Top 20 Cutest Nintendo Characters Of All TimeThis post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
Nintendo presents itself as a family-oriented company, creating toys and video game consoles for all ages.
Rather than focusing on physically attractive or bad-ass characters to promote their main games, they rely on something everyone can enjoy: cuteness.
Barring some exceptions like The Legend of Zelda and Metroid, Nintendo games are packed full of adorable characters that never fail to bring a smile to our faces.
But who’s the cutest?
Let’s look back at Nintendo’s long history of cute characters and find out who the apex Nintendo cutie-pie really is.
First appearance: Chibi-Robo! Plug Into Adventure! (2006)
Even though many of us cite reasons like “more time for chores” to explain why we like working from home, I know y’all have gone weeks and even months without even vacuuming the floor.
If only you had a Chibi-Robo.
This adorably tiny automaton was created by Citrusoft Products to be a bipedal Roomba. It’s equipped to help clean the house, remove pests, and even choose gifts for your family.
It might also save your marriage if the original game is to be believed.
19. Poppi α
First appearance: Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (2017)
Xenoblade is all about visual appeal.
The effects are flashy, the enemies are bad-ass – and, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, the characters are hot as hell.
There’s an exception, though. A character that escaped becoming fanservice for Xenoblade fans and remained painfully adorable – at least in her first form.
I’m talking about Poppi α, a female humanoid created by furry mechanic Tora to act as an artificial Blade.
With a medieval attire that contrasts with her mechanical limbs, Poppi is eye-catching, to say the least. Her adorable expression and eccentric personality also contribute to her cuteness.
First appearance: Super Mario Bros. 3 (1988)
Can something be cute and scary at the same time?
Anyone who’s played Super Mario 64 or Luigi’s Mansion knows nothing is preventing a cutesy blob of white ectoplasm from scaring the heroics out of you.
Boos are supposed to be scary ghosts – and both Mario and Luigi see them as such – but from a third-person perspective, they look like a dollop of whipped cream with a funny facial expression.
If I had to choose a ghost to haunt my house, I’d go with one of these timid rascals.
17. The Pikmin
First appearance: Pikmin (2001)
Pikpik carrots are the healthiest food in all of Hocotate. They’re sweet and delicious and full of beta-carotene.
Ah, wait, this was about Pikmin? Sorry, they look so alike…
These vegetable-looking lifeforms were discovered by Captain Olimar upon crash landing on an unknown planet. They come in several varieties, each cuter than the last, and they’ll follow you to the depths of hell if that’s what it takes to make you happy.
Pikmin aren’t just adorable because of their tiny bodies or exaggerated facial features. They also make the cutest sounds, and their slightly vacant stare gets me every time.
16. The Inklings
First appearance: Splatoon (2015)
No cutesy Nintendo list can be complete without the charming Inklings – a race of highly intelligent shapeshifters able to switch between humanoid and squid forms.
While their mischievous and competitive personality is a big draw, what I love about the Inklings and what I think makes them so adorable is their squid-like movements.
Inklings will sway and wiggle their arms around with more fluidity than the average human. It makes them look hilarious, and it’s pretty cute.
Fun fact: Despite looking remarkably like a colorful Blooper, Nintendo has already dispelled the notion that they’re related.
15. Mini Mario
First appearance: Mario vs. Donkey Kong (2004)
Everybody loves Mario.
Even non-gamers know the Italian plumber, and a staggering percentage of the populace believe they can perfectly reproduce catchphrases like “It’s-a-me! Mario!” without any voice acting training.
But would you call him cute?
I would! Or, rather, I’d call the officially licensed Mini Mario toy cute.
These tiny toys are programmed to walk around spouting authentic Mario phrases like “wahoo” or “Mamma mia!” Donkey Kong found them cute enough to raid the factory and kidnap its employees, and honestly, I can’t blame him.
First appearance: TLoZ Majora’s Mask (2000)
Cuteness can come in almost any shape or form. It’s not all kittens and puppies!
Sometimes, you’ll find yourself looking at an ominous pulsating blob of goo out in the wild and feel the gentle warmth of cuteness overloading your body and soul despite their bizarre shape.
