The Batman Arkham series is one of the most renowned superhero games in the history of gaming. The use of Batmans gadgets with combat and detective work combined with the compelling story telling with each installment has not only made this franchise as the greatest superhero games, but some of the best games period. Paving the way and setting the standard for what we expect out of comic book adapted games. In this list we will be gliding into the side missions of the series. While the stories are incredible, it’s also the side missions that made you wanting to come back for more and part of the reason why they are so easy to replay. We won’t be covering any main story missions or challenge missions, stories like Cold, Cold Heart from Arkham Origins, Harley Quinns Revenge and Catwomans Campaign from Arkham City will not count. As well as the campaign missions in Arkham Knight that feature the Bat-Family. However, the Season of Infamy DLC will be counted since they are considered side missions and not critical to the story or a separate story entirely.
Also Read: 10 Batsuits We Want in the Next Arkham Game
Shot in the Dark (Deadshot) – Arkham City
Keeping us on our toes throughout Arkham City, the sound of a gunshot is the notification to the players that Deadshot has killed another target. Using Batmans detective skills, with each dead body you find Batman uses his detective mode to track the trajectory of where the bullet was fired. When you arrive to the location, you manage to find evidence of Deadshots presence. As you continue to find three more bodies and related to Floyd Lawton, you finally come across a list of people he is set to execute. The list includes Jack Ryder, Bruce Wayne and Batman. With just a short time to save Ryder, Batman finds Lawton at the Bowery and saves Ryder. However, locked and loaded with his wrist guns, Batman must hide from his lasers or risk getting shot by the assassin. Giving us a solid first appearance of Deadshot in the Arkham series and excellent use of Batmans detective skills in the series.
Beneath the Surface (Killer Croc) – Arkham Knight
The character Killer Croc has managed to make an appearance in all four games. As one of the assassins in Origins, a sewer dweller in Asylum, and a brief appearance in City. However, it’s his appearance in Arkham Knight that really put the villain in a new light. When Nightwing discovers an airship from Iron Heights Penitentiary has crashed in Gotham Bay, Batman and Nightwing set off to rescue any survivors and capture the escaped prisoners. Upon their arrival, they find an officer who notifies them that Killer Croc has escaped. Croc suddenly appears and knocks down Batman, running behind a massive secured door. Batman and Nightwing are notified that Croc has also kidnaped the warden. When the Dynamic Duo manage to get through the door, they discover medical equipment that has been destroyed and video recordings of the incident. The Warden and prison staff had been torturing and experimenting on Croc, in hopes to weaponize his healing factor ability. Batman and Nightwing manage to stop Killer Croc from killing the warden and lock up the monster in a cell right next to Crocs.
Identity Theft (Hush) – Arkham City
An appearance that caught everyone off guard. When Batman discovers dead bodies in Arkham City that have had their face removed and wrapped in bandages. Batman sets out to find who has been mutilating these people and stop them from killing anymore civilians. We discover two more victims, until Batman finally gets a lead that sends him to a thug that has been assisting this killer, but unknown of any details about the case. Only that he was hired by Bruce Wayne and gives us a location of the hideout. Batman finds the location and inside he discovers all kinds of medical equipment and plans on how to surgically remove the faces of his victims and stitch together the perfect mask. He also finds a recording of the killer and discovers the man behind the murders is Thomas Elliott. The room locks down, a man in a brown trench coat and covered in bandages appears on the other side of the door. He removes the bandages and reveals himself to look exactly like Bruce Wayne, even sounding like him. He explains his motive was to seek revenge on Wayne and will impersonate him to ruin his reputation.
Mad Hatter (Jervis Tetch) – Arkham Origins
Jervis Tetch first made his appearance in Arkham City, but was further explored and displayed in a bit more of a psychotic nature in Arkham Origins. When Batman is presented with three of his henchmen, they perform an iteration of London Bridge is Falling Down to invite him to a tea party. Batman is then greeted by Tetch himself in an unknown broadcast and into Batmans audio frequency where he reveals that he has kidnapped a girl. Since Tetch considers himself the incarnation of the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland and is in desperate need for an Alice. Batman arrives at his Hat Shop where he is greeted by Hatters henchmen. After he defeats them, Batman is hypnotized by Tetch and mentally trapped in his version of Wonderland. As you maneuver through colorful forests, you are met with dangerous obstacles and have to find your way around Wonderland. When the player finally gets Batman to the end of the illusion, he awakens to find Tetch has a knife held to Alice. With the use of the Remote Control Batarang, Batman manages to disarm him and save Alice.
Fragile Alliance (Bane) – Arkham City
After Batman drove his Batmobile into Bane, sending him into the ocean during the villain rebellion in Arkham Asylum. Bane made a return in Arkham City and this time was hunting down the remaining Titan formula that was created in the previous game. While gliding through the city, you come across a large group of thugs outside the doors of a toy factory. After you defeat the thugs and enter the factory, there you find Bane. He explains that a large shipment of Titan made it off Arkham Island and since him and Dr. Young are the ones who created it, he feels obligated to destroy the remaining canisters. Batman agrees to help him go through Arkham City to find the containers. As you grapple and glide though the prison, you find the containers and eliminate them with Batmans explosive gel. Once they have all been found, Batman goes back to the toy factory as they are both ambushed by a group of thugs. They manage to fight them off as Bane reveals he has been hoarding the Titan to use for himself. Batman lures Bane into a caged area, where he proceeds to blow up the remaining Titan. Though this isn’t a very challenging side mission in the franchise, it’s a fun one to explore. Finding the titan and briefly working alongside Bane is something we never thought we get to see, but enjoyed it when it happened.
