There are plenty of Batman games out there, but none with such acclaim as the Arkham series. To this date, critics and fans still consider it to be the best series of superhero games out there, even with the release of major titles such as Marvel’s Avengers. Of course, such acclaim is not without merit - each main game in the series has sold millions of copies.
Unfortunately, much like the Yakuza series, official sales numbers for the Batman: Arkham games are difficult to come by. The latest numbers for Arkham City were only reported around 8 years after the game was released, and up-to-date news regarding the rest of the series is scarce at best.
Because of this, information on the sales numbers of each game will be taken from different sources. This article will also focus purely on the main series - Asylum, City, Origins, and Knight.
Arkham Knight is the latest mainline Batman: Arkham game, featuring the end of Batman’s story. It sold around 5 million copies in its first year, and steamspy lists it as having anywhere from 2 million to 5 million players on PC alone.
Arkham Origins, meanwhile, acts as a prequel to the rest of the series. It was last reported to have sold a total of nearly 5 million copies, but the numbers listed for the PC version are incredibly low; meanwhile, steamspy lists the same 2 million to 5 million players Arkham Knight has.
Either one of these games could have sold more than the other, but they each had their fair share of issues that prevented them from reaching higher. Arkham Origins had numerous bugs on launch that the developers addressed in a forum post, and Arkham Knight had a very poor PC port that warranted reports from news outlets. Even with these issues, the two titles managed extremely high sales numbers - a testament to the love fans have for this series.
Arkham Asylum was the first Batman: Arkham game to be released, kickstarting one of the most beloved game franchises of all time. It was last reported to have sold over 9.5 million copies by 2014, and the series has only grown in popularity since then. The intensive combat and cinematic gameplay was further refined with each entry, but Asylum was the title that provided the structure and framework for everything to come.
Like with Knight and Origins, Asylum most likely sold more than what was already reported. The game has already passed its 10th anniversary, and its GOTY re-release holds a notable history of extremely low sale prices. It’s quite possibly the best-selling game of the series, and fans just don’t know it. What is known, however, is that there’s still one game that beats it out in terms of officially reported sales numbers.
Arkham City is perhaps the most highly-acclaimed Batman game ever, managing to claim a spot on Metacritic’s best games of all time. The latest update to its sales comes from a LinkedIn post from a former global marketer, claiming that the game sold over 12 million copies by the end of 2012.
While this list might not be completely accurate, it does make quite a bit of sense. Knight and Origins were not as well-received as Asylum or City, and the various issues they had likely prevented them from gaining a vast amount of sales. Asylum was the first, but it only reported 9.5 million copies by 2014, which was around 5 years after its initial release. City, on the other hand, sold 12 million copies in its first year - far beyond the reports of any other title.
Of note, Arkham Knight was reported by GameRant as the fastest-selling Batman: Arkham game, though this report stated only around 5 million copies were sold within the title’s first four months. The numbers for Arkham City within a similar time frame were around 6 million, as noted by prior reports.
The number of Batman: Arkham games is low, and information on total sales across the series is scarce. But the information currently available still shows just how beloved the Arkham games truly are. Batman games reached a peak with the Arkham titles, and it’s a wonder how the upcoming Suicide Squad game will continue the story of the series.
If you haven’t tried the Batman: Arkham games for yourself yet, check out The Batman Arkham Games in Chronological Order | Hacker Noon for some pointers on where to start.