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The 5 Best And 5 Worst Amiibo Ever Created

The toys-to-life craze that brought us phenomena like "Skylanders" and "Disney Infinity" may be largely in the rear-view mirror for video games, but one giant still stands tall in the world of game-compatible figurines: amiibo. Nintendo's ambitious plastic figures have been frustrating and delighting audiences in equal measure since their introduction in 2014, and that time-honored tradition shows no sign of stopping anytime soon.

Nintendo's amiibo line has injected plenty of games with a much-needed sense of joy and novelty — there's a reason "Super Smash Bros." fans flock to new amiibo drops like bees to pollen, after all — but not all amiibo are created equally. Some have caused a serious uproar among fans. For every gorgeous figurine with outstanding compatibility options, there's a boring design with limited perks and irritating shortcomings. While amiibo can be an exciting way to spice up your shelves and wring a little extra value out of your favorite games, it can sometimes be difficult to know which amiibo are actually worth your money and which are worthwhile for collectors alone. These are the five best and five worst amiibo ever made.

Best: Kirby (Super Smash Bros. series)

One of the most important things to consider when thinking about amiibo is how good they'll look on a shelf, and, frankly, it's hard to look better than Kirby. The little pink guy's design is one of the all-time greats, and that design translates perfectly into a figurine. Kirby's minimalist design looks exceptionally sleek in his "Super Smash Bros." series amiibo, and he'd be a welcome addition to any self-respecting gamer's shelf.

But design is only half the battle when it comes to amiibo. Thankfully, Kirby's function is just as impressive as his fashion. Boasting unique features and upgrades in 25 games, including a number of high-profile first-party Nintendo games like "Mario Kart 8 Deluxe," Kirby will probably already be compatible with something in nearly every Nintendo Switch, 3DS, or Wii U owners' collections. The "Super Smash Bros." series Kirby amiibo is adorable to look at and extremely feature-rich, making it a worthy figurine for anyone, from obsessive collectors to casual gamers.

Worst: Byleth (Super Smash Bros. series)

The decision to add Byleth to "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate" was controversial to begin with, among both fans and series creator Masahiro Sakurai. The "Fire Emblem: Three Houses" protagonist was the eighth "Fire Emblem" character added in the game, and some players considered the series to have an outsized role in "Super Smash Bros." Not only that, but it was argued that there were too many sword-wielding characters in the game at that point, making things unbalanced. Thankfully, at least "Fire Emblem: Three Houses" fans could celebrate having an excellent new amiibo of the game's protagonists. 

Just kidding. The Byleth amiibo is really bad.

The Byleth amiibo comes in only one form, the character's male incarnation, despite players being able to choose between male and female options for Byleth in both "Fire Emblem: Three Houses" and "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate." Anyone who prefers the female version of the character is simply out of luck. Even worse, "Fire Emblem" fans were dismayed to discover that the Byleth amiibo is only compatible with a single game, that being "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate." Even though "Fire Emblem: Three Houses" launched with amiibo support and numerous "Super Smash Bros." series amiibo had unique compatibility with "Fire Emblem," Byleth has absolutely no functionality in its native franchise. The Byleth amiibo could have been a nice treat for "Fire Emblem" fans, but a half-hearted execution instead earns it a spot among the worst amiibo available.

Best: Samus/E.M.M.I. (Metroid series)

"Metroid Dread" is a great game, so it makes sense that it would launch alongside two great amiibo. Sold as a duo, Samus and the E.M.M.I. are undoubtedly two of the best-looking amiibo on the market. While there have been Samus amiibo in the past (released for "Super Smash Bros." and "Metroid: Samus Returns"), this figurine features the character in her starting suit from "Metroid Dread," one of the best suit designs she's had in the entire "Metroid" series. In addition, the E.M.M.I. amiibo, with its claw outstretched and its face plate blown apart, does a perfect job of bringing to life the horror of encountering one of these robotic monsters in "Metroid Dread."

