The Kingdom Hearts collection is genuinely a blast—zipping round along with your buddies Donald and Goofy whereas dipping into completely different Disney-themed ranges works loads higher than it sounds prefer it ought to. However for a sport that is largely a wacky Disney/Last Fantasy crossover episode, Kingdom Hearts is extremely dense with lore. Each single sport is canon for some motive, and there are an terrible lot of them.
With your complete collection heading over to PC on March 30, it may be overwhelming understanding the place to start out. As PC Gamer’s resident Kingdom Hearts nerd, I’ve whipped up a listing of the video games it’s best to undoubtedly play, those you possibly can play, and those you possibly can simply give a miss. I can not assure you may perceive the story even after taking part in via these video games, however hopefully, it will offer you a rattling good shot.
It is best to expertise these video games roughly the place they launched quite than the place they lie chronologically on the usually bonkers Kingdom Hearts timeline. Loads of the video games depend on context from those that got here earlier than them, even when it is a prequel.
Whereas this will likely appear largely apparent, I’ve made a degree of calling it out as a result of whereas Kingdom Hearts was the primary sport to launch, it is not the primary sport chronologically. Start By Sleep takes that title, however do not be tempted to dive into the prequel immediately. BBS depends on plenty of prior data and context for the sport’s settings that are not all that pleasant for brand spanking new gamers.
Kingdom Hearts, nevertheless, does an incredible job of setting the scene, supplying you with an concept of what is in retailer for the remainder of the collection. It is also loads lighter on the convoluted narrative, issues would not actually go loco till the sequels: so it is a extra digestible expertise for newcomers.
Kingdom Hearts 2
Extensively considered among the best Kingdom Hearts video games, and my private favorite, Kingdom Hearts 2 is the place the loopy story actually ramps up. There are extra characters, extra sub-stories and it is typically much more to absorb than the earlier mainline sport.
Nearly each spin-off sport from right here on out branches off from Kingdom Hearts 2 to some extent, and you would be lacking out on a mighty chunk of the story if you happen to handed over this to move straight to Kingdom Hearts 3.
Kingdom Hearts Start By Sleep
Start By Sleep is definitely some of the necessary video games you need to be taking part in—for Kingdom Hearts 3 particularly. Start By Sleep takes place earlier than the occasions of the unique Kingdom Hearts, and each character from this sport finally ends up taking up fairly huge roles additional down the road. Start By Sleep is completely paramount to understanding what the hell is happening, and it helps that it is an absolute blast to play.
Ideally, play this after 358/2 days, however anytime between Kingdom Hearts 2 and Kingdom Hearts 3 ought to suffice.
Kingdom Hearts 3
The conclusion to the bloated story, Kingdom Hearts 3 goes out with a bang. It goes with out saying that if you happen to’ve made it via all the opposite video games, you would be daft to not see out its conclusion.
Kingdom Hearts 3 is among the weaker video games for my part, each for story and gameplay. Nevertheless it does a half-decent job of tying up unfastened ends and eventually bringing an finish to Sora’s story.
Do not suppose I’ve to say it, however simply in case: play this one final.
Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Recollections
Look: I do not identify this stuff.
Re: Chain of Recollections bridges the hole between Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts 2. Rather a lot occurs right here, and also you is likely to be a bit confused by the start of Kingdom Hearts 2 if you happen to do not dive into this sport.
The gameplay is a far cry from the remainder of the collection although, with the standard hack-and-slash motion being changed with playing cards and deck-building, and could be a little bit of a roadblock if it is not your model. Kingdom Hearts 2 supplies some context to the occasions of this sport, however it’s value a playthrough for a full understanding.
Play this one proper after Kingdom Hearts.
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days
That is much less of a ‘possibly play’ and extra of a ‘possibly watch’ seeing as 358/2 Days has been gutted of its gameplay, as a substitute being a group of textual content and cutscenes from the unique DS sport. It takes place roughly across the identical time Re: Chain of Recollections does, between the primary two mainline video games.
Its foremost characters do have an honest stage of significance in Kingdom Hearts 3, so if you happen to’ve acquired a few hours to spare it is value plowing via the cutscenes simply to get a fundamental understanding of the solid. Nevertheless it’s additionally straightforward sufficient to do a bit of sunshine studying on-line.
Watch this after taking part in Kingdom Hearts 2.
Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance
Going down simply earlier than the occasions of Kingdom Hearts 3, Dream Drop Distance is a kind of video games that feels mighty necessary however you may also rapidly get the jist of from a fast Google search.
The place Dream Drop Distance mucks up is its insistence on throwing time journey into the story. It makes the sport a little bit of a headache, and whereas the gameplay is comparatively enjoyable, a fast recap on the story earlier than you dive into Kingdom Hearts 3 can be simply as acceptable.
If you happen to play this, slot it in someday earlier than Kingdom Hearts 3, ideally earlier than taking part in 0.2 Start By Sleep.
Can provide a miss
Kingdom Hearts Re:Coded
One other cutscene compilation right here, and one of many dullest and most pointless video games within the collection. Whereas the opposite video games may be argued as necessary, this one will get a giant fats miss from me.
It provides some clarification for the ultimate cutscene of Kingdom Hearts 2, however it’s not value sitting via roughly 2-3 hours of cinematics for it. You possibly can have a fast read-up on the story, however even that is not actually wanted.
If you happen to do wish to watch it, do it any time after Kingdom Hearts 2.
Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Start By Sleep – A fragmentary passage –
Second to Kingdom Hearts’ complicated narrative is its equally complicated naming conventions for some spinoffs. The awfully wordy 0.2 Start By Sleep – A Fragmentary Passage – takes place instantly after the occasions of Start By Sleep, and does not actually do a lot apart from a little bit of character-building.
This is among the most skippable, however it does solely take just a few hours to finish, so it is your selection actually. I might personally advocate skipping it although, and as a substitute devoting that point to diving straight into Kingdom Hearts 3.
If you happen to do find yourself taking part in this, it is best to do it proper earlier than taking part in Kingdom Hearts 3.
Kingdom Hearts χ Again Cowl
Truthfully, I had forgotten this even existed earlier than penning this. As soon as once more we have now a pile of cutscenes plucked from a cellular sport, and there is truly some fairly necessary historical past and lore right here. I personally did not play the cellular sport or watch the film, so a fast wiki learn or Google search will serve you simply advantageous.
Watch this one someday between Dream Drop Distance and Kingdom Hearts 3.
Kingdom Hearts Melody of Reminiscence
Extra of a recap than a brand new story, Melody of Reminiscence is definitely a rhythm sport that takes you thru all of the worlds from every sport, taking part in via the collection’ numerous tracks.
There is a small cutscene on the finish which is model new and canon to the storyline, however other than that, there’s not a lot else. If you happen to get pleasure from rhythm video games and need a extra digestible model of the story, go for it. Nevertheless it’s not very important to understanding the behemoth of Kingdom Hearts lore.
Play this everytime you really feel prefer it, although ideally keep away from the ultimate cutscene if you have not completed Kingdom Hearts 3.