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The Best And Worst Kirby Games, Ranked

Who’s the greatest pink puffball character of all time? (Hint: it isn’t Jigglypuff). Kirby is one of Nintendo’s most iconic characters. He’s been the star of over 20 games, appearing on every major Nintendo console. He has manga, a popular anime that aired back in the early 2000s, and a Grammy. He’s also been featured as a prominent character in every Super Smash Bros. In short, Kirby has remained a popular and lovable hero for many years.

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Starting in 1992, Kirby began to leave his mark on the gaming world. Kirby games have always been known for their take on the side-scrolling genre and the distinctive, colorful worlds that always prove it’s above an average platformer. And of course, Kirby’s copy ability will always be the biggest thing separating it from other games. Of course, while all the main Kirby games bring something to the table, they don’t all have the same, equal level of quality. We’ll be taking a look at every main Kirby game ranked from worst to best.

Updated May 27, 2022 by Kyle Chamaillard. Two Kirby games, Star Allies and Forgotten Land have been released since this list was first published, so we have gone back to add them and see where they rank amongst Kirby’s other adventures.


13 Kirby’s Dream Land

This is the game that started it all. Every Kirby game owes its existence to Dream Land. From the now-iconic Green Greens theme to the battle against Whispy Woods, Kirby’s Dream Land offered players a fun little platformer when it was released back in 1992. It’s held up well enough, but its sequels make it feel more like a prototype these days.

Dream Land’s level design is good, and it’s overall a fun time. But its sequels eventually perfected the formula.Dream Land didn’t even have Kirby’s copy ability power. (We wouldn’t see that until the next game.) Perhaps the biggest reason why it’s placed last is its playtime; you can beat it in under an hour, and if you’re fast, just a half-hour. Dream Land is a legacy game and deserves respect, but it’s definitely the weakest Kirby platformer.

12 Kirby Star Allies

Kirby’s debut on the Nintendo Switch was highly anticipated but wasn’t able to leave as strong of an impression as other 2017 releases like Breath of the Wild or Super Mario Odyssey. Star Allies was Kirby’s long-awaited return to home consoles after a seven-year break. It showed potential for a fun multiplayer experience but failed to innovate the series in any meaningful ways.

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It’s nice to venture back to a simpler version of Kirby games, but without compelling mechanics like mech-suits or new abilities, it doesn’t feel as fresh as other entries. The multiplayer can be fun for families to play together though, and the amount of recognizable characters from the series’ past is a nice touch as well.

11 Kirby & The Amazing Mirror

For the most part, the Kirby series has stuck to the formula established in Dream Land, but the series has taken some diverse turns. One such game that took a break from the linear platformer was Kirby & The Amazing Mirror – by far one of the most ambitious Kirby games to date.

Unlike most Kirby games, there are no linear levels. Instead, it’s one giant world with interconnecting parts. Instead of going through the levels in a standard fashion, the game encourages exploration and backtracking, much like a Metroid game. This works in Mirror’s favor sometimes but also acts as a detriment. It gets tiring having to revisit the same places, and the map system needs serious work. Mirror is worth checking out if you have a lot of patience.

10 Kirby: Triple Deluxe

Every major Nintendo console has brought a new Kirby game. Triple Deluxe was released in 2014 for the 3DS. It brought Kirby back to basics on the portable console. It also introduced a couple of new gameplay mechanics, such as being able to go into the background of a level and the Hypernova ability. It’s a well-made game, though a terribly easy one.

Most of the levels are a bit too easy, and even acquiring the collectibles is often simple. The Hypernova ability is fun the first few times, but after a while, it grows stale because it makes an already easy game even easier. If the level design was a bit better, then this wouldn’t be as big of a deal. Triple Deluxe isn’t a bad game in the slightest; there are just more engaging installments in the series.

9 Kirby: Planet Robobot

Planet Robobot is the second adventure Kirby has on the 3DS. It takes a lot of cues from Triple Deluxe, including the ability to travel to the background of a stage and a new super ability, this time the Robobot Armor. It also shares some of the same negatives as well, such as the lack of any challenge. But it’s a more engaging installment and a satisfying enough entry in the series.

Unlike the Hypernova ability, which slowed down the gameplay in Triple Deluxe, Kirby’s Robobot Armor feels more like an organic part of the gameplay. Like the puffball himself, the armor can copy enemy abilities – Jet mode can be used to shoot opponents and Bomb mode can be used for puzzles. Planet Robobot’s level design isn’t bad either, but its epic final act is unforgettable.

8 Kirby: Squeak Squad

As long-time Kirby fans can attest to, most of the games follow a similar pattern. Go through linear levels, copy enemy abilities, and seek out hidden collectibles; this is what the franchise is known for. Squeak Squad did nothing to change that when it was released in 2006. One could argue that it is the most generic Kirby game. Sure, there are no major innovations, and it’s relatively simple. However, while Squeak Squad may be more of the same, it does it all very well.

Whereas Triple Deluxe and, to a lesser extent, Planet Robobot, feel a little slow at times, Squeak Squad is a fast-moving game. The level design is solid, and the backgrounds are great. It’s great that Kirby can store abilities on the bottom screen of the DS and use them at any time. Squeak Squad may not be the most original, but it’s a great example of what a quality Kirby game should look like.

