Kirby has been in over 30 adventures, but these are the best of the best.

It’s crazy to think that Kirby has reached his 30th anniversary already. This pink puffball was created by Super Smash Bros. mastermind, Masahiro Sakurai, and has been co-owned between HAL Laboratory and Nintendo since his first appearance in April 1992. Over the decades, he’s left a huge legacy with over 30 games total.

It was no easy feat, but we’ve evaluated all of his adventures to determine the 10 best Kirby games of all time. Here’s what makes them so great.

How we ranked

Instead of simply choosing our favorite games, we also considered several other factors to determine which Kirby games were in the top 10. Here are the standards by which we chose the top 10 Kirby games.

  • Legacy: We considered the impact that the game had on later games in the series.
  • Cultural impact: Games that are more often referenced in other media including memes were given more points.
  • Current replay value: Games don’t always age well, so we gave more points to games that were still fun to play and offered plenty of replay value. Whereas, games with strange gimmicks that didn’t last ranked lower.

We chose not to consider collections when making this list since they would make things redundant and we wanted to focus on standalone accomplishments, but collections are definitely worth your time as well. Especially if they include these games.

10 Best Kirby games ranked

  • 10-6
    • 10. Kirby’s Dream Land 2
    • 9. Kirby & The Amazing Mirror
    • 8. Kirby: Triple Deluxe
    • 7. Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards
    • 6. Kirby’s Epic Yarn
  • 5-1
  • Bonus: Kirby Collections

10. Kirby’s Dream Land 2 (GB, 1995)

As the third mainline entry in the series, Kirby’s Dream Land 2 is the second Kirby title to launch on the original Game Boy. While many longtime fans don’t consider this sequel quite as fundamental as its predecessors, there’s no denying how fantastic this game is, especially for a black and white Gameboy title.

In Kirby’s Dream Land 2, everyone’s favorite pink fluffball is joined for the first time by a cast of animal allies. Adorable and precious partners like Rick the Hamster and Coo the Owl introduced brand new gameplay mechanics to the series, allowing the versatile Kirby more powers than ever before. The combination of animal companions and classic Kirby powerups makes this one of the best handheld Kirby games.

9. Kirby & The Amazing Mirror (GBA, 2004)

This entry is ahead of its time when it comes to multiplayer functionality, but it’s also limited by the capabilities of the Game Boy Advance (GBA). Kirby goes through this adventure using his usual attacks and platforming abilities. This game also revolves around open-world exploration in a more Metroidvania style, so players can basically wander wherever they’d like as long as they’re powerful enough.

What makes the game stand out though is that the main campaign offers multiplayer for up to four players as long as each has their own GBA. They can not only command a different colored version of the puffball but also have complete reign to wander as far away as they want from each other. If the players want to regroup, they just have to use their in-game cell phones. Additionally, if someone gets a Game Over, another player can revive them by sharing from their own stash of lives.

Of course, the GBA didn’t offer Wi-Fi so players had to be physically connected to each other using cables, which limited their movement and required planning to get together. You can imagine how awesome this kind of gameplay on Nintendo Switch would be where players could be miles or even countries apart and still participate in an adventure together at the drop of a hat.

8. Kirby: Triple Deluxe (3DS, 2014)

Although it sounds like some kind of collection of three games, Kirby Triple Deluxe is a standalone title whose confusing name is actually a nod to its presence on the 3DS. Triple Deluxe, 3DS — you see what they were going for even if it isn’t intuitive.

As far as the story goes, King Dedede is kidnapped and it’s up to Kirby and his trademark Copy Abilities to make things right. Like most of his other games, it’s still a 2.5D sidescroller. However, Kirby has the ability to jump between the foreground and background of stages to solve puzzles and reach new places. Additionally, this handheld game includes Kirby Fighters, which allows up to four players each with their own 3DS to fight each other to see who can be the last Kirby standing.

It’s a thoroughly solid entry in the series that provided a fun experience for players even if it didn’t add anything all that unique.

7. Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards (N64, 2000)

Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards is the pink boy’s first foray into 3D graphics, however, it’s considered a 2.5D platformer, meaning it still retains the sidescroller level design of previous Kirby games and keeps Kirby on a 2D plane. The gameplay is still incredibly fun as it allows players to combine two Copy Abilities together to create Power Combos, which are stronger than his regular abilities. For instance, combining Ice with Electricity turns him into a fridge that shoots food. There are 28 possible combos which allow for plenty of discovery while players make their way through the game.

In this adventure, Dark Matter has spread on various worlds and is turning everyone into evil versions of themselves. Kirby goes on a quest to turn his friends back to normal. In addition to the single-player campaign, Kirby 64 offers three minigames for up to four players, with Checkerboard Chase being an especially good last man standing party game. Of course, it would have been much better if it offered multiplayer in the main campaign.

It will be one of the N64 games coming to the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack sometime this year. So, if you have the subscription, you can soon enjoy this classic on your Switch.

6. Kirby’s Epic Yarn (Wii, 2010)

Some Nintendo characters went through a kind of arts and crafts phase in the 2010s following the success of the Paper Mario series and the same thing happened to our favorite puffball. In Kirby’s Epic Yarn, a caped sorcerer is going around and turning everyone into yarn and it’s up to Kirby to turn everyone back to normal. However, he can no longer suck things up, so he must use his new threaded body to change shapes to make it through various challenges and defeat enemies.

This new approach allows the sidescroller to feel familiar while providing creative new puzzles and obstacles for Kirby to overcome. The art style is charming with the background looking like something someone sewed together. Kirby can even learn to open zippers or pull-on tabs to reveal new pathways hidden by cloth.

It also offers multiplayer in the main campaign where Player 2 takes control of Prince Fluff who looks like a Blue Kirby with a crown and can do the same moves. It’s a wonderful adventure that breaks away from the norm and is actually the spiritual precursor to the cute diorama games: Yoshi’s Wooly World and Yoshi’s Crafted World.

Top 10 Kirby games ranked

  • 10-6
  • 5-1
    • 5. Kirby’s Return to Dream Land
    • 4. Kirby: Planet Robobot
    • 3. Kirby’s Adventure
    • 2. Kirby Dream Land
    • 1. Kirby and the Forgotten Land
  • Bonus: Kirby Collections

5. Kirby’s Return to Dream Land (Wii, 2011)

This is the first traditional Kirby 2.5D sidescroller that graced the Wii console, bringing with it the familiar ability to swallow enemies and gain their powers. However, it stands out from other games since it allows up to four players to run through the main campaign together. Of course, you can play as Kirby, but the other playable characters are Bandana Waddle Dee, King Dedede, and Meta Knight.

This game really leans into the multiplayer aspect by allowing players to stack on top of each other to reach things while the person at the bottom controls where they all go. It brings back the vibrant level design Kirby is famous for and gives players something fun to do with friends. The biggest complaint is that it is too easy, especially when playing in multiplayer.

4. Kirby: Planet Robobot (3DS, 2016)

What’s better than Kirby using Copy Abilities? Kirby using Copy Abilities in a mech suit, obviously. In Planet Robobot, invaders are terrorizing Kirby’s home and it’s up to him to put a stop to them. Looking like a Gundam gumball, Kirby can scan enemies and change his mech suit into different shapes with different powers while running through this story.

This title breaks away from the usual Kirby gameplay while still offering the fun sidescrolling platformer that fans have come to expect. It was received very well at launch and brought a fresh take to the Kirby formula that still resonates with fans.

3. Kirby’s Adventure (NES, 1993)

Kirby’s Adventure is the first Kirby game to debut on home consoles and the first time players had the opportunity to witness this iconic pink mascot in his true colorful glory. Expanding on the powerups and scope of Kirby’s Dream Land, Kirby’s Adventure is a tremendously strong entry that influenced 2D platformers for generations to come.

With right side-scrolling gameplay, endlessly satisfying copy abilities, and an assortment of grin-inducing sub-games like Crane Fever, Kirby’s Adventure is confidently one of the most cherished titles on the NES. While not nearly as transformative as the title that came before it, the enhanced visuals, music, and gameplay set a strong foundation for the future of Kirby titles on consoles.

