Arkham Origins was not a critical success compared to either of its predecessors. Having now played this game through twice, I can say I do not think this criticism is fair. I can see where some of it is coming from, but this game really does have a lot of value, especially in the story.
First of all, I think the real reason why people had a problem with this game, is that it’s not nearly as innovative as the last two. Sure there are small changes and improvements, but overall, it’s the exact same gameplay as Arkham City. This is not a bad thing, because Arkham City was amazing, but it would be nice to see some additional improvements.
Story-wise, this game is just as good as its predecessors. The Joker is again present, and his involvement is just as amazingly creepy as ever. In a way, this game is Joker’s origin story, even though we don’t actually get to see his backstory (much like the Nolan films). We do, however, get to see how he met Harley Quinn, and how he became the most feared bad guy in Gotham.
The boss fights are relatively simple and not all that difficult, especially compared to former games. That said, the cinematics and the animation are superb during these story moments. Aside from the main plot, there really isn’t as much to do. The side missions that do exist don’t last very long.
Chronologically, this is the first game in the Arkham-verse. It’s sort of an origin story for Batman, although he is already pretty well established. The difference is that the police are not on his side yet, including Gordon.