Ranking Nintendo Franchises


Senior Member
Apr 26, 2020
Red Balloon
Yellow Balloon
Green Balloon
Light Blue Balloon
Purple Balloon
Red Star Fragment
Yellow Star Fragment
Green Star Fragment
Blue Star Fragment
Purple Star Fragment
How would you rank the Nintendo franchises that you've played?

I'm going based off of this list. I'm only including ones that I've played more than one game from, and this is how I'd rank them:

🍄1 Super Mario
I've loved the Super Mario games since I was a kid. Some of my favorites are 64/64 DS, Sunshine, Galaxy, Galaxy 2, Odyssey, 3D World + Bowser's Fury, and Wonder. These games are all really fun, and I enjoy replaying them
🐈‍⬛2 Animal Crossing
I am on an Animal Crossing forum after all. I've loved this franchise since the GameCube game. I've played all of the games except for Happy Home Designer. Yes, even Amiibo Festival... Well, I won't allow one game to detract from my overall opinion of any otherwise amazing franchise
🚀3 Pikmin
I wasn't sure whether this or Luigi should come first, but I just decided to go with this order. I've played all four of the main Pikmin games, I haven't played Hey! Pikmin or Pikmin Bloom, and I loved them all
👻4 Luigi's Mansion
I didn't like Dark Moon as much, but I loved the first game and Luigi's Mansion 3. Recently, I've been feeling like replaying 3
⚡5 Pokémon
So, this is an interesting one. I loved these games as a child, and I have enjoyed the recent games, but I feel like I'm not as into the franchise as I used to be. I loved Arceus though, and I might give Scarlet and Violet another try
🦑6 Splatoon
Deciding how to order Splatoon, Zelda, and Yoshi was tough, but this is what I ended up with. Realistically, I've spent the most time on Splatoon out of these three, so it make sense to put it before them. I've played all three games in the franchise, and I think 2 was my favorite. I do enjoy 3 though, and it's the only one I play recently
🛡️7 The Legend of Zelda
I loved Breath of the Wild. I haven't played Tears of the Kingdom yet, but I'd like to eventually. Aside from those, I've only played Ocarina of Time. I played it a long time ago, and I don't think I got very far. My brother played it more than I did. It was fun though. It might be higher if I played more games and had a better feel of the series. I do want to play more at some point
🥚8 Yoshi
I adored Yoshi's Woolly World. Crafted World was okay, but it was a disappointment compared to Woolly World. Aside from those, I've only played Yoshi's New Island, which I don't remember very well
🌪️9 Kirby
The games I've played from this franchise are Kirby: Triple Deluxe, Kirby Star Allies, and Kirby and the Forgotten Land
🎲10 Mario Party
I played a lot of Mario Party 3 when I was a kid, and it was a great game. But the next Mario Party game I played was Super Mario Party, which I didn't like as much. I'd probably like Mario Party Superstars more, but I haven't gotten it yet
🎳11 Wii Sports
Wii sports was really fun. Bowling was my favorite. Nintendo Switch Sports is okay, but I don't play it much now
1. Pokemon

Pokemon games contain some of my favorite video game memories and I still love playing the games to this day.

2. Fire Emblem

As a fan of strategy, stories, and neat character designs, Fire Emblem takes the cake in this department. I started with Awakening and haven't looked back since.

3. Xenoblade Chronicles

Truly my favorite JRPG, the Xenoblade series combines elements from other games I enjoy and puts them all into an immersive storyline full of twists and turns. The characters, combat, and story felt super compelling in every game.

4. Animal Crossing

The Animal Crossing series, while not my favorite, is still dear to my heart since I started with the GameCube version, and it will always have me returning to it at one point or another.

5. Super Smash Brothers

I've loved Super Smash Brothers ever since I started it on the N64 at a local McDonald's (lol). Since then I played a ton of Melee and every iteration in the franchise since. It's super fun!

And those are my top 5! :blush:
1. Pokemon

While not my all time favorite video game franchise, I struggle to think of a Nintendo series I currently like more. My opinion has dipped a little with the recent releases, but overall the series is still fun. It also has childhood nostalgia points.

2. Xenoblade

Only good memories with this series. Didn't quite like 3 as much but it's still excellent.

3. Kirby

I liked every kirby game I have ever played. The only issue being that I don't play them enough.

