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Kingdom Hearts: best to worst?



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Elysium

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kh1 and kh2 aren't objectively better or worse than the other imo, kh1 was so much deeper and immersed you more while kh2 was tighter, felt good and had a lot more polish.

Polish I'd give you, even if that's a shallow difference, but tighter? In no world is KH2's trainwreck of a story tight on its own terms, much less when it's compared to any other game in this series. The sheer amount of cutscenes alone would say no, it's not tighter.
 

Chuman

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Polish I'd give you, even if that's a shallow difference, but tighter? In no world is KH2's trainwreck of a story tight on its own terms, much less when it's compared to any other game in this series. The sheer amount of cutscenes alone would say no, it's not tighter.

wait you were discussing story? my bad. i meant gameplay and it's mechanics. II's story was ridiculous and long and stupid, i enjoy it purely out of nostalgia. kh1 easily has the better story.
 

Jochira

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I got 2 different placings, 1 for story and 1 for gameplay

STORY

1. DDD
2. KH2
3. Days/BBS
4. KH1
5. Re:CoM
6. Re:Coded

GAMEPLAY


1. DDD
2. KH2
3. Re:Coded
4. KH1
5. CoM
6. BBS
7. Days
 

arcticjops

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I know I'm WAYYY too late for this thread, but it makes me genuinely upset seeing KHII torn into so much. I absolutely agree it had it's glaring issues with it's story, but Kingdom Hearts as a whole is no stranger to that problem. but calling it a trainwreck? maybe a bit far. of course opinions are opinions, but I'd just like to offer my extremely late one.

now, as far as the rest of the series goes, here is my list of best to worst. gameplay wise:
1.KHIIFM. the gameplay of this one was damn near perfect for me, personally. fun as hell, although WAY too easy usually. exception being on critical mode, where it was still fairly easy, but provided a great challenge. very very fun, mostly balanced very well. worlds were memorable as hell although infamously being basically themed hallways. still, a few stand out to me such as pride lands, pirates (requiring different strategies w magic and stuff), olympus coliseum, hollow bastion, and space paranoids, among others. cavern of remembrance was definitely a step up in complexity and design, though.
2.KHFM. the platforming, although clunky at times, was such an integral part of this game. I really, really miss it in the later games. world design was BY FAR the best in the series. so many secrets. puzzles. actual incentive to revisit worlds and explore them. combat was still pretty fun although clunky in its own right. magic was more diverse I think, and it was actually used for other things in worlds themselves. needing different elements and upgrades to your magic to unlock certain chests or areas. so perfect.
3.DDD. although I haven't played it, the world's seem a little bigger and more explorable than in previous games since KH1. also flowmotion looks super fun. I've heard balancing is sorta an issue with balloon and stuff. I'm not too fond of command decks either since BBS. which takes me to...
4.BBSFM. although balancing was HORRIBLE with surges, mines, and ignite being basically the only viable options, it was pretty fun and the different command styles were pretty fun and flashy. normal combat definitely took a back seat which I really didn't like from it. worlds were kinda boring. overall though, not too bad.
5.358/2 Days. worlds weren't super memorable. neither was gameplay, besides dual wielding roxas and it was incredible being able to play as the organization members, although it was pretty limited.
6.re:COM. so many people hate on this game. it did get very tedious at times and it was endlessly confusing, but it was unique and it was fun seeing all the different sleights and combinations you can do. I also really liked the sorta customizable worlds with the different cards. so overall, pretty dumb combat but it had its moments. worlds were neat.
7.Coded.not much to say since I haven't played it myself. looks pretty uninteresting.

now, onto story.

