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All 8 Animal Crossing Games, Ranked



animal crossing games ranked

If you have never heard about Animal Crossing, then you must live under a rock. The recent release, Animal Crossing New Horizons, has only widened the game’s fanbase and gained renewed attention.

To begin with, there are not THAT many Animal Crossing games. As of now, there are eight games in the franchise and they differ from each other considerably. Just like any other video game series, Animal Crossing had its share of ups and downs.

Starting with Animal Crossing in 2001, the developers have been frequently rolling out new titles. From a campsite to a new horizon, we have ranked all the Animal Crossing games!

Animal Crossing: All the Games Ranked

These rankings are based on gameplay, and of course, public reception and reaction.

1. New Leaf

animal crossing new leaf

Before New Horizons was a thing, Animal Crossing New Leaf had stolen the spotlight and kept it for years. New Leaf is a favorite with many fans and is still a tough competition for New Horizons. The 2012 game actually has a higher rating than New Horizons.

What made New Leaf a fan-favorite was the new take on the plot. You, as a player, step into the shoes of the mayor of the village. This enabled players to make decisions for the village, make laws, and gave a whole new dynamic to Animal Crossing.

New Leaf may not have the fancy graphics. But even today, several players go back to the game. The island, the mini-games, and the villagers make it one of the best games to date.


2. New Horizons

animal crossing new horizons

A lot of players may not agree with this ranking, but there’s no denying that New Horizons gave the Animal Crossing series a much-needed HD glow-up. The stunning visuals are pleasing to the eye and so is the music. The seven-year wait was worth it after all.

New Horizons is loaded with new mechanics. You start off on a deserted island with essentials and work your way up. Players can collect items, take a dip in the ocean, farm, and do much more.

The game rolled out in March 2020, at a critical time when the globe faced the first lockdown. Coincidentally, New Horizons was a relaxing social simulation game that just made the pandemic bearable. As you might have guessed, New Horizons has mostly positive ratings, and each update brings something new.


3. Animal Crossing

animal crossing

Of course, the very first Animal Crossing that came out in 2001 on GameCube has to be one of the best games. The nostalgia associated with this title is too strong to ignore.

In Animal Crossing, you, as a player, reside in a village and pay off the mortgage on your house. But the endless social simulator game lets you live everyday life in the village. Each day, you’ll find something to do in the game.

As far as gameplay is concerned, it wasn’t all that perfect. The interaction with the villagers was less common. There were no clear guidelines that moved the game forward. Players were figuring things out on their own. Interestingly, this became the engaging factor for the game and hooked players for hours.


4. Wild World

wild world

Wild World landed with a bang in 2005. In fact, a lot of players will rank it much higher due to sheer nostalgia and the wi-fi support. This was the first Animal Crossing game to introduce online play.

Wild World was an improvement over the original Animal Crossing. It had better customization, a modifiable environment, and crafting. Players could draw constellations, a feature that doesn’t reappear in the series.

Upon its release, Wild World was well-received, received numerous awards, and has high ratings. It set the course for future games. However, in many cases, it didn’t manage to hook players the way Animal Crossing did. The Nintendo wi-fi connection was disabled in 2014.


5. Happy Home Designer

happy home designer

For many, entering Happy Home in fifth place might seem outrageous. But let’s be honest, it’s not a bad game at all. It’s just a little different from other Animal Crossing games (because it’s a spin-off).

With Happy Home Designer, Animal Crossing ventured into a whole new territory. As you can guess by the name, Happy Home is all about designing homes, decorating them, and unlocking new furniture. As usual, the game does a good job with visuals and dialogues.

A lot of players complained that Happy Home Designer wasn’t challenging enough. But again, none of the games in the series are highly competitive. If you are into designing games, then this is the perfect game for you.


6. City Folk

animal crossing games ranked

For City Folk, Animal Crossing abandoned the village and went over to a town. Several players liked the concept. Villagers could hop on the bus and visit the nearby city. Over there, you could go shopping, watch a movie, and do a lot of things.

Players who were introduced to Animal Crossing with City Folk love the game. As always, the in-game events aligned with the real-world ones. So, you get all the holiday-themed décor and Halloween outfits.

City Folk (or Let’s go to the City) did not go down well with the critics. As it was built upon the previous games, it had little improvement over its predecessors. The hobbies and activities got repetitive.


7. Pocket Camp

animal crossing

Pocket Camp is that Animal Crossing game that no one asked for. The entire game seems kind of shallow and barely scratches the surface of what Animal Crossing is. You can argue that this title was supposed to be a “pocket” version.

The whole point of Pocket Camp is to help animals and decorate your camp. The visuals are pleasing and catch the eye immediately. But it feels like the game is trying to give new players an idea of what all the previous games were about. It doesn’t feel like a full-fledged game. The micro-transactions ruin the fun.

As you can imagine, the game did not go down well with players who have been playing Animal Crossing for decades. For them, the mobile version simply lacked depth.


8. Amiibo Festival

amiibo festival

The Amiibo Festival seemed more like an excuse to sell the Amiibos rather than a game. When it came out in 2015, Amiibos were in vogue. And so were party board games like Mario Party. But not every game can be Mario Party. Amiibo Festival couldn’t really pull that off. It’s a simple board game with expensive Amiibo.

The main complaint was it didn’t feel authentic anymore. On top of a $60 game, the Amiibo had to be bought separately. To enjoy the game, you need to have at least three or four players, which isn’t always possible. Overall, Nintendo could have skipped this one.

Unlike other regular game series, Animal Crossing wasn’t shy with experimenting. With this in mind, we can expect the developers to get more creative and surprise us with another title.


You might also like: 5 Amazing Fan-Made Animal Crossing: New Horizons Islands

Nitisha is an esports journalist and gaming enthusiast. When she's not punching the keyboard, you'll find her in Nuketown with the squad.