4. Zelda

These titles can be hit or miss for me. I like the 3D games over the 2D ones generally. I'm not a fan of the breath of the wild style or current direction so it takes a bump.

5. Mario

Sorry Mario :( There's only a few games in this series I seem to enjoy. Even some of the popular ones don't click with me...


I'm not sure how I would compare Animal Crossing, because as a game it's just so different from everything else.
1. Pokémon

It's just classic, what else can you say? I'm not a competitive player but I still enjoy every entry.

2. Animal Crossing

Obviously this is also very high on my list if I'm here. You guys know why it's great.

3. Zelda

Most games were meh to me, but BotW and TotK are definitely some of my favorite games.

4. Mario

I'm not into Mario games. Mario 64 was a lot of fun, other than that I only play Mario Kart.

5. Fire Emblem

I only tried Three Houses and it's just way too story heavy for me (for a handheld game).

6. Metroid

I played the game that came with my OLED Switch for 5 minutes. Not for me.

Those are all the main titles I played. Nintendogs and Tomodachi would probably be above Mario.
1. Kirby Series
For a game about a round puffball that wants to eat cake, play with his friends, and take naps has surprisingly deep lore and final bosses that are basically either cosmic horrors, ancient evil, or tragic villains. Fitting since Kirby is himself a cosmic horror but cute and friendly.
2. Splatoon series
The lore and art of Splatoon is what cemented the series as one of my personal favorite Nintendo series. The take on post-apocalypse is interesting and colorful unlike other depictions of life after apocalypse. A world/setting in which sea creatures became the dominant species after extinction of mammals is an interesting concept and got me hooked for sure.
3. Animal Crossing
You know why it's here. I love the series to bits and I love the vast customization of this game series in particular. Lolly is always my favorite villager since New Leaf!
4. Zelda series
While not being on the top 3, I just found the series to be a bit more interesting than the Mario series in terms of lore. Although some lore parts can be inconsistent at times.
5. Mario series
Who could forget a series that defines Nintendo itself? It's clear why I put it here. Frankly, I do enjoy their spinoffs more (Mario Kart, Mario Party, etc.) than mainline games. It's basically the series that you would play the games for pure fun (and experiencing the chaotic multiplayer in Mario Kart and Mario Party respectively.)
Just listing ones I've played:

1. Metroid - This series doesn't get that much love, especially from this community! Damn shame. I love it!!
2. The Legend of Zelda - This one isn't that far behind...I love the power-ups, exploring the world, getting through dungeons, etc.
3. Mario - Who doesn't love Mario? Simply CLASSIC!
4. Kirby - Recently fell in love w/ this series, I LOVE how casual it is! A nice, easy series of games to pass the time by.
5. Animal Crossing - Same reason as Kirby.
#1 - Pokemon -
So much passion and detail was put into making the characters and world feel alive, at least in some of the older mainline and mystery dungeon games. I also like making expanded decks in the card game. There's so much room for customization with all the different cards available, so it's really satisfying when you find something that works well together. The art and textures on the cards are beautiful too.
#2 - Animal Crossing - It's a feel-good and comfy kinda game. There's just so much to like about it!
#3 - Donkey Kong Country -
The storyline of each game is pretty formulaic and goofy in contrast to Kirby, but that's fine by me! The platforming is precise and challenging at times, and the level design and music are especially good so that more than makes up for it. I can't name a game in the series I didn't enjoy.
#4 - Kirby -
I love the boss fights and lore that goes with them, I feel like the series shines best there. It's nice to replay them using different copy abilities too.
#5 - The Legend of Zelda - Great exploration and dungeon puzzles.
#6 - Mario - They're good and relatively consistent. I like the time trials in Mario Kart more than the platformers.
#7 - Wii series - Oh man, it's been ages since I've played them.. They're fun too!
Some series that I'd like to try in the future are Splatoon, Golden Sun, Mother (come on Reggie!) and Pikmin. They all seem really cool and I've heard a lot of good things about them!
Let’s see…

