Rocksteady’s Batman: Arkham Asylum wasn’t just the first good Batman game since the 16-bit days (well, the first good Batman game that didn’t involve Lego at least), it did for the caped crusader what games like Spider-Man 2, Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, and The Punisher did for their respective heroes: It put players into the role of a comic book superhero like never before. You weren’t just moving him around the screen and punching out opponents, you could make Batman do all the cool stuff that you saw in the comics and movies. You could sneak up behind enemies and take them out one by one, hang from above and dive in on a hapless foe, and effortlessly take out groups of armed thugs with little or no effort. You could even tap into his detective skills to find hidden objects and secrets. The game’s sequel, Arkham City (hinted at in a secret hidden room in Arkham Asylum) gives players an entire open world to experience.

Arkham City takes place in an old crumbling section of Gotham that has been sanctioned as a prison area. After Bruce Wayne is imprisoned in the area, he changes into Batman to investigate the chaos, discover the prison’s secrets, and battle familiar villains. You’ll encounter familiar foes like the Joker, Two-Face, and Mr. Freeze, and use a variety of gadgets. Challenges and subquests are scattered around the map for players to find, and fans of Batman will get a kick out all of the hidden references and guest appearances. The game’s combat is just as solid as it was last time around, and Batman’s gliding across Arkham City’s rooftops is something to behold, almost like swinging throughout New York City as Spider-Man back in Spider-Man 2. Catwoman, Nightwing, and Robin are playalbe in DLC, with Catwoman having a separate campaign that intersects with the main story and Robin being playable in a story taking place two weeks after the game’s events. Batman veteran writer Paul Dini provided the script, and both Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamil returned to voice Batman and the Joker respectively (with this game being the latter’s last time voicing the character).

By the way, the $20 price point is for the Game of the Year Edition, which contains all of the DLC mentioned above along with some of the worst box art ever. Bad box art aside, Arkham City once again provides the definitive Batman experience for fans of the caped crusader.