The year 2022 is all about Kirby as Nintendo celebrates the 30th anniversary of its beloved pink puffball hero. HAL Labs gave Kirby his debut in 1992 with Kirby’s Dream Land, a five-level platformer on the original Game Boy. Since then, Kirby has floated his way through dozens of other installments and into the hearts of Nintendo fans everywhere. Here are the five best Kirby games of all time, based on their Metacritic scores.
Kirby: Canvas Curse (Nintendo DS, 2005) – Metascore 86
The best Kirby game on Metacritic is 2005’s Nintendo DS game Kirby: Canvas Curse, which had a Metascore of 86. This colorful platformer strayed away from traditional Kirby titles by having the player use only the Nintendo DS stylus to control Kirby rather than buttons and directional pads. Each stroke of the stylus created a rainbow path for Kirby to follow to his destination.
“It’s clearly the best game for the DS currently out there and a good demonstration as to how good a DS game can be when it utilizes all of its features,” VGPub’s Kirby: Canvas Curse review reads on Metacritic.
Kirby’s Epic Yarn (Wii, 2010) – 86
The 2010 Wii game Kirby’s Epic Yarn ties for first place with another 86 Metascore. Taking on a similar approach to the Paper Mario games, Kirby’s Epic Yarn turned the pink hero into a yarn creation and sent him to Patch Land, a world made of fabric. Kirby’s mission was to traverse Patch Land and find pieces of magic yarn to stop the evil Yin-Yarn.
“Never before has a game been so uniquely captivating, charming, and simultaneously fun for its absolute entirety; truly an epic experience which every self-respecting gamer should own,” says N-Europe’s review, as seen on Metacritic.
Kirby Mass Attack (Nintendo DS, 2011) – 83
The Nintendo DS once again employed its handy touch screen mechanic with 2011’s Kirby Mass Attack, which earned an 83 Metascore. This time, the villain Necrodeus split Kirby into 10 pieces and scattered them throughout the Popopo Islands. Using the stylus, players found and controlled mini Kirbys that would help defeat Necrodeus and restore Kirby’s regular form.
“Mass Attack is a game of invention, wit, and leftfield surprises, in other words, and it all adds up to a near-perfect send-off for Nintendo’s aging DS,” The Telegraph said in its review.
Kirby’s Dream Collection: Special Edition (Wii, 2012) – 82
Ten years ago, Nintendo celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Kirby franchise with a special-edition anthology series on the Wii. Kirby’s Dream Collection: Special Edition soon turned into one of the best Kirby games, with a Metascore of 82. The compilation included six classic titles: Kirby’s Dream Land, Kirby’s Adventure, Kirby’s Dream Land 2, Kirby Super Star, Kirby’s Dream Land 3, and Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards.
“Kirby’s Dream Collection is a fine tribute to Kirby’s 20-year history,” NintendoWorldReport wrote. “Anyone who missed a chunk of his old outings, or just has an urge to replay them all, should definitely pick up this package.”
Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land (Game Boy Advance, 2002) – 81
Finally, one 2002 Game Boy Advance title shines in the top 5. Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land has a Metascore of 81. Serving as a remake of Kirby’s Adventure, the game followed Kirby on a journey to recover the Star Rod and take down King Dedede. In addition to single-player mode, Nightmare in Dream Land had a multiplayer mode for up to three friends.
“With fantastic level designs, great enemies and power-ups, as well as the addition of some fun and entertaining multiplayer modes, Kirby is a must-have,” Gaming Age wrote, as seen on Metacritic.