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Who Is The Best Batman? A Definitive Ranking

With the latest iteration of the Caped Crusader upon us, we go in search of an answer to one of pop culture’s great questions — who is The Best Batman?
Best Batman
By  · Published on March 4th, 2022

Who is the Best Batman? A Final Combined Ranking

Now that we’ve broken these portrayals apart and ranked the actors as both Bruce Wayne and Batman, it’s time to put them back together and come to a final, wholistic ranking to determine who is The Best Batman.

Here’s how it all worked out:

  1. Michael Keaton
  2. Adam West
  3. Christian Bale
  4. Robert Pattinson
  5. Kevin Conroy
  6. Ben Affleck
  7. Val Kilmer
  8. Will Arnett
  9. George Clooney
  10. Robert Lowery
  11. Lewis Wilson

Any way you slice it, the top six on this list were very close. Which feels right, in the end, as each of the first six names on the list represents unique eras for big-screen Batman. Adam West brought Batman out of the comics with a rush of color and camp, propelling the character to mainstream cinematic success. Two decades later, Michael Keaton gave us a portrayal that would define Batman’s on-screen look for many years to come, elevating him to the stratosphere of popular culture with two absolute bangers. Christian Bale came along and helped Christopher Nolan bring Batman into a grittier, more realistic, and grounded world. Kevin Conroy gave us the definitive animated version of Batman through his exhaustive catalog of work. Despite never getting a standalone adventure, Affleck gave us the older, more grizzled Batman who had to face a litany of massive threats. And now Robert Pattinson, the newest Batman, has given us hope for the future: a younger, more chaotic, and vengeful Batman who’s still learning what it means to be Gotham’s protector.

In the end, even though we’ve correctly come to the conclusion that every other Batman wants what Michael Keaton’s Batman had, the ultimate winner here is us. Especially in the 30-plus years since Burton and Keaton began Batman’s blockbuster era, fans have been spoiled with a wild and wonderful variety of takes on the character. That is where Batman’s cultural power truly lies: he’s both timeless and adaptable, allowing each actor to bring something new to the character while remaining iconic and familiar. Discussing, debating, and trying to work out which Batman is The Best Batman is a rewarding project not only because it makes for good content — it’s also good for the soul. Because we love talking endlessly about Batman and his many iterations. Even yours, George Clooney.

This list was assembled, written, and edited by Brad Gullickson, Christopher Campbell, Neil Miller, and Rob Hunter.

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