There’s nothing like playing a Kirby game to unwind. The series has consistently presented itself as an alternative to harder platformers. In an era where most games were difficult, Kirby was accessible while still fun, if a bit on the simple side. Just about every Kirby game has aged gracefully, but good game design is good forever, after all.
That said, the older Kirby games can admittedly be difficult to revisit. The very first game in the series doesn’t even feature the copy ability. Not just that, multiple spin-offs are locked to older consoles and have no modern reinterpretations. Kirby doesn’t show negative signs of age as a franchise, but remaking the series’ older entries could do them a lot of good—if only to make them more accessible.
10 Kirby’s Dream Land (Spring Breeze)
Worth noting, Kirby’s Dream Land for the original Game Boy actually does have two remakes in the form of Spring Breeze, one of the included titles in Super Star and Super Star Ultra. Spring Breeze gets the job done, adding both multiplayer and the copy ability, but it’s shorter than even the Game Boy original and omits content.
Super Star Ultra’s Spring Breeze is more complete, but it’s still missing content. As the first entry in the series, it’s a shame that its two remakes aren’t complete, especially since Super Star Ultra very easily could have fit all of Kirby’s Dream Land.
9 Kirby’s Dream Course
Kirby has always had a knack for eclectic spin-offs, as evidenced by the Super Nintendo’s Kirby’s Dream Course, a strange golf-esque game that has no right being as good as it is. While Kirby’s Dream Course has been included on both the SNES Mini and NSO, a remade would do the game a lot of good.
Dream Course is mechanically quite nuanced, with players being able to influence just about every facet of Kirby’s movement. It’s probably the hardest Kirby game overall, and a remake could help smooth things out—not by making the game any less mechanically complex, but by providing the expected quality of life fixtures of a modern game.
8 Kirby’s Dream Land 2
Kirby’s Dream Land 2 is a big step up in quality from Kirby’s Dream Land and is arguably the best of the Dream Land trilogy. It might lack the presentation of Dream Land 3, but it’s a tight game with great controls, the introduction of animal buddies, and with Kirby’s copy ability this time around. But the game is also locked on the Game Boy outside of the 3DS’ virtual console.
This might not be an important entry in the Kirby franchise necessarily, but it’s a great game that a lot of modern fans will have missed out on. Dream Land 2 is already one of the best looking games on the Game Boy, and it lends itself well to a remake. With some fleshing out, a Dream Land 2 remake could be a great next mainline entry.
7 Kirby’s Air Ride
Now, this is a favorite of just about everyone who grew up with a GameCube, and rightfully so. Kirby’s Air Ride is the hardcore Nintendo alternative to Mario Kart no one ever knew they needed—just keep in mind that Mario Kart is already pretty hardcore when it comes to high-level play. Kirby’s Air Ride is just on another level entirely.
Like Dream Course, it’s far more mechanically nuanced than it has any right being. It’s a bit overwhelming at first, but taking the time to play through reveals one of Nintendo’s absolute best first-party titles. A remake would not only give fans the chance to play through it, but the advent of online gaming means Air Ride matchmaking can be a reality.
6 Kirby’s Dream Land 3
Kirby’s Dream Land 3 is a gorgeous game and one of the most charming titles on the Super Nintendo, but, unfortunately, it’s painfully slow. Kirby moves as if he’s traded his signature Air Riders for actual molasses. Now, a slow pace isn’t inherently a bad thing, especially for a platformer (just see Castlevania), but it doesn’t work for Kirby’s gameplay loop. At least not as well.
It’s still perfectly playable and the presentation outdoes a good chunk of the SNES’ already very stylish library. A remake that preserves the art style while speeding up the gameplay could very well make Dream Land 3 one of the series’ best games.
5 Kirby’s Canvas Curse
Canvas Curse actually would’ve been a better remake for the Wii U than the Nintendo Switch, but its touch screen controls would translate to an undocked Switch. Not just that, Joy-Cons could theoretically be used to emulate the game’s touch controls through movement. Heck, even an analog stick could get the job done.
Canvas Curse is just too interesting a game to stay locked on the Nintendo DS. The Wii U has Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, but it’s not quite the same thing. Canvas Curse is a more low-key game with a more striking art style and a gameplay loop that needs to rear its head again.
4 64: The Crystal Shards
Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards may not have been as smooth a transition from 2D to 3D as Nintendo had hoped (especially after Super Mario 64 and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time’s respective successes), but it’s a great platformer and certainly one of the better Nintendo 64 games.
Essentially picking up where Dream Land 3 left over, The Crystal Shards feels more “epic” for Kirby. It’s very atmospheric, not as easy, and being able to mix copy abilities is a genius mechanic. The game essentially begs to be remade. With just a few twerks, it’s more than ready for a modern release.
3 Kirby & The Amazing Mirror
Kirby & The Amazing Mirror is an amazing Kirby game and one of the most charming titles on the Game Boy Advance. Where the average Kirby game is a traditional platformer, The Amazing Mirror goes full Metroidvania, emphasizing exploration and action on a level similar to that of Super Star’s Great Cave Offensive.
Great Cave Offensive is worth its own remake, honestly, but The Amazing Mirror is the more realized and complete concept, brimming with secrets and a very healthy story mode for a Kirby game. It also features a co-op multiplayer that would be much better suited for an online era.
2 Kirby: Squeak Squad
Squeak Squad is a great Kirby game that unfortunately suffers from not bringing enough to the table. While generally well designed, the bosses tend to be a step down (especially the final boss) and the main game plays out like a by the numbers Kirby. Think what Twilight Princess is for The Legend of Zelda: a game that checks all the boxes and nothing more.
A remake could help Squeak Squad iron out its flaws and perhaps brings its identity out front & center. SS, while good, really does feel like “just another Kirby game,” which is a shame because it isn’t. Its flaws make it seem much blander than it really is.
1 Kirby Tilt ‘N’ Tumble
Tilt ‘n’ Tumble is hands down the most impractical Kirby game to play today. A Game Boy game that utilizes a motion sensor, it can only be played as intended on real hardware and only on the Game Boy, Game Boy Pocket, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, or Game Boy Micro. The Game Boy Advance SP, the Nintendo DS, DS Lite, and Game Boy Player all make it impossible to play the game.A modern remake with modern controls and perhaps the Joy-Con’s motion capabilities would make Tilt ‘n’ Tumble not only accessible but probably a better experience overall. It’s a charming little game, but one that most can’t and won’t play.