Donkey Kong: 10 unpopular opinions about games, according to Reddit


While not as famous as stalwarts like the Super Mario Bros., the great ape known as Donkey Kong has nevertheless been an important part of Nintendo’s history — and will be voiced by Seth Rogen in the upcoming Super Mario Bros. movie.

Whether chucking barrels or jumping through the country, Kong never fails to leave a lasting impression. But despite his vaunted reputation, there are aspects of Donkey Kong’s games that fans have taken issue with, and they aren’t afraid to speak out. Players have taken to Reddit to voice their unpopular opinions about the beloved Nintendo mascot.

Diddy Kong Racing > Mario Kart 64

The kart racing format exploded in the ’90s and it was spearheaded by the groundbreaking early installments in the Mario Kart franchise. But user UFCFan918 had a boldly unpopular opinion, saying “Diddy Kong Racing was BETTER than Mario Kart 64…Yeah I said it”.

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While Mario Kart 64 is the more well-remembered of the two games, this opinion isn’t entirely without merit. Diddy Kong Racing took advantage of the extreme popularity of the character and also delivered a unique kart racing game experience. Putting an emphasis on a more linear gameplay style, Diddy Kong Racing was utterly unique amongst its contemporaries, but failed to live up to the party game aspect of Mario Kart 64.

Donkey Kong Country 2 Is The Worst

As with any fandom, debate rages about which Donkey Kong Country game is truly the best. Even though fans never agree entirely, the second game in the series has a special place in players’ hearts. User Porygon-Q went against the grain when they wrote “Donkey Kong Country 2 is the worst in the series”.

Applauded by most for its creative use of characters and original level designs, the game built upon what had been established in the first installment, and was seen as an overall improvement. Though fans may have other favorites, there is no denying that Donkey Kong Country 2 was one of the best SNES games of all time.

Donkey Kong Is A Weak Character

One of the strengths of the Donkey Kong Country series was that every member of Donkey Kong’s family had their own unique abilities and skill sets. User amirokia took umbrage with Donkey Kong specifically when writing about Donkey Kong Country, saying “You get to play as Donkey Kong which is the worst character in the Country games.”

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Left alone to anchor the first game in the series, Donkey Kong was eventually joined by other characters in the later games. When taken in retrospect, Donkey Kong’s abilities seem lackluster compared to those of his relatives, but he was perfectly suited for the first game. While they eventually became more over-the-top as the series went on, many fans prefer the simplicity of Donkey Kong, and the first game in general.

Donkey Kong Country Ruined Donkey Kong

Though he had been kicking around Nintendo’s library for years, the Donkey Kong Country series really helped to establish Kong as a force in gaming. However, user godfreynorton saw things a different way when they commented “DK really got derailed by the DK Country games. He had a regular stream of games in a variety of genres…We never really saw a non-DKC Donkey Kong game after that”.

Much in the same way that the NES game Super Mario Bros. helped to evolve Mario into a full-fledged icon, Donkey Kong Country is Kong’s big introduction as a legitimate character. While it has set the tone for every DK game since, the character that fans know and love today wouldn’t have existed without some of these best Donkey Kong games.

Doesn’t Get Time To Shine

Nintendo is not shy about slapping their established characters on any product, and delivering a slew of games featuring all of their mascots. Despite this, user willhogan73 didn’t like Nintendo’s handling of DK, stating “I love the guy, but his appearance in the far more successful Mario and Smash series don’t show him off well.”

Nintendo’s mascot characters are best illustrated in their individual releases. However, in the party games they tend to be boiled down to their most basic elements, so that they better work as a large ensemble cast. Donkey Kong isn’t necessarily mishandled by games like Super Smash Bros., but he, like all the other characters, isn’t shown with as much depth either.

Donkey Kong Country Beats Super Mario

Comparing two completely different games is an unfair way to analyze them, but that hasn’t stopped players from debating the merits of individual franchises using that methodology. A deleted user did just that when they succinctly wrote “The Donkey Kong Country series is a lot better than the Mario series when it comes to 2d platformers”.

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The only thing that is similar between the two series is that they are both 2d platforming classics; everything else is different and is therefore hard to compare. However, the Super Mario series’ consistent success can’t be ignored. In a lot of ways, the ground that was broken by Super Mario is what enabled games like DKC to even be made in the first place.

Cry, The Beloved Donkey Kong Country

Nostalgia is a powerful force in all forms of media, and it can often cloud people’s judgments when it comes to remembering something from the past. User henryuuk chalked Donkey Kong’s success up to nostalgia, claiming “The original DKC trilogy is immensely overvalued cause of nostalgia.”

The medium of video games is an evolving art form, and advancements in technology often mean that older games seem primitive. Though nostalgia can cloud fans’ minds, it can also point out games that will always be fondly remembered even as they become outdated. DKC will not soon be forgotten because it was a groundbreaking game with merits that can’t be obscured by simple nostalgia.

Return To The Arcade

Though nowadays they are best remembered for their home consoles, Nintendo released some of the best classic arcade games as well. A deleted user lamented the lost days of Nintendo arcade hits, writing “I think the arcade-style DK needs to make a comeback…the puzzle-platformer style of DK games is long overdue”.

Nintendo has always been at the forefront of gaming and it isn’t like them to move in a backward direction, especially when it comes to one of their biggest franchises. The old school DK games have an incredibly important place in gaming history, but to attempt to recreate that success would likely be redundant.

The Jungle Beat Goes On

Not only does Nintendo make fantastic games, but they are often trying to revolutionize the way those games are played as well. User eCockpit89 had nothing but love for an overlooked DK game when they wrote “Donkey Kong Jungle Beat is very underrated, if somewhat over the top”.

Jungle Beat incorporated the GameCube’s unique Bongo controller and attempted to blend music with gaming for their newest DK title at the time. While critics praised the game’s creativity, many fans were left in the dust by the proprietary hardware. While its legacy has settled somewhere in the middle, most DK fans feel that Donkey Kong Jungle Beat is a novelty at best.

Donkey Kong 64 Was A Rare Achievement

When developer Rare set to work on Nintendo’s Donkey Kong Country series, they made an indelible mark on ’90s gaming. However, user ProfNasty thought another game was their best outing, writing “Donkey Kong 64 is definitely the best thing Rare ever put out for me personally”.

Donkey Kong, like his other Nintendo counterparts, felt growing pains when jumping into the 3D realm on the Nintendo 64. DK64 was lauded at the time, but many fans were unhappy with the game’s reliance on collecting items, and the copious amounts of backtracking to beat it. As time has gone on, the consensus seems to be that Donkey Kong 64 was a noble experiment, but nothing more.