1. Splatoon: I hate shooters… but Splatoon? I love to death. Sure, I never play the ranked modes cause I don’t enjoy them, but the single player, turf war, events and Salmon Run I all love. The lore and the characters are super great. Plus the artstyle and music is super good.
2. Pokemon: The series that got me into gaming. I prefer the older gens 3/4 specifically but I’ve played them all and really enjoy them.
3. Fire Emblem: Never thought I’d like this kind of game but boy I’m glad I gave that used copy of Awakening a shot all those years ago. I’ve since played every game other than the first 3. The SNES era games are my favourite. The newer ones have been good too but the old ones are the best.
4. Mario Kart: Chaotic racing game that’s actually fun? Count me in. I’m also usually better than most people I play against at social gatherings so it’s nice to be actually good at something I suppose. I’m mediocre against actual good online players though. Regardless it’s still tons of fun.
5. Animal Crossing: Cute and charming though it’s hard to stay invested in it beyond a year nowadays. Playing through Wild World as a kid was peak for me personally.
Just listing the ones I have at least played one game of.

1. Animal Crossing

2. Mario Kart

3. The Legendary Starfy

4. Super Paper Mario

5. Super Smash Bros.

6. Super Mario Bros.

7. Mario Party

8. Yoshi

9. Kirby

10. Wario

11. Donkey Kong

12. The Legend of Zelda

13. Pokémon
1. Animal Crossing. While New Horizons wasn't my favorite installment, I think this franchise has still been the most formative for me. From playing Wild World on my DS late at night in middle school, to running around in my best friend's GameCube AC town on Christmas day, to the extremely long stretch of time in college when I was massively depressed and I literally got out of bed in the morning to spend an hour checking on my two New Leaf towns before I had to go to work and school. I've been on this forum for a decade, I have emotional attachments to pixelated animals, and I still look forward to the possibility of a new installment.

2. Pokemon. I've been playing Pokemon games for most of my life; I'm currently (finally!) playing through Violet and loving it more than any game in years. I almost put this one in the top spot, honestly. I will always follow the reveal of each new Pokedex with bated breath. I have favorites and least favorites from every single generation, and my favorite and least favorite games are scattered all throughout the timeline. (Best gens: 2, 5, 7. Least favorites: 1, 3, 8.) I don't play every single game (the Diamond/Pearl remakes weren't my personal favorite visually) but there's always SOMETHING Pokemon-themed for me to get excited about.

3. Mario. I'm including all the franchises that are primarily Mario centered or that have Mario in the title; the mainline Mario games, Mario Kart, Mario Party, Paper Mario, and so on. I grew up with the original Mario Bros games (I had a Super Nintendo as a tiny child), and I've even started running a yearly Mario-themed children's program at the library where I work. My Mario nostalgia is extremely powerful. Best titles: Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, Super Mario Galaxy, Paper Mario: The Origami King, Mario Wonder.

4. Wii Sports. I've only ever played the original Wii game with baseball, boxing, tennis, bowling, and golf, but BOY did I play it. I still have many fond memories of making weird Miis and then making teams face off against each other on the baseball diamond. This was a great idea for a game and every person in my generation will hotly debate the ranking of best to worst Wii Sports.

5. Zelda. I somehow didn't grow up playing these despite adventure games being my #1 favorite type of game. We didn't have much money, so I played a lot of games at my friend's house, and he didn't have these games. I somehow never grabbed a used copy of a Zelda game or anything? In college, a close friend introduced me to the series properly and I played hours upon hours of Breath of the Wild, Wind Waker, and Triforce Heroes. I haven't played every Zelda game, but the ones I have played are extremely strong.

6. Donkey Kong. I gave this its own spot because Mario isn't actually in most of these games. I haven't played most of the recent titles, but I played Donkey Kong Country 1 and 2 to completion many times in early childhood. Mine Cart Madness was my JAM and sometimes I still listen to the Jib Jig track from 2.

7. Smash Bros. I played a lot of Melee in high school with friends--my great teen claim to fame was winning the 99-life Jigglypuff-only battle in a custom box arena with only one tiny exit hole after 5 hours of intense combat. My partner and I also used to play Ultimate together; we would play as Lucario and split up the Switch controller so that one of us controlled the movement and the other person controlled button presses and the right stick. We got REALLY good at fighting like this and made it kind of a party trick. It's not a game I will pick up again and again over the course of years, but I really like the premise.

