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Donkey Kong series

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Donkey Kong series
Platforms Game & Watch, Arcade, Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Nintendo 64, Gameboy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo Gamecube, Nintendo DS, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, Virtual Console, Nintendo Switch
Genre Platformer, Racer, Educational, Rhythm

The Donkey Kong series is a Nintendo series created by Shigeru Miyamoto of Nintendo.


It started out with Donkey Kong in the Arcade machines which introduced the world to Donkey Kong, Mario, and the platforming genre. The game was a smash hit, and was followed up by two sequels, Donkey Kong Jr. and Donkey Kong 3 and the eventual uprising of a Video Game Industry powerhouse. That to this day is one of, if not the biggest, gaming company in existence. Donkey Kong was then retired as a character until he was eventually brought back in Donkey Kong Country on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.

Donkey Kong Country became the second best selling SNES game because of its use of pre-rendered graphics and its fun platforming gameplay. This game was established by Rare, Ltd. as the Donkey Kong series developers. After two sequels and a spiritual successor trilogy on the Game Boy, the Donkey Kong Country franchise went 3D with Donkey Kong 64, made on the Nintendo 64. Before the 3D adventure, however, Rare, Ltd. also created Diddy Kong Racing, which was very popular, and later spawned two spin-offs (Banjo-Kazooie, and Conker series).

After Nintendo sold off their ownership of Rare, Ltd. to Microsoft, Nintendo handed the franchise to Namco who created the Donkey Konga trilogy, however, this series did not get the wide-spread support of Donkey Kong Country and thus the third game was never released outside Japan. Nintendo then created the next platformer by themselves, titled Donkey Kong Jungle Beat. Jungle Beat was also a flop, and thus the series was given to an unknown Japanese company named Paon. Rare, Ltd. later remade the Donkey Kong Country trilogy on the Game Boy Advance, which received good sales, as well as Diddy Kong Racing DS which sold well. Paon then created DK: King of Swing on the Game Boy Advance, Donkey Kong Barrel Blast on the Wii, and DK: Jungle Climber on the Nintendo DS; none of them did good sales-wise. While Paon was creating their Donkey Kong games, Nintendo created the Mario vs. Donkey Kong series, which was a spiritual successor to the original arcade games.

In 2008, Nintendo asked Retro Studios to develop a new Donkey Kong Country game for the Wii. Retro accepted and after two years in the making, the Wii game Donkey Kong Country Returns was released in 2010. The game was an instant hit, as it was seen as a welcome return to the original series. About three years after DKCR was released, it received a Nintendo 3DS remake called Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D.

In 2014, a sequel to Donkey Kong Country Returns, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, was released. It was also developed by Retro Studios, and the game's main antagonist is Lord Fredrik.

Before Donkey Kong Country was released, Donkey Kong Jr. appeared in Super Mario Kart as one of Mario's biggest characters due to his involvement in the Arcade titles. When it came time for Mario Kart 64, Donkey Kong was added at the last minute, and the game's popularity has put Donkey Kong characters in Mario spin-offs ever since. Donkey Kong characters have appeared in various Mario spin-offs including Mario Party, Mario Kart, Mario Golf, Mario Tennis, Mario Soccer, Mario Hoops 3 on 3, and Mario Baseball. Donkey Kong also appears in the Game & Watch Gallery series, Super Smash Bros. series, and the Punch-out!! series.

List of Donkey Kong games by order of release

List of cancelled games

Spin-off appearances

Mario Sports series

Main article: Mario Sports series

Donkey Kong characters have appeared in many Mario spin-off series. Commonly, Donkey Kong is a heavyweight and slow character in said games.

Mario Party series

Main article: Mario Party series


Donkey Kong characters also make appearances in non-Mario series games.