The Good: Virtually everything? No, seriously.
Arkham City is not only the best Batman title, but the best superhero title of all time. (Only its predecessor, Arkham Asylum, even comes close.) Batman and his enemies look and sound just right; every encounter between the Dark Knight and his super-villains satisfies, whether facing off against the Joker with his fists, the Riddler with his brain, or any number of other rogues with both. As the main playable character, Batman also moves like a dream; whether grappling between gargoyles, gliding over rooftops, or simply lurking in the shadows, the Caped Crusader and his gadgets fit Gotham like a glove!
With all of that said, even if I hadn't already been familiar with Batman and his world, Arkham City would've blown me away. It offers the best combat I've ever experienced in an action game. Its controls are perfect. Its score is evocative. Its voice acting is top-notch. A wealth of unlockable character bios and audio recordings make even Gotham's lesser-known deranged denizens come alive. If I hadn't already been reading Batman comics, Arkham City's sheer level of awesomeness would've compelled me to start, and that's the highest praise I can conceive of bestowing upon any superhero title!
The Bad: Just once, I needed to turn on "hints" in order to solve a counter-intuitive environmental puzzle. A couple of the optional cases became frustratingly directionless midway through. The third-act plot points involving the al Ghuls didn't make much sense. And some of the Catwoman gameplay felt tacked-on. But in the grand scheme of things, none of that mattered; I didn't rest until I'd completed every side mission, and I'd gladly do so again!
The Stand-out Moment: Paying respects in Crime Alley.
The Verdict: 10 (out of 10)