Best Worlds in Donkey Kong Country

What are the best worlds in one of the best 2D platformers of all time, Donkey Kong Country? Let's find out.
The Top Ten
1 Vine Valley

Vine Valley. I can go back to this world any day of the week. It's one of the most interesting and fun worlds in any Donkey Kong Country game. The theme for this world is one of the most interesting as well. We all know the Donkey Kong family lives in a jungle habitat, a kind of forest, so obviously the first world in the game happens to be jungle-themed. Then you go over to the third world, and you have another forest-themed world, a taiga. If you don't know what a taiga forest is, it's what we have in Scandinavia, lots of spruce trees and a bit colder than jungles.

Only two levels in this world are taiga-related, Vulture Culture and Forest Frenzy. Both are really great levels with a nice atmosphere and challenge. The rest of the levels are great too. Clam City, unfortunately, happens to be my least favorite water level, but it's still great. One of the best levels in not just this world but in the game as well is Treetop Town, one of the most unique level themes in the game. It's hard to explain exactly what makes this level so great, whether it be the curious setting or the mysterious music that accompanies it. It's amazing.

Temple Tempest, in my opinion, is the better of the two ruins-themed levels in the game. This one's got more danger to it, as you're chased by Gnawties in wheels, and you really need to be on your toes. Queen B. is actually a pretty decent boss for being in Donkey Kong Country 1. It's a bit more original and doesn't go down in 10 seconds. The worst level, Orang-Utan Gang, is also great. The sunset really sets the mood for it, and let's be real, all jungle levels in this game are great.

So, there you have it. Vine Valley is my favorite world in this game.

2 Gorilla Glacier

Gorilla Glacier is when Donkey Kong Country takes a leap in difficulty, as levels become increasingly harder, starting from this fourth snowy world. It's not just that platforming becomes more challenging, but with the snow theme comes ice physics, which also makes levels harder.

But the ice physics aren't much of a problem, luckily, and even then, only two of the levels take place in an overworld snowy environment. Both of them, Snow Barrel Blast and Ice Age Alley, are great courses.

This world actually has no bad level, as even the worst level, Torchlight Trouble, is alright. It gives us the first glimpse of the animal buddy Squawks, who would get a larger role in the following games, as he just holds up a flashlight in this installment. Rope Bridge Rumble is the worse of two treetop levels but still is great, something we'll discuss later. And while Really Gnawty isn't a good boss, it's far from the worst one.

My favorite levels in this unique world, though, are Slipside Ride and Croctopus Chase. The former is the only ice-themed cave level, and it tackles a lot of unique gimmicks without feeling overdone. Croctopus Chase is one of my favorite levels in the game, enough said.

Overall, Gorilla Glacier is amazing. But not as amazing as...

3 Kremkroc Industries, Inc.

Ranking the top three worlds was one of the hardest choices I've ever made. All of these are amazing, and I wouldn't mind playing them repeatedly. As a child, my favorite world was always the complexly titled Kremkroc Industries, Inc. You probably expected to see this in first place since it's popular in the fandom, but I've noticed more flaws in it as I've grown older.

This world looks really ugly and polluted at first glance on the world map, but it's surprisingly vibrant with many good levels. Mine-Cart Madness is essentially what Mine Cart Madness in Monkey Mines should've been. Instead of riding on a minecart for the entire level, trying to avoid things coming at you at blazing speeds, this level is a mix of minecarting and platforming, making it much more interesting. Poison Pond has a pretty uncooperative camera, but it's still great. The fact that we're traversing a green lake is something we don't see often in video games.

The stars of this world are the factory-themed levels, Oil Drum Alley and Blackout Basement. These contain probably the best song in the entire game, Fear Factory. It was only used in two levels, but it couldn't have been better prioritized. Oil Drum Alley is in my top ten levels in the game, and Blackout Basement might be my favorite level in the entire game. They're some of the most creative and appealing levels in DKC, and I can't see why anyone wouldn't like them.

So why isn't this world higher? It has three bummers. One is Trick Track Trek. I don't hate this level, but as a non-automatic auto-scroller, I often get bored with it. Elevator Antics is also disappointing, as there are barely any elevators. Finally, Boss Dumb Drum is the most atrocious joke of all time. It's the worst boss battle because you don't even attack it. What's a boss battle you can't attack?

So, this is why this world isn't higher. On one hand, it has some of the best levels, but on the other, it has some of the worst.

4 Kongo Jungle

Kongo Jungle is the very first world in not only Donkey Kong Country as a game but also in Donkey Kong Country as a franchise. You already knew that. Everyone knows Kongo Jungle is one of the most memorable worlds in 2D gaming, and it's great too. It's a generally simplistic world with not too much difficulty but still manages to be creative and unique in its own way. The very first level, Jungle Hijinxs, has more secrets than I can possibly remember, and that's an amazing start for a game.

