Joker is not only one of the most intelligent and ruthless DC villains (or comic book villains in general), he's also got the best maniacal laugh in the game. It's no secret that the Joker is a popular character, one with zero morality yet infinite wisdom in the ways of mayhem and destruction. With his upcoming self-titled film, set for release October 4th, already charting at a whopping 9.7 on IMDb, some interesting questions arise. The Joker's introduction into Mortal Kombat 11 has opened up some pretty interesting doors, but is that enough to usher in a completely new title centered around the Clown Prince? Or is a Joker-themed video game too much to ask?
Batman: Arkham Asylum (and probably the whole entire series) portrayed the Joker best, and because of that a four year-long question has remained unanswered: would anybody else play a Joker video game? Obviously, this isn't his only appearance. The Joker's featured in many different games from the past, going all the way back to 1988's Batman: The Caped Crusader for MS-DOS, Amiga, and Atari ST. It's not the first time he's appeared in Mortal Kombat, either. Ironically, Mortal Kombat VS. DC Universe (2008) was the first game to portray the Clown Prince in a game not based solely on Batman.
"It's all a joke! Everything anybody ever valued or struggled for...it's all a monstrous, demented gag! So why can't you see the funny side? Why aren't you laughing?" - The Killing Joke
Would a Joker-centered video game even work? That's the ultimate question, the "joke's punchline" as I'm sure Joker would call it. Playing as him in Batman: Arkham Asylum in Challenge Mode was a thrill, to say the least, but Injustice wasn't as enjoyable. Due to the fact that fighting games just aren't my style, I'd imagine an open-world game, similar to Arkham City, wherein you play as the Joker. That would be fun, but at what point does it just become Grand Theft Auto: Gotham City? There needs to be something that makes a Joker game special in its own right.
The upcoming Joker DLC for MK11, available January 28th, looks promising and probably will draw an immense crowd, but as many have said, he looks weird. It's clear he's been modeled far more cartoonish to match the game's aesthetic, but the Joker should look as menacing as possible, not funny-looking (as ironic as that is to say). He's now even got his own skin in PUBG, so there is a love for the character beyond that of a mere Batman title. There's also the fact that a Joker game would more likely be M rated, keeping a large chunk of the fandom from playing (which isn't in Warner Bros. best interests).
Joker is one of my own all-time favorite characters. Whether he's portrayed in films or animated TV shows, comic books or video games, he's always the first and last to laugh. The intrigue propagated by his background makes him all the more interesting and powerful in his own right. He often has the best lines, and though he has a plentitude of self-titled comics (plus his own movie), you'd think a video game would be almost certain, but it would probably only ruin the character's allure.
A T or E rated Joker game, which would be the only way Warner Bros. would sign off on it, wouldn't look or feel like a real Joker game. His mysterious background also doesn't help when most good video games have grounded central characters loaded with backstory. It's a complicated struggle for us Joker fans who know that a compelling video game would have to be darker than the corporations responsible would allow.
Nevertheless, with all this recent Joker hype, maybe Warner (like their own character) will see the logic in the madness.