8. Fire Emblem. I played Awakening and LOVED it; I was prepared to dive headfirst into the series until the character designs and plot kept getting more and more objectionable to me. This franchise would be much higher except that the overt sexism, objectification of women, and inappropriate depictions of underage characters made me too uncomfortable to continue. I would love to play a version of this game that wasn't . . . that way.

9. Star Fox. Points for the delightful Super Nintendo Star Fox game that I loved from ages 4-9 or so. The Gamecube game Star Fox Adventures was extremely weird and also kinda sexist, but was undeniably funny in its flagrant bizarreness. Memories.

10. Kirby. I have played a few Kirby games and none of them have really stood out to me. I don't mind Kirby but I'd pretty much always choose something else.

11. Pikmin. I tried to play this but I didn't enjoy watching the Pikmin struggle and die. Too much guilt for me!
Here's the ones I've played!

1. Animal Crossing
2. Kirby
3. Pokemon (SwSh or newer aren't counting since they're garbage)
4. Mario
5. Wii
6. Super Smash Bros
7. Fire Emblem
8. Donkey Kong
9. Wario
10. Zelda
I'm not sure if I'd consider this my definitive ranking, but here's how I perceive them in terms of "has the most consistently polished and enjoyable experiences" rather than "which ones I personally have the most attachment to." Strictly for the reason that it would be too difficult for me to decide on the latter criteria. Also, I'm lumping all spin-offs and sub-series under the same umbrella. So Luigi's Mansion, Mario Party, etc. all fall under "Mario" for me.

1. Mario
There are some middling Mario games, for sure. The New Super Mario Bros. series springs to mind, not every Mario Party is a hit, and that one pinball game on the Game Boy Advance was pretty mediocre. But I genuinely struggle to think of a Mario game that is outright bad. Perhaps some of the later Paper Mario games? Even at its weakest, Mario games are nearly always easy to pick up and play while also providing fun and challenging gameplay. They just work.

2. Kirby
Some games are better than others, but again, I can't think of any that I outright despised. The cute aesthetic and charming plot lines probably go a long way in fostering my tolerance for even some of the weaker titles, mind you. There are few games with as much inherent charm to them.

3. The Legend of Zelda
While they become a little repetitive after awhile, I enjoy Zelda quite a lot. I'm always a bit mixed on how they're handled, but they're always fun to explore nevertheless.

4. Metroid
The ups and downs in this series are probably the most turbulent of any on this list, but the highs are so high that I think it makes up for the lows that are present. At its best, it is probably the most fun non-linear sidescrolling of any series, with an eerie but still distinctly Nintendo atmosphere that succeeds in creating some incredibly tense and memorable moments. The 3D outings haven't always lived up to those lofty expectations, but Metroid Prime 1 and 2 are absolutely some of the best first person games I've ever played. Nintendo's very own Half-Life, essentially, but I feel that directly comparing it to that undermines how well these games establish their own aesthetic and identity.

5. Donkey Kong Country
The SNES games were my childhood and I adore them, in spite of some of their weaker design aspects that I've only recently come to understand after seeing people less acquainted with the games play them for the first time. I haven't played Returns or Tropical Freeze yet. I've heard they're good.

6. Animal Crossing
I actually put this relatively low on the list. While I could go on a longer winded rant as to my more specific qualms with the way the series has been handled, I think the greater issue is that while the games are addictive for a considerable period of time, the burnout for these games becomes immense. I am either hooked on the game for several months, or completely tired of it. Very little in between.

7. Star Fox
There's only a few games in this series really worth your attention, but those ones are really good if you can get past the clunk that comes with age.

8. F-Zero
Again, there's really not much to work with in this series, but all the main games are extremely good.

9. Xenoblade Chronicles
For the record, the only reason this series is so low on the list is because I've only played one of them (Xenoblade Chronicles 2), but I really did enjoy it. I expect this one will probably go up once I get around to the others.

