Ranking Every Donkey Kong Game (Best To Worst)

A selection of Donkey Kong games on the Retro Dodo background

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Grab your favourite tie and take off your clothes; it’s time to check out the best Donkey Kong games of all time.

Yes… now I read that line back above it does sound a little weird… but I’ve always wondered why DK wears a tie and no pants… especially in Tropical Freeze!

Joking aside, DK’s games are some of my favourite of all time. All of his outings are filled with memorable characters, epic faces, and some of the best side characters in the world of gaming.

And mine carts… don’t forget the mine carts.

So which gorilla games are the best? Which monkey missions are the ones that get our blood pumping, and which amazing apes are joining DK on his quests.

Let’s find out, shall we?

NB: This game is made up of main titles for home consoles, handheld, and arcade machines and omits the Game & Watch handheld titles.

1. Donkey Kong 64 (1999)

Donkey Kong 64 game case

Donkey Kong 64 is the best Donkey Kong game of all time! It just had to be, didn’t it, especially now Donkey is joined by some of the best gaming characters Rare have ever produced.

Even before you turn this game on, you know that it’s going to be a class act thanks to the Rare Ware badge on the front.

Shooting coconuts from DK’s Coconut Gun, walking around on Lanky’s hands, or spinning as Tiny Kong… this game never gets old.

Donkey Kong 64 gameplay
Credit: Nintendo

A lot of people overlook this game when talking about the best N64 games of all time, but not me. This is one of the first ones I go to whenever I’m testing out the best retro handhelds.

This was also the first 3D adventure that Donkey had as well, and it came with the expansion pack to supercharge your N64 too.

This is without a doubt my favourite Donkey Kong game of all time and the worthy winner of our list!

2. Donkey Kong Country (1994)

Donkey Kong Country SNES

Here it is, folks, the legendary first Donkey Kong Country game to grace our screens.

No longer terrorising Mario, Jumpman… Plumber Lad or whatever you want to call him, Donkey embarked on a side-scrolling adventure to save his island from King K.Rool for the first time in 1994.

This game played a big part in my early gaming life. My cousin and I used to take it in turns to play this on his SNES, swapping the remote everytime one of us died…

… he always seemed to have the remote now, come to think of it.

Donkey Kong Country gameplay
Credit: Nintendo

When I first wrote about Donkey Kong Country I said that King K.Rool wasn’t as well known as Ganondorf or Bowser. Thanks to Super Smash Bros Ultimate and the Donkey Kong cartoon, however, I think I can now prove myself wrong.

He might be more popular these days, but his decision to steal bananas still doesn’t sit well with me. What does a talking crocodile need with bananas anyway? It just doesn’t make sense!

This fast paced, Rambi riding title is one of the greatest games of our freakin’ lives. If you’ve never played it before, then you’re in for a barrel of laughs… literally.

3. Donkey Kong Country Returns (2010)

Donkey Kong Country Returns game case

Guess what; it’s another DKC game! Donkey Kong Country Returns for the Nintendo Wii takes todays bronze medal in our list of the best Donkey Kong titles ever made.

It would be stupid at this stage for me to explain the feel of a Donkey Kong Country game. Still, as with Tropical Freeze above, Shigeru Miyamoto finally ditched those pre-rendered vibes and brought in crisp visuals and rounded features that still look sick today!

DKCR is bursting with vine swinging, barrel blasting, rhino riding action from start to finish as our two favourite simian superstars reclaim their banana hoard once more.

Gameplay Donkey Kong Country Returns
Credit: Nintendo/Youtube

Just look at those backgrounds now; there’s so much depth to each of the levels that they now have a Rayman-esque type vibe to them.

Grab the all-important KONG letters, ride mine carts; hell, it’s the Donkey Kong Country game we all deserve after waiting 14 years between this and the last one.

I’m surprised we didn’t go and a ransack Kong Island ourselves to be honest!

If you kind of switched off when the bongo bashing era came around, then this game will feel like a breath of fresh air while also comforting you like a nostalgic duvet.

4. Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest (1995)

Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest SNES case

Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy Kong’s Quest looks very similar to Donkey Kong Land 2, another one of our best Gameboy games for our favourite handheld machine.

