Everyone loves the adorable green dinosaur of the Mushroom Kingdom. Screeching its own name whenever it performs its iconic hover jump, gobbling up anything in reach of its tongue, and then popping it out in an egg in what must be world-record time, Yoshi has wormed its way into all of our hearts for one reason or another. While Yoshi is often relegated to the tier of a cameo character within Mario spin-off titles in modern times, they have had their fair share of games over the years, particularly during the ’90s. So, without further ado, let’s go ahead and rank all 10 Yoshi games from worst to best.
10. Yoshi Topsy-Turvy/ Yoshi’s Universal Gravitation
The feature that made Yoshi Topsy-Turvy different from every Yoshi game before and after it was the tilt mechanic that was built into the Game Boy Advance cartridge upon release in 2005.
You can tilt your GBA to make Yoshi grab items, manipulate different objects around you and shake enemies around the stages in order to avoid taking damage. The idea was interesting and worked similar to WarioWare: Twisted, but playing the actual game was a big ‘ol boring mess.
The game was not critically received that well, as reviewers at the time called the game repetitive, disappointingly short, and sporting an art style that didn’t do give Yoshi fans anything new to look forward to. Just for clarification, Yoshi Topsy-Turvy was also known as Yoshi’s Universal Gravitation in regions outside of North America.
9. Yoshi’s Cookie
Yoshi’s Cookie was a tile-matching puzzle game that released on the NES and GameBoy back in 1992. A SNES version was released in 1993 which was a mere port.
The game revolved around players moving cookies around a rectangular grid until rows or columns consist of only the same cookie type. Doing so will clear the row or column entirely, allowing racking up points in the process. The twist to your usual tile-matching game is that you could only rotate entire lines, rather than individual tiles.
While the game had a few different modes, the relatively simple and skin-deep gameplay means that it doesn’t really rank all that high in our list. However, those looking for a retro puzzle game could do a lot worse.
I bet you didn’t know about the lightgun Yoshi game, Yoshi’s Safari, did you? Requiring the Super Scope and releasing on the SNES, the game was the only first-person shooter game within the Mario franchise. Players had to save Jewelry Land from Bowser and his minions by rescuing the 12 Gems from the 12 levels that made up the game.
It was a fun, albeit unusual title, but it did have branching paths that could lead to different enemies and items to add some replay value to proceedings. Each level culminated in an epic boss fight that’d see you blasting Koopalings in giant mechs, giant power-up versions of standard enemies, and of course, last but by no means least, Bowser.
The only gripes around the game fell around the requirement of the expensive Super Scope, and the game’s relatively short length and low difficulty. Still, we’ll give Yoshi’s Safari a few points for at least being a unique Yoshi game all the same!
7. Yoshi Touch & Go
Yoshi Touch & Go originally released on the Nintendo DS back in 2005 and attempted to recreate the dynamic of Baby Mario and Yoshi, but with heavy use of the DS’ touch-screen. Instead of moving Yoshi around like a traditional game, the player would use the stylus and microphone to manipulate the world around Yoshi, throwing eggs and trapping enemies in bubbles.
The idea of using a stylus to control Yoshi and Mario just wasn’t that fun or unique. When the DS launched, every single game was forced to have touch controls, to make use of Nintendo’s new hardware of course, and Touch & Go was one of those victims.
It would’ve been fine if the game had more meat to play through, but for some reason, the game played much more like an arcade game than a traditional platformer.
There were high scores that you can get for every stage and the game relied on the player replaying stages over and over again to best their scores, making the game, unfortunately, super repetitive and very un-Yoshi like, and also just very un-Nintendo like.
This game might’ve been rushed to get it out during the first few months of the Nintendo DS launch and it really showed.
6. Yoshi’s New Island
Releasing for the Nintendo 3DS back in 2014, Yoshi’s New Island was the first time that developer Arzest worked on a Nintendo game with one of the most popular properties that the company owns, Yoshi.
