I love the idea of the Kingdom Hearts games. Problem is, I have missed out on playing most of them, especially the early ones. There are quite a few games in the series now, and I don't really relish the idea of going back and playing every single one - some are hard to find, and they do span a variety of gaming consoles. Not to mention the sheer time I would have to spend playing all of the games.

I am intrigued by Kingdom Hearts 3D( Dream Drop Distance), however. It looks like it would be a lot of fun to play, and it is on a system I already own (the 3DS). If I have never played any other Kingdom Hearts game, will I be totally lost in the story and have no idea what is going on? Or will I still be able to enjoy the game as it is, without having all the backstory?

If not, what is the minimum I have to play from the series to make sure I get all of the needed story and other elements?

4 Answers 4


I want to say KH 1 is necessary but I know a few people who had skipped it and just played KH 2 and felt adequately caught up.

KH: Chain of Memories is only important if you're going to play KH: 358/2 days. KH2 has a pretty good recap of what you missed in this game. I hated the game-play in that game so much--that after I played through it the first time, I promised myself to only relive that game through Youtube.

KH 2 is important so I recommend playing that first (or 2nd if you're playing KH 1)

KH: 358/2 days--I initially thought was not a crucial game in the series but there is one character that is only introduced and explained in that game that appears to play a part in in KH Dream Drop Distance. How important this character is to the series is debatable... so I wouldn't put that as a priority but maybe play it when you've got the time.

KH: Birth by Sleep is probably a requirement but I won't know how much recap is in KH Dream Drop Distance until it's released in the U.S., but there is A LOT of important info in that game that explains the characters ties to each other.

KH: Coded is not really important... you'll confirm some suspicions about some of the characters but no jaw-dropping reveals.

Also a good chunk of the KH Dream Drop Distance story bring attention to the characters and plot of The World Ends With You, and it is a great and suspenseful game. But like the Final Fantasy characters, these characters are probably just a good side story to the KH series itself.

  • I would argue that Chain of Memories is important to understand the setup of KH2.
    – Shinrai
    Jul 2, 2012 at 20:30
  • The only important parts I recall (all about explaining the setup of the Organization and the aftermath of Riku's choices) are explained in Jiminy's journal in KH2 as the player unlocks scenes in Radiant Garden. Back when KH2 was announced, EGM sources said that KH Chain of Memories was not required to follow KH2. Whether EGM was correct or not, I would agree that Chain of Memories is helpful... but not an important prerequisite to KH2, since there is not much if any new info that is not explained in KH2.
    – Jesslyn
    Jul 3, 2012 at 16:51
  • Very true that it's mostly covered in KH2 eventually, but a lot of it is a good ways into the game. (And in response to you disliking the gameplay, I'd point out that RE:Chain of Memories is much smoother and easier but otherwise identical in plot.)
    – Shinrai
    Jul 3, 2012 at 17:57
  • That's true the info is not accessible until about half-way through the game--I just don't think the info is even that important until KH2 explains it. (I've played RE: Chain of Memories too, I still hate it. Watching yours and your opponents cards and utilizing on the fly sorting and addition can't be helped imo)
    – Jesslyn
    Jul 3, 2012 at 18:08

So, in truth, to get the gist of everything, you could just play Kingdom Hearts 1 & 2 and understand most of it. That said, to get more out of it you would likely also want to play Birth By Sleep because the story is about

Riku and Sora obtaining the mark of mastery

which is introduced in BBS. It is also said that the game will have ties to the plots from both KH: Coded and KH: 358/2, but I am a hardcore fan and I haven't played either of those.

And with all of that said, there are a lot of sites that have in depth analysis of plots of all of them (and all of the cutscenes in every game; rabid fan bases do that) so you could likely get away with playing none of them, and just reading/watching those.

But, of course, I would always recommend and least KH 1 and 2 (and I'm loving Birth By Sleep so far) as they are just good RPGs and they are both on PS2 so you don't have to worry about the crazy amount of consoles the series spans.


No, you do not to play like any. Maybe a few would be necessary but not totally. You see, Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance reflects on every Kingdom Hearts game. If that's not enough, get the Mark of Mastery Edition and it comes with cards that tell all about every Kingdom Hearts game!


If you go on youtube there are plenty of videos recapping the entirety of the games or the basic story line to help newcomers catch up. I too didn't want the hassle of having to buy a few new systems just to get the basics down but I did my research then got Dream Drop and I enjoyed the heck out of it. Not only that, but now I really want to play the older games...so I guess I will have to invest in the system for the remix ones.

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