Functionality-wise, this two-pack is an interesting case. While the E.M.M.I. has severely limited compatibility, with unique features in just three games, Samus more than makes up for her lacking counterpart with unique features in more than 20 games, including a helpful top-up of Missiles. The E.M.M.I. amiibo may not be worth it on its own as far as function is concerned, but since it comes bundled with a significantly more robust figurine, it makes sense to snag it just for the excellent design and handy in-game bonuses for the incredibly difficult "Metroid Dread."

Worst: Joker (Super Smash Bros. series)

The "Super Smash Bros." series of amiibo is one of the least consistent lines out there. While it sometimes offers up characters like Kirby, with compatibility in dozens of games, other times it plays host to more underwhelming figures, like Joker from "Persona 5." The Joker amiibo is designed for use in "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate," which was the only Nintendo Switch game in which the "Persona 5" star was playable for a long time. That changed in 2021 when "Persona 5 Strikers," an action-oriented follow-up to "Persona 5," came to the console. However, much to the chagrin of "Persona" fans, the new game didn't represent any new value for the amiibo.

Fans have been clamoring for a "Persona 5" port on Nintendo Switch for years, but it's unclear if the game will ever make the jump to Nintendo's console (per IGN). While the Joker amiibo gives "Persona 5" a bit more representation on Switch, the lack of compatibility with "Persona 5 Strikers" feels a bit insulting. It's a good-looking amiibo, but one with almost nothing to offer in terms of functionality, making it difficult to recommend to anyone other than hardcore "Persona 5" fans and amiibo collectors. It's mostly a physical reminder that Joker's first adventure still isn't available on the platform.

Best: Timmy and Tommy Nook (Animal Crossing series)

Tom Nook is great, but he's always had two big problems: he's too tall, and there's only one of him. Enter Timmy and Tommy, Tom Nook's younger relatives of an indeterminate relationship. This amiibo, which features two tanuki siblings(?) for the price of one, might very well be the cutest thing any gamer could add to their desk. "Animal Crossing" is adorable by its very nature, but it doesn't get more adorable than these twin shopkeepers.

In terms of function, Timmy and Tommy might seem a little less useful than other entrants on this list. They unique functions in just 14 games, which makes it far from the most utilitarian option for the aspiring amiibo collector. What's important to remember, though, is that one of those functions is unlocking Timmy and Tommy costumes in "Super Mario Maker" for the Wii U. Who hasn't played through a "Super Mario Bros." game and thought "If only I were two raccoons instead of a mustachioed plumber?" 

Sadly, this functionality doesn't carry over to "Super Mario Maker 2," so Timmy and Tommy's greatest strength is limited to the Wii U. Even so, the two cuties are still compatible with a healthy library of Nintendo Switch games.

Worst: Pikachu (Super Smash Bros. series)

"Pokémon" is among the most successful video game series of all time, and its de facto mascot, Pikachu, is one of the most recognizable and charming characters in the history of the medium. That makes it all the more depressing that the "Smash Bros." Pikachu amiibo is simply not very good. Compatible with just five games (three of which are "Super Smash Bros." titles), it's frankly an underwhelming figure for such an iconic character.

The Pikachu amiibo looks good, for sure — it's Pikachu, how could it not? — but if all you want is a Pikachu figurine for your desk or shelf, there are plenty of options out there of a higher quality. The amiibo is a subpar product in the competitive world of high-end Pikachu collectibles, and it bafflingly lacks compatibility with any actual "Pokémon" games. These elements ultimately leave the yellow rat in an unsatisfying purgatory, a worthwhile buy for basically nobody.

Best: Yarn Yoshis (Yoshi's Wooly World series)

The Yarn Yoshi series would have been a perfect pick for this list even if they were made of plastic. A small selection of amiibo based on one of the most iconic characters in Nintendo's history, made in several different colors to choose from and unique compatibility with a whopping 30 games, would already be enough to earn this army of rainbow dinosaurs a spot in the amiibo Hall of Fame. But if that weren't enough, the Yarn Yoshis also, as their name suggests, are adorably made of yarn.

