Generally favorable reviews - based on 77 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 73 out of 77
  2. Negative: 0 out of 77
  1. Jan 6, 2011
    It's on like Donkey Kong once more! This game just oozes the vibe of the old platformgames, and in some ways it feels even more fluid than the original series. The co-op doesn't add much though and the rolling and blowing that you can activate by shaking the Wii-controller sometimes feels contrived or downright irritating.
  2. Dec 10, 2010
    It's a hardcore challenge for the hardcore gamer, and because of its difficulty, it offers an amazing sense of satisfaction when you've completed a level that's kicked your butt five ways to Sunday.
  3. Dec 10, 2010
    It's Oldschool in every aspect – very challenging, but worth every frustrating moment.
  4. Dec 10, 2010
    Donkey Kong Country Returns hits all the right spots; it's filled with childhood nostalgia, stunning visuals, and mentally taxing challenges.
  5. Mar 17, 2011
    It looks and sounds wonderful, it feels great when you play it, it's tons of fun and full of surprises.
  6. Feb 25, 2011
    Fans of classic 2D games, or the original DKC games, owe it to themselves to pick up this amazing return to the franchise. The difficulty is the one area that may throw some gamers for a loop, but with the ability to let the game play itself it becomes a non-issue.
  7. Feb 16, 2011
    In the end Donkey Kong Country Returns is, in my opinion, a long awaited return to a franchise that needed updating. Fear not, DK fans, this title is for you.
  8. Feb 6, 2011
    Levels are fun to play, with a good variety of play mechanics and ever escalating challenge that keeps you pushing for a ridiculously large improvement in your skillbase, only to find an even harder chunk of gameplay around the corner.
  9. Jan 25, 2011
    Everything about Donkey Kong Country Returns is so fluid and smooth. Retro constantly surprises players with new game mechanics, striking set pieces and tons of Donkey Kong charm. This title is quite possibly the definitive side-scrolling platform experience for Wii.
  10. Jan 16, 2011
    Donkey Kong Country Returns definitely has its faults, and we'd wager that the majority of players will never see it all the way through to the end. Yet while the difficulty curve is ridiculous and the multiplayer is quite broken, the game's charm and mystery prevails, giving us some of the same feelings that the original releases did. If you're looking for a serious challenge and don't get frustrated too easily, Donkey Kong Country Returns is worth a look.
  11. Jan 10, 2011
    Donkey Kong Country Returns is a fantastic return to the origins of the series.
  12. Jan 10, 2011
    Donkey Kong is back with a stunning masterpiece signed by Retro Studios. It features marvellous graphics, sounds and a gameplay that will make DK's fans feel in heaven. A must-have for every Wii owner.
  13. 80
    Behind the warm and inviting visuals lies a treacherously difficult platform game. But Donkey Kong Country Returns is as fun as it is hard, and goes to show that the old school 2D platformer is alive and well. There are plenty of gimmicks and new ideas along the way to keep things fresh, and the graphics are absolutely gorgeous.
  14. Jan 5, 2011
    Donkey Kong Country Returns is almost the perfect continuation of the series in many ways. It manages to offer the perfect balance of old and new elements to form what has to be one of the Wii console's finest platforming experiences and a game that should challenge even seasoned fans of the genre.
  15. Jan 5, 2011
    If I had to pick out one glaring fault with Donkey Kong Country Returns, it would be the lack of classic controller support. Old school gamers will be disappointed that it wasn't included, but will be able to adapt to the new controls. However, the rest of the game really fires on all cylinders; dare I say, better than New Super Mario Bros.
  16. Jan 4, 2011
    Even though some things were changed or completely removed (notably the underwater levels), DKC Returns feels a lot like the game we played back in 1994. Needless to say, its a great comeback for our favorite ape.
  17. Jan 3, 2011
    Quotation forthcoming.
  18. 80
    Charming and beautiful, the return of the Kong is almost everything we could have hoped for.