1.KHFM. nostalgia aside, it's where it all started. no convolution, no overcomplexity. well, for the most part anyways. seeing SDG's relationship and bond form will always be one of my favorite arcs from the series. everything felt connected, more straightforward while still maintaining that mysteriousness that we all love now from the series. Sora felt way more special and his development was so good. he was so much more focused but he still had the childishness and yet bravery that he's known for. Riku's arc was equally (if not more) as amazing. Kairi, although still kinda portrayed as unimportant, at least felt more important than the other games. Sora was just as concerned with what happened to her as he was Riku, and as a Princess of Heart, she was pretty central to the plot. I could go on and on about how great the story was in KH1, but I've made the more important points.
2. KHIIFM. although many would disagree, I think this is one of the best games in the series story wise. it obviously does have its problems with complicating things a bit. like, completely changing the identity of the previous games final boss just because. or adding in so many more forms of darkness and introducing the organization. I really, really do hold a special place in my heart for this game, and not just for nostalgia. the intentions and purposes of certain characters are explained. also, Riku's arc is fleshed out which is definitely one of my favorites from the series. in the second part of the game when the organization kind of blackmails SDG with the collection of hearts is very well done, if not kind of confusing with the arrival of Days. the Disney worlds didn't really tie in as much with the overall plot which sucked, but it's alright in my eyes as they aren't always meant for that purpose, even in 1 (although it did do it noticeably more). but overall, I think it was a pretty strong story with a few big flaws.
3.CoM. although a notoriously disliked game, I thought the story was very strong. definitely darker, but I like that. it was very emotional to me, seeing the rising need to get higher in the castle to avoid losing every memory they've ever held dear. I loved seeing the dissent within the castle's org members and how they had their own motives and stuff. and this game kinda brought back the disney world involvement in the plot which I was happy to see return.
4. 358/2 Days. Roxas is definitely a favorite of mine and I liked the format and pacing of the story, going day by day. things grow very dire and I loved how serious things got towards the end. definitely had its problems as always, but good.
5.BBS. definitely changed things for the worse in the series, in which I noticed the complexity starting to get a little too ridiculous. I did enjoy the relationship between TAV although it did seem a bit forced at times, as if they really weren't as close as the game wanted us to believe. the story felt kinda hollow, for lack of a better word. things didn't feel as connected or dire as they should've been. I did quite enjoy seeing the interaction between each character in the worlds and their subsequent visits. it made the worlds feel at least a little more important. I liked the ending too, seeing each character's fate and interaction with Xehanort was interesting and dismal.
6. Coded. don't know a thing about it. something with computers and data? I've heard only the ending is important.
7.DDD.haven't played it yet, but all I've heard is that Sora is dumber and there's time travel. that sounds like a recipe for disaster. I don't have high hopes, but I'm sure I'll still enjoy it.

I absolutely love all kingdom hearts games, but some are indeed better than others. sorry again for how late this is.
 
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Bufferino

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Oh well. I might revise this list when I get 2.8

Gameplay:
1. Birth by Sleep
I'm quite surprised to add this to the list. I know the amount of hate and criticism the gameplay gets, from it's constant over-reliance on blocking and countering. But honestly? I had no problem with that. I loved melding, mixing, and creating commands and seeing what they can do, especially affecting our evasion skills in battle. Each playstyle is unique, and even though some of them I'm not a fond of (Terra, I'm looking at you), I still frickin' enjoyed command melding and creation.

It's fun.

2. Kingdom Hearts II
Okay, it's button-mashing kind of turned me off when I first utilized it's combat, but after taking more depth into it, I actually really enjoy it. I liked the variety and use of keyblades, especially the drive forms and using other keyblades.

3. Dream Drop Distance
Not gonna lie. I liked the command system and use of Dream Eaters.

4. ReCoded
Not gonna lie. I liked the command system and growth system.

5. Kingdom Hearts
Don't get me wrong, I love the combat.

6. Chain of Memories
The card system can be tedious, but I didn't mind it too much.

7. Days
I haven't played much, so call me out for that fact, but the gameplay is honestly so damn slow.

Story:
1. Chain of Memories
The story is honestly great. Got a lot of feels, too.

2. Kingdom Hearts
I liked it's simplicity. Also gave me feels.

3. Birth by Sleep
I liked it's darker move and tone.

4. Kingdom Hearts II
Not great, but not awful.

5. Days
Eh, was kinda reluctant to add this on the list, but as much as I loved ReCoded, it's plot wasn't top-tier.

6. ReCoded
What was said above.

7. Dream Drop Distance
Sorry, but it's honestly too confusing for my own blood. Call me idiot, but no.
 

Muke

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Now that I've played 2.8…

STORY:
1. DDD
2. 0.2
3. KH1
4. BBS
5. CoM
6. Coded
7. Days

GAMEPLAY:
1. KH2
2. DDD
3. 0.2
4. Coded
5. BBS
6. KH1
7. Days
 

Griewer

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Now that I've played 2.8…

STORY:
1. DDD
2. 0.2
3. KH1
4. BBS
5. CoM
6. Coded
7. Days

GAMEPLAY:
1. KH2
2. DDD
3. 0.2
4. Coded
5. BBS
6. KH1
7. Days

Um story-wise where is KH2 and gameplay-wise where is CoM? o_O
For me:

Story:
1. KH2
2. KH1
3. DDD
4. BBS
5. 0.2
6. CoM
7. Days
8. Coded
+1 BC/X (whatever the title is)

Gameplay:
1. KH2
2. 0.2
3. BBS
4. DDD
5. KH1
6. Days
7. CoM
+1 Coded - Haven't had the chance to try it
 

DarkosOverlord

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Oh, geez.

Story:

BbS
KH
CoM (although I deem this one the peak in just "writing")
Back Cover
DDD
0.2
Chi
Re:Coded
KH II
358/2 Days

Gameplay:

KH
KH II
0.2
DDD
BbS
Re:Coded
CoM
Unchained
358/2 Days
Chi
 

Elysium

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Story:
1. CoM
2. KH1
3. Coded
4. 3D
5. Days ~ I've actually always liked Days' story even though it's not what I came into the game wanting. I think it's well-paced for the most part--well, maybe dragged out is a better way to describe it, but rushed it wasn't at least. The only thing I dislike is what felt like a dropped plot with Saix and Axel's scheming early on. The reason I rank it so low is because I don't really care about the characters that much.... Days is the only game I haven't played more than once.
6. KH2
7. BbS

Gameplay: (Really going by order of how much fun I had playing them...)