For all their many strengths and weaknesses, one word that's very rarely used to describe amiibo is "soft." That makes the Yarn Yoshis particularly special. As the closest things fans currently have to plushie amiibo, the Yarn Yoshi amiibo are a perfect fit for just about anyone. A child who's never held a Wii remote will find just as much to love about these guys as a seasoned amiibo collector. 

While one of the strengths of the Yarn Yoshis is that they come in several different color palettes, the best is probably the abnormally large Mega Yarn Yoshi, which has all the same functions as its mini brethren and the added bonus of being especially easy to hug. If you need any further encouragement, just look how happy Alex Olney from Nintendo Life was to open his own Mega Yarn Yoshi.

Worst: Solaire of Astora (Dark Souls series)

Solaire of Astora is a widely beloved character in "Dark Souls," a game many consider to be the greatest of all time. A Solaire amiibo should, by all accounts, be a slam dunk. Unfortunately, while it's nice to have a shrunken version of the face of jolly cooperation staring back at you from your TV stand while you battle your way through Blighttown, the amiibo itself is just not very good.

The Solaire of Astora amiibo is compatible with just one game: "Dark Souls Remastered" on the Nintendo Switch. That's to be expected — it's hard to imagine a "Dark Souls" character appearing in something like "Kirby and the Forgotten Land" — but the small function that the Solaire amiibo has is extremely underwhelming. When the player scans the Solaire amiibo while playing "Dark Souls Remastered," they unlock the "Praise the Sun" emote. It's a cute nod at Solaire's obsession with the sun, but it's also a gesture that's already fairly simple to unlock in-game. The amiibo doesn't have much to offer to anyone aside from the most grossly sun-loving "Dark Souls" enthusiasts.

Best: 8-bit Mario (Super Mario Bros. 30th Anniversary series)

It's fitting that Nintendo's mascot, Mario himself, would be shown the most love of any character ever to be given an amiibo. Every Mario amiibo is compatible with a few dozen games, and the 8-bit amiibo released for the iconic red plumber's 30th anniversary is no different, with specific unlockables in 38 games total. It's not quite the most functional amiibo of all time (that honor belongs to the Wedding Outfit variant of Mario from "Super Mario Odyssey"), but it's pretty darn close.

On top of being compatible with nearly any recent Nintendo game you can imagine, the 8-bit Mario amiibo looks phenomenal. It's easily the best-looking amiibo, and arguably one of the best-looking pieces of Nintendo merchandise there is. Fans have frequently pointed to it as their favorite amiibo of them all. Available in both classic and modern color variants, the figure brings Mario's sprite from the very first "Super Mario Bros." game to life. The pixels are as sharp as they looked on the NES — sharper! — and translate shockingly well to 3D. It's cool without being obnoxious and pays homage to Mario's history in an incredibly attractive way. Anyone with an abiding fondness for Mario (so, you know, just about anyone) will see the value in both its aesthetic and gameplay functions.

Worst: Detective Pikachu (Pokémon series)

Yes, Pikachu has two separate entries, but it's only because, in a genuinely impressive move, Nintendo managed to make two bad Pikachu amiibo. At the very least, the Detective Pikachu amiibo is actually compatible with a genuine "Pokémon" game... although that Pokémon game is "Detective Pikachu," the adventure game spinoff that's far better known for spawning a movie than being a game. As the second Pikachu amiibo, one would think that there might finally be amiibo support for at least one mainline "Pokémon" title.

The amiibo's actual function in "Detective Pikachu" isn't much to write home about, either. All it unlocks is a cutscene gallery. There's no impact on the gameplay and very little impact on the narrative. All this figurine does is look cool in a hat.

This figure represents yet another failed attempt to bring one of gaming's most beloved characters to life as an amiibo. Someday, there might finally be a great Pikachu amiibo, but Detective Pikachu isn't it. If nothing else, it's nice that the little guy seems to be holding up his hands in a "stop" signal, as though to tell consumers to look elsewhere for a decent addition to their amiibo collection.