With Kirby: Triple Deluxe coming to 3DS next month, the frenzy behind the heroic, digestive hero made a return in time for summer – and for good reason. Over the course of several years, Nintendo's hero has appeared in a number of memorable games, ranging from outstanding platformers to diverse titles that put his abilities to more inventive use.
As a nod to this adorable character, we put together a list of the 10 best Kirby games of all time, some of which you can get via download through Nintendo's eShop.
10.) Kirby's Avalanche (SNES)
Based on the Puyo Puyo series – which was also used with the Genesis release Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine – Kirby's Avalanche cleverly combined the bean-matching antics of the original with Kirby's world, resulting in a joyous puzzle romp for all ages. Better still, the two player versus mode is quite competitive.
9.) Kirby's Adventure (NES)
Kirby couldn't have arrived at a better time when his 8-bit adventure came out for the NES. With the 16-bit era becoming more dominant, the pink puffball proved that he had staying power, between his unique ability to swallow enemies and obtain their powers, and well-designed levels that were just as charming as the previously released Dream Land for Game Boy. This is an Adventure well worth taking – especially on 3D via the eShop.
8.) Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards (Nintendo 64)
Kirby took his sweet time arriving on the Nintendo 64, but it was well worth the wait, combining the classic 2D platforming action that players grew up by with amazing 3D visuals along the same lines as Namco's Klonoa series. In addition, some new abilities kept things interesting, including the opportunity to become a rolling crystal, destroying everything that got in the way. You can download this game now through the Wii Virtual Console service for a cool $10.
7.) Kirby: Canvas Curse (Nintendo DS)
Canvas Curse is one of the most inventive Kirby games out there, as you don't control the lead character directly. Instead, you draw a path for him, avoiding dangers and making his way through the stage. Although it took some getting used to, Curse featured more than enough strategic fun to keep fans hooked.
6.) Kirby's Pinball Land (Game Boy)
Before Mario and Metroid got their pinball makeovers for Nintendo handhelds, Kirby had a go with the engaging Pinball Land, a quasi-platforming game where you direct the rolling hero using flippers on a variety of stages. Imaginatively designed and packed with strong controls, the game became a Game Boy classic for years to come.
5.) Kirby Mass Attack (Nintendo DS)
What's better than one Kirby? How about several Kirbys? In Mass Attack, you can summon multiple copies of the hero as he battles enemies, collects apples and power-ups, and simply creates havoc over the course of each stage. Even with its distinct gameplay, this title definitely has mass appeal.
4.) Kirby's Return To Dreamland (Wii)
There's nothing like a good old-fashioned platformer to keep you entertained – although adding a few friends to the mix is a nice option. Return To Dreamland provided that when it arrived for the Wii, allowing up to four players to take part in enemy-bashing, power-up collecting fun. It's the next best thing to working with others in New Super Mario Bros. Wii, and for Kirby fans, maybe even better.
3.) Kirby & the Amazing Mirror (Game Boy Advance)
It's not often you see a hero benefit from something like a cell phone, but that's exactly what Kirby uses in Amazing Mirror, an outstanding adventure game where you utilize multi-colored heroes to beat enemies and solve puzzles. It also introduced multiplayer through the Multi-Pak, which would become a staple feature for the series. If you didn't check out Amazing Mirror upon its release, you can download it now for the Wii U for a paltry $8.
2.) Kirby's Dream Land (Game Boy)
Kirby got his start on Nintendo's old school handheld, and it remains one of his greatest adventures to date. Dream Land introduced us to Kirby's lavish world, as well as his ability to swallow enemies and gain their powers, ranging from a sword to an umbrella to a fireball attack. The side-scrolling platform action is still fun to this day, as you can see for yourself on the 3DS eShop for a mere $4.
1.) Kirby's Epic Yarn (Wii)
While some of you may be surprised by our selection of Epic Yarn as the number one Kirby game, it makes sense. Nintendo introduced an imaginative new spin to the gameplay, between string whips and being able to transform into a mega-Kirby tank to blast enemies. In addition, the presentation is nothing short of awesome, with gorgeous sewn-together worlds and whimsical music. Finally, you can bring a friend along for the ride in co-op – and there's nothing wrong with partnering with someone. If you haven't played this Wii gem yet, make sure you set aside some time for it.