Generally favorable reviews - based on 77 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 73 out of 77
  2. Negative: 0 out of 77
  1. Dec 10, 2010
    Donkey Kong Country Returns hits all the right spots; it's filled with childhood nostalgia, stunning visuals, and mentally taxing challenges.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Dec 10, 2010
    If you're craving the kind of expertly crafted platforming only Nintendo seems to able to produce, as well as one of the year's best Wii offerings, you'll find DKCR as appealing as a ripe banana.
  5. Dec 18, 2010
    Retro has done an incredible job bringing DKC's traditional mechanics into the world of modern game design. The only thing distinct lament is the absence of more rideable animal buddies. Still, a must-buy.
  6. 88
    The game's skilful courses and challenging, inventive boss battles are a breath of fresh air amongst Wii's all-to-easy competition - and help DKCR remain a pleasingly faithful instalment in one of gaming's greatest ever series.
  7. Mar 17, 2011
    It looks and sounds wonderful, it feels great when you play it, it's tons of fun and full of surprises.
  8. Dec 10, 2010
    It's Oldschool in every aspect – very challenging, but worth every frustrating moment.
  9. Dec 10, 2010
    All in all Donkey Kong Country Returns is a great game.
  10. 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.
  11. Dec 10, 2010
    Donkey Kong Country Returns is a perfect videogame experience, from start to finish.
  12. Dec 10, 2010
    This game is everything the original was and more; it borrows the basic components and rebuilds them into something even more spectacular and cohesive than its precursor.
  13. Dec 10, 2010
    Retro Studios has done a fine job with the Donkey Kong Country concept, ably translating its appeal for a modern platform, but it doesn't push it much further. [Christmas 2010, p.92]
  14. Dec 10, 2010
    This game has the potential to win over a whole new generation, and to do so without eliciting any whinges from those of us old enough to remember the taste of a McRib washed down with Tab Clear.
  15. 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%.
  16. Jan 10, 2011
    Donkey Kong Country Returns is a fantastic return to the origins of the series.
  17. 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.
  18. Jan 3, 2011
    Quotation forthcoming.
  19. 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.
  20. Dec 10, 2010
    It's not only the best Donkey Kong Country, it's also one of the best platformers I've ever played.
  21. Dec 10, 2010
    Donkey Kong Country Returns has a few flaws, but is still an incredibly fun plat former.
  22. Dec 12, 2010
    Gameplay is amazingly true to DKC.
  23. Dec 10, 2010
    Donkey Kong Country Returns was clearly made by fans for fans of the original on the Super Nintendo. For trained gamers, indeed. Because behind its alluring colors and refreshing world and atmosphere, lies a spicy challenge, sometimes even a cruel one. Not all levels are as such, but two types specifically aren't as precisely tuned as the others, and become somewhat frustrating. But the experience is undoubtedly well thought, blessed by inspired mechanics, even if its diversity remains below the original. A great game, but not a Royal one.
  24. 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.
  25. Dec 10, 2010
    Donkey Kong Country Returns could just be the best side-scrolling platformer of this generation.
  26. Dec 10, 2010
    Where the original sold itself at least partially on the "wow" factor of its then-impressive pre-rendered visuals, Donkey Kong Country Returns is all about what matters most in a high-quality platformer: Inspired, challenging, and inventive level design, backed up by a delightful, cartoon-like atmosphere.
  27. Dec 10, 2010
    Donkey Kong Country Returns is a new classic that still manages to pay homage to the source material.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. 80
    Charming and beautiful, the return of the Kong is almost everything we could have hoped for.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 268 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 68 out of 79
  2. Negative: 5 out of 79
  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. 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
    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 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 »