Over the course of 17 years and seven different consoles, there are a lot of Kingdom Hearts games out there. People who have played them all will know that the quality of each game can be very different from the next. Despite this, the series is still a huge hit with people.
With so many episodes, it can be hard to keep up with the story. If you’re trying to figure out how to play the Kingdom Hearts games in order, this list won’t help you at all. However, it might help you figure out which games are worth your time and which aren’t.
1. Kingdom Hearts Union X
Release date: July 18, 2013
Platforms: Android, iOS, Fire OS
Campaign: Roughly 20 hours
It used to be that the Kingdom Hearts games were only available on a few questionable platforms. Now, almost all of them can be played on the same thing. However, Kingdom Hearts Union X is the only one. Most people won’t be able to forgive it if it was released as a mobile game.
Union X, like most mobile games, is mostly seen as a money-grab that focuses on draining wallets instead of interesting gameplay, like most other games. It’s also thought to be the worst Kingdom Hearts game.
In order to keep people playing after they’ve done all the 800-something quests, the important story updates are fed to them every few months or so. If people want to keep up, they have to spend money to do repetitive filler missions and keep up with the ever-changing game meta.
2. Kingdom Hearts Re:Coded
With one of the least interesting stories in the series, Re:Coded features a data version of Sora who reenacts most of the events from the first game. The story isn’t very important, and it doesn’t do very much for the overall story of the series. Another thing that could be seen as bad is that it was only available on mobile at first.
As a Japanese-only game, Re:Coded was released in parts before being remade for the DS to appeal to a wider group of people. In fact, only the cutscenes from this game made it into the PS4 collection. But without any gameplay to go along with the boring and repetitive story, it quickly becomes a chore to play through. It doesn’t measure up to the other Kingdom Hearts games.
3. Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days
Release date: May 30, 2009
Platforms: Nintendo DS
Campaign: Roughly 27 hours
In the same way as Re:Coded, 358/2 Days was made for the PS4 without any gameplay. That’s not the case with Re:Coded. It had a story that was interesting and important to understanding a lot of what happened in Kingdom Hearts 2. Because of some reason, Kingdom Hearts 2 didn’t come out until after this game.
The idea of giving players control of Roxas and letting them fight with members of Organization XIII instead of against them was fun and exciting. But the missions were too long and too many times they had to do the same thing. And to make things even worse, the fluid, fast-paced gameplay of previous games didn’t work well on the handheld Nintendo DS.
4. Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance
Release date: March 29, 2012
Platforms: Nintendo 3DS
Campaign: Roughly 23 hours
When people talk about Kingdom Hearts, they say that the story doesn’t make any sense at all, and with Dream Drop Distance, that’s very much the case! I think the developers were afraid to make the story too easy to understand, so they made this game in order to make it even more of a mess.
Besides the weird story, there are almost-forced interactions with the Dream Eater companions that make it impossible to keep track of what was going on. There is a lot of fun gameplay to be had in Dream Drop Distance. But the gameplay alone isn’t enough to make the game worth your time and money.
5. Kingdom Hearts: Re:Chain of Memories
Release date: March 29, 2007
Platforms: PS2, PS3, PS4
Campaign: Roughly 23 hours
Chain of Memories, the second game in the Kingdom Hearts series, was the biggest change in gameplay from the other games. It used a real-time, card-based battle system. This was a huge change from the usual free-flowing combat. It can be hard to get used to, but once you figure it out, it’s a unique and fun way to fight.
This is a good story, too, with a lot of important characters being introduced and setting the stage for Kingdom Hearts 2. It was also Sora’s first fight with Organization XIII.
For another storyline, players could also play as Riku. However, the game’s biggest flaw was again that it was too long. If you play both of these games back-to-back, it quickly becomes a chore. It doesn’t have any new worlds, and its two separate stories are spread out between visits to the same worlds.
6. Kingdom Hearts 0.2: Birth by Sleep – A Fragmentary Passage
Release date: January 12, 2017
Campaign: Roughly 3 hours
Birth by Sleep – A Fragmentary Passage was a prequel to Kingdom Hearts 3. It brought the series back to the same, fluid combat system from the mainline games. But thanks to the graphics and visual effects, this was even better. They had been raised to a level that had never been seen before in the series.
A Fragmentary Passage is the shortest game in the series, but it still manages to tell a compelling story that’s important to the whole series. Most playthroughs only last about 3 to 4 hours.
7. Kingdom Hearts
Release date: March 28, 2002
Campaign: Roughly 29 hours
Even though it was hard to mix Disney and Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts kicked off the series with an amazing first game. In this book, it took us on a journey through fantastic worlds filled with characters we could instantly recognise and relate to. It also told what is probably the most concise story in the series.
For a game that came out in 2002, Kingdom Hearts does very well. The design of the small worlds does a great job of making them look bigger than they are, but it also makes them very hard to get around. However, this game had a combat system that was way ahead of its time, and you could use it to fight both classic Disney villains and the Heartless, making it unique. It’s still one of the best Kingdom Hearts games out there.
8. Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory
Kairi isn’t given enough attention in Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory, even though she’s very visible in the game’s art. Not even the first choice for a narrator was hers, but she was still a good one. I think she’ll be benched for the next few games of the series after the Re Mind expansion made her a playable character. The game’s ending is almost certain to make that happen. It’s more important that we follow Riku around again and give Nomura a place to show off his abandoned Final Fantasy game. Kairi, I’m sorry, but we have to do this again.” It’s time to work on the training you did in Kingdom Hearts III with the other women. When I see this, I can’t stand it.
Melody of Memory, on the other hand, doesn’t have a lot of story to tell us. The game is mostly a review of everything that has happened before. How useful it is for you to keep up with this series depends on who you are. The game is also a way to show off all the music that has been made and arranged for the series over the years. Yoko Shimomura and Kaoru Wada made most of the music in this game, which is a spin-off. There are worse reasons for a game with such beautiful music.