In 1990, Nintendo already had big established franchises and mascots loved by the public. When she thought it was enough, here comes a cute little pink creature that not only conquers her space but joins Link and Mario as representatives of Big N.
The creation of HAL Laboratory won many fans in its first title and is still remembered with love by many players out there who are always waiting for a new title. This is the Worst to Best of the Kirby franchise, which is part of the Voxel holiday special. Here are our criteria, pay close attention:
The notes presented are based on the Metacritic and GameRankings note aggregators. If the game was released for more than one platform initially, we will take the notes for each version and do an arithmetic average.
We only considered the main games and their initial versions, so spinoffs or remakes didn’t make it.
If you have a different opinion, just leave your list there in the comments and we will read everything.
9) Kirby’s Dream Land (1992) – 62 (Game Boy)
Who was last was the first game in the franchise, Kirby’s Dream Land, released in 1992. The game takes place in the realm of Dream Land, which is located on a small planet far from Earth, a calm and peaceful place. In one night, Rei Dedede and his minions go to the place and steal all the food from the place, as well as the Sparkling Stars, used to get more food.
The next day, young Kirby volunteers to resolve the issue and recover everything that has been stolen. It is a platform game with 2D action and the protagonist’s form of attack is to inhale enemies and their objects, being able to spit in the shape of a star projectile. In addition, Kirby can also fly, facilitating the passage of certain parts. In this first game, the character did not copy the ability of the objectives, but can add some powers that help a lot with the journey.
Analysts liked how fast the storyline develops and the unique mechanics of the platform, but it is very elementary, his songs are unoriginal and his short duration. Even with his low score, he sold 5 million units, which stirred Nintendo to continue as soon as possible. His grade is 62.
8) Kirby’s Dream Land 3 (1997) – 66 (SNES)
Released in 1997, Kirby’s Dream Land 3 is not the third, but the fifth main game in the franchise. The story follows Kirby on a task to save Planet Popstar after a mysterious black cloud covers the entire sky. The game has two endings that are defined according to the amount of Heart Stars taken by the player.
Taking the good ending, the player faces the secret and true villain of the game, called Zero, which is a giant eye with a red iris. The gameplay follows the classic side-scrolling platform. Kirby can use her ability to copy to defeat enemies, as well as inhaling them, spitting stars and so on. Kirby can summon his friend Gooey’s whenever he wants, costing him two hitpoints. your friend, who can be controlled by the computer or a second player, has skills very similar to yours.
In addition to Gooey, there are 6 other animal friends who can assist the protagonist in his adventure. The game was very compared to its predecessors, especially the Super Star, which came out the previous year, besides criticizing the lack of difficulty, but the game was praised for its stylized graphics and its fun factor. His grade is 66.
7) Kirby: Squeak Squad (2006) – 71 (Nintendo DS)
Kirby: Squeak Squad, released in 2006, starts with Kirby quiet in Dream Land ready to eat his cupcake, but suddenly he is gone. At first, the protagonist is sure that this is King Dedede’s thing, but, after beating him, he discovers that it was actually the fault of the Squeaks, treasure-stealing mice.
Now, it is our hero’s task to end these evil animals. In addition to the known skills and mechanics of the series, a few others were introduced, such as Animal, Bubble, Ghost, Metal, and Triple Star. On the copy side, most skills have multiple attacks and, due to the Copy Scrolls, introduced in this game, the player can make improvements in the power he chooses. To close this part, Kirby can combine his power with that of his allies.
Analysts criticized the extremely simple combat, the lack of originality and the unnecessary use of the touchscreen, but he was praised for its colorful graphics, its great soundtrack, its many different skills and the secrets scattered throughout the stages. His grade is 71.
6) Kirby Star Allies (2018) – 73 (Nintendo Switch)
The latest game on the list, Kirby Star Allies, released in 2018, came in sixth. A priest named Hyness tried to revive an ancient being who was the source of much destruction, but during his ritual, a black Crystal Heart explodes and his shatters travel across the universe.
