Ranking The Batmen (Worst to Best)

If you're looking for a place to get an official ranking of all the Batmen that have ever been, excluding video game incarnations, then you're in the right place!

I'm not going to front like I have any connection to or informed opinion on the Batman serials from the 40s. I should also note that, as much as I recognize it's not David Mazouz's fault, no one will be happy with my assessment of whatever Gotham is doing with Bruce Wayne.  So, no, they don't show up on this list!

Jason O'Mara as Batman in...
1) Justice League: War (2014)
2) Son of Batman (2014)
3) Justice League: Throne of Atlantis (2015)
4) Batman vs. Robin (2015)
5) Batman: Bad Blood (2016)
6) Justice League vs. Teen Titans (2016)
7) Justice League Dark (2017)

Best Attribute:
He's certainly taking Batman seriously.  Though he's in the last spot, I can't accuse Jason for sounding cartoonish.   Jason O'Mara's Batman has the potential to sound intimidating at times.

Worst Attribute:
Jason makes batman sound like he is completely devoid of a  soul.  It's intimidating for a bit but mostly stilted and robotic to the point of me asking, "How does he keep getting recast?"  As the list goes on you'll notice that it is really hard for voice actors to get it right for me, since there is a definitive perfect voice for Batman.  We'll get to that later.

- William Baldwin as Batman in...
1) Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths (2010)

Best Attribute:
I get the sense William is trying his best.

Worst Attribute:
I think this voice work is just weak.  It's a bit better than Jason's work but still on the spectrum of feeling almost thoughtless and empty.

George Clooney as Batman in...
1) Batman & Robin (1997)

Best Attribute:
George at least feels like a playboy billionaire when he's out of the cowl.  I always say that a live-action actor's biggest task when playing Batman is how he does as Bruce Wayne.  If you're a batman fan the suit and action scenes will do most of the work.  It's what happens when there is no mask that will be telling.  George Clooney at least felt like a realistic playboy during his run.

Worst Attribute:
I can't stand how much it feels like George Clooney isn't taking the role seriously.  If he's playing the role tongue in cheek it comes off like he's just over the material and looking to move on.  I know I said that being a good Bruce Wayne is important, but I couldn't stand the smirk that George Clooney used throughout his Bruce and Batman scenes.  I get that he had bad material to work with but I don't think he'd mind me saying that he probably wouldn't have got much higher on this list even with better material.  George just ins't the right fit for Batman.  That's fine.

 Ben McKenzie as Batman in...
1) Batman: Year One (2011)

Best Attribute:
It definitely seems like Ben's doing his best here.  He's infusing the lines with some degree of nuance.  Or, at least he's making choices with his line readings and the anger his Bruce Wayne and Batman feel.

Worst Attribute:
What I once deemed flat line readings may very well just be a case of Ben sounding wrong for the part.  He sounds too young and his voice doesn't command my attention like most of the other actors on this list.  At least this is better than his work on Gotham as Jim Gordon.

Rino Romano as Batman in...
1) The Batman (2004-2008)
2) The Batman vs. Dracula (2005) 

Best Attribute:
You can't laugh at his portrayal... 

Worst Attribute:
Honestly, I never watched this show for more than 30 seoconds so I don't know if Rino is a good or bad Batman.  I just know that I'd probably like him more than the two people who preceded him on this list if I actually invested time in this show.

#12- Jeremy Sisto as Batman in...
1) Justice League: The New Frontier (2008)

Best Attribute:
It's all relative right?  I guess I just didn't find Jeremy's performance as bad as the actors who have preceeded him on this list and He's certainly not better than anyone who will come after him on this list.

Worst Attribute:
I just can't get into this voice for Batman.  I can't put my finger on it, it just sounds wrong.

Peter Weller as Batman in...
1) Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 (2012)
2) Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2 (2013)

Best Attribute:
Peter Weller's Batman has a certain steely resolve that you've gotta admire.  His Batman is also in the only true adaptation of The Dark Knight Returns.  A comic that has been in the DNA of almost every representation we've seen of Batman since '89.

Worst Attribute:
Don't get it twisted.  Both parts of The Dark Knight Returns are great.  But that has more to do with storyline than what Peter brought to the role.  I'd suggest that more than 60% sounds of the performance sounds like empty line readings.  I've been told I'm just wrong about this opinion but I can't help it.  It's a weak vocal performance for me on the whole.

Diedrich Bader as Batman in
1) Batman: The Brave and The Bold (2008-2011)

Best Attribute:
If you liked Will Arnett's take you'd probably like this one too.  I also think that Deidrich definitely gets the tongue-in-cheek aspect down properly.

Worst Attribute:
I just couldn't get into this show and I tried.  That's not Diedrich's fault.  The show was for a specific crowd and I don't like my Batman like this so I have to respectfully place Diedrich's Batman in this slot due to the material he dealt with.

Anthony Ruivivar as Batman in...
1) Beware the Batman (2013-2014)

Best Attribute:
Anthony gave a solid if not somewhat forgettable vocal performance of Batman on his show.

Worst Attribute:
I honestly can't bash this performance it just didn't have that special wow factor.  It's not good that, even though I watched every episode of this show, I still needed to listen to Anthony's Batman again to remember if it was good or not.  What I liked about this Batman relied more on the physicality which Anthony can't really take credit for.

Will Arnett as Batman in...
1) The LEGO Movie (2014)
2) The LEGO Batman Movie (2017)

Best Attribute:
Will Arnett definitely put his stamp on this character.  He's got the right voice for Batman and it's definitely a specific enough take to make him stand out against other actors who could only use their voice when bringing Batman to life.