  19. Jan 3, 2011
    Retro Studios has again recovered a veteran Nintendo series with the same result: an excelent game. A beautiful, long, difficult addictive, enjoyable and replayable game which respect Rareware's original works, but adds new features, and gameplay-wise is solid as a stone.
  20. Jan 3, 2011
    Jungle's king comes back in one of the best platform games for Wii. Reinvented, implacable and intrepid, the return of Donkey Kong Country is the best posible thanks to a company that shows its talent again: Retro Studios.
  21. Jan 3, 2011
    One of the best 2D platforms game in the last years.Varied game, full of possibilities and long. Donkey Kong Country Returns has a polished gameplay and briliant artistic designs in the return of the most famous virtual monkey.
  22. Jan 3, 2011
    An excellent 2D hardcore platform that will keep you entertained for a very long period. Good luck if you dare to complete every single level of his eight worlds at 100%.
  23. Jan 2, 2011
    2D platforming is still alive. Retro Studios' latest effort is honest even with its own title: it may not do anything new, but it's just as good as it was sixteen years ago.
  24. Jan 2, 2011
    Longtime fans of gorilla that waited patiently for a return of the acclaimed series Country can get excited, because Returns is very worthy of its title.
  25. Jan 1, 2011
    Retro's re-design of Donkey Kong Country is a major accomplishment to reignite your love for the big ape. Although before you run out a purchase Donkey Kong Country Returns keep in mind this game has an above-average difficulty level that could frustrate the little ones who might be lured in by its colourful cover art.
  26. Jan 1, 2011
    Minor quibbles aside though this is a fantastic game, Retro Studios have once again, like they did with Metroid, revived a long dead franchise successfully.
  27. Jan 1, 2011
    Donkey Kong Country Returns starts strong and offers a great gaming experience to players of any age. That's no small feat but it seems Nintendo has been doing it a lot lately.
  28. Dec 22, 2010
    Both Donkey Kong and Diddy are making a huge comeback and will fill you up with a nostalgic feeling. This game is great to introduce newer generations with the classic Donkey Kong gameplay elements.
  29. Dec 21, 2010
    I cannot recommend this enough to folks who have some platforming chops. It's hard as hell, but incredibly rewarding and genuinely fun.
  30. Dec 18, 2010
    Donkey Kong Country Returns is the best 2-D platform game I've played in ages. Its level design meets the gold standard set by the 2-D Mario games. Retro Studios can add another feather to its cap.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 314 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 72 out of 84
  2. Negative: 5 out of 84
  1. Nov 25, 2010
    Don't listen to johnnynumber, like you can see he's the only one who gave a 0 to the game because he just probably sucks hard on it. DonkeyDon't listen to johnnynumber, like you can see he's the only one who gave a 0 to the game because he just probably sucks hard on it. Donkey Kong Country Returns is a huge achievement and a 2D masterpiece from Retro Studios. Nintendo must be proud of seeing this little company doing wonders like Rare did once upon a time. Brilliant gameplay and level design, fluid animation, very good remixes and some jewels in the new soundtrack, big replay value and tons of collectibles! What to ask more from a DKC game! And it's hard as hell! But unlike johnnynumber, I have skills and didn't use the Super Guide on every level ;) Full Review »
  2. Nov 21, 2010
    An example of returning to 2D and doling it RIGHT unlike some other titles! *cough*sonic 4*cough*
    even with the Wii remote shaking the
    An example of returning to 2D and doling it RIGHT unlike some other titles! *cough*sonic 4*cough*
    even with the Wii remote shaking the controls are tight and very responsive. the levels are beautifully designed and Cranky's shops are very funny.

    great old-school style platforming!
    Full Review »
  3. Nov 22, 2010
    Retro Studios has delivered an awesome title with DKCR. The level of polish is outstanding. This game is fun and challenging. It is worthRetro Studios has delivered an awesome title with DKCR. The level of polish is outstanding. This game is fun and challenging. It is worth buying a Wii for. I simply love it and I can't find any flaws. Fans of this series: It's On Like Donkey Kong AGAIN!! Full Review »