10. Pokémon
It's sad to say that what used to be one of my favorite series has now become among my least enjoyed titles, even when stretching the criteria outside of Nintendo properties. On the one hand, sure the first two generations are absolutely formative in shaping my taste in games. And sure, the memories attached to the game are irreplaceable, and I simply can't picture a world without these games having existed at some point. But the quality of the later titles have been so depressingly low that I can't really say that even my attachment to the IP in any way makes up for it. If anything, it makes it worse. There are game series like Sonic the Hedgehog, where even though I'm not the biggest fan of the series, I feel like I'm more forgiving of its weaker entries than most people, because there are so many other interesting aspects to explore, such as the music, the aesthetic, its place in the history of the series. That, and because I've found that I tend to have a wider middle ground between "middling" and "absolute rubbish" than most people. But I don't really have that with Pokémon. The only reason I ever get excited about a new game anymore is because I know there's going to be a lot of really pretty fan art of whatever NPC the internet latches onto for better or for worse. Otherwise, I'm happy to revisit Gens I-V again if I ever find myself in the mood.
That's interesting. I am only in a few Nintendo franchises:

1. Animal crossing
2. Zelda
3. Golden sun
I didn't even know it's a Nintendo IP?! I love classic RPGs.
4. Xenoblade chronicles
I loooove the first entry. It's so good!
5. Fire emblem
6. Splatoon
1. Super Mario

Probably not much of a surprise given my name. Because there’s a lot of Mario series, including some that I don’t have much experience with while having a lot with others, I decided that for the sake of this list I’ll group them all together. The first game I played ever was a Mario game, and ever since then, I’ve loved the series. I like every Mario series at least a little. If I were to split it into series and I only picked the one I liked most, I would put main series in this spot. But I still love the spin offs.

2. Kirby

Kirby is probably the best underrated Nintendo series. You’d expect it to be popular given how much you see of him, but no, his most popular game only sold $5 million units (actually, I think it’s even less than that). The fact that I’ve played every Kirby game and something like this makes sense to me should show you how much I like the series. The games are fairly easy, which I don’t usually prefer, but there’s a lot of things that make it more challenging. Especially things like the True Arenas. And Kirby music is so underrated.

3. Animal Crossing

I put this in first place at first, but I thought about it and realized I like Mario and Kirby more. But it’s kind of hard to say why I like Animal Crossing much. I just think it’s a really good series.

4. Pokémon

Pokémon isn’t something I have a lot of nostalgia for (none of these series are, because until I was in 8th grade, I didn’t even play any Nintendo games besides Mario), but I still love the series. One of my favorite games ever is Pokémon Sapphire, and HeartGold and SoulSilver are some of the best remakes ever. The current state of the series has to do with its lower placement. I haven’t really enjoyed anything past Kalos, and I think Unova was the last really good region. Fingers crossed for Legends Z-A.

5. The Legend of Zelda

I don’t really have a lot to say. Out of all of these series, this is the one I got into the most recently, so I’m less familiar. That’s why it’s placed lower. But it’s still something I’m hoping to play more.

6. Super Smash Bros.

I’m not enough of a sweat to be that into this series. I like the games, though. I’m just not one of those people who’s super good at the game. I’d say I’m only a level 2/5 player. I really wish I had a Wii or Wii U so I could play Brawl. I really want to try out Subspace Emissary.

7. Yoshi

This should definitely come off as a shock. My name literally has “Yoshi” in it. Yoshi is a good series, but there’s not much to judge it off of. The main issue is the difficulty. Unlike Mario games, there’s not much in the way of challenge. Yoshi’s Island is definitely the hardest, but that’s probably only because it’s a Super Nintendo game. Everything after that is breezier, but kind of too breezy. Of course, I can’t judge very fairly since outside of Yoshi’s Island, the only other game I’ve played is Yoshi’s Crafted World, but I’m still putting it as my least favorite. Even then, Yoshi is a good series, and I like it.
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1. Animal Crossing
The first game I ever played, I just love it.

2. Mario Kart
Mario Kart Wii was my childhood - I will love Mario Kart forever.

3. Kirby
I looooved Kirby’s Epic Yarn growing up.

4. Super Mario

5. Yoshi

6. Pikmin
I’ve never really got into it too much but I like what I’ve played.

7. Splatoon
It’s not really my kind of game, and I’m so bad at shooters.

8. Pokémon
Only ever played one game and it confused me so much lol
I'm realizing I've only played 3 franchises on the list. Animal Crossing, Mario games and Pokemon. I've never tried Splatoon or Zelda or any of the other ones. I've been curious about Kirby games though.
I’ve fallen out of love with Nintendo a little but would say

It’s the most nostalgic for me and probably the game I’ve most constantly played

Animal Crossing