What are the best Kirby games?
We could spend all day exploring Kirby’s surprisingly extensive lore, but the real power of this pink hero is in his adorable series of games.
When gamers want a super-cute break from the world, it’s this blobby ball of fun who takes us where we need to go.
Here’s a list of the titles that will suck you straight out of reality and drop you into a universe of kawaii, where Kirby reigns.
The 10 Best Kirby Games
Sure, Kirby’s concept sounds crazy, but it’s the cutest platformer series out there, so let’s get ready to inhale the best Kirby games.
Much has been written about everyone’s favorite pink vacuum god, so we’ve done our research to create this list, checking top sources like PCMag for rankings.
So, without further ago, here’s our list of the 10 best Kirby games:
10. Kirby & The Amazing Mirror
Not enough people talk about the genius that was Kirby & The Amazing Mirror, but it still makes it to this list, where it belongs.
The seventh main game, this 2004 release was a Metroidvania-style platformer that was unique to other core Kirby installments in several interesting ways.
First, it introduced co-op multiplayer functionality that was yet been seen in the main Kirby releases, though it was growing in popularity for other titles.
Next, this is the only main Kirby release (not counting spinoffs or character cameos) that leaves King Dedede out of the story altogether.
Finally, this game features new powers for Kirby, including the ability to take on an adorably violent form of Cupid.
One of the things that hasn’t changed about Kirby in this installment is the darling-but-daunting challenge that each level poses.
There’s just something satisfying about completing a difficult map with the help of aesthetically pleasing, colorful Kirby clones that bounce around playfully as you go.
This was such an awesome title that Nintendo slated it for a re-release on Switch Online in 2023 – nearly twenty years after its original release.
9. Kirby Mass Attack
With a title like Kirby Mass Attack, uninitiated gamers might assume this is a violent space FPS, but it’s so much cuter than that.
Fans of the Lemmings series will particularly appreciate this Kirby title, which takes inspiration from the popular puzzle platformer of the 1990s.
If Kirby promises anything, it’s that the player will do really strange things in order to beat the game, and this title is no different.
Using the Nintendo DS stylus to control an increasing number of Kirbys, players wound their way through levels, sometimes flicking Kirbys out as projectile weapons.
There’s a plot-based reason for all these extra Kirbys, of course: Necrodeus split our pink hero into ten fragments to scatter and reduce his power.
Released in 2011, this fascinating game eventually inspired an official manga spinoff series known as Atsume! Kirby, or Gather! Kirby.
IGN reviewed the game and reported being “surprised” by its funny storyline and engaging content: “the fun just never stops.”
This game is another example of the innovative game design that Kirby has become known for in its franchise life.
8. Kirby Super Star
In this game from 1996, we see Kirby go through seven different games in what was essentially an omnibus version of mini-adventures.
The seven games were called Spring Breeze, Dyna Blade, Gourmet Race, The Great Cave Offensive, Revenge of Meta Knight, Milky Way Wishes, and The Arena.
The Arena was a boss attack challenge, where players could skip mobs and puzzles and get right to the hardest stuff Kirby had to offer.
Gourmet Race, on the other hand, was essentially a racing game; Kirby raced through the map by eating all the food in his way.
In addition, there two mini-games called “Samurai Kirby” and “Megaton Punch,” where players could play alone or with friends in multiplayer mode.
Fans who love these wacky types of Kirby game modes will also love one of the best GameBoy Color games: Kirby Tilt ‘n’ Tumble.
That was yet another way in which the Kirby designers decided to take risks and push the boundaries of gamers’ expectations, and it paid off.
Kirby Super Star has since built a legacy for the Kirby franchise, going down in history as one of the greatest games Nintendo ever made.
7. Kirby’s Dream Land 2
This side-scrolling gem of a game came out in 1995, and it still holds up today with gameplay and cuteness that just don’t stop.
As the title suggests, it’s a sequel to Kirby’s Dream Land, and it demonstrates some of the earliest visions of the Kirby world.
Though there are a few updates to the mechanics and visual representations, Kirby’s Dream Land 2 is pretty similar to its predecessor.
That’s not a bad thing at all, as the Dream Land story world remains one of the most-loved fan-favorite game collections to date
Dream Land 2 puts players through a series of increasingly difficult level challenges all wrapped up in a beautiful, rainbow theme.
That’s standard Kirby fare, as the developers always aim to create games that border on frustrating, though they’re just too cute to quit.
It has a deliciously retro feel, which many Kirby fans adore because the series always kept its retro roots, even as the decades passed.
For fans who want more retro goodness, try Super Smash Bros., one of the best retro games out there, where Kirby is a playable character.
6. Kirby’s Return To Dream Land
In 2011, we all went back to Kirby’s Dream Land with this updated title that continues Kirby’s adventures through the dimensions.
The story for this one features a twist, as we (spoilers) learn that an alien named Magolor has been playing Kirby for a fool.
Kirby may be round, pink, and cute, but he’s no fool, so he inhales his way to victory over the naughty alien.
Our advice is to never underestimate the developers of a Kirby title, as they have become known for their dedication to excellence.
This game was reportedly under development for eleven years before completion, which is likely why it excels in nearly every area.
It instantly earned its place as one of the best contributions to the expanding Dream Land world, and that’s why it’s here on this list.
The Dream aesthetic has become so synonymous with Kirby that it’s in the title of one of the best SNES games, Kirby’s Dream Course.
The word “course” in Kirby’s Dream Course refers to a golf course… of course… because everything is both cute and odd in Kirby’s world.