Well, the two games pretty much have the same storyline and setting… so you could say that they are one and the same!

Remember I spoke about Dixie Kong earlier? Well, this was the first game that we saw her in and the first to see Donkey not holding the reigns.

In a similar like-minded way to Bowser continually capturing Princess Peach, King K.Rool has kidnapped Donkey AGAIN. Seriously, shouldn’t a King be ruling his own kingdom instead of terrorising monkeys all the time?

Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest gameplay
Credit: Nintendo

We know how Shigeru views these graphics, but I love this pre-rendered style. Dixie and Diddy are making a splash and showing that they don’t need to be chaperoned by an adult Kong to kick kremlin ass.

If you need any more convincing about this game, then here’s some stellar stats.

Donkey Kong Country 2 is the best selling game to not have originally come as part of a console bundle. It’s officially the sixth best-selling SNES game of all time too, with 52 levels to give gamers something to look forward to every week of the year.

If that’s not value for money, then I don’t know what is!

5. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (2014)

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze Wii U case

I think it’s clear from this list that we all love Donkey Kong Country in all of its many different guises, though for some reason adding snow to this tropical paradise makes it even more exciting.

Donkey and Diddy have returned to our screens on a side-scrolling adventure alongside Dixie, Kranky and the gang, bashing through Kong Island on a hot adventure that’s sure to melt this tropical freeze before you know it.

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze gameplay
Credit: Nintendo

And look, Shigeru, your pre-rendered graphics are no more!

This fifth outing in the DK Country world sees the Snowmads bringing an unwanted chill to his cosy island home.

Once again, it’s time to collect KONG letters, solve challenges, and find secrets hidden throughout each of the game’s stunning levels.

Play it on the Wii U or the Switch; either way, it’s an absolute classic that makes any day 10-times better.

6. Diddy Kong Racing (1997)

Diddy Kong Racing game box

Diddy Kong racing just had to go into this list, even though Donkey isn’t actually in it.

You guys wouldn’t have let me hear the end of it if I hadn’t included a game from the second most famous Kong in all history, and to be honest, I wouldn’t have forgiven myself. It’s an absolutely amazing game and one that I wish Nintendo would use as a formula for Mario Kart 9.

Diddy Kong Racing gameplay
Credit: Nintendo/Youtube

I’m not talking about having a floating elephant genie or including conker (although they wouldn’t be bad ideas, but the story mode element to the game is something that we really need again in a Nintendo racer.

Add in the fact that Diddy and the gang can race on planes, in karts, and in hovercrafts, and you’ve suddenly got yourself a game that you seriously can’t put down.

Race bosses, defeat Wizpig, and collect items as you explore incredible courses, picking up power-ups and causing havoc for the other racers. That iconic character selection screen will never leave my mind, and neither will the fact that you can race as Banjo!

7. Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem! (2010)

Mario Vs Donkey Kong Mini Land Mayhem game case cover art Nintendo DS
Credit: Nintendo

Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem! is up next, the fourth game in the Mario vs DK series that feels very much like a spiritual successor to the original arcade game.

This game focuses on the Mini Marios to do your bidding.

Essentially, it’s a Mushroom Kingdom version of Lemmings, which can only ever be a good thing.

Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem! gameplay
Credit: nintendo

With 80 stages to play through and minis of all your favourite plumber pals to use, this is a cracking game that everyone should get their hands on.

The creation mode is class too, with players making their own levels just like in the Wii U offering up above.

The aim of the game is to manipulate the levels, not move the minis. Interact with the level around you to create safe passage for your mechanical minions, otherwise it’s game over!

8. Donkey Kong ’94 (1994)

Donkey Kong '94 game cart

Donkey Kong ’94 is one of the most challenging Gameboy games of them all. It’s an updated pocket version of the arcade game looks incredible on the Analogue Pocket.

At least having a handheld version means that I can cry with frustration at home without anyone seeing me…

Donkey Kong '94 gameplay
Credit: Nintendo/Super Mario Wiki

The player would take control of Mario (named on the original arcade game as ‘Jump Man’) who’s aim was to rescue Pauline from Mr Bad Donkey Kong. He’d throw barrels at you, making it hard to navigate up the level.

