The best of the Dark Knight: Every Batman movie definitively ranked

1. 'The Dark Knight' (2008)

Ledger's Oscar-winning performance as a chaotic, unpredictable Joker is legit one of the all-time best villain performances.

2. 'Batman' (1989)

Burton's wildly stylish masterpiece was a pop-culture comeback for the legendary character, defining Batman's world for years to come. 

3. ‘The Batman’ (2022)

Reeves leans into the "World's Greatest Detective" label from the comics with a neo-noir plot where Pattinson's Batman navigates puzzling clues and ciphers to hunt down the Riddler (Paul Dano).

4. ‘Batman Begins’ (2005)

Nolan's rebooted trilogy begins with an outstanding depiction of the Dark Knight's origin amid a twisty, action-packed and expertly crafted affair.

5. ‘Batman Returns’ (1992)

Burton's second Bat-film was darker and weirder than his first, with a Christmas setting and Danny DeVito as the most insane depiction of the Penguin ever.

6. ‘The Lego Batman Movie’ 

For younger Bat-fans, there's no better introduction to Gotham City than this madcap animated "Lego Movie" comedy spinoff featuring Will Arnett voicing the supremely macho Lego Batman and Zach Galifianakis as a weirdly sensitive Joker

7. ‘Batman: Mask of the Phantasm’ (1993)

Like its '60s counterpart, the influential '90s Batman animated TV series also spawned a noteworthy theatrical release.

8. ‘Batman: The Movie’ (1966)

Shortly after the first season of the smash '60s "Batman" TV show, West's Batman and Burt Ward's Robin hit the big screen for an adventure that famously involved the Batboat, shark repellent and a pesky bomb.

9. ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ 

Christopher Nolan's third Bat-film was not quite the charm. The filmmaker set such a high bar with the first two parts of his "Dark Knight" trilogy that a pretty good one seems disappointing.

10. ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ (2016)

Affleck's grumpy Dark Knight fights Henry Cavill's Man of Steel until they figure out they're both on the same side in Zack Snyder's messy superhero jumble.

11. ‘Justice League’ (2017/2021)

Whether you prefer Joss Whedon's original theatrical release or Snyder's improved four-hour director's cut, either way you get Affleck's best Bat-outing by far as the middle-aged dude who has to recruit a superteam to stave off an otherworldly assault.