Top Ten Levels in Donkey Kong Country

The Top Ten
1 Blackout Basement

Good factory level with the blackout mechanic making for hilarious moments.

2 Croctopus Chase

We close off the underwater levels now with the best underwater level in the game, Croctopus Chase. Sure, it is the only one where you can't hold on to Enguarde until the very end, but the gimmick is one of the best and most exhilarating in the entire game.

For most of the time, you are being chased by these Croctopuses. They will follow you on a strict path until they reach a destination, and it can be really hectic. You need to be fast, and you're always on your toes. This underwater level also has my favorite look, as the walls are a shining blue. There really isn't anything to complain about in this level, except for the lack of Enguarde mostly, but to be fair, that would've made the level a little too easy.

As it is, it's one of the most hectic yet soothing levels in the game. The only reason it's not higher is because it's a bit basic in concept. The entire level is pretty straightforward. Nothing new really happens throughout the course of the level, which makes it a bit boring at times, and thus it isn't any higher than it is now.

3 Temple Tempest
4 Treetop Town

Looks great, awesome music, and lots of fun blasting out of barrel cannons.

5 Oil Drum Alley
6 Orang-utan Gang
7 Rope Bridge Rumble
8 Vulture Culture

From now on, we reach the Top Ten of this ranking, and I love all the levels here. They could be interchanged, so the fact that this is only the tenth-best level in the game does not mean it's not good, because it is.

The forest theme of Donkey Kong Country is another really appealing and atmospheric theme in the game. What especially draws me to these kinds of levels is just how this forest looks. It's not quite a jungle. It's a bit taiga-related. Taiga is basically the northern spruce belt where spruces are common, and these levels really seem to push for that setting, as there are several spruces in the background.

Vulture Culture is a great level for this theme. It's lively, yet quiet and a bit mysterious, like you're on a walk in the forest. It has some of the most fun barrel segments in the game, where you aim to get rid of as many Neckies as possible. The biggest flaw, I guess, is the overabundance of Mini-Neckies, one of my least favorite enemies in the game. They constantly spit seeds when you least expect them to, which has caused me to become frustrated at times. But it doesn't hinder my overall enjoyment of this great level.

9 Mine Cart Carnage

Unless you count Boss levels, the worst level in not just Donkey Kong Country but also in the entire series, will always be the frustrating Mine Cart Carnage. This level is everything that can go wrong in making a level.

In this level, you ride in a mine cart for the majority of the time, avoiding pits and enemies rushing towards you in their own minecarts. What could possibly go wrong? Well, everything, basically. There's barely any interesting platforming to be found here. The entire level is just riding in this minecart, jumping over huge gaps and making sure you don't get hit by anything.

And doing all of this is hard because the minecart is way, WAY too fast. Sure, you can slow it down by jumping a lot, but then you risk not being able to jump over certain gaps. So, you need super high reflexes to not lose. It would be fine if it was just certain bits that used this gimmick, but a whole level? It gets even worse in the second half when Krashes come in your direction, faster than the speed of light, and you only have a few seconds to jump at the right moment. Mine Cart Carnage is atrocious.

10 Forest Frenzy

Looks nice, stellar music, and great concept that genuinely gets intense towards the end.

The Contenders
11 Platform Perils

Chimp Caverns has had a pretty rough selection of levels thus far, as you can see. Six of its seven levels have been in the bottom ten of this ranking, so it's nice to see that Platform Perils somewhat redeems the world and finishes it off on a decent note.

Platform Perils, as opposed to the rest of the levels in Chimp Caverns, is an actually great level. It's fun and unique enough for me to not brush it off as just another cave level. You traverse this level by walking on arrowed platforms in different directions. Sometimes, these platforms are owned by unstompable enemies, so you need to take them out to get onto that platform before the platform you're currently standing on sinks into the abyss.

It's a REALLY exhilarating level that keeps you on your toes. It's a bit sad that none of the other Chimp Cavern levels were this unique and fun. But at least there is one great level - better one than none.

12 Slipslide Ride

Slipslide Ride is a pretty unique level in Donkey Kong Country, as it is the only level in the entire game whose level theme doesn't reoccur in any other level. In this case, it's the Ice Cave theme, appearing only in Slipslide Ride, which makes it a pretty unique course among its peers.

They couldn't have picked a better level to use the theme on, as Slipslide Ride is one of my favorite levels. From now on, we reach the Top Ten of this ranking, and I love all the levels here. They could be interchanged, so the fact that this is only the tenth-best level in the game does not mean it's not good, because it is. It's downright gorgeous and has an amazing Christmassy little tune to accompany it!

The gimmick is also one of the most unique yet fun in the game, as you traverse this chanty ice cave by using these colored ropes. The blue ones force you to go upwards, and the purple ones do the opposite. So it can be a really hectic ride. It really forces you to pay attention to a level that's gimmicky yet rewarding. Overall, an amazing level.

13 Stop & Go Station

Super unique and fun, and also a tad horrifying.

14 Mine Cart Madness
15 Millstone Mayhem
16 Clam City
17 Coral Capers
18 Ice Age Alley
19 Bouncy Bonanza
20 Snow Barrel Blast
21 Barrel Cannon Canyon
22 Ropey Rampage
23 Jungle Hijinxs
24 Reptile Rumble
25 Torchlight Trouble
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