1. Batman: The Animated Series
Ask anyone what the best Batman series is and there is a pretty high chance that they're gonna say Batman: The Animated Series. Ask them what the best animated show of all time is, and they mught even say the same. That's how beloved this 1993 classic is.
This was the first Batman cartoon to take a more serious approach to the character, which instantly set it apart from its predecessors, but there was a quality to its writing that really put it in a class of its own. The series didn't just offer up villains of the week for The Dark Knight to take on, it immersed us in a vivid world full of nuanced characters and stories that pushed the boundaries of what the average viewer might have thought an animated show was capable of. Look no further than the Emmy-winning "Heart of Ice", which completely reinvented Mr. Freeze's origins in such critically-acclaimed fashion that the comics adopted it as canon.
The influence of the Tim Burton Batman movies was clear, but Batman: The Animated Series set about carving out its own path in The Dark Knight's legacy. The way in which it presented the title character as more than just a hero to save the day was so far ahead of its time, highlighting the complexities of Bruce Wayne and treating him like a well-rounded character with flaws and desires in a way that we just weren't used to seeing at the time. And Kevin Conroy's legendary performance was the icing on the cake that brought it all to life.
In a world where so few things are perfect, Batman: The Animated Series broke the mold and did the impossible. Many consider this the perfect Batman story and you would have a real tough time arguing against that.