Animal Crossing

While Animal Crossing still feels like a relatively new Nintendo franchise, today actually marks its 20th anniversary.

Yes, the series started out in Japan on 14th April 2001 as a Nintendo 64 title. While Dōbutsu no Mori (otherwise known as Animal Forest) was never released in its original form here in the west, the life simulation eventually got an enhanced local release on the GameCube in 2002 (Dōbutsu no Mori+). The US release followed with a European release in 2004.

To celebrate this milestone, the official game account has today shared some special artwork and the following message:

"It has been 20 years since the "Animal Crossing" series was born. Thank you to everyone who enjoyed it. We look forward to working with you in the future."

Animal Crossing IMG

Since the original game's release, Animal Crossing has gone to become one of Nintendo's major franchises. The characters Isabelle and Villager have even been added to the Super Smash Bros. series. Along with this, there's been a mobile game, amiibo, an animated film and much more.

The latest entry Animal Crossing: New Horizons has shifted more than 30 million units in less than a year and has also received a stack of free updates. It seems this franchise is now doing better than ever!

Animal Forest
Image: via Famitsu

What are your own memories of Animal Crossing over the past 20 years? When did you first play this series? Vote in our poll and leave a comment down below.

What was the first Animal Crossing game you played?