10 best Yoshi Games of all time, ranked

Best Yoshi Game

Are there even 10 Yoshi games worth talking about? Let’s find out!

Yoshi has been a mainstay of the Super Mario universe ever since the portly red-hatted plumber hatched his egg in Super Mario World for the SNES. An instant hit with fans, Yoshi would go on to star in his own series of games, starting with the NES and Game Boy puzzler Yoshi. It wasn’t the best start for the dino, but Yoshi’s subsequent solo outings would be a heck of a lot better. Because the SEO gods demand it, let’s look back at the 10 best Yoshi games that have come so far.

Yoshi's Story
Screenshot by Destructoid

10. Yoshi’s Story

Some of you might be thinking, “What the heck is Yoshi’s Story doing on a list of best Yoshi Games?” If that’s your reaction to seeing it here, I completely understand. Truth is, Yoshi hasn’t had as prolific of a career as…say…Kirby. He barely has a dozen games to his name, and when two of those titles are the anemic puzzler Yoshi and wildly unfun Yoshi Topsy Turvy, it becomes a toss-up as to which one you include to get this list to ten. So I went with the one that’s the easiest to get a screenshot of.

9. Yoshi’s Fruit Cart

Nintendo Land might just be the most underappreciated pack-in title in all of gaming. This theme park of a game featured a bevy of mini-games centered around various Nintendo franchises. Yoshi’s Fruit Cart is a fun little puzzler that tasked players with drawing a path of the Yoshi cart on the Wii U tablet touch screen while referencing the position of the items they need to collect that were only visible on their television screen. It was a great little test for a player’s hand-eye coordination, and the Yoshi cart was cute to boot.

8. Yoshi’s New Island

Because Nintendo doesn’t care about storyline continuity, Yoshi’s New Island, released in 2014 for the Nintendo 3DS, is actually a direct sequel to Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island, released in 1995 for the Nintendo SNES. New Island is a fine, if ultimately unremarkable, addition to the Yoshi series, carrying over the same concept in art direction and gameplay of the SNES original with some genuinely fun new levels, particularly near the end. The game played it too safe for its own good, but it’s still a worthwhile jaunt.

7. Yoshi’s Cookie

Yoshi might not be a puzzle game worth playing, but Yoshi’s Cookie certainly is. Release for the NES, Game Boy, and SNES, this tile-matching puzzler tasked players with clearing rows of similar cookies as quickly as they could. It’s a simple premise that Nintendo and developers Tose and Bullet-Proof Software made the most out of. All versions of the game featured a single-player campaign and VS. mode, but the SNES had an additional puzzle mode that had players clearing a puzzle board in a limited number of moves. Yoshi’s Cookie is an all-around solid entry from Nintendo’s puzzle-game-heavy era.

6. Yoshi’s Safari

Concept art for the original Super Mario Bros. showed that Miyamoto had planned to give Mario a dinosaur to ride on long before Yoshi first reared his head. Miyamoto also planned to arm Mario with a gun. Neither idea made the final cut, but they did come together for the light-gun shooter Yoshi’s Safari. Released alongside the ill-fated SNES Super Scope, Yoshi’s Safari got the most it could out of the Mode 7 graphics mode, sending players on a sci-fi adventure across Jewelry Land to rescue King Fret and Prince Pine from Bowser and the Koopalings. Yoshi’s Island is a genuinely good light-gun shooter that was sadly tied to a peripheral nobody seemed to want.

Yoshi Touch & Go
Screenshot via Nintendo UK

5. Yoshi Touch & Go

Like Hal Laboratory and its Kirby series, Nintendo tends to get a bit experimental with Yoshi. Yoshi Touch & Go is one such example. Released for the Nintendo DS, Touch & Go broke away from other games in the Yoshi sub-series by having players chase high scores rather than complete stages of a grand adventure. Like many early Nintendo DS games, it heavily emphasized the handheld’s stylus. Yoshi moved on his own, and players would use the stylus to aim his egg throws and to draw cloud paths for him to walk on. If you messed up a path, all you needed to do was blow into the DS microphone to clear it away. It might have been a disappointment to fans looking for a more traditional adventure, but for those who embraced the weird experiments made possible by the Nintendo DS (Pac-Pix, WarioWare Touched!, Looney Tunes: Duck Amuck), it was a breath of fresh air.

4. Yoshi’s Woolly World/Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World

Developer Good-Feel hit an out-of-the-park grand slam in 2010 with the release of Kirby’s Epic Yarn. Containing the best texture graphics seen on the Nintendo Wii, it would be a tough act to follow. Yoshi’s Woolly World was certainly a great effort on the developer’s part. They doubled down on Epic Yarn’s hand-stitched aesthetic, knitting an adorable world for Yoshi to explore. Like with Yoshi’s Story, the game was a little too much on the easy side, but it did have enough charm and interesting ideas, such as a breezy co-op mode, to carry it through. For anyone who missed it on the Wii U, a 3DS port carried over most of the charm with some neat additions of its own.

3. Yoshi’s Crafted World

Good-Feel’s second crack at the Yoshi franchise came in 2019 for the Nintendo Switch. Yoshi’s Crafted World took the handcrafted look of its predecessor and added some arts and crafts to the mix. Featuring a diorama-inspired art direction rife with egg cartons, cardboard, and construction paper, Crafted World put a heavy emphasis on the 2.5D perspective, allowing players to flip the level as they searched for secrets and coins in the background and foreground of each stage. It’s a neat game, particularly if you have someone to go through it with you in co-op. What really sets Crafted World above its predecessor are the exceptionally creative boss battles that are the best the series has seen in more than 20 years.

2. Yoshi’s Island DS

Just over a year after Yoshi Touch & Go was released for the Nintendo DS, Nintendo delivered a proper sequel for fans who’d been waiting for the company to revisit the magic of Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island. Yoshi’s Island DS took most of what was great about Yoshi’s Island, spread it across two screens, and added more babies. Baby Peach, Baby Wario, Baby Donkey Kong, and Baby Bowser were added to the mix, each with their own abilities that created new gameplay opportunities for the developers at Artoon. It was a fine return to form for Yoshi after so many years of experiments and disappointments, as well as a fine reminder of why anyone cared about this sub-series in the first place.

Best Yoshi Game
Screenshot by Destructoid

1. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island

Like any other game would be worthy of taking the top spot on a list of best Yoshi games.

This game is the reason why so many people still clamor for new Yoshi titles. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island is a masterpiece of platform game design, with incredibly creative level design, beautiful art direction, and innovations that reverberated throughout the industry. It’s arguably the best 2D platformer ever created, and few in the genre since then have even come close to matching its excellence. While the sound of a screaming Baby Mario would go on to haunt a generation of gamers, it was worth putting up with such an awful sound when the game was as legendary as this.

About The Author
CJ Andriessen
Editor-at-Large – CJ has been a contributor to Destructoid since 2015, originally writing satirical news pieces before transitioning into general news, features, and other coverage that was less likely to get this website sued.
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