Fans had to wait an awfully long time for Kingdom Hearts 3 to release. Besides the story and finding out how the battle between the Guardians of Light and the Seekers of Darkness would end, one of the things that fans had anticipated the most was getting to explore each of the worlds that the series' third installment had to offer.
Most of the Disney worlds in this game were brand new to the franchise, with two of them even being from Pixar films, which fans had wanted for years. A couple of new original worlds were also introduced, with even more appearing from previous titles. Unfortunately, however, not all of the worlds visited by Sora and his friends in Kingdom Hearts 3 quite lived up to the series' usual high standards.
Updated July 9, 2021 by Tom Bowen: There's still no word on if or when fans of Kingdom Hearts can expect a Kingdom Hearts 4, although that's not to say that nothing is happening with the series. All of the main Kingdom Hearts games are now available on PC through the Epic Games Store, while the series' third installment has also been added to the Xbox Game Pass. Those who've never played it really are missing out, not only on an excellent, albeit, slightly confusing story, but also on some of the best worlds to have ever featured in a Kingdom Hearts game.
15 100 Acre Wood
Origin: The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977)
Assistants: Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, Roo, Gopher, & Eeyore
Like with the other numbered titles in the series, Sora visits Pooh and his other friends at the 100 Acre Wood. In the other games, where they explored the world inside of Merlin's book, players got to play unique minigames that were different from each other; something that really helped to set the world apart.
With this in mind, many players were disappointed when the minigames offered in the third installment all felt the same and weren't anything like what they were used to. It is still great to see Sora reunite with his old friends, and their interaction had a meaningful message, but the gameplay could have been so much more than it is.
14 Twilight Town
Origin: Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories (2004)
Allies: King Mickey
Bosses: Demon Wave
Twilight Town is usually one of the best worlds in the series, so it was really unfortunate that players could only explore a small section of it in Kingdom Hearts 3. Most of the world didn't appear at all, and the places that were shown had changed drastically.
This made some fans wonder why Square Enix even bothered to include the world in the game. It would arguably have been better if either the entire world was accessible or if a different one was made entirely, especially since most of the plot surrounding Twilight Town could have taken place anywhere or felt like filler.
13 Dive To The Heart
Origin: Kingdom Hearts (2002)
Though Dive To The Heart wasn't nearly as good as it was in other titles, it didn't disappoint fans nearly as much as Twilight Town and 100 Acre Wood. Players just spend even less time here than usual, before quickly arriving at The Final World.
Both of these places serve as a tutorial rather than just Dive To The Heart, as is usually the case. Fans may feel nostalgia here, seeing images of moments from previous installments and being asked questions that impact their experience in the game, but besides that, there's very little to actually do.
12 Land Of Departure
Origin: Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep (2009)
Allies: Terra, Aqua & Ventus
Land of Departure was introduced in Birth by Sleep as the home to Terra, Ventus, and Aqua. After their adventure, Aqua sealed Ventus in the world and turned the whole world into Castle Oblivion in order to protect him from Xehanort. It's an interesting premise, but one that is ruined somewhat by the latest installment.
In Kingdom Hearts III, she finally returns with Sora, Donald, and Goofy, ready to bring Ventus back. However, Vanitas is waiting for them, and players are required to fight him while controlling Aqua. Unfortunately, that's all that they can really do, making this world the stage of a boss fight rather than an explorable area.
11 Dark World
Origin: Kingdom Hearts (2002)
Bosses: Demon Wave
Prior to Aqua returning home, she was stuck in the Dark World (also known as the Realm of Darkness) before being saved by Riku, Sora, and King Mickey. Riku and the king were searching for her before the game began, but needed to leave after Riku's Way to the Dawn Keyblade broke when he fought a Demon Tower.
When they return to the world, they finally find her, but she has been corrupted by darkness after spending so much time in the Dark World. She fights Riku and King Mickey and almost defeats them until Sora arrives, bringing her back to the Realm of Light and ultimately saving her.
Origin: Frozen (2013)
Bosses: Marshmallow & Ice Wolf
As popular as Frozen is, most players did not enjoy their experience of it in Kingdom Hearts III. A lot of the content from the movie was removed and replaced by a large open area that players can very easily get lost in. And get lost they will, unless they're incredibly careful.
The level design of even the locations from the film is also boring, essentially having Sora, Donald, and Goofy make their way up, down, and back up a mountain. Arendelle would have been much better if it had more similarities to Frozen's setting, rather than the developers introducing so many unnecessary differences.
9 Toy Box
Origin: Toy Story (1995)
Allies: Buzz & Woody
Bosses: Gigas Dragon, Heartless Doll & Giant Heartless
Fans had been waiting a long time for Pixar worlds to appear in a Kingdom Hearts game, and then, like London busses, two of them appeared in the series' third installment. Unfortunately, the Toy Box world wasn't quite what players had been hoping for.
As every Toy Story movie has a different setting, there were a lot of possibilities when it came to where exactly Sora, Donald, and Goofy could have gone. For them to therefore end up at an original location that wasn't nearly as fun as places like Al's Toy Barn and Sunnyside Daycare was therefore a little disappointing.
