Everyone loves the cute green dinosaur from the Mushroom Kingdom. Screaming his name every time he makes his iconic mid-air jump, devouring anything within reach of his tongue, then bursting out of his egg in what must be a world record time, Yoshi has pierced our hearts for one reason or another other. While Yoshi is often relegated to the level of a cameo character in Mario spin-off titles these days, they have had their share of gaming over the years, especially in the 90s. So without further ado, let’s go ahead and rank all 10 Yoshi games from worst to best.
10. Yoshi Topsy-Turvy/ Yoshi’s Universal Gravity
The feature that made Yoshi Topsy-Turvy different from every Yoshi game before and after was the tilt mechanic that was built into the Game Boy Advance cartridge upon its release in 2005.
You can tilt the GBA to make Yoshi grab items, manipulate various items around you, and shake enemies around the stages to avoid taking damage. The idea was interesting and it worked similarly to WarioWare: Twisted, but playing the game itself was a big, boring mess.
The game was not as well received by critics, as reviewers at the time called it repetitive, disappointingly short, and sporty, giving Yoshi’s fans nothing new to look forward to. For clarification, Yoshi Topsy-Turvy was also known as Yoshi’s Universal Gravitation in regions outside of North America.
9. Yoshi’s Cookie
Yoshi’s Cookie was a tile-matching puzzle game that was released for the NES and GameBoy in 1992. The SNES version was released in 1993, which was a regular port.
The game revolved around players moving cookies around a rectangular grid until rows or columns only consisted of cookies of the same type. This will clear the row or column completely, allowing you to accumulate points in the process. The twist to your usual tile-matching game is that you can only rotate entire lines, not individual tiles.
While the game had several different modes, the relatively simple and deep gameplay means it doesn’t really rank that high on our list. However, those who are looking for a retro-style puzzle game may find it much worse.
I bet you didn’t know about Lightgun Yoshi’s game, Yoshi’s Safari, right? Challenging Super Scope and released for the SNES, the game was the only first-person shooter within the Mario franchise. Players had to save Jewelry Land from Bowser and his minions by rescuing 12 gems from the game’s 12 levels.
It was a fun if unusual title, but had branching paths that could lead to different enemies and items to add some replay value to the proceedings. Each level ended with an epic boss fight where you blasted the Koopalings into giant mechs, giant power-up versions of standard enemies, and of course, last but not least, Bowser.
The only criticisms of the game were the requirements of the expensive Super Scope and the relatively short length and low difficulty of the game. Still, we’ll give Yoshi’s Safari a few points for at least being a unique Yoshi game!
7. Yoshi Touch and Go
Yoshi Touch & Go originally released for the Nintendo DS in 2005, and attempted to recreate the dynamics of Baby Mario and Yoshi, but with heavy use of the DS touch screen. Instead of moving Yoshi around as in a traditional game, the player used a stylus and microphone to manipulate the world around Yoshi, throwing eggs, and catching enemies in bubbles.
The idea of using a stylus to control Yoshi and Mario just wasn’t fun or unique. When the DS came out, every game had to have touch controls, of course, to take advantage of Nintendo’s new hardware, and Touch & Go was one of those casualties.
It would have been good if the game had more meat to go through, but for some reason the game felt more like an arcade game than a traditional platformer.
There were high scores you could get in each stage and the game relied on the player repeating the stages over and over again to improve their scores making the game unfortunately very repetitive and very unlike Yoshi as well as just very un-Nintendo how.
This game may have been rushed release in the first few months of the Nintendo DS launch, and it really showed.
6. Yoshi’s new island
Released for the Nintendo 3DS in 2014, Yoshi’s New Island marked the first time developer Arzest worked on a Nintendo game with one of the company’s most popular properties, Yoshi.
While the developers attempted to faithfully recreate Nintendo’s achievement with the first Yoshi’s Island in 1995, Yoshi’s New Island failed and ultimately failed to give Yoshi’s plans the proper sequel they deserved.
Yoshi’s New Island was dull, simple, uninspired, and while it drew so much from the original game, it just couldn’t compete with Nintendo’s best Yoshi game.
However, Arzest must be commended for trying; it’s not Yoshi’s worst game, but it’s certainly not the best.
5. Yoshi’s story
Going after Yoshi’s Island, Yoshi’s story was a continuation of the 2D platformer, but this time without Baby Mario and the game with 3D graphics thanks to the Nintendo 64.
While Yoshi’s Island changed the platform game and proved to be quite challenging, Yoshi’s Story marked the beginning of the trend of Yoshi games for kids or too simple.
Critics praised the cute pop-up world aesthetic and many hidden collectibles, but found the difficulty level too low. It wasn’t the sequel people expected, but Yoshi’s Story formed the basis for future side-scrolling Yoshi games.
4. Yoshi’s Woolly World
Yoshi’s Woolly World was released for the Nintendo Wii U in 2015 and later for the 3DS, and was also developed by Good-Feel, the same team that created Kirby’s Epic Yarn – another 2D platformer with a yarn and cloth art style.
Yes, Yoshi and everything else in this world is made of yarn and that was absolutely adorable. The clouds were made of cotton balls with strings attached to them, as if they were part of a diorama for a school project.
Woolly World allows a second player to control a different-colored Yoshi to help a friend and have fun; one player can lick another player to shoot them in remote areas.
Some clever ideas were introduced here that introduced Yoshi to a uniquely designed world, but the ease and lack of any new features made Woolly World a fun but memorable adventure.
3. Yoshi DS Island
Yoshi’s Island DS did something crazy that will forever be remembered, at least in my book; the game introduced not one, not two, but a total of 5 babies to be carried by Yoshi, each with different abilities.
You had Baby Mario & Luigi, Baby Princess Peach, Baby Wario, Baby DK and finally Baby Bowser. Yoshi’s Island DS had a similar art style to Yoshi Touch & Go, but the main difference is that this game puts you in full control of Yoshi, rather than using a stylus to manipulate things around Yoshi.
Yoshi’s Island DS was similar to the original Yoshi’s Island, which was spectacular, and with new kids and an extra-high playing field (thanks to the dual screen), Yoshi’s Island DS is simply a treat for green dinosaur fans.
2. Yoshi’s Created World
With the sheer aesthetic of cardboard and craftsmanship, Yoshi’s Crafted World is just a treat to play and just to watch. Every element on the screen has a unique, handcrafted look, full of details and accents that make everything look like it was created by someone else.
Yoshi’s Crafted World may have some issues with the multiplayer, everything else is solid here: there are tons of collectibles to collect, exciting reasons to replay stages, and a harder selection of stages to check out once you’ve completed the main story mode.
Yoshi shines in Crafted World, and if you’re looking for one of the best Yoshi experiences, look no further than this here on Switch. It’s not Yoshi’s best game, but damn, it’s coming.
1. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island was literally just a spin-off intended to act as a side story where the main player controls Yoshi, escorting Baby Mario through dozens of unique stages.
Super Nintendo didn’t have any other amazing platformer like this hit the system, yes we had Mario games but Yoshi added so many new elements that platformers didn’t do back then. Not only did you have to worry about getting through the stages and avoiding enemies, but you also had to protect Baby Mario at all costs, making this mission one of the best escort missions in gaming.
Music, artistic style, degree of difficulty, length, variety of the scene; it was all top notch in Yoshi’s Island and will remain a Super Nintendo classic and platformer masterpiece.