With all the talk around the launch (and state) of Nintendo 64 games with the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack, it may well have slipped your notice that Pikmin — the Nintendo RTS series that grew from an idea Shigeru Miyamoto had while chilling in his garden — is now two decades old.
Yes, time marches on and we retro gaming fans feel more decrepit by the day. It was 20 years ago yesterday (26th October) that Pikmin launched in Japan and Nintendo fans got their first look at an IP both disarmingly cute and alarmingly cruel in equal measure. We often think back on the legions of little Pikmin we unwittingly marched to their doom with a tinge of sadness and not a small amount of full-on guilt.
For a series with 20 years under its belt, the number of games in the 'min stable is surprisingly few, with just three mainline games. The first entry and its excellent sequel appeared first on GameCube in 2001 and 2004 respectively before getting New Play Control versions of both came to Wii with added Wiimote controls in 2008/9. Pikmin 3 arrived on Wii U in 2013, and that came to Switch in Deluxe form almost a year ago in October 2020.
Underwhelming 3DS spin-off Hey! Pikmin came and went in 2017, and the spectre of Pikmin 4 has been wafting around in rumours for many years now. We recently got to spend time with the latest addition to the family, Pikmin Bloom — Niantic's latest mobile collaboration with Nintendo and an easy-going, flower-spreading 'sister' title to the world conquering Google Maps-powered Pokémon GO.
So, with the arrival of this 20th anniversary, we thought we'd ask your favourite game in the Pikmin series. Personally, we go back and forth between the elegance and purity of the day cycle in the first game, the expanded horizons and new, non-time limited elements of the second (and its surprisingly fun and robust multiplayer, too), and the incredible HD sheen of the fruit in the third entry. If this writer had to pick, he'd probably go with the New Play Control version of the original game.
But which is your favourite? Let us know by voting in the polls below. We've included ever release and port (and left out Pikmin Bloom because the majority of players are still waiting to get their hands on it thanks to the staggered launch roll out):
Feel free to blow your whistle about the best Pikmin games, characters, and enemies in the comments below, and pay tribute to the many Pikmin you tried to save before they stubbornly insisted on bothering a Bulborb or wandered into a body of water through no fault of your own.