While their appearance in Majora’s Mask is pure nightmare fuel, Chuchu’s have slowly become cuter with every TLoZ game.
The tall Wobbuffet-like ChuChus in Wind Waker stand firmly in the “ugly-cute” category, and the round blobs from Breath of the Wild are downright adorable.
First appearance: Kirby and the Forgotten Land (2022)
The Kirby franchise is well-known for its cutesy characters and enemies.
One of the most recent additions to the family is the overwhelmingly cute Awoofy, a fox-like furball with a lot of spunk for such a tiny beast.
Awoofy is a common sight in the plains of the Forgotten Land, replacing the Waddle Dee as the rank and file enemy in the game.
It’s easy to get distracted by its endearing eyes and tiny paws, but don’t let them fool you. They won’t think twice before attacking you – though that might feel good given how soft they look.
12. Waddle Dee
First appearance: Kirby Super Star (1996)
The next spot goes to the OG enemy foot soldier of the Kirby franchise – the Waddle Dee.
This cutesy red blob with expressive eyes is one of the most common creatures on Planet Popstar. Some of them are allies, but most will attack you under orders from King Dedede.
Regardless of their allegiance, the Waddle Dee’s cuteness is irresistible. Their carefree and sometimes” slow” attitude makes them endearing to no end.
Fun Fact: A Waddle Doo is a nightmare-inducing but still cute variation of the Waddle Dee, replacing their adorable face with a giant eyeball.
First appearance: Stack-Up (1985)
Nintendo is well-known for its use of gimmicky ideas and peripherals to set itself apart from the competition.
The Robotic Operating Buddy – also known simply as ROB – was one of these gimmicks.
It was released in 1985 to help market the NES more as a toy than a video game system following the 1983 video game crash. Admittedly, ROB wasn’t much fun, but it was a genius marketing move.
To pay their respects to the Trojan Horse that helped the NES make it in the American market, Nintendo has continued to feature this adorable old-school robot as a guest in modern games.
He’s even in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate!
10. Stone Pebblit
First appearance: TLoZ Breath of the Wild (2018)
Those worried about microplastics and their impact on the environment might prefer a more “natural” automaton.
Stone Pebblits are small living rocks found all around the plains of post-apocalyptic Hyrule in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. They may not seem cute at first glance, but something about their stoic demeanor and non-existent face makes them irresistible.
These garden rocks are the younger version of the stronger (and gigantic) Stone Talus. There’s something endearing about watching the Pebblit exhibit the same stoic poise as the larger version.
They’re tiny and easy to break, but they stand tall as a mountain in their hearts.
First appearance: The Legendary Starfy (2002)
Only the biggest Nintendo fans will remember Starfy – a sweet star-shaped hero whose face and overall design are cute with a capital “C.”
Standing somewhere between a starfish and a real star, the Prince of Pufftop has the face of someone who’s never experienced a negative emotion in their life.
He’s pure like only a seven-year-old star can be, and his joyful demeanor only adds to his cuteness.
From 2002 to 2009, Starfy remained a Japanese exclusive character.
Only the fifth game in the series finally broke the language barrier and let us Western audiences marvel at Starfy’s adorableness.
First appearance: Pokémon Red & Blue (1996)
Pikachu is the cutest & most lovable Pokémon in the original 151.
The great minds behind the Pokémon anime chose to give Ash Ketchum a Pikachu as his main Pokémon because cute things are just easier to promote.
Moreover, Pikachu was cool and courageous enough that it would appeal to both girls and boys in 1997.
Pikachu’s appearance has changed a ton since then, constantly evolving to stay competitive in the world of cutesy mascots.
Still, I think the fat hamster-like shape of the original cannot be topped.
First appearance: Pokémon Gold & Silver (1999)
Created as the “baby” version of Pikachu, it’s only fair that Pichu would be cuter.
He may not have as much clout as his older counterpart, but Pichu makes up for it with energy and silliness. They also tend to hang around in packs, which multiplies their cuteness to astronomical levels.
