Mario Odyssey is one of the best 3D platforms of all time, and each kingdom in the game is very unique and full of moons for the player to explore and indulge in the fun activities the kingdoms have. However, I feel that some kingdoms are better than others and bring a lot more to the game. Before I rank the kingdoms, I must clarify that I do not count a kingdom if it does not have purple coins or a hat shop, as all of the kingdoms that don’t have these features are boss fight areas or boss rush areas. So, to all the Cloud Kingdom, Ruin Kingdom, Dark Side, and Darker Side fans, your area will not be featured in the ranking.
13. Lost Kingdom (Forgotten Isle)
The lost kingdom is at the bottom of my list because I don’t find anything in the kingdom all to creative or memorable. Not many of the moons pose a huge challenge and when playing through the game, it’s the kingdom I spend the least amount of time in because of it’s unappealing color pallet and forgettable music. The tropical wiggler is a fun enemy to control, but it’s the only thing from this kingdom that makes me want to re-visit it, which isn’t much.
12. Cap Kingdom (Bonneton)
For an intro kingdom, it could be a lot worse. The Tim Burton style aesthetic is very cool, but when trying to collect as many moons as possible, the music and trippy visuals get really old really quickly. Re-visiting the kingdom after defeating Bowser does not offer that many more moons and many of those are just lying around in easy to reach places. The frog capture animation at the beginning of the game is something really special, but the rest of the kingdom does not wow me as much as the developers wanted me to be.
11. Wooded Kingdom (Steam Gardens)
There are a ton of Wooded Kingdom fans out there but I am not one of them. Yes, the music is great, yes the captured enemies are unique, but I can’t get behind this kingdom as much as everyone else because of the colors. Everything is green and there are a lot of trees, making it difficult to really know what you have and haven’t been to. The deep woods give me a headache considering I have no idea where I am, and looking around for a way to get out is nauseating for me.
10. Lake Kingdom (Lake Lamode)
This kingdom is very pretty to look at and has very creative ideas put into it, but I think that the kingdom is way too small and there could be a lot of improvement. Nintendo’s creativity is seemingly endless, so a cool idea like this being limited to the size it is proves to be a disservice for anyone really wanting to dig into it. If there were more ideas in place and cooler enemies to capture this kingdom would be way higher on the list.
9. Seaside Kingdom (Bubblaine)
Seaside Kingdom is virtually the same as the Lake Kingdom to me, but bigger and with a cool enemy. Outside of those things, Seaside Kingdom is not much to write home about. The costumes available at this kingdom are very good, but after playing through a water level in the Lake Kingdom, the Seaside Kingdom does not feel like a fresh new world to explore. It just feels like another water level.
8. Snow Kingdom (Shiveria)
The first play-through of this kingdom is an absolute blast as the gust cloud and bounding racers make a kingdom that would seem slow and tedious feel alive and bubbly. The triple moon quest is infuriating at first but incredibly satisfying when you get first in the bounding race. The surface has some really unique ideas like the freezing waters as well as the rocket flower ice run, but the colors consist of white and various shades of blue making it a visually boring kingdom.
7. Moon Kingdom (Honeylune Ridge)
With this being the last kingdom to explore before fighting Bowser, the player is now accustomed to searching every corner for power moons. While this kingdom has some lying around, the main focus that the developers want the players to do is to beat Bowser. While the Bowser fight is entertaining and challenging, The moon should have been expanded upon and made more intricate. The lower gravity on the moon is really fun to play around with and the music is serene and eerie at the same time, making the trip back well worth it.
6. Luncheon Kingdom (Mount Volbono)
Many people really hate this kingdom for various reasons. I see all the points that they make by hating this kingdom, I think it’s really creative and fun. The colors are obnoxious, but I feel the aesthetic of the level benefits from it. Capturing fireballs is really fun and exploring all of the secrets with the fireball is really satisfying and platforming with the firball is challenging in all the right ways. Since the kingdom is late in the game and all the bright colors are obnoxious, I can see why players do not want to spend that much time in it. For me, it has a lot of cool features and the boss battle in the kingdom is satisfying when it goes down.
5. Bowser’s Kingdom (Bowser’s Castle)
The inspiration from ancient China really makes this kingdom stand out as a really fun time. Pokio birds are my favorite enemy to play as, and the overall level design is a lot of fun with rotating walls and an overall pleasing experience. The music from this level is some of the best in the whole game, and moons are very cleverly hidden. My biggest issue of this kingdom is that all of the parts of the kingdom are not connected together as electric wires are needed to move from place to place, which can be very annoying if players want to look at everything the kingdom has to offer.
4. Cascade Kingdom (Fossil Falls)
Most people would not put this kingdom this high on a ranking considering how small it is and how little there is to do, but I put it high on the list because this showcases everything the game has to offer and it is where players will likely get their first power moon. Landing in this kingdom after the Cap Kingdom is a breath of fresh air. The music is grand, the graphics are incredible, the movement is free and the first triple moon of the game is here. The falls are beautiful to look at and listen to, and the overall feeling of starting a grand adventure wells up inside the player like they were a little kid all over again.
3. Mushroom Kingdom (Peach’s Castle)
After beating Bowser, Mario is dropped off in his home of the Mushroom Kingdom to relax and wind down. This Kingdom, however, has tons of moons all over the place that are really fun to grab and is really pleasing to look at. After all the mayhem the player goes through in the game, the Mushroom Kingdom has no music as to create a feeling of serene relaxation, where Mario can go about his day as he pleases, without worrying about Bowser kidnapping Peach and he can collect a moon or two if he pleases. Mario 64 fans will have a blast in this area, as there are many homages to that game, such as Peach’s Castle music, as well as a whole area where the graphics are downgraded to look like the Courtyard from Mario 64.
2. Sand Kingdom (Tostarena)
This kingdom is practically overflowing with creativity and imagination considering all the things that Mario can do. The main triple moon quest is a blast to go through, and all of the side moons that populate the kingdom are so fun and inventive in how they are hidden. Though this kingdom is gigantic, I never lose where I am because I am always close to a large structure like the upside-down pyramid or the town filled with cute creatures based off of Mexican tradition. Every time I revisit this kingdom, theres something new waiting for me and many cool areas to explore that I had never thought of before.
1. Metro Kingdom (New Donk City)
Most everyone’s number one choice is New Donk City, and it’s really hard to blame them. New Donk City is vibrant, colorful and feels really alive. The beginning boss battle feels like a movie scene in it’s atmosphere and colors, and exploring New Donk City feels fresh and exciting even if you manage to get 100 on the jump-rope game. There’s so much to do and every alley and open building is and adventure in its own right. Hopping from building to building never gets old and trying to find everything the kingdom has to offer will take many hours, but everyone is worth it. The New Donk City festival is possibly the best gaming experience I have ever had, as I was smiling ear to ear and singing “Jump Up, Super Star!” with Mayor Pauline and playing through the first screen of the original Donkey Kong. You have my heart, New Donk City.