But once you did, you’d save the princess and become the hero, just the way Mario likes it.

You were greeted with different levels, different difficulties, and the ever so nostalgic theme tune!

A great game, and a great character that everyone loves to hate.

9. Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong’s Double Trouble! (1996)

Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! game box

Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong’s Double Trouble! marked Dixie Kong getting her very own adventure for the first time.

After her appearance in Donkey Kong Country 2 (another entry in our list of the best SNES games ever made), Dixie pretty much won the hearts and minds of gamers all over the globe. Now, along with her cousin Kiddy Kong, she’s out to stop King K.Rool!

In terms of gameplay and graphical style, DKC3 feels very similar to the first 2 games. That means Shigeru Miyamoto’s love-hate relationship with this pre-rendered graphics style isn’t going away anytime soon!

Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! gameplay
Credit: Nintendo

This time its Dixie and Kiddy that have to save Donkey and Diddy from K.Rool.

Swap between Kiddy and Dixie at will. Kiddy can skip over water, whereas Dixie has borrowed a move off Tails and can hover thanks to her ponytail.

Ride animals through levels once more, hanging onto Enguarde the Swordfish (still one of the best side character names in any game) and new faces such as Ellie the Elephant.

10. Donkey Kong Jungle Beat (2004)

Donkey Kong Jungle Beat game case cover art GameCube
Credit: Nintendo

Those Donkey Konga bongos weren’t just useful for slapping out catchy rhythms; they also took DK through an epic side scrolling adventure.

This is a ‘score attack’ game, so it’s not just simply enough to get to the end of a level and give yourself a pat on the back.

Donkey Kong Jungle Beat gameplay
Credit: Nintendo

Like a lot of the best PS1 games such as Crash Bandicoot and Spyro, getting the biggest score through picking up collectibles on each level is the way to get ahead.

Collect beats and bananas while pulling off monkey-licious moves on enemies.

Hitting the left bongo sends DK left, right to the right, and both together to jump. Use a shockwave by clapping in front of the mic. It’s a clever and entertaining gimmick and one that gives my favourite GameCube peripheral an extra lease of life.

11. Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars (2015)

Mario vs Donkey Kong Tipping Stars game case cover art Wii U
Credit: Nintendo

This is one of the first cross platform downloadable games that arrived between the Wii U and the 3Ds. This 2D puzzler falls in line with the other Mario vs Donkey Kong titles and sees Mazza and DK getting at each others throats again.

The mini Mario’s are back, and players have to contend with spikes, escalators, canon heads, and loads of other weird and wonderful Mushroom Kingdom madness.

Mario vs Donkey Kong Tipping Stars Wii U gameplay
Credit: Nintendo

One of the best things about this game is the level editor where players can make levels and share them with other DK fans through. Plus, players can earn stars by playing other peoples levels and having their levels played.

This is the game that keeps on giving!

On the 3DS players use the touchscreen but there isn’t a 3D mode – that could get far too trippy!

12. Donkey Kong (1981)

Donkey Kong arcade game art
Credit: NIntendo

Rightfully topping our list of the best MAME games, this original arcade classic could possibly be the most recognisable arcade game alongside Pac-Man.

It’s more than just an amazing game; it’s a snapshot of the ’80s a slice of the golden age of gaming that we can play again and again…

… and the sign that told everyone Nintendo were pretty much the King Kongs of the gaming world.

Donkey Kong arcade gameplay
Credit: Nintendo

This early platform game pretty much set the blueprint for every other platformer after it. It’s why its so important for programmes like MAME to keep these best arcade games alive!

This tense adventure sees Jumpman, aka Mario on a barrel-jumping adventure of epic proportions. He’s on a mission to save Pauline, who was initially just called Lady…

… Jumpman and Lady… what an exciting team.

This game also brought everyone’s favourite Smash brothers item, the K.O hammer, to the table for the very first time as well.

I know I prefer Donkey Kong as a good guy, but he’s still convincing as a baddie to this very day!

