Mario’s dinosaur friend makes appearances in a plethora of fantastic games. As a solo star, Yoshi’s output is…a mixed bag. A slew of mediocre puzzle games, one-off ideas, and a disappointing collection of platformers makes up the majority of the library.
Though Yoshi could be used better, there are a some real gems in the catalogue. Here are my picks for best Yoshi games!
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island
Yoshi’s debut platformer is not only the best game bearing the Yoshi name, but it still stands as one of the best in the genre. Feeling slighted by Nintendo asking Miyamoto to make the game look more like Donkey Kong Country, he instead went with a colouring book aesthetic that’s still stunning today. Not only do its good looks hold up over time, as it’s still a joy to play. After this, Nintendo went in a more kid-friendly direction that I think hurt a number of subsequent releases.
Yoshi’s Crafted World
Yoshi’s Story is an end-to-end snoozefest. Yoshi’s Wooly World is good, though its art style is largely borrowed from Kirby’s Epic Yarn, starts slowly, and suffers from some odd performance issues throughout. Yoshi’s Crafted World addresses much of its predecessor’s issues and is a solid game throughout.
Going in-and-out of the screen is a bit gimmicky, but Nintendo goes out of its way to make sure every level has a unique hook to it. I also appreciate the inclusion of Mellow Mode, partially to make the game more accessible for those who need it, and partially because it allows for the main game to be a bit more challenging for experienced players.
Seemingly all of the Yoshis and their friends/rivals are featured prominently in Tetris Attack. This match-3 puzzler is an absolute delight and arguably the best head-to-head puzzle game in existence. The game has been re-themed numerous times, but the Yoshi-branded Tetris Attack is my first and favourite of the bunch.
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