2. Kirby Dream Land (GB, 1992)

Now it’s time to show some love to the game that started it all, Kirby’s Dream Land. This wholly unique platformer launched on Game Boy back in 1992 and completely shifted expectations of what a 2D platformer could be. Pitfall hazards popularized by titles like Super Mario Bros. are no longer the primary concern as our titular hero harnesses the unique power of limited flight. But what really sets Kirby apart is his distinctive ability to steal the power of his enemies.

There was nothing like Kirby’s Dream Land at the time, and there’s still nothing quite like it now. We could draw some parallels between Kirby and other iconic platformers like Mega Man but still, the unique flow of action combat and soothing platforming make Kirby’s first outing such a special title for so many players. While it might not be the best entry on our list, it’s hard not to recognize the significance of Kirby’s Dream Land. It spawned a franchise and has had multiple remakes on various consoles since it first released.

1. Kirby and the Forgotten Land (Switch, 2022)

It’s not often that the latest game in a series is able to surpass its predecessors, but that was accomplished in Kirby and the Forgotten Land since the developers chose to finally bring Kirby out from the classic-yet restrictive 2.5D sidescroller and into a more 3D exploration style.

The visuals are lovely and while the plot isn’t the most intense thing in the world, the gameplay itself is what really engages players. Plus, those silly new Mouthful Modes —which require Kirby to wrap himself over various objects in the overworld to gain new powers — not only create new ways to solve puzzles, but also make for some hilarious moments. Plus, the sheer number of Kirby memes that exploded across the internet show just how memorable Mouthful Mode is.

You can also play the main campaign with a buddy in multiplayer co-op. While skills between Player 1’s Kirby and Player 2’s Bandana Waddle Dee aren’t exactly the same, Player 2 can take on enemies by themselves and can collect items on their own. There’s also a lot of replay value since there are hidden things to locate in each level and since upgrading Kirby’s Copy Abilities can make them faster, more effective, or farther reaching. It’s by far Kirby’s most fun adventure yet.

Top 10 Kirby games ranked

  • 10-6
  • 5-1
  • Bonus: Kirby Collections
    • Kirby’s Dream Collection
    • Kirby Super Star Ultra

Bonus: Kirby Collections

It didn’t feel right to include the Kirby collections in the list since they would feel redundant next to stand-alone adventures, but they are highly enjoyable and will definitely be appreciated by any Kirby fan.

Kirby Dream Collection: Special Edition (Wii, 2012)

This collection was created to celebrate the pink puffball’s 20th anniversary and contains six classic Kirby games along with 13 brand new challenge stages based on levels found in Kirby’s Return to Dream Land. The games included in this collection are Kirby’s Dream Land (GB), Kirby’s Adventure (NES), Kirby’s Dream Land 2 (GB), Kirby Super Star (SNES), Kirby’s Dream Land 3 (SNES), and Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards (N64).

Seriously, if you have a Wii and you want to play some of the best retro Kirby games of all time, you can’t go wrong with this collection. With any luck, we’ll get this collection or a new one on Nintendo Switch to celebrate Kirby’s 30th anniversary.

Kirby Super Star Ultra (DS, 2008)

Kirby Super Star Ultra is an absolutely incredible collection of Kirby adventures. Taking all eight of the original games from the original Kirby Super Star on SNES, revamping the graphics, and adding six additional game modes, this remake for DS is exploding with Kirby content. Not only is Kirby Super Star Ultra a definitive Kirby experience, but it’s arguably one of the best games from Nintendo’s Dual-Screen library.

The variety of game modes included with this title is staggering. Spring Breeze serves as an updated, albeit truncated, version of the Kirby’s Dream Land, and iconic modes like Gourmet Race and The Arena offer loads of nonconventional ways to enjoy Kirby’s unique abilities. With the recent success of Kirby and the Forgotten Land, I don’t think any of us would complain about another re-release of this collection for the Nintendo Switch.

The Kirbster

Whether you know him best from his standalone platformers or his presence in Sakurai’s Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Kirby is an influential character who has been in dozens of games and has left an impression not only with Nintendo but the whole gaming industry.

Congrats on 30 years Kirby and Sakurai! We can’t wait to see what both of you do next.

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