Batman Returns on the SEGA CD is an enhanced version of the Genesis adaptation of the movie. It includes the entirety of the original platform game, but adds all-new driving levels.
The game can be played in three ways: either as only the platform game, only the racing game, or a combination of both. Each option features a unique ending sequence.
For every of the original version's five platform levels, there is a related driving section in which the player controls either the Batmobile or the Batskiboat. Both in perspective and gameplay, these sections are reminiscent of arcade titles like OutRun. Seen from above and behind, the player's vehicle must reach checkpoints before a timer runs out, receiving bonus points for any surplus seconds. The CD system's hardware is used for sprite scaling and other tricks, achieving a 3D effect.
The game being based on an action-filled movie, there's not only driving but also shooting: both the car and the boat are armed with machine guns and heat-seeking missiles (with limited ammunition). Besides the roads being full of enemies in general, each level also ends in a boss fight against a big (and usually heavily armed) vehicle.
The game features CD-based audio tracks, replacing those from the original.