With Disney week still in full force, there’s no better time than now for some of us Disney dorks at Bit Cultures to bring you the very best from the house of mouse. From the NES to the PS4, there’s literally no platform Disney hasn’t touched so there are plenty to sort through throughout the years. So with that in mind, here are the top 10 Disney video games of all time.
10. Pinocchio (SNES)
I gotta be honest with ya: Virgin Interactive’s Pinocchio video game on the SNES ain’t really that good. It’s a pretty okay platformer with fantastic animations, but other than that there isn’t a whole lot there to drool over. Unless you’re me, and Pinocchio just happens to be my favorite Disney movie of all time so I couldn’t not include it in our list. What I really love about this game is that 56 years after the original film’s release in 1940 was when they figured putting out a Pinocchio game was a good idea. Talk about an unexpected turn of events. That’s like if Capcom just now randomly decided to develop a video game based on 1967’s The Jungle Book. The game does have a few unique set pieces that make it stand out, including a Parappa style sequence of “I’ve Got no Strings” which is eerily accurate to the dance scene in the movie. You even get to play as Jiminy Cricket and I think that’s pretty cool.
9. Toy Story 3
You’d be lying if you said you didn’t cry like a baby at the end of the Toy Story 3 movie. Disney was all set to put your favorite childhood characters to rest for good…in fire. But luckily the toys had figured out a way to get out of that disaster and lived on to bring joy to other kids’ lives. While the plots of the Xbox version and Playstation version are a tad different, the plot of each game is basically the plot of the movie. The player is given the opportunity to play as Woody, Buzz, and Jessie throughout the entire game. Each of them has a special move and a set of abilities each different from the last. In many of the levels, the player must switch between the characters to complete the level and move on. The story itself is pretty fun to play out, but the Toy Box mode is where the game really gets interesting. Otherwise known as “Woody’s Roundup”, Toy Box Mode is an open world setting that allows players to complete missions, play mini-games, customize towns and townspeople, and create their own fun. Some of the customizations create new missions for the players to complete, which adds a unique twist to the open world of Toy Box Mode. For fans of Pixar and Toy Story, Toy Story 3 is a fantastic way to play out the movie in a whole different medium. The deeper connection players have to the characters in the game make that incinerator scene so much worse. You’re going to need some tissues if you plan on playing this title.
Ah, yes, Toontown. One of my first introductions to an MMO, which also included another Disney game Club Penguin (didn’t know that was Disney, huh?) The premise of the game is simple: Evil corporate robots known as “Cogs” are trying to take over the Toons’ town. It’s up to you and the other toons to fight back and save your town. Sounds almost like Roger Rabbit, which, of course, is owned by none other than Disney. Toontown offered a game for the whole family and made it enjoyable for people of all ages. The game was silly, it featured an interesting team-battling system, and a whole bunch of mini-games to break up all the machine smashing. There were also safe zones, or “playgrounds”, where players could receive new tasks, purchase and sell items, and regain points (like any good MMORPG, you need a town or space to take a breather.) Toontown lasted a whopping 12 years before shutting down in 2013 so Disney could focus on other gaming experiences, Club Penguin being among them. Toontown was great for those who wished to be their own cartoon character in the world of Mickey Mouse and friends. And great for even those that wanted a fun and interesting MMORPG to pass the time. Though if you’re really dying to play it again, a fan-made revival is one click away on Google.
7. The Lion King (SNES)
Disney does it again with the game development stylings of Virgin Interactive at the helm, this time starring 1994’s The Lion King. The Lion King has a lot to offer: the visuals designed by animators at Walt Disney Feature Animation themselves, Simba’s tight controls, and the slew of memorable songs to choose from – all of this and more makes The Lion King for the Super Nintendo a game that allows you to really experience the film in a whole new way. Also, can we take a minute to talk about how HARD this game was? Come on, that monkey puzzle? And let’s not even get started on the ostrich jumping section…
Oh, and yeah, we are talking specifically about the Super Nintendo version. Although the game was also released on the Sega Genesis, PC, and a bunch of other systems over in Europe, the king returns at his best on the good ol’ Super NES. The music is cleaner and much catchier, the color palate on the SNES is larger, allowing for more diversification of sprites, and there are just those voice clips that will not be ignored peppered throughout the whole game! Who could forget when you first opened up the game and you hear “Ingonyama nengw’ enamabala” chanting from “Circle of Life”? Astounding!
So yeah, The Lion King on the SNES lands a spot on this list for teaching us that everything the light touches is our kingdom. And our kingdom…is really awesome.
6. Chip n Dale: Rescue Rangers (NES)
Chip n’ Dale: Rescue Rangers is another classic in the line-up of surprisingly amazing Disney video games developed by Capcom in the 80s and 90s (you’ll have to keep reading to see the other game further down the list). If you were born after Y2K almost destroyed the entire human race as we know it (not really) you might be confused as to why this game is even on the list. Well, stick with me. This NES classic is still a blast to play and highly worth your time more than 20 years later. Here’s the deal: Player 1 is Chip, and Player 2 is Dale. Sound fun yet? Wait, there’s more. The game’s sprites recreated the show’s visual style fairly well and the 2 player dynamic was a welcome addition to a game that obviously would’ve been a huge disappointment without it. Add to that the fact that you can pick up and throw just about every object in the game, and you’ve got all the working parts needed for an NES Disney classic.