36. Kingdom Hearts

First Played: 2002

Times completed: 5

If you ask me which video game protagonist wields a keybalde, I'll always answer with Pepperouchau because I'm a stupid nerd, but Kingdom Hearts is the better game, by far. Final Fantasy and Disney collide, is how this game was described when it launched, that was enough for me but I don't think things are that simple. The gameplay is action based and you gain various abilities to help the game strike a balance between RPG and Platformer, more skewed towards RPG of course, but I enjoy the extra freedom to explore using double jumps and gliding, to even flying and, controversially, swimming (yes, I like Atlantica).

The animation is incredible bringing each enemy and main character to life and making combat flow really well. Yoko Shimomura provides the excellent soundtrack, taking cues from Disney for some worlds, but most of the music is original and some of my favourite video game music ever. In my opinion it also features some of the best cheesey lines that I can't help love, from Sora to Ansem or even the game's theme song, it's all the kind of stuff I shouldn't like, and may grate on me in some other JRPGs, but here I find it just so unironically pleasing. The story does get crazy, especially in later games but that is a little later on and it’s mostly simple and clean here.