There have been many Batman games over the years - from the brightly coloured exploits inspired by the Animated Series to the Telltale adventures that brought the comic books to life.

However, one series has stood high above the others, recognised by many as truly capturing the heart and soul of Batman. It has even been rightly acknowledged as the best superhero series to boot.

We refer, of course, to the Batman: Arkham games, which have graced our consoles, computers, phones, tablets and even VR headsets for the best part of 11 years. And, with rumours of a new chapter to be announced in 2020, what better time to revisit them than right now?

Better still, why not revisit them in order - not chronologically, but by following the story timeline?

Here we've put the Arkham games in order of what to play first if you want to follow the story so far...

Batman: Arkham timeline: How to play the games in order

Batman: Arkham Origins

  • Formats: PC, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U
  • Released: 2013

Originally released after Arkham City, Origins puts you in the Bat boots of a young Bruce Wayne as he battles numerous assassins out to kill him, plus Black Mask who serves as the main villain in the game. Oh, and it also features this universe's Batman meeting the mysterious Joker for the first time.

Sadly, as the game was developed by WB Games Montreal rather than Rocksteady, it wasn't deemed up to the standard of the more recognised "Arkham trilogy". However, playing it first at least gives you a taste of what's to come.

Batman: Arkham Origins (mobile - discontinued)

  • Formats: iOS, Android
  • Released: 2013

The mobile version of Arkham Origins effectively follows the plot of the main game, but essentially ditches the story elements and focuses on fights between Batman and some of the main foes.

A series of swipes and taps help you through the battles and, er, that's about it. You can no longer download it these days, anyway.

Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate

  • Formats: Vita, 3DS, PC, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U
  • Released: 2013

Blackgate was originally designed for handheld platforms - Vita and 3DS - so switched the gameplay to a 2.5D fighting/platformer that actually does a good job of translating some of the combat moves for a more simple format.

It is set after the events in Origins itself, with Batman revisiting the Blackgate prison.

Batman: Arkham Asylum

  • Formats: PC, PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360
  • Released: 2009

This is the game that effectively started the whole shebang. Based entirely within the walls of Arkham Asylum, after most prisoners have escaped their cells and taken over, the game was (and still is) an ideal antidote to all the brightly-coloured superhero adventures that came before.

What stands out most, apart from the excellent, free-flowing combat system, is that every nook and cranny is filled with collectables and secrets - ensuring play lasts longer than just the story. It's now part of a Return to Arkham pack - remastered and tweaked for the current generation consoles.

Batman: Arkham City

  • Formats: PC, PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii U
  • Released: 2011

Also available in the Return to Arkham pack, Batman: Arkham City is arguably the best of the bunch. It switches the action from the confined location of the Asylum to the streets of Arkham City - a section of Gotham City fenced in and designated a superprison.

The more open world nature of the sequel makes for some great moments, not least the ability to glide around a huge landscape, swooping down on the criminals below.

Batman: Arkham City Lockdown (discontinued)

  • Formats: iOS, Android
  • Released: 2011

Sadly, like the mobile version of Origins, you can no longer get hold of Arkham City Lockdown on iTunes nor Google Play.

When you could, it again presented more of a beat-em-up, with swipes and taps needed to dispatch foes. It was actually half-decent but will forever be lost to the annals of Batman lore, it seems.

Batman: Arkham VR

  • Formats: PSVR, Vive, Oculus
  • Released: 2016

One of the first truly good virtual reality games, albeit rather short, Batman: Arkham VR is reportedly set soon after the events of Arkham City, where Robin and Nightwing have disappeared.

Its clever use of the detective mechanics from the main games makes it a joy to play, but just simply being about to don the cowl of the Bat is enough for us.

Batman: Arkham Knight

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  • Formats: PC, PS4, Xbox One
  • Released: 2015

Arkham Knight is the first in the series to give you the keys to the Batmobile - which is just as well as the main islands of Gotham City are now your playing field and you need to travel between them as the game progresses.

Combat is even more down and dirty than ever before, this time with extra characters that can tag in and out, and there are so many bonuses and collectables that you're unlikely to find them all on the first playthrough.

Batman: Arkham Underworld (discontinued)

  • Formats: iOS, Android
  • Released: 2016

Underworld is another mobile-only game that ended up being discontinued. Said to have taken place during/soon after the events of Arkham Knight, it put you in the shoes of a villain this time, tasking you with becoming Gotham's kingpin.

The multiplayer real-time-strategy game clearly didn't set the world alight, however.

Batman: Arkham Court of Owls (rumoured)

  • Formats: PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One
  • Released: 2021?

Warner is rumoured to announce a new game in the series later this year, which we speculate will be for the next-generation machines as well as current consoles and PC.

Not much is known about it at present, although online leaks suggest that it will be focused around the superb Court of Owls crime groups created by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo for one of the best comic book storylines in modern times.