Every other level is pretty good too. Ropey Rampage is a really chill nighttime level where you need to avoid bees using vines. Barrel Cannon Canyon gives us a first glimpse of how to use blasting barrels. Reptile Rumble introduces us to the amazing world of underground levels in DKC. Trust me, underground levels in this game rock. They've got such a calming and natural vibe to them, as opposed to the more redundant bluish worlds in Mario games. Coral Capers is also a good level. Donkey Kong Country is so far the only platforming game to do underwater levels right in my opinion. Most water levels in games are slow and tedious, but in this game, swimming controls feel more swift, and the amazing music helps too.

Unfortunately, Very Gnawty is as lame of a boss as you can get, but it doesn't bring down the world. I've mentioned nearly just positives for this world, so why isn't it in first place? While it is a very great world, it's not extraordinary. That's what prevents it from being number one on my ranking. It's a really memorable world, but it's not complex or interesting enough to be the best one.

5 Gangplank Galleon

Gangplank Galleon is the final world, or level, in the game. This world is a pirate ship and it consists of merely one level, which has the same name, Gangplank Galleon. And it houses the final boss, and a pretty good one at that, King K. Rool.

This is easily the best boss battle in the original Donkey Kong Country, as it's challenging, unique, and appealing, in contrast to every other boss battle which was only "good" at best. This final battle is amazing. Not as good as Kaptain K. Rool in DKC2, but it's up there. You've got a jolly pirate theme, which surprisingly fits the atmosphere well to start off with. And the battle itself keeps you on your toes, especially with the fake credits scene, which is probably the greatest twist in the entire series.

Everything about this fight is amazing, and it's easily one of the greatest levels in the game, if not the greatest. So why isn't it higher? Well, it's just that. It's ONE single level. And while it's an amazing one, it would be kind of unfair to rank it above several worlds that actually contain multiple levels.

Overall, Gangplank Galleon is great, but if it had more levels, it would've easily blown several of the worlds above it out of the water.

6 Monkey Mines

Monkey Mines is #5 on my list. I have to say, from this point on in the ranking, I love all of these level collections. They're part of what makes Donkey Kong Country the charming game it is, and I wouldn't mind playing this world if I had to. It's a great world.

So many classics can be found in Monkey Mines, the rocky, mountainous second world of the game. It starts off amazingly with Winky's Walkway, a really nice and soothing mine-themed level, which introduces you to Winky the Frog, one of my personal favorite animal buddies.

Bouncy Bonanza is my favorite underground-themed level in this game. It's got a dark color palette, and with the soothing music, it makes for one of the most pleasing levels in the game.

Millstone Mayhem is one of the most atmospheric levels in the entire game, with the abandoned ruins theme. Necky is one of the better "easy bosses," and Stop & Go Station is a slightly unappealing level that still manages to be fun thanks to the unique gimmick of turning these robo-kritters on and off.

So why isn't this higher? Well, you could say the other worlds are even better, but it can be answered in three words: Mine Cart Carnage. My least favorite level in the game. It is pure chaos, and I don't like it. It's trial and error whether you win or not. You only need good reflexes, not good platforming skills. Nothing feels worse than seeing a Krash come out of nowhere and ruin your day. And this is the SECOND level of the SECOND world. Enough said.

Overall, Monkey Mines is a great world, but it was slightly ruined by one terrible level.

7 Chimp Caverns

In last place on this list, we have Chimp Caverns, the sixth and final full world in Donkey Kong Country. If I'm going to be honest, this is a bit of a letdown for the final collection of levels before the last boss. I'll say this: I don't dislike any world in this game, and the same goes for every Donkey Kong Country game. This trilogy of games has one of the finest selections of levels and worlds in any video game I've played.

However, I've never really enjoyed Chimp Caverns all that much, and I'd honestly consider it underwhelming for the last world before the final boss. My main problem is how dull it is. The theme for this world is underground, and nothing else. While I don't mind the normal underground theme, I really couldn't care less for Misty Mine and Loopy Lights, two of the most unappealing levels in the game. They're foggy, dark, and just annoying, with the worst song in the game.

The other levels aren't bad, just kind of unmemorable. Tanked Up Trouble and Platform Perils are non-automatic auto-scrollers, meaning levels that aren't quite auto-scrollers but still require you to move at a certain pace, through platforms, for example. Manic Mincers is probably the least dull level in this world, as it's more of a classic underground level in contrast to the Misty Mine types, but it still feels a bit too gimmicky.

The boss battle, Master Necky Snr., is quite good though. He's a reskin of an earlier fight, only better and more challenging. The Game Boy Color port of this game also had an additional level in this world, Necky Nutmare, which I've never actually played since I don't own a GBC, but it seems cool as it's another classic underground level.

Overall, Chimp Caverns is a kind of dull world. I don't hate it, but I wouldn't mind not playing it either. Two of the levels are pretty unappealing, while the others are just forgettable. Moving on.