8 The Final World / Shibuya
Origin: Original Creation
Besides the Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest series, one of Square Enix's best games is an underrated title called The World Ends With You. In Dream Drop Distance, Sora and Riku meet the characters from that game, and they later get an opportunity to visit their world, Shibuya.
After the Guardians of Light are defeated, Sora finds himself in The Final World and is given a chance to save everyone again. He would then return to this unique world when he saved Kairi and disappeared, but little did he know that it was connected to Shibuya. In Kingdom Hearts III, Shibuya was only a location for a boss battle, but players will be hoping to fully explore this world soon.
Origin: Hercules (1997)
Bosses: Rock Titan, Ice Titan, Fire Titan & Wind Titan
Olympus has appeared in many games throughout the series, but not all of the areas were shown. This time around, players are able to explore several new and interesting locations, including Thebes and the Realm of the Gods. For all of the new additions, however, there was one huge omission that completely changed the world.
Many players were left a little disappointed by Olympus as there aren't any tournaments for them to fight in like there were in the original game and Kingdom Hearts II. These tournaments gave players a reason to return to the world and provided a lot of great challenges and so are greatly missed in Kingdom Hearts 3.
6 Scala Ad Caelum
Origin: Original Creation
Scala ad Caelum is the world that Eraqus and Xehanort lived in when they were younger, and it serves as the area where the final battle takes place. It's wonderfully designed and looks like something straight out of the future, making it the perfect setting for the game's conclusion.
In the base version of the game, players are only really able to fight the Dark Seeker at Scala Ad Caelum, a battle that is a little disappointing compared to the final bosses in the first game and Kingdom Hearts II. Luckily, players are able to fully explore this fantastic world if they pick up the ReMind DLC, which is definitely worth doing assuming that money is not an issue.
Origin: Monsters, Inc (2001)
Allies: Mike & Sulley
Bosses: Unversed & Giant Unversed
The second world based on a Pixar movie that Sora and his friends get to visit in Kingdom Hearts 3 is Monstropolis. Here, they turn into monsters and meet Mike, Sully, and Boo. The storyline serves as a sequel of sorts to Monsters Inc., with Randall attempting to get his revenge on Mike and Sully.
As Sora, Donald, and Goofy help their new friends out, they battle against the unversed, creatures that seemed to have all been defeated in Birth by Sleep. One of the best things about the Disney worlds is how they can be implemented to improve the overall story, and Monstropolis is a great example of this.
4 Keyblade Graveyard
Origin: Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix (2007)
Allies: Mickey Mouse, Riku, Aqua, Ventus, Kairi, Lea, Roxas & Xion
Bosses: Ansem, Young Riku, Xigbar, Marluxia, Larxene, Luxord, Vanitas, Terra-Xehanort, Saix, Xion, Xemnas & Young Xehanort
The Keyblade Graveyard is where most of the game's ending takes place. When the Guardians of Light are brought together, they are ready to defeat the Seekers of Darkness once and for all. After fighting hundreds of heartless when they first arrive there, the group split up and fight the Seekers of Darkness separately, with only Sora fighting them all.
Though the bosses are fun, what makes this world really special is the story surrounding it. Players had waited years for characters such as Roxas, Xion, and Terra to return, and so to finally see it happen was a special moment indeed. Seeing some of the organization's members for the last time was also quite emotional, though one or two will no doubt return in future games.
3 Kingdom Of Corona
Origin: Tangled (2010)
Allies: Eugene & Rapunzel
Bosses: Nobodies & Mother Gothel's Heartless
Thanks to the ongoing pandemic, many people may now think of something else when they hear the word "corona." It also happens to be the setting of Tangled though and one of the very best worlds that players get to explore during Kingdom Hearts III.
The world is generally very accurate to the movie, although there are a few minor exceptions. The biggest of these are perhaps Sora, Donald, and Goofy joining Eugene and Rapunzel or Marluxia teaming up with Mother Gothel and taking the Stabbington brothers' place.
2 The Caribbean
Origin: Pirates of the Caribbean (2003)
Allies: Jack Sparrow
Bosses: Luxord's Ship & Davy Jones
Out of all of the Disney worlds to appear in Kingdom Hearts III, The Caribbean was perhaps the least expected. Previously known as Port Royal in Kingdom Hearts II, this world is of course based on the Pirates of the Caribbean movies and offers a very good representation.
When Sora, Donald, and Goofy became pirates again, they reunite with Jack Sparrow and other characters that they had earlier met in Port Royal while searching for grabs and fighting against enemy ships. Not only is this world incredibly fun to play in, but it is also huge and the graphics are beautiful.
1 San Fransokyo
Origin: Big Hero 6 (2014)
Bosses: Darkubes & Dark Baymax
Most people consider the best world in Kingdom Hearts 3 to be San Fransokyo, the city that serves as the setting of Big Hero 6. Like Monstropolis, this world serves as a sequel to the movie, with the first Baymax getting corrupted and Sora, Donald, and Goofy having to team up with the superhero team to both stop and save him.
Throughout the years, there have been worlds in the franchise that have cities in them, but this is the first one that actually feels like it could be a real city rather than just a few tall buildings. Worlds like these show how great Kingdom Hearts' level design has become and are a promising sign for the future of the franchise.
NEXT: Kingdom Hearts: Every Game In The Franchise, Ranked In Chronological Order
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