One of them ends up hitting Kirby, giving him new powers. Now, our hero must stop Hyness to save the entire universe. The game uses 2.5D graphics and can be played by a single player or in co-op. Depending on the number of allies we have, special abilities, such as Friend Actions, can be performed. The game introduced a system called Dram Friend, which allows the player to call past game allies to help, such as King Dedede, Meta Knight, Gooey, Taranza and Susie.
The game was praised for its visuals and strategic elements, but the lack of difficulty in the story mode was considered a very big problem by most analysts. Your grade is 73.
5) Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards (2000) – 77 (Nintendo 64)
Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, released in 2000, was the first in the franchise to feature 3D elements, but its gameplay remains 2D. In the story, we accompany Kirby on her journey to collect all the pieces of a crystal that was broken by the villain Dark Matter. The game introduced power combos, which is the ability to mix powers to form a stronger one.
In total, there are 28 possible combinations. The game is divided into six different worlds with levels that the player must explore, face enemies and overcome obstacles. In addition to the singleplayer mode, it is a multiplayer mode that supports up to four players to compete in three different minigames, with players being able to adjust the difficulty and use one of the 4 characters available which are Kirby, King Dedede, Adeleine and Waddle Dee.
The game was well criticized for its lack of innovation, its small longevity and difficulty, but its history and cute graphics are worth the gambling. His grade is 77.
5) Kirby’s Return to Dream Land (2011) – 77 (Wii)
Also in fifth place is Kirby’s Return to Dream Land, released in 2011, which was the first major game in the franchise to be released for home consoles since Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, which had hit the market 11 years earlier. In the story, Kirby, Meta Knight, King Dedede and Waddle Dee, decide to help the alien Magolor to fix his ship called Lor Starcutter.
To do this, they need to put together 5 vital pieces and 120 energy spheres. The gameplay of the title is the classic 2D side scrolling, with 3D models for the characters and villains. The game introduces new temporary powers related to the copy system, called Super Abilities, which can destroy part of the environment or do a lot of damage in the area, but after being used, it is discarded.
The game has a drop-in cooperative system, which players can enter and leave the game whenever they want, for 3 extra players, who select one of Kirby’s colleagues mentioned above. Analysts praised the game for its visuals and gameplay, but criticized the lack of difficulty, especially in multiplayer mode and the lack of innovation. The game also scored 77.
4) Kirby & The Amazing Mirror (2004) – 80 (Game Boy Advance)
Kirby & The Amazing Mirror, released in 2004, tells the story of a mirrored world that exists in the skies of Dream Land. In this world, any reflected desire becomes true, but one day it ends up copying the mind of a mysterious figure called the Dark Mind, which transforms the reflected place into an evil environment. In the middle of this, Kirby ends up being hacked by the Dark Meta Knight, the evil version of his ally.
Now, divided into four parts of different colors, Kirby has to find eight fragments of a broken mirror to save his friend and the mirrored world. Unlike other games, Kirby & The Amazing Mirror is very close to a Metroidvania and has a labyrinth layout. The player must explore the worlds, solve puzzles, defeat enemies and collect items to advance the story. In addition to the campaign, there are 3 minigames available that can be played alone or with friends.
The critics found the graphics and sounds cute, but not incredible, the level design as challenging, but the layout as scary. Your grade is 80.
4) Kirby: Triple Deluxe (2011) – 80 (Nintendo 3DS)
And, in another tie, we have Kirby: Triple Deluxe, released in 2011. Kirby was calm on another normal day in Dream Land but, in the dead of night, a beanstalk called Dreamstalk begins to grow, taking to the skies several structures , like Kirby’s house and King Dedede’s castle.
Upon waking up, our hero realizes that he is in a different place called Floralia, which is commanded by a six-legged spider named Taranza, who captured Dedede. Now, Kirby has to help his friend and put things in their place.