13. Donkey Konga (2003)

Donkey Konga game case

To this day, I still can’t believe how much fun Donkey Konga was. Every console has a gimmick game, and this was the GameCube’s offering.

No, that’s unfair. What initially seemed to be a gimmick turned out to be one of the best beat games on the circuit.

Sure, holding a guitar is cool, but slapping a beat is so accessible to gamers of all ages and abilities that it appealed to a huge audience…

… and bongos are seriously cool

Donkey Konga gameplay
Credit: Nintendo

Picture the scene; it’s Saturday morning, and me and three of my mates are holding bongo controllers in my attic games room.

Yeah, if you’re reading this and never had a GameCube, people used to play in the same room rather than just online.

Just like Guitar Hero, players match on screen prompts by performing an action to the beat. Left, right, both bongos, or clap; that’s your main move set.

You’ll be rocking out to Queen and REM as well as classic Nintendo tunes in no time!

14. Mario vs Donkey Kong (2004)

Mario Vs Donkey Kong game case cover art GBA
Credit: Nintendo

Clockwork Mario’s, mechanical monsters; it sounds like a Mario vs Donkey Kong title alright!

There’s a strong chance that you’re going to see the original Donkey Kong arcade game dropping into this list a little further down, and many consider this first Mario vs DK game to be it’s spiritual successor.

Listen, Donkey Kong might be a good guy these days, but he can slip back into a scheming super villain at will. The guys a great actor, and I secretly think he prefers being an antagonist rather than the hero.

Once a cheeky monkey, always a cheeky monkey…

Mario Vs Donkey Kong GBA Gameplay
Credit: Nintendo/wizard Dojo

When DK is unable to purchase a Mini Mario clockwork toy (assumedly because the vendor didn’t accept bananas as currency), he goes ape, quite literally.

Breaking into a Toad Factory, he steals a bunch of toys. It’s up to Mario to drag an ‘apeology’ out of him by completing puzzles and collecting keys.

These guys have more tiffs then I’ve had hot dinners!

If you still look at Mazza and wish he was called Jumpman, then this entry in our best Gameboy Advance games is sure to be right up your street.

15. Donkey Kong Land III (1997)

Donkey Kong Land 3 game cartridge

Donkey Kong Land III is up next, the GB alternative version of Donkey Kong Country 3!

DK and Diddy have headed off to The Lost World after a radio contest piques their interest. Dixie is left looking after her cousin Kiddy and thinks she’s going to be the one to find the Lost world before the world-famous duo,

Cue King K.Rool capturing our monkey marvels, Dixie and Kiddy saving the day, and KONG letters to collect!

Donkey Kong Land 3 GBC gameplay
Credit: Nintendo/Youtube

The story and the levels are pretty much the same as the SNES version, as are the features such as Dixie’s animal friends, with new faces such as Squitter the Spider arriving for a slice of the action.

Find bonus coins to complete the game 100%. There’s also a time attack mode for speeding through levels and trying to get a record run!

If you loved the SNES version (which you might well be seeing below), then get the handheld version and complete the set.

16. Donkey Kong: Jungle Climber (2007)

Donkey Kong Jungle Climber case cover art Nintendo DS
Credit: Nintendo

Anyone fancy a vacation on Sun Sun Island, the location so nice they named it twice? True to form, Donkey gets distracted by a giant banana… he’s got a one track mind this kid.

Gameplay basically Involves DK climbing said mountain, pressing L and R to move his hands accordingly. Punch with A, pulling off all the classic moves we’ve come to know from the Smash Bros games.

Donkey Kong: Jungle Climber DS gameplay
Credit: Nintendo

The game itself is simple in construction and design, but it’s filled with exciting gameplay that never disappoints. It’s just puzzling enough without being too taxing but still enough to keep you coming back for more.

Donkey Kong Country fans used to seeing DK and Diddy working together can have the duo back in business once again too.

In a Banjo-Kazooie-esque move, players can work together to collect items and collectibles, throwing Diddy into the air to reach places DK can’t get.

Teamwork makes the giant banana dream work!

17. Donkey Kong Land (1995)

Donkey Kong Land cartridge

The Donkey Kong Land games, while being the DMG versions of the SNES titles, do have different traits that seperate them and make them cracking titles in their own right rather than just direct ports.

