User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 410 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 18 out of 410

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  1. Mar 2, 2014
    10
    I do not play video games very often, and this was the first one I ever finished. The story is fabulous, and I love the characters and art.

    The game gets more difficult at an excellent pace, and it gives you time to go back and level up or practice at worlds you've already beaten.

    The only thing I didn't care for was the gummi ships. I hated having to use it once per level, and I
    never did figure out how to build one or why anyone would want to. I just held down the button to fire the whole time. Expand
  2. Feb 21, 2014
    10
    This is one of the first games I played as a kid, and is my favorite game ever. First off, the combat is really fun, and I don't understand why some people don't like it. It is not a button mashing game at all. If you button mash in this game, you will not make it very far at all. The enemies can BLOCK YOU, so button mashing is a very bad idea. Another thing is the story is amazing. It is easily one of my favorite stories in a video game. There are a few really great plot twists, notably at Hollow Bastion, a world later in the game. If you don't play the game past that world, you are missing a lot of amazing cut scenes. Overall, this is still one great RPG. Expand
  3. Jan 15, 2014
    9
    Great combination of the worlds of Final Fantasy and Disney. I was shocked when I read the announcement. FF and Disney? This can not go .... But it worked. And it came out perfectly! Divine (for ps2) graphics, divine music, divine storyline, divine combat system, divine gameplay ... DIVINE GAME. I would recommend it to everyone!
  4. Dec 26, 2013
    8
    Engaging adventure that you should take. Brilliant art style, orchestral score, good voice acting, original story and new kind of RPG gameplay. Interested? Wonky camera and plot holes are few downsides.
  5. Oct 29, 2013
    8
    This game measures up story-wise to good RPG standards, at times it's very cheesy, but it works. The button mashing system is plain and simple but effective. The characters are memorable with some guest appearances from square that add to the likability. The music is epic, but the mini games and ship upgrading eventually become tedious. Navigation in this game is linear but sometimes messy, the brightest spot in the game to me was the coliseum challenge, it added depth and worthy challenges. Overall it is worth a shot, but it is not for everyone, this is a good place to start in RPG gaming. Expand
  6. Oct 26, 2013
    9
    ah, kingdom hearts. one of the most unique and magical experiences i've had in gaming. the story is interesting, the voice acting is top-notch, the battle system is one of the most creative i've seen in rpgs, although it is kind of simple and i do think there could have been more abilities you could use it is still a great game. but this is just the first, the other games the other games offer even more excitement to enjoy. Expand
  7. Sep 25, 2013
    10
    This game is by far one of my all time favorite games around! It was the game that actually made me buy a PS2 in the first place. It has such an amazing storyline, fantastic characters, and takes you inside the world of Disney in a very interesting and unique way. I was crazy over this game for so long and still love it to this day. I would rate it so much higher if I was able to. It deserves any praise it gets. Expand
  8. Sep 3, 2013
    8
    Overall, Kingdom Hearts is an enjoyable experiences. I will admit that the game has some big problems that are annoying that can and in a lot of cases have turned people off to the game like the lack of direction there are some redeeming factors. The story is good, the Disney worlds look great, the score is wonderful, combat is fun, and some of the side stuff is enjoyable. There is a lot of good stuff in this game which is why am able to enjoy it despite some annoyances I have with the game. And I was not the only one. Lots of people enjoyed this game and it became a hit, which led to numerous sequels which all spanned from this original game. If you have not played it yet I’d say check it out. If you have a PS2 just get the game because it is probably real cheep by now and you have nothing to lose by buying it. If you have a PS3 than I’d say rent the HD Collection if you are unsure because some people can and have been turned off by the game and you could to. But I am not. Even though the game has problems I still enjoy it, have a lot of fun playing, and continue to play it to this day Expand
  9. Sep 1, 2013
    10
    This is my favorite video game of all time. I have beaten the game over ten times and it still never gets old or boring. what makes it such a good game is how.it has disney character s mixed.in with final fantasy. The game also has a lot of emotion and a lot heart breaking moments making it have a good story line. any one into magic, upgrades, hearts, weapons, love, disney, or final fantasy will love this game. Expand
  10. Jul 2, 2013
    10
    Few game series have ever conveyed such depth and emotion in their games and stayed loyal to fans the way Kingdom Hearts has. This being the beginning of the series it deserves a lot of credit. I was a lot younger when this game first came out and didn't fully appreciate all the amazing character development, story, and other amazing concepts in this game, but I still loved the game for the characters and worlds. People tend to get lost in the story due to it's multiplatform approach, the main villain isn't even shown on console but instead in Birth by Sleep, nonetheless fans are willing to go that distance in order to experience something truly amazing. Some people can't understand how fans are so in love with this series and they possibly never will. The people on Metacritic who undercut this game are simplistic i their thinking and create their reviews to anger true fans. This series deserves better, if you want to get lost in the best series ever made here is the starting line. Expand
