All Pikmin Games, Ranked – Destructoid – paynews

Pluck me sideways

There’s no real reason why I should love Pikmin as much as I do. On paper, the idea of having a salad army run around picking up rocket parts doesn’t sound too exciting. However, Nintendo hooked me right away back in 2001. My new GameCube was hungry, and I was eager to feed it more.

Nowhere has my enthusiasm for the game been tested quite like with the wait for Pikmin 4. Shigeru Miyamoto first teased us about it back in 2015, and then Nintendo remained coy about it until just recently. Pikmin 4 is finally happening, and it’s happening very soon.

So, while I eagerly sit here, chewing on my fingernails and waiting for it to reach my local game shop, I’m going to take a look back at the series up to this point. Once the new game does reach my big meaty claws, I’ll circle back and update this list. But for now, here are all the Pikmin games ranked.

5. Pikmin Bloom

I can’t fault Niantic for continually trying to build on their success with Pokemon Go, but I feel like Pikmin Bloom is kind of a demonstration of their dearth of innovation. In general, it feels like a pretty forceful shoehorn of the Pikmin concept into Niantic’s real-world exploration format.

On the other hand, it’s not terrible. That’s sort of the thing with this list; none of the games here are bad. It’s just some are more valuable to the property than others. Pikmin Bloom would need a rather large overhaul to be really worthwhile, and I don’t see that happening.

4. Hey! Pikmin

Hey! Pikmin is a pretty innocuous attempt at translating the series’ formula to a sidescroller format, but I typically pull “innocuous” from my lexicon when I’m short of nice things to say. It’s really not bad, but it kind of feels like Nintendo focused on pushing the whole Amiibo integration instead of pushing the series forward and innovating in any way.

When Hey! Pikmin was announced, it was during a time when we were waiting for news on Pikmin 4. The news we got was this 3DS entry wasn’t it. And because it’s so lackluster and inoffensive, it’s easy to omit it when thinking of the series as a whole.

Pikmin 2 Best Games
Screenshot by Destructoid

3. Pikmin 2

The first follow-up to the GameCube original was definitely a bigger game that tried a number of new things, but the result is a lot of bloat and what feels like a betrayal of the first game’s charm. Pikmin 2 brought a lot to the series with its vast array of treasures, new Pikmin types, and the introduction of multiple captains. Then they buried it all underground.

Most of Pikmin 2 takes place in underground, maze-like caves. The gameplay still largely involves trying to find treasure and return it to your base, but down in the procedurally pieced-together labyrinths, it’s less about survival and puzzle solving and more about straight combat. While you may have been protective of your tiny carrot-people in the first game, Pikmin 2 doesn’t give you that luxury, instead necessitating that you view them more as a health bar.

It’s unfortunate, but not everyone is going to hate the different focus as much as I did. While I see Pikmin 2 as the most bloated and inhuman game in the series, others will see it as the most challenging and full-featured entry.

Pikmin Top games
Screenshot by Destructoid

2. Pikmin

Following right on the heels of the GameCube’s release, Pikmin was a perfect showcase of what the console was capable of. Its hundred tiny carrot-people felt seemingly impossible on the N64. However, its technical prowess isn’t all that important today. What’s important is that it’s still an excellent game.

Nintendo took the concept of commanding a hundred little workers and ran with it in some extremely unexpected directions. It’s a survival game without the genre’s usual trappings. You cultivate sentient vegetables and try to keep them alive as you recover parts of your ship. While we, thankfully, got sequels that turned Pikmin into a series, the first game does a great job of covering all the possibilities of the concept. Though things have been expanded, rejiggered, and refocused, the core has always stayed the same, proving that Pikmin got it right the first time.

Pikmin 3 Best Games
Screenshot by Destructoid

1. Pikmin 3

I should be able to just say that this is the game that introduced Brittany as a character, and that would tell you all you need to know. Brittany’s the best.

If that’s not sufficient, Pikmin 3 feels like the best delivery of the series’ mechanics. It takes multiple captains and makes them worthwhile. It doesn’t go back to the three-day time limit of the first game, but it does have a supply mechanic that encourages you to continually tighten your efficiency. On top of that, it does a much better job with pacing. You know, after you get past all the tutorials about what your Pikmin do.

When it released on Wii U back in 2013, it was the first game for the system that had me playing until the tea tray controller was drained of batteries. Then, when its Deluxe edition came out for Switch, my husband and I played through its added co-op mode. It’s still fun to break out to play a round of Bingo Battle or just relive the joy that is Brittany. There isn’t a bad Pikmin game, but Pikmin 3 is the best.

Zoey Handley

Staff Writer – Zoey is a gaming gadabout. She got her start blogging with the community in 2018 and hit the front page soon after. Normally found exploring indie experiments and retro libraries, she does her best to remain chronically uncool.

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