While the developers attempted to faithfully recreate the accomplishment that Nintendo had with the first Yoshi’s Island in 1995, Yoshi’s New Island didn’t make the cut and ultimately failed at giving Yoshi plans the proper sequel they deserved.
Yoshi’s New Island was boring, simple, uninspired, and even though it took so much from the original game, it just couldn’t compete with Nintendo’s best Yoshi game.
You have to commend Arzest for giving it a shot though; it’s not the worst Yoshi game but it’s not the best, for sure.
5. Yoshi’s Story
Coming out after Yoshi’s Island, Yoshi’s story served as a follow-up to the 2D platformer, but this time, without Baby Mario in tow and a game sporting 3D-ish visuals thanks to the Nintendo 64.
While Yoshi’s Island changed the platforming game and proved to be quite challenging, Yoshi’s Story was the start of the trend of Yoshi games being for babies or for being too simple.
Critics praised the cutesy pop-up storybook aesthetic of the world and the many hidden collectibles but found the difficulty level way too low. It was not the follow-up that people expected, but Yoshi’s Story did form the foundation of future side-scrolling Yoshi games.
4. Yoshi’s Woolly World
Yoshi’s Woolly World released on the Nintendo Wii U in 2015 and then later for the 3DS, and was also developed by Good-Feel, the same team behind Kirby’s Epic Yarn –another 2D platformer with a yarn and cloth art style.
Yes, Yoshi and everything else in this world is made of Yarn and it was absolutely adorable. Clouds were made of cotton balls with strings attached to them as if it was an object set in a hand-made diorama for a school project.
Woolly World let a second player control a different-colored Yoshi to help out a friend and to have some fun; one player can lick up another player to shoot them at faraway areas.
There were some smart ideas put into play here and brought Yoshi into a uniquely designed world, but the easiness and lack of any new features made Woolly World a fun but forgettable adventure.
3. Yoshi’s Island DS
Yoshi’s Island DS did something crazy that will always be remembered, at least in my book; the game introduced not one, not two, but 5 total babies for Yoshi to carry around, each with different abilities.
You had Baby Mario & Luigi, Baby Princess Peach, Baby Wario, Baby DK, and last but not least, Baby Bowser. Yoshi’s Island DS had a similar graphical style to Yoshi Touch & Go, but the main difference being that this game put you in full control of Yoshi, instead of using the stylus to manipulate things around Yoshi.
Playing Yoshi’s Island DS felt similar to the original Yoshi’s Island, which was spectacular, and with the new babies alongside an extra tall playing field (thanks to the dual-screen), Yoshi’s Island DS is simply a treat for fans of the green dinosaur.
2. Yoshi’s Crafted World
With the cardboard and craft aesthetic alone, Yoshi’s Crafted World is just a treat to play and simply just look at. Every single item on the screen has some unique hand-make look to it, brimming with details and touches to make everything seem like it was made by a kind.
Yoshi’s Crafted World might have some issues with the multiplayer mode, everything else is solid here: there are tons of collectibles to collect, exciting reasons to replay stages, and a more difficult selection of stages to check out once you have completed the main story mode.
Yoshi shines in Crafted World, and if you are looking for one of the premier Yoshi experiences, then look no further than this one right here on the Switch. It’s not the best Yoshi game, but damn, does it get close.
1. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island was literally just a spin-off that was meant to act as a side story with the main player controlling Yoshi while escorting Baby Mario through dozens of unique stages.
The Super Nintendo did not have any other amazing platformer such as this one to hit the system, yes we had the Mario games, but Yoshi added in so many new elements that platformers didn’t do back then. You not only had to worry about traversing stages and avoiding enemies, but you also have to protect Baby Mario at all costs, making this one of the best escort missions in gaming.
The music, the art style, the difficulty, the length, the stage variety; all of this was top-notch in Yoshi’s Island and would remain a Super Nintendo Classic and a platforming masterpiece.
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