Of all the comic book characters in all the comic book universes in all the world, Batman has definitely been in the most films.
To date, DC's Dark Knight has starred in a whopping 63 films, 14 of which were released in theatres. With countless more set to come, and with there being so many of them, it should come as no surprise that every Bat-fan has their favourite.
Most will likely option either one of Tim Burton's Batman films or one of the entries in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy as being the defining Bat-flick - some may even mention the animated Mask of the Phantasm, which has slowly but surely accumulated a cult following in the years since it bombed at the box office. But there's another Batman film that makes a compelling case to be considered the best of all, and it's one most fans probably haven't even seen.
Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker was an animated movie that released in the year 2000, directed by Curt Geda, Toshiko Masuda and Shojiro Nishimi, from a script written by Paul Dini, Glen Murakami and Bruce Timm. Situated within the DC Animated Universe, Return of the Joker was a full-length feature film that followed on from the Batman Beyond TV series of the late nineties, wherein a retired Bruce Wayne trains a new, younger Batman to take on the cowl in a now futuristic Gotham, one that boasts many of the same challenges as the one of old.
The story sees (as you may have already guessed) the return of the Dark Knight's most fearsome adversary, and though it may be considered blasphemous to argue that the best Batman movie doesn't even have Bruce Wayne underneath the cowl, or even a theatrical release, Return of the Joker more than deserves to be held in the same regard as the other greats of the genre.