Obviously, this is down to the fact that the DMG was not as powerful as the Super Nintedo, which meant that level designs had to change.

Still, the fact that there are new levels and bosses to tackle isn’t anything to turn your nose up at, if anything it’s more Donkey Kong action to wrap your simian paws around!

Donkey Kong Land gameplay
Credit: Nintendo/Youtube

One thing that I will say is that, while the gameplay is that evergreen classic style that we love from DK’s side-scrolling adventures, the graphics are undoubtedly a little lacklustre. Still, we can forgive that as the game did come out in 1995.

There are 30 levels to tackle, and the premise of beating back King K’Rool’s minions is the same. Collet bananas, don’t get hit by the bad guys, and save the day!

The fact that Donkey Kong Land shares a similar name to Super Mario Land and Wario Land is no coincidence too – Nintendo know what they’re doing!

18. Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again! (2009)

Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again! DS game art
Creidt: Nintendo

Mini’s March Again is a title that you’ll unfortunately not be able to get anymore thanks to the DSi Ware shop shutting down in 2017. Still, if you know someone who has this game or can get hold of a copy of a DS with it on, then it’s well worth taking a look at!

I’m afraid that there isn’t going to be much to write about when it comes to differences between many of the Mario Vs Donkey Kong titles after the release of March of the Minis. Don’t get me wrong; I love these games with a passion, but they gameplay features are always going to be the same

Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again! gameplay
Credit: nintendo/Mario Wiki

If you love Lemmings, then this game is going to make you jump for joy. Players don’t actually have any control over the Minis, leaving you at the whim of obstacles and items that you manipulate throughout the game.

This game requires a lot of thought; if you lose all your lives or don’t get all of your minis through the door at the end of the level, then you’ll fail and have to start again.

I do love the fact that players have to get Mini-Donkey Kongs through the door in the time limit when Donkey Kong is the main antagonist of the game. I wish I had a miniature Donkey Kong in my house for sure!

19. Donkey Kong Jr. (1982)

Donkey Kong Jr. Atari box
Credit: Nintendo/Atari

The tables have turned for Donkey Kong in this game, and Jumpman, once the put-upon hero, is now the evil villain.

I mean, with a moustache like that, it’s not hard to see why, either! Though I guess he’s got every right to get his revenge; DK did make him work hard in the Donkey Kong arcade game.

Donkey Kong Jr must save the day and rescue DK from imprisonment, though instead of climbing ladders, he’s moving up vines in order to get to the top of the level!

Donkey Kong Jr. gameplay Atari
Credit: Nintendo

The game itself is pretty short; four stages aren’t going to keep you excited for long, it has to be said. But, this is a classic Donkey Kong game, and it’s one that that you all need to play at least once in your life!

And it’s much more exciting than the Donkey Kong JR game at the very bottom of this article!

There’s a kill screen at Level 22, though I’ve never managed to see it!

It’s weird how two of the most iconic Donkey Kong titles don’t actually feature DK as a playable character – have you ever thought about that?

20. Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move (2013)

Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move game art
Credit: nintendo

Let’s get back to some Mazza vs DK action again with Minis on the Move!

This 3DS title is still available to download at the time of writing, but won’t be after the the 8th of April once the 3DS store shuts down! It mini characters moving around puzzles found in levels once again, avoiding enemies and with so many different ways to fail that it could be classed as ‘character building’ at times rather than ‘enjoyable’.

Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move gameplay
Credit: nintendo/Youtube

Who am I kidding; it’s games like this that, while accounting for why I am bald, that have helped to shape some sort of patience in me over the years. The main thing to remember is that, when moving your minis to the goal, just make sure they don’t fall off the level or get stuck anywhere.

It’s easier said than done, but with 180 different puzzles to solve, you should definitely get the practice in!

There’s also a cool level creator mode too where you can really test your mettle… you know, if the other 180 levels haven’t tired you out enough!

21. Donkey Kong Land 2 (1996)

Donkey Kong Land 2 Gameboy Box
Credit: Nintendo

Donkey Kong Land 2 twinned with the Super Game Boy was a match made in shaded heaven. When combined with the SNES cart and placed in the Super Nintendo, the game got a lot more depth to it, which in ’96 was like seeing HD TV for the first time!