The Perfect Crime (Professor Pyg) – Arkham Knight
One of the more gruesome missions in the Arkham series. While traveling though Gotham, you might occasionally hear random opera music. The louder and clearer the music becomes, the closer you get to discover a dead body hung up on a wall wearing a hospital gown and bandages around their face. At first glance you might assume Hush has made his return since his appearance in Arkham City. Batman uses multiple variations of his detective mode to examine the body to identify the corpse and figure out the connection between the deceased. As you find five more bodies throughout the city, the connection is made to each victim went missing during the same time a circus called “The Circus of Strange” went through their city. It is uncovered the circus is owned by a man named Lazlo Valentin, and he owns a beauty shop in Gotham called Pretty Dolls Parlor. When the players arrives at the location it seems like a normal beauty parlor, but with further investigating we find stairs that lead underground and there we find Lazlo with multiple victims locked in cages. Lazlo has taken on the persona of Professor Pyg, believing these people are imperfect he intends to fix them and make them perfect. Unfortunatly for him, Batman puts an end to his killing spree and save the people he has harmed.
Cold Case Killer (Victor Zsasz) – Arkham City
A loved and hated side mission, Victor Zsasz returns after his brief appearance in Arkham Asylum to add more tallies on his body. Random pay phones can be heard ringing throughout Arkham City, on the other line is Victor Zsasz with a challenge. Giving players a short amount of time to travel to another ringing phone in another area of the city. If you fail to reach the other phone in time, Zsasz will kill one of the three people he is holding hostage. Batman decides to play his game, so he can use each phone call he has with the killer to get closer and closer to tracking his location. While you go through the game and answer more phones, Zsasz takes a minute with each call to admit his feelings of guilt by explaining his origin of why he does what he does. Batman finally manages to get the location at a warehouse in the Industrial District, when we enter the warehouse to find Zsasz has already killed one of his prisoners. To avoid being spotted by him, players maneuver Batman around the hideout before breaking through glass and grabbing the deranged killer. Batman removes the political prisoners from their cage and replaces them with Victor, preventing him from making any more marks during his stay in Arkham City.
In From the Cold (Mr. Freeze) – Arkham Knight
One of the most memorable parts in Arkham City was the boss fight against Mr. Freeze, the intensity of being hunted by the desperate scientist while also trying to come up with different ways to defeat him made for some of the best moments from the series. In Arkham Knight, Victor Fries returns and requests the help of the Dark Knight. When Alfred alerts Batman of a ship off the harbor and crawling with Militia soldiers, Batman goes to investigate and discovers Freeze is held captive and trying to fix the ship’s cryo generator. Freeze explains that the Militia have taken Nora who is still in cryostasis and will return her if he brings them Batman. Instead, he decides to work with Batman to save his wife. After Batman tracks down Nora, he finds she has awake from her slumber and asks to speak with Victor. While Victor recommends she be put back into her cryogenic sleep, Nora refuses inferring that she has been conscious while frozen for the last ten years. Suddenly, Freeze is ambushed by the Militia setting off Nora and Batman to assist him. Batman and the Batmobile try to fight off as many drones as possible, just as Victor detonates his generator that destroys the ice, drones and his research. With Nora’s fate sealed as the two venture off to live out the last of Nora’s days.
Enigma Conundrums (The Riddler) – Arkham City
Something that hasn’t changed in each entry of these games are the challenges by the Riddler. Exploring a vast array of traps, puzzles, questions and trophies. Arkham City had the perfect balance of challenging riddles and hard to reach trophies. This time, Riddler has 440 riddles for players to solve. Working out more and more conundrums gives you access to the Enigma box, which contains the location of the hostages Riddler has kidnapped and placed in deadly traps. After you solve every riddle and save all the hostages, Oracle manages to locate Riddlers hideout. When Batman arrives, he finds more hostages with explosives attached to their heads and being pulled by little machines. If the hostage stops walking for a moment the bombs will go off, forcing players to carefully motion around them until Batman is close enough to take out the Riddler. What made this iteration stand out from the other games is the way Edward Nigma went about his schemes. Nigma was portrayed more as a killer than in any other games. Sure in Arkham Knight he is putting Catwomans life on the line, there is something about him threatening the life of firefighters that raises the stakes and gives the situation higher risks. In Arkham City, Edward Nigma feels more similar to the fictional character Jigsaw from the Saw franchise than The Riddler.
Shadow War (Ra’s Al Ghul) – Arkham Knight
A mission that offers players two separate outcomes. After Ra’s Al Ghul is believed to have died during the events of Arkham City, it is revealed the Demons Head lives… barley. When Batman encounters two league assassins engaged in combat, the battle ends and Batman follows one of them to Elliot Memorial Hospital. As Batman explores the hospital he finds an underground passage and in it, what is left of Ra’s Al Ghul. Attached to multiple tubes feeding Lazarus into his blood stream, it is the only thing keeping him alive. Loyal assassins show up and threaten to destroy Gotham unless he assists them in finding a purer source of Lazarus that would save Ra’s life. However, it was currently being guarded by traitors from the League of Assassins that believe it is time for Ra’s Al Ghul to die causing the war between both sides. Batman succeeds in finding the new source but is met by Nyssa Raatko, the other daughter of Ra’s Al Ghul. She insists to not give her father the serum, so he may parish and the League of Assassins be handed over to her. Vowing to Batman that if he lets her father die, she will leave Gotham and never return. Batman returns to the dying Demons Head, giving players the decision to administer the serum or destroy the Lazarus machine. Giving him the serum causes Ra’s to kill Nyssa and get away, while also sending both factions out of Gotham and adverting the war. Destroying the machine causes Ra’s to die and Nyssa to take on leadership, Ra’s is taken to a cell where he will slowly die.