  11. Jun 27, 2013
    10
    A game so good in both story and gameplay, you have to play it for yourself. The best thing about the game is the story, combined with the huge ensemble of characters, and worlds you explore. The climax of the game is so eerie and exciting, its hard to say it isn't a near-perfect game. The game only gets better and better, and more mature themes are present later in the game. Everything in the game has payoff, whether it be starting out with a wooden sword, to later calling fire and thunder to wipe out a group of enemies, or seeing the characters change and mature throughout the game. Probably the best PS2 game of all time. Expand
  12. Jun 3, 2013
    10
    Kingdom hearts is probably one of the best games ever made. The plot initially seems simple but, going forward with the game, it will become more interesting. The mode of the game is really interesting because you can fight with two other computer-controlled characters, the huge variety of department magical abilities (AP) that can be unlocked As you go along and they can improve in tactical field, the evocations that can be made along with other characters and equipment much pot (you can also equip the other two characters). Interesting that in this game I match put many Disney characters and the world of Final Fantasy. Expand
  13. Mar 14, 2013
    7
    Better then average RPG, which profits from the Disney and Final Fantasy Characters with a disapointing and way to simple battle system. Story is just absurd.
  14. Mar 1, 2013
    10
    This is my favorite game of all time and always will be, and I have good reason for it. Almost everything in this game is perfect. Fun, engaging gameplay will keep you playing it for hours upon hours until you beat it. The soundtrack is one of the most beautiful soundtracks in all of gaming, good voice acting too with great voices for all of the Disney characters and the main characters. The environments in the game are crafted beautifully, especially for a PS2 game, the Disney worlds gave SquareSoft a lot of diversity to put into to the games graphical style. The game should easily be fun for everyone with a challenging difficulty that's not too hard, but it's not very easy as well, any gamer would like the difficulty. The best part about the game is the story though, it should please any gamer. I'm not going to give anything away about the story because I feel that if you're going to play the game that you should experience it for yourself, because that can make just a little better. I will say that the story is very depressing and sad, but in my opinion that's the best kind of story, the kind that make you emotional and make you care about it. I literally have one, and only one problem with the game, and that's the camera. The camera is a bit weird in small areas and is a bit disorienting, but it's not really a big deal. You'll only get annoyed by it in a few areas of the game that are just small areas, but you don't really need to go to places like that a lot. As I said before, this game is nearly perfect in every way, and it's an easy recommendation for any person who likes video games. Your life is not complete until you've played Kingdom Hearts, and I mean that. Expand
  15. Feb 9, 2013
    7
    This game while revolutionary is flawed and hasn't aged very well. The camera is not the best to start with and the gummi ship portions were boring and there was a little too much focus put on them. There are also unskippable cutscenes, which mixed with punishing difficulty spikes for boss battles will have you prepared to throw your playstation out the window. The idea of the game is very inventive however and visiting the disney worlds feels magical. The combat is a little shallow but fun and as I previously mentioned the difficulty spikes are annoying. Expand
  16. Jan 30, 2013
    8
    A really fun and unique game. Absolutely fantastic visuals, great Disney characters, fun gameplay and decent voice acting. The combat mechanics are really great, but are hampered by annoying camera controls at times. The plot is ....... OK, I can not say it is bad just a bit uninteresting. Sora is a bit flat as a character and it is really hard to identify with him. He is a rather generic JRPG protagonist. Some of the side quests and mini-games do feel a little underwhelming or just under developed. Overall: Regardless of its minor flaws it is a fun game that is highly enjoyable. It truly does feel like a Disney game, just a shame the Square aspects fall a little flat. Expand
  17. Jan 22, 2013
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. When you put Final Fantasy characters and Disney Characters together in the same game and try to make a masterpiece of epic proportion, you get Square Soft's Kingdom Hearts. This unlikely action RPG has been getting heads rolling and some tilting in confusion of this strange crossover between two franchise you would probably never see together. But the game has created a huge fanbase and sparked many sequels and prequels into the series. Story: The main character of the game is Sora, a 14 year old boy who lives on Destiny Island who dreams of venturing to different worlds due to the fact that his best friend Kairi was originally from a different world. They were all set to go until a storm sent him through a wormhole and he was forced to face off against the creatures of the dark known as the Heartless. Sora also obtained the mysterious weapon known as the Keyblade and teams up with Donald Duck and Goofy to find his friends, the missing king of Disney Castle and save the worlds from being destroyed by the Heartless.

