This year marks the fifteenth anniversary of the original Kingdom Hearts, the game that stirred your Disney childhood and your Final Fantasy adolescence into a cartoony cocktail that almost certainly shouldn’t have worked but somehow went down miraculously smooth. The Kingdom Hearts games are often chided for their arcane lore (though they make about twice as much sense as Metal Gear) and their curious subtitles (fair enough), but they’re almost always a kinetic joy to play, and their stories of teenage friendships torn apart by sundered worlds still resonate. The games have, for lack of a better word, heart. Plus, Mickey is there. If you’re hating on Mickey Mouse, you had better sit down with a cup of tea and think about your life choices.
With the release of Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue this week, it seems like a good time to go back and look at the series in aggregate. Without further ado, here are all eight Kingdom Hearts titles, ranked from worst to best.