Christopher Nolan’s epic 2008 film The Dark Knight was the second in his critically acclaimed Batman trilogy and earned an impressive rating of 94% on Rotten Tomatoes. Not only is it frequently recognized as one of the best pictures ever in lists such as Empire Magazine’s 500 Greatest Films of All Time where it was number 15, but it has also inspired a range of hugely popular games.
The Lara Croft: Tomb Raider films starring Angelina Jolie were slated by critics, but a recent reboot of the games has paved the way for the upcoming Tomb Raider film in 2018 to be a hit. Could it challenge the Dark Knight for supremacy as one of the best film and game combinations ever?
The sequel to Batman Begins in which the late Heath Ledger earned a posthumous Oscar for his exceptional performance as the Joker, led to a number of games hitting the market in the years that followed. One of which was an online slot machine based on the Caped Crusader. The Dark Knight video slot game makes jackpot millionaires, including a Swedish player that raked in 3.85 million Euros. It also incorporates cut scenes from the films and characters such as Batman, the Joker, and Jim Gordon. It is one of the most popular slot games around in the booming online casino world.
For those who prefer a more immersive gaming experience, the Batman Arkham series of console games has really allowed players to get a feel for what it is like protecting the people of Gotham. Batman: Arkham Knight, the third and final Batman game from developers Rocksteady Studios earned a score of 9.2/10 from IGN, and the 2014 Game Critics Awards named it as the best action/adventure game that year.
While The Dark Knight film paved the way for a set of modern games, the Tomb Raider franchise could now be working in the opposite direction. The previous Lara Croft films starring Jolie were based on the original PlayStation games of the 1990s, but years on the much-loved heroine has been given a makeover on new consoles.
In 2013 Crystal Dynamics opted to reboot the long-running Tomb Raider franchise with an origin story detailing one of Lara Croft’s first ever adventures. It showed how she acquired some of her skills, and the game had an engaging storyline featuring a young Lara desperately trying to save her friends from a strange cult on a desert island. It received excellent reviews and led to a follow up two years later called Rise of the Tomb Raider which received a score of 9/10 on Steam. Like the Dark Knight, the Tomb Raider franchise also includes slot games which try to attract a different demographic of gamer to the overall franchise. With all these games on the market, the stage is set for the 2018 Tomb Raider film starring Alicia Vikander as the crypt-exploring adventurer to attract massive audiences. But whether it can outdo the previous attempts remains to be seen.
As games franchises, Tomb Raider and Batman are arguably neck and neck, but the Caped Crusader is leading the way overall thanks to the Dark Knight film. If the rebooted version of Tomb Raider receives widespread acclaim and leads to more successful films, though, then Batman could end up being knocked from his perch.