While Donkey Kong Land felt a little different to Donkey Kong Country in terms of level design, DKL2 is basically a watered down version of the SNES game Diddy Kong’s Quest, the game you’ve already read about further up this list.

Donkey Kong Land 2 gameplay
Credit: Nintendo/Youtube

And to be honest, a lot of people held the same opinion. Everyone loved the textures that had been crammed into the game cart compared to the first Donkey Kong Land game, but for those that had played the SNES version of the game, it all felt a little bit… well, samey!

Still, back in the day when players couldn’t get SNES games on a Switch to take around with them, having a portable version of the game to take out of the house on the train or to the office felt amazing.

So, while it was very similar, it certainly scratched an itch for DK fans on the go and sold 2.35 million copies, which isn’t half bad if you ask me!

22. Donkey Konga 2 (2003)

Donkey Konga 2 case
Credit: nintendo

Donkey Konga 2 is up next, and I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that this is the sequel to the ever popular Donkey Konga. Up to four players can battle it out once more, getting their groove on with one of my favourite GameCube peripherals of all time.

What was there to achieve after Donkey Konga? What else could Nintendo come up with to entice us in?

Well, just like Guitar Hero, the only main thing to do is to add new tracks. There were 30 new tracks in this game for players to smash out, along with new characters to play as.

Donkey Konga 2 gameplay
credit: nintendo

Here’s a cool fact too; it was rated ‘T’ for Teen in North America because of some of the content of the songs and is the only Donkey Kong game rated thusly.

I’m guessing Mr. Boombastic by Shaggy had a lot to do with that! Does that make DK a bit of a ‘bad lad’ in this game?

The graphics saw a bit of a polish from the first game, but apart from that, it’s the same-old bongo-slapping action that we loved from the first game!

23. Donkey Kong 3 (1983)

Donkey Kong 3 case NES
Credit: Nintendo

Donkey Kong 3 really felt different to Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Jr (and indeed Donkey Kong II which is essentially the same game as Donkey Kong Jr but just on the Game & Watch). It’s essentially an arcade shooting game, and from the still below, it looks like Donkey Kong is about to be in a whole world of pain!

It’s a little but disappointing to have no Mario in the game, even as Jumpman. Instead, players take on the role of Stanley the exterminator, a character that doesn’t exactly shake waves in the Nintendo world as I write these words today.

Donkey Kong 3 gameplay
Credit: Nintendo

Spraying bugs is something that I get, but spraying a gigantic ape with bug spray is something I still don’t understand. It’s one of those arcade games that, while fun for a little while, you get bored of pretty easily.

And it just doesn’t make sense! I mean, why is DK in this guy’s greenhouse anyway? Why are there so many bees, and why is DK hanging out with them?

While it might not go down as one of the greatest games of all time, it is one of the collection if you’re a die-hard DK fan. I wonder what would happen if Stanley had gone on to replace Jumpman as Mario… that would be a different world entirely!

24. Mario vs. Donkey Kong: March Of The Minis (2006)

Mario vs. Donkey Kong: March Of The Minis case DS
Credit: Nintendo

Mario vs Donkey Kong was a huge success, and everyone waited patiently for the release to come when the sequel was announced for the DS. I personally felt, however, that the gameplay choice of moving from Mario to Mini-Marios was a little annoying, especially because these Mini-Marios are as dumb as heck.

Using the stylus was always going to be the main course of action when the DS was involved, and the D-Pad become irrelevant. It’s tip-tapping action, with players guiding the Minis to the exit, just like in the previous Minis titles that you’ve seen in this list so far.

Mario vs. Donkey Kong: March Of The Minis gameplay
Credit: Nintendo/Super Mario Wiki

There are lots of levels in this game across the 8 worlds with plenty of time for you to get your Mini-Mario skills honed as you move your way to the roof with a final showdown with DK himself. Those supreme players that get 80 stars can get two more boss stages too!

