Pikmin: Every Game Ranked From Worst To Best

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Pikmin feels like one of Nintendo’s best-kept secrets. Although the series has been around since the GameCube era, its best-selling entry has barely cracked two million copies sold. This is a shame, as the bite-sized series is arguably one of the publisher’s most creative.

So, let’s take a moment to celebrate the exploits of Captain Olimar & co. We’ll be ranking the series from worst to best based on a few main criteria including each title’s reception and what they bring to the overarching franchise.

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This is the only franchise entry that I’ve never played. However, I don’t seem to be missing much. Hey! Pikmin’s tepid reception is uncharacteristic for the series, landing a middling 69 on Metacritic. It’s paradoxically the most innovative yet stale of the bunch.

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HEY! PIKMIN

The newest title is yet another spin-off. And, like Hey! Pikmin, it’s both original and derivative simultaneously. This is a mobile AR game from Niantic—famous for Pokémon Go—which largely reuses that game’s map and structure. However, Pikmin Bloom is far more of an app than a mechanically-engaged game akin to Go.

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PIKMIN BLOOM

Pikmin’s sophomore outing is interesting. Scoring a 90 on Metacritic the game is considered to be marginally better than the original, which scored an 89. Many fans consider this to be the franchise’s pinnacle. There’s a lot to love here, after all.

PIKMIN 2

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PIKMIN 1

The game that started it all. There’s a whimsical simplicity to every element of its design from the environments down to the one captain, three Pikmin type structure. It’s remarkable just how complete the game feels. While later titles naturally built on this foundation, almost nothing was fundamentally changed moving forward.

While I’d love nothing more than the reveal of a proper fourth entry, it really does feel like the series reached its natural conclusion with Pikmin 3 Deluxe. This really is one of Nintendo’s all-time best games. It takes Pikmin 1’s core tenets and the sequel’s expanded mechanics, putting them into brilliant conversation.

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PIKMIN 3 DELUXE

What’s wonderful about this list is that many will disagree about the placement of the core trio. They’re all so close in quality that each has a salient case for the number one spot. Most Nintendo franchises aren’t this consistent.

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