Admit it – as much as you like watching Batman movies, you sure do have a soft spot for the Batman villains.

*Reduces voice to a whisper*

Don’t worry, you’re not alone!

From King Tut and Scarecrow, to Two-Face and Poison Ivy, Batman’s villains are as fascinating as the Caped Crusader himself. Their unique personalities, along with their often-tragic backstories, make them compelling characters – especially on the big screen.

But what are the best Batman villain movies? What films highlight the bad guys and gals, as much as they highlight the Dark Knight?

Below are eight of the best Batman movies that put the villains in the spotlight.

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Batman: Hush (2019)

Image: ©Warner Bros./DC Entertainment

In Batman: Hush, a mysterious new villain is targeting the Dark Knight and he is using Batman’s greatest villains to do it. But how many of Batman’s foes can fit into one movie? In the case of Batman: Hush, the answer is a lot!

Joker, Scarecrow, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, Catwoman, Bane all feature in the film, along with the star of the movie, Hush. But who is Hush and can Batman survive an ongoing assault from his rogues’ gallery?

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Batman Returns (1992)

Image: ©Warner Bros. Pictures/DC Entertainment

The Penguin, Catwoman and Max Shreck take centre stage in Batman Returns, stealing the limelight from the Dark Knight and also stealing the entire movie!

Batman’s screen time might be limited, but don’t worry, the villains drive this film and make it a fantastic showcase of corruption and criminal activity. Plus, who doesn’t love Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman?

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Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993)

Image: ©Warner Bros. Pictures/DC Entertainment

Two Batman villains appear in Batman: Mask of the Phantasm – one is an original character and the other is the most famous Bat-villain of them all. If you hadn’t guessed, the villains are the Phantasm – the title character of this movie – and the Joker.

If you have never seen Mask of the Phantasm then watch this film – it is a treat for those who love Batman villains. Both the Phantasm and the Joker are key characters in this story, and play an important role in the Caped Crusader’s early days as a crime-fighter.

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Suicide Squad (2016)

Image: ©Warner Bros. Pictures/DC Entertainment

You want a movie about villains? Then you should give David Ayer’s Suicide Squad a whirl.

This live-action movie revolves around a group of convicts who are recruited to take part in a deadly mission. Their chances of survival? Erm… limited at best.

The film features a whole group of Batman villains, from the Joker and Enchantress to Killer Croc and Deadshot. This movie also features the first live-action appearance of Harley Quinn.

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Justice League: Doom (2012)

Image: ©Warner Bros. Pictures/DC Entertainment

The Justice League are under attack from their greatest enemies… and it is all Batman’s fault! The Caped Crusader has devised a contingency plan to disabled the League, in the event it ever goes rogue, and that plan has fallen into enemy hands.

Justice League: Doom not only showcases a range of villains – from Bane and Cheetah to Metallo and Vandal Savage – it also looks as if the bad guys might actually win.

That’s one heck of a contingency plan, Batman!

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The Lego Batman Movie (2017)

Image: ©Warner Bros. Pictures/LEGO/DC Entertainment

As much as Batman needs his Bat-family (Robin, Batgirl, Alfred, etc) he also needs his villains. Never is this more evident than in 2017’s The Lego Batman Movie – a film which thrusts the Bat-villains to the forefront.

The Joker, Harley Quinn, Mr. Freeze and up to 39 Batman villains are all given the chance to shine in this film. This includes some of Batman’s lesser-known adversaries, including Gentleman Ghost and Catman!

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Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (2000)

Image: ©Warner Bros. Pictures/DC Entertainment

It is the future. Gotham City is a bustling metropolis, with its fair share of villains, but the Joker is no longer one of its problems. He died many years ago.

Or did he?

In Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, the Clown Prince of Crime returns from the dead to do battle with his arch nemesis, Bruce Wayne. And while he’s back in town, he also finds time to take on the city’s saviour, Batman.

Mark Hamill provides the voice of the Joker for a fantastic movie that gives the character one of the best animated outings off all time. Want to know what happened in the final battle between Batman and the Joker? The answer is in this film.

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The Dark Knight (2008)

Image: ©Warner Bros. Pictures/DC Entertainment

And finally, the Joker steals the show once again in director Christopher Nolan’s epic Batman film, The Dark Knight. Here, Heath Ledger gives an Oscar winning performance in the ultimate game of cat and mouse between Batman and the Joker.

But don’t be fooled into thinking this is simply a Joker movie – Batman also has his hands full with Scarecrow, Two-Face and many, many mob bosses. The villains take centre stage and give Batman a run for his money – and Batman has a lot of money.

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Recap

The best Batman villain movies are:

  • Batman: Hush (2019)
  • Batman Returns (1992)
  • Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993)
  • Suicide Squad (2016)
  • Justice League: Doom (2012)
  • The Lego Batman Movie (2017)
  • Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (2000)
  • The Dark Knight (2008)

And should you want to watch more Batman movies that put the focus on the villains, then you might like to check out:

  • Batman: Assault on Arkham (2014)
  • Batman: The Killing Joke (2016)
  • Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay (2018)
  • Justice League vs. the Fatal Five (2019)

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Who are your favourite Batman movie villains? Is the Joker you No.1 foe or do you favour some of the less well-known characters, such as the Condiment King or Clayface? Whoever you prefer, sound off in the comments section below and share your love for the Batman villains.

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