    Gameplay: Like an other type of RPG, you have to level up your player character and your party, Sora is the only character you can play with in the game since he's the main protagonist of the series. Like in Final Fantasy, Spells and Items have been brought into play, and also character classes as well. Donald is a Mage, while Goofy is a Knight. On the journey after finishing a world, you will receive a new Keyblade to a equip which may give you a certain type of bonus that might affect your status, strength, health, or magic. Also depending on the world you are in you might get an ally who is native to that world (ex: Peter Pan, Tarzan, or Beast). As an Action RPG, the game isn't too difficult and easy to figure out, even though you can mash the x button to keep attacking your opponent, there is still some strategy to the game like adding equipment, healing party members, and using magic against certain enemies, it is also important to change in variety of strategy to attack enemies because some enemies might not be easy to just bash in the face the entire time. When fighting the Darkside Boss, I found using the Thundaga spell easier then waiting to hit the boss in the face.

    Music: The music of the game is very good, and memorable as well, I find myself humming the theme to Kingdom Hearts from time to time. Also in the Disney World, some recognizable to tunes can be heard.

    Difficulty: The main campaign of the game isn't that hard as long as you know how to play an RPG in the right way, to newcomers, you may 2 or 3 times against a boss. Optional things might prove to be a challenge later on like the Phantom Boss, you can not be hit by physical attacks.
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  18. Oct 27, 2012
    9
    At first glance, a Disney/Final Fantasy cross-over game seems preposterous. But the product itself is incredible. I first played this game back in 2003, when my family got a PlayStation 2. The dark themes and the Heartless scared the heck out of me to begin with - albeit I was quite young. I didn't actually finish the game until 2007, because I had finally gotten how it worked by then. Since then, I've played through it again at least half a dozen times. This is one of my all-time favourite games. There's lots to love about it. The combat is enjoyable to its core, though heavily relies on button-mashing. The story line is touching and well thought-out. The graphics and sounds are beautiful. The worlds and characters are very authentic and a real treat. And there's still plenty to do outside the main story, such as finding all 99 Dalmatian puppies, or winning all the extra Colosseum matches. True, the game does have its flaws. The combat system can become tedious and you'll practically break the X button, there's a lack of characters other than the cameos and the main original characters, the Gummi Ship was generally boring and made worse due to the fact that it's mandatory early in the game, and there's no way to skip the cutscenes. Still, I think this game is definitely worth playing through again and again. I found it to be so good that the entire Kingdom Hearts saga has become a must-have for me. Any RPG, Disney or Final Fantasy fan will get a kick out of this. Expand
  19. Sep 21, 2012
    9
    Fantastic game and story line but as in most new B-games it has a few downsides.
    Pros: Good graphs, Nostalgic story but still very cheesy and childish. YOu actually need to block instead of just mash your buttons. Good music, Gameplay works.
    Cons: Bad voice acting, Camera are a bit difficult to handle, characters are a little to lolita but otherwise a great game
  20. Aug 18, 2012
    10
    One of my favorite games of all time!! I think it's safe to say that this game will stand the test of time!! It's that amazing! A merging of Square and Disney seems unlikely, but once you've played it, you'll be engrossed in this spellbinding adventure. The story is whimsical and heartwarming, traveling to a different Disney world feels wonderful, and the combat, though it may be simple, is very fun, though it would be much better with major readjustments to the camera. With that little flaw aside, this is a game that your PS2 cannot be without!! Expand
  21. Jul 28, 2012
    8
    I'm writing this review as a "converted" fan. At first, I hated this game with a passion; the camera was absolutely atrocious, the control scheme was different. The dialogue was alright, but it seemed jumpy at times. After getting stuck on every boss, I just gave up for a few months.

    To like this game, you will need patience. If you're expecting to just jump in and kick ass, play Jak
    and Daxter instead; this game does not give you any breaks. I'd call it a wake-up call for me, because it was literally one of the nicest looking, but difficult games I had ever played at the time. This was around 2009.

    After manning up and actually playing this monster, I found it to be very enjoyable. The music is excellent, but the song snippets used in every world are very short and get repetitive. The character models were pretty good for 2001, the combat is really fun (as apposed to Final Fantasy's clunky combat system) and the story is simple, but great.