Worst Attribute:
I just don't like how silly his Batman is.  Otherwise he'd be higher.

 Bruce Greenwood as Batman in...
1) Batman: Under the Red Hood (2010)
2) Young Justice (2010-2013)

Best Attribute:
His tone as this batman is warm enough that he doesn't run into Jason O'Mara, souless territory, but he still keeps an edge to him.  I also like the material his Batman dealt with.  That may account for Bruce Greenwood breaking the top 10.  Young Justice and Under The Red Hood are two of my favourite non Bruce Timm/Paul Dini animated Batman outings.

Worst Attribute:
It's like I said, there is an objectively perfect version of doing voice work for Batman... Bruce ain't it.... but he's close.

Val Kilmer as Batman in...
1) Batman Forever (1995)

Best Attribute:
I think Val portrayed Bruce Wayne and Batman well in that he brought out the playboy billionaire, almost stuck up, Bruce and the never say die Batman.  In fact, Val's Batman actually tells The Riddler he'll never stop being Batman and he doesn't need to choose between Batman and Bruce Wayne.  That's the kind of Batman story I like!

Worst Attribute:
I feel like the movie Val was in really hurts his credibility as a good Batman.  People like dumping on Batman Forever, but I saw it at the right time.  I do see how it might not be everyone's cup of tea though.

Adam West as Batman in...
1) Batman (1966-1968)
2) Batman: The Movie (1966)
3) Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders (2017)
4) Batman vs. Two-Face (2017)

Best Attribute:
He's straight up iconic.  I'm sad Adam West is no longer with us, but his voice will forever remind us of the Caped Crusader.  Such a distinct voice and such a love for what his version of Batman was!

Worst Attribute:
It's silly but at least it's done well and on purpose.

Ben Affleck as Batman in...
1) Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
2) Suicide Squad (2016)
3) Justice League (2017)

Best Attribute:
Ben's physicality as Batman is pretty good.  He got a leg up on fans by having a voice modulator so his Batman voice isn't really an issue.  I even like his Bruce Wayne.  Bruce Wayne's interactions with Wonder Woman in BvS as was Bruce Wayne's interaction with Amanda Waller in Suicide Squad.  I also think he nailed Batman in Suicide Squad.   I'm looking forward to how that progresses in Justice League

Worst Attribute:
He's a Batman who kills, uses guns, and drinks.  Three things I thought were pretty big no-nos when dealing with Batman.  Of the three, I'll only pick on killing.  In this DCEU universe, Batman has already lost a Robin.  If this Batman is a killer... how are Joker and Harley still running around town?  Why would any villain be out and about?  Just kill them like you killed the countless nobody bad guys in BvS.  Anyway... he's still #4 in my books!

Kevin Conroy as Batman in...
1) Batman: The Animated Series (1992-1999)
2) Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993)
3) Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero (1998)
4) Batman Beyond: The Movie (1999)
5) Batman Beyond (1999-2001)
6) Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (2000)
7) Justice League (2001-2006)
8) Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman (2003)
9) Batman: Gotham Knight (2008)
10) Superman/Batman: Public Enemies (2009)
11) Superman/Batman: Apocalypse (2010)
12) Justice League: Doom (2012)
13) Justice League: Flashpoint Paradox (2013)
14) Batman: The Killing Joke (2016)
15) Justice League Action (2016-2017)
16) Batman and Harley Quinn (2017)

Best Attribute:
Other than Adam West, Kevin Conroy is the voice of Batman.  If I'm looking at a cartoon or reading a Batman comic, I'm trying to hear Kevin as Batman and Bruce Wayne.  There is something I just can't explain about his performance.  It's warm and familiar all while threatening enough to sell the menace Batman can pose at times.  It's time for everyone to just acknowledge that Kevin perfected the voice for Batman and Bruce Wayne.

Worst Attribute:
Voicing the character alone will only get you so far on this list... sorry.

Christian Bale as Batman in...
1) Batman Begins (2005)
2) The Dark Knight (2008)
3) The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Best Attribute:
Christian had a tenacity about him.  Christian's Batman felt like a raw nerve and it was invigorating to watch.  I know people liked to make fun of his voice, but I dug it.  Mostly because of the times he decided to drop the voice (e.g. when he makes sure Rachel is ok after they fall out the window in The Dark Knight).  Christian isn't the first person to give Bruce and Batman different voices but he certainly was the most memorable person to do it since you always knew when he was about to bring the ruckus!  Also I thought he had the coolest suit and overall look.

Worst Attribute:
Ultimately, Christian Bale's Bruce Wayne always planned on hanging up the cowl.  No matter how well I thought Christian did, I can't abide a Bruce Wayne who gives up.

Michael Keaton as Batman in...
1) Batman (1989)
2) Batman Returns (1992)

Best Attribute:
There was no chance I was going to please everyone with this pick.  I think what I responded to the most out of Michael Keaton's Batman is that he felt like he was having the most fun.  His first outing definitely felt like he was out for revenge, but that didn't stop him from hitting on Vicki Vale or trying to make other suitors look stupid.  He also did seem a bit unhinged which was an interesting addition to the character.  Remember the "let's get nuts" scene?  Yet and still, I never worried about this Batman's mental health.  Ultimately, Michael was a more than competent Batman.  I didn't have to worry Michael's Bruce thought his calling was a drag or that being Batman was wearing him down.  His batman felt like a constant and I found comfort in that.

Worst Attribute:
Obviously the movies Michael's Batman was in weren't the best.  Doesn't make him any less of a great Batman.