The game contains some new copying skills, such as Beetle, Bell and Archer, in addition to at least 20 present in other games returning in this one. The game contains two new subgames, one being Kirby Fighters, which is similar to Super Smash Bros, and Dedede’s Drum, which is a rhythm with Dedede playing drums.
The game was highly criticized for its very low difficulty and the simplicity of the game, but received praise for its boss battles, level design, graphics, use of the console’s 3D and controls. His grade is also 80.
3) Kirby’s Dream Land 2 (1995) – 81 (Game Boy)
Thirdly, we have another draw. The first game is Kirby’s Dream Land 2, released in 1995. Kirby’s task is to defeat the evil force Dark Matter, who stole the rainbow bridge, which connects the seven rainbow islands. Fortunately the protagonist will have the help of 3 animal friends, a feature introduced in the game. The allies are Rick the Hamster, Coo the Owl and Kine the Fish. They help the protagonist to run, fly or swim faster.
Excluding this, great gameplay remains the same as its predecessor, with the character fighting enemies and jumping platforms to advance the levels. Due to the limitations of the Game Boy, the game has no colors, unlike its predecessor released for Nintendinho, but if the game is placed in a Super Game Boy, then the game gains colors, in addition to new sound effects.
The game was praised for the amount of skills, but a lot of content was recycled from other games. Still, the title is extremely fun and has a very high difficulty. This made him also score 81.
3) Kirby: Planet Robobot (2016) – 81 (Nintendo 3DS)
Kirby: Planet Robobot, released in 2016, also came in third place. In the story, we accompany Kirby who has to defend his planet Popstar from an alien corporation called Haltmann Works Co. that plans to mechanize the planet to serve as a source of natural resources.
The big news that the title brought was the ability to use a Mecha called Robobot Armor that serves both to solve some puzzles and to beat the enemies that come along the way. Another novelty is three new Copy Abilities: Doctor, Poison and ESP, in addition to the possibility of gaining new skills and items by scanning the Amiibo dolls.
For fans of minigames, this title brought two new ones, which are Team Kirby Clash and Kirby 3D Rumble. The game was praised for its gameplay, level design, characters, visuals, soundtrack and extra modes, but the difficulty is too easy, and as in other games in the franchise, this was not well regarded. His grade is also 81.
2) Kirby’s Adventure (1993) – 84 (NES)
With the end of the draws, we go to the second place: Kirby’s Adventure, released in 1993. The second game of the franchise was the first to arrive on the table consoles, in the classic Nintendinho.
The story revolves around Kirby repairing the Star Rod after King Dedede destroyed it and gave the pieces to his minions. This was the first game in the series to feature the ability to copy, in which Kirby gains special powers by inhaling some enemies, which has become a trademark of the franchise.
In total, there are forty levels divided into seven different worlds, most of them also featuring minigames that give the protagonist extra lives. The title was highly praised mainly for the originality of the copy ability and the design of the enemies.
The game also received praise for its graphics, animations and controls. Some complained about the character’s sprites and difficulty, but the game proved itself and is still cited as one of the best NES titles. His grade is 84.
1) Kirby Super Star (1996) – 86 (SNES)
And first and foremost we have Kirby Super Star, released in 1996 for the Super Nintendo. It is the most peculiar of the games in the franchise, with seven subsections, which are Spring Breeze, Dyna Blade, Gourmet Race, The Great Cave Offensive, Revenge of Meta Knight, Milky Way Wishes, The Arena and two minigames that can be played alone. or with friends.
With that, Nintendo sold the game as if there were 8 different games inside one, even though most of them use the same mechanics. Still, it brings a great variety to gameplay and manages to please almost every type of player.
This is so true that he ended up at the top of our list. Analysts praised its graphics, its music, and the multiplayer parts. It sold over a million copies in Japan and was considered a critical and commercial success. Your grade is 86.
Remember, these notes are not ours, but the Metacritic note aggregator. This was the worst to the best of the Kirby franchise, which is part of the Voxel holiday special. What is your favorite special skill? Do you prefer to play the campaign or the minigames with friends?