ShortList is supported by you, our amazing readers. When you click through the links on our site and make a purchase we may earn a commission. Learn more

Batman actors, ranked: who’s the best Batman?

Which Batman actor wore the cowl best?

Batman actors, ranked: who’s the best Batman?
Marc Chacksfield
07 October 2021

After a two-movie stint (bar a cameo here and there), Ben Affleck is no longer Batman. Well, he kind of is because of Zack Snyder's Justice League. Gah, it's all so confusing! Officially, though, the famous cape and cowl has been passed on to a younger, more sparkly actor.

Robert Pattinson is playing The Batman in Matt Reeves upcoming, and unfortunately delayed, solo movie, a a film that’s set to bring the caped crusader back to his detective roots.

UPDATE:Michael Keaton has spoken about fitting back into his old batsuit for the upcoming The Flash movie, noting that it still fits. When asked on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert about whether they had to make any adjustments, he replied: "As svelte as ever, man. Same dimensions, same fitting."

This got us thinking: who is the best Batman actor so far? There has been many an iteration of DC’s most iconic character, who was created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger way back in 1939.

Below is the Batman actors, ranked - all voted for by you. So if you don't like the ranking, then can vote and have your say…

Best Batman actors

Yes, we need to speak about the voice. The low, gravely gurgle he puts on when Batman is irksome at times, but this is a powerful portrayal of the caped crusader. Backed by the deft direction of Chris Nolan, Bale is a brooding, bruised Batman who suffers for his art. The trilogy of films may wa(y)ne with The Dark Knight Rises but Batman Begins and The Dark Knight are two of the best superhero movies ever made, with Bale’s towering performance central to this.

Thanks for voting

At the time, Michael Keaton as Batman angered a lot of people. Known for his comedy turns, it was felt he just wasn’t suited to the role. Director Tim Burton had other ideas, though. Having worked with him on Beetlejuice, he sawin him both the intensity needed to play the darkness of the Dark Knight and the likeable arrogance of billionaire Bruce Wayne. We’re glad he did, Keaton is a brilliant Batman, in two movies that turned Gotham into a gothic, film-noir dreamscape.

Thanks for voting

That voice. It just is Batman. Kevin Conroy’s dulcet tones made Batman: The Animated series what is was, perhaps the greatest take on the Caped crusader yet. He was so good as Batman (he first started voicing the role back in 1992) that he returned time and time again to voice the character.

Thanks for voting

“Why don’t they do the bat dance anymore?” Adam West was a brilliant Batman, sieving out the severity of the character and adding an over-the-top pizzazz that suited the campiness of the show. As serious as Batman is now, he was much more kid friendly and rather goofy in the comics way before the TV show. This didn’t mean that West fed into the joke, his Batman was straight-faced throughout, all while the silly surrealness of the show surrounded him and his Boy Wonder.

Thanks for voting

Bat-fleck was a decent Batman. He was! He had the bulk and menace Batman should have and his warehouse scuffle in Batman Vs Superman is up there with some of Batman’s greatest fights. Also, his take on Bruce Wayne was essentially himself in a tux and that’s fine by us. We just wish the flabby movies around him were better, giving his portrayal the justice (League) it deserved.

Thanks for voting

The Lego Batman Movie was welcome light relief for the character. After three bruising Nolan Batman movies and two soul-crushing Snyder movies, it was fantastic to see a send up of Batman that still respected the character. Will Arnett’s smooth timbre was the ideal voice for Lego Batman, and his brand of humour fitted the role as well.

Thanks for voting

Moving away from the beautiful oddness of Tim Burton’s bat-sploitation flicks, director Joel Schumacher decided to shift the dial closer to the garishness of the comic books. No Burton meant no Keaton, so Val Kilmer stepped up to Bat. He certainly looked the part and felt like the only sensible thing in a movie that saw Jim Carrey gurn his way through the role of The Riddler, next to a strangely miscast Tommy Lee Jones as Two-Face.

Thanks for voting

Trying to separate Clooney from the mess that is Batman & Robin is a tough one. There’s actually nothing wrong with his portrayal. Yes, it veers into stupidity at times but compared to the rest of the movie, his performance is Oscar worthy. And if you like your Batman to have nipples, then this is the Batman for you.

Thanks for voting


Tell us about it, and if enough people agree we'll add it in.