Every Pikmin Game, Ranked Best

Highlights

  • Pikmin is a game series focused on exploration and puzzle-solving, with each installment adding new features and improved graphics.
  • Pikmin Adventure is a fast-paced, action-packed mini-game on the Wii U, different from the puzzle-solving aspects of the main series.
  • Pikmin Bloom is a mobile game that rewards players for walking and exploring the real world, with augmented reality interactions and the ability to capture photos of their journeys.

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Pikmin is a game series all about exploration and using your brain to solve puzzles. While you’re out exploring a distant planet in space, you need to make sure you have the tools required to survive your trip. In Pikmin, you eventually find a group of plants willing to help you in exchange for their own survival.

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These tiny Pikmin are essential to overcoming obstacles and hazards in any given area. Each installment in the franchise builds on the efforts of the last, with new features and amped-up graphics. It’s hard to choose one over the other since each mainline title does something better than the others in its own way.

7 Pikmin Adventure

Pikmin Adventure Gameplay And Miis Dressed As Olimar And A Blue Pikmin

Pikmin Adventure is part of a collection of mini-games you can play on the Wii U with your friends. The gameplay consisted of a team effort to take down many enemies and escape an area on the spaceship. You had the option to use your Mii avatars, too.

The controls were pretty easy and intuitive to get used to. It’s a fast-paced action game where the gameplay itself is far different from the puzzle-solving aspects of the other games in the series.

6 Hey! Pikmin

Hey Pikmin promo art

A game that perfectly utilizes the bizarre Amiibo functionality, Nintendo’s always hyped up, Hey! Pikmin was an easy-going puzzle game that changed up the formula a little bit but only to simplify everything, making the other games in the series challenging.

Instead of taking your own Pikmin to different areas with you, like in Pikmin 2 while traveling through caves, for example, you were forced to rely on the ones found within the confines of that level. Most of the puzzles were rather boring at times and required simple solutions. The game was relaxing, if anything, and a great spiritual successor to Pikmin 3.

5 Pikmin Bloom

pikmin bloom
via Niantic

A concept similar to Pokemon Go, Pikmin Bloom is a mobile game that rewards you for walking and exploring things in the real world. Your walks help you grow more Pikmin, and you even get to interact with your plant friends in augmented reality.

Related: Best Easter Eggs And Hidden Details In Pikmin 4

You can keep a record of your journeys throughout the day and caption your photos. Not only that, certain locations gave you different colors of Pikmin to find, along with flowers and items like costumes.

4 Pikmin 3

The heroes direct their Pikmin to attack a giant monster that resembles a shrimp in Pikmin 3 Deluxe.

An otherwise solid entry to the series, Pikmin 3 suffered because of how short the game actually was and how the gameplay was changed to make everything a lot less taxing. Now, the timer for completing your tasks during the day was gone, and so was half the incentive to finish the game faster.

The bingo battles you could engage in were still somewhat fresh as a concept when it came to PVP gameplay, but the story and the puzzle-solving fun that the previous games featured far outshine whatever this title brought to the table.

Pikmin 3 introduced a couple more colors of Pikmin to the franchise and featured more minigames that pitted players against each other. Back then, it even let people upload pictures of their game to the Miiverse.

Later on, the Deluxe Edition pretty much picked up the slack by reintroducing old features from the other games, like the Piklopedia from Pikmin 2. Not only that, this version on the Switch came packed with all of the DLCs for the Wii U version and more cutscenes.

3 Pikmin

Pikmin being attacked by a bulborb

The game that started it all, the first Pikmin was a masterpiece that took Japan by storm. And yet, it was a rather confusing game to get familiar with despite the repetitive tutorial prompts. This title is perhaps the hardest one since it challenges players to find 30 parts to complete their spaceship within 30 days.

Every day you played required a ton of foresight and familiarity with the map. You needed to know what the Pikmin in your arsenal could do. Each area came filled with hazards you found unique ways to overcome on your own. This game heavily banked on player curiosity and information retention.

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It was fun, challenging, and at times heart-wrenching when you’d lose a bunch of Red Pikmin to an obstacle like water because the game didn’t inform you about them not being able to swim, unlike the Blue Pikmin you encounter later. The game featured several areas you had to return to in order to find every part or access certain areas.

Even though the camera might not agree with you most of the time, the game was pure genius when it came to keeping you on the edge of your seat. It was a unique game that was well ahead of its time and featured a fun little story that spawned sequels.

2 Pikmin 4

Oatchi and the Crew in Pikmin 4

With new Pikmin, a better camera control system, and beefed-up graphics, Pikmin 4 took what the previous entry to the franchise lacked and amplified it to the point where its lack of challenging elements doesn’t take away from the fun. It even featured a side mode to play the original Pikmin game but with a few alterations, like shorter days and different hazards in certain areas.

This installment also featured co-op gameplay, caves to explore like Pikmin 2, and a rewind/undo feature to help you not regret a mistake you’ve made. The puzzles aren’t that hard, and there are treasures to collect which contribute to fueling your spaceship.

You have a day and night mode to interact with your world, and both feature different kinds of gameplay. The level design is great and reminiscent of the previous successful entries to the series. The game makes you think and utilize all of your Pikmin in unique and interesting ways. It stayed true to its roots, and that partly contributed to its widespread appeal.

1 Pikmin 2

Swooping Snitchbug and Captain Olimar from Pikmin 2

What happens when you take a stellar game and amplify everything that made it great? Pikmin 2 was the answer with its overhauled menus, beautiful cutscenes, and new additions to the areas in the form of underground caves with sublevels and new enemies.

Despite staying true to the original game, Pikmin 2 built on its predecessor’s faults and became the perfect sequel. It featured two different characters to play with, a Piklopedia, and the same time constraints the previous game came with, which kept things challenging and tough.

The dialogue was funny and witty at times. The story was fun to keep up with and felt like an organic continuation of the events that preceded it. The new Pikmin and sprays to interact with kept the concept fresh, and the musical scores were also pretty relaxing.

It took away the obnoxious 30-day time limit and gave you a chance to breathe and better plan out your strategies for overcoming the different hazards in your area. The game also featured different modes, like a PVP capture the flag mode and a challenge mode about escaping the underground caves.

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