How to Play Every Kirby Game in Chronological Order - Prima Games

How to Play Every Kirby Game in Chronological Order

And this is why closing the eShops is bad

by Lucas White

Nintendo’s iconic “pink puffball” is having a banner year in 2022. Not only did Kirby and the Forgotten Land bring a new fully-fledged console adventure, but Nintendo is using their bouncy boy to appeal to the Fall Guys audience with the upcoming Dream Buffet. With new generations and new games come new fans, and those fans may be wondering what Kirby has been all about over the years. Dude’s been around since the early 90s, and starred in over 30 different games.

Unfortunately, depending on your means, playing all of them “legitimately” is an arduous task. And virtually impossible in a couple cases. So for the purposes of this list, we’ll be talking about emulation. If that’s a problem for you, well, this is not a wallet-friendly endeavor. Also, you have a time limit. Yeah, by the end of this list you’ll understand.

Related: Kirby and the Forgotten Land Review | Caught a Vibe

I’ll be breaking down the Kirby library by year, since bouncing around by platform would make this list even messier than it already is. So from 1992 to 2022, we’ll explore the different ways (when applicable) to play each Kirby game in chronological order. Godspeed Nintendo sickos.

Before we get into it, let’s go ahead and preface this list with a few facts. These are going to impact how you engage with this list, and it’s also gonna help me do a little more than “download everything.” If you want to travel back in Kirby time, you need to understand the following:

  • You will need retro hardware, sometimes for a single game if you want to be thorough.
  • Kirby’s Dream Collection for the Wii will knock out several core titles, but you’re looking at spending $80 minimum. Want all the extras? Try $200 or more.
  • Many games were re-released on the Virtual Console, but you only have until August 2022 to use eShop cards for the 3DS and Wii U, which is less than a month from this article’s publication date. And those shops are donezo entirely in March 2023.
  • Buying physical games secondhand feels good, but is prohibitively expensive and does not support the developers or publisher any more or less than downloading ROM files.
  • Overwhelmed? Check out our list of the Best Kirby Games to narrow it down a little.

How to Play Every Kirby Game

1992

Kirby’s Dream Land

  • Game Boy (GB)
  • 3DS Virtual Console (VC)
  • Kirby’s Dream Collection (Wii)

1993

Kirby’s Adventure

  • Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)
  • VC (Wii/Wii U/3DS)
  • 3D Classics: Kirby’s Adventure (3DS)
  • Nintendo Switch Online (NSO)
  • NES Classic Edition (microconsole)

Kirby’s Pinball Land

  • GB
  • VC (3DS)

1994

Kirby’s Dream Course

  • SNES
  • SNES Classic Edition
  • NSO
  • VC (Wii/Wii U/3DS)

1995

Kirby’s Avalanche

  • SNES

Kirby’s Dream Land 2

  • GB
  • VC (3DS)
  • Dream Collection

Kirby’s Block Ball

  • GB
  • VC (3DS)

1996

Kirby Super Star

  • SNES
  • VC (Wii/Wii U)
  • SNES Classic
  • NSO

Kirby’s Toy Box

1997

Kirby’s Star Stacker

  • GB
  • Super Famicom (SFC)

Kirby’s Dream Land 3

  • VC (Wii/Wii U)
  • Dream Collection
  • NSO

2000

Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards

  • VC (Wii/Wii U)
  • Dream Collection
  • NSO

Kirby Tilt ‘n’ Tumble

  • Game Boy Color (GBC) – motion sensor in cartridge therefore difficult to port or emulate accurately

2002

Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land

  • Game Boy Advance (GBA)
  • VC (Wii U)

2003

Kirby Air Ride

  • Nintendo GameCube (GCN)

2004

Kirby & the Amazing Mirror

  • GBA
  • VC
  • 3DS (only via the “Ambassador” program)

2005

Kirby: Canvas Curse

  • Nintendo DS (DS)
  • VC (Wii U)

2006

Kirby: Squeak Squad

  • DS
  • VC (Wii U)

2008

Kirby Super Star Ultra

  • DS

2010

Kirby’s Epic Yarn

  • Wii
  • 3DS (Extra Epic Yarn)

2011

Kirby Mass Attack

  • DS
  • VC (Wii U)

Kirby’s Return to Dream Land

  • Wii
  • Wii U (eShop)

2012

Kirby’s Dream Collection

  • Wii

2014

Kirby: Triple Deluxe

  • 3DS

Kirby Fighters Deluxe

  • 3DS (eShop)

Dedede’s Drum Dash Deluxe

  • 3DS (eShop)

2015

Kirby and the Rainbow Curse

  • Wii U

2016

Kirby: Planet Robobot

  • 3DS

2017

Team Kirby Clash Deluxe

  • 3DS (eShop)

Kirby’s Blowout Blast

  • 3DS (eShop)

Kirby Battle Royale

  • 3DS

2018

Kirby Star Allies

  • Nintendo Switch (NS)

2019

Super Kirby Clash

  • NS (eShop)

2020

Kirby Fighters 2

  • NS  (eShop)

2022

Kirby and the Forgotten Land

  • NS

Kirby’s Dream Buffet

  • NS (Summer, TBD)

Wild, right? If this list was around a few years ago, you’d be looking at the same list in a very different context. By closing down the eShops for its previous consoles, Nintendo is shutting people out from most Kirby games. For those folks who value purchasing games officially, that’s a brick wall they can’t get around. On the other hand, using emulators like Dolphin, you can play through Kirby’s entire history all the way up to the Switch. You can just walk into a store and get those.

Whether you’re hunting down physical games at pawn shops, batch-downloading ROM files or… optimistically watching Nintendo’s Twitter feed for NSO updates, your work is cut out for you. But the effort could very well be worth it, as nearly every single Kirby game is an instant classic. Even the weird ones. I mean, Kirby’s whole thing is weird when you think about it for a sec.

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