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Kingdom Hearts Chronological Order: Timeline Explained For All Games

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By now, I’m sure you’ve heard that Kingdom Hearts is a confusing series. While this may be true, there are many ways to avoid confusion. The easiest and fastest way is to know when, chronologically, each game takes place. This guide will not only tell you that, but it will also give suggestions on the best way to play these nine games based upon what you want to get out of the story. So, let’s dive in!

Kingdom Hearts Chronological Order

The order of the games are pretty straightforward, with one or two exception. The confusion here comes with the titles of each game. For instance, Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days may just sound like gibberish. However, the title signifies this game’s story spans 358 days across two characters.

So here is the game order in regards to the Kingdom Hearts’ timeline. All are available in some capacity on PlayStation 4 in Kingdom Hearts I.5 + II.5, Kingdom Hearts II.8, or Kingdom Hearts: The Story So Far.


 

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Kingdom Hearts: Backcover

Backcover is actually an original CGI movie, showing the events leading up to the infamous Keyblade War. It’s a new look on an existing smartphone game called Kingdom Hearts: Union χ.

  • Platform: PS4
  • Game Collection: Kingdom Hearts II.8 (PS4), Kingdom Hearts: The Story So Far (PS4)

 

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Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep

Birth By Sleep serves as the starting point of the Kingdom Hearts storyline we know. It was once a PSP game and a vital part of the story. Though, it never appeared on a PlayStation home console until the PS3.

  • Platform: PSP, PS3, PS4
  • Game Collection: Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep (PSP), Kingdom Hearts II.5 (PS3), Kingdom Hearts I.5 + II.5 (PS4), Kingdom Hearts: The Story So Far (PS4)

 

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Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep 0.2: A Fragment Passage

This is the most recent game in terms of release. However, this is more of a tech demo to Kingdom Hearts III and is meant to show what takes place after Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep. This also leads into the end of Kingdom Hearts.

  • Platform: PS4
  • Game Collection: Kingdom Hearts II.8 (PS4), Kingdom Hearts: The Story so Far (PS4)

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Kingdom Hearts

The game that started it all. Kingdom Hearts our first introduction to Sora and his friends.

  • Platform: PS2, PS3, PS4
  • Game Collection: Kingdom Hearts (PS2), Kingdom Hearts I.5 (PS3), Kingdom Hearts I.5 + II.5 (PS4), Kingdom Hearts: The Story So Far (PS4)

 

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Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories

This game was originally a Gameboy Advance game in Japan. Later on, it was remade into a PS2 game for America and Europe. This game is a critical story to explain what happens between Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II.

  • Platform: PS2, PS3, PS4
  • Game Collection: Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories (PS2), Kingdom Hearts I.5 (PS3), Kingdom Hearts I.5 + II.5 (PS4), Kingdom Hearts: The Story So Far (PS4)

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Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days

358/2 was skipped by many. For others, it is an emotionally engaging game. This game was originally released for the Nintendo DS. It is now adapted into a movie made of updated cutscenes from the original game. This game follows what Roxas is doing during the last events of Kingdom Hearts, the entirety of Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories, and ends at the first few hours of Kingdom Hearts II.

  • Platform: PS3, PS4
  • Game Collections: Kingdom Hearts I.5 (PS3), Kingdom Hearts I.5 + II.5 (PS4), Kingdom Hearts: The Story So Far (PS4)

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Kingdom Hearts II

A game most consider to be the only game they need to play, besides Kingdom Hearts before Kingdom Hearts III. This was the first game when we as Kingdom Hearts fans realized this series was way bigger than we thought.

  • Platform: PS2, PS3, PS4
  • Game Collection: Kingdom Hearts II (PS2), Kingdom Hearts II.5 (PS3), Kingdom Hearts I.5 + II.5 (PS4), Kingdom Hearts: The Story So Far (PS4)

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Kingdom Hearts Re: Coded

Re:Coded was originally a mobile phone game that eventually turned into a Nintendo DS game. The game follows a digital Sora trying to restore the information in Jiminy Cricket’s journal that was lost during the events of Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories. This game has been remade once again as a movie for PS3 and PS4, using game cutscenes upscaled for the new systems.

  • Platform: PS3, PS4
  • Game Collections: Kingdom Hearts II.5 (PS3), Kingdom Hearts I.5 + II.5 (PS4), Kingdom Hearts: The Story So Far (PS4)

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Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance

This game is the most recent in the timeline, originally released on Nintendo 3DS. This is the only non-PlayStation game that was remade in full for PlayStation. Dream Drop is also one of the most important games going into Kingdom Hearts III.

  • Platform: PS4
  • Game Collections: Kingdom Hearts II.8 (PS4), Kingdom Hearts: The Story So Far (PS4)

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Quicker Kingdom Hearts Story Paths

Now, the above list is how these games progress chronologically. However, in my opinion, that is not the best way to experience these games. I have a few different ways to play or view these games for different preferences.

Sora-only Story:

  • Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories
  • Kingdom Hearts II
  • Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance

Sparknotes:

  • Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep
    • Ventus’ story
    • Terra’s story
    • Aqua’s story
  • Kingdom Hearts
  • Kingdom Hearts II
  • Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance

Roxas’ Story:

  • Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days
  • Kingdom Hearts II
  • Kingdom Hearts: Drop Distance

Late to the bandwagon:

  • Just jump into Kingdom Hearts III

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Kingdom Hearts Timeline Explained

Finally, this is the order I most recommend. I have taken both gameplay and story progression into account. Personally, this is the best way to get every bit of information along with the most enjoyable experience.

  • Kingdom Hearts
  • Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories
  • Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days
  • Kingdom Hearts II
  • Kingdom Hearts Re: Coded
  • Kingdom Hearts: Backcover
  • Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep
    • Ventus’ story
    • Terra’s story
    • Aqua’ story
  • Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance
  • Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep 0.2: A Fragment Passage

I hope this helps all of you out there to get exactly want you want out of this. one of my favorite series in any media. The beauty of these games is the draw of both fans of Disney and beloved Square Enix games. You could also just jump into Kingdom Hearts III and gets a good feel for who the villain is and who the hero is with a clear start and conclusion.

However, if you want the full story, the emotional plot points, and complete connections between characters, then you have to experience the previous games before jumping into Kingdom Hearts III. I hope everyone can fall in love with these stories as much as I have.

For all things Kingdom Hearts, we will have you covered here at PlayStation Universe.