Hercules is a strange blend of gameplay that doesn’t all work, however, it was certainly an impressive game for the time. The title follows the plot of the film fairly closely, splitting gameplay up into 2D platforming sections and 3D Crash Bandicoot-esque running segments. The animation on display in Hercules was top notch for the PS1, making the game a close match to Disney’s beloved film.
Goof Troop is easily one of the most successful Disney spinoffs, focusing on Goofy and his son Max. You play as either Goofy or Max, or both in co-op, on Spoonerville Island, as you solve a series of puzzle areas to make your way forward. Items must be collected throughout the island, and there are survival elements that come into play too. Fun fact, Goof Troop was the first game that Shinji Mikami, the father of Resident Evil, ever worked on.
Buzz Lightyear to the Rescue is a 3D platformer/collectathon title that puts you into the shoes of Buzz himself, across a whopping 15 levels. The point of each level is to collect Pizza Planet tokens, although you’ll run into quite a few enemies and head scratching puzzles along the way. It was a great experience to get the chance to run around some familiar environments from the Toy Story films.
Chip ‘n Dale is a platforming game from the NES, featuring single player and multiplayer gameplay. The game follows the same basic plot of the Rescue Rangers TV show, and its gameplay is based off of other prominent NES platformers, with tight controls and cute cartoony graphics. There’s even some non-linear choice to the levels that add some replayability to the title.
While Skylanders may have done it first, Disney Infinity was an absolute dream come true for fans. The toys-to-life game brought all of your favorite Disney characters, and eventually Marvel and Star Wars, together as collectibles and in-game characters. Certain playsets gave you story modes to play through, however, the Toy Box mode was the real star, letting you use your imagination to create a wide variety of worlds and items.
Castle of Illusion is a title that really encapsulates Disney magic, while doing quite a good job at emulating a Mario game. Mickey must journey to the Castle of Illusion to save Minnie from an evil wizard named Mizrabel. Each level and area of the game is incredibly unique and vibrantly animated. At the same time Castle of Illusion can stand with the best 2D platformers in terms of gameplay.
DuckTales is a widely beloved spinoff, both for its TV show and for its NES game. Unlike other Disney titles at the time, DuckTales doesn’t base itself on another game, and is instead a wholly unique experience. Mechanics like the cane bounce gave it its own style of gameplay, while the phenomenal soundtrack really gave the title personality. Even to this day games like Shovel Knight continue to use certain mechanics from DuckTales, solidifying this titles spot in the best Disney games.
Kingdom Hearts was an incredibly strange idea combining famous Disney characters with Final Fantasy, in a brand new RPG. For however odd the idea seemed, however, Kingdom Hearts has turned into an incredibly successful franchise. Strong original characters, and an engaging action-based combat systems helped elevate the title as one of the best PS2 games ever made. Kingdom Hearts continues to release impressive entries and introduce new original characters as well as new Disney worlds to explore.