    I'm giving this an 8 because of the memorable music, great voiceacting (despite a few bugs here and there) and great story. It misses out on a 10 because the control scheme takes some getting used to and usually ends up messing with your muscle memory, and because that **** CAMERA.
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  22. Jun 24, 2012
    10
    Definately in my top 3 best PS2 games of all time and in probably my top 10 games of all time. This game has a great story, fun platforming mechanics, an interesting Disney/Final Fantasy mixed world, great music, and very well done graphics especially in cut scenes. If you have a PS2 this is definitely a game worth shelling out a few bucks for. Im kind of hoping they have an HD collection come out for the PS3 sometime and maybe the porting of a couple of the DS and PSP games over to the PS3. Expand
  23. Jun 9, 2012
    9
    A great, fun game. The story is fun and enjoyable and the combat is pretty good. The gummi ship and camera are kinda meh but overall its one of the best PS2 games.
  24. May 27, 2012
    10
    An Amazing game and one of my favorite games of all time! Disney and Square Enix characters together??!! What better combo than that! I always wanted to play a game with my childhood favorite characters in it...and this game does it the best. You feel like this world is a real world with real danger. And your favorite characters are real too! You want to see them get thru their ordeal!
  25. Mar 16, 2012
    9
    A fantastic start to a franchise. Square pulls all the stops for this great Action-RPG: great story, great settings, fluid (if somewhat simple) battle system, and fantastic PS2-era graphics. The story is one of the best of the PS2 and perfectly sets up its line of sequels. It does have it's problems, though. The camera is very flawed, the abilities don't have much of an effect compared to the later games, and some oddly corny writing in some of the Disney worlds that are more filler than advancing the plot. Overall, its a solid, very fun RPG that pulls off its premise with flying colors. Expand
  26. Dec 29, 2011
    10
    Played this game for the first time 10 years after it was made. The greatest game I've ever played. Great simple story, loving characters, great voice acting. Everything you could ask for.
  27. Dec 26, 2011
    9
    The first game I ever own with the first gaming system I ever own. The score I give this game is mostly based on the fond memory I had as a kid playing this game. Its the games you play as a kid that is the most memorable with the most impact. I won't review this game critically since my judgement will be biased based on the fact its the first game I ever own. But I'm sure even if I never played this game before and just picked it up yesterday I'll still find it very enjoyable. Expand
  28. Dec 1, 2011
    9
    Now I have to admit, whenever I hear about a new Kingdom Hearts game, I go mental (except for Kingdom Hearts 365 1/2 Days). When I first got this game, I thought it was one of those games that wasn't getting that much hype and wasn't fun to play, but I was way, WAY wrong. Kingdom Hearts is a great RPG, but not the same type that you would expect from something like The Witcher 2, with all of the swords, medieval like worlds and girls. Kingdom Hearts still has a lot of collecting. There's collecting key-chains, collecting new and more powerful weapons for your companions, Donald and Goofy to use, and collecting blocks in space missions, Kingdom Hearts is still an RPG and a great one too. The game also has the perfect amount of challenge, even after having this game for a few years now, I still haven't beaten the last boss. Fail, yes I know. The only thing I think they should improve on, is the combat, you'll mainly be pressing the attack button for most of the game, but when you get near the end of the game, you start to get some really awesome stuff. Expand
  29. Nov 18, 2011
    10
    Incredible RPG-Action game made by Squareenix featuring the beloved Squareenix and Disney characters all in the same universe fighting against the evil heartless who threaten to destroy their world. This game contains old classic disney characters, their worlds and the music as playable stages. You take the role of Sora who team up with Donald and Goofy to save the worlds from the heartless. Storyline, Music, Graphics all perfect score bundled with incredible gameplay and nostalgia. Expand
  30. Sep 17, 2011
    10
    I can't keep track of how many times I've played this. I've even made my own strategy guide, not that I need one. I love visiting all the different Disney movies, I think the only bad thing I would say is I wish they included more! I also love that they managed to rally together almost all the original voice actors to all these movies.
Metascore
85

Generally favorable reviews - based on 46 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 43 out of 46
  2. Negative: 0 out of 46
  1. The battles that unfold are as beautful as they are intense, and as difficult as they are easy to manhandle. [Oct 2002, p.76]
  2. To say that Kingdom Hearts is magical is an understatement. As cinematic experiences go, it's exquisite. It's not the finest in terms of action, but overall, it's wonderful. [Oct 2002, p.74]
  3. Has a few flaws, but its unique character pairings and jaw-dropping graphics make this a remarkable RPG.