5. Kirby’s Epic Yarn
This fabulous title includes some of the most polarizing changes in the Kirby gaming universe: you either love this one, or you hate it.
Probably the biggest change is that Kirby can’t inhale objects or enemies in this game, which is his signature move nearly everywhere else.
In Kirby’s Epic Yarn, he shape-shifts without sucking up the world around him – and he can’t fly, which is another major change.
Then there’s the aesthetic difference that can’t be ignored: Kirby’s Epic Yarn takes place in a world of, well, yarn.
It’s undeniably pretty, as Kirby traverses levels made of fabric and other craft materials instead of the usual landscapes of his past games.
Despite these changes, it remains solidly a Kirby adventure, and critics hailed it as one of the best in the series so far.
Reviewers noted that it was perfect for gamers of all ages who love visual creativity, and they praised the world’s soothing aesthetic.
Gamers who came to this list looking for the most relaxing Kirby title will probably want to give this one a shot.
4. Kirby: Planet Robobot
Even the titles of these games are adorable; how can you not fall in love with Kirby and his wacky lineup of friends and enemies?
Kirby: Planet Robobot came out in 2016 for the Nintendo 3DS, and fans went bonkers over its hilarious and almost painfully cute imagery.
This game sees Kirby battle as a mech hero in a suit called the Robobot Armor that gives him special powers to save the day.
Ironically, he’s using this mech suit to fight back against the bad guys who want to destroy the planet and robot-ify everything.
Yes, Kirby is truly a nuanced superhero worthy of his legacy, as he understands the value of knowing and respecting his enemies.
A multiplayer minigame called “Team Kirby Clash” also appears with this title, shifting from Planet Robobot‘s platformer format to an action RPG.
There’s also a single-player minigame called Kirby 3D Rumble, which is kind of shooter game where gamers fight waves of enemies.
And in case you’re wondering, there are Kirby Amiibo figurines available for this title, so you can add those to your collection wish list.
3. Kirby’s Adventure
If you want to play one of the best Nintendo Wii U games, then grab NES Remix 2, which contains this game and other titles.
Kirby’s Adventure is the third game in the series and takes us way back to 1993, when it first came out on the NES.
In this 2D side-scroller, Kirby fights to save the Fountain of Dreams, which will restore restful nights to the residents of Dream Land.
Honestly, we’re not good enough for that pink ball of huggable trouble, but somehow, he deigns to be our hero, anyway. Thank you, Kirby.
This game has been ported and re-released several times on different Nintendo platforms because of its nostalgic factor and its continued replayability.
Though it was considered a step backward in graphics by that time in the NES’s life, Kirby’s Adventure still hit the top sales in Japan.
Not all critics were pleased with the rudimentary graphics, though, and this remains the only true ding on the title’s legacy.
That issue prompted an update in the graphics for the Game Boy remake, which released in 2002 to excellent reviews.
2. Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards
The year 2000 brought us one of the best N64 games ever made in the form of Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards.
Originally, the Nintendo 64 sold an add-on component called the 64DD, which referred to the “Disc Drive” it was meant to be.
The 64DD was ahead of its time, aiming to extend storage and even use software to create characters and videos for sharing online.
Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards was first intended for this 64DD component, signaling more innovation in store for the Kirby universe.
Unfortunately, the 64DD ended up being a commercial failure and was discontinued before Kirby could make a name for himself there.
Instead, The Crystal Shards released as a standard N64 title, and it blew fans away with its amount of content and immersive gameplay.
One of the most epic introductions is the Power Combo that Kirby uses to inhale twice the amount of enemies or combine other abilities.
There are 28 different Power Combos for players to discover as they inhale and yeet enemies in creative patterns throughout the game.
1. Kirby And The Forgotten Land
That brings us to number one: Kirby and the Forgotten Land, which is also one of the best Nintendo Switch games on the entire platform.
Thirteen must be that little guy’s lucky number because this is the thirteenth installment in the series, not counting spinoffs and cameos.
It’s not only one of the best sellers in the Kirby series; it’s one of the best-selling games the Switch has ever released.
Fans who’ve played it aren’t surprised, as this game features top-of-the-line art, mechanics, and story, all worthy of the Kirby world.
Featuring 3D visuals and movement, the game takes us on a journey with Kirby to rescue the equally adorable Waddle Dees.
As Kirby saves more and more Waddle Dees, they build a sort of refugee town that begins to offer players more resources and games.
A shout-out to one of the fan-favorite minigames appears in this area, with a minigame strikingly similar to Game Boy Color’s Kirby Tilt ‘n’ Tumble.
There’s too much to say about this amazing game, so we’ll leave it here: If you haven’t played it yet, what are you waiting for?
Kirby’s childlike personality and his hilarious powers of inhalation are fun, but nothing holds a candle to his squishy, pink body.
We love to live vicariously through this rascally hero by leading his kawaii roundness through adorable, dangerous landscapes.
Now, with this list, you have hours of fun on your hands with the strangest – but definitely cutest – little guy Nintendo has given us yet.
Here’s a quick recap of the 10 best Kirby games:
- Kirby And The Forgotten Land (2022)
- Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards (2000)
- Kirby’s Adventure (1993)
- Kirby: Planet Robobot (2016)
- Kirby’s Epic Yarn (2010)
- Kirby’s Return To Dream Land (2011)
- Kirby’s Dream Land 2 (1995)
- Kirby Super Star (1996)
- Kirby Mass Attack (2011)
- Kirby & The Amazing Mirror (2004)
Which Kirby game do you want to inhale? Leave a comment below.
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