Kotaku ran an opinion piece on why they think the story in Batman: Arkham Knight failed, you can read it here, but I think that the author missed the point of the story. This is not a game about Batman dealing with this humanity, or how he is falling apart, this is a game showing what it takes to be Batman. This post is going to contain some spoilers, so watch out if you haven’t beaten the game.
At every turn in this game Batman is dealt a blow, personal or professional, but he keeps going. He powers through. Due to the events of previous games his sanity is also starting to tear, but instead of interacting with Joker like the author of Kotaku would like, he knows the hallucinations aren’t real, so he forces himself to ignore Mr. J. Never giving the Joker of his mind the time of day. If he was to interact, he would be giving in to the madness, and proving that point every time you do sort of interact with the Joker the hallucinations get worse.
The author is also mad because the game doesn’t let you fail enough. As Batman you are always winning. You always beat the bad guy, or destroy the tanks (those awful tanks). Well of course you do, your Batman! There are setbacks sure, but you do what you have to keep crime off the streets. To keep the shell of your city intact. You will win at all costs.
Kotaku wanted to see a Batman that was merely human, but Batman is more than that, he is a symbol. As a side quest you even meet the next Batman, so you know that this is not the end for the cape and cowl even if it is for Bruce. Speaking of Bruce, Batman: Arkham Knight also points out one more thing. Batman isn’t the mask, Bruce Wayne is. That is why Wayne is discarded at the end of this game, and why when the Joker is caged in Batman’s mind Batman says, “I am Batman!”, not, “I am Bruce!”. Bruce Wayne is disposable; Batman is forever.