Kingdom Hearts games are finally coming to the Nintendo Switch soon. This includes Kingdom Hearts 1.5 + 2.5 ReMix, Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue and Kingdom Hearts 3. But instead of downloading and playing them locally, you get access to them via cloud streaming. This means you probably do not need to fit your microSD card to play them.
If you know these titles at all, you know that the first two are actually a collection of games. 1.5 + 2.5 ReMix contains six games, while 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue contains three games. But do you need to play all of these? Or can you just stick to the first Kingdom Hearts, Kingdom Hearts 2 and Kingdom Hearts 3? Simple and clean, here are the important ones and the ones you can skip.
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What Kingdom Hearts games can I skip?
Source: Square Enix
- MUST PLAY: This is a post you absolutely must play through to understand and enjoy the whole story, also known as the Dark Seeker saga.
- RECOMMENDED: A game that can be skipped if you want, but lore, relationships and characters from MUST PLAY games will make more sense if you play them.
- SKIP: Redundant items that do nothing to advance your understanding of the overall plot. However, they can make you understand the depth of some characters’ friendships. Skipping them does not ruin your overall experience.
Which Kingdom Hearts games are worth playing? Quick list
You can read more about each post and why it’s worth skipping or playing in the section below.
- Kingdom Hearts (MUST PLAY)
- Re: Chain of Memories (RECOMMENDED)
- Kingdom Hearts II (MUST PLAY)
- 358/2 days (SKIP)
- Birth by sleep (MUST PLAY)
- Re: Coded (SKIP)
- Dream Drop Distance (MUST PLAY)
- Fragmentary passage (RECOMMENDED)
- Back / Union Cross (SKIP)
- Kingdom Hearts III (MUST PLAY)
- Memory Tune (RECOMMENDED)
Kingdom Hearts 1.5 + 2.5 ReMix
Source: Square Enix
- Kingdom Hearts FINAL MIX: (SHOULD PLAY) This is a revised version of the original PS2 game that started it all in 2002. Here you learn about how Sora was separated from her friends Riku and Kairi before joining Donald and Goofy. You meet several Disney characters, Final Fantasy characters and get an idea of what Heartless is. This should be the first game you play and is the start of the overall Dark Seeker saga.
- Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories: (RECOMMENDED) Sora, Donald and Goofy are in Castle Oblivion, confronted by members of a strangely dressed group called Organization XIII. This game was originally released on Game Boy Advance in 2004 after the first game, but then got the remake on PS2 after Kingdom Hearts 2 was launched. It introduces you to some key characters that you will see in the rest of the series’ main story, especially Axel and Namine. However, it also has you visiting many of the same places from the first game and feels very watered down compared to more significant items.
- Kingdom Hearts 358/2 days: (SKIP) So this was originally a Nintendo DS game released in 2009, but within this grouping it is reduced to just being a collection of scenes. You will see a new character named Roxas and learn about his friendships with Organization XIII members, including Axel and Xion. Watching this will help make the introduction to the Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix more sensible, but you do not have to watch it unless you really want to.
- Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix: (MUST PLAY) Many consider this to be the best game in the series, but it starts in a rather confusing way, where you follow the character named Roxas (first introduced in 358/2 days) for several hours before Sora and the gang show up. Organization XIII is prominent on all levels as you dive into even more Disney worlds and meet iconic villains. The story is complicated and may make you feel all emotions. You start learning about a big evil plot that appears in every game that follows.
- Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix: (SHOULD PLAY) This game was originally released on PSP in 2010 and has taken you on a break from Sora and his friends to dive into a prequel that takes place 10 years before the first Kingdom Hearts game. Terra, Aqua and Ventus are all students working to achieve their championship mark. Xehanort, a character introduced in Kingdom Hearts II, plays a major role in this story, manipulating the three friends against each other. You dive into several Disney worlds that we have not seen before now, including places found in Sleeping Beauty, Lilo and Stitch, Snow White and more. You will not understand a significant part of Kingdom Hearts 3’s plot if you skip this game.
- Kingdom Hearts Re: coded: (SKIP) Skip, skip and double jump this one. This is basically a collection of scenes from a Nintendo DS game released in 2010, but the story has absolutely no bearing on the series’ overall plot. Jiminy Cricket discovers that something is wrong with his journal, so Mickey Mouse creates a digital Data-Sora to correct the errors. Unless you really want to see everything related to Kingdom Hearts, this post is not worth seeing at all.
Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue
Source: Square Enix
- Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance HD: (MUST PLAY) This game was originally released for the Nintendo 3DS in 2012, but has been recreated in HD. After the events of Kingdom Hearts II, Sora and Riku sat down to pass the Mark of Mastery exam to receive Xehanort. Time travel is an important factor and has the two recurring events from the first game. Most importantly, Xehanort’s master plan is revealed and you understand exactly what the overall plot is heading towards Kingdom Hearts 3.
- Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep – A Fragmentary Passage: (RECOMMENDED) This is the shortest game of them all and was launched in 2016 as part of the 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue collection. You play as Aqua after the events of Birth by Sleep and begin to see how she and her friends are connected to Sora and his friends. You dive into several Disney worlds and see what Mickey Mouse has been up to for the last many years. It’s short enough that it’s worth running through quickly and will help you understand what Aqua has been through, but it’s not an absolute necessity.
- Kingdom Hearts X Bagcover: (SKIP) Also known as Kingdom Hearts Unchained / X / Union Cross, this was a mobile game released in 2016. Oddly enough, it is set long before the events of a previous Kingdom Hearts game, but dives deep into the key to Keyblade. If you really want to learn about prophecies and The Keyblade War you would like to see this, but you do not have to to enjoy Kingdom Hearts 3.
Kingdom Hearts 3 (MUST PLAY)
Source: Square Enix
This is the game that led to it all, and it concludes the overall story of the Dark Seeker saga. You will find that it ties all the characters together from previous games, so it is definitely one you will play through. Not to mention seeing the leap in graphics from the last few posts is a bit of thinking.
Sora, Donald and Goofy often slip into slightly different art styles to blend into their surroundings. For example, they take a very realistic shadow style in Pirates of the Caribbean, while having a very cartoon-like Pixar style when visiting Sully and the other Monster’s Inc. grades. The story ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, suggesting that another game is likely to come.
Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory (RECOMMENDED)
Source: SQUARE ENIX
This is actually a rhythm game, and while you may be inclined to skip it, it does seem to pave the way for the next major game in the series. It recounts the whole story of the Dark Seeker saga before showing you things that take place after the events of Kingdom Hearts 3.
You will see Kairi train with her Keyblade as she and Riku work under Aqua and Yensid respectively. They learn about a strange city called Quadratum, which is probably something that was alluded to during the Toy Box episode of Kingdom Hearts 3. Although this game is so different from other Kingdom Hearts items, it seems to be an important one. bridge to understand the next big Kingdom Hearts game, so you should probably play it.
Not so simple and clean
The plot is confusing, dark at times and a bit complicated considering these stories centered around a hopeless optimist and Disney characters. However, you do not have to play all the games to enjoy the series. At the very least, play Kingdom Hearts, Kingdom Hearts 2, Birth by Sleep and then Kingdom Hearts 3.