According to the Pokédex, Pichu is just as able to zap you as an adult Pikachu – but it’ll get startled by his own sparks. Have you ever read something more precious in a Pokédex entry?
If you want to overload your system with cuteness, check out the Pikachu & Pichu short, which served as Pichu’s debut in the Pokémon anime.
6. Shy Guy
First appearance: Super Mario Bros. 2 (1988)
The Mario franchise isn’t short on cute enemies – but few have a lovable personality like the Shy Guy.
These little guys don’t wear those eerie masks because they want to look like Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th. According to what little lore Mario games provide, they’re just timid!
Still, the Shy Guy doesn’t let his sheepish nature get in the way of having a good time. They’re in almost every party and sports game in the Mario series, where you’ll see them wearing eye-catching costumes and making friends with everyone.
These tiny masked gentlemen aren’t only cute but inspirational to introverts worldwide.
5. Princess Peach
First appearance: Super Mario Bros. (1985)
The reigning monarch of the Mushroom Kingdom is one of the most iconic women in gaming.
She’s also one of the cutest.
Where other early gaming heroines like Samus Aran and Chun-Li shine for their immense destructive power and disagreeable personalities, Peach was never afraid to just be her adorable self and let others do the heavy lifting.
It was because of her beauty (and maybe political power) that Bowser started kidnapping her, and we can assume Mario took her sweet nature into consideration when he decided to become her protector.
In more recent times, Peach has taken a more active role as a fierce athlete and even the hero of her own game, reminding us that cuteness and strength can go hand in hand.
First appearance: Animal Crossing New Leaf (2012)
Few things are cuter than a wholesome, hard-working character whose only desire in life is to help others be happy.
That’s the vibe we get from Isabelle – the Shih Tzu working as the Mayor’s secretary and assistant in the 3DS hit Animal Crossing: New Leaf.
This doggy has the biggest grin on her face whenever she’s being helpful to the community.
Whether it’s doing paperwork or preparing town events, she’ll motivate everyone with her enthusiasm and cuteness.
Her nurturing nature and good vibes earned Isabelle the role of de facto mascot of the Animal Crossing franchise, returning in every game since her creation and even joining the Villager as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
First appearance: Super Mario World (1990)
Yoshi is one of the Marioverse’s most recognizable characters – and definitely one of the most adorable.
This friendly dinosaur has been Mario and Luigi’s pal since the SNES days.
First, Yoshi was just a mount to help Mario reach higher places, but the character proved popular and starred in must-play gems like Yoshi’s Story 64 and Yoshi’s Crafted World.
“Yoshi” actually refers to a whole species of cute multicolored dinosaurs. It’s unclear when a game features “the green Yoshi” or “a green Yoshi,” but we love them either way.
First appearance: Super Mario Bros. (1985)
Toad has always been my go-to cute character in Super Mario spin-offs like Mario Kart and the various sporting games.
In fact, they may have been the first “cute” character I ever played as, so my entire concept of cuteness kind of revolves around this citizen of the Mushroom Kingdom.
Much like Yoshi, Toad can refer to the entire species of “mushroom people” inhabiting the Mushroom Kingdom or the specific blue vest Toad that serves Princess Peach directly. Either way, they’re all adorable.
The reason they’re so cute is straightforward:
They look like babies with mushrooms on their heads.
They’re small and round, and their eyes are too big for their head. Their high-pitched squeaky voices are the icing on the cake.
First appearance: Kirby’s Dream Land (1992)
Human beings tend to find things that look like babies cute.
That means rounded edges, big eyes, and soft colors we associate with these helpless tiny humans.
One look at Kirby should be everything you need to realize they’re the epitome of cuteness. Kirby isn’t just round; he’s spherical. His eyes are gigantic.
And that pink color!
He’s more baby-like than a baby.
Maybe that’s why Kirby never leaves the top five in Nintendo character popularity polls, and tends to dominate them in regions like Japan where cuteness is celebrated.
Never judge a book by its cover. This pink blob is by far the cutest Nintendo character, but also one of the most courageous. Despite looking helpless, he’s probably the strongest lifeform in his universe.