconic villains too, ranging from Electro to Venom. What gamer wouldn’t want to square off with Venom in a dark Spiderman video game? With that in mind, Venom deserves The Joker treatment from the Arkham games. Not to mention that Peter’s own inner turmoil would create a rich and compelling video game plot. Peter Parker would have to contend with the rough and tumble streets by day and keep his city safe from high above at night.
Simply put, Rorschach would thrive in an Arkham-style game. His character would almost translate too well into the dark and seedy world of an Arkham game, as Rorschach's brutality when it comes to dispensing justice was made for video games like this.
Rorschach story is a troubled one full of anger, resentment, and malice that it might be too easy to create a compelling Arkham-style game. This anti-hero’s appearance alone would translate so well into the medium of games. His ever-changing ink blot mask would be a fascinating aspect to the tone of the game. Rorschach is perfect for modern gaming in the Arkham-style and a Rorschach game would do way better than The Watchmen film too.
5 Green Lantern
Any Green Lantern, Hal Jordan onward, could have an Arkham-type game built around them. In fact, using the multiple Green Lanterns could enhance the game as a whole. When one Green Lantern ends, the next one begins, but that might be too much for one game.
The ring itself has so many different uses that it replaces Batman’s entire Batcave of gadgets. The game’s mechanics would revolve around using the ring’s power in various ways to dispatch enemies and solve puzzles. The Green Lantern franchise also lends itself to take place either on earth or throughout the universe, though fans of the Lantern would appreciate a mix of both. The Lantern Corps offer a diverse group of characters and plot lines that could support an even stronger Arkham-style game.
4 Fantastic Four
The Fantastic Four could really benefit from an Arkham-style game. The franchise has had some hard flops when it comes to adaptations to other mediums, but a co-op game with the Arkham twist would suit these four heroes very well.
What happens to the four astronauts to transform their bodies is just as brooding and filled with tons of identity crises as any Batman Arkham game. Only this time, there are four unique heroes that must overcome their inner turmoil and fight Dr. Doom. The varying play styles of each character would add depth to the mechanics of the game. Making it a co-op, as well as an Arkham-style game, would have tremendous success. The different combinations of the four would create multiple playthroughs and this one is a sure fire bestseller. Developers need to get on this one quick.
3 Captain America
If you loved The Joker squaring off against Batman in the Arkham series, then you will love Captain America taking the fight to Red Skull and Hydra. Steve Rodgers needs an Arkham-style game badly, as he original Nazi punching Super Soldier has tackled a lot of difficult and intricate themes over the years in the graphic novels. They would really be a great source for any video game plot.
Captain America could tackle modern American values in the technology age or the game could be set back in the 1940s. Rodgers could be leading the fight against Red Skull and his occult dealings or uncovering modern day Hydra’s plot as they operate in plain sight. There is such a breadth of source material that can be included in an Arkham-style game. Captain America is a hero, like Batman, that has a tremendous sense of selflessness that would feel authentic in life and death video game scenarios.
2 Dr. Strange
One of the best parts of the Arkham series was the journey through Batman’s mind. The player and Batman were faced with his fears and his fragile sanity whenever having to fight Scarecrow. What better superhero to have an Arkham-style game than one who can bend reality and perception like Dr. Strange?
An Arkham game featuring mystical and interdimensional locations, foes, and allies sounds like a gamer’s dream. Dr. Strange’s ability to manipulate time and space would seamlessly translate into the video game world. The mechanics of the game could feature different ways to accomplish each goal based on how the player manipulates the world and objects around them. Add in Strange’s personality, as well as his personal struggle to find inner peace, and you have a game worthy of the Arkham-style.
A Star-Lord Arkham game might be hard to separate from Chris Pratt’s portrayal of the character. That doesn’t mean that this Guardian of the Galaxy doesn’t deserve the Arkham treatment though. The graphic novel version of Star-Lord is a brilliant strategist with an “element gun,” who's able to shoot one of the four elements. Not saying that Chris Pratt’s plans don’t work, but they just aren’t always categorized as brilliant.
An Arkham Guardians game would have Star-Lord pitted against the biggest baddie in the Marvel Universe, Thanos. Star-Lord and his ship would have to traverse the galaxy thwarting various nefarious alien races. The most interesting part would be his relationship with his real father and finding his place in a universe filled with alien life. His identity would be at the center of his personal struggle in between blasting away Kree warriors.