Donkey Kong Jungle Beat reaches Power Glove levels of peripheral-based bizarreness, using Donkey Konga’s bongo controllers to steer DK through platforming levels and boss battles. The Wii version adds more traditional controls, which sort of miss the point.
6. Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest
The Donkey Kong Country series was an SNES staple, but Diddy’s Kong Quest is the best of the bunch. Its two characters are a joy to control, and the game is packed with memorable (and extremely tough) levels.
Mario + Rabbids’ Donkey Kong Adventure DLC does a great job translating DK’s moves into a turn-based tactics game. It’s a change of pace from other Donkey Kong games for sure, but one that feels more natural than you might expect.
True to its name, Donkey Kong Returns feels like a natural continuation of the classic series, reinvented for 2010 audiences. It adds new characters, better level design, and less frustration than the originals.
Diddy Kong Racing launched the same year as Mario Kart, and it actually does quite a lot better than its more fondly remembered competitor. With boss battles and distinct vehicles, it’s one of the best kart racers ever.
Though it doesn’t look like much, Donkey Kong was mind-blowing on the Game Boy. After a few familiar levels from the arcade game, it opens up into a massive, satisfying platforming masterpiece.