For the record, I for one thought [Batman: Arkham Knight](tag:2683936) was better than Arkham City, however there's a large number who disagrees. This article is to argue points from both side. The only way I can get my point across is to spoil a few things, actually the entire story line. I'm not going to look at the video game from a logistical and mechanical (i.e. graphics and gameplay) standpoint, because that's never mattered to me, and even so, one is a next generation compatible game and the other is last-gen, the graphics comparison is unfair. It's going to come down to the story--since there's actually nothing more to the game because there's no form of multiplayer.
First of all, I believe the story to Arkham Knight outdid Arkham City with it's plot. Though an entire game dedicated to the insanity and chaos of the Joker seemed as enticing as it is, that wasn't the main objective of the game. At first the main villain was presumed to be Hugo Strange who was working alongside Ra's Al Ghul (later revealed), but a subliminal objective was to get an antidote to the TITAN virus that the Joker was infected with and transfused his blood into yours early into the game. Getting the antidote and taking down the Joker almost felt like an addition to the story, which is a beautiful feeling when playing such a great game. More so, I don't believe that discovering Ra's Al Ghul was working with Hugo Strange to destroy the city was the biggest plot twist in Arkham City, because if you're an avid follower of the villain he's only ever into two things: destroying Gotham or making Batman his heir to the League of Assassins. The greatest twist had to have been when the audience was fooled into thinking that the Joker had gotten his hands on the antidote for the TITAN formula himself and was playing games with the Batman but in actuality it was Clayface playing as him, while the actual Joker was withering away. Just kidding, the biggest twist, possibly one of the greatest twists/endings of all time, was that the Joker died. For the first time in my life, I was exposed to an actual death of the Joker. Not a doppelgänger, clone, or a hallucination proven when Batman carried the Joker out of the building like Cain carried Abel (one of the greatest demonstrations of foreshadowing and symbolism known to man) and if you kept playing the game afterwards even the dialogue of the thugs you overheard said so.
In Arkham Knight however, plot twists occur as early as 10% into the whole game. This was probably the most cinematic scene in any video game of 2015: ACE chemicals is about to explode and disperse a chemical toxin that would cover the entire eastern seaboard, but Batman isn't about to let that happen. Batman starts the process of adding the neutralizing agent to the toxin and slowly lowers the blast radius while he huffs in Scarecrow's infamous fear toxin. He discovers that the Scarecrow had kidnapped Barbara Gordon (Oracle) when it's the Batman's fault that she hadn't evacuated with the rest of the city. Batman and Alfred exchange words on the comm network; Bruce wants to keep deploying the neutralizing agent to save everyone but Alfred knows that Bruce will not get out in time. All throughout the scene, Inner Demons from the original soundtrack is playing. The most somber and teary-eyed inducing piano music cues in right as Batman says "Goodbye, Alfred." and cuts communications. If you haven't heard it yet, I highly recommend listening to it plain. If you can find the scene, watch it if you want to. I don't want you to be disappointed if the scene you pictured in your mind was exponentially more cinematic than the actual scene, but I love when people use their imagination.
I'm veering away from the point, I know, but that will forever be one of my favorite Batman moments. The plot twist was when the Joker reappears alongside Batman while he's deploying the agent, and shoots him. The screen fades to black and fades back to Jim Gordon walking into Panessa Studios (another secret Batcave embedded in Gotham). You walk around and observe a series of four patients being held in containment cells because they were also transfused with the Joker's blood, and are slowly starting to look and act like him. You notice that there's an empty cell, and after you confront Batman about it, all he says is that "he'll be here soon" as his eyes change from blue (his normal color) to a bright green (this may not have occurred at this point in the story, but shortly after).
The only disappointing factor of Arkham Knight were the boss fights plain and simple. They were not as exciting as they could've been, seeing as 90% had to have been done from inside the Batmobile, which I understand was a major addition to the game, but still, disappointing. Don't get me wrong, driving around Gotham's collapsed mining tunnels trying to avoid the Arkham Knight's devastating vehicle that made me very reminiscent of Demolisher from Transformers 2 had to have been one of the most fun times I've had in a boss fight. The one boss fight that wasn't in the Batmobile was against the Arkham Knight, this one was a pure letdown. You never got to engage the Arkham Knight in hand-to-hand combat, which is something I was really looking forward to. If you guys saw Under the Red Hood that confrontation was one of the most action-packed-close-quarter-combat flaunting scenes ever present in any Batman movie.
That tops the Bane fight from the Dark Knight Rises easily. Using the environment makes Batman so much more...ruthless. Oh, and, the Arkham Knight is actually the Red Hood if you haven't figured it out just yet. So yeah, that set the standard for the boss battle, which only amounted to grappling to the gargoyle the Red Hood was on and exchanging dialogue, while you fought his henchmen in between. Arkham City, however, did not have this problem. In this aspect Arkham City outdid Arkham Knight by a mile. The Solomon Grundy fight was fun as you pranced around using explosive gel to incapacitate him, the Ra's Al Ghul fight was fun as you had to time the electrical charge to get past his humungous sand monument, the Mr. Freeze fight was more than fun and challenging because you couldn't use the same move twice. Actually, I'm really starting to lean more towards the Arkham City side now.
Let me know what you think! Also, it's 3 AM and Lethal Weapon 4 is on, cut me some slack on any mistakes.