Most Batman comic books are top-tier, but fans could agree that DC’s unbelievable success in the last 30 years comes from animated projects. Especially series which changed the way superhero cartoons were developed and written. However, this article will focus on the most successful Batman animated movies, mostly in the last thirty years, according to IMDB scores. Now, I have to admit; I would argue that there are better Batman animated movies than the ones on this list, but the list seems mostly correct regarding quality.
Not every fan thinks the same about the content they watch, including Batman animated projects, but there have been some gems in the last three decades. Buckle up because we are bringing you best scored Batman animated movies according to IMDB.
10. ‘Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths’ (2010)
IMDB score: 7.2
What it’s about: The movie follows Lex Luthor arriving from the parallel Earth to seek help from the Justice League to help him defeat his world’s Justice League, who are evil. Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and others must face off their evil selves – Ultraman, Superwoman, Power Ring, and others.
Why it’s great: This particular movie is based on the classic Gardner Fox story from his ‘Justice League of America’ comic book series titled ‘Crisis on Earth-Three!’ and Grant Morrison’s story from 2000, ‘JLA: Earth 2 graphic novel. Another great project by Bruce Timm and great voice acting from William Baldwin, Mark Harmon, and others. Definitely check out this movie.
9. ‘Batman: Year One’ (2011)
IMDB score: 7.3
What it’s about: This particular movie follows Bruce Wayne and Jim Gordon, who, after learning about the criminal rot that infested Gotham City, decide to become the protectors of the city. Batman and Gordon are rivals, yet they respect each other, using their ways to make the world better.
Why it’s great: This is another great adaptation of the notable comic book story from Frank Miller, ‘Batman: Year One’ from 1987. This great story sees younger versions of Batman and Jim Gordon and their true beginnings as the vigilantes of Gotham City. Great movie, a great adaptation, and something to definitely check out.
8. ‘Justice League: Doom’ (2012)
IMDB score: 7.4
What it’s about: This movie is a sequel to ‘Crisis on Two Earths,’ which we already mentioned, and it follows the infamous villain Vandal Savage stealing Batman’s file of Justice League members and learning their weaknesses.
Why it’s great: First of all, it is the continuation of the ‘Crisis on Two Earths; it features some famous voice actors from DC Animated Universe, like the late great Kevin Conroy and Tim Daly. Moreover, many notable DC villains like Cheetah, Star Sapphire, Bane, Metallo, and others form the Legion of Doom to rival Justice League heroes.
7. ‘Batman: Assault on Arkham’ (2014)
IMDB score: 7.4
What it’s about: ‘Assault on Arkham’ follows Suicide Squad members like Deadshot and Harley Quinn, who join forces with Arkham inmates and Batman to complete the mission of reclaiming vital information stolen by Riddler.
Why it’s great: Another cameo of great Kevin Conroy as Batman, in a more supporting role, giving more space to Suicide Squad members, like the aforementioned Deadshot and Harley Quinn, this movie is set in the universe of the critically acclaimed video game franchise ‘Batman: Arkham’ series.
6. ‘Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker’ (2000)
IMDB score: 7.7
What it’s about: ‘Batman Beyond’ follows the new Batman, Terry McGinnis, dealing with his mentor’s greatest enemy, the Joker. Terry learns about Bruce Wayne’s final fight against his greatest nemesis and tries to uncover how the crazed supervillain is still alive. The new Batman goes on a journey to avenge his former mentor and deal with Joker once and for all.
Why it’s great: Terry McGinnis is arguably the best version of Batman after Bruce Wayne, and seeing him go against the greatest supervillain of the DC Universe, especially with Mark Hamill as the voice behind the Joker. Great “older” animated movie that will remind adults of their childhoods.
5. ‘Batman: Mask of the Phantasm’ (1993)
IMDB score: 7.8
What it’s about: ‘Mask of Phantasm’ follows Caped Crusader being wrongly accused as the serial killer of Gotham’s biggest mob bosses and simultaneously tries to deal with the former lover Andrea Beaumont, who returned to the town ten years after her father Carl was killed. However, there is a new vigilante in town, and it’s not honorable as Batman, prompting Joker and his Bats to work together and figure out who is behind the mask and serial murders.
Why it’s great: Another blast from the past and one of the best-animated movies of all time, ‘Mask of the Phantasm’ sees Batman and Joker unwillingly work together to figure out who is the notorious Phantasm. IMDB rating doesn’t do this movie justice, so definitely check it out – great performances and story are the movie’s best parts.
4. ‘Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1’ (2012)
IMDB score: 7.9
What it’s about: We are back in the 2010s animated Batman movie, and it follows Batman returning to Gotham ten years later after the death of his adopted son and Robin, Jason Todd. Bruce Wayne takes on the mantle of Batman as the 55-year-old vigilante to fight crime like he did for so many years.
Why it’s great: First of all, the movie follows the famous Frank Miller’s comic book story of the same name, but it covers only the first part of the story, which sees Batman trying to get back in “vigilante” shape and fight new enemies called “Mutants.”
3. ‘Batman: Under the Red Hood’ (2010)
IMDB score: 8
What it’s about: This movie follows Jason Todd being brutally assaulted by Joker and presumably killed before Batman’s intervention, and eventually returning to Gotham City five years later as the notorious Red Hood. Batman, with the help of Nightwing, tries to stop the emerging drug trafficking in Gotham and learns of the new potential villain, who is eventually revealed to be his former Robin, Jason Todd.
Why it’s great: Anything with Bat-Family at the story’s forefront is absolutely amazing. Their family dynamic and the aftermath of Jason Todd’s death are so well-written that they will make you “glued” to the screen.
2. ‘Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox’ (2013)
IMDB score: 8.1
What it’s about: Like many adaptations of ‘Flashpoint,’ a major comic book event from DC Comics, ‘Flashpoint Paradox’ deals with Barry Allen’s traveling back in time to save his mother from certain death, causing chaos and destruction of the Multiverse. After his feat, Barry wakes up in a world where Justice League doesn’t exist, Wonder Woman and Aquaman are at war, and no one has heard of Superman. Now, he needs to fix everything before his memories fade away and prevent certain destruction due to his actions.
Why it’s great: Anything with a ‘Flashpoint’ storyline is solid, but this animated movie is really good. Batman features heavily in this movie, as well, but as Thomas Wayne. Great movie; definitely check it out.
1.’ Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2′ (2013)
IMDB score: 8.3
What it’s about: Finally, we have the second part of ‘Dark Knight Returns,’ which is currently the best-rated movie on the IMDB website. This part picks up after Joker wakes up from his catatonic state in Arkham Asylum after learning Batman has returned to Gotham and Caped Crusader fights against Superman, who is now a U.S. government operative tasked with imprisoning fellow superheroes, including his former friend, Batman.
Why it’s great: There is not much to say about this great movie, as it picks up after the first one, and this time it heavily features Batman’s conflict with Superman and dealing with Joker. Great adaptation of one of the best Batman stories ever told.
What do you think of the ratings, and which Batman movie is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!