• Button Mash

Every 'Animal Crossing' Game, Ranked

List RulesVote up your favorite games in Nintendo's most adorable franchise.

Nintendo's famed social simulation game has come a long way since it was first released on the GameCube back in 2001. In the series, gamers take control of human characters who have free rein to create, build, and maintain an adorable world full of talking animals. There's no violence, no stressful subplots, and no annoying puzzles to overcome: instead, players are given an almost unheard of amount of freedom to explore and create a world they want their avatar to live in. With five console releases and three mobile spin-offs, the best Animal Crossing games feature enough excitement and replay value for every type of gamer.

What's your favorite version of Animal Crossing? New Leaf, which was released on the 3DS, lets gamers assume the role of mayor in their hand-held village, while Animal Crossing: New Horizons was easily one of the most anticipated games on the Nintendo Switch.

Vote up all the best Animal Crossing games so new villagers can see which titles to pick up and play next.


  • Photo: Nintendo

    Unique features: Players get to play as the mayor, which means you're tasked with making sure all the citizens of your tiny town are happy.

    Animal Crossing: New Leaf is a life simulation video game for the Nintendo 3DS console and the fourth main title in Nintendo's Animal Crossing series, where the player character lives in a rural village populated with anthropomorphic animals. In this installment, the player takes on the role of the town mayor instead of a normal villager. The game was first released on November 8, 2012, in Japan and was later released in North America, Europe and Australia in June 2013. The game has received very positive reviews, gaining aggregate scores of 88 and 86.93% on Metacritic and GameRankings, so far making it the highest rated game in the Animal Crossing series.  ...more
    • Release: Nov 08 2012
    • Genres (Video game): Life simulation
    • Platform: Nintendo 3DS
    One of the best?
    Amazon buy button
  • Photo: Nintendo

    Unique features: As the first game in the series, it was originally released on the N64 but in Japan only. It was later updated and released on the GameCube.

    Animal Crossing, known in Japan as Dōbutsu no Mori, is a life simulation video game developed by Nintendo EAD and published by Nintendo. It was originally published for the Nintendo 64 in Japan on April 14, 2001. It was ported to the Nintendo GameCube in Japan later the same year as Dōbutsu no Mori +. It was then released in other countries in 2002-2004. Finally a third version, Dōbutsu no Mori e+, was released only in Japan in 2003. Animal Crossing is an open-ended game in which the player character moves into a village populated with anthropomorphic animals. Throughout the game, the player can interact with the animals as well as other players through the GameCube's memory card. The game  ...more
    • Release: 2001
    • Genres (Video game): Life simulation, Console role-playing game, Role-playing video game
    • Platform: Nintendo 64, GameCube, iQue Player, Nintendo DS
    One of the best?

    Movies And TV Shows Recreated In Animal Crossing#8 of 84 The Best Games That Never End#10 of 14 Wild Video Game Fan Theories That Will Change The Way You Play

    Amazon buy button
  • Photo: Nintendo

    Unique features: An increased attention to detail gives gamers more customizable options than ever before. New features include wearable backpacks, window styles, and more.

    As in previous installments in the Animal Crossing series, New Horizons is a nonlinear life simulation game played in real-time. The player assumes the role of a customizable character who moves to a deserted island after purchasing a vacation package from Tom Nook, a raccoon character who is a staple of the series. The game proceeds in an open-ended fashion as the player explores the island, and develops it into a community of anthropomorphic animals.  ...more
    • Release: 2020
    • Genres (Video game): Social simulation, real-life simulation
    • Platform: Nintendo Switch
    One of the best?
    Amazon buy button
  • Photo: Nintendo

    Unique features: The first 'Animal Crossing' game to feature online multiplayer, The online option was officially shut down in 2014.

    Animal Crossing: Wild World is a 2005 social simulation video game developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo DS handheld game console, and is the second game in the Animal Crossing series. Wild World focuses on living in a remote village populated with anthropomorphic animals, where the player is encouraged to perform any number of tasks, such as collecting and planting. Like all Animal Crossing titles, the game is synced to the console's clock and calendar, allowing the game to be played in real-time, which affects the occurrence of in-game events based on the current time of day or season. Wild World also utilizes Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, which notably allows players to  ...more
    • Release: Nov 23 2005
    • Genres (Video game): Life simulation, Social simulation game, Simulation video game
    • Platform: Nintendo DS
    One of the best?

    #883 of 1,375 The 100+ Best Video Games of All Time, Ranked by Fans#246 of 454 The Most Addictive Video Games of All Time#60 of 91 The Best Life Simulation Games of All Time

    Amazon buy button