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5 Best Kingdom Hearts Games of All Time, Ranked

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Picture this, a fusion of Disney and Final Fantasy characters. Seems impossible, right? Well, not for Square Enix. The collaboration between Square Enix and Disney saw the rise of a sporadic series where whimsical Disney characters pair with stony-faced characters from Final Fantasy in Kingdom Hearts

The 17-year long-running series has thirteen games to its name featured on seven different platforms. If you’ve played it before, you’ll notice the varying discernible qualities in each title. The games in the series also feature plenty of elements from Enix, including secret items, character building, boss battles, and mini-games.  

So, if you’re wondering which Kingdom Hearts games deserve the top-tier ranking, we’ve sampled the ones that are worth your time. So, without sounding like a flustered salesperson, here are the five best Kingdom Hearts games of all time. 

5. Kingdom Hearts

Kingdom Hearts - TRAILER ( PS2 )

As the first title in the series, it is only fitting to pay homage to the game that started it all. Kingdom Hearts made its debut on the PS2 console in 2002. Despite the game being a hybrid of Disney and Square Enix’s characters, you’ll see more of Walt’s characters. So, if you're a Disney franchise enthusiast, you’re in for a treat. 

The game’s campaign mode runs for an estimated 29 hours and gives fans a hearty welcome into the fantasy worlds immersed with their favorite characters. For a game that made its debut two decades ago, it outlives other similar titles in the genre. Although it is not a roleplaying game, it does feature a boatload of roleplaying elements. 

Kingdom Hearts introduces the series' three main characters; Riku, Sora, and Kairi. It also sets the series’s plot in motion, which revolves around the Heartless. Also, with exceptional combat that surpassed its timeline, Kingdom Hearts is still a beloved treasure.

4. Kingdom Hearts 0.2: Birth by Sleep – A Fragmentary Passage

KINGDOM HEARTS HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue 0.2 Birth by Sleep -A fragmentary passage Trailer | PS4

Released in 2017 on the PS4 platforms, this game is part of the Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue title collection. Kingdom Hearts 0.2: Birth by Sleep – A Fragmentary Passage is a prologue to Kingdom Hearts III and an epilogue to Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep. It also serves as the tenth installment in the series.

The title tells a unique story of the main antagonist, Aqua, and her travels across the Realm of Darkness. The storyline also connects with Kingdom Hearts X. The campaign mode will last you at least 3 hours. However, its entertaining gameplay may make it seem shorter, thanks to the game’s excellent visual presentation. Moreover, as a predecessor of Kingdom Hearts II,  it features familiar gameplay. Although, it does not include the Command Menu or Command Deck.

Kingdom Hearts 0.2: Birth by Sleep – A Fragmentary Passage also introduces the Situation Commands, an upgrade to the Reaction Command previously witnessed in Birth by Sleep. This mechanic integrates elements in the game for dynamic and versatile gameplay you can’t get enough of. 

3. Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep

Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep trailer E3

The sixth installment in the Kingdom Hearts series makes it to our list as number three. Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep was released in January 2010 and featured a compelling and dark story narrated by Birth by Sleep. The game is also a prequel that takes place a decade before the first Kingdom Hearts title. 

Birth by Sleep stands out from other titles in the series by introducing three new playable characters, Ventus, Aqua, and Terra. The characters aid the story’s development by providing answers and posing new questions while traversing several open worlds that existed before the Kingdom Hearts titles. Younger versions of Kairi, Sora, and Riku are also present in the game.

As the game revolves around exploring the worlds loosely based on Disney characters, Birth by Sleep does a remarkable job of avoiding repetition with every revisit. The 30 hours of gameplay introduce a new concept of siphoning a player’s powers using a Dimension Link (D-Link), which replaces your commands with new ones. With this and more, it is impossible not to relish this installment.

2. Kingdom Hearts 3

KINGDOM HEARTS III – Opening Movie Trailer

Kingdom Hearts 3, released in January 2019 on PC, PS4, and Xbox One, is the exceptional twelfth installment of the Kingdom Hearts series. It is also the epic conclusion of the Dark Seeker Saga story. Moreover, its visuals are quite spectacular and well-detailed. Exploring the fictional worlds is sheer fun and makes the gameplay all the more exciting. 

Featuring a similar hack-and-slash combat style as its predecessor, the game’s storyline follows the aftermath of Kingdom of Hearts: 3D Dream Drop Distance. An older version of Sora is the main protagonist, on a quest to search for the seven guardians of light. The game also features a new Formchange mechanic that allows Sora’s Keyblade to equip him with special abilities.

Moreover, Sora can summon any Disney-themed vehicle for his travels. However, admittedly, this game falls short in its storyline. Although Kingdom Hearts embraces the continuation of storylines with every title release, some Kingdom Hearts 3 expeditions and boss fights are lacking. Notwithstanding, it still holds out as one of the best Kingdom Hearts games of all time. 

1. Kingdom Hearts 2

KINGDOM HEARTS II, English trailer - E3 2004

Ladies and gentlemen, we gladly present our best pick of the best Kingdom Hearts games, Kingdom Hearts 2. A prequel to the original game and the third installment in the series, the roleplaying action game is beloved by fans of the franchise. The title graced the PS2 platforms in December 2005. Despite the fact that it was released a while back, the game has since received improvements and fixes that place it on a pedestal.

The game’s storyline revolves around Sora and serves as a continuation of the Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories events. Sora makes his return and searches for his missing friends. Simultaneously, Sora is battling the nefarious Organization XIII that we previously witnessed in Chain of Memories. 

With roughly 32 hours of gameplay, the battle system features an upgrade with more options at hand during a battle. The game gives you the option of “reaction commands,” which depend on the conditions taking place in battle. 

So, what’s your take on the five best Kingdom Hearts video games of all time? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.

Evans I. Karanja is a freelance writer who loves to write about anything technology. He is always on the lookout for interesting topics, and enjoys writing about video games, cryptocurrency and blockchain and more. When not writing, he can be found playing video games or watching F1.