Many excited gamers will soon have a copy of Batman Arkham Knight in their hands, but just before it launches, let’s discuss the previous games in the Arkham series.

Batman Arkham Asylum was a wonderful surprise when it released back in 2009. At the time, critics and gamers alike had mostly come to the conclusion that superhero games just generally weren’t any good. We’d grown used to the mediocrity of Spider Man games and the like, so why would Batman Arkham Asylum – a game being developed by a studio with no pedigree or prior experience no less – be the game to change that?

Oh how we loved to be proved wrong. Arkham Asylum was critically acclaimed for its intense, fun, distinct combat system as well as it’s fantastic interpretation of the Arkham Asylum itself. Combine that with a stellar story and we had a game that received positive reviews across the board. The combat system is so good that many other developers essentially copy and paste it into their action/adventure games to this day.

Nevertheless, the sequel – Arkham City – is the best game in the series so far, in my opinion. Not only did it build on the already polished gameplay mechanics; it gave us a huge open world to fly around in, to pick up side quests in and to be immersed in. In many ways, Arkham City represents the pinnacle of Rocksteady’s ambition. It was at this point, when Arkham City released in 2011 – again to wide critical acclaim – that many considered Rocksteady as one of the best development studios of triple A games, having made their mark on the Batman franchise.

The following instalment – Batman Arkham Origins – is oft considered a misstep for the series. Released in 2013, the game was developed by Warner Bros as opposed to Rocksteady and so many have seen it as a cash-grab in order to keep the Arkham name relevant while fans wait for Rocksteady’s next big game. Don’t get me wrong, having played Arkham Origins I can tell you that it’s by no means a bad game or even an average one; it just doesn’t come close to reaching the heights of Rocksteady’s iterations. The game world does not feel alive and the story not as exciting. Nevertheless, there’s bound to be some gamers for whom Arkham Origins is their favorite in the series. Let me know if you’re one of them.

Batman Arkham Knight has already been picking up promising reviews with the only major complaint being the tank combat system used for the Batmobile. To pass the time before it launches, let me know what your favorite Batman Arkham game is so far. For me it has to be Arkham City, but no doubt some of you have a very different perspective.

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