7 Kirby’s Dream Land 2

Despite having a ‘2’ in its title, 1995’s Dream Land 2 is the third Kirby game, coming after the first Dream Land and Adventure. Like Dream Land, Dream Land 2 was released for the Game Boy and wasn’t quite as good as NES’s Adventure, but it has enough content to provide a satisfying Kirby experience.

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The gameplay is identical to the franchise’s previous two games, but it does add an important new feature: Kirby’s Animal Friends. Whether it be having an advantage on land while riding on Rick the hamster, soaring through the woods with the owl Coo, or swimming along with the fish Kine, these happy helpers nicely add diversity to the gameplay. Combine that with solid level design, and we have another memorable installment in the Kirby series.

6 Kirby’s Return To Dream Land

As shocking as it may sound, there was once an 11-year gap between traditional Kirby games on a home console. Kirby 64 was released in 2000, and it wouldn’t be until 2011 when Kirby’s Return to Dream Land came out. The wait was worth it because Return to Dream Land brought back the iconic gameplay for old-school fans and people picking up a Kirby game for the first time.

After years of playing Kirby on smaller consoles, it was good to see the puffball back on the big screen for a classic adventure. Super Abilities was an explosive new feature and made you feel epic every time Kirby would slash a boss with his Ultra Sword. Multiplayer was an awesome addition as well. Combine that with one of the best climaxes in the series, and Kirby’s Return to Dreamland remains a fine installment, and one of the best to pick up if you’re new to the series.

5 Kirby’s Dream Land 3

Kirby’s Dream Land 3 was released on the SNES after the Nintendo 64 had come out, so the game isn’t as well known as its predecessors since most people had already bought Nintendo’s newest hardware. It’s a shame Dream Land 3 had the misfortune of releasing on the Super Nintendo’s last hurrah and as a result, isn’t discussed as much today. It’s a great game while also feeling a little different from other Kirby platformers.

Right from the onset, you’ll notice something amazing about Dream Land 3: it’s one of the prettiest looking games on the Super Nintendo, or rather, one of the prettiest looking games period. It’s too bad Nintendo has used a more generic aesthetic for modern games likeTriple Deluxe and Star Allies. The music is upbeat, and the levels are fun.

4 Kirby Super Star

Kirby Super Star might be the most well-known Kirby game. It’s also one of the best. Interestingly, instead of having one main mode, the game is divided between seven “sub-games” and two minigames. This could have backfired since typically more work dedicated to one mode means better quality, whereas if a game is divided, the phrase “quantity over quality” may apply. That isn’t the case with Super Star, because all of its modes are excellent.

Spring Breeze is a condensed remake of Kirby’s Dreamland. While shorter, it takes advantage of the SNES’s graphics and Kirby’s copy capabilities. It’s a fun little adventure that’s sure to put a smile on anyone’s face. Dyna Blade is also good, and who could forget the giant Great Cave Offensive? The two best modes are Revenge of Meta Knight, a fast-paced intense story mode, and Milky Way Wishes, an overall awesome platformer. Super Star is full of great content.

3 Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards

Most major Nintendo characters made the jump to the Nintendo 64 and came out with critically acclaimed results. Mario got Super Mario 64 and Link got Ocarina of Time. Kirby wasn’t left in the dust; he too came out with a game that made use of computer-generated graphics. Though it’s not a total 3D platformer, The Crystal Shards is an excellent, challenging Kirby installment.

Its level design is challenging, the music is catchy, (it’s hard to beat the opening “Popstar” theme) and there’s even a new feature that The Crystal Shards shines in: the ability to combine copy abilities. Honestly, it’s shocking the series hasn’t made more use of this. Who doesn’t have a blast combining the “Cutter” and “Burner” to create a “Sword of Fire”? The Crystal Shards remains one of the series’ most engaging titles.

2 Kirby’s Adventure

As stated in the first entry on this list, Kirby’s Dream Land plays like a prototype today. Its sequel, Kirby’s Adventure, took everything that made Dream Land fun and expanded it into a longer and denser game. It added Kirby’s signature copy ability and featured color for the first time. It’s only the second ever Kirby game, but it set the standard and remains one of the most fun Nintendo platformers of all time.

After the charming intro, the game drops the player into the hub world, already giving the game a bigger feel than its predecessor. The level design and music are excellent, the boss fights are memorable (who doesn’t remember the challenging Meta Knight battle?) and the climax is one of the greatest in the series.

1 Kirby And The Forgotten Land

Kirby is one of the last Nintendo characters to transition into the third dimension, but the wait was certainly worth it. Kirby and the Forgotten Land takes everything the series had become infamous for and expands it into a rich and surprising 3D adventure. It has one of the best soundtracks in the series, a new ability called Mouthful Mode, and an unexpectedly difficult post-game story to experience.

Its first few levels may be evocative of easier Kirby titles, but it doesn’t take long for the game to start challenging you with Treasure Roads, areas that test out each of your abilities, and well-hidden collectibles and secrets. The boss fights are tense and may surprise you with how difficult they are and how much strategy you may need to use to defeat them.

Ultimately, Kirby and the Forgotten Land is the culmination of one of Nintendo’s longest-lasting franchises and brilliantly combines its unique features into a bold and exciting new adventure. Kirby’s foray into 3D has strengthened the pink heroes’ legacy, while also creating a sense of mystery about which kind of journey he will go on next.

Next: Best 3D Platformer Games For Beginners

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