Batman: Arkham Origins

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Batman: Arkham Origins Game Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Fun and intense Caped Crusader romp lacks ingenuity.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 14 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 56 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational Value

Kids can learn logical reasoning, the value of teamwork, and how to handle stress while playing this action-heavy, Caped Crusader romp. They must analyze scenes for clues and apply the information they glean to making decisions. However, a good part of the game is spent in combat. Batman: Arkham Origins can sharpen a player's sleuthing abilities, hand-eye coordination (while mastering acrobatic combat moves), and social skills when playing with others.

Positive Messages

On one hand, the message is positive -- you're the Caped Crusader out to stop thugs and criminal masterminds -- but on the flipside the game focuses heavily on combat. Still, it has a positive message to stop those who do harm to others.

Positive Role Models & Representations

For the most part, Batman is a positive role model, but he does engage in close combat with enemies. He can punch, kick, and use weapons to clear a scene. He is noble and brave and wants to clean up Gotham City, but he does rely on combat (and exploration and detective skills) to achieve his goals. You also can play as Robin in this game. In the multiplayer version, be aware that you can also become a supervillain and be part of the Joker or Bane’s gang -- and even play as them temporarily.  

Ease of Play

The game plays similarly to the two previous Arkham-branded Batman games, utilizing the dual analog sticks, face buttons, and triggers. Newcomers to the genre might have a harder time at first, but overall this game has a fairly straightforward control mechanic.


Though tamer than most other third-person action games, including "Teen"-rated ones like the Uncharted series, this game does have a lot of melee combat (mostly in the story campaign) and some ranged (firearm) combat in the shooter-like online multiplayer modes. Blood can be seen smeared on walls and floors. Some forensics scenes might be disturbing, with strewn bodies.



In one scene, a villain appears to be briefly groping a female character's behind.


Profanity can be heard in the dialogue, including words like "s--t," "bastard," "bitch," and "ass."


Although not based on a particular Batman TV show, movie, or comic book, the game is closely tied to the DC Comics "Dark Knight" universe.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

One scene depicts illegal narcotics with a white substance in small packets.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is an action-heavy game with a strong emphasis on hand-to-hand combat and third-person shooter mechanics in the multiplayer modes. Players also can assume the role of the bad guys on the online games. Batman uses fists and kicks as well as special weapons to beat up the baddies. Some blood can be seen in the environment, along with dead bodies. The Joker and other characters might scare younger gamers. Finally, there is one sexually suggestive scene (a villain grabbing someone's buttocks), some profanity, and representation of illegal narcotics.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byDanaLynn P. July 29, 2018

Strategy is key

The game is quite violent but it takes strategy and solving puzzles to win. My children love it. At least I feel it's less graphically violent than a lo... Continue reading
Adult Written byIsaac S. November 16, 2017

Batman is very raw

Batman has just started his crime fighting career. He is hot headed and angry. Batman holds nothing bat in this game, he has nearly no restraint. A lot of anger... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byDoctor Who man February 27, 2017

Although very violent, it doest have anything worse than your average DC or Marvel movie.

I feel like Commonsense's review on this game is a LOT more valid than a lot of their others. Still, the violence isn't too bad. I have had this game... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old February 11, 2014

Holy Xbox Batman

Simply the best game I've ever played.

What's it about?

BATMAN: ARKHAM ORIGINS is the third official game in the popular Batman: Arkham series from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, and, among other features, it delivers a larger Gotham City and online multiplayer modes for the first time in the franchise (up to eight players can be split into three teams). The story serves as a prequel to the previous games, introducing a younger and unrefined Batman as he sets out on a path to become the legendary Dark Knight. Set on Christmas Eve, the tale tells of Batman hunted by eight of the deadliest assassins from the DC Comics Universe. Be prepared to see reimagined takes of iconic villains including Bane, the Joker, Penguin, Deathstroke, Copperhead, Black Mask, Deadshot, and others. Robin, too, is playable in this multiplatform game for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii U, and Windows PC. A "companion" game called Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate is available for Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita.

Is it any good?

Yes, it is, but those who played the last two games -- Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City -- might get a sense of deja vu. Oh, sure, the developer added a fresh story and a couple of new mechanics, not to mention the fun online multiplayer mode, but it won't take long to question whether this is essentially the same game as its two predecessors. Still, the free-flowing third-person combat feels great, the stealth and detective elements are deliciously tense, and the well-written story has a few exciting twists and turns. And boy, is it a good-looking game: playing the Xbox 360 version on a 60-inch LED TV helped elevate the overall experience.

Bottom line? As long as you go in knowing Batman: Arkham Origins is essentially the same kind of game as the two that came before it -- but with a new story and online multiplayer -- fans of the Caped Crusader will enjoy this deliciously dark action-adventure hybrid.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Do gamers want more of the same with these kinds of superhero games, or do they expect a brand-new experience when they throw down up to $60 for the disc? How does a developer know what's desirable by gamers?

  • Do you play games for the action or the story?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love superheroes

Themes & Topics

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