Have you ever wondered what a crossover between the worlds of Final Fantasy and a western animated Disney franchise would look like? If so, you’re in luck.
Kingdom Hearts is an amalgamation of both western and eastern storytelling traditions. It is set in an extensive multiverse where all of your favorite Disney characters can fight with your favorite Final Fantasy heroes.
Next, we’re going to shed some light on the Kingdom Hearts series of video games. We will highlight some of the franchise’s best features and mechanics while still avoiding spoiler-territory for anyone who’d like to give it a try.
What Is Kingdom Hearts?
A better question might be: “Why - oh, why - does this series exist?” Unfortunately, we have yet to find a plausible answer.
That’s not a bad thing, though, because we’re sure glad that it does. Kingdom Hearts follows several Disney, Pixar, and Square Enix-based characters and their strange interactions with each other’s worlds and inhabitants.
The primary protagonist of the main series is Sora, an original character created especially for this series. His quest to save not only his world but countless others, as well, takes him through both wonderful and dreadful fantasy environments in which he interacts with equally despicable and endearing characters from all parts of the multiverse.
Each game in the main series chronicles Sora’s repeated conflict with a being known as Xehanort, as well as his friendships with familiar favorites, such as Goofy and Daffy Duck.
These entries follow an action role-playing format, so there’s plenty of customization with an emphasis on player choice.
We know that all of this sounds a little too good to be true. However, we assure you, Kingdom Hearts is every bit as great as it sounds, provided you can bear the sight of Mickey Mouse and Sephiroth sharing a screen.
The series features some of your favorite characters from both the eastern and western corners of the world. They are all jam-packed into a complex, decades-spanning narrative that sees them encounter some of the most powerful adversaries ever put to screen.
As a player, you control this action and story through deep, satisfying gameplay and heartwarming character interactions. There’s never a dull moment to be had when it comes to Kingdom Hearts, and there’s no way that that could ever be a bad thing.
Games In the Series
There are thirteen separate entries in the series, beginning with Kingdom Hearts from 2002, with the latest entry - Kingdom Hearts III - being released in January of 2019. Nine of these entries are main games, so if you’re just picking them up now, you’ll have plenty to play through.
It’s recommended that you start with the first game and play each numbered entry in order, but it’s all up to you. If you’re still unsure, read on below to find out the exact order of each game in the franchise.
- Kingdom Hearts - the first entry in the series.
- Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories - a direct sequel to the first game.
- Kingdom Hearts II - a sequel to Chain of Memories, taking place one year after that game’s events.
- Kingdom Hearts III - this entry concludes the narrative throughline established in the first game and is a sequel to Kingdom Hearts II.
Prequels and Spin-Offs
- Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep - a prequel set ten years before the first game, chronicling the rise of series-antagonist Xehanort.
- Kingdom Hearts X - another prequel that takes place before the Keyblade War.
- Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days - a spin-off set between the first and second games.
- Kingdom Hearts Coded - a spin-off set immediately after Kingdom Hearts II.
- Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance - a spin-off set after Coded.
Hopefully, we’ve managed to dispel any confusion around this unique and fascinating series. We urge you to give it a try if you’ve ever been a fan of either Disney or Final Fantasy. We guarantee you that this series will provide something special.