Well, folks, people sure do love movies about superheroes. And people love ranking movies about superheroes. But any list that I put together will be motivated by personal opinion. And my personal opinion about Batman movies DOES NOT line up with the public's. So let's use a dependable metric: capitalism! I'm ranking the films according to their inflation-adjusted domestic box office totals.
1. The Dark Knight
Of course, the fans agree that the best Batman movie ever is also the top earner.
It's also the second highest-earning comic book movie of all time (behind The Avengers), as long as you don't adjust for inflation. And it's obviously a very good movie. Even I, a non-Nolan fan, can admit that. Heath Ledger's performance is excellent, the action is well-directed, the lighting and production design are good. And it's clearly the best of the three Nolan movies. It's more self assured than Batman Begins, and it lacks the scripting flaws of Dark Knight Rises.
The film is thoughtful and interesting, and even if its protagonist isn't, it's very smart. It's also one of Nolan's strongest films in general. It's not quite as good as Memento, but it's probably on par with 2017's Dunkirk. Not the greatest comic book movie of all time, but certainly one of the best. Worth watching if you haven't already seen it.
Dark Knight was a pop culture phenomenon when it was released, and it makes sense that it made a ludicrous sum of money.