1. KH1
2. 3D
3. KH2FM
4. Chain of Memories ~ Almost ranked it above KH2.
5. Coded
6. Birth by Sleep ~ Maybe I should put this above Coded, not sure. I will say I've never thought this game was any fun to play. About the only mechanics I liked were Shotlocks and D Links.
7. Days
 

Caxinuld

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Story: I originally put DDD at 6th place because of the time travel element which complicated the series, but I thought Coded was kind of pointless.

1. KH1
2. CoM
3. Days
4. DDD
5. KH2
6. Coded
7. BBS

Gameplay: BBS & Days often switches places on my gameplay ranking list since I consider them equally bad for different reasons.
1. KH1
2. CoM
3. KH2
4. 3D
5. Coded
6. BBS
7. Days
 

Elysium

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Gameplay: BBS & Days often switches places on my gameplay ranking list since I consider them equally bad for different reasons.
I agree. There's something about BbS's gameplay that feels so cramped. The characters just don't move very freely, I guess that would be the way to describe it? Days has a similar feeling of walking around/jumping feeling sluggish.
 

Muke

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I agree. There's something about BbS's gameplay that feels so cramped. The characters just don't move very freely, I guess that would be the way to describe it?
Yeah, agreed. It just feels weird to me
 

VoidGear.

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After finishing 0.2, I have to say it feels better than 3D, Days, BBS and Re:Coded, but still inferior to KH1, KH2 and even (Re:)Com.
Story....kinda had me a bit but the ending was sadly underwhelming. D: So probably around in the middle.
 

Chuman

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Honestly this is osaka's most well made game. They understand balancing and design so much better than they did ten years ago for re:com. I can't say it's better than kh1, or kh2 technically speaking, but I think it's nearly up to par.
 

The Dark Mamba

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FMs and RE:s obviously
Story
1. KH1
2. BBS
3. 3D
4. COM
5. KH2
6. 0.2
7. X
8. Days
9. Coded

Gameplay

1. KH2
2. 0.2
3. 3D
4. KH1
5. COM
6. Coded
7. BBS (Too many mechanic issues)
8. Days
9. X
 
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The_Echo

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Addendum to this post after 0.2.

On the list, I'm going to be conservative with it and slot it under Re:coded, making it my new #3. Mostly this is due to 0.2's brevity. I don't have a problem with short games (hell, Re:coded is also short), but on top of this it also provides little optional playtime. It is just a "short episode" so I can't say I expected much else.

Graphically, the game's gorgeous. Ever since KHIII was announced, I'd been trepidatious about the new style. I felt like it didn't fit in next to all the previous titles that have been so homogenous, aesthetically.
But 0.2 really sold me on it. It's a different look for sure, but it no-doubt still looks like the Kingdom Hearts I've been playing for 15 years whoa

The level design is pretty great. Taking cues from DDD, the scope of the rooms is extended heavily compared to other games, with a more vertically-oriented structure. There are plenty of linear parts, and conveniently-sized open fields for combat zones, but I'll have to chalk that one up to "short episode" again. I imagine Castle Town is a good barometer for the design density we might be able to expect of KHIII.
Though I am disappointed that the Dwarf Woodlands segment is limited only to the World Within.

Combat feels good. Being able to move while casting magic feels great. v1.02 makes Barrier snappy and responsive. Situation Commands are the bomb. I really can't complain about anything in the combat.

Some people have taken to shitting on the Devil's Tower/Wave fights, but I don't really have a problem with them. Yeah, they don't stun, yeah, there's no revenge value. But those aren't mandatory in order for the boss to be considered good.
I think they're fun, interesting fights with a fair challenge to them (pre-patch Critical was hell though).

I could rock Critical Mode for being so over-the-top difficult, but the 1.02 patch pretty much wiped that clean. When I defeated Devil's Tower in one try, as opposed to possibly three hours of retries over two sessions pre-patch, my mind changed like a light switch.
 

KHHacker6595

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I agree mostly with Anagram on the first page but my rankings are slightly different

1. Kingdom Hearts
2. Birth By Sleep
3. Chain of Memories
4. Re:Coded = Dream Drop Distance
5. Kingdom Hearts II
6. 358/2 Days
 

Grizzly

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Updated after playing 2.8:

1. Kingdom Hearts II
2. 0.2
3. Dream Drop Distance
4. CoM/Re:CoM
5. Birth By Sleep
6. Kingdom Hearts
7. Days
8. Re:Coded

I didn't include Back Cover, because it's not a game, nor did I include Unchained X, because it isn't finished and I'm not sure if I would count it anyway.
 

Audo

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my updated:

1 - dream drop distance
2 - kingdom hearts /chain of memories
4 - birth by sleep / re:coded
5 - kh2
6 - 0.2 / days
 
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