These are some of the best games that let fans play as Mickey Mouse.
Mickey Mouse is one of the most iconic characters in pop culture. Since his debut in the 1920s in the short film Steamboat Willie, Mickey has made appearances in countless films, books, merchandise, and other media. He’s the mascot for Disney, with his famous ears showing up everywhere in logos and designs associated with the company.
Unsurprisingly, he’s also made a ton of appearances in video games over the years. With Disney Illusion Island recently announcing a release date and racing game Disney Speedstorm in development, both with Mickey as a playable character, it’s a good time to take a look back at some of Mickey’s best times in games as a playable character.
Mickey Mousecapade is one of the earliest Mickey Mouse games out there, released for the NES in the late 1980s. Developed by Bomberman and Adventure Island studio Hudson Soft, it was a 2D platformer featuring Mickey and Minnie Mouse moving through various worlds full of Disney references.
While it may seem a little primitive these days, it was a solid game for its time and gained a reasonable amount of nostalgia over the years. The frequent use of puzzles and hidden secrets gave the game a unique identity, while its simplicity makes it a great game for kids.
Released for the N64 in 2000, Mickey’s Speedway USA was Disney’s attempt to cash in on Mario Kart fever. It sees Mickey and friends jumping into go-karts and traveling across America to find Pluto, who has been kidnaped by weasels.
In an attempt to ensure quality, Disney recruited Rare to develop the game, and their expertise in developing Diddy Kong Racing shines through as one of the more enjoyable kart racers of the time. It wasn’t quite at the heights of Diddy Kong Racing or Mario Kart 64, but it was still an enjoyable experience.
Mickey’s Speedway USA wasn’t the first attempt to put Mickey and friends into a racing game, and not even the first developed by Rare. Releasing for the Game Boy a year before the N64 game, Mickey’s Racing Adventure is an isometric racing game where Mickey and friends race against Pete and his associates to retrieve items stolen from them.
The racing mechanics were generally considered to be excellent, drawing inspiration from Rare’s early NES title RC Pro-Am, but it wasn’t all the game had to offer. The game also featured exploration elements within a sizable adventure mode, an impressive feat for a handheld of the time.
Following the success of Castle of Illusion on the Genesis, Sega took Mickey over to their 8-bit system and gave him a game of his own on the Master System too. Land of Illusion has no connection to the Genesis Illusion titles aside from the name and some shared developers, but it's still a solid game in its own right.
Land of Illusion sees Mickey venturing through various levels trying to stop the villain of The Black Cauldron in a fairy tale. With expressive animation and an inventive gameplay style featuring items that Mickey can use to gain new abilities, Land of Illusion was a superb Master System platformer for any Disney fan, sometimes considered one of the best games for the system.
The toys-to-life franchise Disney Infinity encouraged players to collect real-world figures to interact with the game to play small adventures and build their own levels starring a wide array of Disney characters. While Disney movies got a lot of attention, including the likes of Marvel and Star Wars, it’s not surprising that Mickey Mouse also got to be a playable character too.
Two figures of Mickey were released. The first of these was Mickey from the Sorcerer’s Apprentice portion of Fantasia, using magical abilities and summoning walking brooms, while the second was a standard Mickey who used a range of abilities inspired by classic shorts.
The idea of a game celebrating Mickey Mouse’s 65th birthday was floated in 1993, but the actual game celebrating his history didn’t come out for another year. Mickey Mania saw Disney’s mascot venturing through various levels based on classic short films, progressing from Steamboat Willie in 1928 to The Prince and the Pauper in 1990.
The game, released for SNES and Genesis in 1994, was a critical and commercial success and is generally considered to be a brilliant 2D platformer. It did get a later release on PlayStation as Mickey’s Wild Adventure with some visual and audio improvements, which was also well received.
Mickey is an important character in the Kingdom Hearts universe, acting as the king of Disney Castle and a force to be reckoned with as he crosses between worlds fighting off the forces of darkness. Most of the time, his role is an NPC who guides Sora and his friends through their adventures.
However, in Kingdom Hearts 2, Mickey can become playable in specific circumstances. In certain boss fights, if Sora is defeated the player is presented with the option to say “I Won’t Give Up” and continue the fight as Mickey. However, while fighting as Mickey is an entertaining diversion, he sadly can’t defeat the bosses himself as his goal is to build up enough power to revive Sora and let him resume the fight.
Epic Mickey was designed to be a darker take on Mickey Mouse and his classic cartoons. Initial concept art during its announcement showed twisted takes on Disney theme park rides, including crumbling animatronics of Donald Duck and Goofy. It caught a huge amount of attention as players anticipated playing through this dark and creepy version of classic Disney.
The final game didn’t quite live up to that hype, as some of the creepiness was toned down significantly. However, this didn’t stop the game from being a solid 3D platformer with interesting mechanics involving paint and thinner to interact with the world. It was also a love letter to the world of Disney, with Disneyland rides taking on new forms as locations, a mountain made entirely of abandoned Mickey merchandise and even a nod to Tron in the Tomorrow City boss fight.
Before Land of Illusion, there was Castle of Illusion for the Genesis. It saw Mickey Mouse venturing into a mysterious castle to rescue Minnie from a witch who wishes to steal her youth and beauty. The levels are all strange floors full of whimsy as Mickey fights off enemies such as toy soldiers.
It’s also considered to be one of the greatest platformers on the Genesis, sometimes even within the whole genre, receiving scores over 90 from many contemporary reviewers. Its status as a beloved game has persisted over the years, with a PS3 and Xbox 360 remake in 2013 with a rearranged soundtrack by Grant Kirkhope and narration from Uncharted’s Richard McGonagle.
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Leigh is a games writer and content creator. His favourite series of all time is Tomb Raider, although his tastes are wide-ranging, from AAA franchises to indie weirdness. As well as Game Rant, he can be found writing the weekly gaming roundup for Geeky Brummie and making video essays on YouTube at Bobthepetferret. When not playing or writing about games, he can be found at his local cinema, in a DnD group or obsessively making Spotify playlists.
9 Best Games That Let You Play As Mickey Mouse – GameRant
These are some of the best games that let fans play as Mickey Mouse.