At the end of each set of levels, players have to fire Minis at Donkey Kong from a cannon. DK has had it rough over the years, but I guess he did start all of this mess. The amount of Minis you have to fire depends on how many you managed to save through the previous levels, so if you’ve been pretty slap-dash, then these boss meetings are going to be hard!

Why is this so far down though compared to the other Mario vs Donkey Kong titles? Well, I prefer having the other Mini characters involved in the mix too, and to be honest, I was a little disappointed from the switch of the GBA title to the DS version, and I’m great at holding a grudge.

25. DK: King Of Swing (2005)

DK: King Of Swing GBA box
Credit: nintendo

I’m going to go out on a limp here and say that the cartoon versions of DK and Diddy need to be locked away and never brought out again. This is an odd look for DK, and after seeing him in Donkey Kong Country titles for so many years, this just looks a little… odd.

I mean, I know that Shigeru Miyamoto really didn’t like the pre-rendered graphics look, but not everything looks great when turned cartoony.

It might have worked for Link, but DK just looks… well, comical!

DK: King Of Swing gameplay GBA
Credit: Nintendo/Super Mario Wiki

So what’s the aim of the game here, then?

Well, players need to swing from objects while working their way up levels, avoiding or charging at enemies as they see fit.

The whole thing feels a little like a Mario Party mini-game and not a full title, though there are 20 stages to complete with tonnes of crystal coconuts to find, which undoubtedly keep players fingers glued to the GBA’s L and R triggers for a long while.

26. Donkey Konga 3 (2005)

Donkey Konga 3 case japanese cover
Credit: Nintendo

Donkey Konga 3 only ever came out in Japan, and I think that by this point, people felt that Nintendo were scraping the bottom of the bongo-shaped barrel by this point.

The gameplay is exactly the same as the previous titles, now with Funky Kong as a playable character too.

Donkey Konga 3 gameplay
Credit: Nintendo/Youtube

Many of the songs are from Japanese Anime series and J-Pop bands, obviously with the game just releasing in Japan.

There’s 20 more songs than in previous games, but apart from that, there’s nothing massively new to shout about. It’s still got the same fun multiplayer-action, but apart from some new tunes, there’s no real reason to grab this game to upgrade.

27. Donkey Kong: Barrel Blast (2007)

Donkey Kong: Barrel Blast Wii Case
Credit: Nintendo

Donkey Kong Barrel Blast will never compete with the likes of Mario Kart, and I know that you were all hoping DK’s Wii racer was going to be as good as Diddy’s, but it definitely isn’t. It’s not even in the same ball park, and it all feels a little weird.

To me, this is more like a mini game that you might find on Super Monkey Ball rather than a bonafide racing game. It’s just super boring to play, and using the Wiimote and Nunchuk just felt clunky and hard to get to grips with.

Donkey Kong: Barrel Blast gameplay Wii
Credit: nintendo

The graphics are dull, there’s no real thrill to it, and it’s all a bit of a snoozefest. I’m not sure how Nintendo could have put this out after the success of Diddy Kong Racing.

This game was originally going to be used with the Donkey Konga Bongos, which I think would have been just as bad if I’m honest. Why would anyone want to slap a bongo to turn a corner?

All in all, I think you can tell that I don’t like this game. Stick to picking DK in Mario Kart Wii instead.

28. Donkey Kong Jr Math (1983)

Donkey Kong Jr Math NES box
Credit: Nintendo

Finally, the most boring game in the history of existence finishes off our list of Donkey Kong titles. I know that educational titles probably make parents feel better about kids playing video games, but this just ruined all of the fun of the original DK JR for me.

The Education Series for the NES was very short lived, with this being the only game in the series. That’s not really a series either… it’s just a one… which is the loneliest number as we all know.

Donkey Kong Jr Math gameplay
Credit: Nintendo/Donkey Kong WIki

Moving up vines while doing math’s calculations was a terrible idea. Nintendo tried to keep this title alive through the virtual console over the years, but I really think that they were barking up the wrong tree with this one.

If we want to do maths puzzles, we can watch a quiz show!

As you might have guessed from what I’ve written so far, the game died a death. But, if you have got a boxed copy, then you might be sitting on a small fortune, as one recently sold on eBay for over $1,600!

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